The Instigator
doomswatter
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
gryephon
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

It is Logically Impossible for God to Have Perfect Foreknowledge

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
doomswatter
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,796 times Debate No: 58750
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (39)
Votes (4)

 

doomswatter

Pro

(I have set a minimum elo requirement for my opponent, but I may consider removing it. Post in the comments if you want to accept the debate but are unable to, and I'll consider you.)

Resolution: It is Logically Impossible for God to Have Perfect Foreknowledge


For the purposes of this debate, it will be assumed that God exists.

Definitions

God: An omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being.

Omnipotent: Is unrestricted in power. Can do anything he wants at any time. Unlimited in potential actions.

Omniscient: Knows everything there is to know.

Omnipresent: Exists everywhere there is to exist.

Perfect Foreknowledge: Complete and perfect knowledge of every thing that ever will be, happen, and transpire in the future.

Structure

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals and New Arguments
Round 4: Rebuttals and Closing (No new arguments)
gryephon

Con

I accept, state your case.
Debate Round No. 1
doomswatter

Pro

Thank you, Con, for accepting. I look forward to an interesting debate.



Arguments




1. Omnipotence


1a. Free Will

Omnipotence entails the free will of the omnipotent one. In order for a being to be unrestricted and do whatever it wants, it's obvious that it must have the freedom to do what it wants. It must be capable of having desires, making decisions accordingly, and acting upon those desires. If a being can not decide its course of action, or can not do what it wants, it is not unrestricted.

1b. Preeminence

Omnipotence entails the preeminence of the omnipotent one. If the being is not superior to and above all other beings, it is possible that its choices could be obstructed by an equal or greater power, rendering it restricted and negating its omnipotence. Therefore, for a being to be omnipotent, it must necessarily be preeminent.

From these two points, we see that God must have both free will and preeminence.


2. Perfect Foreknowledge

Perfect foreknowledge is necessarily unalterable. Details of a particular point in the future can not change, or else the foreknowledge was not perfect. If at time "A" God knows that I will eat an apple in the future, but then at time "B" God's foreknowledge changes and I will not eat the apple, such a change would render the foreknowledge God possessed at time "A" imperfect. From the time God's perfect foreknowledge began, its perfection had to extend into infinite future. At the moment in time that God's foreknowledge began, the future was set in stone. The future can not change or deviate from what God has foreknown, or it renders his foreknowledge imperfect.


3. Contradictions

3a. Restriction

If we accept that an omnipotent God must have an unrestricted free will, and if we accept that the future can not be altered from what is foreknown in order for the foreknowledge to be perfect, we see the following:

If God's foreknowledge is perfect, he is restricted. He must follow the path he has foreknown, without deviation, without choices. He has no free will in any given moment, because every moment is already determined.

If, on the other hand, God can alter the future, his foreknowledge of future events is not perfect. If God has freedom to deviate from what he has foreknown, the future is nebulous, and God's foreknowledge is imperfect.

3b. The Source of Perfect Foreknowledge

3b1. It Existed Infinitely With God

This can not be the case, because God is necessarily preeminent. If his perfect foreknowledge of me eating an apple today existed infinitely in the past, then for all intents and purposes I and the apple, at least conceptually, have existed infinitely in the past. God could not deviate. He had no choice but to create me and create apples, or else his foreknowledge would be imperfect. Not only does this restrict God's will, it also negates his preeminence. If my actions have existed infinitely in the form of God's foreknowledge, then, in essence, my actions have restricted God's actions. This makes my actions preeminent to God's.

3b2. He Gave It To Himself At Some Point

This also can not logically be the case. In the moment that God somehow gave himself perfect foreknowledge of the future infinite, he would have ceased to be omnipotent. All of the restrictions that come with perfect foreknowledge would have bound him immediately. Not only does this remove his omnipotence presently, but it negates his omnipotence prior to giving himself the foreknowledge. There was a course of action floating around out there that could limit God, and God could not take it without being limited. Therefore, if God could at any time give himself perfect foreknowledge, he has never been omnipotent.

