You seem to be missing the point, Phat. It is the knowing in [u]advance[/u] that is the issue. If God knows (not guessing, not wondering but knows )what is going to happen then the "someone" has no choice.
If he/she had a choice then God wouldn't know.
I do not understand this position.
I see it as a chicken-and-egg sort of scenario.
Let's see if I can put together a simple example to pursue this idea:
We are here in 2015. Assume that God exists, but the world is exactly as it is now (God doesn't seem to interfere, no objective evidence, no one can "prove" God...) Let's say that in 2025, I'm going to have a choice. The choice in front of me is to go left or right down a hiking path I'm taking a leisurely walk on. Let's say that the fork in the road joins up again later so my final destination will be the same. God looks ahead in time ('cause He can do that) and sees that my free-will choice will be to go left. God never tells me about it. God never tells anyone about it.
I don't see how that removes my free-will choice. I mean... let's move on to the year 2030. Now I remember that I took a walk in 2025 and I took the left fork in the path. Does my remembering and "knowing" that I went left remove my free-will from the past? How does God's (future-)"remembering" remove my free will in the future?
I can understand how this isn't intuitive... but I don't see how it necessarily removes "free-will".
I suppose it depends on how you define free-will.
If free-will is defined as "the individual makes a choice based on their own intelligent decision" then I don't see how knowledge of that event (past or future) would change such a thing.
If free-will is defined as something like "no one knows your choice until you make it" then I can see how God's fore-knowledge obviously contradicts such a definition. But this doesn't seem like what is actually meant by "free-will" to me. I always think of free will as more of a personal choice. Simply something that you decide as you.
But neither of you are asking "What did the God do?" and that is the issue.
I completely agree. And I'm certainly asking this. That's why I asked you "what choice did God make?"
The God created the human and if that God had foreknowledge that that creation would be damned regardless of whether or not the creation had freewill, then that God is vile and evil.
Again, I completely agree.
Bringing it back to my example... if God created me with complete foreknowledge that I would take the left path in 2025, then I do not have free-will.
What I'm saying, though, is... what if that's now how God created us?
What if God created us with actual free-will? That is, at the point of creation (of, say, the universe...), God does not know if I'm going to take the left path or the right path 15 billion years later in 2025.
Then, immediately after we were created "with free-will"... then God looks into the future and "de-scribes" my choice of picking the left path in 2015...
And my example is exactly as I described it.
That, I would say, would be free-will. Even though today (in 2015) God has perfect foreknowledge of my choice in 2025. Just as I will have perfect aft-knowledge of my choice once 2030 rolls around.
I guess it depends on if you think God created us with foreknowledge of what we're going to do at the time of creation or not.
I don't see why that has to be one way or the other.
And if done correctly, we certainly could have been created without foreknowledge while God still has complete foreknowledge of everything "for all time" (time being an element/dimension of our universe).
Allow me to quote a couple of scriptures which help me to understand the problem of evil.
Unfortunately, those are not helpful to me.
What if the scriptures are incorrect? Regardless of the reason why... how would we know?
I understand that if you believe they are correct.. then yes, you can find some comfort in them. However, in my experiences, I do not find the Bible to be a very trustworthy source of valid information. At a minimum, it seems incomplete and vague for many things it attempts to be very specific about.
If God does not know which path you will take until after creating you then God did not create you with foreknowledge.
It really is that simple.
Right. That's what I just said.
If God created us with foreknowledge, then we have no free-will. However, if God did not create us with foreknowledge.. and simply de-scribes our future after the point of our creation.. then we can have free-will.
Is God omnipotent-enough to create us without foreknowledge? Or does omnipotence have restrictions?
If God knows the decisions we will make before we make them then we have no freewill.
I don't think this is true.
Again, I think it depends on what definition of freewill you're using. If you're using something like "has the ability to make a decision based upon your own personal reasoning abilities" then freewill can still exist as I've described it (God had no foreknowledge at the point of creation, but can view the future as we view the past).
The only way for us to have freewill and for the God to have any foreknowledge is if the God can also be wrong.
I don't think so, what about this:
God created us without foreknowledge (creation of the universe - God has no idea if I'm going left or right in 2025). After being created, God has foreknowledge of what we are going to decide based upon our own personal reasoning abilities (in 2015, God has foreknowledge that I'm going to choose to take the left path in 2025). God is not wrong. In 2030, even I have past-knowledge of me taking the left path in 2025.
In this scenario, God has foreknowledge, and can't be wrong (in 2015), and we have freewill.
In summary, I don't think either "free will" or "omniscience" is a very useful concept.
That is something I completely agree with.
I think this entire conversation is moot simply because the concepts aren't really well defined and are kind of immature... in a "my dad is bigger than your dad, oh yeah? My Dad is infinite!!!" kind of sense...
But, sometimes it's fun to put yourself into a sci-fi universe and see what would result if you simply assume some certain basic rules.
For your decision to knowable it must be fixed, inevitable before you even exist.
Yeah, I don't see why that must be the case. I certainly understand how it would make it simple and easy for it to be knowable.
Especially when talking about an "omniscient" being...
I guess it depends on how you see "the future."
If you see "the future" as impossible to view for any being at any time... then yeah, you're right... there's no "looking ahead" that's going to make any sense at that point.
However, if you see "the future" as something that just hasn't happened yet... then you start to allow the possibility of some omniscient being knowing what's going to happen by simply viewing the future as we view the past.
