1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    03 Feb '08 20:52
    Let's say we observe a quantum event that is said to be "random" or uncertain and (hypothetically ) we travel back in time to one hour before that event.

    We would then know the future event because we had already witnessed it. However , would we then be able to say that this quantum event HAS to happen or is inevitable? Presumably we would have to say it was inevitable , wouldn't we? However if we did say this then that would mean (would it?) that this event must be caused by something that forces it to happen (deterministically) because unless it is a determined event then how could it be said to be inevitable?

    However, this would clash with Heisenbergs Uncertainty principle would it not? Such an event could no longer be random. Theoretically , the only thing we could say that made much sense would be that this event did happen and that it would be known to happen an hour beforehand but that also on another level it is not a determined or inevitable event becuase the event is still uncertain.

    Would this prove that (at least theoretically) it might be possible for a future event to be known to happen but that event is not "certain" also until the very moment when it HAS happened.

    I say this because maybe it has a bearing on the "how can God know my future but at the same time I can have free will? " debate.

    Presumably God would know all uncertain quantum events that ever happened or will happen. He would have to know them being omniscient. However , if science is right then some quantum events are supposed to random and uncertain so even God could not "foresee" them until they happened. God would not be able to predict such events because there would be no logical way of doing so. The only way he could know would be as they happened. But he would still know "in advance" because he knows every point in time past . future, right from beginning to end.

    We could then say that if God exists then there must be at least one event that was not determined that God would know was about to happen but that that event was also not inevitable or foreseeable because it was uncertain right up until the very moment when it became a reality. In one sense God knows what the quantum event will be but in another he would also have to wait until the event actually happened first before he could know it becasue the event is uncertain until the very moment it IS.
  2. Pale Blue Dot
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    03 Feb '08 21:06
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    In one sense God knows what the quantum event will be but in another he would also have to wait until the event actually happened first before he could know it becasue the event is uncertain until the very moment it IS.
    The concept of uncertainty is inconsistent with an omniscient God. Suggesting God only knows something at the moment it occurs is meaningless if God exists outside of time.
  3. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    03 Feb '08 22:46
    Originally posted by Green Paladin
    The concept of uncertainty is inconsistent with an omniscient God. Suggesting God only knows something at the moment it occurs is meaningless if God exists outside of time.
    You have not thought about it deeply enough.
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    03 Feb '08 22:57
    Originally posted by Green Paladin
    The concept of uncertainty is inconsistent with an omniscient God. Suggesting God only knows something at the moment it occurs is meaningless if God exists outside of time.
    Not necessarily. Some theists argue that omniscience entails knowledge of all possible outcomes, rather than which one will eventuate.

    And just as an aside, does the uncertainty in quantum mechanics operate on a larger magnitude, perhaps to an extent in which human history could be affected? If that is so, there could be possible challenges to Christianity. For example, imagine if, due to some bizarre quantum phenomenon, the cross of Jesus suddenly vanished! We would all still be wallowing in original sin.
  5. Pale Blue Dot
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    04 Feb '08 06:33
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    Not necessarily. Some theists argue that omniscience entails knowledge of all possible outcomes, rather than which one will eventuate.

    And just as an aside, does the uncertainty in quantum mechanics operate on a larger magnitude, perhaps to an extent in which human history could be affected? If that is so, there could be possible challenges to Christian ...[text shortened]... enomenon, the cross of Jesus suddenly vanished! We would all still be wallowing in original sin.
    What part of "know" don't you (they) understand (as my mother used to say)? If I know that the winning lottery number will have x number of digits do I know what they will be? If this level of knowledge is commensurate with omniscience then the word is meaningless.
  6. Pale Blue Dot
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    04 Feb '08 06:44
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    You have not thought about it deeply enough.
    I don't have to, your argument contains a contradiction.
  7. Cape Town
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    04 Feb '08 08:32
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    Not necessarily. Some theists argue that omniscience entails knowledge of all possible outcomes, rather than which one will eventuate.
    But if he does not know which one will eventuate, his knowledge is useless to him. If he does know, then the knowledge of all the others is useless, and we are back to the first situation.

    And just as an aside, does the uncertainty in quantum mechanics operate on a larger magnitude,
    Yes it does.

    perhaps to an extent in which human history could be affected? If that is so, there could be possible challenges to Christianity. For example, imagine if, due to some bizarre quantum phenomenon, the cross of Jesus suddenly vanished! We would all still be wallowing in original sin.
    No, quantum effects to not affect the past.
  8. Cape Town
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    04 Feb '08 08:34
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Would this prove that (at least theoretically) it might be possible for a future event to be known to happen but that event is not "certain" also until the very moment when it HAS happened.
    I think it proves the incompatibility of:
    1. Time travel in a single time line.
    2. Quantum uncertainty.

