Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?

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Trekky0623

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If we have an omniscient being, then that being would presumably know about events past this point in time. Let us also assume that people that possess free will are inherently random.

This poses a problem. It is similar to the problem of having an inmoveable wall and an unstoppable object. The two simply cannot exist together. If people have free will and are random, then our being cannot know their actions, and is therefore not omniscient. If our being is omniscient, then our actions are predictable, meaning they are determined by solely outside forces and are not random. Therefore, we do not have free will.

Discuss.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 10:22:29 AM »
If we have an omniscient being, then that being would presumably know about events past this point in time. Let us also assume that people that possess free will are inherently random.

This poses a problem. It is similar to the problem of having an inmoveable wall and an unstoppable object. The two simply cannot exist together. If people have free will and are random, then our being cannot know their actions, and is therefore not omniscient. If our being is omniscient, then our actions are predictable, meaning they are determined by solely outside forces and are not random. Therefore, we do not have free will.

Discuss.

I have a few questions. First, what do you mean by, "inherently random".

Next, how do you come to the conclusion that our actions are determined by solely outside forces and are not random, from a something being capable of predicting our actions. Something knowing what your actions will be does not mean that they are controlling your actions.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 10:35:50 AM »
I have a few questions. First, what do you mean by, "inherently random".
Completely unpredictable.

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Next, how do you come to the conclusion that our actions are determined by solely outside forces and are not random, from a something being capable of predicting our actions. Something knowing what your actions will be does not mean that they are controlling your actions.
I don't think he is saying god is controlling our actions. Just that knowledge of our future choices doesn't mean we are really making them when we catch up to the future and those choices play out. If god is 100% certain that you will decide to rob a liquor store from before you are born, then how can you have freewill? It's a classic dilemma of mutually exclusive religious propositions.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 10:37:40 AM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Trekky0623

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 10:40:30 AM »
I am defining free will as the ability to make a random choice. As in, a person can perform an action that is unpredictable. Furthermore, if our actions are not random, then it would follow that knowing every detail about the past would allow you to predict future actions. Our actions don't have to be controlled, they just have to be predictable to negate free will.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 10:42:25 AM »
I am defining free will as the ability to make a random choice. As in, a person can perform an action that is unpredictable. Furthermore, if our actions are not random, then it would follow that knowing every detail about the past would allow you to predict future actions. Our actions don't have to be controlled, they just have to be predictable to negate free will.

If an action is unpredictable, that means you would have no control over your mind or body, since you should be capable of knowing what you are about to do before you do it.

I would be the biggest issue with this argument, is that all the theist has to do is reject your definition of free-will, which they probably would, for it to be over.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 10:44:48 AM by EnglshGentleman »

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 10:47:44 AM »
I once had a dream that worked against freewill. It used the universality of reference frames. Observational reference frames are just coordinate perspectives that progress with relative direction in space and time. They are not unlike cameras that can move in any fashion. Just like there are infinite reference frames where time proceeds forward, there are infinite reference frames that move in the opposite direction.

Now consider that with such reference frames, objects would appear to play out in reverse. All the information about the future precedes information playing out in the past. If all that information already exists in those reference frames, freewill already appears to be impossible.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 10:51:23 AM »
If an action is unpredictable, that means you would have no control over your mind or body, since you should be capable of knowing what you are about to do before you do it.
The argument is not focused on general predictability, but being predictable with 100% certainty. If I predicted that you will go eat something in the next few days, it would mean nothing. God is defined as omniscient which is perfectly strict.

You can know what you plan on doing, but god knows for sure what you will do. Plus he knows it infinitely far in advance (before you plan it).
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Trekky0623

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 11:11:17 AM »
If an action is unpredictable, that means you would have no control over your mind or body, since you should be capable of knowing what you are about to do before you do it.
The argument is not focused on general predictability, but being predictable with 100% certainty. If I predicted that you will go eat something in the next few days, it would mean nothing. God is defined as omniscient which is perfectly strict.

You can know what you plan on doing, but god knows for sure what you will do. Plus he knows it infinitely far in advance (before you plan it).

This, basically. Your actions can be predictable up to a point, but never with 100% predictability unless you are omniscient. Even our own actions are not predictable to ourselves 100%.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 11:20:19 AM »
A Lutherin friend of mine told me they do not believe in divine foreknowledge of God.  He is omniscient, but he only knows what it is physically possible to know, and the future is not.  In other words he know everything that happened, and is currently happening, but not what is going to happen.

I personally would not consider that to be omnicient, but I suppose that does resolve the ol free will vs. divine foreknoledge paradox.

