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Free Will and Divine Foreknowledge

Envisage
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7/21/2014 1:58:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
<Copied from religion forum due to lack of interest there>

I have only recently started to look at this in more detail, the argument states that divine foreknowledge (which is a subset of omniscience) and libertarian free will are incompatible. The argument goes (roughly) as follows:

P1) If God has divine foreknowledge, then he knows the results of all choices that will occur
P2) If he knows the results of all choices that will occur, then one cannot have chosen differently
P3) If one cannot have chosen differently, then libertarian free will does not exist
C) If God has divine foreknowledge, then libertarian free will does not exist

Defence of P1:
This is part of the description of divine foreknowledge, God knows the future the same way that God knows the past. It doesn't matter which series of time is true (although B series raises serious free will questions anyway) since he description follows. Also since. choices occur all the time then rejecting this premise means God can barely know the future.

Defence of P2:
This is trickier, but also very logical. Let's say I have a choice to eat weetabix or toast for breakfast tomorrow, if libertarian free will is true then I can at any moment choose differently. However if God already knows my choice, then for me to choose differently is to violate God's omniscience, God would have been incorrect, which is absurd given P1. Therefore for God to know the future, the future would then be 'set in stone', similarly to how the past is.

Defence of P3:
Already partially defended in P2, there are a handful of compatiblist arguments (all of which are unconvincing). It gives up on the notion that free will gives us the power to do otherwise (doctorine of free will). Going back to my breakfast example, let's assume that the breadbox is empty, and that toast is impossible to make. However in the morning I choose (in ignorance of the lack if bread) to eat weetabix.

Now, did. I choose to eat weetabix? Clearly the answer in this case is no, one's ignorance has no bearing on whether or not one actually had a choice, since choosing to do otherwise would yield an impossible solution (there is no break for toast, so I must have weetabix). Similarly, this is the equivalent of compatiblist defences, which essentially assert that we can enjoy being puppets so long as we like our strings.

The conclusion logically follows if all premises are true, which states you cannot have both free will and perfect foreknowledge.
Toviyah
Posts: 88
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7/21/2014 2:29:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I don't see how knowledge has any sort of causal power over determinism. It seems that knowledge has no causal capacity, as it is in itself an abstract object: things are known via what actually happens. The actual has causal power over the abstract. In other words, events have power over knowledge.
Imagine that I don't currently know what you are going to say in 10 minutes time (call this 'x'. In order to find out, I time travel to to 10 minutes time to find out. Does my knowledge of 'x' have causal power over the nature of 'x'? Obviously not: the nature of 'x' has causal power over my knowledge.
This would be a de jure objection against P2.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,083
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7/21/2014 6:23:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I agree with Toviyah. This is the problem of looking at God being IN time too. The idea is that God exists OUTSIDE of time, which implies B-theory.

Also, I don't agree that knowledge of something affects the thing itself. It seems to be an entirely arbitrary and extrinsic/relational property that doesn't really affect the essential nature of volition. If I knew that Envisage is going to reply and disagree with this, does that mean that he doesn't have free will? Not really. It just means I know what he will freely choose.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,083
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7/21/2014 6:24:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/21/2014 1:58:43 PM, Envisage wrote:
<Copied from religion forum due to lack of interest there>

I have only recently started to look at this in more detail, the argument states that divine foreknowledge (which is a subset of omniscience) and libertarian free will are incompatible. The argument goes (roughly) as follows:

P1) If God has divine foreknowledge, then he knows the results of all choices that will occur
P2) If he knows the results of all choices that will occur, then one cannot have chosen differently

This is essentially a contradiction. It's essentially asking...

Can I do something differently than what I will do?

Or

Can I not do what I will do?

Which aren't even questions to ask in the first place.

