Enoch and the Silmarillion Part III: Enoch’s Weeping God and the Divine Sovereignty Debate.

The image of the weeping God has inspired debates over whether God’s omnipotence is absolute, or is in some sense limited. Those debates are interesting, but I’m going to suggest that perhaps they miss the point of the image of the weeping God as it is presented in the Enoch revelations.

This is the third in a series of posts about the visions of Enoch in Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible. Part I discusses the historical context of the New Translation and the narrative context of the visions of Enoch. Part II discusses the importance of the visions of Enoch to early Mormonism. This part reviews the debate about God’s omnipotence that Enoch’s vision of the weeping god has inspired.

To those accustomed to focusing on God’s power and his justice, the image of the God of heaven weeping is shocking because it seems to emphasize God’s vulnerability and even powerlessness in the face of evil and sorrow. When God weeps, his tears shock Enoch and perplex him. (Moses 7:28-31). And Enoch is not the only one. Some of the most thoughtful Mormon writers over the years have tangled with the image of the weeping God.

Eugene England in his classic essay “The Weeping God of Mormonism,” [1] and Terryl and Fiona Givens in The God Who Weeps [2] both see the image of the weeping God as a kind of proof or illustration of God’s powerlessness to prevent evil. As the Givenses succinctly put it, “[I]n the vision of Enoch, we find ourselves drawn to a God who prevents all the pain He can, assumes all the suffering He can, and weeps over the misery He can neither prevent nor assume.” [3] In doing so, both England and the Givenses tap into the strain within Mormon thought that holds that God is not absolutely omnipotent, but is himself bound by divine laws, most particularly the law of agency, and, with slightly less emphasis, the law of justice. [4] The major objection to this line of thought is that it destroys faith in God and in his plan. If God is not omnipotent and omniscient, the thinking goes, then what if there is some other power that could prevent him from fulfilling his promises and plan? As Bruce R. McConkie once put it, “Will [God] one day learn something that will destroy the plan of salvation and turn man and the universe into an uncreated nothingness? Will he discover a better plan of salvation than the one he has already given to men in worlds without number?” [5]

The answer to this objection is that recognizing limits on God’s power in some absolute sense does not destroy faith in God because, regardless of his non-omnipotence at the margins, God is nevertheless effectively omnipotent when it comes to his ability to save those who call upon him and exercise faith in Christ. God may not be absolutely sovereign, but as England succinctly puts it,  he is “redemptively sovereign.” [6] Thus, we can have perfect faith in God’s promises because he is “mighty to save”; [7] but nevertheless, God weeps, because he is powerlessness to stop at least some evil, and he is powerless to absolutely stop evil because he is bound by the law of human agency. This, such writers suggest, is Mormonism’s answer to the problem of evil: God is not responsible for the evil in the world because it is the result of human agency and he cannot abrogate agency.

This line of thought is, of course, contested. England’s essay acknowledges a competing line of thought within Mormonism that holds God to be absolutely sovereign. [8] In this line of thought God could, theoretically, abrogate human agency if he chose to do so, but he chooses not to. This choice makes God, in one sense, responsible for evil (or at least responsible for allowing evil) but that choice  is justified, in this line of thought, because human agency is itself a supreme good, necessary for human salvation, exaltation and progression, and the loss of agency, with its resulting damnation, would be worse than the evil that its existence tragically results in.

Thus, the difference between these two competing lines of thought as to the problem of theodicy appears to be the difference between absolving God of responsibility for evil on the one hand, and on the other hand, acknowledging God as responsible for evil, but, in a utilitarian turn of thought, justifying that responsibility as necessary for an even greater good.

England criticizes (persuasively, I think) an absolute commitment to absolute sovereignty as not necessarily required by LDS scripture, certainly not required by LDS tradition, and perhaps owing more to the philosophical doctrines of the historical creeds than to necessary interpretations of scripture in the LDS tradition. [9] I find his critique convincing. But I do not believe that he conclusively disproves the idea, either. In fact, England himself concedes that “the attractions of a weeping God may be mostly a matter of basic temperament rather than overwhelming rational evidence, or even authority. Some of us in each age seem genuinely attracted to the securities of an absolute, sovereign, justice-oriented God and some to the adventuresomeness of an open, progressive universe and a limited but infinitely loving God working with us eternal mortal agents.” England, 35(2) Dialogue at 76.

