If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Panzerfaust_60
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If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Panzerfaust_60 » January 1st, 2018, 3:45 pm

If God told me that tomorrow at exactly 9:30 I will eat a sandwich, is there any way for me to not eat that sandwich?
If so, wouldn't that mean God was wrong?
If not, wouldn't that mean I have no free will?

If my future action doesn't exist, then how can God know it?
If it does exist, then how do I have free will? I can freely make decisions now, in the present. I can't teleport to the past or to the future. If my action already exists, prior my ability to freely make it, then how is it free?

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LuckyR
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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by LuckyR » January 2nd, 2018, 1:48 pm

Panzerfaust_60 wrote:
January 1st, 2018, 3:45 pm
If God told me that tomorrow at exactly 9:30 I will eat a sandwich, is there any way for me to not eat that sandwich?
If so, wouldn't that mean God was wrong?
If not, wouldn't that mean I have no free will?

If my future action doesn't exist, then how can God know it?
If it does exist, then how do I have free will? I can freely make decisions now, in the present. I can't teleport to the past or to the future. If my action already exists, prior my ability to freely make it, then how is it free?
A couple of things: 1) many if not most gods are not claimed to be omniscient, 2) separate from gods, even if predetermination exists (ie there is no free will), the appearance of the universe to our perspective will be identical to that if free will did exist, 3) there is a zone of intellect between human and omniscience where from our perspective the accuracy of predictions will be so superior to that capable by humans that it will give the impression of omniscience, without actual omniscience.
"As usual... it depends."

Chili
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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Chili » January 2nd, 2018, 5:02 pm

Panzerfaust_60 wrote:
January 1st, 2018, 3:45 pm
If God told me that tomorrow at exactly 9:30 I will eat a sandwich, is there any way for me to not eat that sandwich?
If so, wouldn't that mean God was wrong?
If not, wouldn't that mean I have no free will?

If my future action doesn't exist, then how can God know it?
If it does exist, then how do I have free will? I can freely make decisions now, in the present. I can't teleport to the past or to the future. If my action already exists, prior my ability to freely make it, then how is it free?
He really blew it by telling you. You have to wonder what kind of mind game he's up to? Perhaps he can see there is a camel far off slowly walking toward you with a sandwich. He knows how much you love them.

Namelesss
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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Namelesss » January 2nd, 2018, 7:14 pm

Panzerfaust_60 wrote:
January 1st, 2018, 3:45 pm
If God told me that tomorrow at exactly 9:30 I will eat a sandwich, is there any way for me to not eat that sandwich?
Lets put that in a bit more 'adult' language;
If you see a 'future' moment, you are asking if that moment is inevitable.
Yes, all moments already exist/are inevitable.
No moment, ever, can be 'otherwise', none 'changed'!
All each and every unique moment of Universal existence can 'be', is perceived!
If so, wouldn't that mean God was wrong?
Re; 'right and wrong'; We Are Omni-, ALL inclusive! One!
Truth is ALL inclusive! What you may, in your limited Perspective judge as right and wrong remains features of Us, Truth! Reality!
If not, wouldn't that mean I have no free will?
Of course you cannot! What an insane notion!
We perceive "feelings" and "thought/ego" that we exercise 'free-will/choice', but if you think abouty it at all, it is patently impossible! Free will to do what, 'change some moment' (usually according to your comfort)?
As the Universe is One, for you to actually 'change' anything, ever, means that you can re-form the entire Universe to serve your comfort!
Just like a little imaginary 'God'!
Such is thought/ego, and insanity is in believing any of your thoughts and feelings (feelings are thought/ego)!
If my future action doesn't exist, then how can God know it?
Every moment of Universal existence exists synchronously Here! Now!!
(T)Here exists One Universal Consciousness peeking from all eyes!
All is Known/experienced Here! Now!
Some have greater access...
It is not uncommon for us to perceive 'future' moments (really Here! Now!), because they exist, are inevitable, just as this moment!

Eduk
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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 10:08 am

Namelesss. Let us imagine the above is true (although I can't imagine it, to be honest, but let's pretend I can). Exactly how does this knowledge effect you personally? What choices do you make differently? Are you kind to strangers? Does kindness exist? Do you punish criminals? Do you reform criminals? Do you go to Church? Which one? Does that God provide you with restrictions? etc etc.

The point I'm really trying to get at is that I wonder how your beliefs can have any effect on your actions?

I mean if I could see into the future and see the lottery numbers there would be an obvious and profound effect for me (and I would be quite grateful). But I assume that somehow seeing lottery numbers in the future isn't the kind of common perception you are talking about? But that is a good case in point, I can't read what you have written and then imagine the ramifications. Seeing into the future is an easy enough concept to grasp, but I can't imagine what restrictions you place on looking into the future. Like I can see my kid on a swing but I can't see the mobile phone with the lottery numbers on it that my wife is holding. Can you see my problem here?

