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  #1  
Old Oct 14, '11, 6:11 pm
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sidetrack sidetrack is offline
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Default How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

As much as I know I have free will a part of me wonders how this is possible if God knows every "move" I'll make in life and my ultimate destiny.At times I've thought that even though he gives us free will he knows what we ultimately will do however knowing what that fate is,is as trivial as asking God what his favorite ice cream flavour is (-_-..strange comparision I know but it's out of me being low on ideas as to what to pick as a metaphor).I know that some people dont think it's not a trivial matter but maybe I'm saying that because I'd rather not know my ultimate fate because it might cause some like predestination paradox.It's not like I'm stating this like I have something againest it but I'm asking it to find out how it's possible since we have free will (a part of me saying it is satisfiyingly possible).I'd appreciate if any one could replies with an explanation and/or thought on this thank you very much so for your time.
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Old Oct 14, '11, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

I've seen huge threads on this... What made the most sense to me was that "knowledge does not equal causation."
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Old Oct 14, '11, 7:50 pm
Catholic90 Catholic90 is offline
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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Originally Posted by laircy View Post
I've seen huge threads on this... What made the most sense to me was that "knowledge does not equal causation."
If I put out 2 bowls of food at a party, one with cold mushy brussel sprouts and one with party mix, I know that most guests will eat the party mix. However, I did not CAUSE them to eat it. Free will.
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Old Oct 14, '11, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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Originally Posted by laircy View Post
I've seen huge threads on this... What made the most sense to me was that "knowledge does not equal causation."
This is precisely correct...

Sidetrack,
Suppose you could go forward in time 1 year. From your vantage point you can see every decision made by any given individual during that year past. You know the consequence of each decision they make. Does this change their free will to make their decisions?

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  #5  
Old Oct 14, '11, 8:05 pm
BigFellaMick BigFellaMick is offline
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

A good question my friend and one I am not really grounded enough in the faith to answer but I'm going to take a crack at it. I've always believed that even though God knows our ultimate destinies (He knows every single choice we'll make long before we make it) it does not take away from the fact that we freely "choose" on our own. God knowing what you are going to choose does not in any way take away from the fact that you yourself are choosing whatever situation it is you face. Does that make sense? I'm not very eloquent at explaining things and often jumble my words. Simplified answer, God knows what we're going to do but we still have the power to choose things for ourselves. His knowing what we're going to choose before we decide doesn't take away from the fact that we decided things for ourselves. Anyways, that's been my understanding of the matter.
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Old Oct 14, '11, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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Originally Posted by Catholic90 View Post
If I put out 2 bowls of food at a party, one with cold mushy brussel sprouts and one with party mix, I know that most guests will eat the party mix. However, I did not CAUSE them to eat it. Free will.
The example I use is if I look out my window and see someone drunkenly teetering on a window ledge across the road, I know they're going to fall. Doesn't mean I've caused them to do so.
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Old Oct 14, '11, 9:19 pm
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Julia Mae Julia Mae is offline
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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Originally Posted by sidetrack View Post
As much as I know I have free will a part of me wonders how this is possible if God knows every "move" I'll make in life and my ultimate destiny
I don't know why people think God knows this. I don't. He may know every molecule of wind that will blow and every leaf that will fall, but we still choose.
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  #8  
Old Oct 14, '11, 11:44 pm
Trevor Stamm Trevor Stamm is offline
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidetrack View Post
As much as I know I have free will a part of me wonders how this is possible if God knows every "move" I'll make in life and my ultimate destiny.At times I've thought that even though he gives us free will he knows what we ultimately will do however knowing what that fate is,is as trivial as asking God what his favorite ice cream flavour is (-_-..strange comparision I know but it's out of me being low on ideas as to what to pick as a metaphor).I know that some people dont think it's not a trivial matter but maybe I'm saying that because I'd rather not know my ultimate fate because it might cause some like predestination paradox.It's not like I'm stating this like I have something againest it but I'm asking it to find out how it's possible since we have free will (a part of me saying it is satisfiyingly possible).I'd appreciate if any one could replies with an explanation and/or thought on this thank you very much so for your time.
A question to you is, how is free will false when God, being atemporal, simply knows what is to come in the temporal realm? Just because an event is foreknown does not mean the knower caused that event to be as such, but the knower is not restricted by time to know what is to happen.

