Omniscience and Free Will.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:23 pm

Claire wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:06 pm
I was the one who mentioned God and time first, about Him being in the "now" always, etc, Moon. SEG didn't understand. SEG is the one who brought God down to the level of humans.
Yes you did and you mentioned C S Lewis and his idea of god seeing everything in an eternal moment. This is a long standing idea. It's found in Boethius and implied in Augustine but it seems to me to stem from an adaptation of Christianity to Platonism. I would prefer to say that God, in his essence, lacks temporal properties, both sequential and momentary. This is in line with Orthodox thinking and early Protestant thinking but is a little different from the scholastic concept of God you may be more used to. It then opens up the idea of God having a bipolar temporal relation to the cosmos. There is some good stuff on this by the physicist John Polkinghorne https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkHfWezUAak

Claire
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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by Claire » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:19 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:I am not convinced the concept of free will is a very useful one. Even when speaking of human beings different people use the term in different ways. But aside from that and in spite of Claire rejecting the idea initially you have both fallen into the trap of ascribing temporality to God. In order for God to make a choice and then change his mind that choice would have to have a location in time but if God's choices are non temporal then there would be no time at which the choice was made and no later time at which it was changed. The choice itself would be eternal and therefore unchanging. This fits well with the understanding in modern physics that time itself is an aspect of the cosmos, or from a theological perspective something created.

There has been some speculation about God having both temporal and eternal aspects, and if this is so then in his temporal aspect God could change his mind but this would apply only to his energies or actions not to his essence. It is sometimes said that talk of God foreknowing is anthropomorphic, that is seeing God revealing himself in human terms, however an alternative to this is that the language in question is anthropophanic, concerning God assuming a human attribute in order to become comprehensible to humans.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:...you mentioned C S Lewis and his idea of god seeing everything in an eternal moment. This is a long standing idea. It's found in Boethius and implied in Augustine but it seems to me to stem from an adaptation of Christianity to Platonism.
I already knew it wasn't C.S. Lewis's idea. And, after I brought up God existing outside of time and not bound by it, it seemed to go so far over SEG's head. Then, he placed God on the same level as human beings, and I argued the same back, but not because I personally believe God is on the same level as human beings. I was trying to help him understand omniscience and free will on a basic level. And, what I did doesn't take away from the rest of my arguments.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:I would prefer to say that God, in his essence, lacks temporal properties, both sequential and momentary. This is in line with Orthodox thinking and early Protestant thinking but is a little different from the scholastic concept of God you may be more used to. It then opens up the idea of God having a bipolar temporal relation to the cosmos. There is some good stuff on this by the physicist John Polkinghorne https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkHfWezUAak
I don't think while on Earth we'll ever fully grasp God's relationship to time/space in this life, but it's good to keep thinking about it. As far as existing/acting "outside" of and "inside" of time, and in various different ways, I personally wouldn't doubt it, nor that He probably goes beyond that dual temporal/non-temporal state into other forms of existing that we can't comprehend, not only from a human point of view, but also just from the point of view as beings who are trapped in a temporal state in this life.

captain howdy
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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by captain howdy » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:29 am

We may be confusing the issue somewhat by bringing God into the equation. This appears to be leading down rabbit holes concerning God's nature and perspective and away from the key question; namely

Can you have free will if the future is fixed?

The whole issue revolves around that. Still, it does have theological implications, and those implications are that the Christian tenet that God is omniscient is at odds with the Christian tenet that humans have free will or conscious control of--and hence responsibilities for--their own actions. You can't change the future if it's fixed, and if God is omniscient then the future is fixed. It appears, at least to those of us who are skeptics, that Christianity is for all purposes incoherent. I expect this is what SEG is driving at with this post.

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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by Claire » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:13 am

CaptainHowdy wrote:We may be confusing the issue somewhat by bringing God into the equation. This appears to be leading down rabbit holes concerning God's nature and perspective and away from the key question; namely

Can you have free will if the future is fixed?

The whole issue revolves around that. Still, it does have theological implications, and those implications are that the Christian tenet that God is omniscient is at odds with the Christian tenet that humans have free will or conscious control of--and hence responsibilities for--their own actions. You can't change the future if it's fixed, and if God is omniscient then the future is fixed. It appears, at least to those of us who are skeptics, that Christianity is for all purposes incoherent. I expect this is what SEG is driving at with this post.
God's nature and perspective are key. The issue is an omniscient God and free will. So, how is it confusing it when it is the issue?

If you argue we exist without a free will, then do you have an idea as to why God created us just to control, SEG or Cap?
Last edited by Claire on Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

captain howdy
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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by captain howdy » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:50 am

Oh Claire, no. We mustn't.

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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:55 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:29 am
We may be confusing the issue somewhat by bringing God into the equation. This appears to be leading down rabbit holes concerning God's nature and perspective and away from the key question; namely

Can you have free will if the future is fixed?
SEG seems to be arguing that for all definitions of 'omniscience' 'free will' and 'future is fixed' If god is omniscient the future is fixed and if the future is fixed there cannot be free will. We can challenge either the first or second part. That is either we can say 'there is at least one definition of omniscience and/or at least one definition of 'future is fixed' according to which it is not the case that God if God is omniscient the future is fixed and that will defeat this argument, or we can say there is at least one definition of 'future is fixed' and at least one definition of ;free will' according to which it is not the case that if the future is fixed we cannot have free will, and that will also defeat the argument if successful. I have been working on the first because I think these are easier terms. If you want to debate the second I think you will need to begin by coming up with some definitions of free will and seeing if we share them.
The whole issue revolves around that.
As you can see I don't think it does.
Still, it does have theological implications, and those implications are that the Christian tenet that God is omniscient is at odds with the Christian tenet that humans have free will or conscious control of--and hence responsibilities for--their own actions. You can't change the future if it's fixed, and if God is omniscient then the future is fixed. It appears, at least to those of us who are skeptics, that Christianity is for all purposes incoherent. I expect this is what SEG is driving at with this post.
Whereas I think there are many possible ways in which God could know the future without it being fixed in every respect. And specifically without being fixed in a way that would make all possible definitions of free will non-viable.

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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by Claire » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:03 am

SEG and I's understanding and definition of free will is the same. Where we differ he asserts human beings do not have a free will, ergo we are robots, if God exists and is omniscient.
Last edited by Claire on Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SEG
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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by SEG » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:16 am

SEG and I's ?
“There are no known non-biblical references to a historical Jesus by any historian or other writer of the time during and shortly after Jesus's purported advent.” His so-called life was a farce.

Claire
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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by Claire » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:06 am

Yes, our understanding and definition of free will is the same. Where we differ is you assert human beings do not have a free will, ergo we are robots, if God exists and is omniscient.
Last edited by Claire on Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Omniscience and Free Will.

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:15 am

Claire wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:06 am
Yes, our understanding and definition of free will is the same. Where we differ is you assert human beings do not have a free will, ergo we are robots, if God exists and is omniscient.
You are using an outdated Cartesian anthropology where intentionality and mechanism are the only players in the game, hence whatever lacks intentionality, lacks free will and must be a machine. This is how Descartes viewed animals. But there are non-intentional forms of purpose which Descartes failed to acknowledge.

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