August Turak

Author Consultant Speaker

God Speaks

BeachIs God a Taoist? written by Raymond M. Smullyan in 1977 is hands down one of the coolest things I've ever read and it is hilariously funny to boot.  It is a conversation between God and a mortal man who wants to be freed from his own free will.  It was written by a logician and later in the Socratic dialogue God talks about evil and the way things must be as well.  I go back to this over and over.

Here is a sneak preview!

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Mortal:     And therefore, O God, I pray thee, if thou hast one ounce of mercy for this thy suffering creature, absolve me of having to have free will!

God:     You reject the greatest gift I have given thee?

Mortal:     How can you call that which was forced on me a gift? I have free will, but not of my own choice. I have never freely chosen to have free will. I have to have free will, whether I like it or not!

God:     Why would you wish not to have free will?

Mortal:     Because free will means moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is more than I can bear!

God:     Why do you find moral responsibility so unbearable?

Mortal:     Why? I honestly can't analyze why; all I know is that I do.

God:     All right, in that case suppose I absolve you from all moral responsibility but leave you still with free will. Will this be satisfactory?

Mortal (after a pause):     No, I am afraid not.

God:     Ah, just as I thought! So moral responsibility is not the only aspect of free will to which you object. What else about free will is bothering you?

Mortal:     With free will I am capable of sinning, and I don't want to sin!

God:     If you don't want to sin, then why do you?

Mortal:     Good God! I don't know why I sin, I just do! Evil temptations come along, and try as I can, I cannot resist them.

God:     If it is really true that you cannot resist them, then you are not sinning of your own free will and hence (at least according to me) not sinning at all.

Mortal:     No, no! I keep feeling that if only I tried harder I could avoid sinning. I understand that the will is infinite. If one wholeheartedly wills not to sin, then one won't