Nature of God

Omniscience

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Truth

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Fate
« on: December 05, 2014, 10:22:33 pm »
If god is omniscient then it knows the fate of every atom. If fate exists then free will is impossible because free will is the power to act unconstrained by fate.
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Vimbiso

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Re: Fate
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2014, 04:04:27 am »
If god is omniscient then it knows the fate of every atom. If fate exists then free will is impossible because free will is the power to act unconstrained by fate.

Your argument is disjointed. Let's separate the issues here.
1. God's omniscience i.e. God knowing the truth values of all propositions
2. Fate i.e. 1) the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events. 2) a final result or consequence; an outcome. (Free dictionary)
3. Free will i.e. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will. (Free dictionary)

What you have done is give us an argument for or against free will based on whether or not fate exists but it does nothing to negate God's omniscience. God's omniscience is not affected by whether fate and/or free will exist because God's omniscience does not determine any outcome as it is simply the knowledge of the truth values of all propositions i.e. whatever the outcome, God will know it. What I mean is that God knowing the fate of every atom does not mean God's knowledge of the fate of every atom determines the fate of every atom. Whether or not fate exists is independent of God's omniscience.

As for your second statement, fate per the first sense in statement 2 exists in so far as the outcome is logically necessary. Fate per the second sense in statement 2 exists because that refers to any outcome. Taken this way, free will is not logically impossible on this understanding of fate. However, if by fate you mean the singular power that determines all outcomes then that kind of fate will be seen by some as a death knell to the idea of free will. But some philosphers are willing to make that understanding of fate compatible with free will. Whichever way you look at it, you are going to have to come up with a robust defence of your position.
Pro Nostrum Invisitatus Redemptor

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Mark E Deardorff

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Re: Fate
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 12:00:09 am »
... the fate of every atom ...

Why stop there? What is the criterion that selects for atoms? Why not the basic troika of sub-atomic particles: n, p and e? Continuing on, why not Fermions or, better yet, their constituent parts: quarks?

At least there is a limit to the depth of our discretization of space - the Planck Length (appr. 10-20 the diameter of a proton!) It is based on our theoretical inability to measure anything of lesser dimension: Not a practical limit based on a given technology, but a limit that could never be exceeded no matter our progress. Just an aside: Given that this is based on the Constants of Nature which God established, He, logically, neither would be able to best it. God cannot create logical impossibilities.

The point of this excess, in part, is to remind us (primarily me) of not imposing arbitrary limits on any discussion other than to simplify, by approximation (and appropriately so noted), the reasoning process. Of course, the person so inclined to expedite the argument would further be obliged to show that the ultimate intended conclusion would nevertheless obtain. (Details, details! ;-} )

It also points out that God, exceeding as He (pardon my misogyny) does, the spatial and temporal extent of the Universe, would have the ability to maintain a model of His creation. (Of course, maintained in God's IT dept. for any in the house enjoying a periodic bit of anthropomorphizing.)

Now, on to the issue of omniscience: What difference does it really make? Let us assume that God is Omniscient as most, an approximation (See? I remembered!), of this site's posters (as do I) would agree upon.

The view of Divine temporality seems to be divided betwixt the temporal God and the atemporal God.  The latter existing but not existing at any given point (universal quantification) in time and not experiencing temporal succession. The former: God neither began to exist nor will cease to exist and that He exists at each moment in time. I fall in the latter camp with at least one difference, God exists at each point along the temporal dimension together. The latter point, in my meaning, is that there is no energy required to transit from one temporal location to another since both are occupied at once. Similarly, all are occupied. In other words, all such associations are realized in His extent. I believe that this makes the solution to the Fate, Foreknowledge, Fatalist problems trivial. Without a temporal experience (never mind that the term 'experience' assumes temporal extension) there are neither antecedents nor consequents, no past, no future, no present. Since Man in his limited state invariably attempts to shoehorn God into those same limitations, Man is unable to conceive of a space including a temporal dimensionality, 4-space. God, logically, cannot know a future that He doesn't have. He does not aspire to act, plan to act, He makes no proposal nor does He choose to act. He acts. In God's 'world,' there is no past, present or future. There is only 'is.'

