Why God Made Us Though He Knew We Would Sin

Full Question

Why did God create Adam and Eve if he knew that they would turn away from him by sinning?


Some might think that God is “on the hook” for original sin, because if he had not created Adam and Eve, they would never have sinned, right? While that’s a humanly understandable reaction, in one sense, it also reveals an imperfect understanding of what true love is.

First, God knowing something is going to happen—given his divine omniscience—doesn’t mean he’s going to cause something to happen. We still have our God-given free will by which we can choose to cooperate—or not cooperate—with God’s plan for humanity in general and for our lives in particular. God gives us free will to determine whether we will trust him to provide what’s best for us or whether we’ll go “our own way” in opposition to him (Matt, 25:31-46).

God doesn’t know events in a pre-deterministic sense. He knows them because all history is present to him as the creator of time. He cannot be limited by time, so he doesn’t have to wait for things to happen to know their outcome.

Here we see that true love is not coercive. It respects the free will of the beloved. God doesn’t let sin and death have the last word either, sending his only begotten Son to become man and redeem us all through his one sacrifice of Calvary. So he gives us plenty of opportunities to repent and walk with him throughout our lives and to accept and persevere in his gift of salvation.

Analogously, Catholic parents will have children knowing that they will be born with original sin and will commit their own sins. Does this mean they don’t love the children that they procreate? Of course not. They know that children are gifts from God and that he has a great plan for all children—including eternal life if they will receive that gift; and they themselves will work with God to see that happen for their children.

And so we see it was also with God and our first parents. He knows they will they sin, but he knows that it will be their choice, not his. And he knows that he will send them a great Redeemer, someone who will offer them an opportunity for eternal life—a far greater life and communion with him than had they never sinned and only lived on Earth forever. So we see, in the end, how loving our God really is (CCC 412).

By Tom Nash


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    How can we change something an all-knowing being already knows? The argument is ludicrous. If Yahweh-Jesus is all knowing then he knowingly created and is responsible for all the misery that there ever was or will be. If you know your child is going to be hit by a car and you are capable of stopping it, and you fail to do so, you are not innocent.
    “God knowing something is going to happen—given his divine omniscience—doesn’t mean he’s going to cause something to happen” Like maybe the Big Bang? God is not the cause? Or he’s only not the cause when it comes to humans listening to a talking snake who happens to be telling them the truth.
    Before we get to the fact that there was no Adam and Eve, read the myth carefully. Yahweh told them that they would die if they ate the fruit. Scholars are pretty well agreed that the death meant a real death and that it would happen right away. The talking snake told them that they would not die if they ate it – and they didn’t. The snake told the truth. He also told them that Yahweh didn’t want them to eat the fruit because otherwise they would become like gods, such as Yahweh (he was one of several in the early days of Judaism). Gen 3:22 makes it clear, once again, that the snake told the truth. For this, Yahweh abandoned the children he had created and punished them and all of us for being caught in a couple lies. He really isn’t a pleasant character, as the rest of OT will testify to. Some sects of early Christianity believed a celestial Jesus attempted to save us from Yahweh.
    However all of this is academic. The last few popes have accepted evolution to a very large extent. They have insisted on a single breeding pair however, because the catechism demands it. Unfortunately the DNA evidence is not in their favor, any more than Galileo’s evidence was. They know this. It is probably the biggest challenge in the Church’s history, as it cuts to the very legitimacy of the Church.
    There was no literal six day creation; the Church accepts this. They know the earth is billions of years old and that humans arrived on the scene long ago as a result of natural selection. They have insisted that there was a time when two individuals became the first with souls, and from them, we all sprang, however the DNA evidence indicates that we arose from a pool of a few tens of thousands of early ancestors, and not a single breeding pair. Our DNA would be far less diverse if the Church was correct. They know they are in a jam, and doing the best they can to distract from this most critical issue – but oh my gosh, it’s right there in the catechism and the catechism is never wrong! What to do, what to do… Recent articles on this forum have hinted at attempts to redefine that catechism, but that’s going to be tough – it’s pretty clear that original sin depends on a single breeding pair – and that didn’t happen.
    What was that original sin? Our ancestors did not wake up in a garden paradise, they woke up on the menu. They fought, scraped and scavenged for their lives in hopes of reproducing some number of children who would live and pass on their genes. What was their horrible sin? Was it attaining a certain level of intellect and self-aware consciousness? Was it learning to use tools and make fire? Perhaps it was learning how to talk? What could these poor, struggling ancestors have done to hurt an all-powerful being to such an extent that he felt compelled to punish all of us by inflicting us with celibate virgins dressed in robes telling us what we can and can’t do with our bodies and our lives? Our ancestors must have really ticked off that Big Guy! Wow. The Catholic Church is cruel and unusual punishment for any god to inflict on mere humans!

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