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Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by False Joe, Jan 9, 2009.
I was about to say, the addition of necessarily doesn't differentiate the meanings.
It differentiates the phrasing but I don't see the necessary discrepancy there tbh.
No they are not. The modal operator 'It is necessarily the case that' operates on the entire sentence in the first case, and only over 'x will happen' in the second case. Actually, I didn't formulate the second sentence correctly. It should have been the following:
It is necessarily the case that if God knows x will happen then x happens necessarily.
Anyway, let's go back to the two sentences I presented in my previous post. They do not mean the same thing. The first sentence, explicated in terms of possible worlds semantics, says that in every possible world in which God knows x will happen x will happen. The second says that if God knows that x will happen then x happens in every possible world. The difference in meaning is a function of the range of the modal operator 'it is necessarily the case that'. But of course, you're getting confused because these two surface forms are often not interpreted differently in everyday English. But hey, what the hell do I know? I totally forgot about your extensive studies in modal logic!
IIRC the point is that we're talking about this world, namely the world that (we are assuming) was explicitly created in this way by God because this was the most benevolent option (assuming that God is omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, etc). Under these implied circumstances, given that the world as we know it was deliberately chosen to be as it is, is therefore destined to be such and cannot be other than what it is, therefore negating the concept of free will in the world in which we live, namely the only world about which we can coherently speak, insofar as our actions are a byproduct of the deliberate selection of characteristics about the world which brought said actions about.
If this post it nonsense, which I will discover tomorrow morning, it's because I'm tired, so goodnight.
I'm tired too so I'm not in the proper state of mind to give a good reply but I'll try.
I think maybe you are making too much of my talk about possible worlds. The objection I offered (the one where I presented those two sentences) is supposed to show that freedom and foreknowledge aren't logically inconsistent. But even if you relativize the notion of necessity to our world still a plausible interpretation of necessity in that sense is in terms of nomologically possible worlds. I'm actually not sure what to make of this objection I've offered, partly because it's not even my objection. I just think it's an interesting challenge to the idea that freedom and foreknowledge are inconsistent. I'm more partial to the objection that I quoted from the religion thread.
I suppose it seems intuitive that if I know x will happen then it is nomologically necessary that x will happen (necessary just in virtue of natural law). Is it a necessary truth? I'm not sure. If it's a necessary truth and if nomological necessity is incompatible with free will then I guess the inconsistency between freedom and foreknowledge is established. Whatever.
edit: I'm not too knowledgeable on this issue but I do know it gets pretty messy. For more, see: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/free-will-foreknowledge/
Man I started an awesome argument.
Some more thoughts (I should really be sleeping right now :zombie:
Even if one were to demonstrate that the proposition 'If God knows x will happen, then it is (nomologically) necessary that x happens' is not a necessary truth and hence that freedom is not inconsistent with foreknowledge, I am not sure that the notion of free will would be one whit more intelligible than it was previously. It wouldn't be inconsistent with foreknowledge, but it would be incredibly mysterious. Why? Because in order for the proposition 'If god knows that x will happen, then it is (nomologically) necessary that x happens' not to be a necessary truth there would have to be at least one logically possible world in which x happens but is not nomologically necessary. That is, there would have to be a logically possible world in which some events that occur are not necessitated by natural law. But that seems crazy, right?
I still don't see why something that is pre-known had to be pre-determined. It's hard to make examples because who among us pre-knows anything for sure?
I will post my idea of how this all might work. I am sure I am wrong to some degree, but it is how I think of it.
Here is the model my mind imagines. Some of it is based on the Bible, and some on my ideas about free will vs omnipotent and omniscient God:
God, for whatever reason, decides to create a world with people in it who are, to some degree, in his image. He wants them to have free will so that they can make real choices. The only way for this to happen is for him to purposefully limit his own power to make choices for these beings. He decides to start them out in an ideal state of being, in harmony with him and nature. This is like "The Plan".
So however this happens, God plays out the whole scenario (either for real or just on a universe simulator). He sees that if he created this world and sets it on its way, the beings will reject total harmony with him. He realizes that if man rejects this harmony, that the world will change in many ways so that neither is nature still in total harmony with man, thus disease, etc. He then sees the result of each choice that would be made by all beings. He realizes he will have to do something to restore his relationship with man, which will (for whatever reason) involve a major sacrifice on his part. So then he has to decide if it is worth it to create the whole thing. He decides it is worth it.