Even Scripture has difficulty describing concurrent acts.  "... [H]e lifts his voice, the earth melts." Psalm 46:6b

There obviously is a lot to say about this. Definitions need explication. Further examination of the consequences of the arguments needs making. Axioms, the 'obvious' stuff, must be delineated, always paying heed to Gödel and accepting our systems limitations.

I sure wish there was a teacher's edition that I could borrow. :-)
Mark E Deardorff
Realized I knew more than God: 1969. :-0
Found out that I didn't: 1985. :-)

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Truth

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Re: Fate
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2015, 10:14:14 pm »
If god is omniscient then it knows the fate of every atom. If fate exists then free will is impossible because free will is the power to act unconstrained by fate.

Your argument is disjointed. Let's separate the issues here.
1. God's omniscience i.e. God knowing the truth values of all propositions
2. Fate i.e. 1) the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events. 2) a final result or consequence; an outcome. (Free dictionary)
3. Free will i.e. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will. (Free dictionary)

What you have done is give us an argument for or against free will based on whether or not fate exists but it does nothing to negate God's omniscience. God's omniscience is not affected by whether fate and/or free will exist because God's omniscience does not determine any outcome as it is simply the knowledge of the truth values of all propositions i.e. whatever the outcome, God will know it. What I mean is that God knowing the fate of every atom does not mean God's knowledge of the fate of every atom determines the fate of every atom. Whether or not fate exists is independent of God's omniscience.

As for your second statement, fate per the first sense in statement 2 exists in so far as the outcome is logically necessary. Fate per the second sense in statement 2 exists because that refers to any outcome. Taken this way, free will is not logically impossible on this understanding of fate. However, if by fate you mean the singular power that determines all outcomes then that kind of fate will be seen by some as a death knell to the idea of free will. But some philosphers are willing to make that understanding of fate compatible with free will. Whichever way you look at it, you are going to have to come up with a robust defence of your position.

I'm sorry you found my argument hard to follow, but I'll try and simplify it for you.

If 'god' is omniscient then it knows everything, including the fate of everything. If it knows the fate of everything then the fate of everything exists. If the fate of everything exists then nothing can be free from its fate, making free will impossible.

Is that any clearer?
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Truth

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Re: Fate
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2015, 10:15:24 pm »
... the fate of every atom ...

Why stop there?

Quite.

Replace 'every atom' in my argument with 'everything'.
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JTega6

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Re: Fate
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2018, 09:52:18 pm »

If I am not mistaken your argument goes something like this:

1.  If God is omniscient, then he knows the fate of every atom.
2. If fate exists, then free will does not exist.
3. God is omniscient.
4. Therefore, there is no freewill.

My main objection with this argument is to premise 1. Where I think this argument is wrong is in its claim that omniscience implies fate. I think it is wrong to assert that knowledge of something implies control of that thing. Allow me to give a counterexample. Many theologians believe that God exists outside of time. If we allow for this to be true for a moment and view God to be seen as a sort of fourth dimensional entity, then obviously all of time would be available for God to view. In this hypothetical, God would be able to recount what every atom would do in the future but in no way does that imply that God has any impact on the action of those atoms. In the same way if I was able to know the next day’s worth of events that was about to happen to my friend Diego in Brazil from where I set on my plane ride to Kansas City, would that imply that I am able to have any power on the course of those events. The only real ability I would have would be to disrupt those events by putting myself into them where I wouldn't have been. So maybe perhaps I know that he was about to watch a Brazilian television show for the next thirty minutes and then move on to his other tasks for the day. Having the knowledge of what was about to happen I could try to call him and have him talk to me on the phone instead of watching television, therefore disrupting the series of events that were supposed to take place. Furthermore, even if I did know what Diego was going to do for the next thirty minutes and I tried to alter it with a phone call, that would not imply that I had any power over whether or not he picked up that call. This would be a product of his freewill despite my knowledge of his
future.

