Thursday, July 6, 2017

CAN GOD BE OMNISCIENT WITHOUT IT NEGATING OUR FREEWILL?





Here is how the problem is usually stated:

·       If God has perfect foreknowledge, He knows exactly what we will do in the future. This means that we cannot choose to act in a way that violates His foreknowledge. Instead, we can only choose to act consistent with how He knows we will act. This means that we could not have acted otherwise. CONCLUSION: There is no room for freewill, and everything is determined by God’s foreknowledge.

Here is one possible resolution to the apparent conflict between our freewill and God's omniscience - While things MUST happen according to God's foreknowledge, we still COULD have done otherwise. However, we would NOT have done otherwise. This understanding preserves both foreknowledge and freewill.

To demonstrate this, let’s imagine a cosmic camera that lies outside of time. Let’s also imagine that it is recording everything that happens, past, present, and future. Consequently, events will take place as the camera has recorded them.

Does the presence of this camera limit our free choice? Of course not! A camera cannot limit free choice. However, a realm of transcendent timelessness only has the appearance of limiting free choice from our time-bound perspective.

God is beyond time, since He has created time, space, and matter. These three are inseparable according to science. And if God created them, He can certainly navigate through them without the limitations that we experience.

2 comments:

  1. "While things MUST happen according to God's foreknowledge, we still COULD have done otherwise."
    If things *must* happen one way, then they could not have happened another way. On your view, we could not actually have done otherwise, as it would have been contrary to God's foreknowledge, and therefore contrary to how things *must* happen.

    "However, we would NOT have done otherwise."
    This statement seems almost compatabalist :-)

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    1. "Could" is potential not actuality. To put it another way, God's potential to know all does not limit what we could have done. Since He is not limited by the time He has created, He merely can see what will happen before in happens in our time. This does not represent coercion.

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