Possible solution to the Omniscience/Free-will problem


#1

I recently created a post regarding the problem reconciling free-will and Gods omniscience. If God knows what we will have ever done(perfect future tense) than we could not have done other wise.

My teacher is brilliant, he proposed a solution. Note that he has no degree in philosophy, only physics.

He noted the doppler shift and the fact that the universe is expanding. However outside the outter boundries of the physical universe, there void, emptiness, NOTHING…The universe expands into this nothingness but before the expansion reaches a point outside the universe, it dosen’t exist.

My teacher, using this analogy concluded that the future does not exist. There is only the present and the past. It makes so much sense. God dosen’t know what we will have chosen but knows isntead what we choose…

i think it is brilliant and want to continue studying under this guy.
what are your thoughts?


#2

Past, present and future are all functions of time, which is a man-made concept or man-made measure, unlike the physical mass of an object, etc. This is not to be confused with weight, which is a relative term like time as well. Whether we are on the moon, here on earth, or Jupiter, an object of 1kg mass, will be the same 1kh wherever we go.

Anyway, as humans we are limited to a certain level of knowledge, and that we can never know what the Creator knows or even intends for us to know. So, for the entertainment value of your Prof.- go ahead and talk it up. However, I think there are better things to do with your time.


#3

[quote=Anonymous_1]I recently created a post regarding the problem reconciling free-will and Gods omniscience. If God knows what we will have ever done(perfect future tense) than we could not have done other wise.

My teacher is brilliant, he proposed a solution. Note that he has no degree in philosophy, only physics.

He noted the doppler shift and the fact that the universe is expanding. However outside the outter boundries of the physical universe, there void, emptiness, NOTHING…The universe expands into this nothingness but before the expansion reaches a point outside the universe, it dosen’t exist.

My teacher, using this analogy concluded that the future does not exist. There is only the present and the past. It makes so much sense. God dosen’t know what we will have chosen but knows isntead what we choose…

i think it is brilliant and want to continue studying under this guy.
what are your thoughts?
[/quote]

That would be heretical. There is no problem reconciling these two ideas because the don’t contradict in any way.


#4

Hi A, what you are purposing is known as the open view of God.
Search on Gregory Boyd on google for pages dealing with it.


#5

Years ago in college, when I was struggling with faith issues, one of the things that kept me from coming back to Christianity was the apparent contradiction of God’s omiscience and human free will. If God knows infallibly what we will choose to do in the future, do we really have a choice as to what we will do? While much can be said about it, I finally came to the conclusion that while God KNOWS what we will decide, his knowlege is not the CAUSE of what we will decide. Also, trying to solve this problem by saying that God does not know the future would be to deny His omniscience, something that renders God a victim of time the same way humans are. And, if humans have no free will, then Christianity is irrelevant, as we cannot choose for or against God. That, to me, makes less sense than the problem of omiscience/free will. - Rob in Oregon


#6

why is it heretical? dont just say something is heretical, what did i say that was heretical? if i find it to be so i will delete it and apologize…

the problem is not with causation…
if God knows everything that we will have(notice the future perfect tense) ever done…then everything we will have ever done is, so to speak, set in stone…we can not do anything other wise…right? in essence we have already done it even though we have not even reached that point in time…

interesting…i am going to modify the original post until i attempt to clarify some issues with my professor…im starting to see why this could lead to ideas that are heretical…


#7

it wont let me edit…

how?


#8

I don’t know how accurate this view is, but this is how I’ve always come to terms with the idea of free will and God’s omniscience.

For me, it’s like this Star Trek: The Next Generation episode I saw once. It was one where Worf was stuck in some sort of quantum time bubble, and everything kept changing around him. Fox example: he was at his party and one minute the cake was chocolate and then it was vanilla, one minute the captain wasn’t there and then he was.

As the show progressed, more and more things changed based on people’s decisions.

The idea of the show was that for each “reality” we live in, there is another “reality” which exhibits all the different decisions we could have made. So, in one “reality” I would have decided to marry my husband and that “reality” would exhibit the consequences of that decision, whereas another “reality” would exhibit my decision to not marry my husband and the consequences of that decision.

So, where I view God’s omniscience is that He is God and can see all the different “realities” all at the same time.

I’m not sure who “theologically” correct this view is, and I’m not saying it is, but it is just my way of getting my small mind to wrap itself around the idea of free will and God’s omniscience.

Scout :tiphat:


#9

[quote=Scout]I don’t know how accurate this view is, but this is how I’ve always come to terms with the idea of free will and God’s omniscience.