I think England is right that the attraction to a less than omnipotent God is more a matter of temperament than of evidence. In particular, I’m not sure that the Enoch revelations are a piece of evidence that really stands for the proposition that God is limited. The image of the weeping God does not necessarily require a conclusion that God is not absolutely sovereign. I question the premise that tears are necessarily proof of powerlessness to prevent something. There are other forces, besides helplessness, that can inspire tears.

And other passages in Enoch’s visions appear to portray without qualification a God who is sovereign in many respects. In one of the most important passages, God swears an oath and makes a covenant with Enoch that will last as long as the earth will stand. (Moses 7:51). This oath and covenant is not described in these verses as in any way conditional and there is no suggestion that there is any contingency that might prevent God from fulfilling that covenant. When Enoch responds in shock to God’s tears by reminding him, at some length of his own sovereignty, God does not contradict him. (Moses 7:28-30). In fact, while explaining the reason for his tears, God goes at least as far as Enoch did in emphasizing his own sovereignty: “Behold, I am God,” he says, “Man of Holiness is my name, Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name also. Wherefore I can stretch forth my hands and hold all the creations which I have made, and mine eye can pierce them also.” (Moses 7:35-36). The image of God holding all his creations in his hands, piercing them with his eye, surely suggests a sovereign God.

Of course, England’s point about God being effectively omnipotent within a certain sphere answers these passages. But my point is that that argument is an answer to these passages, not an exegesis of these passages.

And even more to the point, in the Enoch revelations, God explicitly identifies himself, not some cosmic law of agency, as the source of human agency: “In the garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency,” he says. (Moses 7:32). England acknowledges the “arguments that [God] ‘gives’ [mankind] agency,” but dismisses that proposition on logical grounds: agency, he says, “is certainly one thing that can’t logically or meaningfully, be created out of nothing: To the Evangelical, what God makes of you is all there is, including whatever in yourself or your environment goes into your ‘decisions,” and God is, thus, unavoidably responsible for all your decisions.” England, 35(2) Dialogue at 74. But England fails to acknowledge that in the very in passage he bases his argument on, God himself is presented as identifying himself as the source of human agency. (Though, it is possible to make an argument that the fact that God “gave” agency does not necessarily mean that he created it).

Similarly, even though God weeps at the suffering of the wicked in Enoch’s vision, he also takes full responsibility for it. Just as he identifies himself as the source of agency, God identifies himself, and more specifically, his anger—not some cosmic law of justice—as the immediate source of the suffering of the wicked. “[T]he fire of mine indignation is kindled against them,” he says, “and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them; for my fierce anger is kindled against them.” (Moses 7:34). Both England and the Givens skip entirely over these verses. [10] Paradoxically, exalting human agency to a law that binds even God may have the unintended consequence of debasing divine agency, reducing God to a victim of natural law who, unlike us, who have eternal agency that cannot be abrogated, has no choice but to execute the law of justice. While I think England’s insightful critiques of the absolute sovereignty view are persuasive, I’m forced to acknowledge that one attraction of such a position is that it portrays a God who takes responsibility for his actions in exactly the way that he expects us to do, given that we have been given our own agency, and that the weakness of England’s position is that, taken to its logical conclusion, it may portray a God who does not take responsibility for his actions, but blames natural law for his failure to intervene.

But in Enoch’s revelations, God does not blame natural law. He states that in his anger he himself will cause the floods that will punish them. God owns his anger and does not apologize for it.

And yet he weeps over it.

Or, more precisely, he weeps over the misery and suffering that results from it. These are not the hot, stinging tears of rage, but the heavy, flowing tears of abject sorrow.

In critiquing England’s and the Givenses’ view as perhaps not as textually supported by Enoch’s vision as they seem to believe it is, I don’t mean to suggest that Enoch’s vision conclusively disproves the limited sovereignty argued by England, any more than it conclusively disproves the absolute sovereignty argued by others. It is more complicated than that. The God portrayed in Enoch’s vision is not a helpless God (that’s a caricature of England’s position), but neither is he a ruthless God (that’s a caricature of the competing line of thought). I think a fair argument can be made from the same text to support both sides of the sovereignty question, and each person can resolve that question only by resort to arguments outside the text, and ultimately, perhaps only each person’s temperament can break the stalemate.

