The Instigator
fatdan33
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
J.Kenyon
Con (against)
Winning
33 Points

does the idea that god knows everything was/is/will be compromise free will

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
J.Kenyon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,063 times Debate No: 13738
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (20)
Votes (8)

 

fatdan33

Pro

I have taken many classes on philosophy (specifically ancient Greek) and theology. The most recent of the two classes were "great ideas of ancient and western thought" and "understandings of love (as all major cultures/religions understand it)" I had a very unique professor who taught in both classes (both classes were taught by two professors teaching the class in tandem). The professor was an Ex-minister who is now agnostic (not atheist) who taught the class from a unbiased point of view. He posed a question that had the class going back and forth for a week.

Does the idea that god is all knowing (knows what you did, what your doing, and what you will do) affect your free will.
I believe if god is all knowing, it does affect my free will. If god created the world, and put all things in motion, then no matter what I do I am not exhibiting free will as I am a result of his action. God, fully knowing what is to happen, demands that I love him out of my own free will. How can it be my own free will. I have much more to say about the topic but I would first like to what others have to say.
J.Kenyon

Con

Thanks, Pro. Free will is an issue I really enjoy debating.

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C1 - Foreknowledge does not prima facie negate free will
=============

If I set a piece of chocolate cake and a rotting, maggot infested fish in front of you and tell you choose one to eat, I already know you're going to pick the cake. However, this does not mean that you didn't choose freely. The issue at hand is whether or not it is *physically necessary* that you will choose the cake. I don't think it is, and I'll explain why in C2.

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C2 - Molinism
=============

Many contemporary theists are Molinists.[1] Standard Molinism is based on the view that God has middle knowledge of contingent truths called counterfactuals. A counterfactual looks like this:

If any agent X were in any situation Y, X would freely do Z.

If this seems confusing, here's a real world example:

If Joe were at Taco Bell, he would freely choose to order a crunch wrap instead of the nacho supremes.

Middle knowledge refers to the timeframe of creation. According to the standard Molinist model, it went like this:

1. God's knowledge of necessary, logical truth.
2. God's middle knowledge of contingent truth, such as counterfactuals.
--- Creation of the world ---
3. God's free knowledge.

God's middle knowledge of counterfactuals influences the type of world that he actualizes. Knowing how all free agents will behave in all possible situations, God (hopefully) creates the best possible world. Thus, God's free knowledge (including foreknowledge) is contingent upon both middle knowledge and the ontology of the created world, therefore an agent's actions are not physically necessary.

Evidence for God's middle knowledge usually comes from Matthew 11:21 "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."

=============
C3 - Open theism
=============

Open theism is an alternative view similar to Molinism that holds God's omniscience does not include knowledge of how free agents will behave. Evidence for open theism is based on the binding of Isaac that takes place in Genesis 22, where God tests Abraham's faith. Omniscience is defined simply as knowledge of all true propositions. Rather than "will" counterfactuals (in situation X, Y will freely perform action Z), open theists believe God has knowledge of "might" counterfactuals: If Joe were at Taco Bell, he *might* freely choose to order a crunch wrap instead of the nacho supremes.

:: Conclusion ::

Foreknowledge does not pose a threat to free will. This would only be an issue if God's foreknowledge came from the physical necessity of the actions in question. Moreover, it is possible that the future is undetermined and God's omniscience does not include free choices.

The resolution is negated.

References:

1. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 1
fatdan33

Pro

Remember, we are talking about an Omniscient god. The Molinists view with their 3 separate incomplete knowledge's, (is not omniscient as it has the knowledge exist in separate times) while interesting and brings a new element to the table, does leave some holes in the argument.
The Molinists state that god uses two separate knowledge's prior to creating the world. The knowledge of what is law (up vs down) and the knowledge of how you will act in any situation. He uses those two knowledge's to create the world, and all of history as we know it. Therefore he chose in advance what was going to happen based on his decisions. Now if god did indeed know all the "counterfactuals" he would have to create the world at random in order for us to have free will.
Another issue is free will came after the creation of the world. God created free will. So free will did not exist before god created it, therefore god (a perfect being) cant have free will, and how could he. If all he does is perfect that leaves only one "ACTION" (not choice) for god to do, and only one order for him to do it in. ("counter argument") ("god does not exist in a time line or this dimension") Then god created all of time and history all at once, or in no particular order which leaves the Molinists view of taking two separate knowledge's and putting them together, THEN creating the world and having a third knowledge a little off.

as for Matthew 11:21 (King James Version)
Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for IF THE MIGHTY WORKS, WHICH WERE DONE IN YOU, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

This is evidence of divine intervention, where god made and affected the outcome. This is true because god knew the "counterfactuals" and chose to intervene fully knowing what the outcome would be.

