The problem with forknowledge

The universe is contingent. Foreknowledge is the knowledge of creation (there is no foreknowledge if there is no creation and vice versa). Therefore Foreknowledge is contingent too.

This is problematic since it makes God contingent too.

STT, how does God know things?

God is knowledge so I think asking how is not a good way to approach the problem.

The only way to resolve your concern is to address how God knows things. It’s not simply because He is knowledge. I’d like to understand how you believe God knows things. Certainly we’ve discussed this before in a multitude of other topics on this board. I’d like to know your understanding of it now.

I think God simply knows things. What do you think?

I don’t believe the universe is contingent. :shrug:
Catholics don’t.

God first and primarily knows Himself perfectly. To know other things in themselves requires being acted upon by their effects or by having knowledge of their cause. As God is the cause of all other things, and since God knows the cause perfectly, He has knowledge of all other things. God also knows things that could be but are not, because He knows what is within His power to be the cause of. God knows future things, not because He sees something that is not yet actual, and not because He knows how indeterminate effects of causes will play out before they happen, but because He exists in eternity, which comprises all of time, such that He isn’t having foreknowledge of indeterminate things that are not yet actual, but because He knows these things as they are actual all in His eternal present. God does not experience my past, present, and future successively, but knows it all at once as it presents itself to Him all in His one present. Not that the past present and future are actual all at once, but that God’s present is eternal and these things are within His knowledge all at once.

This isn’t condensed well, and I’m posting from my phone. I suggest reviewing the Summa Theologica, Prima Pars, Question 14 in its entirety: newadvent.org/summa/1014.htm

I also suggest reviwing Summa Contra Gentiles, Book I, Chapters 44 through 71 in its entirety: dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles1.htm

I know we’ve already gone over such things at length elsewhere.

Catholics would consider it contingent.

In another sense, the universe has always existed, because it has always been in God’s mind.

“Always” as in (a) for all time or (b) for an infinite amount of time?

God is outside of Time. There is “no future” for God. All time is before him (so to speak) –all at once.

So it can be said that God does not “forsee” this or that -but rather he sees

Exactly. Infinitely. There is no foreknowledge, no contingency.

You’re mixing God’s knowledge with the universe. The universe is itself contingent.

I agree.

I agree. But that doesn’t solve the problem. Considering the fact that the universe is contingent and the fact that God is free to create the universe or not one can conclude that the universe is actual and not from God perspective which is problematic.

Yes, we were discussing a related problem in another thread which was about whether God can decide or not.

By foresee I mean see from God perspective and foresee from our perspective.

Read again my post. Our perspective is simply that - ours. We are in time.

God is not.

God knows things as they are present to Him. For if a thing is actual, for as long as it is actual, it must also necessarily be. “…[W]hat is known by God must be necessary according to the mode in which they are subject to the divine knowledge … but not absolutely as considered in their own causes.”

That I understand. How what you said resolve the problem?

Something which is necessary cannot be contingent.

God doesn’t know what “will be” in a respect that excludes His knowledge of what “is.” You’re thinking of God as an anthropomorphic outside observer, as if He’s a five-dimensional being who sees our perspective of time as a type of expanded, spatial dimension but who Himself still acts and knows and thinks in some higher dimension of time that He experiences from His perspective. This is not a “B-Theory” of time explanation.

You can’t allow God to have a perspective unaffected by time and then proceed to pull that perspective into a moment of time and critique it from there.

Edit: You are missing the distinction that Aquinas is making, too.

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