Personally, I remain agnostic on the finer points of that debate. England’s point about redemptive sovereignty is the one point that rings most true to me, which largely frees me from being overly invested in either side of the debate. Whether God is merely “redemptively sovereign” or absolutely sovereign, the important point is that he is sovereign in any way that could ever bear on his ability to keep his promises. Whether God gave me my agency, or whether it exists uncreated and independent of him, the important point is that I have agency. And whether he cannot abrogate agency or simply will not abrogate agency because it serves a higher purpose in spite of the evil that it results in, the important point is that agency persists, and therefore both joy and suffering are possible.

But still, the image of the weeping God remains. And paradoxically, as I find myself caring less about the finer points of the sovereignty debate, I find the image itself more and more compelling. The fact that such opposite conclusions about sovereignty can be drawn from this passage suggests to me that perhaps the point of the weeping God of Enoch’s vision is not to teach us some important, absolute, definite truth about God’s sovereignty after all.

But if Enoch’s vision doesn’t prove or disprove the competing visions of God’s sovereignty, then what does it teach us? If God’s tears are not meant to prove to us his helplessness in the face of evil (and thus absolve him of responsibility for evil) then what is the lesson of the weeping God in Enoch’s vision?

I have begun to answer that question for myself by looking to another image of a divine being that weeps: Nienna, the “Lady of Tears” in Tolkien’s invented spiritual epic, the Silmarillion.

Next time: An introduction to the Elves’ weeping goddess.


[1] Eugene England, “The Weeping God of Mormonism,” 35(2) Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 63-80 (Spring 2002). Eugene England died in August 2001, and his essay on the weeping God of Enoch’s vision which was previously unpublished, was published posthumously.

[2] Terryl Givens and Fiona Givens, The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life (2012 Ensign Peak).

[3] Givens & Givens at 25; see also England, 35(2) Dialogue at 63-65 (“God’s power to remove sin and other causes of human suffering is limited. He can send prophets like Enoch to warn and preach repentance., and he can send his son to provide those who accept him with power to repent. . . But he cannot simply change or do away with his creation . . .” and “The weeping God of Mormon finitism whom I am trying to describe creates a world for soul-building, which can only succeed if it includes exposure of our souls to the effects of natural law, as well as maximum latitude for us to exercise our agency as we learn how the universe works. Evil is a natural condition of such a world, not because God creates evil for soul-building, but because evil inevitably results from agency freed to grapple with natural law in this mortal world. You can’t have one without the other, not because God says so, but rather because the universe, which was not created ex nihilo and, thus, has its own intractable nature, says so. Thus, God is not omnipotent.”) (italics in the original).

[4] See England, 35(2) Dialogue at 67-71 (discussing this strain of thought as advanced by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and B.H. Roberts).

[5] Correspondence from Bruce R. McConkie to Eugene England, dated Feb. 19, 1981, at 2.

[6] See England, 35(2) Dialogue at 70.

[7] This phrase is found in the Old Testament, in the prophecies of Isaiah, see Isaiah 63:1, but notably for purposes of this discussion, it is repeated in three separate instances in the Book of Mormon, and each in the context of an exhortation to call upon God in faith in his power to save. See 2 Ne. 31:19; Alma 7:14; Alma 34:18. The italics are mine.

[8] See England, 35(2) Dialogue at 72-73 (discussing this strain of thought as advanced by Hyrum Smith, Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, and Stephen E. Robinson); see also McConkie to England (Feb. 19, 1981).

[9] See England, 35(2) Dialogue at 73-76.

[10] See England, 35(2) Dialogue at 64 (quoting Moses 7:32, but skipping straight to Moses 7:37); Givens & Givens at 25 (same).

Comments

  1. The idea of a God who is not omnipotent, who is specifically the God of Earth (and humanity), but not necessarily more than that, is one of the most intriguing ideas to come out of the LDS Church, even if it isn’t exactly doctrine. Interestingly enough, there are plenty of suggestions in the Old Testament that the original followers of Yahweh recognized the existence of other gods (though they weren’t supposed to worship them), and that Yahweh Himself acknowledged other gods. In this sense, the LDS Church may be harkening back to a truly ancient religious tradition.