P3) If one cannot have chosen differently, then libertarian free will does not exist
C) If God has divine foreknowledge, then libertarian free will does not exist

Defence of P1:
This is part of the description of divine foreknowledge, God knows the future the same way that God knows the past. It doesn't matter which series of time is true (although B series raises serious free will questions anyway) since he description follows. Also since. choices occur all the time then rejecting this premise means God can barely know the future.

Defence of P2:
This is trickier, but also very logical. Let's say I have a choice to eat weetabix or toast for breakfast tomorrow, if libertarian free will is true then I can at any moment choose differently. However if God already knows my choice, then for me to choose differently is to violate God's omniscience, God would have been incorrect, which is absurd given P1. Therefore for God to know the future, the future would then be 'set in stone', similarly to how the past is.

Defence of P3:
Already partially defended in P2, there are a handful of compatiblist arguments (all of which are unconvincing). It gives up on the notion that free will gives us the power to do otherwise (doctorine of free will). Going back to my breakfast example, let's assume that the breadbox is empty, and that toast is impossible to make. However in the morning I choose (in ignorance of the lack if bread) to eat weetabix.

Now, did. I choose to eat weetabix? Clearly the answer in this case is no, one's ignorance has no bearing on whether or not one actually had a choice, since choosing to do otherwise would yield an impossible solution (there is no break for toast, so I must have weetabix). Similarly, this is the equivalent of compatiblist defences, which essentially assert that we can enjoy being puppets so long as we like our strings.

The conclusion logically follows if all premises are true, which states you cannot have both free will and perfect foreknowledge.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,083
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7/21/2014 6:27:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/21/2014 2:29:36 PM, Toviyah wrote:
I don't see how knowledge has any sort of causal power over determinism. It seems that knowledge has no causal capacity, as it is in itself an abstract object: things are known via what actually happens. The actual has causal power over the abstract. In other words, events have power over knowledge.
Imagine that I don't currently know what you are going to say in 10 minutes time (call this 'x'. In order to find out, I time travel to to 10 minutes time to find out. Does my knowledge of 'x' have causal power over the nature of 'x'? Obviously not: the nature of 'x' has causal power over my knowledge.
This would be a de jure objection against P2.

Agreed. Also the second premise is essentially saying... "Can I not do what I will do?"
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/21/2014 7:07:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/21/2014 6:24:49 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/21/2014 1:58:43 PM, Envisage wrote:
<Copied from religion forum due to lack of interest there>

I have only recently started to look at this in more detail, the argument states that divine foreknowledge (which is a subset of omniscience) and libertarian free will are incompatible. The argument goes (roughly) as follows:

P1) If God has divine foreknowledge, then he knows the results of all choices that will occur
P2) If he knows the results of all choices that will occur, then one cannot have chosen differently

This is essentially a contradiction. It's essentially asking...

Can I do something differently than what I will do?

Or

Can I not do what I will do?

Which aren't even questions to ask in the first place.

If what you will do is determined, then you simply could not have done otherwise, which is what libertarian free will is... Free will seems to imply uncertainty if what the decision is until the decision is resolved.

Also, let's assume that it is true that predestination is compatible with free will, it has significant implications in god's omnibenevolence if he knows with perfect foreknowledge that the way he made the world would lead to it's current state, since it's easily conceivable that God could have done it better, with no evil and without implicating in free will in which most the theodicies are derived.

Ergo, affirming one side shoots yourself in the foot on the other.

I notice this has close tied with your debate with RT, lol.

P3) If one cannot have chosen differently, then libertarian free will does not exist
C) If God has divine foreknowledge, then libertarian free will does not exist

Defence of P1:
This is part of the description of divine foreknowledge, God knows the future the same way that God knows the past. It doesn't matter which series of time is true (although B series raises serious free will questions anyway) since he description follows. Also since. choices occur all the time then rejecting this premise means God can barely know the future.

Defence of P2:
This is trickier, but also very logical. Let's say I have a choice to eat weetabix or toast for breakfast tomorrow, if libertarian free will is true then I can at any moment choose differently. However if God already knows my choice, then for me to choose differently is to violate God's omniscience, God would have been incorrect, which is absurd given P1. Therefore for God to know the future, the future would then be 'set in stone', similarly to how the past is.