3b3. Someone Else Gave It To Him

I hope it's obvious why this can not be the case. An omnipotent God must be preeminent.

----------------------


My arguments show that God can not logically be omnipotent and possess perfect foreknowledge at the same time. I look forward to my opponent's arguments.
gryephon

Con






1. Omnipotence

1a. Free Will

Omnipotence doesn’t necessary entail ‘will’ itself, there is a difference between say ‘can do all things’ then ‘will do all things’. For example a person may be able to jump to certain death off the top of the Burj Khalifa, yet this doesn’t mean that that person “will” jump off, simply that they can. Power and will are two completely different things.

For clarification what do you mean by “free will”, I assume that it means the ability of whatever intelligent agent to make choices. If you mean it to something else, please let men know.

1b. Preeminence

Possible Obstructions? It would be a simple paradox, I don’t see why a god can’t pull off a paradox. In the Abrahamic God contradictions and paradoxes won’t happen because it’s against his nature, but we’re talking about gods in general that may or may not have the same nature.

I don’t see why multiple superpowers can’t co-exist. Just because Russia and the United States each have over a thousand nukes, which means they can blow up the planet to kingdom come multiple times doesn’t mean that they can’t exist because they both have the same power. Both Russia and the United states exist because of the doctrine of Mutual assured destruction. This concept could be taken and applied with not just superpower entities, but omnipotent beings as well. They may not wish to obstruct each other because to do so would cause a paradox. Much like the concept of mutually assured destruction, with omnipotent beings it might be something like mutually assured insanity which neither being may desire to have.



2. Perfect Foreknowledge

Why would God have a desire to change the future to “B”? The God I know is perfect, and would not ever make an imperfect decision. So this is not a problem with the Abrahamic God, for he doesn’t change.


3. Contradictions

Why are you trying to prove your arguments through appeals to contradictions? For your arguments to work “logically” you would have to prove that a God can’t create a contradiction though his omnipotent power. If you’re trying to say contradictions are logically impossible, then why are they logically impossible? I personally know that contradictions won’t happen because they are contrary to the nature of God, but the problem is that I know that from theology of a specific Judeo-Christian God. We’re dealing with any god here, ones that might have a nature to contradict. And if no God exists, why are contradictions logically impossible anyway? It would have to be based off circular reasoning, e.g. “contradictions can’t happen because they can’t happen.” You kind of have a problem in your case, because you’re trying to affirm something you can’t really prove.

3a. Restriction

If God's foreknowledge is perfect, he is restricted.

Not necessarily, I do believe God has the power to deviate from what he foreknows, but he would probably never because why would he desire to? He has no will to change, he’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, it’s Biblical (Hebrews 13:8). So in a sense he has perfect foreknowledge not that he can’t alter future events, but he won’t because it’s not in his nature to.

Foreknowledge has to do with what will happen in the future not what could have happened. If I foreknew that someone was going to pick a specific option in the future from a list of others, does that mean that they “can’t” choose a different option because I foreknew? No, they “had” the capability to choose another option, I just simply know what is going to be picked ahead of time, not that they were restricted in the past of what they could choose. So free will is still intact while still having foreknowledge.

If, on the other hand, God can alter the future

Depending on what god we’re talking here, God doesn’t ever really “deviate”. I don’t see why any perfect God would ever desire to change his ways on any account, as deviation seems to be contrary to perfection. The future may not be “nebulas”, because it remains unaltered despite the fact that it can be altered.




3b. The Source of Perfect Foreknowledge

3b1. It Existed Infinitely With God

The 3b1 premise isn’t so much as an axiom to me, but more of an assumption being made about God’s foreknowledge. I know that God can predict things with bizarre accuracy presently, but I don’t know if he always had the ability or later acquired during his creation (foreknowledge through causality). I do not know the method of which he knows all things, as far as I know he could have made his creation to be predictable to him, thus making his foreknowledge more external then innate. (in some sense created or caused foreknowledge)

3b3. Someone Else Gave It To Him

I don’t see why an omnipotent being can’t give his omnipotence away to an inferior being, if omnipotence allows you to do anything, I don’t know why you can’t rip it out and insert it into another. I don’t see why an omnipotent can’t use his power to give all his knowledge away.


