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Author Topic:   All Knowing God proves problematic
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2784 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 16 of 82 (491114)
12-11-2008 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Percy
12-11-2008 11:15 AM


Hi, Percy.
Percy writes:
You can't equate knowledge by an omniscient (all-knowing) God with a prediction by a person with incomplete (*not* all-knowing) knowledge.
Why not? In my understanding, knowledge and prediction are the same phenomenon with different degress of certainty. Do you have a better definition?
-----
Percy writes:
You're confusing knowledge with other things that have nothing to do with the conundrum, like responsibility and overt actions.
I’m not the one who’s confusing them, Percy. Asserting that there is a conundrum assumes a causative link. Foreknowledge can only be said to violate free will if it is acting in some way to force compliance with what has been foreseen.
Otherwise, how can there be a conundrum?

-Bluejay
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Percy, posted 12-11-2008 11:15 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 12-11-2008 7:47 PM Blue Jay has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2784 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 17 of 82 (491115)
12-11-2008 6:58 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by straightree
12-11-2008 5:46 PM


Re: determinism and free will
Hi, Straightree.
straightree writes:
Therefore, to think that God, being omniscient, knows what the actions of men, that he has made free, will be, has no sense.
Personally, I don't necessarily believe in God's perfect foreknowledge, either.
But, the thread isn't about personal theologies, it's about the contradiction that might exist if free will and perfect knowledge were both realities.

-Bluejay
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 22621
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 18 of 82 (491117)
12-11-2008 7:33 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by truthlover
12-11-2008 5:04 PM


truthlover writes:
Despite the difference in time, it's the person's decision that God foreknows, so it's the person's decision that comes first.
People's decisions preceding their existence?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by truthlover, posted 12-11-2008 5:04 PM truthlover has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22621
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 19 of 82 (491118)
12-11-2008 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Blue Jay
12-11-2008 6:45 PM


Bluejay writes:
Why not? In my understanding, knowledge and prediction are the same phenomenon with different degress of certainty. Do you have a better definition?
Do you predict your past? Or would you say you know your past?
Those are rhetorical questions intended to point out that God has no future or past. God exists across all space and time (I'm not describing my theology, I'm just working within the premise of this thread of an omniscent God). He *knows* the future (yours, not his) because he's omnipresent across all time. He is not predicting it or projecting forward from the current state. He knows your future in the same way you know your past, not as a prediction but as knowledge.
Therefore if you do something he didn't know, he's not omniscient.
Asserting that there is a conundrum assumes a causative link.
No it doesn't.
Foreknowledge can only be said to violate free will if it is acting in some way to force compliance with what has been foreseen.
That's an odd way of expressing it. Would you say that warmth violates ice?
The claim is that omniscience and free will cannot exist in the same universe.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Blue Jay, posted 12-11-2008 6:45 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Blue Jay, posted 12-12-2008 10:56 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 22 by Stile, posted 12-12-2008 11:08 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 30 by straightree, posted 12-12-2008 6:18 PM Percy has replied

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 1341 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 20 of 82 (491119)
12-11-2008 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by jaywill
12-08-2008 7:39 AM


quote:
I do not intend to try to reconcile this contradiction.... Reconciling this is too difficult for me.
Just curious. Is there any limit to the number of contradictions you are capable of swallowing before you succomb to cognitive dissonance? Or, in the words of Henry Drummond, "Do you think about the things that you do think about?"

Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by jaywill, posted 12-08-2008 7:39 AM jaywill has not replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2784 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 21 of 82 (491171)
12-12-2008 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
12-11-2008 7:47 PM


Hi, Percy.
Percy writes:
Bluejay writes:
Why not? In my understanding, knowledge and prediction are the same phenomenon with different degress of certainty. Do you have a better definition?
Do you predict your past? Or would you say you know your past?...
. He knows your future in the same way you know your past, not as a prediction but as knowledge.
Okay. I’ll buy that argument. Knowledge is direct observation, and prediction is not. Clearly, there is a difference.
-----
Percy writes:
Bluejay writes:
Asserting that there is a conundrum assumes a causative link.
No it doesn't
Yes, it does.
-----
Percy writes:
The claim is that omniscience and free will cannot exist in the same universe.
This is the second time you’ve repeated this.
I know what the claim is.
But, the claim is inherently an issue of culpability. Foreknowledge, per se, must cause the downfall of free will, and vice versa, or there is no contradiction between the two.
I argue that foreknowledge is just a special case of knowledge (as defined in your previous post). Like any other (observation-based) knowledge, foreknowledge is inherently reactive in nature, not proactive: it doesn’t determine the outcomes, it only “activates” in response to them. There is no feedback mechanism whereby foreknowledge directly interferes with free will.
Without such a feedback mechanism, there is no way for foreknowledge to determine the outcome of an event, which leaves the field wide open for other factors, such as free will, to be the causative agents in the events that play out.
So, foreknowledge, by itself, simply doesn’t undermine free will. Therefore, logically, the two can coexist.
Edited by Bluejay, : Syntactical clarification.

