Wednesday, March 9, 2016

God's Omniscience and Free Will

From guest blogger, Christina.

In Nelson Pike’s article "Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action" he argues that if we accept that God exists and is omniscient, then we must concede that we do not have free will.  According to Pike, if I went for a run on Saturday God knew 100 years ago that I would go for a run on that particular day. Our definition of God as omniscient means God could not have been mistaken about me going for a run on Saturday and if this is the case, it would appear that maybe I didn’t really have a choice about going for a run, maybe I do not actually have free will in my actions. Although it seems from this argument that I did not have the power to do something other than my run on Saturday, I believe we can add another attribute to God that will allow both his omniscience and our free will.

I would argue that it is possible for God to exist in time and space differently than how we view time and space.  In our minds time is linear and our interaction on Earth are finite. However, it is possible that God is omnipresent, meaning present in all places at all times. If this were the case, God could exist 100 years ago at and simultaneously when I went running. In this view God is viewing me at  and, similarly to me viewing different people in the same room together. I could tell you what each of them is doing at that very moment. Therefore, if it is possible for God to be omnipresent, then I do have free will to choose my actions and God is able to know what actions I am performing at any given time, because he is present at all times simultaneously. 

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