Dialogue on Perfect Foreknowledge

It depends on the semantics of what you mean by “Perfect foreknowledge”. If you’re meaning it to say Perfect foreknowledge in the sense that it “can’t” be altered, then no for a god that doesn't contradict, because a non-contradictive God has the power to do all things, he would have to forfeit his omnipotence to acquire an incapability to can’t do something (e.g. incapability to can’t alter knowledge), or he would to make perfect foreknowledge. If perfect foreknowledge is interpreted as knowledge that will never change, then yes, a non-paradoxical god can have perfect foreknowledge.

If you foreknow something and it actually happens despite the fact you foreknew it and could have changed it, does it count as perfect foreknowledge? In my mind yes, that would count as perfect foreknowledge because it’s always “unaltered” knowledge, not because it was “unalterable” knowledge. I don’t see why God can’t pick and choose what foreknowledge is perfect, and what knowledge is imperfect.

Debate Round No. 2
doomswatter

Pro

According to the structure laid out in R1, Con should have presented his opening arguments in R2. He has deviated from this structure, but, in this instance, I would ask voters to forgive him that oversight. I am willing to roll with it.

Rebuttals


1. Omnipotence

1a. Free Will

By definition, omnipotence is unrestricted and unlimited. Omnipotence necessarily entails the freedom to choose and perform any option. Whether or not the god chooses a certain option does not change the fact that the god must have the freedom to choose that option. If the god’s ability to choose a certain option is restricted, that god is no longer omnipotent. That is what is meant by free will. The freedom to will anything.

1b. Preeminence

My opponent is confusing all-powerful with powerful. Of course, two powerful entities can exist at the same time. Two all-powerful entities can not. Remember, omnipotence is unlimited. If there were more than one equally-powerful god out there, none of them would be truly omnipotent, because all would be limited in their actions toward one another.

If God can not destroy another, equally-powerful god without being destroyed himself, then he is limited, and is not omnipotent. If the other god can not destroy God, that god is limited as well. If God can destroy the other god without being destroyed himself, then they obviously are not equally-powerful. Two omnipotent beings can not exist at the same time simply because such an existence would create a course of action that neither god could take at will, negating their omnipotence.

Also, by the same token, there can not exist a being who is more powerful than God, because that would create the same limitations, negating God’s omnipotence.

My opponent’s example of the U.S. and Russia is irrelevant. Neither country is by any means omnipotent.

2. Perfect Foreknowledge

Con says, “Why would God have the desire to change the future…?” It does not matter if God ever has the desire to change it. In order to be omnipotent, he must have the ability to change it. However, as I have shown in R2, God can not change the future from what he has foreknown without negating the perfection of his foreknowledge. Any situation that creates a limitation for God negates his omnipotence. Therefore, perfect foreknowledge negates God’s omnipotence.

3. Contradictions

My opponent is missing the point. Logical contradiction is what this debate is all about. If something logically contradicts, it is therefore logically impossible.

3a. Restriction

Con says, “I do believe God has the power to deviate from what he foreknows…” Impossible, if his foreknowledge is perfect. By virtue of his foreknowledge being perfect, God is forever limited. He is forever required to follow in the path of his foreknowledge, without deviation. Any deviation would negate the foreknowledge’s perfection. God can’t even think about deviating unless he foreknew that he would think that! He certainly does not have the power to deviate as long as his foreknowledge is necessarily perfect.

Con: “If I foreknew that someone was going to pick a specific option in the future from a list of others, does that mean that they ‘can’t’ choose a different option because I foreknew?” If Con’s foreknowledge is perfect, then yes, it does mean that. There is a big difference between predicting that something might happen, and perfectly knowing that it will happen. If I perfectly know that something will happen, it must happen, or else I didn’t perfectly know. If I foreknow with perfection that someone will pick a certain option in the future, they can not pick any other option, or else my foreknowledge wasn’t perfect, was it?