Certain decisions, I like to think I can choose whatever, whenever (like if I want water or pop when I go to the movies). Certain decisions, I like to think would be the same no matter what time or place they happened in (like choosing 2.5% mortgage vs. a 3.2% mortgage).
Is it possible for an omniscient being to look into my future and see that even my "flippant" ("random") decisions like water or pop are as solid in-whatever-situation-I-find-myself-in-at-the-time as my "important" ("no-brainer") decisions like a cheaper mortgage rate?
My thought processes for this exercise are assuming "yes" is the answer to that question. But it's not like I have any actual data to back that up
If that it is true then God must know that IF he creates THAT universe then you will necessarily choose the left path.
Therefore God has knowingly dictated that you will choose the left path.
I agree that in this sort of situation... we do not have freewill. At this point, we could delve into a discussion about the difference between "real freewill" and "the illusion of freewill" and if there's actually any practical difference as far as "making a decision using your own intelligent reasoning skills" is concerned..
I see no freewill in your scenario unless we can decide to take the right path and God be wrong.
Like I said:
quote:Again, I think it depends on what definition of freewill you're using. If you're using something like "has the ability to make a decision based upon your own personal reasoning abilities" then freewill can still exist as I've described it (God had no foreknowledge at the point of creation, but can view the future as we view the past).
My scenario includes "making a decision based upon your own personal reasoning abilities." If you have a different definition of freewill, then yes, your interpretation will be different.
But then... we're simply not talking about the same thing.
To view "the future" there must be a singular "the future" rather than a big mess of "might-be"s. And that's the point.
And I agree with you.
My point is that we don't yet have the ability to know which way is "the way it actually is."
How do you test or verify such a thing?
Without that ability, without that verification... it could be either way.
Perhaps there is a big mess of "might-be's" that are perfectly within the capabilities of an omniscient creator to know all of them... and which ones will be taken given the starting conditions.
Or maybe not.
I agree that "if not" then you're right. I'm just saying that I don't see why your way of viewing the future must be the way things actually are.
Then again... maybe there's even a third or fourth or more ways that neither of us has had the intelligence to think up as well...
Which is what I was describing. The future must be as fixed as the past for it to be possible to view it.
Like I was saying... I hope it certainly is fixed for a lot of things... like choosing my mortgage rate, and choosing my wife, and a whole bunch of other important stuff. Maybe on some level, it's just as fixed for the unimportant stuff... I just don't care to focus on the intricacies to figure out what's causing it to be fixed on that level.
Therefore... maybe we just haven't played things out yet.
Freewill... because we're making decisions based on our own personal reasoning skills. But fixed... because we would always make the same choice based on the same initial conditions.
Based on that setup... we could have a being that could view the future without interfering with our personal reasoning skills... our freewill.
I mean, I know that I will choose a mortgage rate of 2.5% over 3.0%. Every time I buy a house. Any day of the year. Any day in the future.
Does that mean I don't have free will? But I'm the one who made the decision to always take the lowest interest rate...
Except you have not shown any way that could even be possible if the decision is already known.
Yes, I have.
Again... if I'm not making the choice, who is?
You might think it was your own personal reasoning abilities but if the outcome was already foreknown then I see no way your belief could be factual.
I don't see a way it could be factual either. I mean, it includes a God... I don't think God is factual.
Being factual isn't the point, here... this entire conversation is moot if we're trying to be factual because such fanciful things aren't really defined very well.
But, if we make the assumptions that I've layed out, and carry things forward from there... then my example is "factual"-according to those listed assumptions.
If you want to change the playing field back to real-life factual, then I just have to remind you that I'm not talking about real-life. I'm just having an imaginary conversation... because that's all we can do with these concepts and the information we have about them at this time.
Knowing which ones "will be" WOULD be knowing "the future". So no.
Yes, it WOULD be knowing "the future." So yes.
Goes back to the chicken-and-egg thing I mentioned before.
You're saying that if God knows the future... then it's set, and we can't choose. I'm saying that we choose, then the future's set, then God knows it.
You're saying God prescribes the future. I'm saying God describes the future.
I understand it is unintuitive. I understand I cannot show that it's possible.
I also understand that you can't show that your stance is possible. Like I'm saying, we can't "test the future" to see what way it is.
Yes, your ideas are more in tune to how we as humans are used to experiencing time. But physics has shown us that what we find intuitive isn't always the way things are.
Until you can test and show that your ideas of knowing-the-future MUST mean that whoever knows it is prescribing it.. then the equally unevidenced idea that knowing-the-future can be done in a descriptive way is also valid.
You claim you are making a choice but since the outcome is known before you make it you are not making the choice, simply doin' the inevitable.
Again, you're just not going back far enough.
Chicken and egg.
Yes, in my scenario God knows the outcome (2015) before I make the choice (2025). But if I make the choice freely, and God didn't know what I would pick when He created me (beginning of the universe) then I still made the choice when God didn't know (beginning of the universe). I just didn't play it out until 2025. God simply looked ahead on the playing-it-out part.
Of course, as I've already admitted, if God knew what I was going to choose before/during His creation of me (beginning of the universe) then you are right, and I agree... there is no freewill.
But if He didn't know at my creation... then I'm right. There is freewill, and God can know outcomes before choices are made as long as He didn't know what those outcomes were when He created the choice-maker.