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

Post by Eduk » January 11th, 2018, 10:51 am

All knowing commonly refers to the limit of the imagination of the person saying all knowing.

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

Post by Steve3007 » January 11th, 2018, 2:39 pm

So if God says he's all-knowing, does that just reflect the limits of His imagination? Are there greater Gods beyond His ken?

Do little Gods have greater Gods upon their backs to bite 'em?
And greater Gods have greater Gods, and so on ad infinitum?

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Maldon007
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Re: If God is all-knowing, then how can I have free will?

Post by Maldon007 » January 11th, 2018, 4:54 pm

I don't see how God's knowledge or foreknowledge precludes free will at all...

But it appears the bible is uncertain on God's omniscience. Quite a few places God is unaware of what people are doing, like...

And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord, amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? Genesis 3:8-9

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

Post by Namelesss » January 12th, 2018, 2:49 am

Londoner wrote:
January 11th, 2018, 6:50 am
Namelesss wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 9:50 pm
All Knowing means experiencing all that exists, all that can be Known.
I think the phrase is meaningless, however you try to explain it.
All (takes breath) 'Knowing' (meaning anything and everything that can be Known, and that is everything that 'exists') is the momentary experience of one's unique Conscious Perspective of the One, unchanging, ALL inclusive Universal Reality/Truth...!
There is One Universal Consciousness peeking from all momentary eyes. Thus One Omni-, all inclusive Knower of all experience/Knowledge, Omniscient.
'Access', is on a need to Know basis.
For example, if I have an experience of something, it is only 'an' experience. 'All knowing' would require me to have all possible experiences simultaneously, but that would be the same as having no experience.

That is illogical. IF you had access to all experiences, all Knowledge, how could that possibly be construed as having no Knowledge/experience?
If you got $, you got $! *__-
One thing that seems to be thwarting you is the egoic illusion of autonomous separation from the 'rest of the Universe'.
Just because 'you' experience as you do, and I have my own unique take on things, as do we all, all of our unique takes are uploaded into the same Consciousness.
Access is limited.
There is a law of the Universe that goes like this;
"For every Perspective, there is an equal and opposite Perspective!" - First Law of Soul Dynamics
Like matter and antimatter, when both arise to Consciousness, they self-cancel/annihilate!
Boom, end of existence before it begins. Consciousness can look at it sideways.
Every moment of Universal existence is Here! Now! Unchanging! How can there be free-will? (topic)
(If my experience was 'all possible experiences',

No, "your" experience is "your" experience, one single unique Perspective of the One Reality/Truth, at this very timeless Planck moment of Universal existence!
if you asked me ' So is it this experience?' and named something, my answer would always be 'no'.)
It IS always 'this' moment/experience.
So if I asked you if it is your experience, Here! Now! reading these words on your monitor, you'd have to say no? Honestly?
Likewise with 'know'. If I know everything,

There is a HUGE difference between "I Know everything" and "everything is Known"! Think about it.
One is limited by/to the egoic "I", the other transcends the limitations thereof.
then I would know nothing in particular. It is like asking 'What would something look like if viewed from everywhere?' It makes no sense because 'look' like 'experience' and 'know' implies a particular perspective, so to link it to 'all' or 'everywhere' is self-contradictory.
No contradiction, when all opposite Perspectives arise to Conscious Here! Now! there is no longer any need for existence, and it is no more.
If somebody could come up with a coherent explanation of what 'all knowing' is supposed to mean - then we could move onto how it would be compatible with whatever 'free will' is supposed to mean.
The aggregate of all Knowers, all Perspectives at every point in the One Universe, is what ALL Knowing means (rather simple when you look at it like this), Knowing all that can be Known. The Universe, all inclusive, is ALL Knowing, Omni- One!

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

Post by Namelesss » January 12th, 2018, 2:53 am

Eduk wrote:
January 11th, 2018, 10:51 am
All knowing commonly refers to the limit of the imagination of the person saying all knowing.
Really?
Does a limited imagination also mean uneducated?
The meaning seems rather simple, even for those with limited imagination and experience...
Feel free to read my response to Londoner.
That might help.

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

Post by Eduk » January 12th, 2018, 5:14 am

Everybody's imagination is limited nameless. Don't be so negative.
Also your meaning seems far from the normative meaning. So I'm not sure why you conclude it is simple.

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

Post by Londoner » January 12th, 2018, 7:06 am

Namelesss wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 2:49 am

Me: I think the phrase is meaningless, however you try to explain it.

