1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    21 Feb '09 15:46
    Phew , you lot really are a struggle sometimes!

    After many threads on the Free Will v Omniscience debate my feeling is that the central "Paradox" of the FW and O idea needs re visiting

    Take the following sentence for example

    S1) " God knows what's going to happen in the future before it happens"

    Now , it strikes me that a sentence like this is very misleading. If this were true it would exclude Free Will. Many people seem to think that this is what Christians believe.

    However, the wording of this also contains some Newtonian assumptions about time being a constant throughout everything.

    For example , the phrase "the future" could suggest that there is one future throughout the universe towards which we are all travelling.

    The phrase "before it happens" suggests that there is a constant point in time which applies to both God and us "before " we choose X and also that there is some point on this assumed Newtonian super-clock when something "happens".

    If we buy into either or both of these assumptions then the paradox snare will start to close in on us and we will start thinking that God can infallibly predict future events (which with free will would be impossible)

    I have been trying to explain that God does not see "into the future" but that his perspective on time is relative to ours.

    I propose a different sentence that includes a bit more relativity in it.

    S2) " Although God can't know what we are going to do unless we actually do it , the point at which we feel we do it is not seen as a future event for him because his eternal nature places him present to all points in time. For us it seems as if our future choices are in THE future , for him it seems like it's happening now (whatever 'now' means for God)"

    Snappy eh? 😀

    My point is that unless we re-wind and re-visit the way we view the original proposition (about God knowing our future) and think about what some of our unconscious assumptions are then we are always likely to fall into the paradox trap.
  2. Joined
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    21 Feb '09 17:19
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Phew , you lot really are a struggle sometimes!

    After many threads on the Free Will v Omniscience debate my feeling is that the central "Paradox" of the FW and O idea needs re visiting

    Take the following sentence for example

    S1) " God knows what's going to happen in the future before it happens"

    Now , it strikes me that a sentence like this ...[text shortened]... us assumptions are then we are always likely to fall into the paradox trap.
    good god i hope nobody picks up this stone again
  3. Joined
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    21 Feb '09 23:16
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    good god i hope nobody picks up this stone again
    Only the one that is without sin should pick it up.
  4. Seattle
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    22 Feb '09 04:38
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Phew , you lot really are a struggle sometimes!

    After many threads on the Free Will v Omniscience debate my feeling is that the central "Paradox" of the FW and O idea needs re visiting

    Take the following sentence for example

    S1) " God knows what's going to happen in the future before it happens"

    Now , it strikes me that a sentence like this ...[text shortened]... us assumptions are then we are always likely to fall into the paradox trap.
    Psalms 139:16 "Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."

    I can simplify your unifying statement.

    God exists out of time, knows everything that has and will happen, and is involved in all that happens.

    here is a pastor I listen to and respect who can much better explain it than I can (the link is an iTunes podcast...obviously free)
    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?i=22316536&id=129950451
  5. weedhopper
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    22 Feb '09 05:25
    Originally posted by knightmeister


    Many people seem to think that this is what Christians believe.
    This one does believe that God is omniscient and knows everfy jot and tittle that we will write, speak, do, etc. before we do them, no matter how insignificant.
  6. Cape Town
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    22 Feb '09 06:16
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Many people seem to think that this is what Christians believe.
    Many of us recognize that Christians hold a wide variety of beliefs. The fact that you get very little support in your threads leads me to believe that your beliefs on this particular topic are not widely held.

    My point is that unless we re-wind and re-visit the way we view the original proposition (about God knowing our future) and think about what some of our unconscious assumptions are then we are always likely to fall into the paradox trap.
    Can God tell me what I will do tomorrow? If so, then the paradox trap is still firmly in place. If not then there is something wrong with the claim that God knows know what I will do tomorrow.
  7. lookin' at ya'
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    22 Feb '09 06:17
    if this is the case then tell me why He had to ask what had Adam and Eve been up to and why had they covered themselves and who told them and also why did he have to ask Cain where his brother was and while where at it who was Cain afraid of when he was told to go out in the big wide world?and dont tell me it was all his brothers and sisters cause that one doesnt cut it at all cause if that was so then he should have known his offering wasnt going to please God because he would have had a long life by then and it wasnt his first offering.
  8. Seattle
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    22 Feb '09 07:12
    Originally posted by secret squirrel
    if this is the case then tell me why He had to ask what had Adam and Eve been up to and why had they covered themselves and who told them and also why did he have to ask Cain where his brother was and while where at it who was Cain afraid of when he was told to go out in the big wide world?and dont tell me it was all his brothers and sisters cause th ...[text shortened]... ing to please God because he would have had a long life by then and it wasnt his first offering.
    there are two questions here.
    1. Why [God] had to ask what had Adam and Eve been up to and why had they covered themselves and who told them...
    This is an interesting theological question, but I think it has a simple answer. It was a call for Adam to be responsible (yes Adam, he didn't call out to Eve, just Adam...Genesis 3:8-13
    ---
    "And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"10And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." 11He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" 12The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." 13Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
    ---
    sadly, Adam (much like most men these days) dumped his responsibility to Eve Genesis 3:12 "The man said, 'The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.'"
    Adam failed when it came to responsiblity, he even implies it's God's fault for giving him the woman...and Eve failed just as badly Psalms 13b "The serpent deceived me, and I ate"
    ----If this explanation doesn't satisfy the first question, please let me know---
    question 2 is actually a translation error that most modern translations have. In the original Hebrew, it did not say that he was afraid of people killing him, rather he feared that all of creation was out to get him, now that he had been cursed by God. So what did Cain fear? Everything...all creatures and possible descendents of any possible tribe. if you want to read a full explanation, Biblegateway.com has a few good commentaries:
    http://www.ewordtoday.com/comments/genesis/mh/genesis4.htm
  9. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Feb '09 07:19
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Phew , you lot really are a struggle sometimes!