Con: “I don’t see why any perfect God would ever desire to change his ways…” We are not talking about desire; we are talking about ability. As previously covered, perfect foreknowledge restricts God’s ability.

It stands that God can not alter the future from what he has perfectly foreknown. He is restricted to only those actions that he has foreknown, and only at the exact times that he has foreknown. Restriction negates omnipotence.

3b. The Source of Perfect Foreknowledge

3b1. It Existed Infinitely with God

Con has not really rebutted my point here. It remains true that whatever God foreknew from infinity past has forever restricted him to a single course of action. Perfect foreknowledge makes the actions of all future beings preeminent to, or at least equal to, God’s ability.

God could not have given it to himself, because self-restriction is still restriction. The fact that any path exists that God can not take without restricting himself negates his omnipotence.

3b3. Someone Else Gave it to Him

If someone else gave God perfect foreknowledge, then someone else restricted God to forever follow a single course of action. If God is preeminent, then no one else could have restricted him. If God is not preeminent, he is not omnipotent.

Dialogue on Perfect Foreknowledge

My opponent tries to make a distinction between knowledge of future events that can’t change, and knowledge of future events that won’t change. There is no distinction when we’re talking about God’s perfect foreknowledge. If God knows that something will not change, that something can not change, or else God was wrong. God can not be wrong, or his foreknowledge was not perfect. By virtue of its perfection, God’s foreknowledge requires that future events can not be changed.


Back to you, Con.

gryephon

Con






Dialogue on Debate Structure

I thought Iwas . Take the heading “contradictions” for example, in it I disputed that contradictions were possible. As I said “For your arguments to work “logically” you would have to prove that a God can’t create a contradiction though his omnipotent power.” That is an argument. Under Preeminence “It would be a simple paradox, I don’t see why a god can’t pull off a paradox.” That is also an argument. If it’s not I simply don’t know what is an argument.

If you’re wanting more new arguments, I argue from scripture, as Jesus said “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37. Therefore it follows that it’s logically not impossible with God to have perfect foreknowledge. My second argument is an argument from my own knowledge. I know that omnipotence can do all things, therefore whoever wields the power of omnipotence, nothing is logically impossible. If something is possible, it is logically possible. From these two arguments I know I’m right with certainty.

Rebuttals

1. Omnipotence

1a. Free Will

Okay I’ll agree that god can choose anything. In my mind omnipotence really doesn’t give you free will without another free will agent, if you give it to a toaster doesn’t mean it goes Anthropomorphic. But I know that God has will, not sure how free it is, but I’ll just go ahead and assume that it is sense it is the popular consent that God does have free will in theism.

1b. Preeminence

Being omnipotent makes it possible for more omnipotence to exist. Omnipotence can do anything, otherwise its restricted and not omnipotence.


2. Perfect Foreknowledge

Well it does matter, if perfect foreknowledge changes from perfect to imperfect or vice versa. Omnipotence can do it.

3. Contradictions

That’s not necessarily true that contradictions are logically impossible because of the existence of God. Saying something that is logically impossible is saying that it can’t happen, but if omnipotence is true, nothing is really impossible. There’s some logic behind it

Agreement 1 God Exists
Agreement 2 → God is omnipotent
Agreement 3 → Omnipotence can do all things
Agreement 4 → Omnipotence can create a contradiction.
Agreement 5 → If contradictions can be created, therefore contradictions are logically possible
Agreement 6 → Contradictions can happen though omnipotence

Agreement :::) Contradictions are logically possible

Of which of these agreements do you object to? They all stem from the existence of God. And if you disagree with agreement 1 (God’s existence), then I can fiat your objection out of the debate through the establishments of round 1 in which was stated “For the purposes of this debate, it will be assumed that God exists.” So you can’t really object to the first agreement.

If you’re saying that contradictions are logically impossible,

3a. Restriction

Pro: Impossible, if his foreknowledge is perfect...

