For the Sake of Argument: God does not Have Infinite Foreknowledge of our Free Will Choices

Hi guys,

Going back to the book of Genesis and the fall of man, and even further back to the fall of the angels in and Satan’s sin of pride:

The only way the Fall makes sense is that God originally gave Humans free will and didn’t have foreknowledge of the choices they would make.

When people assume that God knows everything and he pre-ordained the fall, it makes a theological mess and poses a lot of unanswered questions.
People saying that God allowed sin to enter the world for His glory get on my nerves.
They’re trying to reconcile their ideas of God being all-knowing with the reality of sin and the fall.

I think the truth is, God didn’t know Adam and Eve would fall from grace.
Getting to the point, God gives His creatures free will and can’t foresee their actions.
He creates us and leaves our destinies in our own hands, whether we will accept Him or not.
I’m taking away the idea of God pre-ordaining the entrance of sin into the world.
And then later he sent Christ into the world to atone for the sins of humanity.

Thoughts, Opinions?

C.

To know in advance is not to pre-ordain.

If I have a time machine and travel forward to tomorrow and watch from a distance as you approach a corner and turn left, I know with certainty that you turn left and not right at that corner, because I watched you do it. If I then return to today, I know that you will turn left at that corner tomorrow.

I did not make you turn left. I did not even interact with you. Your freedom to choose right or left cannot possibly have been violated. But you will turn left, and I know it a day early, because I saw you do it.

That’s usually how God’s foreknowledge is explained. He doesn’t make us do anything, and he doesn’t exactly know “in advance.” Rather, time just doesn’t apply to Him. He knows what you and I will do tomorrow and next week and ten years from now because He is watching us do it tomorrow and next week and ten years from now, but unlike us He doesn’t have to wait for the passage of time to acquire that knowledge.

Now, since God created the entire universe, there are still questions that my time machine example doesn’t address. Like, could God have changed the initial conditions of the situation to get a better result, and if so, why didn’t He? But my point is simply that one can know a thing ahead of time without having any role in determining that thing.

Usagi

ccook:

I don’t know about you, but I like movies where the hero faces impossible odds, seems to be ready to fail, and then makes a comeback in the end. It’s the struggle that makes the victory more wonderful, I think. But if someone were to watch half of such a movie and walk out before the end, such a person might say it was a bad story and that the hero was a complete failure. It’s only those who stay till then end who get the full picture.

Reminds me of the words of Paul:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

(Romans 8:28)

The eternality of God means that he does not FOREknow anything. He knows everything eternally (from outside of time.) If God were constrained to a perspective within the sequence of time then foreknowledge would be an issue.

He is not constrained in that way, so what occurred in the past is as available to him as what occurs in the present and what will in the future. Ergo, God’s will is determined by what he knows will be the final state or outcome at the end of the temporal sequence. Merely because human beings have a perspective limited to within time does not mean God must abide by that perspective.

Put simply, God is not concerned so much with how the past has affected the present (as we are,) but with how the past, present and all future time affects the finality (eschatology) of the time-sequence bubble we know as the universe.

Nobody knows God. Nobody knows how God thinks or acts.

I agree with your post in general . I think He built in a ‘test’, which was that we would live within some boundaries which He imposed .These boundaries were temporary until He was sure that we were of our own ‘free will’, entering into an eternal covenant with Him.

That is to say we had ‘free will’ ,but not total freedom ,until we had been subjected to and 'passed the laws ', which are inherent in Creation.
'Under the Law 'means, that although we were created, we had to freely chose eventually to be with Him ,and that the laws were difficulties put in our path to allow us to do this .We then suffer when we break these laws ,until we accept Jesus as our God and submit to
Him, our lives .Once we do this to God’s satisfaction, we are free of the LAW.
We become 'free creatures, Above the Law, in God’s Kingdom : above and beyond the
material realm .

Very ,very interesting.

