Post by BTR1701 Post by Jim G. Post by BTR1701 Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless god got the math wrong. Then god is not the omnipotent, omniscient
deity we were lead to believe.
Well, free will is incompatible with an omniscient god, anyway.
It's only incompatible if that omniscient god insists on exercising that
omniscience with regard to the lives of others.
To look at it another way, my parents could have kept me safe from
almost every bump and scrape and bruise that I collected growing up
since they had the power to keep me locked up at home. But they didn't.
Having power doesn't have to mean using that power.
Just the fact of god knowing the future means that the future is set and
a free will is an illusion.
Unless, perhaps, God knows the person well enough to know exactly how a
given person will choose to exercise his or her free will. This
explanation stems from the fact that an omniscient God will know each of
us as well -- if not better -- than we know ourselves. This is my
favorite non-timey-wimey perspective on the matter.
Post by BTR1701
If god knows I'm going to marry a woman named Jennifer when I'm 35, do I
really have any other option than to marry a woman named Jennifer when
I'm 35? It may seem from my perspective that I'm choosing to do so, but
from a cosmic perspective, my choices are all made for me.
Another possibility -- a timey-wimey one -- is that God exists outside
of space-time as we know it, in which case He is simply capable of
seeing everything -- past, present and future -- all at once. To Him,
"yesterday," "now" and "tomorrow" hold no significant difference to His
omniscient self. In this interpretation, God would know that
five-year-old you was going to marry Jennifer at 35 because God also
knows the 75-year-old you at that same moment and knows what happened to
you 40 years earlier. IOW, at this very moment in time, He knows all
three versions of you. So by knowing that you're going to marry a woman
named Jennifer when you're 35, He isn't forcing things on the five- or
35-year-old you, but is rather seeing the history of the 75-year-old at
the same moment that the 35-year-old is doing his free will thing.
Aquinas and Lewis both go into this latter theory in great detail. In
fact, since this is hardly a new concept, the entire thing has pretty
much already been torn apart and analyzed to death by any number of
people and cultures over the years -- including a lot of Christian
theologians and apologists and scholars in the past 2,000 years alone.
For my part, I recall being exposed to this for the first time in a high
school class, and while I can't remember everything without cheating
quite a bit, I do recall coming to realize that it's not the non-starter
that many would have you believe.
Jim G. | A fan of the good and the bad, but not the mediocre
"Oh, my god. That's tragic. It's like a Hallmark movie. But with
tentacles." - Dean Winchester, SUPERNATURAL