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The All Knowing/All-powerful paradox.

NightofTheLivingCats
Posts: 2,294
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11/25/2013 3:36:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Can God see the future?
If so, can he change a outcome?
If so, he would have saw that he would have changed the future, thus leading into the paradox.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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11/25/2013 3:42:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Doesn't this just amount to saying God can't choose what he doesn't choose? After all, if God sees all possible futures, and one only becomes actual because God chooses for it to be actual, then to say the future couldn't be otherwise is just to say that God couldn't choose what he doesn't choose. That's not a paradox; that's a tautology.

You could put it differently, though, and say that God couldn't change his mind. If he knows everything he's going to choose in the future, then it would be impossible for him to change his mind about what he's going to choose. After all, if he is going to change his mind in the future, then he already knows today what he's going to choose, so the idea of "changing his mind" becomes incoherent.

The typical way of resolving this paradox is to stipulate that being all-powerful does not include the ability to engage in logical absurdity. So God's inability to change his mind is no strike against his power because to do so would be to engage in logical absurdity--that he must know something he doesn't know.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/25/2013 3:44:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You argue that if God knows he is going to do X, then he has to do X, because if he doesn't do X, then that means his prior knowledge of doing X was false. However, if God has to do X, then he is causally determined by his prior knowledge and doesn't have have free-will; and is not omnipotent. The problem is that the fact that he is going to do X, is what causes his knowledge of X; it his not his knowledge of him going to do X which causes him to do X. Thus, God is still free as he is not causally determined by his knowledge and omnipotent in this scenario. Also, as I said earlier with regards to the definition of omnipotence, God can only do the logically possible:

"'Y is omnipotent' means 'Y can do X' is true if and only if X is a logically consistent description of a state of affairs."[Aquinas, Thomas Summa Theologica Book 1 Question 25 article 3]

Not doing X even know he knows he is going to is logically impossible because it contradicts his omniscient nature. Therefore, even if God couldn't do it, he would still be omnipotent under the definition of omnipotence being that of the definition of Logical Omnipotence.
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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11/25/2013 4:12:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 3:36:03 PM, NightofTheLivingCats wrote:
Can God see the ?
If so, can he change a outcome?
If so, he would have saw that he would have changed the future, thus leading into the paradox.

Religious deities tend to live of time itself, so there isn't really a paradox.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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11/25/2013 4:13:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 4:12:37 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/25/2013 3:36:03 PM, NightofTheLivingCats wrote:
Can God see the ?
If so, can he change a outcome?
If so, he would have saw that he would have changed the future, thus leading into the paradox.

Religious deities tend to live of time itself, so there isn't really a paradox.

Tend to live out of time itself...
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/25/2013 4:44:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 4:13:17 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/25/2013 4:12:37 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/25/2013 3:36:03 PM, NightofTheLivingCats wrote:
Can God see the ?
If so, can he change a outcome?
If so, he would have saw that he would have changed the future, thus leading into the paradox.

Religious deities tend to live of time itself, so there isn't really a paradox.

Tend to live out of time itself...

Actually, that leads to an real metaphysical absurdity. To create the universe God would have had to make a transition from "non-creating a universe" to "creating the universe". Change requires time, thus, you have a real paradox if you want to talk about a purely timeless God creating the universe. Philosopher William Lane Craig realizes this problem, and posits that God must have entered time at the first moment of it. This gets around the problem of a timeless change. However, even I still think it is metaphysically absurd for there to be any timeless person. I guess that is a different discussion.
Lordgrae
Posts: 666
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11/25/2013 5:50:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also, it is irrational to claim to be all knowing. Since there could always be information that you don't know is out there, it is an irrational claim for any intelligent being to make. Even if you did know everything, it would still be impossible by this standard to know for 100% sure if there isn't something you don't know.
Birth Name: Graesil s'h'u Aln s'de Alanai'u s'se Saeron
Name: Grae
Titles: Lord, x'Sor Linniae (the false king), Elven War Chief, Heir to Aln
Class: Melee Archer/ Orator
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Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/25/2013 6:15:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 5:50:15 PM, Lordgrae wrote:
Also, it is irrational to claim to be all knowing. Since there could always be information that you don't know is out there, it is an irrational claim for any intelligent being to make. Even if you did know everything, it would still be impossible by this standard to know for 100% sure if there isn't something you don't know.

