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Problem with "conceptualist" conception of omniscience
« on: November 12, 2015, 05:09:48 am »

For several days, I’ve been turning in my head a problem: I do not understand the conceptualist theory of divine knowledge. Not because I cannot concretely imagine it (to successfully represent something concrete about God is usually a sign that we are not on the right track, anyway) but because it seems to me completely absurd. To know something is to have a justified true belief. Now, there are only two ways to justify a belief about events: either there is a causal relationship (direct or indirect) between the event and one’s mind, or one is able to deduce the realization of the event from the present state of the world (scientific prediction). In the absence of these two means, what is left? I see nothing. God is supposed to know the future contingent events without predicting them from their causes (which is normal since they are contingent), without seeing them (which is implied by the A-theory of time), and without causing them. Therefore, what is the link between ideas of God about the events and the events themselves? God doesn’t cause the event, and the event doesn’t cause the idea…Whence do these ideas come? I see no solution. The presence of the idea in God seems absolutely inexplicable, absolutely unfounded. Where does the adaequatio rei et intellectus come from in that case? This situation sounds absurd to me. My question is : how can we explain the truth of innate ideas of God about the things that do not exist and are unpredictible from present situation? To say that divine ideas are true "by definition" seems to be a pure assertion...Cur, quomodo ?

in Christo,

Frédéric Guillaud
(Paris, France)