    After many threads on the Free Will v Omniscience debate my feeling is that the central "Paradox" of the FW and O idea needs re visiting

    Take the following sentence for example

    S1) " God knows what's going to happen in the future before it happens"

    Now , it strikes me that a sentence like this ...[text shortened]... us assumptions are then we are always likely to fall into the paradox trap.
    I’ve followed this debate with interest. I think that LJ has already essentially deconstructed this in the other thread, but I’ll see if I understand him correctly by taking a stab here:

    If God infallibly knows that I do X from any time perspective (God’s) except at the moment when I actually do it/have done it, then that infallible knowing precludes me from choosing anything other than X (or else God’s knowledge is not infallible).

    If God’s perspective can shift at all to any point prior to that (God’s “now” is relative and open—open in the sense that all points might appear, from God’s perspective, to be simultaneous), then I am precluded from choosing other than X. My perspective is irrelevant.

    If God’s perspective cannot so shift, then God’s infallible knowledge is no different from mine, or another observer from a natural perspective. Any infallible knowing that precludes God from being surprised also precludes that my choice could be different—and therefore works out the same as infallible foreknowledge, whether it can properly be called that (from God’s perspective) or not.

    To say that God infallibly knows that I choose X (from any time perspective), and also to say that I might choose not-X, is not a paradox—it is a contradiction.

    __________________________________________________

    Turn the whole question around, KM—

    Is there any case in which I can choose Y if God knows that I choose X? From whatever God’s time-perspective might be?

    If the answer is “No”, then it only seems to me that I freely choose. The root of the “paradox” lies in my own (fallible) consciousness. To God’s (infallible) consciousness, that is my illusion.
  10. Joined
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    22 Feb '09 07:20
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Phew , you lot really are a struggle sometimes!

    After many threads on the Free Will v Omniscience debate my feeling is that the central "Paradox" of the FW and O idea needs re visiting

    Take the following sentence for example

    S1) " God knows what's going to happen in the future before it happens"

    Now , it strikes me that a sentence like this ...[text shortened]... us assumptions are then we are always likely to fall into the paradox trap.
    we will start thinking that God can infallibly predict future events (which with free will would be impossible)

    Even if God himself has no future (even if all events are "present" all at once to him because he's off in some masturbatory static pose in 'eternity'😉, the content of his eternal knowledge still involves OUR future as temporal beings. If God infallibly knows in eternity that I am A-ing at time T (where time T is now for me still in the future with respect to my own temporal development), then it is still the case that there is no possibility that I can refrain from A-ing at time T. There is nothing in your post that demonstrates anything to the contrary.

    As a secondary problem, correct me if I am wrong but your God seems totally and utterly useless. He himself cannot undergo any events in order to causally affect our timeline because this would make him subject to temporal development. If He were causally efficacious at all with respect to our timeline, then He would be able to change our timeline in some substantive way from, say, timeline 1 to timeline 2. But this then makes him subject to temporal development, which contradicts your claim that everything is all at once present for him (presumably timeline 1 would first have to be present to him but then timeline 2 would be present to him).

    Please don't start any more threads about this any time soon. I'm already losing track of the ones you've recently started all touching on this same ridiculous topic.
  11. Joined
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    22 Feb '09 07:211 edit
    Originally posted by c guy1
    Psalms 139:16 "Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."

    I can simplify your unifying statement.

    God exists out of time, knows everything that has and will happen, and is involved in all that happens.

    here is a pastor I listen to and respec ...[text shortened]... y free)
    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?i=22316536&id=129950451
    God exists out of time, knows everything that has and will happen, and is involved in all that happens.

