My Jewish Learning

Free Will Quiz

The paradox of human free will and God's infinite knowledge and power has troubled Jewish thinkers at every point in Jewish history. How much do you know about this debate?

Question 1. Which modern thinker believed that the goal of a human's development is freedom and independence?
 Martin Buber
 Abraham Joshua Heschel
 Rachel Adler
 Erich Fromm


Question 2. Which of the following thinkers posited that having free choice is not as good a state as doing right automatically?
 Hasdai Crescas
 Ibn Ezra


Question 3. Which Jewish philosopher suggested that God knows the options from which we will choose, but doesn’t know the specific choice we will make?
 Saadiah Gaon
 Moses Mendelsohn


Question 4. Which Christian thinker's view on free will parallels Maimonides' view?
 Thomas Aquinas
 Robert Audi
 Immanuel Kant
 Søren Kierkegaard


Question 5. Elliot Dorff, a Conservative rabbi and theologian, has used arguments about genetic predeterminism and free will to respond to what issue?
 Rights for Homosexuals
 Freedom of speech


Question 6. What does the term hashgahah mean?
 Divine providence
 Free Will


Question 7. Which of these modern scientific advances challenge the Jewish idea of free will?
 Sigmund Freud's suggestion that our behaviors are guided by unconscious drives
 Genetic science about the extent to which our lives and inclinations are programmed into our biological constitution
 Discoveries about organic aspects of our personalities
 A & B only
 All of the above