  2. Bro. B. says:

    Interesting ideas. Thanks for the post. Seems that the LDS teachings that support this limited omnipotence and God of our Earth idea, as Nepos mentioned, contradict anything that has been canonized. “Endless and Eternal is my name also. Wherefore I can stretch forth my hands and hold all the creations which I have made, and mine eye can pierce them also.” (Moses 7:35-36), and Abraham 3, and plenty other scriptures imply not only a sovereign God but one much less limited than God of our Earth.
    I suppose this limited God idea comes out of teachings about eternal progression from The King Follet sermon and Lorenzo Snow and other apostles. Maybe this is a “beyond the scope question” but what’s your opinion on how these authors would square this seeming contradiction to canonized scripture? And how would you square it? Maybe with a multi-verse as opposed to universe idea?

  3. Well, Nepos, I’m not sure that a not omnipotent God is necessarily the same as on God among many. I think England’s limited God is more like a God limited by natural law than by other gods. There’s strains of early LDS thought that speculatively embrace the plurality of gods, but these ideas are, while related, distinct ideas.

  4. England addresses that in his essay, Bro. B. In a nutshell, the idea is that he can rightly be called almighty in the scriptural canon because he is effectively omnipotent in any way that could matter from the perspective of the prophets who recorded those teachings. That’s his redemptive sovereignty point. In addition to that, you can make an argument similar to D&C 19 that it’s just a righteous hyperbole for purposes of encouraging faith. Our you could say that those declarations came before the restoration threw further light and knowledge on the issue. There’s any number of creative ways to address it.

  5. Steve S says:

    I think this is one instance you can have it both ways. That God himself has agency and power to destroy the agency of man, but chooses not to do it, not for some utilitarian good, but because seeking to force another person against his or her will is itself an act of evil or sin. While God has power within Him to act as He will in the matter, His “will” is perfected love and we can reliably know that He will not choose sin, nor cease to be God.

  6. I’m reading this post after watching the face to face fireside this weekend. One segment really surprised me. A youth asked how we can have conversations with God during our prayers. Elder Eyring replied that her was too casual a way to approach prayer. He explains that when we pray we are approaching the throne of God and we need to remember that. We also need to remember that God is so much more than we are and we need to reflect that in our prayers. I admit that I feel like that approach is at odds in my mind with the idea of a God that weeps. I’ve always tried to approach God as my father. How do these ideas all fit in together?

  7. Steve, isn’t that just a variation on the God is truly omnipotent position, with the only difference being that you quibble with the word utilitarian, from the point of view that any abrogation of human agency would be evil? So it’s not that agency is such a supreme good that it outweighs God’s responsibility for the evil that results from it, it’s that agency is such a supreme good that any abrogation of it is itself automatically evil, so God’s choice to not prevent evil is justified because to prevent evil by destroying agency would be a sin. But either way, taking this position, you’re not absolving God from responsibility for evil, you’re justifying his responsibility for evil.

    Unless the point is that God *can’t* prevent evil and also respect agency, because he is bound by the principle that to abrogate agency would be sin. But then, we are saying that eternal principles of agency and sin bind God, and if so, he is not truly omnipotent. And it still doesn’t deal with the problem that while yes, it is true that to abrogate agency is sin, to permit evil to happen to innocent parties when you have the ability to stop it is also sin. So really, if we are saying that God is bound by these eternal principles, we are saying that he faces the same choice that Eve and Adam faced in Eden, and that Abraham faced on Moriah: you can’t remain free from sin, so which sin will you commit? And just as Eve’s choice tells us about the kind of person she is (she values life and experience and giving the joy and sorrow of life to as many people as possible over remaining technically pure, but static and stagnant), and Abraham’s choice tells us about the kind of person he is (he valued faith in God over remaining moral and free from sin) God’s choice tells us about the kind of person he is (he values free will over being free from evil and suffering), and, by extension, tells about the kind of person that he wants us to be.

    But, the point, I believe, is that none of these choices are supposed to be easy or have clear right and wrong answers. I believe that if we think they do, we aren’t thinking carefully enough through the problem.

  8. You know, KWW, I was also a bit surprised at that answer, but I appreciated it. I think his answer had more to do with not expecting easy answers from God, especially not when we put forth only “casual” efforts to approach God, than with making God a distant being that is not moved by suffering. His point, as I saw it, was that we need to take prayer more seriously, and that the analogy of treating it as a conversation, while it may serve some usual purpose, is an analogy that has its limits, because in the real world, we of course do not get answers from God in the same way we do in a human conversation. I thought it was about concentration, recognizing that his ways and higher than ours, and being humble enough to recognize that we’re not always going to get it right when we try to understand his answers, and certainly not if we’re not taking the process seriously.