Your defining perfection as “can’t deviate”. But say “can’t become imperfect” aren’t true about perfect entities. For example, a perfect apple can become spoiled through worms, rendering it imperfect. Does this mean that the apple can’t be initially perfect at some point in time? NO! It was perfect at one point until worms deviated it to imperfection. Likewise, God’s decisions can be thought like the worm converting the state of the apple. When a worm does not eat a perfect apple, the apple remains perfect, likewise if God chooses not to change what he foreknows, it remains perfect. On the other hand if the worm does devour the apple, it becomes imperfect. If God chooses to deviate from what he foreknows that foreknowledge becomes imperfect.

In my mind if God chooses from a specific foreknowledge to deviate from that foreknowledge becomes imperfect, but if he doesn’t then that foreknowledge remains perfect. Keep in mind that the resolution states “It is Logically Impossible for God to Have Perfect Foreknowledge”, I see no rule that states God can’t have both perfect and imperfect foreknowledge. So God can have both perfect and imperfect knowledge, he simply chooses which ones are perfect, and which ones that aren’t. Yeah, I know, God is that awesome.

As to god can’t think about it. I’m not sure why God’s cognitive functions can’t handle an infinite amount of foreknowledge, he’s omnipotent after all.

Pro: If Con’s foreknowledge...

When you foreknow something, it doesn’t necessary change the capabilities or free will of other individuals. For example at a salad line a lady chooses to put pickles, ham, cheese, and salad dressing on their salad. If I foreknew that the person did not put on say tomatoes, does that mean she did not have the ability to pick tomatoes? No! She “can” in that moment, but she choose not to. Foreknowledge doesn’t restrict free will, nor does it force it, it’s simply knowledge ahead of time, the lady we know could have picked tomatoes, I just simply knew she wouldn’t before it happened. Theoretically, foreknowledge could be used to influence freewill, but not necessarily set rules. Like I could suggest to the lady to pick tomatoes, and give her statistics on how much, but my foreknowledge doesn’t control her like a robot in which robs her of free will, it just simply knows what is being picked ahead of time.

Pro: We are not talking about desire; we are talking about ability. As previously covered, perfect foreknowledge restricts God’s ability.

I’m interpreting “restrict” as cannot happen. No, foreknowledge doesn’t restrict ability. It restricts nothing. I know I have the ability to jump off the Sears Tower and not to jump off the sears tower, if you foreknew that I would jump off does that mean that I didn’t have a choice in the matter not to jump off? NO! it just simply means that it would happen.



3b1. It Existed Infinitely with God

I was pointing out that you were making the assumption that whatever god eternally had his abilities. Can you back up that claim? It’s an assumption so you can’t. Note the definition “omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent” It says nothing about a god is required to be eternal, or his abilities had to always be with him. So why does whatever god had foreknowledge in the infinite past?

Also to note, free will isn’t even listed as a requirement for god, so a god without free will to begin with could certainly pull it off.



3b3. Someone Else Gave it to Him

Low on text, refuting elsewhere



Dialogue on Perfect Foreknowledge

Yes, it does matter. For example, right now I can “pickup” up a gun and blow my brains out, however I “won’t” because I have no desire to do so. Does this mean that I don’t have the power to do so? NO! I can pickup a gun whenever and blow my brains out. Likewise, God can blow out his brains, does this mean that he will ever blow out his brains? No, it simply means that he has the power to do so. It doesn’t matter if you had foreknowledge or not, in the past you had abilities and free will, foreknowledge just simply knows the outcome, it doesn’t change the fact you had free will and abilities in the past.

back on you, Pro.

Debate Round No. 3
doomswatter

Pro

Structure: In the comments.


Rebuttals


Scripture

That something appears in writing is not a testament to its logical cohesiveness. What the Bible says is irrelevant.


Self-Restriction

In several of his points, Con raises an interesting question: Can an omnipotent being restrict itself? Looking at the definition of omnipotent, the obvious answer would be "yes". Does this mean that it's logically possible for God to be restricted? No. Let's look again at the definition of "God":

God: An omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being.

By definition, in order to be "God", a being must be omnipotent.

Omnipotent: Is unrestricted in power. Can do anything he wants at any time. Unlimited in potential actions.

