Why did Hashem create the world as He did?

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  • #608953

    Why would Hashem create the world in a way that makes it appear as if evolution took place and the world is billions of years old?

    #945222
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Because otherwise there would be no bechira to not believe in a creator. If literally everything in the world was clearly only 5773 years old, everyone would have to believe in a creator.

    As it is, it is still obvious, but there are none so blind as those who will not see. (Jesus said that)

    #945223
    playtime
    Member

    “To give doubt of his existence”

    #945224

    So why didn’t the generations that witnessed miracles have to deal with the bechirah issue?

    #945225
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    SecularFrummy: You should read Gerald Schroeder’s book Genesis and the Big Bang. Definitely the best explanation I’ve heard for this problem (i.e. not just apologetics).

    popa, talmud: That only poses an issue for proving God in the context of the Jewish religion. On the surface of things, it is more or less apparent that there is some sort of Creator (“First Cause,” if you will).

    #945226
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    So why didn’t the generations that witnessed miracles have to deal with the bechirah issue?

    So you are attempting to prove that there is still bechira after seeing a miracle? It is certainly less bechira.

    So is your point that bechira is not a necessary part of life? That is obviously wrong. Is your point that bechira does not need to be as broad as we thought? So what.

    Or maybe your point is that nothing can diminish bechira. That doesn’t make sense.

    #945228

    we hardly have any bechira at all if you think about it.who well marry is annonced 40 days b4 were born, we don’t choose our family, who will like and accept us for who we are, whether were a dude or dudette… Hashem give us our lives and we have to decide what to do with everything.

    #945229
    writersoul
    Participant

    If I said that there WAS evolution, would I get kicked off the board?

    (Testing the waters…)

    #945230
    writersoul
    Participant

    AND IT DOES NOT MEAN I’M A KOFER!

    #945231

    My point is that some generations had it easy when it came to emunah because they were able to see nisim v’niflaos. We, on the other hand, are in a generation of atheists and evolutionists that are bringing proofs against Hakodosh Baruch Hu. So how is that fair playing field?

    #945232
    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    writersoul: Really, who said?

    #945233
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    We, on the other hand, are in a generation of atheists and evolutionists that are bringing proofs against Hakodosh Baruch Hu.

    There are no PROOFS against the existence of God. There is only evidence that can be extrapolated into such an understanding.

    #945234
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    If I said that there WAS evolution, would I get kicked off the board?

    (Testing the waters…)

    Many have said that and were not kicked off.

    In my opinion, if you think evolution makes the most sense to you–whatever, I disagree. But if you think evolution is the only way that makes sense–you’re a fool.

    #945235
    playtime
    Member

    SecularFrummy-

    It goes like this.

    The generation of Moshe experienced the greatest miracles, like splitting of the red sea.

    But scientists today have an explanation even for that. They say it is possible that every 2448 years an extremely forceful gale occurs at an angle to split the sea.

    Moses Mendelssohn the Ugly wanted to say that Moshe Rabbeinu used his staff to dissolve the water of the Red Sea.

    (His staff was made from sulfur which separates hydrogen and oxygen in h2o)

    Miracles like Elijah at Mt. Carmel occurred when the there was an evil inclination for idolatry.

    We do not have that evil in us anymore.

    iluvbeingjewish- “we hardly have any bechira at all if you think about it.who well marry is annonced 40 days b4 were born…”

    Ah, the age old question.

    The answer is that your question is flawed. You are asking about the prediction of G-d vs. choice of Man, as if they are two sides to the same coin. But they are not.

    Man’s ‘present’ is not only G-d’s ‘present’, it is also G-d’s future and past too.

    You cannot attribute the G-dly quality of omnipresence to man.

    #945236
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    So how is that fair playing field?

    Is this a competetion? Without this question, would you assume that every individual has the same level of nisayon? So who says different generations don’t have different nisyonos?