-Bluejay
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 12-11-2008 7:47 PM Percy has not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 130 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(2)
Message 22 of 82 (491172)
12-12-2008 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
12-11-2008 7:47 PM


I don't get it
I agree with Bluejay, maybe you could answer my question, Percy?
quote:
-Your life is relatively basic and average, and the only thing between you and Heaven is actually trying to go there.
-if you try to go to Heaven, you will go to Heaven
-if you do not try to go to Heaven, you will not go to Heaven
-God already knows if you're going to end up trying or not, and therefore knows if you're going to Heaven or not.
-You don't know what God knows.
I do not understand how this knowledge of God's restricts you from doing whatever you'd like to do? Can you explain to me how you are prevented from choosing one or the other?
If it works for this simple scenario, I don't see what would stop it for working with any and all scenarios.
Percy writes:
Therefore if you do something he didn't know, he's not omniscient.
I don't think anyone's disagreeing with this.
What I'm saying is that everything we do, He already knows we were going to do. How does this prevent us from choosing what we want to do?
Or maybe this is a definition of Free Will problem?
If you're defining "Free Will" to be "Decisions that no one knows the outcome of". Then, well.. of course you can't have that along with omniscience, it would be a strict contradiction of terms.
However, if we define "Free Will" to be "Decisions where you can choose whatever you'd like"... what's the problem? Or how is this not Free Will?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 12-11-2008 7:47 PM Percy has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 2:00 PM Stile has replied

  
Chessmaster
Junior Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 03-15-2008


Message 23 of 82 (491201)
12-12-2008 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Stile
12-12-2008 11:08 AM


Re: I don't get it
Stile writes:
What I'm saying is that everything we do, He already knows we were going to do. How does this prevent us from choosing what we want to do?
Or maybe this is a definition of Free Will problem?
If you're defining "Free Will" to be "Decisions that no one knows the outcome of". Then, well.. of course you can't have that along with omniscience, it would be a strict contradiction of terms.
However, if we define "Free Will" to be "Decisions where you can choose whatever you'd like"... what's the problem? Or how is this not Free Will?
You make a good point that may apparently outline a flaw in my argument, what you say is correct, however you are still feeling that we have free will. If something has already been decided finally, before you do anything, you have no choice or free will.
an example would be, suppose you apply for a job. And you getting the job depends on your performance at an interview. Now, by someone all knowing who can't possibly be wrong, the outcome has already been forseen, yet, you don't know it.
Now, the fact that I do know that it has already been forseen, could lead me not to try. Why? I can't change what has already happened.
Now, an argument against that might be, well, he has only foreseen it, so try your best, and you'll get it and that is what he would of forseen, because if you don't try, then he would of known that you weren't going to try after finding out he already knew, and thus, not get it. If that makes sense....
However, anyone who thinks that is right is failing to see that the choice has already been taken away from me. It's just like me trying to write a book that has already been written. It doesn't matter what I write, I will follow exactly what it says in the book already written.
The reason I pointed this whole argument out is that alot of people think god has a vested interest in their lives, and they are in a constant struggle with him and devil, and what to do, so many choices, decisions, sins to not do, etc. They pray, they get answers, but what they forget is that your life has already been played out. It does not matter what you do, you will, without knowing, follow the book that was written for you. For example, you might be struggling and wrestling with trying not to go to hell, Oh i'll do this so I can go to heaven, no. You can't change anything about your destiny, it has already been decided. gods all knowing ability is incompatiable with giving us choice and free will. I think on this particular point, the writers of him just gave him too much power that the whole idea of our free will to choose for ourselves is simply not possible and illogical.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Stile, posted 12-12-2008 11:08 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Stile, posted 12-12-2008 2:30 PM Chessmaster has replied
 Message 25 by Stile, posted 12-12-2008 2:41 PM Chessmaster has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 130 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 24 of 82 (491206)
12-12-2008 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Chessmaster
12-12-2008 2:00 PM