For me, it’s like this Star Trek: The Next Generation episode I saw once. It was one where Worf was stuck in some sort of quantum time bubble, and everything kept changing around him. Fox example: he was at his party and one minute the cake was chocolate and then it was vanilla, one minute the captain wasn’t there and then he was.

As the show progressed, more and more things changed based on people’s decisions.

The idea of the show was that for each “reality” we live in, there is another “reality” which exhibits all the different decisions we could have made. So, in one “reality” I would have decided to marry my husband and that “reality” would exhibit the consequences of that decision, whereas another “reality” would exhibit my decision to not marry my husband and the consequences of that decision.

So, where I view God’s omniscience is that He is God and can see all the different “realities” all at the same time.

I’m not sure who “theologically” correct this view is, and I’m not saying it is, but it is just my way of getting my small mind to wrap itself around the idea of free will and God’s omniscience.

Scout :tiphat:
[/quote]

It’s kinda close theologically.


#10

Who said there is a problem?

Gene

P.S. What has been proposed is similar to what is called in Evangelical circles, Open Theology, that God does not know the future until it happens.

Ugh! I’ll stick with revealed Truth.


#11

Regarding the professor who posited that God does not know the future because it does not exist yet: Then it follows that the big bang and the creation of the universe came as a complete surprise to God, who did not see it coming. He had no idea that it would happen because it was in the future, which did not exist yet. I wonder how the professor would answer this dilemna. The professor seems to believe in a very limited God. I encountered a lot of professors like this when I attended University of Oregon. They should not be taken too seriously. - Rob in Oregon


#12

[quote=Anonymous_1]I recently created a post regarding the problem reconciling free-will and Gods omniscience. If God knows what we will have ever done(perfect future tense) than we could not have done other wise.

My teacher is brilliant, he proposed a solution. Note that he has no degree in philosophy, only physics.

He noted the doppler shift and the fact that the universe is expanding. However outside the outter boundries of the physical universe, there void, emptiness, NOTHING…The universe expands into this nothingness but before the expansion reaches a point outside the universe, it dosen’t exist.

My teacher, using this analogy concluded that the future does not exist. There is only the present and the past. It makes so much sense. God dosen’t know what we will have chosen but knows isntead what we choose…

i think it is brilliant and want to continue studying under this guy.
what are your thoughts?
[/quote]

I think that assertion is very problematic and not an acurate description of God omniscience. God knows past, present and future and is in the eternal now. Even though analogies don’t fully suffice on describing truth I’ll use this one anyway. I once heard this analogy:

Gods omniscience is like someone on a tall building looking down at two cars (the cars being people) and God can see one of the cars headed straight for a wall that will completely destroy it, yet He allows it to continue even though God has put up signs along the path trying to warn this car to stop and turn back and it eventually smashes into the wall. This car had the free choice to continue or turn back even on its self-destructive path.

Another car is going on the same path but stops and turns around because it has seen and acted on the warning signs God has placed.
Now, why did God allow the first car to smash into the wall? Because the car had free will and chose not to stop and turn back. God knew what would happen to the car even though He knew what the future held for the car and yet He allowed it to crash. God knew their past, (where the cars had been), present (where the cars are now) and future (what will happen to them).

And as is Catholic theology on predestination. God predestines people to heaven but NOT to hell; that would be blasphemous to a God who is love and would be teaching Calvinism. God who is love doesn’t violate mans free will or free choice.


#13

Time exists because of the possibility of change in the created world. God does not change (as we know from Aristotle, Plato, Aquinas, Augustine, etc. and from Divine Revelation. “I am the Lord, and I change not.”) Time is a creature. God apprehends all of time – past, present, and future – at once and so is eternal. In an anological sense, He sees all of time at once laid out like a comic strip. Clearly, to see something happen is not to make happen. Thus, His foreknowledge should not be confused as a constraint on free will.

In fact, God’s providence incorporates secondary causes (i.e. human agents with free will) under His own Primary Causality. The existence of free will does not limit God’s omnipotence or omniscence. In fact, our free will is precisely the product of God’s omnipotence. His Providence incorporates the effects of our free will.

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote:

There are certain intermediaries of God’s providence; for He governs things inferior by superior, not on account of any defect in His power, but by reason of the abundance of His goodness; so that the dignity of causality is imparted even to creatures (Ia, q. 22 a. 3).

For the providence of God produces effects through the operation of secondary causes (Ia, q. 23, a. 5).

We are among the intermediaries and secondary causes. Pascal wrote that

God instituted prayer in order to lend to his creatures the dignity of causality.


#14

I see the problem now…

how do i delete this thread?
lol


#15

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