There's a lot of good reads on this subject. My suggestion, start here.
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  #9  
Old Oct 15, '11, 2:34 am
Sair Sair is offline
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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Originally Posted by Trevor Stamm View Post
A question to you is, how is free will false when God, being atemporal, simply knows what is to come in the temporal realm? Just because an event is foreknown does not mean the knower caused that event to be as such, but the knower is not restricted by time to know what is to happen.
The only problem is that knowledge implies that what is to happen has already happened, in some sense. Is it even possible for God to know what will happen, and then have someone deviate from what God already knows will happen?

Not sure how foreknowledge squares with freedom of choice, ultimately. The latter seems to imply some degree of randomness, which would negate the possibility of foreknowledge.
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Old Oct 15, '11, 2:50 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

1. Why should foresight be radically different from hindsight?

2. That assumption is based on the fallacy Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

3. It stems from the false belief that a cause must always precede the effect.

4. It overlooks the distinction between an efficient cause and a final cause.

5. It implies that decisions are not caused by the decision-maker.

6. It reduces purposes to results.

7. It implicitly equates autonomous persons with biological machines!
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  #11  
Old Oct 15, '11, 5:05 am
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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Originally Posted by Sair View Post
The only problem is that knowledge implies that what is to happen has already happened, in some sense. Is it even possible for God to know what will happen, and then have someone deviate from what God already knows will happen?

Not sure how foreknowledge squares with freedom of choice, ultimately. The latter seems to imply some degree of randomness, which would negate the possibility of foreknowledge.
This might be true if the one choosing and the one foreknowing are the same person. However, so long as the one choosing and the one with the foreknowing are different persons then the chooser still retains free will.

As to the idea of randomness...consider this...
Instead of thinking about a single linear timeline in which God "knows what will happen", consider the possibility that God, being Omniscient, knows (can see) all of the results of all of the permutations of all the possible choices that all of humanity could ever make.

Hard to fathom this? That is good because God should be hard to fathom....
I recently heard a quote from (I believe) St Augustine, "if you think you comprehend God, that's not God".

Peace
James
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  #12  
Old Oct 15, '11, 5:28 am
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

I know what you are going to say next; because I know everything you could possibly say.
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Old Oct 15, '11, 5:58 am
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
I don't know why people think God knows this. I don't. He may know every molecule of wind that will blow and every leaf that will fall, but we still choose.
Because God is omniscient, He knows everything. He does not just know about everything, He knows all things. That includes every choice every person will ever make. God is not living along side us in this temporal existance; that is, He is not experiencing our lives at the same time we are. He is completely outside of time, in what I have heard referred to as the eternal now. All things are present to God. There is no such thing as "past" or "future" when one has no relation to or reliance upon time. We as humans must rely upon and live in time, so we do have "past" and "future". We do indeed choose something at every moment of our lives, but to God, every moment is now, so He does in fact know what we have chosen in our past and what we will choose in our future. His knowledge of our choices in no way effects or affects those choices; it is simply knowledge that He has.
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Old Oct 15, '11, 6:08 am
Sair Sair is offline
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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This might be true if the one choosing and the one foreknowing are the same person. However, so long as the one choosing and the one with the foreknowing are different persons then the chooser still retains free will.
At least as far as the chooser is aware. That does not imply that the choice has not already been made on some cosmic scale.

Quote:
As to the idea of randomness...consider this...
Instead of thinking about a single linear timeline in which God "knows what will happen", consider the possibility that God, being Omniscient, knows (can see) all of the results of all of the permutations of all the possible choices that all of humanity could ever make.

Hard to fathom this? That is good because God should be hard to fathom....
I recently heard a quote from (I believe) St Augustine, "if you think you comprehend God, that's not God".
Oh, I can certainly imagine that an atemporal being could know all the possible outcomes of temporal choices, but this is quite different to knowing in advance the specific choices any chooser will make. If the latter is what is meant by the god of classical theism being all-knowing, then I don't see how this could possibly square with any notion of 'free' will.
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Old Oct 15, '11, 6:52 am
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Default Re: How is free will possible when God knows every "move" we'll ever take?

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Oh, I can certainly imagine that an atemporal being could know all the possible outcomes of temporal choices, but this is quite different to knowing in advance the specific choices any chooser will make.
Quite true, but then take the next step and consider that the "atemporal being" not only knows all the possible outcomes of temporal choices, but also knows which choices will be made. This gets us us much closer to the true omniscient nature of God.

Quote:
If the latter is what is meant by the god of classical theism being all-knowing, then I don't see how this could possibly square with any notion of 'free' will.
Because, as already pointed out, knowledge is different than causality.

Peace
James
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The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
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Amen.
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