As for the open theism view, it is only anther view where god is not fully omniscient (therefore not omniscient)
J.Kenyon

Con

=============
C1 - Foreknowledge does not prima facie negate free will
=============

Even if we take Pro's criticisms of Molinism and Open Theism as sound (which I will respond to shortly), a deterministic world only rules out libertarian free will; compatibilism is still viable. Harry Frankfurt's view of compatibilism is based on higher-order desires. Higher-order desires are desires about other desires. For example, a drug user may have an immediate, action-causing desire to use drugs, but a higher-order desire to want *to want* to stop. In instances where action-causing desires align with higher-order desires, an an agent acts freely.

It's not necessary that an agent have alternate possibilities open to him in order to perform a morally free action. For example, imagine Mick and Keith are partners in crime who've decided to step up their operations and perform a bank job. Mick will hold up the bank and Keith will drive the getaway car. Worried that Mick might lose his nerve, Keith plants a mind-control device in his brain that will become activated should Mick decide not to go through with the act. As it happens, Mick does go through with the job and the device remains inert. Thus, he acted freely, even though no alternative course of action actually existed.

=============
C2 - Molinism
=============

Pro objects that God himself might not possess free will. This is clearly false. Though God may necessarily will himself to create a world, there is no reason to think that there is only one possible world he could actualize. For example, if there were one more crater on the dark side of the moon, would this negate the optimal qualities of our world? Facts like this are "inert." Depending on the criteria God uses to determine which world to actualize, there could be quantitatively significant differences between the actual world and other possible worlds that are nonetheless inert. Thus, God's choice of which world to actualize was volitional.

Pro claims that a God with middle knowledge is not omniscient, yet hasn't given a coherent reason why. He also hasn't shown why an indeterministic world is necessary for free will. On Molinism, free actions are not necessary, but contingent on both God's necessary knowledge and creative volitions. Moreover, as I explained, there are other possible states of affairs a perfect God could have actualized, thus his creative volitions were not themselves necessary.

=============
C3 - Open theism
=============

My defense of Molinism extends to neo-Molinism. "Might" counterfactuals still possess eternal truth value. Greg Boyd explains: "if God knows it is true that 'John might and might not marry Sue,' then God knows it's false that 'John will marry Sue' (for he might not) and false that 'John will not marry Sue' (for he might)."

:: Conclusion ::

Even if both Molinism and neo-Molinism fail, we are still left with compatibilism.

The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 2
fatdan33

Pro

it is possible that the future is undetermined and God's *(omniscience does not include free choices.)*

Webster's dictionary defines God as
The supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and "OMNISCIENT" originator and ruler of the universe.

Webster's dictionary defines omniscient as
1. Infinitely wise.
2. Having universal knowledge; knowing all things; infinitely knowing or wise.
3. Being all-knowing.
4. Total knowledge.

In other words, there is nothing that god does not know. If there was something that god did not know he would no longer be omniscient. The being in question would no longer be god.

it is possible that the *(future is undetermined)* and God's omniscience does not include free choices.

Genesis 22
I swear by myself, declares the LORD, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed...

This is clear evidence that god does affect free will and determines the future. For if god makes an event happen and drives various peoples decisions throughout their life time how could they possible have free will. Abraham followed gods ORDER, but then god told him he was going to "MAKE" all of his descendants numerous, and they "WILL" take possession... How can we account for the descendants free will?

Keith did not know if his partner would commit the crime or not. "Which makes him not omniscient." He had to alter the physical world in order to ensure what he did not know would happen, would indeed happen. "If your claiming Keith is god then this could be considered divine intervention." Plus, if the mind control device were in his head, limiting his actions to only once course. How could we prove it was his free will or the device. Simply by placing the device there prior to the even is enough to tell you he has intentions to compromise free will. Taking away all other choices and leaving only the one choice or the mind control device does take away free will. If you were running through a maze you could turn right, left, or straight at any intersection you have free will. If Keith comes in and turns the maze into one short straight hall way with no turns then you have no choice to but to travel the only path before you. This is no longer a free will choice, it is the only option.

I have more but cant fit it in, see you next round.
J.Kenyon

Con

=============
C1 - Foreknowledge does not prima facie negate free will
=============

I don't think Pro understood the nature of this argument. What I've presented is a Frankfurt counterexample, which attempts to show that there is no inconsistency in thinking that both free will and determinism are true. In order to demonstrate that the two are mutually exclusive, Pro needs to give a reason, such as van Inwagen's consequence argument, or the source incompatibilist model.

