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Old 06-22-2001, 02:51 PM   #11
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Free will and God's omniscience cannot go together. It is a logical impossibility.

For example, if I have a decision that I will make in the future, let's say between two mutually exclusive events (whether to do something or not do that something). If I have free will, there is a non-zero possibility that I will either do that event or not, otherwise, if the possibility of one event is zero, then I cannot do(or not do) that event and I have only one option. If I have no options, I do not have free will.

So, God is supposed to know everything that I will do in my life, before I am even born. This means that God knows the outcome of that decision. This means that the probability of me doing what God knows I will do is certainty. Also, this means that the probability of me doing what God does not expect is zero, unless there is a non-zero possibility that God can be wrong. God cannot be wrong because of omniscience.
Therefore free will and omniscience cannot go together.

Now, with prophesies, they can exist with free will IFF there is a non-zero chance of any prophesy being wrong.

The only two options are with God having omniscience and us with no free will, or with us having free will and God not being able to predict our actions with 100% certainty (no omniscience).

Whether God can be non-omniscient is the topic for another thread: www.infidels.org/electronic/forum/Forum4/HTML/002046.html , which I have started in the Does God Exist? forum.

NPM

(Edited to properly add the link)
(I'm just learning this format )

[This message has been edited by Non-praying Mantis (edited June 22, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Non-praying Mantis (edited June 22, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Non-praying Mantis (edited June 22, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Non-praying Mantis (edited June 22, 2001).]
 
Old 06-22-2001, 03:23 PM   #12
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Recognitions of Clement, book iii, chap xxl regarding
a conversation between Simon Magus and St. Peter.

Then Peter said:"If, then, nothing is in our power, it is
useless for us to inquire anything concerning God, since it
is not in the power of those who seek to find;

offa; I guess we are "up shit creek without a paddle!" Can't
question the divine.


 
Old 06-22-2001, 10:23 PM   #13
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As was pointed out by Non-Praying Mantis, omniscience and free-will APPEAR contradictory. His excellent example is certainly true-but the fact that God knows that we shall CERTAINLY perform action A does not mean we must NECESSARILY perform action A. The logical possiblity remains that we could not perform A. Just because He certainly knows it does not mean that we must necessarily perform it. So both Biblical doctrines of free-will and omniscience can stand.
 
Old 06-23-2001, 06:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pfypher:
As was pointed out by Non-Praying Mantis, omniscience and free-will APPEAR contradictory. His excellent example is certainly true-but the fact that God knows that we shall CERTAINLY perform action A does not mean we must NECESSARILY perform action A. The logical possiblity remains that we could not perform A. Just because He certainly knows it does not mean that we must necessarily perform it. So both Biblical doctrines of free-will and omniscience can stand.</font>
Thank you for the compliment, pfypher, but your logic does not quite hold water. Let us suppose that God knows for certain we will perform action A, ahead of time, before we are even born. Now, we reach the decision time to take action A or not take action A. You are saying that we do not necessarily have to take action A. Let's suppose that we do not make action A, as you surmise must be one of our choices, if we have free will. That means God's knowledge was wrong! God knew we would do action A, and we did not. That is contrary to the definition of omniscience.



[This message has been edited by Non-praying Mantis (edited June 23, 2001).]
 
Old 06-23-2001, 12:25 PM   #15
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You're welcome, Non-Praying Mantis!
Actually, the difference lies in certainty and necessity. Let me put it this way: I am 100% certain that the world is flat. This does not mean the the world is NECESSARILY flat. In fact, it is quite round. The fact that I certainly know it does not mean it is necessarily that way. In regard to God and action A, He is 100% certain that I will perform action A, but just because He is 100% certain does not mean it must necessarily be that way. Therefore, the logical possibility remains that I will not perform action A. And so, in light of God's omniscience, I am still allowed a free-will, even if God knows with 100% certainty that I will perform A.
 
Old 06-23-2001, 01:56 PM   #16
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So, God could be mistaken?

If it is not necessarily the case that I take action A, then I could in fact take action ~A under a certain set of circumstances. However, I can't take action ~A because it would contradict God's knowledge that I take action A.
 
Old 06-23-2001, 02:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pug846:
So, God could be mistaken?

If it is not necessarily the case that I take action A, then I could in fact take action ~A under a certain set of circumstances. However, I can't take action ~A because it would contradict God's knowledge that I take action A.
</font>
No, God can not be mistaken. You can choose ~A but God knows with certainty that you will not. However, that certain knowledge does not remove the logical possibility that you will choose A and still allows free-will.

I am holding a pen in my hand. I can either choose to drop the pen or hold it. God knows with certainty which one I will choose. I choose to drop the pen. Did I have free-will in the matter? Yes. Was God's omniscience contradicted? No, even though He knew with certainty that I would drop the pen. Keep pushing back at this. I'm still trying to figure out this stuff myself....
 
Old 06-23-2001, 03:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JamesKrieger:
From my understanding, the Christian teaching of free-will is relatively
modern, and the early Christians did not believe such a doctrine. Indeed,
it seems that there is no Biblical support whatsoever for this modern
teaching, and that the Bible actually supports the concept of predestination
instead. Thus, the modern Christian teaching of free-will is actually at
odds with the Bible.

Comments from the group?
</font>
Certainly, the doctrine of Predestination has been the predominate doctrine of the Church throughout history, but I do not believe it extends into all actions. In fact, predestination is often confused with fatalism. The traditional doctrine of predestination allows for the free-will of man (but one must define "free-will"). Many early Christian writers believed in a free-will, including Gregory of Nyssa and even Augustine. This is how I understand it, feel free to rip it apart.
 
Old 06-23-2001, 04:59 PM   #19
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pfypher:
I am holding a pen in my hand. I can either choose to drop the pen or hold it. God knows with certainty which one I will choose. I choose to drop the pen. Did I have free-will in the matter</font>
No, if anyone knew with absolute certainty that you would drop the pen then you could not choose not to drop the pen.

Amen-Moses
 
Old 06-23-2001, 08:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pfypher:
You're welcome, Non-Praying Mantis!
Actually, the difference lies in certainty and necessity. Let me put it this way: I am 100% certain that the world is flat. This does not mean the the world is NECESSARILY flat. In fact, it is quite round. The fact that I certainly know it does not mean it is necessarily that way.
</font>
The certainty you refer to is lack of doubt. Hypothetically, I could have absolutely no doubt that the world was flat. The world is actually round. That means that I am wrong, but I still have no doubts. In the real world, I have no doubt that the world is round, therefore I am 100% certain that the world is round. Of course, the world IS round. So I happen to be right in this case.
If God was 100% certain that I would do action A, and instead I do action ~A, then God would be wrong.

NPM

 
 

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