    Well, that doesn't make any sense. If God exists out of time, then how is it the case that he is "involved" in all that happens in time?
  12. Seattle
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    22 Feb '09 07:39
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    [b]God exists out of time, knows everything that has and will happen, and is involved in all that happens.

    Well, that doesn't make any sense. If God exists out of time, then how is it the case that he is "involved" in all that happens in time?[/b]
    Let's take a basical logical truth as follows: in order to create something, you cannot be bound by it.
    Let's put it a simpler way: I did not create myself at birth...that particular process involved my parents and cell's growing and seperating into the person I am today.

    Now let's apply this simple concept to time.

    I'm going to make two assumption (which may or may not be horrifically inaccurate, either way I respect your beliefs):
    1. That God created everything. Again, I'm not making this as an arguement for a creator God, but rather from the assumption that he exists and am trying to rectify a human condition (ie time).
    2. You take the Bible as truth.

    In order to arrive at my conclusions, two terms must be met.
    A) That God has entered time (ie has been involved)
    B) That God is outside of time
    ----A) First off, I don't need to prove (based on our assumptions) that God has entered history. This is shown (again based upon our assumptions) by the life and death of Jesus Christ, Prophets and the miracles they performed (not to claim that they themselves were divine, but rather that God divinely worked through them), and many other examples.
    ----B) Because time exists, and we decided in our assumptions that God created everything, God must have created time. We also discussed logically that a system cannot be created by something bound by the system. Therefore, God is not bound by time. If he is not bound by time, then he is not limited to it and can therefore exist out of it.


    Again, I am making assumptions (which I stated), and if you don't agree with those two then that is a different arguement entirely.
  13. Joined
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    22 Feb '09 07:52
    Originally posted by c guy1
    Let's take a basical logical truth as follows: in order to create something, you cannot be bound by it.
    Let's put it a simpler way: I did not create myself at birth...that particular process involved my parents and cell's growing and seperating into the person I am today.

    Now let's apply this simple concept to time.

    I'm going to make two assumption ...[text shortened]... ted), and if you don't agree with those two then that is a different arguement entirely.
    I'm just still wondering how your A) and B) are not logically contradictory. If you say "God is outside of time" I would interpret that as your stating that God's existence is constitutively independent from any temporal relations. Your A) on the other hand to me simply contradicts this. One cannot enter into temporal relations if his existence is constitutively independent from temporal relations.

    You seem to think time is this thing God created and then he can enter into and out of this thing as he pleases. I have no idea how that makes any sense whatsoever. I certainly don't agree with an assumption like "God created time" (whatever that even means).
  14. Joined
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    22 Feb '09 07:57
    Originally posted by c guy1
    Let's take a basical logical truth as follows: in order to create something, you cannot be bound by it.
    Let's put it a simpler way: I did not create myself at birth...that particular process involved my parents and cell's growing and seperating into the person I am today.

    Now let's apply this simple concept to time.

    I'm going to make two assumption ...[text shortened]... ted), and if you don't agree with those two then that is a different arguement entirely.
    By the way (maybe off-topic), one of your assumptions is "that God created everything". So God created himself too? That also seems weird.
  15. Seattle
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    22 Feb '09 08:03
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I'm just still wondering how your A) and B) are not logically contradictory. If you say "God is outside of time" I would interpret that as your stating that God's existence is constitutively independent from any temporal relations. Your A) on the other hand to me simply contradicts this. One cannot enter into temporal relations if his existence is cons ...[text shortened]... tainly don't agree with an assumption like "God created time" (whatever that even means).
    alright, now that I know we are not living off of the same assumptions then I will gladly change my methodology.

    What I meant by God created time is this:
    Time exists. The way we measure it (relative to yesterday or a year ago) can be different but it does exist.
    Furthermore, it can't be infinite. If it was then eventually one of two things would happen: as time goes on and atomic decay occurs (think radiation), energy is lost. Eventually the universe will somehow spontaniously regain energy or just die off...
    Therefore, time is a finite quality. Because it is finite, it had to have a beginning. Some attribute this to a big-bang, some to a diety or another...some simply deny this and say it has always existed. Now, where my assumption defers from yours is that I attribute to the start of time with my God, where I don't know exactly where you attribute the start of time (or if you even deny it actually "started" but rather always existed).

    As far as God creating and then moving in and out of time being my beliefs....yes.

    The thing is, under my beliefs there is an all-powerful creator God. The concept of all-powerful means that nothing is impossible. Our simple concepts that limit us (gravity, conservation of energy, etc) do not limit a being with infinite power. Therefore, to God, time is not something confined as a temporal relation, but rather...think of it as a scientist regarding system of experiment. He is not a part of the system. However, he can adjust it, radically alter it, or even destroy it at his whim
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