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Author Topic:   Free will vs Omniscience
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 138 of 1406 (763160)
07-21-2015 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by PaulK
07-21-2015 1:49 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
My view is probably not quite the same as the one you are arguing against, but this is how I see it.

For your decision to knowable it must be fixed, inevitable before you even exist.

Why must it be inevitable before you exist? Why must the decision be inevitable prior to the time when the future prediction is made? And what if the prediction is made only by examining the person in question and the rest of the universe at some time after you exist?

I am suggesting that your logic assumes some particulars that are not necessarily true.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


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 139 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 4:59 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 142 of 1406 (763166)
07-21-2015 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by PaulK
07-21-2015 4:59 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
To be knowable it must be inevitable. And unless you are proposing limits to God's foreknowledge, it must be inevitable before you exist.

Limits of God's foreknowledge is one possibility. It is also possible that God's foreknowledge of an event is obtained by God's direct intervention to remove other possibilities. Or maybe God has the ability to invoke foreknowledge or to not bother with it at his whim. Or maybe God only cares about large overall patterns and does not sweat the small stuff unless it becomes of interest. Or maybe God works like a giant calculator and calculates the outcome of events based on looking at their current states.

Some of those possibilities do not require that God have foreknowledge of all events at every instant. There might not be any ways for human's to distinguish or recognize how God does what he does.

You have one model and your model requires that God know everything at all instants. But perhaps God abstains from operating in exactly that way because the result is that free will can never exist.

ABE:

Since you and I have had this discussion before, I thought I would add a thought experiment for your consideration.

Let's add God to the Schrodinger's Cat experiment. You put the cat, the poison, radioactive sample, the Geiger counter, etc. in the trunk. Before you open the trunk, God tells you that the cat is dead. Does that mean that there actually is some mechanism for making a particular atom decay? Does the prediction require that some particular atom did decay? Not necessarily. I maintain that it is still possible that atomic decay is non deterministic despite God's ability to know what happened.

Now how did God manage accomplish his feet? He might have done it by triggering an atomic decay, or by looking one hour into the future, or by simply by releasing the poison in the vial. God might have examined all of the atoms and been able to tell from inspection that one would decay. One could argue that one or the other of the methods require that atomic decay is determinisitic, but even in that case there is no reason that atomic decay of any group of atoms in general must be deterministic until or unless God examines it. God may be changing the nature of the universe at the time he uses his foreknowledge.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 4:59 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 6:07 PM NoNukes has responded
 Message 150 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 6:52 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 145 of 1406 (763169)
07-21-2015 6:21 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by PaulK
07-21-2015 6:07 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
Now I grant that I assume that God does know the consequences of the act of creation, but refusing to consider the consequences of your actions is not sufficient to absolve anyone of responsibility.

I am going to describe one possible viewpoint. I submit that it is a view under which your suppositions are incorrect.

The creation of a universe that includes the possibility of free will inevitably involves good and bad events. And with respect to the tiny part of the creation that is earth, very often man himself is the author of his own misfortune, other times accident and misfortune befall us. But overall, creation is a positive thing. The only alternative is non creation.

Do such limitations mean that the creator is not really omnipotent? Well, given that none of us can conceive of a way to create any kind of universe with living beings in it at all, I think that's a rather silly question. If some of us starve on a world that can feed everyone, is that somehow God's fault? Is it God's fault that our sun is only going to last a few billion years? I don't see any of those things as something with which to find fault with God.

I understand that such an understanding is incompatible with some expectations of omniscience and omnipotence. But quite frankly I think the understanding lots of people have about those things are kind of comic booky. What's more, I'm pretty sure that you yourself don't actually possess those beliefs. Instead you are extending what you believe must be the conclusions of people who do believe in an omnipotent God who cares about them in particular.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 6:07 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 6:39 PM NoNukes has not yet responded
 Message 215 by Phat, posted 07-26-2015 7:39 PM NoNukes has not yet responded
 Message 708 by Phat, posted 01-21-2019 10:58 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 146 of 1406 (763170)
07-21-2015 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by PaulK
07-21-2015 6:07 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
Again, inevitability is a prerequisite for foreknowledge.

You are not making an argument for this statement. You are instead simply asserting it and then using as a response my arguments.

It is, imo, at least possible that God's process of predicting forces determination. Since you responded to my post I added by edit a thought experiment. Could I get your comments on that experiment?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 6:07 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 6:43 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 151 of 1406 (763178)
07-21-2015 11:54 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by PaulK
07-21-2015 6:52 PM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
or that God deliberately arranges it (which is even worse for you).

Why is that worse for me?

All your methods either assume that the cat will inevitably die

Yes, but the issue is whether the death of the cat could be said to be inevitable before God's prediction. You claim that such must be the case. But clearly some of the cases I provided, do not require any such thing.

