1. Cape Town
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    04 Mar '08 12:43
    In various threads I have discussions with knightmeister and others about the implications of God 'knowing' the future and whether that constitutes determinism or time travel etc and whether or not it tells us something significant about the nature (laws) of our universe.
    In the Noahs Ark thread, Kelly has suggested that land animals were originally created vegetarians and that only later did they start eating meat. He further implies that no significant changes were made to their body design. To me, this implies some careful forethought on the part of God ie he knew that they would be required to eat meat in future and so designed them accordingly.

    Now my ignoring the fact that most of you probably don't accept the Noahs ark story as a factual account, my question to theists is:
    Since God knows the future, does he ever do things specifically because of a planned future outcome as in the pre-planned carnivores example above?
    Note that it is a free will situation in that mans sin brought about the change, so once God created his vegetarian carnivores, the future sins of man were inevitable.
  2. Joined
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    04 Mar '08 14:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    In various threads I have discussions with knightmeister and others about the implications of God 'knowing' the future and whether that constitutes determinism or time travel etc and whether or not it tells us something significant about the nature (laws) of our universe.
    In the Noahs Ark thread, Kelly has suggested that land animals were originally cre ...[text shortened]... hange, so once God created his vegetarian carnivores, the future sins of man were inevitable.
    Yes, an omniscient/omnipotent God that created all and knows the outcome is incompatible with all that talking about free will and sin.
  3. England
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    04 Mar '08 15:34
    god knows the future yes. but it is our steps that lead us there. he tells us so we will change, for our sake. the way to god is by his grace so it is up to the person to seek it if you do not then you were warned.
  4. Joined
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    04 Mar '08 16:14
    Reading the book of Genesis one discovers God's transcendence over time.

    Particularly, the story of Joseph, reveals that God's providence and sovereignty over events is supernatural. It is as if time exists for human convenience. But time is kind of wrapped around this eternal Being who can extend His activity within time but also transcends it.



    Joseph had a dream of his parents and brothers bowing down to him in homage as he reigned over them. For the dream he had, they were annoyed. And his brothers plotted to kill him but were pleased just to sell him into slavery.

    As a result of his godly character he rose to power in Egypt and his family was forced to seek his aid. They ended up bowing down to him in homage. The very dream that Joseph had became the catalyst for God to fulfill His purposes with Joseph.

    We see in Genesis and other books God's transcendence over time. And Paul informs us:

    "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

    God alone has a unique ability to cause the past events to work out for good to those who love Him and are called to His eternal purpose. How He is able to do this we do not know. But it is an essential characteristic of the Bible. God causes the past to turn out to a positive result which furthers His purpose and becomes a blessing to those who love Him.

    Some say that because of this kind of foreknowledge and predestination free will is impossible. But I don't think this has ever been made an irrefutable argument. Besides, He may know the future but we do not usually. What is stopping you from making your choice right now for Christ and God or against Christ and God?

    To our sensation the decision to turn to or away from God is completely up to us.

    One thing is sure, it is extremly powerful to put one's trust in the teaching of Romans 8:28. Not that we should do bad things that good may come about. But to have the rock solid peace that nothing in our lives was an accident. God can use EVERYTHING to turn out to a positive result for good to those who will simply love Him and yield themselves to His eternal purpose.

    Like Joseph's we can witness how the entire past was utilized by God to both humble us and exalt us into His management of the universe according to His eternal plan.
  5. Cape Town
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    05 Mar '08 06:58
    Originally posted by stoker
    god knows the future yes. but it is our steps that lead us there. he tells us so we will change, for our sake. the way to god is by his grace so it is up to the person to seek it if you do not then you were warned.
    So if I don't get there is is because God forgot to tell me?

