The circular reasoning trap of divine providence

In a gathering of women educators, one person related her experience with a student who complained about a student of hers who said: “If I failed the test, and whatever happens is what’s meant to be, it must be that this is what’s meant to be – that I should fail.” She answered the student: “No it wasn’t! You failed because you didn’t study!”

This kind of circular reasoning is a trap.

Similar to the question about the inherent goodness of human nature (in a recent post), another philosophical question that is, in fact quite practical is the question of divine interest and intervention in what goes on here on earth. It seems to me a waste of time to ponder over the possibility of human choice in the face of God’s knowledge. It’s not our job to ask “why” questions. It’s pointless to try to figure out God’s reasons. We won’t possibly find the answers. But what we can do is answer God’s questions of us.

How can I follow up on the opportunities that come my way? What am I meant to do with this test material on my desk? That’s divine intervention from the human perspective.

Batya Yaniger

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