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Thread: Does an Omniscient Creator Lead to Fatalism?

  1. #11
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythas View Post
    I'm quite comfortable with this idea and don't have any issue with it. The only issue I have if you are the writer of the movie and you know the man will slip on the banana. If you choose to make that movie then you have caused the man to slip. However you address this concern with the following idea.



    This answer feels a bit hokie to me. It really puts a limit on both Gods power and his ability to know things. It implies that God was shocked by his own creation, that it wasn't what he expected or intended to make. It essentially makes us a bit of an accident.
    If we have a freewill then necessarily, our decisions cause God's foreknowledge of those decisions. But because God, in his infinite capacity, also foreknows every potential outcome, he's not surprised or caught off guard. As I once heard it explained, if I leave my house and turn left, God knows everything that will result from that decision, but he also knows what would happen if I turned right, or went straight ahead, or didn't leave the house at all.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  2. #12
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythas View Post
    ... except that instead of having coffee this morning you had tea.
    That's not a conceivable universe.

  3. Amen Mountain Man amen'd this post.
  4. #13
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Foreknowledge is not causation. God's knowing what would happen does not necessarily mean He caused it.
    So then, if it isn't gods knowledge of the future that's associated with the cause of that future, then in what way does he have knowledge of that future? In other words, if the future does not exist, what is it's cause, and if it isn't god, then how does god know what it will be? If you say I don't know, if you have no answer whatsoever, then we can all assume that you are wrong. We've had this discussion so many times seer, and never do you have an actual answer to this question. Your only response is that foreknowledge is not itself causation, even though the opposing argument is not that foreknowledge is the cause. The argument is that god is the cause, having foreknowledge is just the evidence that god is the cause.

  5. #14
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLamebrain View Post
    So then, if it isn't gods knowledge of the future that's associated with the cause of that future, then in what way does he have knowledge of that future? In other words, if the future does not exist, what is it's cause, and if it isn't god, then how does god know what it will be? If you say I don't know, if you have no answer whatsoever, then we can all assume that you are wrong. We've had this discussion so many times seer, and never do you have an actual answer to this question. Your only response is that foreknowledge is not itself causation, even though the opposing argument is not that foreknowledge is the cause. The argument is that god is the cause, having foreknowledge is just the evidence that god is the cause.
    Suppose you have a time machine, and you observe a man go about his daily business. Now if you travel back in time, you have foreknowledge of what the man will do that day, but your knowledge is not the cause of his actions; rather, your knowledge is the result of his actions.

    God, being outside of the universe's temporal limits, is able to observe the whole of universal history from beginning to end. From my perspective, God knows what I will do in the future. From God's perspective, he knows because he's already seen me do it.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  6. #15
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Suppose you have a time machine, and you observe a man go about his daily business. Now if you travel back in time, you have foreknowledge of what the man will do that day, but your knowledge is not the cause of his actions; rather, your knowledge is the result of his actions.

    God, being outside of the universe's temporal limits, is able to observe the whole of universal history from beginning to end. From my perspective, God knows what I will do in the future. From God's perspective, he knows because he's already seen me do it.
    If you could travel into the future, then obviously the future already exists, ergo obviously there is no such thing as free will.
    Last edited by JimL; 12-19-2017 at 04:31 PM.

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    You're arguing about things you really don't understand.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  8. Amen MaxVel amen'd this post.
  9. #17
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    You're arguing about things you really don't understand.
    Hmmm, great come back MM. Run along now, lets see if anyone else actually has a logical answer to this.

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Seriously, Jimmy, claiming that "if you can travel into the future then the future already exists" shows such a fundamental ignorance of the theoretical, scientific, and philosophical principles involved that I'm at a loss as to where to begin answering you simply because it would take more time and energy than I'm willing to invest.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  11. #19
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythas View Post
    I am really struggling to resolve this idea in my head, and have been praying that I will come to peace with it, but I just can't let go of it.
    I don't believe in any gods, which makes it easier to answer this question.

    The simplest solution is to allow "free will."

    In this context, that means curtailing omniscience to allow a god's creations to make surprising choices.

    Omniscience and omnipotence and occasionally omnibenevolence are often created as attributes for gods without considering their consequences. I'm fairly sure actual gods, if they existed, would not be constrained by the need to accommodate the paradoxical requirements of modern day theological philosophers.

  12. #20
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythas View Post
    I'll start with two assumptions that I think most Christians can agree with.

    1. God is Omniscient.He is all knowing of all things through all time. He is able to see ever chain of cause and effect through to its end.
    2. God created the universe. My point doesn't depend on the mechanism of creation simply that God initiated it.

    If these two assumptions hold then prior to God creating the universe he was able to know what would happen if he were to create that universe. He has able to see every global event, and every personal event that would occur if he were to go through with creating that particular universe. He would also have been able to consider other universes that he could have created. Ones with different fundamental laws of physics, ones where DNA strands operate differently, ones where the nature of peoples hearts are different, even ones where everything is identical to the current universe except that instead of having coffee this morning you had tea. An omniscient and omnipotent God had all of these options before him and yet he chose to create the universe we live in. Seeing as how he knew exactly what would happen if he were to create the world, and he had other options for worlds he could create wouldn't that make life one big simulation.

    Doesn't this break the idea of free will. I am familiar with and am comfortable with many of the explanations of how there can be free will with an omniscient God (ie. knowing that someone will do something doesn't take away their choice to do that thing). However none of these explanations (that I can find) address the issue that if you know what someone will do if you create them, and you could also create them differently knowing what they would do in that case as well, then how does this creation have any choice in what they do. They are just the result of you picking to create that particular instance.

    I am really struggling to resolve this idea in my head, and have been praying that I will come to peace with it, but I just can't let go of it.
    research molinism.

    basically it is this. God knows every free will choice that you will ever make (all of us) and he actualizes the world where all of our free will choices end up aligning with his ultimate plan.

    for example. Let's say you have a choice to eat cereal or pop tarts this morning. It's your choice. In one possible universe you choose cereal of your own free will. In another you choose pop tarts. in another you choose to skip breakfast. God actualizes the universe where you freely choose to skip breakfast, leave the house early and run into the mailman who needs some advice that you can provide. Everything happens just like God wants, but it is all due to your free will decisions. YOU chose to skip breakfast.
    Last edited by Sparko; 12-19-2017 at 07:35 PM.

  13. Amen MaxVel amen'd this post.

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