If I were God, I'd know the entire history of the universe forever, future as well as past, I'd also know in advance every one of my own acts.

Oh, but wait, there's a dilemma there, isn't there?

Either God is bound by his future acts and has no free will, or he isn't omniscient at all because he doesn't know the future.

I call this The Problem of Omniscience.

Views: 1895

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

You've just revealed the logical incompatibility of omniscience and omnipotence.

But if you'd created the universe, you would be.

Fail.  Creating the universe means you'd be extremely powerful, but it doesn't mean you'd be all-powerful, which is to say, it doesn't necessarily mean you'd be able to do absolutely anything.  Perhaps you would be unable to create a larger universe, just for instance.

This whole thread has been about the logical consequences "all powerful" and "all knowing" would bring in, and how they contradict themselves and the notion of free will.

But if free will exists at all, you'd use your free will to change the future.  Then follow it.

But then God is not all knowing if he doesn't know what you will do (via free will). If he does somehow know what you will do with your free will...then you don't really have any meaningful free will. Your free will is not so different from a computer program. Can you really say you've given a computer a free will or more control over its own program...if you know what it is going to do?

Throwing free will into the everything-God conundrum doesn't solve the all-knowing with all-powerful problem. It just creates more problems/confusion/questions.

Can god ride a bicycle?

Can god paint like Picasso or Michelangelo? Or Da Vinci?

I see another flaw in your argument. 

"God is bound by his future acts and has no free will

- but what about God's actions outside the universe, where time does not exist?  I'm talking hypothetically. 

But if there is no time then everything that could happen would all happen at once therefore he could not act? Ok, time for my porridge.

Well, I presume he could transcend time.  Stuff like that would not apply to him. 

It's interesting that things require time in which to happen - or maybe things happening creates time. 

Transcendence. Oh, yes. I forgot about that. 

Simon, is there anything you know of that either exists or happens out of time and space? 

Wherever something can happen time exists if only so that there can be a before and after. Before God's action and after. 

This isn't a problem, actually.  God could know the future based on the current state of the Universe, exercise free will to make a decision which changes that future, and then know that new future.  Like me knowing that if I pull the red lever an alarm will sound, and if I pull the blue lever a California Roll will appear, and then deciding to pull the blue lever.  Decisions based on free will can simply change the future path of the Universe.

More importantly: Such arguments are irrelevant to the question of God's existence, because they are non-falsifiable: A believer can simply claim that God's omnipotence sidesteps any such problems. How can God's powers contradict the laws of thermodynamics? Because God made it so. Why does all evidence about the Earth's age contradict Biblical claims? Because God made it so. How can God be omniscient *and* have free will? Because God made it so.  And so forth.

It's like debating the existence of Santa Claus by questioning the time it would take him to visit every Christian household:  believers just say "Well, Timmy, Santa uses magic!" To me, it's not a worthwhile or valid basis for debate.

And: I'm definitely pulling the blue lever :-)

RSS

© 2020   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service