Then I believe he could analyze each thread of each life and their interactions and this is where he would decide to intervene. He would not intervene by making the choices for people, but by causing certain things to result in certain outcomes, and by doing so he can change the course of history to some degree. In other words, maybe in the non-intervention model, man wiped himself out within 1000 years of creation, so he could have changed some outcomes to favor some people not making certain decisions, or whatever.
The extent of his intervention is unknown, but I do believe he limits it to a degree that allows free will, at least to a large degree.
Some intervention is done directly, and a huge amount of this intervention comes early in history when he interacts directly with some men, including Abram and with the resulting Jewish nation. Other direct involvement includes angelic interaction (angels killing people), “supernatural disasters” (the flood), miracles (10 Plagues, parting of the Red Sea), etc. One of the most notable interventions is obviously sending Jesus to the Earth and all that he did.
Now talking about less overt intervention, I think that includes ways in which he could influence our thoughts. Not giving them to us, but possibly by encouraging us in certain directions. Also he can do things like sustain a life that would otherwise end, or end a life that would otherwise survive (like in cases where people get diseases or are in accidents), influencing animal behavior (Roy), influencing the weather and the Earth, etc. I also think a larger percentage of his influence for the direction of the world would be within people who have chosen to follow him. In these cases the person has, to some degree, surrendered their own will to that of God. That is not to say that he puts the decisions into their heads, but they allow themselves to be very like-minded and even ask to be influenced by him, and so their decisions, to varying degrees, are in line with what he would like them to be, and are directly influenced by his prompting. I know people trip out when Christians pray for God’s will in their lives, but I think this is part of how God is able to influence and direct the world without overstepping the boundary of free will.
Anyway, that’s kinda how I think of it.
"Last edited by AchrisK: Tomorrow at 03:33 AM."
God knows it will happen.
^Haha, you just noticed that? It's part of my sig.
If God did created 'us' humans in his own image or somewhat in his image does not get any acknowledgement from me.
i live my life in a haze. you should be surprised it only took this long for me to find it
Actually that wasn't really my argument, that was vihris' I guess. What I'm saying about our lack of free will stems from the fact that God explicitly chose this world as it is, and as such necessitated that everything that follows comes about as it has. The fact that he knows it will unfold as it has is merely a side effect of his having created the world in this way. I don't think God is capable of possessing the qualities that we generally attribute to him (omniscience, omnipotence, yadda yadda) while being able to give humanity free will, which is obviously an argument against the existence of the Christian God of the Bible as it is understood. Because if he was omniscient and omnipotent and benevolent and the creator of all things, then surely he chose this particular world because it was the best possible world, and he knew this beforehand, which is why he chose it. He knew that, as I said in a previous post, that I would be typing this right now. But it's not because he knew this that it is necessary and thus not an act of free will, but rather because it is the byproduct of his having chosen this specific world which will unfold in this way that produces me typing this post right now. I'm not sure if this is better or even different, but it makes more sense in my head than the foreknowledge argument.
Dawkins seems to do that a lot. Like in the God Delusion, one of the titles of the chapters is why there almost certainly is no god.
*edit* shouldn't this be merged with the religion thread?
I think you're notion of the "most benevolent option" could be skewing your perception of things. More than likely your evaluation of the "most benevolent option" does not match that of God, and furthermore your idea that the "most benevolent option" must be what was employed by God is likely just as erroneous.
If God was benevolent then he would not choose a less benevolent option for the ultimate creation of the world.
I will freely agree to the free will-foreknowledge questiont as being, as far as I am concerned, unsolvable. There are more verses that talk about foreknowledge than refer to "free will".(Psalm 39 is probably the best example for pre-destination etc.).I prefer to resolve it for myself in reasoning similar to what AcK posted.
Well if you think in terms of eternity, man's current existence is a nearly non-existent blip on the radar screen of time, but would be enough to serve as a warning in eternity of what the world is like when the majority does not obey YHWH.