All (takes breath) 'Knowing' (meaning anything and everything that can be Known, and that is everything that 'exists') is the momentary experience of one's unique Conscious Perspective of the One, unchanging, ALL inclusive Universal Reality/Truth...!
There is One Universal Consciousness peeking from all momentary eyes. Thus One Omni-, all inclusive Knower of all experience/Knowledge, Omniscient.
'Access', is on a need to Know basis
.

Well...your explanation may have a meaning for you, but you will (hopefully) see that you have difficulty explaining what that meaning is using ordinary language.

But this thread isn't about the nature of the One. It is about an apparent logical paradox involving the description 'all knowing'. If that is the case, then 'all knowing' ought to be comprehensible as a simple true/false proposition. Your explanation might be right, but it isn't simple!
Me: For example, if I have an experience of something, it is only 'an' experience. 'All knowing' would require me to have all possible experiences simultaneously, but that would be the same as having no experience.
That is illogical. IF you had access to all experiences, all Knowledge, how could that possibly be construed as having no Knowledge/experience?
If you got $, you got $! *__-
No, it is logical. The description 'all experiences' is not itself an experience. It is as if I asked you how many apples you have and you answered 'Number', or 'Quantity'.
One thing that seems to be thwarting you is the egoic illusion of autonomous separation from the 'rest of the Universe'.
Just because 'you' experience as you do, and I have my own unique take on things, as do we all, all of our unique takes are uploaded into the same Consciousness.
Once again, the OP is not about this. It is about a paradox. The paradox would arise because of the logical relationships between the terms, so the fact it happened to be expressed about God is neither here nor there.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 12th, 2018, 5:36 pm

Londoner wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 7:06 am
It is about an apparent logical paradox involving the description 'all knowing'. If that is the case, then 'all knowing' ought to be comprehensible as a simple true/false proposition.

Nonsense! Aristotle's 'either/or.. true/false.. is an error. There is more and reality cannot be reduced to a t/f proposition. That toxic error has polluted Western thought since!
Occam's Razor requires the simplest theory that answers, describes, and predicts.
Nothing simpler.
Nothing more complicated.
To expect Universal Truth to be reduced to an easily digestible 'either/or' (which is false; QM has demonstrated it's fallacy and obsolescence (Good bye Aristotle) and will, eventually, be found fruitless.
Your explanation might be right, but it isn't simple!

It is simple enough to fulfil Occam's Razor. Perhaps the 'error' is in your beliefs and expectations, your own cognitive limitations?
So now you are arguing because it is not sufficiently simple FOR YOU, it is 'right' but 'wrong'??
It is simple enough to show that there is no paradox, that it is not an error, can be understood, and fulfills Occam's Razor.
Surely it is simple enough for you to understand?
Once again, the OP is not about this. It is about a paradox. The paradox would arise because of the logical relationships between the terms, so the fact it happened to be expressed about God is neither here nor there.
I sufficiently answered the OP question.
I showed how there is no paradox, other than that caused by ignorance (willful?), especially after mt excellent offering.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 12th, 2018, 5:52 pm

Eduk wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 5:14 am
Everybody's imagination is limited nameless. Don't be so negative.
Lets just say that all of our limitations exist in/as 'thought/ego'.
I am offering a simple (the simplest possible) example/Perspective where there is no paradox in 'all Knowing', just the limits of our ability to understand/experience.
Also your meaning seems far from the normative meaning. So I'm not sure why you conclude it is simple.
'Simple' can cover a lot of ground. A car is 'simple' if you understand it. Walking can be simpler, if you understand that.
With the slightest bit of effort, any fairly honestly intelligent person can, to some extent, understand what I've offered.
Sometimes the simplest scientific/philosophical theory that does what a good theory does, is not 'simple enough for the 'normative herd'.
Some minds are just concerned about how much cheese to put on the nachos.
So, one feature of Our ALL Knowing is understanding the (Our) non-paradoxical nature of the (Self! descriptive) term 'all Knowing', and also how much cheese to put on nachos!

Normal has been the flat Earth theory, at one time. So? I remain unimpressed... People who can think for themselves seems to be a rapidly diminishing crowd. Others must imbibe their thoughts from others.
"The great snare of thought is the uncritical acceptance of irrational assumptions!" - Will Durant

The 'normal', street level intellect is constantly diminishing, held afloat and guided by those who ca see a bit further down the road, a bit more deeply, a philosopher.
Words and meanings are always changing!
"A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 12th, 2018, 6:15 pm

Londoner wrote:
January 11th, 2018, 6:50 am
Namelesss wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 9:50 pm
All Knowing means experiencing all that exists, all that can be Known.
I think the phrase is meaningless, however you try to explain it.

