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Archived => Omniscience => Topic started by: Rob Polivka on October 18, 2011, 11:54:16 pm

Title: God's Conceptualist Knowledge
Post by: Rob Polivka on October 18, 2011, 11:54:16 pm
Can anyone point me to some resources about the conceptualist model of God's knowledge? I want to understand this concept, since it seems to be the best way to reconcile God with time and our free actions, but I'm a little stuck.
Here's an excerpt of Dr. Craig explaining the model:

By contrast on a conceptualist model of divine knowledge, God does not acquire His knowledge of the world by anything like perception. His knowledge of the future is not based on His "looking" ahead and "seeing" what lies in the future (a terribly anthropomorphic notion in any case). Rather God's knowledge is more like a mind's knowledge of innate ideas.

I am having trouble understanding how this can be possible.


Title: God's Conceptualist Knowledge
Post by: Jmac on December 28, 2011, 09:05:37 pm
I came across your question recently because I have been looking into exactly the same thing. Let me share with a few resources that I have found which expand upon the conceptualist model of omniscience. If you have had any insights or found any useful information sense posting this, perhaps you could share that as well.

First, Craig discusses the model in this interview:

Second, the idea is discussed in this Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy article under the heading "intuitional knowledge of the future."

Also, Craig's book The Only Wise God has a chapter on the "innate knowledge" where he lays out the conceptualist model of omniscience.

Also, Craig also covers that material in more detail in his techinical work "Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom: The Coherence of Theism: Omniscience." You can access the relevant portion of the book at this link (See pages 228-236):

The citations in that book lead me to some further sources, including this article (if you are a university student or professor you should be able to access it for free):
Title: Re: God's Conceptualist Knowledge
Post by: jayceeii on February 29, 2020, 01:51:54 pm
Creation is neither fun nor real, if the creatures are not independent. God has created surprises for Himself. His knowledge extends to great depths to know approximately what they will do, but in general the humans surprise God with horrors, while the angels surprise God with delights. The angels are not a problem for God or for one another. They investigate the ten thousand possible routes of goodness, while humans fall predictably into the one choice of evil as fully governed by their local sense experience.

Craig speaks of his own mind, presuming I think favorably, that he can speak boldly and God will accede there is an echo. To know about the creatures is to know their tendencies. The exact tendencies on this exact Earth, are repetitions of former situations that Craig may remember. If you have looked many times to know, you don’t need to look again to know, and the properties of the human plane are lamentably predictable. Importantly too, Craig may acknowledge the world God sees is the world that God builds. It won’t be the same if He fails to act, but also it won’t be the same if angels fail.