  9. I enjoyed this, and I am sympathetic to the idea that “redemptively sovereign” solves enough to leave the rest for speculation. The weeping God of Enoch’s vision is a provocative jumping off point for speculation, but far from proof or even demonstration. I generally take it as little more than enhancing the image of God as including passions (perhaps part of the project of negating the “no body, parts or passions” associated with some creeds of the day?) I like to think that passion is part of being–my being, God’s being. On a different level, I know about myself that I weep for pain that my children experience and that such feelings are completely independent of whether the pain is preventable or is predictable.

  10. That’s a great comment, Christian. This, especially: “On a different level, I know about myself that I weep for pain that my children experience and that such feelings are completely independent of whether the pain is preventable or is predictable.” That’s exactly what I was getting at when I said that “[t]here are other forces, besides helplessness, that can inspire tears,” but you said it more eloquently, because you explicitly connected it to our first-hand experience as parents.

  11. JKC–I agree that the “limited by natural law” version of God does not automatically imply the existence of other gods, I kinda went off on a tangent there.

    Mormonism exhibits a certain tension between orthodoxy and orthopraxy when it comes to divine sovereignty–while Mormon theology is open to the idea of a limited God, actual Mormon worship seems more appropriate for a typically Christian omnipotent deity.

    Though I suppose the difference between virtually omnipotent and truly omnipotent isn’t really significant enough to affect actual worship; it’s primarily a theological question.

  12. Yeah, Nepos, I think that’s right. I mean, do you worship a God that is redemptively sovereign in a way that is different from the way that you worship a God that is absolutely sovereign? I don’t think so.

  13. Not if one is smart!

    Regarding Christian’s comment, I respectfully disagree that the “weeping god” enhances the image of God even if God is omnipotent. If God is omnipotent, then it is hypocritical for Him to weep for the suffering of his creations, insofar as all suffering happens by His will.

    When you get right down to it, an omnipotent and omniscient god would essentially be the god of the Calvinists, who condemns people to suffer (eternally suffer!) for his own glory. The Calvinist god does not weep.

  14. You know, Nepos, your comment on Christian’s comment got me thinking: I think there’s actually two forms of non-omnipotence at play, and one is much more semantic/definitional than the other, and they are not very well distinguished. On the one hand, there’s the kind of non-omnipotence that says God just isn’t powerful enough to do everything. Some things are just stronger than he is, and he has to bow to them. For example: God has to obey natural law because it precedes him and binds him. Or, God can’t make a twinky bigger than a certain size, because his power only goes so far.

    But on the other hand, there’s the kind of non-omnipotence that says that certain things are so inherently incompatible that nobody can be both things as the same time, no matter how powerful that person is, because it’s not a matter of power, it’s just a matter of the inherent nature of things. For example: God cannot both absolutely respect agency and absolutely prevent all evil. Or, God can’t create a twinky so big that even God can’t eat it all. It’s not that there’s some power that God lacks, it’s just that these things are so inherently incompatible that to simultaneously be both is impossible, and the attempt would only result in the radical redefinition of one or the other to the point that it wouldn’t be that thing anymore.

    I don’t think they ever really define their terms well enough for me to make this argument from their texts, but I half-suspect that the non-omnipotent God that Elder McConkie was decrying is more the first, while the non-omnipotent God that England believed in was more the second. And I think the Givens gets a bit closer to making it explicit both in The God Who Weeps, but even more in Wrestling with the Angel, but even there I don’t think he really makes the distinction that clearly.

    The God in the second example is still not omnipotent in the Calvinist sense, because in that sense, the nature of things itself is by his will, so if things are so inherently incompatible that he can’t do both, that’s his fault because he made the nature of things that way. So he is bound by natural law in a certain definitional sense, but he is omnipotent in the sense that there is no power than can be had in this universe that he does not have. I think it’s fair to say that both senses offend the traditional understanding of the creedal Christian God, but I wonder if the first sense offends both the traditional understanding of the creedal Christian God, and the God of Mormonism equally, and second doesn’t offend the God of Mormonism at all.

