God Can Not Know The Future


That is why the future does not exist. Otherwise if the future exists, then the choice that you are going to make one year from now already exists. If that choice already exists, then after one year passes, and it is time to make your choice, there is nothing you can do to change that choice which was already existing in the future.


Fine: the future does not exist for you.

Yet, you get to make the choice, and it’s fully your choice.


Not if the future exists. That is the point. You are stuck with the choice already existing in the future and you can’t change it.
Assume that the future exists (I don’t think it does, but let’s assume it does exist and show the contradiction).
The choice that you will make two years from now November 18, 2019, then already exists. That specific choice is sitting there, existing in the future time of Nov. 18, 2019.
At this time, November 18, 2017, you haven’t thought anything about this future choice, you haven’t even remotely considered it, But your choice is already there, existing in the future. Now let’s let time pass by and it is two years from now And the time has come for you to make your choice. But your choice has already been sitting there, existing for two years and there is nothing you can do to change it. Suppose now, you wanted to make an alternate choice? You can’t do it because your choice has already been there in the future for two solid years and it can’t be changed.
You don’t have the freedom to change that future choice which existed unchanged for two years. It already was sitting there, existing for two solid years.
To sum up, by assuming the future choice exists already for two solid years without change, even before you thought anything about it, you have denied free will.


You have no idea what the “choice” is. Therefore, it makes no sense to say “I’m going to change the thing that I don’t know about, in a way that’s different than it is.” You just choose. And guess what? It happens. As God knew all along it would.


If someone is assumed to know the future and his knowledge is written down; and having read the writing an agent acts in such a way that he produces a series of events different from what was written, then the assumption was false. But if the assumption is true, then the writing describes the actions of the agent or at least the results of his actions.


Assuming that the future exists (which I don’t believe) It has been in the mind of God that you will choose the color black when you buy a car on Nov. 20, 2017. This choice was known and fixed 3000 years ago, before you were born. Now you are in the auto showroom and you must choose a color for your car. You tell your wife that you like red. But she says that no, she doesn’t like red, she wants white. Well, that’s too bad, because you have no choice in the matter. You must choose black, because that is what was in the mind of God 3000 years ago. You have no freedom of choice, You must choose black, even though your wife says that she wants the white car and you want the red car. Black was already chosen more than 3000 years ago, before you were ever born. You have no freedom to choose red or white. You must choose black.


No. This is the source of your error.

The choice wasn’t “known 3000 years ago”. That would place the knowledge of the choice not only in the temporal universe, but in a time prior to the choice itself. That is not the argument that’s being made here.

3000 years ago, no one within the temporal framework knew the content of my choice.

However, outside the temporal framework, God lives in an eternal “now”. There is no “yesterday” or “tomorrow” to God; he experiences all, and immediately. God did not know my auto color choice “3000 years ago”, as you claim: he’s known all of history, and he’s “always” known it. Therefore, he knows what will happen when I walk into the showroom – without forcing any of my actions.

It’s not that “I must choose black”… it’s that God knows what free-will choice I will make. Not “before” I make it (because that implies that God’s constrained within temporal limite). God knows all my actions, immediately (not consecutively or bounded by time). He just knows what happens in time, all at once, even if we experience it sequentially.

No. A black car is chosen when it’s chosen – not before. I make the choice. Freely.

God is outside time, though, and therefore, he ‘sees’ the choice. Not “before” I do it; he sees it as I do it – but he sees it outside of time.


Now you say that God sits outside the entire timeline, past, present and future.
The entire timeline is like a movie. Each moment is shown to us in a certain order, but since God sees the whole timeline, everything already exists. As you sit and watch a movie, you might think of how it could end, but the movie is fixed, the frames on the movie are set,and there is only one way in which it can end,.The end of the movie exists before you can see it. God sits outside the timeline and sees and knows everything, so no other future is possible. There is only one possible future and there are no other possibilities because the timeline, past, present and future already exists and is known by God. As long as this is true, that there is only one possible future, then we cannot be free because there is only one possible future . No other future, and no other choices are possible. So it is not possible to choose a white car or a red car, The only possibility is for you to choose a black car, even though your wife wants a different color and you didn’t even like black yourself.
Also, there is no way for you to change the future, because the future already exists and is known by God who sits outside the timeline and has "known all of history, and he’s “always” known it. "


But if God sits outside the timeline and sees and knows everything, past, present and future, then there is only one possibility for the future, i.e., the one that God sees. No other possibility exists, because God knows everything and therefore sees what has happened, what is happening and what will happen. God sees and knows the entire timeline, past, present and future.
An alternate POV is that the future does not exist, - only NOW exists.


“Now”? Yeah… that’s pretty much been my assertion all along. :roll_eyes:

Precisely. Like a movie. The analogy breaks down, of course, like every analogy, but as analogies go… it’s a pretty good one.

And this is where the analogy breaks down.