If God knew everything, that would include the knowledge of him knowing everything; thus he couldn't be wrong.
Lordgrae
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11/25/2013 6:16:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 6:15:59 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/25/2013 5:50:15 PM, Lordgrae wrote:
Also, it is irrational to claim to be all knowing. Since there could always be information that you don't know is out there, it is an irrational claim for any intelligent being to make. Even if you did know everything, it would still be impossible by this standard to know for 100% sure if there isn't something you don't know.

If God knew everything, that would include the knowledge of him knowing everything; thus he couldn't be wrong.

Interesting theory.
Birth Name: Graesil s'h'u Aln s'de Alanai'u s'se Saeron
Name: Grae
Titles: Lord, x'Sor Linniae (the false king), Elven War Chief, Heir to Aln
Class: Melee Archer/ Orator
Main Stats: Charisma, Dexterity
Weilds: Bladebow, Elven Slim Sword
Skills: Oration, Double Shot, Backstab, Snatch, Overwhelm Mind, Dominate, Parley, Restorative Sleep
Personal History: Born as the second of triplets, he was wed at an early age to a Dryad. He escaped several times, and on the last was captured and enslaved
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Posts: 720
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11/25/2013 6:32:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 5:50:15 PM, Lordgrae wrote:
Also, it is irrational to claim to be all knowing. Since there could always be information that you don't know is out there, it is an irrational claim for any intelligent being to make. Even if you did know everything, it would still be impossible by this standard to know for 100% sure if there isn't something you don't know.

I think this is in essence the free will problem with an omniscient god. If an omniscient god exists, then there is no free will. As Rational Thinker pointed out earlier in the thread. There are just no options that a god does not know about and there in lies the dilemma for those that believe in an omniscient god and free will.
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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11/25/2013 7:05:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 4:44:52 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/25/2013 4:13:17 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/25/2013 4:12:37 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/25/2013 3:36:03 PM, NightofTheLivingCats wrote:
Can God see the ?
If so, can he change a outcome?
If so, he would have saw that he would have changed the future, thus leading into the paradox.

Religious deities tend to live of time itself, so there isn't really a paradox.

Tend to live out of time itself...

Actually, that leads to an real metaphysical absurdity. To create the universe God would have had to make a transition from "non-creating a universe" to "creating the universe". Change requires time, thus, you have a real paradox if you want to talk about a purely timeless God creating the universe. Philosopher William Lane Craig realizes this problem, and posits that God must have entered time at the first moment of it. This gets around the problem of a timeless change. However, even I still think it is metaphysically absurd for there to be any timeless person. I guess that is a different discussion.

Well then if God is subject to the flow of time, he isn't completely omnipresent, as he wouldn't be always present at any point in space and time. He would only be omnipresent in space.

Secondly, if we keep with a timeless God, and using the fact that God is omnipotent, couldn't he just make himself subject to time whenever he wants to in order to create things in time, and then exit time whenever he wishes?
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/25/2013 7:11:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 7:05:29 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/25/2013 4:44:52 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/25/2013 4:13:17 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/25/2013 4:12:37 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/25/2013 3:36:03 PM, NightofTheLivingCats wrote:
Can God see the ?
If so, can he change a outcome?
If so, he would have saw that he would have changed the future, thus leading into the paradox.

Religious deities tend to live of time itself, so there isn't really a paradox.

Tend to live out of time itself...

Actually, that leads to an real metaphysical absurdity. To create the universe God would have had to make a transition from "non-creating a universe" to "creating the universe". Change requires time, thus, you have a real paradox if you want to talk about a purely timeless God creating the universe. Philosopher William Lane Craig realizes this problem, and posits that God must have entered time at the first moment of it. This gets around the problem of a timeless change. However, even I still think it is metaphysically absurd for there to be any timeless person. I guess that is a different discussion.

Well then if God is subject to the flow of time, he isn't completely omnipresent, as he wouldn't be always present at any point in space and time. He would only be omnipresent in space.

He would still occupy all of space and time if he creates space and time at t=0, and enters the world at t=0, thus, occupying all space and time as he is omnipresent.


Secondly, if we keep with a timeless God, and using the fact that God is omnipotent, couldn't he just make himself subject to time whenever he wants to in order to create things in time, and then exit time whenever he wishes?

I don't think the idea of a timeless person is metaphysically feasible in the first place. If we assume this is the case, then sure. I am just saying that you cannot have a PURELY timeless God as far as this debate context is concerned, because the act of creation would mean that God changes from:

(i) Not creating

to

(ii) Creating

That's a change, and needs time.