Re: I don't get it
Chessmaster writes:
You make a good point that may apparently outline a flaw in my argument, what you say is correct, however you are still feeling that we have free will.
I do not feel that we have free will. I'm actually undecided on the subject. I'm not even sure which side of the arguement I want to be on. But that is another discussion from another thread like this one: Message 42
If something has already been decided finally, before you do anything, you have no choice or free will.
I agree. What I'm saying is that a being with omnipotent knowledge of the future does not restrict our choices if we have no knowledge of their knowledge. How do we have no free will if we can choose whatever we'd like? Isn't that the core definition of free will? To be able to choose whatever you'd like? Then if we can still choose whatever we'ed like... how have we lost our free will just because someone else knows what we're going to choose?
an example would be, suppose you apply for a job. And you getting the job depends on your performance at an interview. Now, by someone all knowing who can't possibly be wrong, the outcome has already been forseen, yet, you don't know it.
Now, the fact that I do know that it has already been forseen, could lead me not to try. Why? I can't change what has already happened.
Perhaps that is true. But how, specifically, did your free will get infringed upon? What choice was removed? You decided that you wanted "not to try". How was that not a free choice of yours? Why was it impossible for you not to choose "to try"?
1. Choices without anyone knowing what you'll do:
-try to get the job
-don't try to get the job
2. Choices with someone knowing what you'll do:
-try to get the job
-don't try to get the job
What was removed? What is restricted? What are you unable to do in the second scenario that you could do in the first?
However, anyone who thinks that is right is failing to see that the choice has already been taken away from me.
What was taken away from you, though? You still have the choice of trying or not trying. If you choose to not try, because you think it doesn't matter, how can you possibly say that wasn't a choice? You used the wording "could lead me not to try"... the key word is "could". The obvious counter is that it also "could lead you to try". You still have the choice. What choice, specifically, was removed or restricted?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 2:00 PM Chessmaster has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 2:55 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 130 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 25 of 82 (491209)
12-12-2008 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Chessmaster
12-12-2008 2:00 PM


Re: I don't get it
Stile writes:
Chessmaster writes:
If something has already been decided finally, before you do anything, you have no choice or free will.
I agree.
I wanted to expand on what I said here, because I don't think I was clear.
What I'm agreeing with is that if something other than me already decided finally, before I do anything, then I have no choice or free will.
However, with the scenarios I'm talking about, the decision is still being made by me. Therefore, just because God knows about the result that I decided, doesn't remove my free will. Because it's still me who makes the decision. I'm still able to choose whatever I want.
The two situations appear similar in the end... a static, non-changing flow of one's life decisions. However, if someone else is making those decisions (no free will), it will have a different static path then if I am making those decisions (free will).
Both paths are static, but one includes free will where I decided everything the way I wanted to. I am arguing that it's possible for an omniscient entity to view my static-free-willed decision path before I've actually made all the decisions in my time-line. This does not mean anyone else is making those decisions for me. It also does not mean any of the choices within my decisions have been removed or restricted in any way. Therefore, it is still free will.

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 Message 23 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 2:00 PM Chessmaster has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 12-12-2008 2:55 PM Stile has replied

  
Chessmaster
Junior Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 03-15-2008


Message 26 of 82 (491212)
12-12-2008 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Stile
12-12-2008 2:30 PM


Re: I don't get it
OK,
again good points. And you are correct in what you say if we were living in ignornace. By that I mean of god and the bible.
Of course, I can still do whatever I like here on earth. Even though having now read the bible, I know god already knows everything that will happen until I die. But no your right, that doesn't infringe on my choice to, do this or do that.
I think your just looking at it a different way, i'm specifically looking at it in the way that god supposedly gives us the free will and choice to choose to be with him, or not for example.
What i'm saying is we know from the bible god already knows everything that will happen in the future, till our death, and even beyond. This knowledge, that the bible gives us, takes away our free will. In a way I guess I am saying that free will and choice is not possible with somebody who can already know what you will do before you do it. If they just make predictions, fine. But if somebody knows with 100% certainty your future, without you realising it, your free will and choice is gone. Again, it's just like writing a book that has already been written. You can't change it.
Then, once you tell that person, or your creation, as in the bible, that you know what they will do before they do it, they will surely realise they have no free will and choice, there is no need to pray, to struggle, for it has already been decided if they will enter heaven or not.
That point is difficult to grasp, you may think well they just have to carry on and try their best, as if they didn't know, then surely they will go to heaven, but if they stop and think about this point for a minute, and understand it, what is already done, is done. And their whole life, is already done. Another trap is well no, because if I think like this, then I really will just give up, and end up going to hell, as god forsaw me doing. But if you think like that, you still haven't grasped it, without knowing, you are trying to change what has been written in your book, or seen by god, and you can't do that.

