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If God created our universe, why does he object to our knowledge of it?


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Showing 176-200 of 337 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 21:06:46 BST
AJ Murray says:
I think we alreayd know the answer to that. Diane doesn't do thinking, she merely an empty vessel that regurgitates Catholic dogma no matter how nonsensical.

"It would be up to the complainer to establish some logical connection between what God knows what will happen and the mind of the one who makes a choice so that the mind of the person making the choice no longer is making a choice. It seems that the critics are saying that the choice-maker is affected by God's knowledge to such an extent that his freedom is lost. If that is the case, then can they prove this logically?"

Yes we can.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 21:18:19 BST
DB says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 21:20:23 BST
AJ Murray says:
-"I agree, which is why I am not a Molinist. I do think they have made attempts to reconcile this, though I can't remember them all off the top of my head. One was the 'the best of all possible worlds' whereby God steers his way through all the potential futures to ensure that his plans come to fruition (I'm probably doing the explanation a disservice, but all I can remember of it was that I didn't think it a very good explanation)."

Based upon what you outlined here i tend to agree with you, it becomes an unwieldy level of knowledge being granted given the fact that it would also have to know the outcome of every possible world which includes the worlds with only the most marginal of differences; like a world in which one quantum event turned out ever so slightly differently and the mind boggles at the sheer number of those that occur in the universe in the merest fraction of a second.

I would also like to know where this information is supposed to be stored, since what we know of information is that it requires a substrate on which reside. No carrier=no info.

-"Apologies for the many worlds mistake was thinking multiverse, though I still think the argument holds to a certain extent, because positing a different world with a slightly different God is just that, it might be a useful tool, but we are not dealing with the God in another world (which essentially does not exist), but the God in this world (which does). Such philosophical arguments are a dead end then."

No need to apologise, mistakes get made by us all. Your argument doesn't actually hold though, because philosophical arguments and theological musings are all that you have available to you. There is no objective study of deities, hence why we have so many religions and even within Christianity so many differing opinions as has been amply demonstrated by your three examples.

If there were a single concrete object for consideration how come you never reached Open Theism initially when you came into contact with your deity, or for that matter why did no-one else in the preceding hundreds of years?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 21:23:23 BST
AJ Murray says:
The quote comes from your post which i answered. (and there is a link at the top that displays it)

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 21:28:26 BST
Bellatori says:
Diane... you are going to come in for some ribbing over "God knows the future of what the free-will creatures choose. Free will does not stop becoming free because God knows what will happen. " because actually yes it does stop free will in its tracks. The argument that you followed up with is flawed AND the RC Church knows this. For the last thousand or so years Theologians have been trying to resolve the question of how an Omnipotent, omniscient and beneficent God can be associated with evil and free will. Mr. Burchell is posting the merits of Open Theism. Neither it nor neo-Molinism (essentially what you posted... sort of) actually provide an answer. One says God doesn't peek at the future though he knows all the myriad of possible futures and the other says there is no such thing as future so God cannot know it. There are serious logical flaws in both but simple common sense tends to suggest that neither has what is sometimes called 'face validity'

Open theism... Do you (Diane) believe that God does not know the future? That actually there is no such thing as the future, it just happens? Not according to what you posted above...
neo-Molinism... Do you (Diane) believe that God is too stupid to pick which of the myriad of choices you could make, that you are going to make? I doubt it.

So what is the answer. There is no answer that would satisfy me because I am an atheist. There is one that might satisfy you though. It is the 'God moves in a mysterious way...' not argument but act of faith.

By the way, the advantage of the neo-Molinism over open theism is that even if God knows exactly what will happen, knows all the possibilities and the outcomes, though you do not have therefore free will you do have the appearance of free will because you, unlike God, do not know the outcomes of the choices...

There are a whole shed load of other problems with open theism such as if God cannot know the future then he is constrained within time and the universe etc... Stick to faith. It is both simpler and more rewarding. As soon as you get into an argument philosophical or otherwise, outside of faith you are in for a rough ride. Not because atheists hate you but because theists cannot help you. Had they been able to do so then these questions that have been around since Epicurus would have been dealt with.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 21:37:03 BST
Bellatori says:
"Because you think the future exists. But you have no evidence to assert that and the inability to accept an alternative (with no evidence also) drives your un-reasoning." Nope... I can see why you need the future not to exist but cause and effect make a nonsense of that argument. When I throw a ball in the air I know the future. That you wish to constrain God again is quite understandable but once again I would suggest that you look at the implications of the n-body problem.

Either God can solve the n-body problem or he cannot. If he can (apply Wang, Qiudong (1991). "The global solution of the n-body problem") then his universe is evitable. If he cannot then he is not omniscient or omnipotent...