  15. Playing with the idea (“playing” is intentional, to re-affirm that “redemptively sovereign” is sufficient 99% of the time), I put the two omni- potent concepts and the anthropic principle in a blender with a multi-verse model and posit a god who can set the bounds and terms of the universe (frequency of black holes, certain constants that probably control whether life is possible (e.g., the QCD scale, the electric charge, the dimension of space-time), and so on, and in that sense can determine the nature of things (creedal omnipotence, JKC’s first type?), but cannot set different bounds and terms, a different rate of chemical reactivity, say, and at the same time contemplate life *as we know it* (JKC’s second kind of omnipotence, perhaps?)
    This becomes circular, as with any application of the anthropic principle. In this model, we as sentient beings are never going to be in a position to consider what else might have been (because it would not include life as we know it).

  16. Steve S says:

    Parents that bring children into the world because of the nature of humans means that their children will do evil at one point or another. It does not follow that these parents are then responsible for this evil. Furthermore, I would say parents actually have power within themselves to prevent the evil if they chose to. They could follow their child around every waking moment of everyday and make sure Bobby never hits Sally, nor ever does any other evil action. This would be child abuse. Instead the moral right is to allow children proper space to learn for themselves right and wrong and grow in independence. We do not therefore say the parents are responsible when the child does choose evil, despite that they had power to prevent it from the beginning, Instead it was right and good to give the child proper space.

  17. Steve S–but parents are not omnipotent–they do not have the option of creating children who cannot suffer. And to forestall the obvious counterpoint–the idea that suffering is somehow educational or redemptive only works with a limited god–an omnipotent God could create beings with whatever knowledge or wisdom he desired. That’s the problem with an omnipotent deity–he willingly allows his creations to suffer. I just cant reconcile that with the teachings of Jesus.

    JKC–The second definition reminds me of the concept that there are certain things God cannot do, not because He lacks the power, but because if He did them, He would cease to be God. That is, certain actions are incompatible with the state of Godhood. It seems to me that the difference between your two definitions is that in the first, the limitation is external, and in the second, the limitation is internal, an inherent part of being God.

    I agree with your sense that the second definition is much more compatible with Mormon belief.

    christiankimball–I get a whiff of Deism from your post. /jk

  18. Yes, the “would cease to be God” concept is pretty close to my second example. I’m not sure that it’s the same thing, but I think it’s pretty close.

    Steve S–that’s just it. We don’t hold parents responsible for the evil their children commit (well, theoretically, we don’t, but there are plenty of people that do) because we recognize that to follow them around as you describe would be a violation of a moral law that binds parents. If God is bound by moral law, then he is not omnipotent, at least not in the absolute sense, though he may still be omnipotent in the sense that there is no power that can be had in this universe that he does not have.

    Christian, I think you’re right that the more we get into the details of what a truly, absolutely omnipotent God that could change the nature of the natural moral law itself would look like, we get into stuff that we just have no ability to even comprehend. The moral law as it exists in this universe shapes existence itself. If it is theoretically possible for a universe to exist without it, it’s not possible for us to conceive of it inside this universe.

  19. Of course, I have many of the same concerns with regard to Ilúvatar–but I’ll hold those thoughts until you get to the Silmarillion…

  20. Nepos: (I see the /jk, but . . .) I suspect that any serious thinking I do about omnipotence will have a “whiff of deism.” The interventionist micro-manager god just doesn’t do the job for me. However, what actually comes to mind is the words of the poet:
    “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Who hath laid the measures thereof?
    Who hath stretched the line upon it?
    Whereupon are the foundations fastened?”
    (Job 38:4-6)

  21. Steve S says:

    Nepos, if you the option instead of having a child, you could instead manufacture your offspring at any age and any advancement in life, would you do it? For example, you could make your “child” 50 years old, brilliant, and a billionaire business mogul running xyz companies. Perhaps they could even be instilled with memories of this manufactured life you have given them. If you had this option, would you find it preferable to starting life as we know it? Why or why not?

    JKC, I don’t think moral law is binding, people can break it or follow it as they wish, I think that is what agency is about. While yes, I do believe most parents would not choose such attrocity, my argument is that they certainly have power to do so if they wish. And yet even given this power when they choose not to and instead give their children freedom, we still do not hold them responsible for the evils their children commit.