This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 22621
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 27 of 82 (491213)
12-12-2008 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Stile
12-12-2008 2:41 PM


Re: I don't get it
You and Bluejay are both missing the fact that just because a person believes he exercised free will doesn't mean that he did. With an omniscient God, free will is just a mistaken illusion, just one teensy tiny part of everything everywhere and everywhen that cannot change in a universe with an omniscient entity. For example, an omniscient God would know that you believed you were exercising your free will when you made the decision he already knew you would make.
It isn't that omniscience has taken free will away. It's that the concepts are mutually exclusive in the same universe. One doesn't battle and eventually overcome the other because they could never exist in the same universe. Unable ever come in contact with each other, they could never do battle.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Stile, posted 12-12-2008 2:41 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Stile, posted 12-12-2008 3:26 PM Percy has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 130 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 28 of 82 (491219)
12-12-2008 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Percy
12-12-2008 2:55 PM


Re: I don't get it
Percy writes:
You and Bluejay are both missing the fact that just because a person believes he exercised free will doesn't mean that he did.
I don't think so, but I'll give you another chance to show me your point. How do you tell the difference between believing you have free will and actually having free will?
It isn't that omniscience has taken free will away. It's that the concepts are mutually exclusive in the same universe.
If the concepts are mutually exclusive, you should easily be able to show me which decisions get restricted or removed if an omniscient God has perfect, 100% foreknowledge of all my actions.
1. No God exists.
-I can buy Cheerios for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy Shreddies for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy any kind of cereal I want for my breakfast
2. An omniscient God who has perfect, 100% foreknowledge of all my actions exists.
-I can buy Cheerios for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy Shreddies for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy any kind of cereal I want for my breakfast
Which options were removed?
Which options were restricted?
If it's so mutually exclusive, why are you unable to show me how they are different?
One doesn't battle and eventually overcome the other because they could never exist in the same universe.
I'm not saying they battle or overcome each other. I'm saying it's possible they could co-exist very peaceably with each other.
I'm not saying this is how our universe is (personally I don't believe God exists). I'm just saying I don't see why they can't co-exist.
God may know the decision I made. But it's still the decision I made. How is my decision any less of a decision?
If God knows I choose Cheerios.. then I can no longer choose any of the other cereals.
But... that's because I chose Cheerios out of the options. If I had of chosen Shreddies.. then that's what God would be saying I am going to choose.
Where is the restriction of choice? Where is the removal of options? How is this not free will?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 12-12-2008 2:55 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 3:40 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied
 Message 34 by Percy, posted 12-13-2008 10:05 AM Stile has replied

  
Chessmaster
Junior Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 03-15-2008


Message 29 of 82 (491222)
12-12-2008 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Stile
12-12-2008 3:26 PM


Re: I don't get it
Stile writes:
If the concepts are mutually exclusive, you should easily be able to show me which decisions get restricted or removed if an omniscient God has perfect, 100% foreknowledge of all my actions.
1. No God exists.
-I can buy Cheerios for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy Shreddies for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy any kind of cereal I want for my breakfast
2. An omniscient God who has perfect, 100% foreknowledge of all my actions exists.
-I can buy Cheerios for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy Shreddies for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy any kind of cereal I want for my breakfast
Which options were removed?
Which options were restricted?
.
Stile, I know your argument is against Percy there, but you just said something which I feel gives me an opportunity to explain my point more clearly.
You are right, you can buy the cheerios or the shreddies.
But, it has already been known and decided what you will choose before you even choose it. You can pick either, and feel like your making the choice, but, in reality, or rather, according to the religious, you had to and did pick what was forseen. Thus, losing your free will. Of course you feel like you've made a choice, but again, i'm making a deeper point about god, you didn't have a choice, you couldn't pick what god had not seen.
This is why I agree with Percy basically, this all knowing god, and free will, is not possible.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Stile, posted 12-12-2008 3:26 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
straightree
Member (Idle past 4837 days)
Posts: 57
From: Near Olot, Spain
Joined: 09-26-2008


Message 30 of 82 (491243)
12-12-2008 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
12-11-2008 7:47 PM


Hi Percy,
quote:
The claim is that omniscience and free will cannot exist in the same universe.
The subject of omniescience is all that can be known. If something has a nature that makes it impossible to be known, it can not be included in omniscience. Since a free choice, that results from the faculty of free will is not a priory knowble, it does not pertain to the omniscience realm.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 12-11-2008 7:47 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by subbie, posted 12-12-2008 6:29 PM straightree has replied
 Message 35 by Percy, posted 12-13-2008 10:10 AM straightree has replied

  
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