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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 10:22 am

If God told me that tomorrow at exactly 9:30 I will eat a sandwich, is there any way for me to not eat that sandwich?
If so, wouldn't that mean God was wrong?
If not, wouldn't that mean I have no free will?
Given a stereotypical all powerful God then I don't see a problem with God telling you exactly what you are going to do and then you doing exactly what God said you were going to do of your own free will.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joCOWaaTj4A&t=2s

This is quite interesting, about how we are determined to have free will.

Dark Matter
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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Dark Matter » January 3rd, 2018, 11:01 am

Panzerfaust_60 wrote:
January 1st, 2018, 3:45 pm
If God told me that tomorrow at exactly 9:30 I will eat a sandwich, is there any way for me to not eat that sandwich?
If so, wouldn't that mean God was wrong?
If not, wouldn't that mean I have no free will?

If my future action doesn't exist, then how can God know it?
If it does exist, then how do I have free will? I can freely make decisions now, in the present. I can't teleport to the past or to the future. If my action already exists, prior my ability to freely make it, then how is it free?
What does one have to do with the other?

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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Tamminen » January 3rd, 2018, 11:22 am

Eduk wrote:
January 3rd, 2018, 10:22 am
If God told me that tomorrow at exactly 9:30 I will eat a sandwich, is there any way for me to not eat that sandwich?
If so, wouldn't that mean God was wrong?
If not, wouldn't that mean I have no free will?
Given a stereotypical all powerful God then I don't see a problem with God telling you exactly what you are going to do and then you doing exactly what God said you were going to do of your own free will.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joCOWaaTj4A&t=2s

This is quite interesting, about how we are determined to have free will.
If God or an omniscient physicist tells me that I will be in London tomorrow at 9:00 pm, I would deliberately stay here in Helsinki, just to prove that they do not know anything. Everything can still be predetermined, also my will, but I cannot know my fate.

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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Steve3007 » January 3rd, 2018, 11:34 am

A contradiction only arises if there is some way that you can know for sure that this God is not lying. If you stay in Helsinki He can just claim that He knew that would be the result of telling you that you were going to go to London. It may be true. Since we can't see into the mind of God, we'll never know.

It's similar with this concept of Determinism. Determinism is the idea that if we could rewind time, the same set of physical circumstances would result in the same end result. But since we can't rewind time and can't precisely duplicate the past state of a physical system, just as we can't see inside the mind of God, the question of whether the universe is deterministic is, arguably, meaningless. It isn't answerable.
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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 11:46 am

If God or an omniscient physicist tells me that I will be in London tomorrow at 9:00 pm, I would deliberately stay here in Helsinki
In that case God is not omniscient.
Determinism is the idea that if we could rewind time, the same set of physical circumstances would result in the same end result.
I think 'rewinding' time is probably a nonsense. As in if I walk from A to B and then walk from B to A I have not rewound anything. But anyway let us imagine it were possible. The implication is that this negates free will, we are forced to freely do the exact same thing implying we were never free at all? Perhaps this is the type of free will that does not exist and the type of free will we have is what we will have to put up with. I can not imagine perfectly free will, it would have to be free not to be free for a start.

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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Tamminen » January 3rd, 2018, 12:19 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
January 3rd, 2018, 11:34 am
A contradiction only arises if there is some way that you can know for sure that this God is not lying. If you stay in Helsinki He can just claim that He knew that would be the result of telling you that you were going to go to London. It may be true. Since we can't see into the mind of God, we'll never know.

It's similar with this concept of Determinism. Determinism is the idea that if we could rewind time, the same set of physical circumstances would result in the same end result. But since we can't rewind time and can't precisely duplicate the past state of a physical system, just as we can't see inside the mind of God, the question of whether the universe is deterministic is, arguably, meaningless. It isn't answerable.
The point is that we cannot know what will happen to us, because knowing and doing are incompatible. Therefore, if something like determinism were a meaningful concept, there has to be some kind of a metaphysical reason to use it. I am not sure if it is totally meaningless.

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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by SimpleGuy » January 3rd, 2018, 12:23 pm

If there is a god and i have to emphasize this if and god is all knowing we know that through turings stopping time theorem, we don't know wether an algorithm will stop or not, due to the fact that there is no algorithm for this question in mathematics. So the conjecture is, that we somehow just project like in quantum mechanics a sub-space onto our own knowledge via a projection operator. This projection then , will somehow be putten into the ensemble of all human beeings, still not capable (trough turings stopping time theorem) to grasp the whole knowledge. The result is, that mankind imagines free will but god doesn't have to.

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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 12:34 pm

Therefore, if something like determinism were a meaningful concept, there has to be some kind of a metaphysical reason to use it.
I don't get your point? Determinism has been an extremely useful concept, for example you wouldn't have a computer with the concept of determinism.

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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 12:35 pm

I meant you wouldn't have a computer without the concept of determinism.

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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 12:36 pm

Or to give you the most basic of examples, you wouldn't duck if someone threw a rock at your head without the concept of determinism.

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