Of course, since God's omnipotence allows him to do anything, it would allow him to place a restriction on himself. However, as soon as he is restricted, he is no longer omnipotent. By definition, a restricted god is not an omnipotent one. Likewise, as soon as he is not omnipotent, he is not God. By definition, a being that is not omnipotent is not God.

Therefore, the prospect of God placing limitation on himself is irrelevant to this debate, as God must necessarily remain omnipotent while possessing perfect foreknowledge in order for my resolution to be negated. The removal of a god's omnipotence takes that god out of the scope of this debate.


God & Logical Contradictions

Con: "Omnipotence can create a contradiction."

While that statement can be debated, it is irrelevant to this debate. The purpose of this debate is not to determine whether God can create a logical contradiction, but to determine whether God possessing perfect foreknowledge is a logical contradiction. Again, we are concerned with whether or not the contradiction is there. We are not concerned with how it got there.

Con: "If contradictions can be created, therefore contradictions are logically possible"

False. "Possible" does not equal "logically possible". Logic is a concrete term referring to a set of cognitive rules that govern thought in the known universe. One of those rules is "non-contradiction". Something being "A" and not "A" is illogical. God being restricted and omnipotent is illogical. It may be argued that God can create a situation in which a contradiction exists, but this does not make it any less contrary to logic.


Perfect Foreknowledge

Let's look again at the definition:

Perfect Foreknowledge: Complete and perfect knowledge of every thing that ever will be, happen, and transpire in the future.

In order for a being's foreknowledge to fit the definition, it must be about "every thing that ever will be, happen, and transpire in the future." This, of course, extends infinitely into the future. If even one future event is not completely and perfectly foreknown, the foreknowledge does not fit the definition.

Let's look at Con's next point:

"I see no rule that states God can't have both perfect and imperfect foreknowledge."

Obviously, this point falls flat when we look at the definition of perfect foreknowledge. God can't possess both, because perfect foreknowledge is completely perfect and exclusive of imperfection.


Foreknowledge vs. Free Will


Con states in several places that freedom of choice remains in spite of perfect foreknowledge. While we could debate how God's foreknowledge affects the free will of others (I believe it only leaves an illusion of choice), this debate only concerns God's free will. Is God's choice restricted by his perfect foreknowledge? Of course it is. Perfect foreknowledge extends infinitely into the future from the moment it begins, and must be complete and perfect in every detail, by definition. In the moment that God began foreknowing, everything that would ever happen was set. God has no choice but to follow the foreknowledge, or else he would render it imperfect. The idea that God has a choice while his foreknowledge necessarily remains perfect is nonsensical. Perfect foreknowledge and free will are mutually exclusive. As soon as the "will" is exercised in any way not already foreknown, the foreknowledge ceases to be perfect. I don't know how to be any clearer with this.


Miscellaneous Answers

"...you were making the assumption that whatever god eternally had his abilities."

I was not. I was listing that as one of three options for where God got his foreknowledge. I covered all three possibilities in detail.

"...free will isn't even listed as a requirement for god..."

Omnipotence is listed as a requirement, and omnipotence requires free will. We've already been over this.


On to round 4.
gryephon

Con

Rebuttals

Scripture

It has some relevance, this debate is about any God with (that have the listed abilities), not a specific god from my understanding. So we have to take into consideration Gods that have the ability where nothing is impossible with them. There are no impossibilities with the Christian God. He’s omnipotent.

Self-Restriction

Him being both omnipotent and not omnipotent at the same time would be a paradox. So it’s theoretically possible to be pulled off through a paradox through his omnipotent power.

God & Logical Contradictions

Con: "Omnipotence can create a contradiction."

No, that’s not what the resolution says. The resolution states “It is Logically Impossible for God to Have Perfect Foreknowledge” it does not say “It’s a Logical Contradiction for God to Have Perfect Foreknowledge”. The most simplest answer to how god can logically have perfect foreknowledge is simply by contradictions or paradox by his omnipotent power.