Defence of P3:
Already partially defended in P2, there are a handful of compatiblist arguments (all of which are unconvincing). It gives up on the notion that free will gives us the power to do otherwise (doctorine of free will). Going back to my breakfast example, let's assume that the breadbox is empty, and that toast is impossible to make. However in the morning I choose (in ignorance of the lack if bread) to eat weetabix.

Now, did. I choose to eat weetabix? Clearly the answer in this case is no, one's ignorance has no bearing on whether or not one actually had a choice, since choosing to do otherwise would yield an impossible solution (there is no break for toast, so I must have weetabix). Similarly, this is the equivalent of compatiblist defences, which essentially assert that we can enjoy being puppets so long as we like our strings.

The conclusion logically follows if all premises are true, which states you cannot have both free will and perfect foreknowledge.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,083
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7/21/2014 7:11:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/21/2014 7:07:15 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 7/21/2014 6:24:49 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/21/2014 1:58:43 PM, Envisage wrote:
<Copied from religion forum due to lack of interest there>

I have only recently started to look at this in more detail, the argument states that divine foreknowledge (which is a subset of omniscience) and libertarian free will are incompatible. The argument goes (roughly) as follows:

P1) If God has divine foreknowledge, then he knows the results of all choices that will occur
P2) If he knows the results of all choices that will occur, then one cannot have chosen differently

This is essentially a contradiction. It's essentially asking...

Can I do something differently than what I will do?

Or

Can I not do what I will do?

Which aren't even questions to ask in the first place.

If what you will do is determined,

Determined by what though?

then you simply could not have done otherwise, which is what libertarian free will is... Free will seems to imply uncertainty if what the decision is until the decision is resolved.

Also, let's assume that it is true that predestination is compatible with free will, it has significant implications in god's omnibenevolence if he knows with perfect foreknowledge that the way he made the world would lead to it's current state, since it's easily conceivable that God could have done it better, with no evil and without implicating in free will in which most the theodicies are derived.


This just seems like an argument from evil. Which makes lots of assumptions about suffering which I would disagree with.

Ergo, affirming one side shoots yourself in the foot on the other.

I notice this has close tied with your debate with RT, lol.

P3) If one cannot have chosen differently, then libertarian free will does not exist
C) If God has divine foreknowledge, then libertarian free will does not exist

Defence of P1:
This is part of the description of divine foreknowledge, God knows the future the same way that God knows the past. It doesn't matter which series of time is true (although B series raises serious free will questions anyway) since he description follows. Also since. choices occur all the time then rejecting this premise means God can barely know the future.

Defence of P2:
This is trickier, but also very logical. Let's say I have a choice to eat weetabix or toast for breakfast tomorrow, if libertarian free will is true then I can at any moment choose differently. However if God already knows my choice, then for me to choose differently is to violate God's omniscience, God would have been incorrect, which is absurd given P1. Therefore for God to know the future, the future would then be 'set in stone', similarly to how the past is.

Defence of P3:
Already partially defended in P2, there are a handful of compatiblist arguments (all of which are unconvincing). It gives up on the notion that free will gives us the power to do otherwise (doctorine of free will). Going back to my breakfast example, let's assume that the breadbox is empty, and that toast is impossible to make. However in the morning I choose (in ignorance of the lack if bread) to eat weetabix.

Now, did. I choose to eat weetabix? Clearly the answer in this case is no, one's ignorance has no bearing on whether or not one actually had a choice, since choosing to do otherwise would yield an impossible solution (there is no break for toast, so I must have weetabix). Similarly, this is the equivalent of compatiblist defences, which essentially assert that we can enjoy being puppets so long as we like our strings.

The conclusion logically follows if all premises are true, which states you cannot have both free will and perfect foreknowledge.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,083
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7/21/2014 7:13:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/21/2014 7:09:26 PM, Envisage wrote:
Btw you seem to have disappeared, been busy?