=============
C2 - Molinism
=============

Pro has dropped his argument that Molinism isn't viable because God doesn't possess free will. My contention remains unrefuted.

=============
C3 - Open theism
=============

Pro has given several generic dictionary definitions of omniscience, but none of these are what I would call good technical, philosophical definitions. I explained in the first round that omniscience is knowledge of all true propositions. Stated formally, S is omniscient just in case for every proposition p, if p is true then S knows p. If-then statements are propositions and there is no reason to think that "will" and "will not" counterfactuals are the only kind. As I've already explained, "might" counterfactuals are viable and Pro has not given any reason to think otherwise.

I fail to see the relevance of the verses Pro cites. If God directly intervenes, he can change the course of history to bring about a specific future he intends. If anything, the *need* for divine intervention in response to human action *supports* open theism. Moreover, even if Pro is correct, his verses not refute Molinism or compatibilism. Also, note that I am not arguing for any specific God or religion in this debate. The question is whether or not the idea of an omniscient being prima facie negates the existence of free will. I have clearly demonstrated it does not.

:: Conclusion ::

To sum up, I've given three different theories of free will, all of which are compatible with the existence of an omniscient God. Pro gave a muddled response to my compatibilist account. Molinism, the second version I explained, has gone completely unaddressed. Open theism is the only contention Pro has actually responded to and I've completely refuted his objections.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
fatdan33

Pro

Does the idea that god knows everything was/is/will be compromise free will. Yes it does.

You are not god, there for will now know if I will choose the cake or rotten fish. If you were god (in your manner) you would know that I am an Indian and am trying to grow a crop of corn. So that fish is the number one thing I need to place this corn seen in. You can't know what I will or will not do, you are not omniscient.

Physically necessary or not (what ever that means, if you have an answer for that), when god created the world in your time line of logical truth+counterfactuals (creation of word) free knowledge. He chose every possible decision I could ever make. I cannot choose any other path as I do not exist in any other world he "might" have created. I exist here, here alone.

you dropped your argument on Mathew 11:21 except for the part were you agreed that there was indeed a divine intervention (needed or not) is still divine intervention where god changed the course of history to bring about the specific future he intended. This is my whole argument which is "does the idea that god knows everything (omniscient) was/is/will be compromise free will?" not "whether or not it is *physically necessary*" if god intervenes then free will is compromised.

If gods omniscience does not include even the slightest detail, then by definition god is not omniscient. If you don't like what the word means then you need to start writing letters to Webster and every other dictionary out there. Get your PHD and rewrite it, until then I'll go with what they say and not your hear say. If the future is undetermined then we are not living in a "created" or "by design" world.

Besides saying that I'm wrong, show me your argument where god has free will. You have no distinction between your "inert actualities" and your "physical necessities" other than when it serves you. (crater on the dark side of the moon) Ask any astrophysicist and they will tell you that 1 degree, 1 pound, 1 inch, 1 anything can mean the difference in life/death/catastrophe/survival/the world as we know it. Any change and our lives would be different even if the only change was that one thing, there for not inert.

Gods free will. His choice was not voluntary if he used a formula to create the world. By your above statements he created only what would fit together. This is in conflict with god being omnipotent. If god had free will (being omnipotent) he wouldn't have to use a formula to create the best possible world, but simply create with no boundaries to his power. If he is stricken to the formula and perfection, then he is not omniscient or omnipotent.

"Might knowledge" again is not omniscience. It is the knowledge of everyone. (by your logic) "I know that anyone might do anything, I also know that they might not do it. There for I am god, bow down before me and worship me in the kingdom of Wisconsin." (bring your own beer)

(64 characters remaining)
J.Kenyon

Con

=============
C1 - Foreknowledge does not prima facie negate free will
=============

Pro claims "you are not god, there for will now know if I will choose the cake or rotten fish. If you were god (in your manner) you would know that I am an Indian and am trying to grow a crop of corn. So that fish is the number one thing I need to place this corn seen in. You can't know what I will or will not do, you are not omniscient." This completely misses the point of the exercise. I don't have to be omniscient; we are assuming for the sake of argument that I have sufficient knowledge of the relevant factors to make a correct prediction. Pro still has not explained how this compromises free will.

Pro still hasn't addressed the Frankfurt counterexample I gave, so this point should clearly go to Con.

=============
C2 - Molinism
=============

I've already explained how God might have free will and I don't feel the need to do so again. My explanation comes directly from Thomas Aquinas.[1] This is a ridiculous objection and I don't know of any philosopher who takes it seriously.

