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 these problems concerned medieval philosophers?
 How to reconcile free will and divine providence
 How to reconcile free will and divine foreknowledge
 How to ensure that human beings experience the feeling of freedom
 A & B only
 All of the above


Question 2. According to Isaac Luria, why is free will a difficult concept to accept?
 Because there is nothing separate from God
 Because chaos is impossible to predict
 Because God cannot have foreknowledge of human actions
 Because there is no difference between fatalism and determinism


Question 3. Which Jewish philosopher comes closest to asserting that humans do not have free will?
 Hasdai Crescas
 Isaac Luria
 Joseph Soloveitchik
 Judah Halevi


Question 4. True or false: Jewish tradition assumes that humansí actions are significant in the greater scheme of things.


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


Question 6. Which Christian thinker's view on free will parallels Maimonides' view?
 Thomas Aquinas
 Robert Audi
 Immanuel Kant
 SÝren Kierkegaard


Question 7. Who said that "everything is foreseen [by God], yet man has the capacity to choose freely"?
 Rabbi Akiba
 Shimon bar Yohai
 Hanina ben Hama