    I have no idea if the nisayon of an ancient appearing world is stronger than nisyonos which challenged other generations or not. They say the yetzer hora for avodah zarah, which we don’t have, was huge. But why can’t it be?

    #945237
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    iluvbeingjewish- “we hardly have any bechira at all if you think about it.who well marry is annonced 40 days b4 were born…”

    Talmud’s answer could be correct, but it isn’t necessary. The bas kol is not an absolute. A man can (and many do) marry someone other than “bas ploni”.

    #945238
    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    BTW, Hashem left plenty of loopholes that make it NOT appear as if the world was billions of years old.

    #945239
    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: It’s Mashma from the Gemara in Moed Kattan that that can’t really happen B’derech Hatevah. See, however, the Meiri to Sotah 2a, though I do not know how he answers the Kasha from the Gemara in MK.

    #945240
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I am aware of the Meiri. The Arizal is supposed to have said that the gemara in Sotah only applies until age 18, and there’s the famous Gemara of “shema yikadmeno acher”. Where is the Gemara in Moed Katan?

    #945241
    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: It’s on an Amud Beis from the middle towards the end of the skinny lines. It’s a story about praying to change your wife. Somewhere around 20b maybe?

    #945242
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant
    #945243
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Tosafos asks why doesn’t the Gemara answer kan b’zivug rishon kan b’zivug sheini. So your kasha on the Meiri is really a kasha either way, no?

    #945244
    playtime
    Member

    Sam & Dasyochid, I think you should start a chavrusah Shaf together.

    #945245
    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: Could be. I’ve never actually looked at Tosfos on that Gemara because I only ever see it on Tishah B’av, and I hold it’s Assur to look at the Meforshim then unless you need direct help understanding what the words/phraseology/syntax means. No answering any questions. I should probably look at Rishonim on Eilu Megalchim at some point, actually…

    #945246

    So why didn’t the generations that witnessed miracles have to deal with the bechirah issue?

    What about all the other nisyonas our generation has i refer to pritzus whether on the streets around us or ch’vhsolom online…

    was this content ever so accessible

    each dor has its challenges

    last generations was probably shabbos and back in europe it was the push to conform to society, study their literature etc. (im not sure that one still doesnt apply!)

    we need to identify the nisyonas of present and rise up to them to be able to maintain our kedusha i doubt working on not being ovdai avodah zorah will help us grow as a people today as it would have done when that was our challenge!

    #945247
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Because otherwise there would be no bechira to not believe in a creator.

    Eh. Who needs such bechira? Hashem didn’t seem to care much for it at Har Sinai. They tell us we’re supposed to yearn for mashiach yet they say Hashem’s existence will be obvious then. It’s a cop out.

    #945248
    Yussel
    Participant

    Life DID evolve. To say that HaShem made a universe that only APPEARS billions of years old as way to give people a choice to believe or not raises even more serious questions than it answers.

    #945249

    Torah- Mention a few of the plenty please.

    #945250
    WIY
    Member

    Yit

    I don’t understand any of your comment.

    Even though they were at har sinai they still did the egel and they still tested Hashem 10 times in the midbar and asked “hayesh Hashem bikirbeinu ” by the mei merivah.

    The nesayon of avodah zara was extremely powerful in previous generatioons and very smart and great people fell in.

    Truthfully every aveira that is done bemeizid (loshon hora or tayvos looking at what we shouldn’t. ..) is due to a lack of emunah because if you believed strongly enough you wouldn’t dare and would never want to do something that is against the will of Hashem. Emunah is the hardest challenge and it is the challenge of the dor before moshiach hence ig is our challenge. The idea of emunah is that it has to be real it has go be felt. If you technically believe there’s a Hashem but don’t feel duty bound to His word then what is the emunah worth?

    We are supposed to yearn for moshiach now when Hashems presence is not yet obvious. Once Moshiach has arrived obviously Hashem will be obvious and there will be no more need to yearn for moshiach because he is already here! But right now in this generation there are many who don’t yearn and don’t believe moshiach will come. Its very scary but I heard people say things like eh he’s never coming chas veshalom or other crazy comments.