Again, I have yet to see any defense from you that foreknowledge implies that an outcome must have existed at all times.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by PaulK, posted 07-21-2015 6:52 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 152 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2015 12:40 AM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 153 of 1406 (763180)
07-22-2015 12:55 AM
Reply to: Message 152 by PaulK
07-22-2015 12:40 AM


Re: ** FOREknowledge**
If you're trying to deny God's responsibility for an event, having God directly arrange it only makes it more obvious that God IS responsible

This discussion is hypothetical. I am simply exploring the possibilities of free will existing along side foreknowledge. If there are consequences of that, so be it. The situation still presents an alternative to what you are saying is required.

I'm not claiming that limited foreknowledge based on arranging particular events or lacking the ability to see the entire future is necessarily a problem.

I agree that seeing the entire future would eliminate free will.

But what I am suggesting is that an unexercised ability to see the entire future does not necessarily do so. The act of exercising the ability may require converting a portion otherwise non-deterministic universe into a deterministic one. For example, an omnipotent being could exert himself to forsee the result of a Shrodinger's cat experiment without affecting most of the rest of the universe in any way.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 152 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2015 12:40 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2015 1:15 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 212 of 1406 (763527)
07-26-2015 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 209 by Faith
07-25-2015 8:58 AM


The whole question of how His omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence affect our free will is a clumsy (and in a certain sense also presumptuous) human way of thinking. God's foreknowledge doesn't affect our free will, and our asking the question makes the mistake of putting God on our level, but He doesn't exist on our level.

Stated with a little more mysticism than I would use, but I agree with you that the way many people talk about omniscience borders on being silly and in fact limiting. Much of the discussion here is of the type 'Can God make a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it' that comes from looking similarly silly about the meaning of omnipotence.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 209 by Faith, posted 07-25-2015 8:58 AM Faith has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 07-26-2015 3:48 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 338 of 1406 (766211)
08-14-2015 4:07 PM


Predestination, omiscience, and free will video series.
For those of you with an academic interest in the problems with free will and predestination, foreknowledge, and determinism, there is an excellent video lecture series covering this topic.

The lecture series feature Dr. Shaun Nichols of the University of Arizona, and he reviews the history of philosophical thought on these topics including discussing how various thinkers resolve the apparent and real conflicts between free will and the other concepts. He does a good job at pointing on the strengths and weaknesses of each argument. At times he has to discuss religion and science, and manages not to misrepresent either topic too badly.

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/...-intellectual-history.html

Unfortunately the series of 24 lectures is relatively expensive. $130 for audio download and $250 for video from TTC. But it may be found for free in some of the usual places for that kind of thing.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 379 of 1406 (782176)
04-19-2016 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 378 by jaywill
04-19-2016 11:52 AM


Re: Puppets or Prodegies?
I do not believe that it is absolutely impossible that God could not have created beings with free will.

I've read this several times, and I am still not sure what you mean. Rather than make a guess, because my guesses in these situations are always wrong, can I ask for help?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 378 by jaywill, posted 04-19-2016 11:52 AM jaywill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 380 by Phat, posted 04-19-2016 4:04 PM NoNukes has not yet responded
 Message 382 by jaywill, posted 04-19-2016 8:26 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 385 of 1406 (782198)
04-20-2016 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 382 by jaywill
04-19-2016 8:26 PM


Re: Puppets or Prodegies?
You wrote this:

And this is the problem that I have with concepts of sin within the Judeo-Christian framework. God imparts certain innate qualities, but then gets pissed when you do the very thing you were programmed to do. That would make him directly complicit, no?

No, I did not write that. Nor did I write most of the other things your posts indicates that I wrote. The following is the sole exception

NoNukes writes:

I do not believe that it is absolutely impossible that God could not have created beings with free will.

jaywill writes:

When you say read it several times and have trouble understanding what I wrote, I assume you are talking about the sentence above.

In fact, given that my post consisted of a quote of exactly the sentence above and nothing else mentioned in your post, your assumption must almost certainly be correct. And the assumption is correct. To be more pointed, the sentence I quoted contains so many negations that I am not sure what you are saying you believe is possible or impossible for God. I don't know the answer to that question even after reading your response. My question was not meant to be a debating tactic; I wanted to know understand your meaning. I'm willing to let that go.

Generally speaking the views expressed here regarding omniscience, predestination, and guilt are things that philosophers have discussed at length. The responses in this thread (not necessarily or specifically yours) barely skim the surface on those topics and accordingly the conclusions reached and the assumptions about how these things apply to God are, IMO, extremely simplistic.