You’re saying it’s irrelevant, but I’m starting to wonder if you understand your own case. You’ve been basically arguing [contradiction = impossibility]. In fact your pretty much outright stated it when you said “If something logically contradicts, it is therefore logically impossible. “ Your entire case hinges on contradictions not being possible. But clearly omnipotence does have the ability to contradict, as it reads “Is unrestricted in power.” There is therefore no restrictions that state omnipotence can’t contradict or make paradoxes, the real kind.

Con: "If contradictions can be created, therefore contradictions are logically possible"

No, Logic is the use and study of valid reasoning. The word logic itself literally means “reason” from which we get the Greek word if you look up the etymology. Logic itself doesn’t specifically reference to any rule directly, there are popular principles that are used by most logicians, one of which is the non-contradiction that Pro did bring up.

The rule of non-contradictions is an axiom in most contexts, but the question here needs to be asked does this rule apply to this context? The answer would be no because we are debating in the context assuming omnipotence to be true. If omnipotence is true, the rule of non-contradiction is refuted because there does exist a power which can contradict itself. One might ask why can’t the law of non-contradiction logically refute omnipotence? It’s mainly because non-contradiction is founded on circular reasoning, essentially “Contradictions can’t happen because contradictions can’t happen” so you would have to use a well-known fallacy to attempt to refute omnipotence, which doesn’t work out very well.

So the rule of non-contradiction can’t be considered logic in this context because omnipotence refutes it reasoning (logic) that it can create a contradiction.

"Possible" does not equal "logically possible" You appearently don't know much about logic, if it's really possible it is the very reason why it's logically possible.



Foreknowledge vs. Free Will

No, he simply foreknows what his “free will” will pick ahead of time. If the god doesn’t change nor deviate from the choices he picked in the future, then it remains perfect foreknowledge. So it is possible for a god to have both free will and perfect foreknowledge if he chooses out of free will not to change his future (which I’ve been essentially arguing). A god may not desire to change because all his decisions he made in the future were the best.



Miscellaneous Answers

"...free will isn't even listed as a requirement for god..."

No omnipotence requires free will to be operational. Theoretically a robotic god with no free will canbe omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc.

Debate Round No. 4
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by doomswatter 3 years ago
doomswatter
Thank you =)
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 3 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Good win doomswater
Posted by gryephon 3 years ago
gryephon
Yes it does matter whether it is logical. It questions the very nature if the law of non-contradiction is logical. Apparently not, it's seems to be more a fallacy logic. I'm sorry, circular reasoning is not logical.

It's not my logical rule, your the one who brought it up as a logical rule. So it seems like you should prove it to be logical in the first place. Why is it logical?
Posted by doomswatter 3 years ago
doomswatter
In the end, this debate is not concerned with whether God's foreknowledge is possible, only with whether it is logical. It doesn't matter who came up with logical rules or if they will one day be changed; presently, in the time in which we are having this debate, they are still logical rules. Noncontradiction is a rule of logic presently, and will remain one until it is proven that two sides of a contradiction can somehow exist simultaneously within our universe.
Posted by gryephon 3 years ago
gryephon
If logical rules aren"t dependent on God, then what are they dependent on? Personal opinion? That"s just makes the problem much worse for you.

I do believe that is true. Conditional statements (if, then) are rarely circular in themselves, but they can be based on circular reasoning from the start. For example why is a contradiction "conceptually and realistically impossible or absurd"? I disagree with that premise, I think it"s all based on your opinion or someone else"s. Obviously you can"t prove it because you"re not an omniscient being.
Posted by gryephon 3 years ago
gryephon
Absurdity? Really? We live in an age where people think we evolved from a rock. The origins of the universe began with a bomb (big bang). Gravity doesn"t really exist, but the phenomenon is an illusion caused by entropic forces. Know what causes ocean waves? The moon. And don"t make me get started on time dilation (some wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff that sounds like it"s from some B rated sci-fi movie, that"s actually true!). Just because something sounds absurd doesn"t mean it"s not true. It is absurd to appeal to absurdity in this era, especially when science is showing that the counterintuitive, the absurd, might be true.