    #945251
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    WIY –

    My point is that obviously Hashem feels that there is sufficient bechira even in a world that knowledge of his existence is certain. In fact, that is the ideal world, as is evident in our yearning for mashiach. (And as you said, people make bad decisions even when they know what’s right.) Therefore, having the world appear to be billions of years old is completely unnecessary. Ergo, saying that the reason the world looks that old is for our bechira, is at best a cop out.

    #945252
    WIY
    Member

    Yit

    I disagree. I think that if the world was obviously 5773 years old the scientists and atheists wouldn’t have what to hang their hat on. Hashem purposely makes Himself hidden and wants man to work to find Him. True and deep Emunah comes through mans investigation and being honest with himself.

    There is also the approach that Hashem created the world in a evolutionary way and still the count of 5773 begins from Adam. There’s no problem believing that as well and I think it makes sense to say this. Our sources say that the names Shakai means sheamar leolamo dai. So the universe was expanding at a rapid rate and Hashem shouted ENOUGH and it stopped.

    However I think Hashem purposely leaves certain things fuzzy to allow humans who are lazy and want to delude themselves to delude themselves. One can read the firs passuk of bereishis and already be a kofer if he ghinks the passuk means that bereishis created Elokim. There are other places where it says “whoever wants to be mistaken let him come and be mistaken. “

    There has to be a balance in the world between being able to have Emunah which takes hard work or no emunah which takes the intellectually lazy track. If Emunah were easy the whole system of schar veonesh would be thrown out of whack.

    Once moshiach comes bechira is basically out the window. Umalah haaretz deiah es Hashem kmayim lyam mechasim. There will either be no yetzer hora or it will be so difficult to sin it will be as if there is none. Its a mathematical eauation, the greater the revelation of Hashem the lower the level of bechira.

    #945253
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Yitay: I think there will not be bechira in yemos hamashiach. In fact, I seem to recall one of my roshei yeshiva talking about how mashiach really is not good for us because we won’t be able to earn more schar, and that we only want it for Hashem.

    #945254
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Also, the people at har sinai had bechira. They ran away k’tinok haboreiach, and in fact made the eigel soon after.

    #945255
    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    SecularFrummy: That matter is made up of energies can be seen as a hint that the physical world is made up of a spiritual, less tangible world. That the fossil layers are not organized as they should be but are all mixed up, as would happen in the mabul. That the universe is expanding, so it must have had a beginning.

    #945256

    Torah- In the overwhelming majority of cases, the fossil record is most certainly not mixed up as you claim. It is in the order as predicted by evolution. Also, couldn’t one argue that energy in made up of matter, in which case the “spiritual” is simply made of the physical, and completely tangible?

    #945257
    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    SecularFrummy: I said that Hashem left loopholes where you could choose to see Him. You asked for examples. But they are just that – loopholes. Teva, nature, is quite literally the “Matbea” the signet ring, of Hashem. The word Olam, world, in Hebrew comes from the same root as He’elem, to hide. Hashem hides Himself in “nature” but does leave us His signature which we can choose to be aware of.

    Actually, in the majority of cases, it is mixed up. And no, you can’t argue that, it is quite clear that the thing that makes things matter is nearly impossible to find.

    #945258

    From simple organisms to more complex. That is what is found in the fossil record.

    #945259
    musser zoger
    Participant

    Popa-but there are none so blind as those who will not see. (Jesus said that)

    No he did not say that. Not a chance.

    #945260
    Yussel
    Participant

    Secular-Frummy: What about punctuated equilibrium? It’s not necessarily a smooth, gradual accumulation of adaptations.

    #945261
    playtime
    Member

    “there are none so blind as those who will not see”

    John Heywood, 1546.