I think he knew, yet allowed it to happen anyways. Any world that he would create with man having free will would ultimate rebel against him. Without free will no love. The time on earth will be slight compared to eternity, that is why i think god chose to create a world with free will and allow the fall to happen. otherwise we would not be hear to talk about it.

:twocents:

We are capable of love. We can give freely of ourselves.
That is what this is all about. Everything else is a lesser good.

As participants in a universe of matter, time and space,
and as members of our family and society,
we become who we are in this world.
This creative act has a spiritual dimension

  • the revelation of our eternal soul as we have willed it through our acts.

It is God’s will that we commune eternally in His Love.
It is our choice whether to obey.

God knows everything about us:

  • the graces He has bestowed on us
  • what we encounter in the world from times even before our conception, in our genes
  • our thoughts and feelings
  • what we choose and why.

He has not created us with the intent that we choose what we choose.
We are not made good people or bad people who make decisions based on such a nature.
It is we who make ourselves good or bad people as a result of our actions.

I think God is surprised, amazed and perhaps at times horrified by our choices even though He knows everything that can be known about them.
We have been created with the free will to determine who we are.

According to your view, God is trapped inside of time, and constrained by it. Therefore, according to your view, Time would have to have an existence outside of God or beyond Him, and presumably before Him. Time in sense would be greater than God in some ways, or stated in another way, God is not God.

Since Time, Space, and Matter are interrelated. They seem to have the same origin. We cannot fully conceive of any one of these totally independent of the other. So, if Time has an existence beyond God, then it is reasonable to assume that Space and Matter do as well. Therefore, according to your scenerio, God did not create the universe out of nothing. Again, according to your thoughts, God cannot be God.

It might help you to imagine that a movie has been taken from the beginning of creation to the end. And the movie reel is posted onto a wall, and God is outside of time looking at the the movie reel on the wall all at once.

Since God knows everything, there could never be moment when He was unsure about anything.

Please read “Theology for Beginners” by Frank Sheed, or his similar book, “Theology and Sanity.”

.

:thumbsup:

Folks get the idea of God per-ordaining something confused with the fact that God lives outside of our time.

All of the wonders around us are accidental.
No almighty hand made a thousand-billion stars. They made themselves.
No power keeps them on their steady course.
The earth spins itself to keep the oceans from falling off toward the sun.
Infants teach themselves to cry when they are hungry or hurt.
A small flower invented itself so that we could extract digitalis for sick hearts.
The earth gave itself day and night, and tilted itself so that we get seasons.
Without the magnetic poles man would be unable to navigate the trackless oceans of water and air, but they just grew there.
How about the sugar thermostat in the pancreas? It maintains a level of sugar in the blood sufficient for energy. Without it, all of us would fall into a coma and die.
Why does snow sit on mountain-tops waiting for the warm spring sun to melt it at just the right time for young crops in farms below to drink? A very lovely accident.
The human heart will beat for 70 or 80 years without faltering. How does it get sufficient rest between beats?
A kidney will filter poison from the blood, & leave good things alone. How does it know one from the other?
Who gave the human tongue flexibility to form words, and a brain to understand them, but denied it to all other animals?
Who showed a womb how to take the love of two persons and keep splitting a tiny ovum until, in time, a baby would have the proper number of fingers eyes and ears and hair in the right places, and come into the world when it is strong enough to sustain life?

BY:Jim Bishop.

God Bless:)
onenow1

God is outside of time. It is not so much that he “forsees” - that he has “foreknowedge” but that he “sees” that all of time is before him all at once. He is outside of time.

Our “past, present, future” is all before him as it were. Including our free choices, those of others, effects of various happenings around us, and our prayers and those of others…

Catechism: “To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy.” (600)

Your understanding of God is a little off here, so your question doesn’t make sense.
God is the author of time, He is outside of time, for Him there is no time and everything is eternally present to Him. Think about this and then rephrase the question in that light.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.