Your argument is unnecessarily too philosophical to solve this matter (warts and all). Basically you could argue that the previously noted Christian god is all capable to the extent of self defined purpose but is never properly recorded to be all knowing beyond purpose as creator (and operator as such). This new variety of god is modern, illusive, evasive and ultimately not present beyond immaterial awareness and connection. In essence having changed so dramatically to avoid peoples opinion is either giving excessive room as a God or has since been proven false by the extension of the tale. Either way the relevance has become equidistant to alternate beliefs and non-beliefs.
If I've understood StubbornVN correctly, his/her argument is that a creator god only needs to create but need not have inerrant omniscience. It would be no more in control of the Universe than is a scientist who sets up an experiment in a flask and them merely observes the results. It can be surprised at events.
This may or may not be so, but what my blog deals with is the idea of inerrant omniscience, not the various ideas of motive or methodology of a supposed creator. Refuting the idea of a creator is an entirely different argument, and one which may be the subject of a blog a some point in the future.
Max Tasker said…
"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for the support of such views". (Albert Einstein).
I'll assume Max Tasker again failed to address the arguments because he knew you couldn't.
The less charitble view is, of course, that he didn't follow the logic well enough to attempt to refute it.
Rosa, you are not accurate in some areas here. God did in fact change His mind on several occasions in the Bible when asked to by man.
God's knowledge of the future does not influence free choice. Being outside time, He just knows what choices we will make.
Paul speaks in a very real sense about predestination. God knows who will decide to follow Him, and may influence things accordingly.
So, He knows right now whether you will ever convert to Christianity (…although I'm not going to hold my breath:)
And our and other engagements may have been His means of bringing it about!!
I thought I had dealt with the idea that God simply knows our range of cloices, but try this simple test:
If God knows you will take a holiday in Spain next year but you go to Italy instead, is God still inerrant?
Or, if God IS inerrant and knew you would go to Italy all along, in what sense did you have free will? Of course you had none otherwise God would not be inerrant.
Sorry, but there is no way an inerrent omniscient god and free will can exist in the same universe.
Now, although not part of this blog, let's look at your beliefe that God knows in advance what will happen to you. In that case he also knows if you're going to Hell and has known it since before he created you.
Why then did he create you knowing what would happen to you and how does that differ in morality from the man who breeds kittens with the intention giving them to a neighbour whom he knows will pour petrol over them and set them on fire?
Of course the kittens will only suffer for a short while and not for eternity, but would you look to this man for moral guidance, sing songs in his praise and tell your children to follow his example?
Or would you tell the authorities and put a stop his and his neighbour's sadistic ways?
I thought that mere humans couldn't know the mind of God, unless UR preaching to atheist. Circular reasoning (the bible proves itself)and logical fallacies (esp. appeal to authority)are the central tenets of faith. "R" great blog.
Having pondered upon these issues, and also having read arguments on these lines, I could largely predict the whole argument, yet you articulated your thoughts with great clarity.
Of course, your argument is quite water tight – if one were to be honest about it. 🙂
While, this might amount to digression, I agree with StubbornVN that with much greater logical scrutiny, modern God has become quite a caricature of the original, more like a deist God.
What are your thoughts on incompatibility between determinism & free will?
I like how MrDeity.com explains this away. God has omniscience, but "turns it off" because he finds it annoying. So long as he has it turned off, he's free to do what he wants and so is humanity. God also receives endless prayers sent to his email inbox and after scanning a couple just mass deletes them unanswered as if they were spam.
Hi Rosa, great blog. I am having trouble reconciling the Christian god's knowledge of events (inerrant omniscience) being incompatible with free will.
How specifically does knowledge of these events interfere with choices on where to go on holiday? I think I understand your point, how can god "know" without being in error and if god knows, how is it free will? I'm missing the ah-ha! moment here.
How can you choose something God doesn't know you'll choose (and has always known you will choose) and God still be inerrant? If God is inerrant, you have no choice but to choose what he's always known you'll choose.
How is that the excercise of free will.
73custom. But the greater point here is how can GOD choose to do something he hasn't always known he'll choose to do, and still be inerrant?
Clearly he can't, so, in effect, God has no free will either and is powerless to intervene in the universe if he is indeed omnisciently inerrant.
Omnipotents and omniscient inerrants are mutually exclusive and logically impossible because a god who isn't omniscient and inerrant cannot be omnipotent, yet an omnisciently inerrant god cannot be omnipotent.
The logical fallacy that you're repeating is assuming that foreknowledge and omniscience are in conflict with free will. Just because someone knows the decision you make before you make it does not negate your choice. Since Yahweh knows all from beginning to end, Yahweh has woven a tapestry of time that has integrated the choices you'd make with everything else that is going on, but ultimately, each person is responsible for the choice they made.
>The logical fallacy that you're repeating is assuming that foreknowledge and omniscience are in conflict with free will. <
I'm not assuming that at all. I've clearly shown why they are mutually exclusive.
>Just because someone knows the decision you make before you make it does not negate your choice. <
Indeed, but if they are wrong then clearly they are not inerrant.
>Since Yahweh knows all from beginning to end, Yahweh has woven a tapestry of time that has integrated the choices you'd make with everything else that is going on, but ultimately, each person is responsible for the choice they made. <
So if you chose to do something different he is not inerrant. If you have no choice you have no free will.
Sorry, but you have not addressed the logic of my argument. Rather you have simply stated what you would like to be the case with no regard to whether that logically CAN be the case.
let's try again… Foreknowledge of a decision has no bearings on the person making the decision.
-I'm not assuming that at all. I've clearly shown why they are mutually exclusive.
I see know where that you've proven these items to be mutually exclusive
-Indeed, but if they are wrong then clearly they are not inerrant.
Yahweh cannot be wrong, since Yahweh knows the final decision, not just what the person is considering to do.
-So if you chose to do something different he is not inerrant. If you have no choice you have no free will.
You have a choice, and Yahweh knows what you will choose in the end, so while you're making a choice, Yahweh foreknows.
To validate you assertion that Yahweh can be wrong would have to assume that Yahweh doesn't actually know in advance the final decision, which contradicts the meaning of omniscience. You've built your logic on a straw man, that would require parallel universes or alternate realities, which would still yet assume that God wouldn't not be aware of all final decisions and occurrences.
> Foreknowledge of a decision has no bearings on the person making the decision.<
It has if you are seeking to establish the persons inerrancy and/or omniscience. Clearly, if they are wrong about your decision, they can not be inerrant and could not have been omniscient.
>I see know where that you've proven these items to be mutually exclusive<
Then you need to think a little harder. If you CAN surprise God then he is not inerrant or omniscient. If you can't then his prior knowledge of your decision precludes a different one if he is to remain inerrant.
>Yahweh cannot be wrong, <
That's probably where you're going wrong.
George Good said…
Me thinks Fabian missed the point.
Nice blog post.
I think the monotheists could get out of this predicament if they just said that god (it) sacrificed its omniscience in favour of free will. Maybe the next profit will avoid that mistake.
“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” – In a letter to an atheist (1954), as quoted in Albert Einstein: The Human Side (1981), edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman.
For the fools who still to this day try to make it look like Einstein believed in God. Shame on you.
I think God should stop trying to figure out what I'm going to have for breakfast tomorrow. It makes Him look petty and I don't want anyone to know such classified information.
Wayne Bagguley said…
RR, I think you can make it harder for theists to object by posing the question "if god told you that you were going to do X, could you choose to do Y. If not, how does god not telling you have any effect? If so, then god is not inerrant.