Yeah, I've just been busy with work.... Gonna be in the 90s tomorrow. Hot dayum.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/21/2014 7:19:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/21/2014 7:11:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/21/2014 7:07:15 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 7/21/2014 6:24:49 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/21/2014 1:58:43 PM, Envisage wrote:
<Copied from religion forum due to lack of interest there>

I have only recently started to look at this in more detail, the argument states that divine foreknowledge (which is a subset of omniscience) and libertarian free will are incompatible. The argument goes (roughly) as follows:

P1) If God has divine foreknowledge, then he knows the results of all choices that will occur
P2) If he knows the results of all choices that will occur, then one cannot have chosen differently

This is essentially a contradiction. It's essentially asking...

Can I do something differently than what I will do?

Or

Can I not do what I will do?

Which aren't even questions to ask in the first place.

If what you will do is determined,

Determined by what though?

If you accept creation on any level, then it is determined by God, since he would then have perfect foreknowledge of all sentient beings that would ever would arise on Earth. And hence be in my position at that time to create a predestination for each and every sentient being that would ever exist.

If I create a clock that chimes in the 12th hour every day, does that clock have free will to chime at 12? Given the conditions upon which I built the clock would result in that occurrence?

then you simply could not have done otherwise, which is what libertarian free will is... Free will seems to imply uncertainty if what the decision is until the decision is resolved.

Also, let's assume that it is true that predestination is compatible with free will, it has significant implications in god's omnibenevolence if he knows with perfect foreknowledge that the way he made the world would lead to it's current state, since it's easily conceivable that God could have done it better, with no evil and without implicating in free will in which most the theodicies are derived.


This just seems like an argument from evil. Which makes lots of assumptions about suffering which I would disagree with.

Yes it is, free will is one of the most common theodicies, also against the argument from the existence of non belief, etc. It is often stated that creating the world otherwise would impinge on free will, which you seem to strongly disagree with.

Ergo, affirming one side shoots yourself in the foot on the other.

I notice this has close tied with your debate with RT, lol.

P3) If one cannot have chosen differently, then libertarian free will does not exist
C) If God has divine foreknowledge, then libertarian free will does not exist

Defence of P1:
This is part of the description of divine foreknowledge, God knows the future the same way that God knows the past. It doesn't matter which series of time is true (although B series raises serious free will questions anyway) since he description follows. Also since. choices occur all the time then rejecting this premise means God can barely know the future.

Defence of P2:
This is trickier, but also very logical. Let's say I have a choice to eat weetabix or toast for breakfast tomorrow, if libertarian free will is true then I can at any moment choose differently. However if God already knows my choice, then for me to choose differently is to violate God's omniscience, God would have been incorrect, which is absurd given P1. Therefore for God to know the future, the future would then be 'set in stone', similarly to how the past is.

Defence of P3:
Already partially defended in P2, there are a handful of compatiblist arguments (all of which are unconvincing). It gives up on the notion that free will gives us the power to do otherwise (doctorine of free will). Going back to my breakfast example, let's assume that the breadbox is empty, and that toast is impossible to make. However in the morning I choose (in ignorance of the lack if bread) to eat weetabix.

Now, did. I choose to eat weetabix? Clearly the answer in this case is no, one's ignorance has no bearing on whether or not one actually had a choice, since choosing to do otherwise would yield an impossible solution (there is no break for toast, so I must have weetabix). Similarly, this is the equivalent of compatiblist defences, which essentially assert that we can enjoy being puppets so long as we like our strings.

The conclusion logically follows if all premises are true, which states you cannot have both free will and perfect foreknowledge.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/21/2014 7:21:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/21/2014 7:13:50 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 7/21/2014 7:09:26 PM, Envisage wrote:
Btw you seem to have disappeared, been busy?

Yeah, I've just been busy with work.... Gonna be in the 90s tomorrow. Hot dayum.

