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

Post by Tamminen » January 3rd, 2018, 12:59 pm

Eduk wrote:
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.
Sorry for the lazy expression. I meant the universe as a deterministic system.

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

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 1:31 pm

Still not hundred percent following you. We can use Doppler shift to see if a star is moving away or towards us (for example), this would be impossible if the universe wasn't deterministic? But I don't think that's what you mean?

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

Post by Tamminen » January 3rd, 2018, 1:57 pm

Eduk wrote:
January 3rd, 2018, 1:31 pm
Still not hundred percent following you. We can use Doppler shift to see if a star is moving away or towards us (for example), this would be impossible if the universe wasn't deterministic? But I don't think that's what you mean?
See Steve's reply to my post above. He thinks that the concept of a deterministic universe is meaningless for the reasons he describes, but I would say that there could possibly be some metaphysical reasons to keep the concept alive.

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

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 2:07 pm

Ah I see. I feel like philosophy pretty much rules out absolutes. But being more absolute or less absolute or being more right or more wrong or more likely or less likely or more reasonable or less reasonable are not ruled out. And the most reasonable you can be is the most reasonable you can be, you shouldn't demand more. As in don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 3rd, 2018, 9:44 pm

Eduk wrote:
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?
When you say "your beliefs', I shall assume that is in general. I, personally, seem to be immune from the infection. (No, I don't 'believe' that, I 'observe' that!)
How, you ask, do beliefs affect actions?
Let me point to human history;
No one EVER deliberately harms another person unless they harbor a 'belief infection'!
The violent insanity resulting from the infection makes the answer to your question obvious;
America, believing in capitalism and democracy and freedom stomp all over the world attempting to cram it down people's throats.
Crusades.
Holocaust.
All wars.
All genocide. All torture, all 'punishment'
Those infected have three priorities; defend the belief, justify/feed the belief, spread/propagate the belief!
You can see all this by simple observation in the present, along with all of human history.
Yes, beliefs affect action! Beliefs are of the ego, with which 'we' identify. To attack a belief is to attack the person! And watch out!
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?
Your 'problem' is that all Knowledge, all access, is on a need to know basis.
What you need to Know, you do.
If you need to know the lottery numbers, you would.
Winning the lottery is far from a 'blessing'! You might be blessed by NOT winning the lottery.
We have no clue what we 'need', usually it's only what we 'desire/want'!
One doesn't 'choose' what one experiences/Knows in any moment! There is no 'choice' to be made! There is, however, a 'feeling/thought' that a choice is made. But it really isn't.
We 'see' what we do.

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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 4th, 2018, 12:50 pm

The OP is a true paradox. Not a god killing paradox, but a true one. But as many have pointed out, since the OP is so specific and narrow, there are several ways of resolving the paradox and preserving the idea of gods.
"As usual... it depends."

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

Post by Eduk » January 4th, 2018, 1:03 pm

How, you ask, do beliefs affect actions?
Let me point to human history;
No I was asking you specifically how your beliefs effect your actions. I am interested in your take of yourself, not so much your take on others (not saying that that is irrelevant it's just not the question I was asking).
For example I only believe something if it would be reasonable to do so. So therefore logically when you say it is common to perceive future moments I immediately check with my prior knowledge that there has been no verified instances of such an event. I also question the mechanism as I can comprehend how my eyes can see in the present but know of no time travelling mechanism that would allow them to see in the future. I also think of things like cause and effect which has, to this point, never been contradicted. And then I go a bit further and try to imagine a world where such a thing was common and what it would look like. Skipping huge tracks of known human knowledge would be compelling. For example if two thousand years ago someone had written down some QM equation but then had had no idea what to do with it and it was buried in some library for two thousand years and then randomly discovered, that would at least be something. But to my knowledge nothing remotely like that has ever happened. Of course your get out of jail free card of need to know absolves you of all requirement for empirical data, a mere coincidence?

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

Post by Namelesss » January 5th, 2018, 10:55 pm

LuckyR wrote:
January 4th, 2018, 12:50 pm
The OP is a true paradox. Not a god killing paradox, but a true one. But as many have pointed out, since the OP is so specific and narrow, there are several ways of resolving the paradox and preserving the idea of gods.
It isn't that the question is a paradox, it is based on ignorance and various unfounded (and erroneous) assumptions.
It is sloppy thinking.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 6th, 2018, 2:12 am

Eduk wrote:
January 4th, 2018, 1:03 pm
How, you ask, do beliefs affect actions?
Let me point to human history;
No I was asking you specifically how your beliefs effect your actions.

Is this an attempt akin to the old; "if it were your children, you would think differently!"?
We need to get personal? That is not philosophy, it would be psychology.
Anyway, I'll humor you and see where you are going with this personal stuff.
You already, erroneously, assumed that I host 'beliefs'.
I do not.
(And, no, I do not 'believe' that, I 'observe' that.)
And not anything, ever, 'affects' my actions.
Believing the illusion of 'causality' and 'control' is akin to 'believing' that shouting at the sun will affect it in some manner.
I am interested in your take of yourself, not so much your take on others (not saying that that is irrelevant it's just not the question I was asking).
The egoic 'self' is as empty as all such illusions. That's my take on the 'self'. A mirror, at best.

"Perhaps it is the curvature of space that, like a funhouse mirror distorting our own reflection, we imagine strangers." - Mythopoeicon

All that is available to 'have a take on', is Self!
If you are referring to the egoic 'self' of the imagination, that is for you to answer. I am, to you, however you perceive me.
'Self!' is ALL inclusive.
Definitions are limitations.
For example I only believe something if it would be reasonable to do so.