In fact, so simplistic that with respect to non believers, I find the conundrums they express to be of limited interest. Many times I see 'Can God make a rock so heavy he cannot lift it' sort of questions. But I am curious to see how believers resolve such question.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 382 by jaywill, posted 04-19-2016 8:26 PM jaywill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 388 by jaywill, posted 04-20-2016 2:16 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 394 of 1406 (782397)
04-22-2016 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 393 by Blue Jay
04-22-2016 5:41 PM


Re: Puppets or Prodegies?
every path must have a non-zero probability

Really? Isn't it enough that there are some paths to choose from? Must every possibility be allowed in order for your will to be free?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 393 by Blue Jay, posted 04-22-2016 5:41 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 395 by Blue Jay, posted 04-22-2016 8:49 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 396 of 1406 (782473)
04-24-2016 8:14 AM
Reply to: Message 391 by Blue Jay
04-22-2016 11:36 AM


Re: Puppets or Prodegies?
If there is any chance at all that you might choose B, then no prediction, not even one made by God, can have 100% accuracy. God's omniscience doesn't change the underlying probabilities: it only changes how well He knows the probabilities.

The principle that prior knowledge of our future actions means no free will is often asserted, but I am not sure it is correct. Perhaps it depends on how God's all knowing power actually works and on how the universe really works. For example, we know that Hitler attempted a poorly thought out coup in 1923 and was thrown in jail. But I think we agree that Hitler cannot be said to not have free will because of our current day knowledge.

But what if we were able to communicate that knowledge backwards in time to a person living in 1919 via some kind of time machine? Would that persons knowledge mean that Hitler lacked free will in 1923 and has suddenly become an automaton? I think not. At least not necessarily. So what if all of God's foreknowledge were a result of having a perfect knowledge of the decisions after they were made or perhaps even while they are being made, and being able to communicate such information to his past.

Or alternatively, what if the multi-universe view of existence were correct, and God knows what happens on each of the infinite timelines that are created every time a decision was made. Couldn't free will still exist on each of those time lines despite God's knowledge of all time lines?

Infinite power and knowledge are hard to model and I am not sure that simple means of reasoning about them (which includes my proposals as well) yield correct answers. Whatever condition it is that we live in seems to 'feel' just like free will. It feels close enough to that condition that we feel able to hold at least sane persons responsible based on the contents of their actions except in special circumstances in which they are compelled to act to hurt others.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 391 by Blue Jay, posted 04-22-2016 11:36 AM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 398 by Blue Jay, posted 04-25-2016 12:33 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 405 of 1406 (782544)
04-25-2016 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 398 by Blue Jay
04-25-2016 12:33 PM


Re: Puppets or Prodegies?
I think you're making the same mistake that Phat is. That is, you're trying to establish a direct, mechanistic link between foreknowledge and free will,

I think I am disputing that one implies the other or not the other. I am not sure whether foreknowledge does or does not mean that free will exists. I am disputing the assumption that we know that answer to that question.

The argument is that free will and prognostication are two phenomena that require the universe to have certain characteristics in order to function

I think I understood the argument.

I am disputing that your position is correct. I think it is possible to construct a universe where both things exist. That was the point of my examples.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 398 by Blue Jay, posted 04-25-2016 12:33 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 412 of 1406 (782623)
04-26-2016 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 406 by PurpleYouko
04-26-2016 10:58 AM


Re: A slightly different (but mostly the same) way of looking at it
In the above defined universe (where foreknowledge of any event is possible) then all of time must be deterministic and mapped out from start to finish.

This is the crux of the argument for people who believe foreknowledge is linked to no free choice. In my opinion, you haven't proved this to be true, because your scenarios silently build this impossibility in.

What if Bill knows what Tim will do only because Fred from the future showed Bill a film of Tim deciding and then carrying out his action. My contention is that under these circumstances, Fred's reporting does not affect Tim's free will.

If you don't buy that idea, what about my other idea that the multi-universe reality where every decision is made and that such decisions cause branching of into new universes. In that case, free will might be unaffected by foreknowledge.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 406 by PurpleYouko, posted 04-26-2016 10:58 AM PurpleYouko has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 413 by PaulK, posted 04-27-2016 12:32 AM NoNukes has responded
 Message 417 by PurpleYouko, posted 04-27-2016 10:35 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 414 of 1406 (782640)
04-27-2016 1:29 AM
Reply to: Message 413 by PaulK
04-27-2016 12:32 AM


Re: A slightly different (but mostly the same) way of looking at it
That is covered in the post. How do you deal with the case where your new character Tim is shown the film

The film is a recording of Tim exercising his free will. But why is there a requirement to show Tim the film?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 413 by PaulK, posted 04-27-2016 12:32 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 415 by PaulK, posted 04-27-2016 1:40 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
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