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Trekky0623

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 11:27:00 AM »
A Lutherin friend of mine told me they do not believe in divine foreknowledge of God.  He is omniscient, but he only knows what it is physically possible to know, and the future is not.  In other words he know everything that happened, and is currently happening, but not what is going to happen.

...So he's not omniscient? k thx.

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Hazbollah

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 11:28:12 AM »
I think that we have free will, but only in our frame of reference. My philosophy is that this existence is predetermined. We think we choose freely, but we are acting in the scheme of something greater.
Always check your tackle- Caerphilly school of Health. If I see an innuendo in my post, I'll be sure to whip it out.

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Trekky0623

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2011, 11:32:05 AM »
I think that we have free will, but only in our frame of reference. My philosophy is that this existence is predetermined. We think we choose freely, but we are acting in the scheme of something greater.

Wouldn't that not be free will? If you are acting according to a plan, that would seem to contradict the very nature of free will.

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fluffycornsnake

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2011, 12:33:55 PM »
I think that we have free will, but only in our frame of reference. My philosophy is that this existence is predetermined. We think we choose freely, but we are acting in the scheme of something greater.

Wouldn't that not be free will? If you are acting according to a plan, that would seem to contradict the very nature of free will.

There is no inherent contradiction in compatibilism.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2011, 12:44:41 PM »
I think that we have free will, but only in our frame of reference. My philosophy is that this existence is predetermined. We think we choose freely, but we are acting in the scheme of something greater.

Wouldn't that not be free will? If you are acting according to a plan, that would seem to contradict the very nature of free will.

There is no inherent contradiction in compatibilism.

Sure there is. If everything is determined, then you don't actually have free-will, only the illusion of it.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2011, 12:49:00 PM »
I think that we have free will, but only in our frame of reference. My philosophy is that this existence is predetermined. We think we choose freely, but we are acting in the scheme of something greater.

Wouldn't that not be free will? If you are acting according to a plan, that would seem to contradict the very nature of free will.

There is no inherent contradiction in compatibilism.

Tell me, if God knows I am going to eat corn flakes tomorrow morning, do I have the ability to choose to eat pancakes instead?

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Ski

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2011, 01:08:40 PM »
If we have an omniscient being, then that being would presumably know about events past this point in time. Let us also assume that people that possess free will are inherently random.

This poses a problem. It is similar to the problem of having an inmoveable wall and an unstoppable object. The two simply cannot exist together. If people have free will and are random, then our being cannot know their actions, and is therefore not omniscient. If our being is omniscient, then our actions are predictable, meaning they are determined by solely outside forces and are not random. Therefore, we do not have free will.

Discuss.

I fall into the predeterminism camp.
"Never think you can turn over any old falsehood without a terrible squirming of the horrid little population that dwells under it." -O.W. Holmes "Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne.."

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Hazbollah

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2011, 01:11:07 PM »
I think that we have free will, but only in our frame of reference. My philosophy is that this existence is predetermined. We think we choose freely, but we are acting in the scheme of something greater.

Wouldn't that not be free will? If you are acting according to a plan, that would seem to contradict the very nature of free will.
What I am saying is that it may appear to be free will, but I doubt that it is, in fact, free will.
Always check your tackle- Caerphilly school of Health. If I see an innuendo in my post, I'll be sure to whip it out.

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fluffycornsnake

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2011, 01:23:28 PM »
Tell me, if God knows I am going to eat corn flakes tomorrow morning, do I have the ability to choose to eat pancakes instead?

God's foreknowledge is irrelevant to your ability to choose. God does not make your choice.

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Trekky0623

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2011, 01:29:17 PM »
You will either always choose corn flakes all the time, or God doesn't know that you will eat corn flakes, and only guesses with a high degree of accuracy, which is not omnipotence. Knowledge entails that the thing is true. If it is not true, then it is not knowledge.

Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2011, 01:31:52 PM »
quantum uncertainty says that even if you knew everything about a system you would not be able to predict what would happen. therefor being just because god new the past does not mean he would know the future.
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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2011, 01:40:33 PM »
Tell me, if God knows I am going to eat corn flakes tomorrow morning, do I have the ability to choose to eat pancakes instead?

God's foreknowledge is irrelevant to your ability to choose. God does not make your choice.

You didn't answer the question.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2011, 01:49:58 PM »
I'll bring up an argument that I have used before from John Locke.

Say a man is taken while unconcious to a room and the exit to the room is locked in such a way that it would be impossible for the man to escape.  When the man awakens, he finds himself in the company of a kick ass party.  As such, he chooses to remain in the room, and never even tries to escape.