=============
C3 - Open theism
=============

Pro claims "if gods omniscience does not include even the slightest detail, then by definition god is not omniscient." I've already explained why a dictionary definition is insufficient in a philosophical debate. The definition of omniscience I gave (knowledge of all true propositions) is the one agreed on by virtually all modern theologians.[2] Most Christians who reject Open Theism do so on doctrinal rather than philosophical grounds. Pro has yet to show that the idea of "might" counterfactuals is somehow logically incoherent.

:: Conclusion ::

While Pro's blatant misunderstandings (misrepresentations?) of my position are somewhat irksome, I think I've authoritatively demonstrated that they are without substance.

The resolution is negated.

References:

1. http://plato.stanford.edu...

2. http://www.newadvent.org...
Debate Round No. 4
fatdan33

Pro

fatdan33 forfeited this round.
J.Kenyon

Con

Extend my arguments, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
And now I understand middle knowledge. Cool. ^^
Posted by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
Haha, how is this even close?
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
Thanks for the RFD, Demauscian /sarcasm
Posted by charleslb 6 years ago
charleslb
The whole premise of the topic question involves and takes for granted a concept of God that goes back to the Platonic tradition, in which God's perfection is conceived of as an above-it-all ontological stature that allows God to look down from above & beyond the space-time continuum, and know the future; and a completeness that embraces yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

But there's another point of view on the nature of divinity, according to which God is not at all the Absolute of the classic theological tradition, not a preternatural being who overarches the universe from the beginning to the end of time, but rather is of reality and the infinitely innovative process that is its essential nature.

Those of us who hold this view hold that God is cosmically engaged, i.e. engaged and involved in the ongoing unfoldment of the creative potential of existence. That is, God does not stand outside of and get ahead of the game of Creation, God is an integral facet of it and although he helps direct the flow of time and cosmic evolution he's as much in and of the game as the rest of us. In other words, God is a full participant with a personal stake in the game, not an exalted pit boss watching how it plays out from overhead.

God's perfection, then, consists not of being transcendent in the conventional sense, but of having an unbounded & eternal capacity for creative growth and self-actualization in the universe that he unceasingly co-creates with the rest of us. God's perfection has nothing to do with holding the future within himself and knowing what will be. The fundamental nature of reality is creative and undetermined, and God rolls with that fact of existence just like everyone else must. So, the topic question of this debate is really quite academic & abstract. God doesn't know the future because the future is constantly in the process of being created and God is part and parcel of that process not transcendent of it.
Posted by fatdan33 6 years ago
fatdan33
OH HOLY WOW!!! try to save face much. i just figured out something that was really confusing me. When i first logged on to try to post my last round i found that i was and hour late. I saw that there was two votes, one from Demauscian and one from J.Kenyon. So i naturally voted for myself as i saw that J.Kenyon did. later in the evening i find that some how my vote was cast before his vote was and he ridiculed me for voting for myself (emulating what he did for himself). Very puzzled about how that happened i looked over the page and played around with the features. Then i found out that you can change your vote and change subsequently changing the order in which your vote appears in the line up. J.Kenyon you voted before i did then accused me of the exact same thing you did. What game are you trying to play?
Posted by fatdan33 6 years ago
fatdan33
I fail to see how bending and contorting rules, definitions, or concepts of what we know to what we want to believe counts as valid arguments. Simply saying one is right or wrong is a not an argument. I admit you did a great job derailing me off of my own topic, but the question was straight forward. It was not about bending or twisting the ways we see the issue, (which is what you did from the start) it was about exactly that issue. Plus awarding yourself points in the middle of the debate?? bad form. I obviously played to nice as it was my first debate. I was polite, courteous, and professional but you cannot say the same.
Posted by OrionsGambit 6 years ago
OrionsGambit
I'd still like to know what the definition of "vote bombing" is. Because atm it seems that voting with who you think did a better job is someone bad.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
Votebombing against Orion...
Posted by OrionsGambit 6 years ago
OrionsGambit
Aw, someone's sad :(
Posted by Freeman 6 years ago
Freeman
RFD:

Pro did not adequately respond to Con's claims regarding open theism, along with other arguments. He merely claimed that open theism entails God not being omniscient. This was shown to be false. Moreover, Pro's dictionary definition of omniscience is not complete by itself. Part of the debate surrounding omniscience (and free will) entails forming philosophically adequate ideas about what it means to be omniscient or to even have "free will"

Arguments, sources and conduct go to con (for the forfeit).
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Demauscian 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by popculturepooka 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Freeman 6 years ago
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