On Thu, 13 Jul 1995 XXX wrote:
I am currently debating with some friends about
"Gods foreknowledge and its implication re mans choice".
My reflections so far have led me to think that in giving
man free choice then somehow God doesn't allow Himself
to know ahead of time what each person is going to do.
If He did know exactly, unequivocally what choice
each person would make from "the beginning of time" then our
lives would be predestined, without choice. I don't think
that makes God less powerful, rather it illustrates how much
privilege He gave man. I do believe though that because of
God's intimate and thorough knowledge of each person that He
must know what each person is likely to do in each situation.
In closing let me say that while my views are strong, I am neither adamant nor obstinate and would welcome dialogue and correction or affirmation.
instead, let me make a remark or too and point you to the book I AM
READING on this subject (very good actually):
1. the books="God, Foreknowledge, and Freedom" ed. by John Martin
Fischer, Stanford Series in Philosophy (1989). [It has entries by both
believers and non-believers, such as Platinga, Alston, Hasker.]
2. I have never 'intuited' the problem with the proposition:
"God knows with certainty what I will freely choose in the future". There
is noting logically flawed in this (prima facie). The book attempts to
recast this in a number of forms MANY of which, DO produce invalid chains
3. I personally have a HUGE epistemological problem with discussion on such
an 'interface' between created reality and God...we are on ONE side of
this 'interface between worlds' LOOKING THRU IT...and we don't have a
THIRD PLACE TO STAND from which to inspect the interface...in other
words, we cannot 'triangulate' from just our one point! Every vantage
point we have inside this 'created, derivative bubble' is bounded by the
interface...as such we can see through it to God, but cannot see IT at
all...a weak analogy would be daylight vision through air... I don't 'see'
the air when I look at you, I see THRU the air...i can walk around the
yard looking at the center, but I never see the air--i always see THRU it
to the other side...the analogy breaks down because I can 'capture' air
and triangulate on it with instrumentation, but this doesn't really affect
my point or illustration.]
4. BTW, this 'elusive character of the interface' I find in MOST other
human/divine 'interface problems' MOST NOTABLY the 'sovereignty/freedom'
5. I also feel generally uneasy about restricting God's knowledge to just
human-based analogies...He has told us that he DOES 'know' like we do,
but not that His knowledge is SIMPLY that kind...i guess I get a little
agnostic in some of these beyond-theology discussions (in spite of how
fun they can be!)
6. Lastly, many of the incompatabilist arguments presuppose harsh views
of causality, which I do NOT hold to...i make this very clear in my
hope this gets you started....
Alive in Him,