For example, if I have an experience of something, it is only 'an' experience. 'All knowing' would require me to have all possible experiences simultaneously,

The reason that you cannot understand because you assume that "it's all about 'you'"!
"You" are but one input devise to the Universal Consciousness where (in which) ALL IS KNOWN!
There is no requirement that you, personally, can Know anything other than what you experience at any particular, unique moment!

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

Post by Namelesss » January 12th, 2018, 6:20 pm

"I think the phrase is meaningless, however you try to explain it."

~~~ Perhaps "to you"! I offered a rich buffet which you simply glissanded past.
Some food is just too rich for some. They'd choke.
'Meaning' remains in the thoughts/ego of the beholder.
Where one finds 'meaning', another finds different meaning and another finds none...
Tomorrow that might change around.
(Thus, ALL is Known!)

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

Post by Namelesss » January 12th, 2018, 6:35 pm

Londoner wrote:
January 11th, 2018, 6:50 am
If somebody could come up with a coherent explanation of what 'all knowing' is supposed to mean -
Been there, done that.
then we could move on..
Feel free.

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

Post by Namelesss » January 12th, 2018, 6:43 pm

SimpleGuy wrote:
January 11th, 2018, 5:11 am
But how does it come? If somebody believes in god , this should have a reason. So some sort of sign or communication must be present: O.K:?
If you used the 'quote button' on my posts that you are answering, I would be informed of your response. Otherwise, I have to just stumble on it, like now. It makes it much easier to maintain discussions. Please?

In a linear reality such as what we often perceive, first, we catch a belief, then, THEN, we constantly justify/fed it.
No one rationally, logically forms a 'belief'.
Beliefs are caught and spread like any virus/malware/parasite.
Once caught (they are an infection of thought/ego) we engage in all sorts of symptomatic behavior.
'Believers' must constantly 'defend' (people identify with their beliefs as the belief is an entity of the ego, who we think ourselves to be), 'justify/feed' and propagate/spread their particular strain of belief.
All the rationalizing, justification... comes after it is caught.
How would you somehow devide if this sign is just an upcoming psychological problem or a sign from god.
The 'distinction between a 'sign from God', and rat droppings remains in the eye of the beholder.
IF God is Omni- (and We Are), then all words are 'God's Word', all 'signs' are from/of God.
How do you define metally healthy and ill,
All health; mental, emotional, physical, spiritual... is predicated on the ability to Love, unconditionally!
'Beliefs' are insanity.

Enlightenment = unconditional Love = Heaven = Nirvana! Here! Now!
(“Heaven is at hand!” - Jesus … Here! Now!)

Anything other than unconditional Love = sinsanity = Hell! Here! Now!
if there is a communication or at least a sign from God in some way. If there is no communication, does this belief simply comes from a priest who says that god is thinking this way, but this is just a psychological projection of your god terminology to priest. All this can have hazardous effects to mental health , this is known to be proven for me.
No one ever deliberately harmed another person unless they are infected with some strain or other of 'belief'!

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

Post by Londoner » January 13th, 2018, 5:27 am

Namelesss wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 5:36 pm

Nonsense! Aristotle's 'either/or.. true/false.. is an error. There is more and reality cannot be reduced to a t/f proposition. That toxic error has polluted Western thought since!
Occam's Razor requires the simplest theory that answers, describes, and predicts.
Nothing simpler.
Nothing more complicated.
To expect Universal Truth to be reduced to an easily digestible 'either/or' (which is false; QM has demonstrated it's fallacy and obsolescence (Good bye Aristotle) and will, eventually, be found fruitless....
Once again, the thread is about a paradox. A paradox is a self-contradictory statement, i.e. it says something is both true and false at the same time.

The contradiction arises because of the logical relationships within it, it is like writing 'X and not-X'. So it has nothing to do with 'Universal Truth' or 'The One' or whatever we might take the 'X' to represent. The OP used the word 'God', but it could be about an all-knowing unicorn, or teacup or philosopher. It makes no difference, because the paradox arises from the predicate 'all-knowing', not the subject. So your ideas about the nature of 'Universal Truth' are irrelevant.

If you do not understand this there is no point in explaining my original post again.

One further observation, you mention Occam's Razor (several times). You ought to read about this - carefully - because it doesn't say or imply what you think it does.

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

Post by Syamsu » January 13th, 2018, 8:22 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?
If God changes his mind. If God was just fibbing. If you disobey God and not eat the sandwich.

Omniscience means to know all there is to know. Which way a choice turns out prior to the choice being made is not knowable.

Making a choice means to make one of alternative futures the present.

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