    He was paraphrasing Yirmiyahu

    ????? ??? ??? ????

    “(Jesus said that)”

    almost true

    It was said about the likes of Jesus

    #945262
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    WIY –

    But who says we need to give them what to hang their hat on? There is plenty of bechira to go around without that, as you yourself acknowledge. And think of it as a relationship. A father might test his son’s loyalties, but it kind of makes sense that he should at least make it clear to his son that he’s the father and not have him wondering all his life if he is or not and whether all of his loyalty is in vain. There’s a reason you don’t find this argument in the rishonim. Ein Hakadosh Baruch Hu ba bitrunya im briyosav.

    #945263
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Popa –

    The yemos hamashiach are for Hashem? Well, mah nafshach. Did he create the world for us, or for him? If for us, why should we yearn for mashiach? If for him, why should there be a problem of there is no bechira regarding this now?

    #945264

    ILBJ:

    “we hardly have any bechira at all if you think about it.who well marry is annonced 40 days b4 were born, we don’t choose our family, who will like and accept us for who we are, whether were a dude or dudette… Hashem give us our lives and we have to decide what to do with everything.”

    Hakol biday Shamayim, chootz mi’yiras Shamayim. And that’s what really counts.

    SF:

    “My point is that some generations had it easy when it came to emunah because they were able to see nisim v’niflaos. We, on the other hand, are in a generation of atheists and evolutionists that are bringing proofs against Hakodosh Baruch Hu. So how is that fair playing field?”

    Li’foom tzara, agra. That makes it fair field.

    Yitay:

    Bechira exists, IMHO, to allow us a chance to work on ourselves and develop a relationship with Hashem. Then, when Hashem is revealed as King, we will be able to enjoy our connection with Him. Bechira is a means to a greater end; that is why it is good that we have it now, and good that it will disappear in the future.

    #945265
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Eh. Who needs such bechira? Hashem didn’t seem to care much for it at Har Sinai. They tell us we’re supposed to yearn for mashiach yet they say Hashem’s existence will be obvious then. It’s a cop out.

    I don’t think we should be deciding which nisyonos HKB”H should be challenging each dor with, but it’s clear that He does give a different set to each generation.

    It’s also clear that many do find various scientific assertions challenging, and it would be folly to say that HKB”H didn’t know that this would be a nisayon. So, it’s fair to conclude that at least part of His reason was to present a challenge to bechirah. I don’t see why there needs to another reason (applying “Ein Hakadosh Baruch Hu ba bitrunya im briyosav” assumes this nisayon to be insurmountable; it clearly isn’t as many are ma’aminim despite the appearance of the world, and I doubt this is a bigger nisayon than the yetzer hora for A”Z).

    #945266
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Okay, let me try this differently.

    There was once a king who sent his son to a faraway land. One day a man comes to the prince and says he is a messenger of the king sent to take him somewhere. The prince loves his father and is completely loyal to him, but before following this man he wishes to determine whether he is truly a messenger or just a charlatan. For surely loyalty to his father does not mean being loyal to any person on the street who decides to invoke his father’s name.

    So the prince does what any of us would do; he googles the guy. Turns out the guy has a hearing disability, and the prince knows very well that people with hearing disabilities are disqualified from being messengers of the king. The prince confronts the guy with his findings. The guy responds, “this is a test of your loyalties. If you are truly loyal to your father, you will believe I am his messenger despite this detail.”

    The prince is insulted that his loyalties are being questioned. He is ready and willing to go through fire and water for his father the king, but he just can’t allow any yokel on the street to take advantage of him. Even if this guy is real, what’s to stop the next guy? His father should know this line of reasoning. This alone is proof to him that the guy is a fake.

    Just to be sure, he hired five different private investigators. They each come back with the same answer: from all of the observable facts this guy is a has never seen the king.

