Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Dark Dreams of Furiae - a new module for NWN:EE! Buy now
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Posted theological speculation, changed mind

BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,613
edited February 2015 in Off-Topic
Hello, I posted a long post about some thoughts I was having about divinity, and the relationship between God and time, and wound up discussing all kinds of personal information about myself along the way.

This was bad judgment on my part.

Any posting about religion or things that are too personal is just asking for trouble, and I should know better by now.

I have deleted my original post to avoid further troubling anyone.

The response by Isandir below was an attempt to thoughtfully address things I said.

Moderators, please close this thread. I apologize for the trouble.

Post edited by BelgarathMTH on


  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    God strikes me as a reload on TPK only kind of being ;)

    What you say reminds me of the Time Ship Voyager episode. The save/reload god does not require omniscience, only endurance.

    Oh no! God is a newb! :grimace: ...that explains a lot actually.

  • IsandirIsandir Member Posts: 456
    You know if you post a theological topic, I will inevitably be compelled to post a serious response...

    I do like the concept, and I once postulated something similar to one of my philosophy professors. However, I think it still violates the free will principle as defined through the principle of alternate possibilities (PAP) - the ability to choose otherwise given identical circumstances.

    First, however, there is the problem of god requiring this ability at all if he is omniscient. If we accept the general definition of omniscience including perfect knowledge of reality as it exists - and that reality comprises a definite past, present and future - god would have prior knowledge of all future actions and events. In that case he would have no need of regular Power:Reloads, as he would already foreknow, with his perfect knowledge, all of our choices and would simply choose to create or not create that reality. In short, why reload if you already knew what was going to happen? Why not create or will a reality, out of the infinite possible number, in which the only choices and events that occur are the ones you find desirable?

    Overlooking that issue, there is still the other problem of violating the PAP. If I make a choice, and that choice is revoked (regardless of whether or not I am aware of that fact), it ceases to be a free choice. This relates to what I see as the failing of virtually every classic theological position, including Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism and their variants. They all assume that reality exists as a static past, present and future. Yet if the future is already set, and god's omniscience includes perfect knowledge of reality, that reality has always included a settled future through consequent necessity, in which our actions are the only actions we could ever have taken.

    In simpler terms, how can you cause something if you don't even exist yet? Consequent necessity means that the ultimate responsibility (UR) for that action would once again revert to god due to the nature of his omniscience. Being timeless wouldn't solve the issue, as we are not timeless, and our actions must thus be grounded in time. In a more elaborate explanation, here is what I wrote in a previous paper on the topic:

    Macnish, in line with William Lane Craig, argues that God’s foreknowledge of an agent choosing x does not preclude the agent freely choosing x. He is correct insofar as there is no logical necessity in choosing x simply by virtue of it having been foreknown. However, it has been noted that the issue is the epistemological effects of divine foreknowledge in relation to the ontological status of reality. Hence, though God’s foreknowledge of x does not logically necessitate its occurrence, it does, through consequent necessity, exclude any future possibilities. Only the future reality of x exists, and as a result the PAP fails; x thus becomes necessary. Furthermore, as the grounding for the definiteness of the future results from God’s foreknowledge rather than the self-determination of agents, who cannot actualize their choices prior to their existence, UR transfers to God.

    Geisler attempts to introduce his solution of timelessness, yet this fails as well, for the difficulty lies not in accounting for the compatibility of God’s foreknowledge and libertarianism, but rather the compatibility of a settled future and libertarianism. For the future is part of a created reality and is thus temporal, as are the agents that exist within it. God may be timeless, yet it accordingly makes little difference, for agents exist within a temporal state. Thus, within that temporal state, x precedes not only the agent’s choice but also the agent’s very existence. To claim that agents determine their own future actions entail backwards causation, leaving only the option of claiming that the definiteness of future actions is simply uncaused.

    The difficulty of this issue rests in the failure to distinguish between the nature of God’s knowledge and human knowledge: “God’s omniscience also grows out of his omnipotence. God is not all-knowing simply because He has applied His superior intellect to a sober study of the universe and all its contents. Rather, God knows all because He created all and He has willed all.” (emphasis added) If God possesses EDF, it is not because he has foreknown what other agents have determined; it is because he himself has determined reality in that manner. It is precisely for this reason that Calvinism and open theism agree over and against the other views in stating that God’s EDF necessarily entails God’s omnidetermination of reality.

    The only possibility I see as allowing for free will is the consideration that reality is not in fact characterized by a set future, but rather one of possibilities. If god is omniscience and cognizant of time (and thus reality as it exists from our perspective), his perfect foreknowledge is perfect knowledge of future possibilities that only become actualized when the agents who bear ultimate responsibility make choices. God wouldn't use Power:Reload in that case for a simple reason: it would violate exactly what he wants to accomplish - agents who freely make the choice to follow him.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,613
    @Tresset, or another moderator, please close this thread. I had a lapse in judgment when I posted it. This kind of topic is just asking for trouble.

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 8,148
This discussion has been closed.