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Featured No one—even God—can know in advance what a free-will agent will choose

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by ClementofA, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "No one—even God—can know in advance what a (libertarian) free-will agent will choose. For if He did know in advance what you will choose, then you are not free to choose."

    If you disagree, please provide an argument (or proof or evidence) why with Scripture & or logic, reason, etc.

    Further comments by the person quoted above follow:

    "For example, suppose God knows you are going to eat an ice-cream cone at 2 P.M. tomorrow. That implies that you CANNOT refrain from eating an ice-cream cone at 2 P.M. tomorrow. For if through your free will, you could refrain and did refrain, then God didn't know that you would eat an ice-cream cone at 2 P.M. tomorrow."

    "I should also make clear that God not knowing in advance what we will choose in no way implies that he is not omniscient. For God DOES know all that is possible to know. No one can know the future (in the absolute sense of "know") because the future does not yet exist, and so there is nothing to know."
     
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  2. Not me

    Not me Righteousness is right and not me.

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    “This does no damage to the onmiscient of God.” True.

    But things need to be divided between “before the fall” and “after the fall”

    “Before the fall”, in Adams first created state, he was free to choose. This is why we find in Genesis, God telling us “He brought all the animals to Adam to see what He would call them” for He didn’t know which name(s) Adam would choose. He knew all the “possibilities” but not which one. For Adam’s will was free to choose.

    Now “after the fall” God does know what man will choose. The proof of this is in the scripture “he that sins is a slave of sin”. For all one would have to know is the master and one will know what the slave will do. This is how God knows ( His foreknowledge) which ones will choose to come to Him that He might heal them. Fallen mankind has been given the choice of light or darkness, fire or water. This alone is mans free will after the fall. He can only choice which nature will control him, the good or the evil. But has no power to “do” good on His own. Only as he submits or yields himself to one master or the other.

    For this is how and why God can righteousness judge mankind, for he has the ability to “choose” which nature will control him.

    I realize this will start a whirlwind, but ask God if there is any truth in these statements. For this is not written to human reasoning, but to the Spirit of Christ in the reader. For all of the “truths of God” are spiritually discerned.

    Much love in Christ, Not me
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  3. THE W

    THE W AFRIKANB0T

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    so much for prophesies since you can't determine a future that doesn't exist.
     
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  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Nuts!
     
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  5. MyGivenNameIsKeith

    MyGivenNameIsKeith Well-Known Member

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    You are speaking from both sides of your mouth. You started the thread with saying God is not-omniscient, and ended it by saying this no way implies he is not omniscient.
    The fact remains, he does know what you are going to do before you do it.
    See, his ways are higher than our own.
    We as sinners, in our depraved moral state in the flesh, if WE knew what was to happen and gave someone free will, say like a spouse, and knew they were going to cheat on us, we would stop them correct?
    Like God knew we were going to sin before we sinned.
    So it comes to the question...why didn't he stop us?
    Free will.
    We aren't robots, he does correct us, but he in no way forces us. Because forcing someone to love you is not love.
    Giving of yourself freely to another is unselfish. The person having the free will and choosing to love you is real.
    Go eat your ice cream.
    or not.
    It's up to you.
    But we already know what you are going to do, don't we?
    or do we?
    with sprinkles?
    waffle cone?
    milkshake instead?
    free will.
    if God did not give us free will, he would never have given of himself in the form of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for us. Bearing sin, grief, sorrow for everyone, including you and I....
    Just so you could have a theological argument over whether or not to have an ice cream cone at 2 pm on the morrow.
    You forget the power that saved you.
    I urge you to remember that he died, was buried and raised on the third day according to how it was written.
    Before he even walked the earth.
    It was written before it happened!!!
    The same could be said about the 2pm ice cream. It is here in this thread in writing. Whether or not you have one makes no difference as it is irrelevant. The fact is, that if you look at a clock and it says 2pm tomorrow....you are going to think about an ice cream cone.
     
  6. MyGivenNameIsKeith

    MyGivenNameIsKeith Well-Known Member

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    post messed up
     
  7. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Please elaborate. I assume you disagree with the OP.
     
  8. Lily of Valleys

    Lily of Valleys Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that time didn't exist until God created the universe. God is beyond time.

    Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
    Before the mountains were born
    Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
    Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

    You turn man back into dust
    And say, “Return, O children of men.”

    For a thousand years in Your sight
    Are like yesterday when it passes by,
    Or as a watch in the night.


    (Psalm 90:1-4 NASB)​
     
  9. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    There is no "advance" for God, because He exists in eternity, so that all things are present to Him immediately.
     
  10. Lily of Valleys

    Lily of Valleys Well-Known Member

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    A biblical counterexample:

    Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” (Matthew 26:34 NASB)

    And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:56-62 NASB)

    God knew Peter would choose to deny Jesus out of his free will before it actually happened. He not just knew it, He also knew when exactly it would happen and how many times it would happen. Yet, Peter was still free to choose to deny Jesus even though God already knew what he would choose.
     
