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

 

Question 2. What did the Hasidic Izbicer Rebbe teach about free will?
 Humans do not have the ability to choose their actions
 God is the source of all human actions
 Humans can control their thoughts and intentions
 All of these
 None of these

 

Question 3. Which Christian thinker's view on free will parallels Maimonides' view?
 Thomas Aquinas
 Robert Audi
 Immanuel Kant
 Søren Kierkegaard

 

Question 4. According to Maimonides, God’s "special providence" is limited to
 Tzaddikim
 Human beings
 Jews
 Torah scholars

 

Question 5. Who believed that free will doesn't really exist, but human beings need to believe it does?
 Ludwig Wittgenstein
 Yeshayahu Leibowitz
 Josephus
 Maimonides

 

Question 6. 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

 

Question 7. Which of the following thinkers posited that having free choice is not as good a state as doing right automatically?
 Nahmanides
 Hasdai Crescas
 Kierkegaard
 Ibn Ezra