A movie has been created by a person inside of the temporal framework, so, by definition, it exists in its entirety at the time of its filming. Oh, wait – there’s another way that the analogy breaks down: the characters in the movie have zero free will! Yep, that’s right: Luke Skywalker has no ability to say “forget this garbage – I’m outta here!”, in much the same way that Darth Vader has no ability to say, “meh… I’m not gonna order the destruction of Alderaan!”.

So… yeah; the analogy breaks down, inasmuch as movie characters never have free will. We, as real-life human beings, actually do have free will, though. We have it in each moment of our lives. :wink:

No… there are many possible futures. However, you yourself choose the event you wish. All other futures are possible – but you get to choose which one becomes reality.

You get to change your mind. God just happens to know what you will choose. If you change your mind hundreds of times, God allows it. He knows what your ultimate choice – freely chosen – will be.


There is one future?
There are many possible futures?
God knows everything and knows what has happened, what is happening and what will happen. God knows the entire timeline, past, present and future. It is only that one timeline that can ever happen. No other timeline is possible, because if that other timeline occurred, it would mean that God did not know about it.


The problem here is that you haven’t told us what free will is and how it works. When faced with two options, to buy a white car or to buy a black car, is the choice made by the soul or is it made by the brain? Does the soul make the decision and then communicate with the brain and direct it to take action? Or is the decision made entirely in the brain and it is the brain alone which directs the body to take action and the soul is not involved at all? Further, can there ever be developed a robot which has free choice when faced with several options ? To say that the soul reaches out from the spiritual world to influence the brain to perform a certain action is going to contradict some of the postulates of modern science. But to say that the brain alone makes all decisions is also problematic for the hypothesis of free will because your brain is a physical system determined by genetics and made up of neurons which, by sending electrical signals to the nervous system, determines how we behave. IOW, our behavior is a causal reaction to physical or material processes taking place in the brain and central nervous system. So free will is really not free since it is entirely dependent on material, physical processes in the brain.


In this thread? No. On these forums, or in the Catechism? Yes.

Neither. Humans are a body/soul composite. Decisions are made by the human person.

Getting a bit far afield, no?

If you buy into the series of assumptions you’ve just presented… which we don’t. :wink:


No. Because there are different definitions of free will. And depending on which definition of free will you use, the assumption that there is free will and that the future exists can lead to a serious contradiction. Further, many scientists will reject the idea that the soul is involved in making decisions.


It seems that you are translating ego eimi as I am in John 8:58, but in John 14:9 the same phrase is translated as have I been? The Jehovah’s Witnesses say that ego eimi should be translated the same in both passages as “I have been” or “Have I been” indicating the pre-existence but not the divinity of Jesus. In any case, Scripture reveals many places where God is in time interacting with the world. He is walking around in a garden, He is speaking to Moses, etc. So it cannot be true that God is always sitting above time.


I’m confused. Are you really saying that, considering that expressions in English differ from expressions in Koine Greek, that the “I AM” of Koine Greek is inaccurate? Seriously? You’re claiming that a translation into a later language trumps the expression in the original language? :roll_eyes:

When I witness the lack of understanding of Koine Greek in JW theology, in its theological musings of John 1:1, I need consider their propositions no further… :man_shrugging:

The fact that God interacts with humans within the framework of creation does not contract the assertion that God exists outside of that framework. (After all, I don’t live where you do… but that doesn’t prevent me from interacting with you, does it? :wink: )


How do you translate eimi in John 14:9 ?
John 14:9 Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?
Why is eimi translated “I have been” here, and not “I am” ? It is the same word, is it not as in John 8:58?
Anyone can check it easily and see it is the same word eimi in both places:

Your use of the word “seriously” here indicates a certain attitude on your part, but does not answer the question as to why the word eimi is translated differently in the two mentioned passages.


I thought that Jesus was God and He existed in time 2000 years ago?


OK, so… you realize that you’re arguing a feature of the English language, right? That is, you’re arguing a translation as if it applied backward to the target language! (And yes, that’s the source of the ‘attitude’ you’re hearing… :wink: )

Fine. In English, it’s called the “present perfect” tense. :wink:

(Don’t confuse this tense in English with the Koine Greek ‘perfect tense’, though. As you point out, in both of these two examples, eimi is in the same tense, even if it’s translated as English ‘simple present’ in one and English ‘present perfect’ in the other… :+1: )

God exists atemporally and is eternal. Jesus – that is, the 2nd person of God made Incarnate – became human 2000 years ago. No contradiction there. The fact that Jesus has human existence (and therefore a ‘beginning’, from a human perspective) does not imply that God in his entirety began 2000 years ago).


God is God. God can predict the future. Jesus did it in Matther 26:45 “Then He returned to the disciples and said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! See, My betrayer is approaching!” 47While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and elders of the people”.…

Jesus spoke to his apostles saying “Look, my betrayer is at hand” talking about Judas. Of course, he did not just “figure out” that Judas was to betray him, rather he KNEW that this was to happen, he KNEW it would be Judas. This shows that God can predict the future.

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