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jayceeii

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Re: Fate
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 02:58:06 pm »
If god is omniscient then it knows the fate of every atom. If fate exists then free will is impossible because free will is the power to act unconstrained by fate.
The atoms are moved in a macro fashion, therefore the question is whether God has made souls truly capable of self-determination. If He has made them this way, then He cannot predict entirely what they will do. In fact He may wish to give them guidance, so they can do better, again according to their own wills. What has God made? Are the souls free? Does anyone care? I think the more advanced the entity the less predictable he’ll be.

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Fate
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 11:08:03 am »
Just because God can know everything doesn't mean he can't use this ability in discreet measures. And why would he do that? Because  he gave all his sentient creation free will which would be meaningless  if he chose to know everything we would do before we did it.

"Now Jehovah is the Spirit, and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom." - 2 Corinthians 3:17

"You were called to freedom." - Galatians 5:13

"I take the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you today that I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life so that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice, and by sticking to him." - Deuteronomy 30:19, 20

Now, if God chooses to know beforehand each and every action we'll take then how exactly are we free? How are we free to choose between life and death, the blessing and the curse?
1+1+1=3 NOT 1

"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry ​YOU​ off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8

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pdtryon

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Re: Fate
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 01:56:37 am »
But many other bible teachings do indicate that God has foreknowledge. It is not something God "chooses to have", but something He has as an essential part of his perfect nature.

"Now, if God chooses to know beforehand each and every action we'll take then how exactly are we free? How are we free to choose between life and death, the blessing and the curse?"

Perhaps this question could be flipped on its head: Why does God's foreknowing and event, mean that event is rendered unfree? Simple knowledge of an event (such a free choice) doesn't seem to change any of the essential facts about that event (such as whether it was causally determined or whether the agent could have refrained from the choice).

In fact, if we can use backtracking counterfactuals to show that the event is genuinely free. For example, if the free agent did chooses differently, God would have foreknown that the choice would have been different. In other words, God's foreknowledge reliable tracks whatever choice we happen to freely make. If we make a certain choice A at time t, then when we make that choice, we bring it about that God knew we will choose A. If we instead decide freely to choose not A, then we bring it about that God instead knew not A.

In fact, according to Molinism, our free choices also affect the content of God's middle knowledge, which in turn informs God's creative decision.

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Fate
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2019, 08:06:47 am »
But many other bible teachings do indicate that God has foreknowledge. It is not something God "chooses to have", but something He has as an essential part of his perfect nature.

"Now, if God chooses to know beforehand each and every action we'll take then how exactly are we free? How are we free to choose between life and death, the blessing and the curse?"

Perhaps this question could be flipped on its head: Why does God's foreknowing and event, mean that event is rendered unfree?

Well think about it, if you knew someone was going to murder an entire family and had the means to stop it, would you stop that person from murdering them?
1+1+1=3 NOT 1

"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry ​YOU​ off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8

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pdtryon

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Re: Fate
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2019, 09:49:17 am »
Well think about it, if you knew someone was going to murder an entire family and had the means to stop it, would you stop that person from murdering them?

Sure I would if I could. I am not quite sure I understand the objection. If my foreknowledge of this future murder was 100% accurate (like God's foreknowledge), then were I to act to stop the murder in the future, I would also foreknow that I will stop the murder. Does this make sense?

This podcast is packed with some interesting discussion on this: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-2/s2-doctrine-of-god-attributes-of-god/doctrine-of-god-part-14/

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jayceeii

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Re: Fate
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2019, 02:04:34 pm »
Well think about it, if you knew someone was going to murder an entire family and had the means to stop it, would you stop that person from murdering them?

Sure I would if I could. I am not quite sure I understand the objection. If my foreknowledge of this future murder was 100% accurate (like God's foreknowledge), then were I to act to stop the murder in the future, I would also foreknow that I will stop the murder. Does this make sense?

This podcast is packed with some interesting discussion on this: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-2/s2-doctrine-of-god-attributes-of-god/doctrine-of-god-part-14/
The question that interests me keenly is that God has not intervened in wars or atrocities, but this could change at Judgment. You say you would stop someone from killing others, but are not you and this killer in the same class of humans? Don't you also share his tendencies if circumstances change? We know an entire nation revealed hidden hatreds in Nazi Germany, and neither God nor a bomb in his meeting room was there to stop Hitler.