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  11. Lily of Valleys

    Lily of Valleys Well-Known Member

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    No, it doesn't imply that. Knowing something is going to happen is not the same as forcing something to happen.
     
  12. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    God knows the future, because it's spread out in front of Him like a map. Just as you can look anywhere you please on a map, and point to any specific place, so He can look at the map and point to any specific event He wants to.

    But that in no way implies that He predestines you to salvation or damnation, as that is still your choice. He merely sees you making the choice. That's not the same thing as forcing you to do so.

    The fact that He sees you eating an ice cream at 2pm tomorrow doesn't mean He forced you to eat an ice cream tomorrow. You could choose to have a coffee instead, and He'll just watch you having a coffee at 2pm tomorrow.

    What is a mystery is how He can have a plan of salvation if all He's doing is watching 7 billion people drinking coffee or eating ice cream at 2pm tomorrow. He'd have to be more active than that, otherwise this Plan of His depends on nothing more than the collective free choices of humanity, most of the choices being inconsequential eg. eating ice cream, adding up to some sort of eternal Plan.

    He's in the mix somehow, and so is the devil, but don't ask me how. He does know what you'll do - whether you'll CHOOSE for Him or against Him.

    I make the claim my own father turned up in my own room the night he died. He started with an apology for the way he'd treated me, including saying at one stage "I've been an absolute mongrel to you!" and "I can't believe how cruel and stupid I've been" and "I did it deliberately" (ie. destroyed my confidence) etc.

    However he also said at one point "I always was doomed! I didn't really have any choice!" I argued back (and I was an atheist back then, nearly 40 years ago), saying "That can't be right!" He replied "Oh, it's right, all right, you can see that from here!"

    But later in the same exchange, he admitted "I was WILLING!". I'd say, very willing, since I was on the receiving end of his cruelty for 20 years. My sister tried to commit suicide twice when she was about 14, as I'd moved away from home and she copped more of it as I was no longer there to be the floor mat. Fortunately she survived both attempts.

    It's a mystery, this peculiar mix of predestination and free will. But even if God watches us do things, we've still got free will, and we're still WILLING. Watching a thief break into a home and steal is not the same thing as making him break into the home and steal.
     
  13. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    I disagree. :)

    What do you think, if I know person so well that I can say what he does in certain situation, have I disturbed free will? If I know what you answer to this, have I influenced to your free will?


    I think it is possible for God to know people so well that He know what they will choose in all situations. And knowing that doesn’t influence in any way to free will.
     
  14. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    Sorry, double post.
     
  15. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    ...
     
  16. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    The problem is with the understanding of time from God’s perspective:

    1. Over the last 100 years now it has been experimentally shown: “Time is Relative” and no experiment has shown anything different. So how relative would time be for God?

    2. We might agree: “God exists throughout the universe simultaneously”, so why could God not exist simultaneously throughout time?

    3. Man is limited to moving along a single time line and really only knows that existence, so when God communicates with man he has to communicate from man’s perspective.

    4. There could be in the Spiritual realm a sequencing of events different from man’s sequencing of events, so God would not be limited by man’s time.

    5. “Knowing in advance or foreknowledge” can be from man’s perspective, with there not being “in advance” from God’s perspective since He is already there.

    6. God being in all human time simultaneously would mean He knows all man’s autonomous free will choices from the beginning of man’s time, but that does not mean man did not make free will choices.

    7. When we talk about some “future” choice we are talking about the future being from man’s perspective, while for God the “man’s future” is like man’s past unchangeable.

    8. From man’s perspective it is like God knows a future choice man makes, but from God’s perspective He knows the free will choice man made in the future (the way we can know history and yet man can still have made free will choices in history with us knowing those choices today).
     
  17. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    double post
     
  18. Paul Porter

    Paul Porter A Voice Among Many

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    As a Christian I'm sure you are concerned to know the truth. I know that faith is a powerful tool for motivation, but please explain how faith alone can determine the validity of something? You fall back on scripture and Biblical mythology as the basis for your claims, however critical analysis of The Bible and the claims it makes does not suggest that scripture is even meant to be literally true. The youth of America today think that being a conservative or a fundamentalist Christian is not a good role model. The religious groups themselves commissioned a report into the dramatic decline of evangelistic membership in particular and religion in general. It was published at the end of last year in Religion News, I can send you that link if you wish. It says that on current trends these literalist Christian groups will die out within one generation because they can't replace natural wastage. If you can't recruit enough new blood then you have no future it's that simple.
     
  19. Not me

    Not me Righteousness is right and not me.

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    Truth doesn't change. As scripture says, "if Christ has not been raised from the died, we of all man are the most to be pitied." Question is: Was Christ raised from the dead?

    Much love in Christ, Not me
     
  20. jesus316

    jesus316 All Truth is in Jesus Supporter

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    God doesn't know things like this. God is unfolding through time along with his creation.
     
  21. jesus316

    jesus316 All Truth is in Jesus Supporter

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    God doesn't know things like this. God is unfolding through time along with his creation.
     
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