Ah ok. I sent you a whole bunch of spam/ramblings/rants/sex stories on g+. I need your views in them :-p

It's 97 here.. And no air conditioning :'(
n7
Posts: 1,360
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7/22/2014 12:27:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I think the best way to present this problem is how David Kyle Johnson does it. He relates foreknowledge with time. If God knows the future, there is a future to know. This implies all temporal states exist. However, this means the future is fixed, we can no more choose what to eat tomorrow, than we can choose today, what to eat yesterday. This seems to be immune to the objections already posted.

God being outside of time doesn't affect this, it helps it. His knowlege is irrelevent to having causal power. As knowledge is the problem because it implies the future exists. Boethius" objection helps this argument too, whereas it seems to refute other formulations.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
n7
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7/22/2014 12:32:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
*Knowledge having causal power is irrelevant.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Toviyah
Posts: 88
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7/22/2014 2:47:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/22/2014 12:27:39 PM, n7 wrote:
I think the best way to present this problem is how David Kyle Johnson does it. He relates foreknowledge with time. If God knows the future, there is a future to know. This implies all temporal states exist. However, this means the future is fixed, we can no more choose what to eat tomorrow, than we can choose today, what to eat yesterday. This seems to be immune to the objections already posted.

God being outside of time doesn't affect this, it helps it. His knowlege is irrelevent to having causal power. As knowledge is the problem because it implies the future exists. Boethius" objection helps this argument too, whereas it seems to refute other formulations.
It doesn't make any difference. If the future exists, the most that can be deduced is that our free choices have existed, do exist, and will always exist. It doesn't follow that there aren't free choices.
Just like knowledge, time is abstract. It doesn't have any causal capacity. It can't affect our actions.
RoderickSpode
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7/22/2014 5:59:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/21/2014 2:29:36 PM, Toviyah wrote:
I don't see how knowledge has any sort of causal power over determinism. It seems that knowledge has no causal capacity, as it is in itself an abstract object: things are known via what actually happens. The actual has causal power over the abstract. In other words, events have power over knowledge.
Imagine that I don't currently know what you are going to say in 10 minutes time (call this 'x'. In order to find out, I time travel to to 10 minutes time to find out. Does my knowledge of 'x' have causal power over the nature of 'x'? Obviously not: the nature of 'x' has causal power over my knowledge.
This would be a de jure objection against P2.
Correct. And P2 would basically imply that we don't have free will whether or not God exists. And this poses a problem in that the person who travels into the future has in a sense taken on an attribute of God in knowing what 'x' will do. And the person who time travels 10 minutes into the future has not eliminated free will by his new found knowledge because 10 minutes into the future already exists.

So it's not really an argument against divine foreknowledge (the existence of God) so much as an argument against the existence of free will itself. Whether or not free will really exists whether God exists or not.
n7
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7/23/2014 12:23:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/22/2014 2:47:04 PM, Toviyah wrote:
At 7/22/2014 12:27:39 PM, n7 wrote:
I think the best way to present this problem is how David Kyle Johnson does it. He relates foreknowledge with time. If God knows the future, there is a future to know. This implies all temporal states exist. However, this means the future is fixed, we can no more choose what to eat tomorrow, than we can choose today, what to eat yesterday. This seems to be immune to the objections already posted.

God being outside of time doesn't affect this, it helps it. His knowlege is irrelevent to having causal power. As knowledge is the problem because it implies the future exists. Boethius" objection helps this argument too, whereas it seems to refute other formulations.
It doesn't make any difference. If the future exists, the most that can be deduced is that our free choices have existed, do exist, and will always exist. It doesn't follow that there aren't free choices.
Just like knowledge, time is abstract. It doesn't have any causal capacity. It can't affect our actions.

It does make a difference, as free will is defined as able to do otherwise, or acting outside of fate/necessity. If everything is fixed, then you couldn't have done otherwise.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.