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 21:38:30 BST
##### says:
"Last edited by the author 48 minutes ago
DB says:
OB

Trying to read the mind of, and explain a Supreme omniscient being is a 'bugger' isn't it OB.
The funny thing is watching atheists wriggle about trying to fit God into their narrow worldview.
The strangest thing would be if they could actually do that.
Surprise! Surprise! they can,t."

I don't need to read anythings mind, that's just a wriggle. As is the next sentence. The end of the post is just empty rhetoric, and all based on the assumption of your core beliefs, you claim Atheists are arrogant and intolerant yet when a salient point is made you respond with this arrogant supercilious rhetoric, making your claims in the other thread fairly hypocritical. You have made no attempt to address the point made at all. Why is that i wonder?

""DB says: Free will does not stop becoming free because God knows what will happen." If god knows what will happen, then there is only one possible outcome, how is that scenario representative of us having free will? Do you assert that your god knows with absolute certainty what it will do as well? As that would negate it's free will also. The concept of omniscience is a bugger, isn't it?"

Care to try again?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 22:48:29 BST
##### says:
"O. Binladen says:
"DB says: Free will does not stop becoming free because God knows what will happen."

If god knows what will happen, then there is only one possible outcome, how is that scenario representative of us having free will? Do you assert that your god knows with absolute certainty what it will do as well? As that would negate it's free will also. The concept of omniscience is a bugger, isn't it?"

Any chance of a cogent answer to the above?

Posted on 16 May 2013, 22:56:58 BST
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2013, 22:57:34 BST
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:00:43 BST
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In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:03:32 BST
"... and open theists say that there is nothing there to peek at."

Which is a constraint on omniscience how?

"The reason both fail is because if God is omniscient and exists outside time..." And what if one of those is wrong? (I'll give you a clue - its not omniscience...)

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:08:34 BST
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2013, 23:09:10 BST
"The funny thing is watching atheists wriggle about trying to fit God into their narrow worldview"

They don't try to fit him at all DB. You see, they don't believe he exists at all.

Are we seeing how this works, yet?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:22:40 BST
"I would also like to know where this information is supposed to be stored, since what we know of information is that it requires a substrate on which reside. No carrier=no info."

I'm sorry I don't really know what a substrate is. I looked it up on wiki, but there are a lot of definitions and I'm not sure which one applies. Surely information requires a mind to be stored, whether that mind is electronic or biological or spiritual. Is there anything else?

"If there were a single concrete object for consideration how come you never reached Open Theism initially when you came into contact with your deity, or for that matter why did no-one else in the preceding hundreds of years?"

Open Theism does actually have a history that precedes the coining of the name. Greg Boyd looks at the Ancient world's views on gods in God at War and there are traces of it there. There are traces of it throughout the Old Testament and stories that require answering. People like Duns Scotus looked into the ideas and Socianism (a late medieval heresy) held some of the same ideas, as does Process Theology from the early 20th century.

Theologians are no different from anyone else - they grab an idea and sometimes they think it so true they vehemently oppose anyone who disagrees (with a longer history, we also have a bad history of persecutions such as during the Reformation).

Bear in mind that this is different for theists most of whom don't actually care too much about such finer details. They just want to pray to God and see him respond and how that all occurs doesn't really bother them that much. I have too much time on my hands :)

The names of the principle views all date back to the theologian/philosopher that first articulated them, but many of these ideas precede them in some form or another. A lot of specific theologies can be traced back to Augustine of Hippo and it is often difficult to find what early Christians actually thought because of the ways they articulated their thoughts.

For example Ephesians is generally used in support of Calvinism (it talks about predestination and thinks prepared for), but the general trend of Christianity throughout history and before 'Christendom' was more Arminian in nature (possibly even Open Theistic or Molonistic). Prayer for example is clearly about changing what will happen in the future - trying to change the inevitable or to prevent the inevitable, but that requires that God be able to change the inevitable, which isn't the case in Calvinism.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:25:27 BST
Spin,

(2) is what have been trying to say for some time, though I get the impression that most here 'assume the future exists...'

If one is going to talk about temporal things, one should at least have an understanding of what that means.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:25:58 BST
Bellatori says:
Oh dear...

""The reason both fail is because if God is omniscient and exists outside time..." And what if one of those is wrong? (I'll give you a clue - its not omniscience...)"

If God does not exist outside our time frame then he cannot have created the universe. Unfortunately you cannot have time without matter - Heisenberg accounts for that. That leaves you with the problem of how can a God who came into being along with the universe have created the universe.

This strikes me as very new THEOLOGY. A non-eternal God who did not create the Universe.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:31:26 BST
##### says:
You see little point in engaging with someone until they agree to see things the way you do. Priceless. You can twist this any which way, as I have stated, omniscience is a claim made for your god, and it's meaning is unequivocal, others have tried, as have I, to make this simple fact sink in with you, it appears you're happier to look for alternatives to the truth, alternatives that support your religious beliefs.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:32:51 BST
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:40:58 BST
##### says:
And you can prove your god exists, and exists outside time, how?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013, 23:42:55 BST
Spin says:
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Posted on 17 May 2013, 00:12:47 BST
well the reason for that is God was an American first - and you never get to learn anything from an American who likes to hold onto knowledge and power like the red-necks they are!

