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Author Topic:   Free will vs Omniscience
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 114 of 1406 (763113)
07-21-2015 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by NosyNed
07-20-2015 11:32 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
NosyNed writes:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by NosyNed, posted 07-20-2015 11:32 AM NosyNed has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by jar, posted 07-21-2015 9:24 AM Stile has responded
 Message 119 by Phat, posted 07-21-2015 11:00 AM Stile has responded
 Message 137 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 1:49 PM Stile has responded
 Message 846 by Phat, posted 03-01-2019 4:03 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 117 of 1406 (763117)
07-21-2015 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by jar
07-21-2015 9:24 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
jar writes:

It has nothing to do with what choices the person makes but rather the choice that the God made.

My question is the same as Phat's.

What is the choice that God made?
Can you describe it from my example? Perhaps my example doesn't show what you're talking about?

From what I can tell, God is simply de-scribing my choice.

In 2025, I am de-scribing my choice in the past.
In 2015, God is de-scribing my choice in the future.

I agree that if God was somehow pre-scribing my choice, then I would not have free-will. But I do not see where this is happening. Could you clarify?

I understand that God "de-scribing my choice in the future" is un-intuitive. However, I do not understand why unintuitive has to equal impossible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by jar, posted 07-21-2015 9:24 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by jar, posted 07-21-2015 10:59 AM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 120 of 1406 (763124)
07-21-2015 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by jar
07-21-2015 10:59 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
jar writes:

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).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by jar, posted 07-21-2015 10:59 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by jar, posted 07-21-2015 11:51 AM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 123 of 1406 (763129)
07-21-2015 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 119 by Phat
07-21-2015 11:00 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
Phat writes:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by Phat, posted 07-21-2015 11:00 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by Phat, posted 07-21-2015 12:03 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 124 of 1406 (763130)
07-21-2015 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 122 by jar
07-21-2015 11:51 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
jar writes:

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?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by jar, posted 07-21-2015 11:51 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 128 by jar, posted 07-21-2015 12:03 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 155 of 1406 (763190)
07-22-2015 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 128 by jar
07-21-2015 12:03 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
jar writes:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by jar, posted 07-21-2015 12:03 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 158 by jar, posted 07-22-2015 9:05 AM Stile has responded
 Message 165 by Phat, posted 07-22-2015 2:08 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 156 of 1406 (763191)
07-22-2015 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 130 by ringo
07-21-2015 12:20 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
ringo writes:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by ringo, posted 07-21-2015 12:20 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 157 of 1406 (763192)
07-22-2015 8:58 AM
Reply to: Message 137 by PaulK
07-21-2015 1:49 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
PaulK writes:

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..


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 1:49 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2015 9:19 AM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 167 of 1406 (763217)
07-22-2015 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by jar
07-22-2015 9:05 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
jar writes:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by jar, posted 07-22-2015 9:05 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by jar, posted 07-22-2015 3:55 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 168 of 1406 (763221)
07-22-2015 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by PaulK
07-22-2015 9:19 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
PaulK writes:

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.

Right.

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...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2015 9:19 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2015 5:16 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 200 of 1406 (763388)
07-24-2015 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by jar
07-22-2015 3:55 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
jar writes:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by jar, posted 07-22-2015 3:55 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 207 by jar, posted 07-24-2015 1:57 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 201 of 1406 (763389)
07-24-2015 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by PaulK
07-22-2015 5:16 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
PaulK writes:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2015 5:16 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2015 10:12 AM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 228 of 1406 (765333)
07-27-2015 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by PaulK
07-24-2015 10:12 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
PaulK writes:

That's not my idea. The idea that God prescribes the future is derived from God's role as Creator, as I have argued, not from mere foresight.

Yes, I agree that if God knew the outcome of the people during His creation of them... then there is no freewill for them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2015 10:12 AM PaulK has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 229 of 1406 (765334)
07-27-2015 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 207 by jar
07-24-2015 1:57 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
jar writes:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 207 by jar, posted 07-24-2015 1:57 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 231 by jar, posted 07-27-2015 1:43 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 230 of 1406 (765335)
07-27-2015 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by Tangle
07-26-2015 3:48 PM


Tangle writes:

^^^ it's the same with all these God discussions - they're all silly 'angels on pinhead' logic that can only resolve to 'well this is what I made up and now believe'. Pointless.

A better thread summary was never written

Of course, if you enjoy pointless diversions... then this thread is a goldmine!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 07-26-2015 3:48 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
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