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 of the following did not have his/their heart(s) hardened by God?
 The Moabite king Sihon
 The army of Canaan


Question 2. What is the most significant problem that modern science has contributed to the free will question?
 Science has isolated a single "free will" gene
 Some contemporary scientific thinking attributes much of human behavior to biological and psychological factors
 Chaos theory has shown it is impossible to predict human behavior
 Both science and religion have agreed that free will is a basic factor in the human brain


Question 3. According to Maimonides, Godís "special providence" is limited to
 Human beings
 Torah scholars


Question 4. True or false: The Bible has examples of God announcing predetermined events and interfering with individual choices.


Question 5. 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 6. 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 7. 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