Can the Immortal Omnipotent Creator co-exist with free will?
August 14, 2007 9:24am CST
This question, I think, is the most important question when facing the question of god's existence. If God is omniscient, then God knows the facts about the past, present, and future. If God is all knowing and does not possess the ability to be wrong about humans’ future actions and humans can do nothing other then what God already knows they will do and will believe, then this creates a philosophical dilemma. Either we are not truly responsible for our moral actions since our actions have already been determined or God is not omniscient, or is there an answer that allows for free will and God’s ability to know all? Nelson Pike, in his 1965 article, “Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action” argues that if we believe in God’s omniscience, then we have to conclude that the idea of free will is problematic. Here’s one way to state Pike’s argument that can be found on www.JohnDePoe.com 1. God’s being omniscient necessarily implies that if Jones mows his lawn on Saturday afternoon, then God believed at an earlier time that Jones would mow his lawn on Saturday afternoon. 2. Necessarily, all of God’s beliefs are true. 3. No one has the power to make a contradiction true. 4. No one has the power to erase someone’s past beliefs, that is, to bring it about that something believed in the past by someone was not believed in the past by that person. 5. No one has the power to erase someone’s existence in the past, that is, to bring it about that someone who existed in the past did not exist in the past. 6. So if God believed that Jones would mow his lawn on Saturday afternoon, Jones can refrain from mowing his lawn only if one of the following alternatives is true: (i) Jones has the power to make God’s beliefs false; (ii) Jones has the power to erase God’s past belief; or (iii) Jones has the power to erase God’s past existence. 7. But alternative (i) is impossible. (from 2 and 3) 8. And alternative (ii) is impossible. (from 4) 9. And alternative (iii) is impossible. (from 5) 10. Therefore, if God believes that Jones will mow his lawn on Saturday afternoon, Jones does not have the power to refrain from mowing his lawn on Saturday afternoon, that is to say, Jones is not free. Now, the ulternative for this is to say that god exists outside of time.. but if this was true, would this mean that he is outside of the universe.. but he is still conscious? would this devine entity still be able to have a relationship with humans? these things are attributes of this 4 demensional world we live in.. so it would not be possible to have this being have any relationship with us, let alone conciousness. So, the occams razor conclusion would be that god does not exist. the other conclusion would be that free will does not exist.. if we take out occams razor we see that the only explanation is that this all being does not have any humaly attributes, like emotions.. and cannot be conscious, So either atheism is right, theism without free will is right, or pantheism is right. and the simplest solution would be, through occums razor, atheism? any rebuttles?
2 people like this
• Boston, Massachusetts
15 Aug 07
It is interesting that you are able to determine God's power so accurately that you know the He could not have a relationship with humans if God existed outside the physical universe. However, you speak of God's consciousness and yet apply physical laws to it. It seems rather more logical for God to exist outside of time and the universe rather than be in it - He made it for us, not for Him, He's already got lodgings. The simple and complicated answer is Jesus, who is Jacob's ladder, the means by which heaven and earth connect, the medium through which consciousness or spirit connects with spirit. There is nothing simple about atheism. In fact, if there is no God and we are all here by accident, then your consciousness, your mind, your logic and your argument all stem from an evolutionary invention to promote your survival and because they are accidental, makes them untrustworthy and meaningless. I have already posted the entire concept over on the post about religion and logic, and it's too long to type again (not allowed to cut and paste).
15 Aug 07
to say that god is above logic, also takes away from existence and "personal relationships" and render all of these types of religions wrong... jesus and moses and all those guys would all be, how could i put this nicely, a bunch of liers? this is god if you look at it logicaly, if you say god is above logic, religion is wrong. occams razor makes it very simple, explanation of evolution is a lot easier than god, i think.
• United States
17 Aug 07
The omnipotence and omniscience of creator is hardly limited by the created. He is not IN time; he's beyond it. How can he be subject to something he invented? It would be like allowing my toddler to dictate my comings and goings. One can be outside of time without being beyond our reach. It's not a distance, it's an entirely different plane of reality. We, as earthbound creatures, are subject to one set of rules about reality, while God is not. He the one who made the rule, so how is he subject to them, but by his own will? He did become bound by his own rules by choice one time in history. It's pretty hard to force the supernatural into the box of the natural. It's like trying to apply the Pythagorean theorem to a sphere: it just won't work. There is only one rock so big God can't lift it, and that's free will. The only reason is because he made it so. He wanted a people to be like him, to love and associate with him of their own accord, rather than being forced into it. Blessed Be