    As for your whole God piece it just doesn't make any sense.
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    04 Feb '08 08:49
    Originally posted by Green Paladin
    What part of "know" don't you (they) understand (as my mother used to say)? If I know that the winning lottery number will have x number of digits do I know what they will be? If this level of knowledge is commensurate with omniscience then the word is meaningless.
    This is simply a view I have heard expressed before, and on this forum. Admittedly, it proposes a very weak view of omniscience.
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    04 Feb '08 08:52
    Originally posted by twhitehead

    No, quantum effects to not affect the past.
    You misunderstand me. I meant, if at the time Jesus is to be nailed to the cross, would it be possible, under a quantum model of particles, for the cross of calvary to disappear, or disintegrate? If so, then that would present very considerable theological challenges to Christianity. Essentially, whether original sin was absolved would depend on an arbitrary quantum phenomenon.
  11. Standard memberknightmeister
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    04 Feb '08 08:53
    Originally posted by Green Paladin
    I don't have to, your argument contains a contradiction.
    I know it does but the quantum world displays paradoxes and contradictions which are not dismissed. Apparent contradictions are part of exploring the world. Do you find it hard to hold 2 opposing thoughts together in your mind at the same time? It must be hard to think about light being a wave and a particle at the same time.
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    04 Feb '08 09:10
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I think it proves the incompatibility of:
    1. Time travel in a single time line.
    2. Quantum uncertainty.

    As for your whole God piece it just doesn't make any sense.
    Ok , so we might say that a being cannot exist outside of time and we might also say that time travel is impossible. That's a different debate.

    However, arguments against God being able to "know what you are going to do tomorrow but you still have free will" start under the hypothesis that such a being exists.

    So hypothetically let's imagine an eternal God does exist and he can see all time/space. He would also see quantum events as well. He would know what these random quantum events were going to be. He couldn't not know being omniscient.

    Now , hypothetically we must ask HOW would he know what was about to happen at a quantum level. Atheist models subtley assume (regarding human actions) that he would know because he must be able to predict or "foresee" them thus implying that these events must be inevitable or determined (and therefore cannot be free).

    However , science says that quantum events are uncertain and not determined (random). Therefore logically even God could not "foresee" or "predict" them otherwise they woud be determined or caused in some way.

    My point is that if God exists then it follows logically that if he is omniscient then there is at least a part of the natural world (quantum events) where God knows what is about to happen but at the same time he could not predict or foresee. He would have to "wait" until the event happened in order to know it.

    So , if you want to say that Giod doesn't exist fine , but if you hypothetically say he exists but because he is omniscient therefore everything he knows about events is inevitably going to happen then quantum uncertainty presents a problem for you because it is an uncertain event (by definition) that God could not predict but must know the outcome of because he is eternal.
  13. Cape Town
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    04 Feb '08 09:22
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I know it does but the quantum world displays paradoxes and contradictions which are not dismissed. Apparent contradictions are part of exploring the world. Do you find it hard to hold 2 opposing thoughts together in your mind at the same time? It must be hard to think about light being a wave and a particle at the same time.
    The quantum world does not display paradoxes and contradictions.
    Light is not a wave and particle at the same time.
    Those are simply models we use to try to understand it.

    And using the fact that we do not yet understand the quantum world to claim that you can propose an un-understandable concept just doesn't work.
  14. Cape Town
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    04 Feb '08 09:27
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    ... but if you hypothetically say he exists but because he is omniscient therefore everything he knows about events is inevitably going to happen then quantum uncertainty presents a problem for you because it is an uncertain event (by definition) that God could not predict but must know the outcome of because he is eternal.
    Yes it presents a problem. A problem which you have not been able to resolve. The existence of God as you propose constitutes time travel and, as I have already said, that is incompatible with quantum randomness. So either your God does not exist or quantum effects are not truly random.
  15. Standard memberknightmeister
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    04 Feb '08 12:57
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The quantum world does not display paradoxes and contradictions.
    Light is not a wave and particle at the same time.
    Those are simply models we use to try to understand it.

    And using the fact that we do not yet understand the quantum world to claim that you can propose an un-understandable concept just doesn't work.
    I said apparent contradictions , not actual contradiction. This is the whole point. There is an apparent contradiction between God's omniscience and free will just as there is an apparent contradiction between light being a wave and a particle at the same time. It's to do with the terms we use and our limited understanding. What's interesting is that in the area of quantum mechanics you wouldn't use apparent contradictions as an excuse to de-bunk an idea but with God you use a diiferent agenda. It's just a matter of being consistent.
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