    I don't quite understand your post, are you saying that God not only knows the future but changes it?
  6. Cape Town
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    05 Mar '08 07:04
    Originally posted by jaywill
    As a result of his godly character he rose to power in Egypt and his family was forced to seek his aid. They ended up bowing down to him in homage. The very dream that Joseph had became the catalyst for God to fulfill His purposes with Joseph.
    Actually it had nothing to do with his 'Godly character'. It was either:
    1. Direct assistance from God in terms of scaring Pharaoh with dreams etc.
    or
    2. Clever psychological manipulation of Pharaoh.
    or
    3. A made up story in which 1. or 2.

    Its an interesting time-travel loop-paradox all the same.

    So, can we say that Josephs brothers free will was violated from the time of Josephs dream as they were destined to bow down before him etc etc.
  7. England
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    05 Mar '08 16:171 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So if I don't get there is is because God forgot to tell me?

    I don't quite understand your post, are you saying that God not only knows the future but changes it?
    To the first point . has not god told you by way of scripture.
    The second point yes i belive god would change what would happen if we prayed and lived by his laws, and thier would be joy in heaven at that.
    He did with the hebrews, tell them if they repented he would stay his hand against them.
  8. Territories Unknown
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    05 Mar '08 21:25
    Consider the distinct levels of sophistication in the thinking when comparing the average adult and the average toddler in the following scenario:

    Said toddler is playing with an air-filled balloon while sitting on the lawn. Said adult is observing the scene. Toddler knows not what physics are involved in either the make-up of his balloon or the dangers which lurk upon a single blade of grass. Adult knows the physics of the ballon, knows the allure of the same, knows the outcome prior to its startling commencement. Toddler is completely oblivious to all but his singular enjoyment until that moment.
  9. Standard memberknightmeister
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    06 Mar '08 13:13
    Originally posted by serigado
    Yes, an omniscient/omnipotent God that created all and knows the outcome is incompatible with all that talking about free will and sin.
    You need to present an argument rather than just state it. Why is it incompatible?

    You are omniscient of everything that Hitler will do in his future , how does that prove that Hitler had no free will? You know his future choices , how does that imply that his future choices were inevitable and set for him?

    I'll give you a clue , you can't. It's impossible to prove. The only way it can be inevitable is if you know "in advance" , but you do not know hitler's future "in advance" , you know it after it happens. For hitler it hasn't happened yet , for you it has , and so you already know what Hitler is about to choose before he chooses it - not "in advance" but because of your unique relationship to Hitler in time.

    God has a unique relationship to all time in the same way. He knows what for you will be your choices "tommorrow" because for him it is not tommorrow , it is yesterday. Just as you know what Hitler will choose in his "tommorrow" because for you it's just history.

    Now come on , if you want to go deeper into then please do. If not don't kid yourself that throwing out one liner statements proves anything.
  10. Joined
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    06 Mar '08 13:50
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    You need to present an argument rather than just state it. Why is it incompatible?

    You are omniscient of everything that Hitler will do in his future , how does that prove that Hitler had no free will? You know his future choices , how does that imply that his future choices were inevitable and set for him?

    I'll give you a clue , you can't. It's ...[text shortened]... not don't kid yourself that throwing out one liner statements proves anything.
    Í never used the word "prove".
    I said "it is incompatible", with the meaning it doesn't make sense.

    This matter has been longly debated already, and the final conclusion is that I don't have the ability to understand God's intentions.

    God has a unique relationship to all time in the same way. He knows what for you will be your choices "tommorrow" because for him it is not tommorrow , it is yesterday. Just as you know what Hitler will choose in his "tommorrow" because for you it's just history.

    Well... all over again...
    When God created us, he knew exactly what would happen. He knew already if hitler would be a bad guy or not, right? So, what's the purpose of the existence of a free will FOR god? Everything is decided in god's eyes and won't happen any other way. Free will is an illusion to us, because we don't know what will happen. But God knows. It's that simple.
    I've seen the arguments out of this, and it started with a circular logic with no meaning. But surprise me, maybe you can convince me.
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    06 Mar '08 13:56
    Imagine you create men. You know exactly how things will happen, and they won't happen any other way.
    Why to introduce sin and punishment? You already know exactly who's going to be punished beforehand. If we have free will, we must have the ability to surprise God. To make that punishment/sin stuff purposefull.
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    06 Mar '08 15:09
    Originally posted by serigado
    Í never used the word "prove".
    I said "it is incompatible", with the meaning it doesn't make sense.