Does the man remain in the room freely?  Locke says no, because it is only a matter of convenience that the man's preference was the choice that was available to him.

It may be a matter of convenience that I choose to eat cornflakes tomorrow, and that happens to be the only choice I can make, do I make it freely?  Did I have the ability to choose otherwise if that choice was already predestined?

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Ocius

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2011, 01:55:17 PM »
I think this is a really thin argument. You could say that you have free will, but god still knows what choice you are going to make. I don't see how that would take away from your free will. He isn't interfering with your decision.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2011, 01:57:21 PM »
quantum uncertainty says that even if you knew everything about a system you would not be able to predict what would happen. therefor being just because god new the past does not mean he would know the future.
Quantum uncertainty doesn't apply to omniscience. I doubt god's alleged ability to know the future is dependent on mathematically deriving it.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2011, 02:01:02 PM »
I think this is a really thin argument. You could say that you have free will, but god still knows what choice you are going to make. I don't see how that would take away from your free will. He isn't interfering with your decision.

It's not about God interfering with your decision, it's about your decision being pre destined that robs you of your freedom.  It basically makes you a puppet of fate from which you cannot escape.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2011, 02:02:25 PM »
I think this is a really thin argument. You could say that you have free will, but god still knows what choice you are going to make. I don't see how that would take away from your free will. He isn't interfering with your decision.
An inability to do something else is a lack of freewill. Doing something else would make god's knowledge incorrect.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Ocius

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2011, 02:06:03 PM »
I think this is a really thin argument. You could say that you have free will, but god still knows what choice you are going to make. I don't see how that would take away from your free will. He isn't interfering with your decision.

It's not about God interfering with your decision, it's about your decision being pre destined that robs you of your freedom.  It basically makes you a puppet of fate from which you cannot escape.

What do you mean pre-destined? You're going to complete a set of actions in your lifetime whether or not someone knows what those actions are. God knowing what you are going to do has no effect on your free-will as long as he doesn't make you do something different.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2011, 02:07:51 PM »
I think this is a really thin argument. You could say that you have free will, but god still knows what choice you are going to make. I don't see how that would take away from your free will. He isn't interfering with your decision.

It's not about God interfering with your decision, it's about your decision being pre destined that robs you of your freedom.  It basically makes you a puppet of fate from which you cannot escape.

What do you mean pre-destined? You're going to complete a set of actions in your lifetime whether or not someone knows what those actions are. God knowing what you are going to do has no affect on your free-will as long as he doesn't make you do something different.

But those specific actions are unavoidable if it is 100% certain they will happen. Is god is certain of everything you will do, those actions must be certain.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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fluffycornsnake

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2011, 02:08:25 PM »
Tell me, if God knows I am going to eat corn flakes tomorrow morning, do I have the ability to choose to eat pancakes instead?

God's foreknowledge is irrelevant to your ability to choose. God does not make your choice.

You didn't answer the question.

Yes I did.

Most of these posts seem to be placing temporal limitations on God. 'Past' and 'future' are human terms. From God's perspective, all moments are the Present. God knows what you will eat for breakfast 'tomorrow', because 'tomorrow' is as real as 'today'. In a manner of speaking, God can already see you eating your breakfast tomorrow. God can see you eating breakfast 30 years from now and everything between.

Locke's argument is also irrelevant. God cannot actively limit us just by 'knowing stuff'. God merely sees all temporal actions in eternity. How can this possibly have an effect on the actions themselves?

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Can an omniscient being exist with a universe that has free will?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2011, 02:11:54 PM »
Tell me, if God knows I am going to eat corn flakes tomorrow morning, do I have the ability to choose to eat pancakes instead?

God's foreknowledge is irrelevant to your ability to choose. God does not make your choice.

You didn't answer the question.

Yes I did.
No, you didn't. It was a yes or no question. You only attempted to render the question moot.

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Most of these posts seem to be placing temporal limitations on God. 'Past' and 'future' are human terms. From God's perspective, all moments are the Present. God knows what you will eat for breakfast 'tomorrow', because 'tomorrow' is as real as 'today'. In a manner of speaking, God can already see you eating your breakfast tomorrow. God can see you eating breakfast 30 years from now and everything between.
You are discussing the way god might come to gain his knowledge, not what conditions must be met for such knowledge to be possible.

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Locke's argument is also irrelevant. God cannot actively limit us just by 'knowing stuff'. God merely sees all temporal actions in eternity. How can this possibly have an effect on the actions themselves?
God is not playing an influential role. It is the fact that he can know something with certainty that has implications.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.