How self-serving!
Everyone hosting 'beliefs' would use the same justification!
The greater the infection, the greater the dissolution of cognitive and intellectual function. Self-defense/self-serving.
The infection, parasite-like attached to your ego, your very self-identity, has the perfect self-defense system; you!
When a 'belief' feels threatened, YOU feel threatened, and will commit any atrocity to alleviate the perceived threat (depending on the severity of the infection, of course, but all on the scale). Many, many have been killed in the name of 'defending' people's belief infections, no matter the strain; God, money, rocks...
So therefore logically when you say it is common to perceive future moments I immediately check with my prior knowledge that there has been no verified instances of such an event.
On the contrary, there are many verified instances!
Your lack of research is a fine excuse for ignorance and summary rejection.
Actual, here and now thought burns more calories!
Further, I would hypothesize that all healthy human beings have seen 'the future', perhaps a moment here and there, but we all do it.
For you to deny is... disingenuous, to say the least.
Were it true, you'd be about the only one. Highly improbable.
I also question the mechanism as I can comprehend how my eyes can see in the present but know of no time travelling mechanism that would allow them to see in the future.

Forgetting the question of what, exactly, is doing the 'seeing', I will point out, however, that every moment of Universal existence is perceived Here! Now! We do not perceive the 'future' that exists nowhere other than in our thoughts/ego, all that can ever be perceived, is done so in the Here! Now! Moment!
All of them!
I also think of things like cause and effect which has, to this point, never been contradicted.

Wrong.
'Cause' and 'effect' (causality/creation) is a crude and obsolete way to say; two mutually arising opposite Perspectives of the same One Event!
For example if two thousand years ago someone had written down some QM equation but then had had no idea what to do with it and it was buried in some library for two thousand years and then randomly discovered, that would at least be something. But to my knowledge nothing remotely like that has ever happened.
Again, time for your Knowledge to receive critical update! *__-
If you were at all conversant with the Enlightened philosophers Laotse and Chuangtse, all those millennia ago, you would see that QM is finally catching up with what they already knew intuitively. And is all there to read for yourself. But you'd have to know something of QM so you'd be able to recognize the parallels!
That means homework! *__-

"Quantum mechanics comes on as so off the wall that only a mystical state of mind can even begin to probe it's mysteries!" - Richard Feynman and Chuangtse

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

Post by Eduk » January 6th, 2018, 5:23 am

Ok well I asked and thanks for answering, but I don't feel particularly enlightened.

Seen as you are not actually you and have no control over what you write then I guess I'm basically trying to talk to a brick wall? I should probably stop.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 6th, 2018, 5:32 am

Eduk wrote:
January 6th, 2018, 5:23 am
Ok well I asked and thanks for answering, but I don't feel particularly enlightened.
Understanding requires caloric burning, effort.
Enlightenment is something else, entirely.
Was enlightening you my job? Did I not answer as you thought that I should? Did I not play the game right?
Seen as you are not actually you and have no control over what you write then I guess I'm basically trying to talk to a brick wall? I should probably stop.
I agree, whenever you have nothing to add to a discussion, or cannot keep up, duck out with whatever feeble excuse you need to justify.
Perhaps an intellectually honest thing to say might have been; "I can't understand what you are trying to convey, so, rather than question you for elucidation, I'll just see you down the road!" *__-
Happy trails.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 6th, 2018, 5:35 am

So many Pinocchios imagining themselves to be real little boys...

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

Post by Eduk » January 6th, 2018, 5:44 am

Look if you take my non understanding as an insult then I apologise. And when I say talking to a brick wall I don't mean that as an insult either, that just seems a logical progression to me (perhaps wrongly). For example if you proved beyond all doubt that their was no such thing as free will then I am technically indistinguishable from a wall from the point of view of intent, as in there is no such thing as intent. Much in the same way some people will trip over a tree root and, in my opinion, wrongly blame the tree. You are kind of saying that if you trip me then I shouldn't blame you either.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 6th, 2018, 6:17 am

I spent time and energy crafting an honest and thoughtful reply to your rather personal (and otherwise) questions.
What resulted is that unable to answer or respond, you ignored, and were insulting to boot.
Fine.
See you around the bend, perhaps, but it might be awhile before I spend as much generous time with you, again.
No response means that I am wasting my time, and it's time to exit.
Have a lovely evening..

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

Post by Eduk » January 6th, 2018, 6:29 am

But you didn't answer my question. I asked how your beliefs change your actions.
If you say that there is no such thing as belief and therefore there is nothing to change your actions then fair enough. If that is what you are saying?
But you then spend a lot of time telling me how lazy I am in various different ways. Which to my mind is odd, because if my beliefs don't change my actions because I don't have any beliefs then how can I be lazy? Again if I have misunderstood then I apologise.

I mean I'm not playing a game. It was a genuine question. For example how you might treat a criminal could have a lot to do with your beliefs. For example the extreme liberal view is no one has personal responsibility so therefore we should treat acts of evil like hurricanes, as in we should lock them up if we can but not morally judge them. Then there is the extreme conservative view that everyone has perfect personal responsibility and you should both lock people up and judge them morally. Personally I don't think reality is so simple, but you seem to be describing a perfect liberal view, again please correct me if I am wrong. A simple correcting is all it needs, no need to insult me.

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