    So he decides not to follow the guy. Many years later the circumstances have it that he is reunited with his father the king. The first thing his father says is, “why didn’t you follow my messenger that I sent you?!” Answers the son, “how could you send someone that all the observable facts showed he was a fake?” The father replied exactly what the guy had said many years earlier, “that was to test your loyalties!” Said the prince, “how could you test my loyalties like that? How was I expected to know that it was you and not someone else playing me? Surely you don’t expect me to just follow anyone who claims to be from you! Surely you expect me to be rational and reasonable! It’s your own fault that I didn’t follow the guy!”

    This is the rationale of those who choose not to explain Bereishis literally, and choose science over literalism. ??? ????? ???? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ???????: not just because he is merciful, but because such a method would totally defeat the purpose.

    #945267
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Except that we have other observable facts; the words of the Torah and Chaza”l. And no instructions to disregard their simple, literal meaning in the face of science.

    You didn’t answer my (well thought out, IMHO) post regarding an ancient appearing world being a nisayon.

    #945268

    Yitay:

    “This is the rationale of those who choose not to explain Bereishis literally, and choose science over literalism. ??? ????? ???? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ???????: not just because he is merciful, but because such a method would totally defeat the purpose.”

    The problem that I have with this is that you seem to be assuming that everything that science tells us today is the absolute, unquestionable truth; and I’m simply not convinced that that is the case. Science at one point believed that the world was flat, the sun orbited the earth, thought took place in the heart, and rocks fell back to the ground because they got tired. Obviously, today we look at all that as foolish nonsense; what makes you think that in a couple of hundred years we won’t see today’s science in much the same light?

    Science is merely the ever-changing observations and hypotheses of mortal flesh and blood as to how the universe works; the Torah is the Word of the Eternal Creator. If the two seem to disagree, I think it makes much more sense to assume that science is wrong than to change the meaning of the Torah.

    #945269
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    DaasYochid –

    many do find various scientific assertions challenging, and it would be folly to say that HKB”H didn’t know that this would be a nisayon.

    If science asserts something and has a strong, reasonable basis for saying so, I don’t see how one can be expected to discard it on the basis of the literal words of the Torah alone, because the words do not have to be taken literally, and it appears more logical to me to have the Torah be in harmony with science rather than just to discard science.

    Therefore to address your question, I don’t think Hashem created this nisayon. The people who are of the opinion that we should discard science created it.

    no instructions to disregard their simple, literal meaning in the face of science.

    First of all, I think misvara it has to be this way. How can you convince a rational person to ignore reason?

    But I think it’s a premise which is mefurash in the Gemara too. Look at the shakla v’tarya on the top of Niddah 30b and tell me that everyone doesn’t agree, in principle, that good science is enough to discard our previously thought pshat in the pasuk.

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=37&daf=30b&format=pdf

    The Kanoi Next Door –

    you seem to be assuming that everything that science tells us today is the absolute, unquestionable truth

    I’m not.

    I’m simply saying that there is such a thing as good science. Good science makes some assertions. For example, every reputable scientist in the world will tell you that the world is older than 5773 years old. Every reputable scientist will tell you that some form of evolution is very apparent in the universe. Now, they may be proven wrong in a hundred years, but I really don’t see how a rational, thinking person is expected to believe they are wrong. What is the harm in saying, nu, maybe they’re right, maybe they’re wrong; either way there are ways to understand the Torah’s account of Bereishis, so let’s just move on and deal with other things. Why is it suddenly one of the ikrei ha’emunah to discard good science?

    #945270
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I don’t think Hashem created this nisayon. The people who are of the opinion that we should discard science created it.

    You’re conveniently ignoring the very prevalent thought that the rationalists are apologizing, and the Torah is ch”v not min hashomayim.

    You can’t get out of the fact that it’s a nisayon.

    #945271
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    DaasYochid –

    I admit you are making a good point.

    I suppose my issue is that I do not see the alternative as a more sensible mehalech. I see a rationalist apporach to Torah – with all its apologies – as the lesser of two evils, pardon the expression.

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