    This matter has been longly debated already, and the final conclusion is that I don't have the ability to understand God's intentions.

    [b]God has a unique relationship to all time in the same way. He knows what for you will be your choices "tommorrow" ...[text shortened]... a circular logic with no meaning. But surprise me, maybe you can convince me.
    The question is not what God knows but HOW he knows it. If his knowledge is dependent on our choices then free will is still possible , if our choices are dependent on what God knows then it's impossible.

    God still needs you to make a choice for him to know what that choice is. Until you make that choice the future is not set. It's your choice that sets the future rather than the future being set for you. But for God the future is already past. You have to get away from this idea that God is just a glorified human being looking along a timeline like you.

    You still have to address the Hitler issue. It is possible for one sentient being (YOU) to know the future of another being (hitler) without it being incompatible with free will.
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    06 Mar '08 16:21
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    The question is not what God knows but HOW he knows it. If his knowledge is dependent on our choices then free will is still possible , if our choices are dependent on what God knows then it's impossible.

    God still needs you to make a choice for him to know what that choice is. Until you make that choice the future is not set. It's your choice that ...[text shortened]... OU) to know the future of another being (hitler) without it being incompatible with free will.
    I think I get what you are saying, but the problem that I have with it is first of all, if god knows the future and you make a different choice then he didn't know the future, did he?

    This becomes a bigger contradiction if you consider god to be infallible. If god knows the future and you change it by making a choice that he didn't foretell then he was not infallible and didn't actually know the future.

    If his knowledge of the future is always right then you don't have any free choice since your future is determined - you may not be aware of it, but you have only fulfilled what god already knew you were going to do. In that case free will is merely an illusion that god allows you to hold.
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    06 Mar '08 16:451 edit
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    I think I get what you are saying, but the problem that I have with it is first of all, if god knows the future and you make a different choice then he didn't know the future, did he?

    This becomes a bigger contradiction if you consider god to be infallible. If god knows the future and you change it by making a choice that he didn't foretell then he wa were going to do. In that case free will is merely an illusion that god allows you to hold.
    You haven't quite understood what I am saying. You know Hitler's future choices , but you don't need his choices to be determined in order to know them do you. Neither do you "foretell" his choices , you just know what he chooses at that point in time.

    If Hitler chooses something different and doesn't kill himself then him killing himself never happens and that "future" never exists.

    Another thing to understand is that although tomorrow is YOUR future , to God it is not the future in the way you think . To him it's already happened. Just like for you Hitler's future has already happened , but for Hitler in 1944 his future for him is not set for him because for him he has yet to choose. For free will to exist all you need is for that choice at THAT moment to be a free choice. The fact that God might already know your free choices does not exclude your free will since whatever you choose to do , he will know anyway.

    It's hard , and we mustn't expect it to be completely clear (anymore than quantum physics is completely clear) but there is an underlying logic to it.
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    06 Mar '08 17:12
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    You haven't quite understood what I am saying. You know Hitler's future choices , but you don't need his choices to be determined in order to know them do you. Neither do you "foretell" his choices , you just know what he chooses at that point in time.

    If Hitler chooses something different and doesn't kill himself then him killing himself never hap ...[text shortened]... re than quantum physics is completely clear) but there is an underlying logic to it.
    If god knows what you will choose then you have no choice, it doesn't matter whether it's Hitler, Stalin, you or me.

    If your decision is known before you make it then your decision isn't truly determined by you - it's determined by god and hence you don't have free will, you only have the illusion of free will in your mind.

    You know Hitler's future choices , but you don't need his choices to be determined in order to know them do you.

    If I know what hiler will decide then his choices are determined already. If he decided something other than what I knew, then I didn't actually know his choices.
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