Posted on 17 May 2013, 00:28:35 BST
Spin says:
Our coloureds are happy as they are. We don't need you communist, gay-loving liberals to tell us how to treat our coloureds... (A line heard even today in the US)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2013, 10:07:12 BST
Drew Jones says:
"Drew, that comes down to your definitions of 'know' and 'knowledge'"
Of course, a discussion relies on definitions. If your definition of 'knowledge' is wide enough for an exhaustive understanding of possibilities to be equivalent to knowledge of the future you maybe making an internalising consistent point but a misleading one.

"And in this instance we have limited the scope to dice rolling for simplicity, however when applied to the rest of life there are huge complexities that we cannot account for, but God does"
Sure but increasing the perspective only increases the problem if, at base, you have included an understanding of possibilities to be equivalent to knowledge of the future - that is where I think I have identified a problem.

"The further into the future we go the more the possibiliites and this is certainly not the same kind of knowledge that we can hold at all..."
The argument isn't that the Molinist god isn't more knowledgable than a human but that he isn't omniscient or knowledgable to the greatest degree conceivable.

"... whereas in Molinism God can see all of those 'unknown' factors and therefore know all of the possible outcomes all of the possible impacts of one event on another and so on."
But he doesn't know which will be the outcome. The Calvinist god could work out all possible outcomes - it's just irrelevant to him because he knows that one extra thing: what will happen.

"A Calvinistic God however knows none of that (except as a fiction) because it is inconsequential."
As you say, it's inconsequential but he knows it. The flaw in your approach is to equate this inconsequential knowledge with not known and that is an error.

"Knowing a potential future for a past event that was never going to happen is wasteful and wistful."
Yet that's how the Molinist god spends his time, that is the improvement he has on us - a "wasteful and wistful" addition to the knowledge set.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2013, 10:31:28 BST
Dan Fante says:
A line heard in your head today.

Posted on 17 May 2013, 11:22:32 BST
Bellatori says:
Whilst Wayne is gathering his arguments let us indulge in some thought experiments.

Posit 1 - God either exists inside time or outside time.
Posit 2 - God is omnipotent, omniscient and benificent

If God exists outside time then being omnipotent and omniscient he can apply the n-body problem to his forthcoming universe and, in doing so, perfectly know how it will evolve. There is no time constraint so he can completely envisage the whole thing. This is clearly not what 'open theism' requires because it fails to address problems of free will and evil. They require a blank future. This can only be achieved if God fails to solve the n-body problem (amongst other things). So now they have to revisit posit one and say

Posit 3 - Posit one is wrong as God lives within time.

This leads to a whole new spectrum of problems. Let us assume that we can have time but no space - this gets around the problem of God being created at the same time as the Universe and therefore cannot be held to have created the Universe. Does time start? The answer to that lies in how we look at posit 3. God existing within time can exist for eternity (time is a requirement for eternity) but in a situation of no-time/no-space there is no God because he needs to be created along with time. To get around this problem you need
Posit 4 God and time are coexistent for all realities i.e. you cannot have a reality without time. It has always existed and therefore is, I presume, one of the facets/attributes of God.

Even so this does not solve the problem for 'open theism'. Within the domain of time from -infinity to +infinity where can you put the creation of the universe. Actually it does not matter as there is always an infinite amount of time before the universe was created... long enough for God to solve the n-body problem of his universe!!

Right so now we are back to God having to say that there is not enough time between thinking about creating the Universe...

I really cannot be bothered with this. Open Theism has more holes in it than a colander. Neo Molinism saying 'God does not peek' has more going for it and that is not saying a lot.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2013, 11:42:27 BST
"A non-eternal God who did not create the Universe."

If that was what was being proposed it would be a very new theology and one that wouldn't last long.

Again it is a matter of words and what they mean. Eternal is a Latin concept meaning without beginning or end. In the original Greek and Hebrew the same concept is closer to ageless.

None of these concepts say much about God's relationship to time, but the Bible shows God constantly involved IN time, but neither aging nor somehow restricted by it. Timelessness is the most common understanding of this concept, but it is not the only one - a number of others propose different ideas. William Lane Craig suggests timelessness up to the creation of the universe and then temporality after that (he calls this omnitemporality, but this differs from the way others use the term, so I called it bitemporality in my dissertation). Gregory Ganssle suggests that God is involved in time, but not bound by it in much the same way that he is involved in space but not bound by it (omnipresent). This he calls omnitemporality and others have proposed similar ideas.
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