Originally posted by josephw
The third option is to know God. God knows everything, so He doesn't need to ponder as we do over "determinism randomness dichotomy".
The God you imagine is more human than you think. In other words, you project your own human thoughts about the attributes and nature of God onto God. Very backwards. God has revealed Himself in nature and in His Word the Bible.
It is a fine and handy thing that God knows everything and does not need to ponder. It would be a nuisance if God were stupid or had significant gaps of understanding. That might result in bad design decisions, for example when assembling living creatures.
I am not God and I have a reasonable desire for some guidance so that I can also know at least something, hopefully enough to lead a good life.
Why are things as they are? Let's reply - because it was God's will.
Very well, this implies that things are as they are because God chose this and not some alternative. What determined that choice?
If there is a good and sufficient reason for God's choice - in that case, God's choice was determined by that good and sufficient reason, in which case the better explanation rather would be to understand the good and sufficient reason, which guides God and might well guide ourselves.
If there is no good or sufficient reason for the choice, then it is arbitary. a whim, the product of a mood. God might as readily have chosen differently. It is possible that God might some day dictate a new and utterly contrary tablet of commandents to a new Moses and the faithful will then be required to behave in ways that are quite different to those required of them today. Perhaps it will be necessary to steal, or to kill, or to commit adultery.
If this is possible then God's will is arbitrary and provides no guidance as to any principle or moral or ethical standard or basis for living well.
If God's will does not conform to any prior set of principles and is instead arbitary and whimsical, then the statement "it is God's will" is not of any value to us. We know nothing after that we did not know before. We do not even know how to follow God's will unless it is predictable and consistent, rather than arbitrary.
I am not sure, in brief, why it is an explanation for anything to say that it is or was God's will. It tells us nothing of value and offers us no guidance. At best, it can be employed to advocate utter passivity and blind, unthinking acceptance of whatever comes along, which is arguably a useful option in some respects but hardly makes best use of our capacity for rational thought and meaningful action.