To point out, you haven"t really fixed the problem by mitigating your answer to absurdity as a reason to why it"s logically impossible. Because it begs the same question, why is absurdity logically impossible? Because of the law of non-absurdity? Hahahahaha! =P So circular! Fess up, you believe that contradictions don"t happen because contradictions don"t happen, and that"s circular.

Your reasoning by "thinkers" is a fallacy as it elicit Argumentum ad populum. Just because a whole lot of people think that something is true doesn"t mean it"s true. Also to note, I"m also a thinker (I think, therefore I am), and I don"t think the law of non-contradiction is a factual rule, but an opinion about logic. I don"t care what bob or joe thinks, I wanna know why it"s true for a fact.
Posted by doomswatter 3 years ago
doomswatter
The law of noncontradiction is not circular at all. If something is conceptually and realistically impossible or absurd, such as coexistent sides of a contradiction, then it is illogical. "If, then" reasoning is not circular. The absurdity came first, and the rule of logic followed.
Posted by doomswatter 3 years ago
doomswatter
Rules of logic don't change just because you believe that God could make an absurdity a reality. If that were the case, then ALL logical rules would have to be thrown out because God can supposedly do anything. Fortunately, the laws that govern thought aren't dependent on the potential possibility of divine paradox.
Posted by doomswatter 3 years ago
doomswatter
*bigger sigh*

Logical thinking requires a strict set of rules. If something doesn't follow a rule of logic, it is an absurdity. Noncontradiction is a rule of logic because, a long time ago, people figured out that the existence of a contradiction is an absurdity that has no place in the natural universe. Thinkers realized that ideas and arguments that were contradictory were absurd and invalid, therefore illogical. A person who doesn't think logically will think all kinds of ridiculous things.

Maybe you don't like the rules of logic, but that doesn't stop them from being rules. Maybe you want to think that God can be "A" and not "A", but that doesn't make it logically sound.
Posted by gryephon 3 years ago
gryephon
*sigh*

You didn't really answer my question, why is it a logical rule? Why is it logically impossible?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Domr 3 years ago
Domr
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Reasons for voting decision: Using conduct to give only one point. "Logically Impossible" was not defined. Logically impossible to the unlimited does not exist. I can only assume that logically impossible is set to god standards, as everything else is defined with the unlimited. A god with unlimited power is well within his own logic to do things that seem contradictory to us.
Vote Placed by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate appears a little confusing in that Omipotence has nothing to do with Will, Omniscience does, but I can only agree with Pro in this case as if God has Omniscience or perfect foreknowledge then everything is pre-destined, thus Free Will cannot possibly exist, nor can random variation in anything. Since random variation exists and humans have free will (well the illusion of free will) as our preconditioning gives us our choices, not any divine influence, Con's arguments could not show that free will can exist with such omniscient God. It is a real dichotomy. Perfect foreknowledge = no free will, free will = No Perfect Foreknowledge.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate was a good read, and I hope more people get to see it before the voting period is over. Cons and Pros arguments were interesting takes on a subject which has plagued many people. I like the way Pro changed the free will to god and not humans. I also enjoyed some of Cons arguments, although they were logically inconsistent and relied on faith more than actual logic. I believe Pro successfully rebutted Cons argument and as such for arguments and rebuttals I award Pro argument points. On the other hand for Pros arguments to work we have to presuppose and assume many things which don't logically follow from the definitions provided. Con didn't adhere to the rules but Pro asked that it should slide, and so conduct points are shared. Other points are shared as well. Well done to both of you.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
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Reasons for voting decision: This is beside the point, but I don't like debates like this. A lot of this stems from improper definitions of words like omnipotent. Omnipotent pretty much means "none more powerful". A logical absurdity can't be used to disprove a most powerful being. Even the most powerful being would still be incapable of logical absurdities. Beyond that, pro failed to show that perfect foreknowledge was logically impossible. Free will was a major point in this debate. However God could weigh all his options and still have perfect foresight of the future. I also don't really think enough work was done to show that omnipotence necessitates free will. Also God having free will isn't shown to necessitate that God uses that free will. Once he chooses to limit himself, he is under no obligation to ever use free will beyond the initial decision.