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I'm an agnostic with a question for the christians about your omniscient all knowing God.

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posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:04 PM
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do you ever stop and think about the deeper, metaphorical meanings behind stories like adam and eve and the graden of eden? if you look at it like a legend or a fable, the story, and indeed the entire bible, becomes so much more logical and can actually help you lead a good life. Taking the "good book" literally and calling us distorted, perverted versions of what god really wanted us to be only leads to self-loathing, hatred and violence. if god set out to make adam and eve perfect and last forever, he would have. even if it is a literal account of what happened, we turned out just as god wanted us to, he intended for adam and eve to fail.




posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by Ersatz
The question is:
"Is it possible to do anything different other than what God has foreseen?"

if the answer is "yes" then that negates the "infallibility" of the god
if the answer is "no" then that negates the "free will" of man.


God didn't "foresee" anything -- as an eternal being, he exists outside of time, so your action is not "foreseen" by him, he knows it because, to him, you already did it. Everything that is, was, and ever will be has already happened for God. So yes, your decision is still yours to make, regardless of whether God knows about it or not.


Originally posted by TomServo
Good question... I believe that nobody will be comdemned to eternal damnation. If you were a nostic instead, you would probably be aware of the alternative nostic texts. One, i believe written by David, eludes to the idea that once every person who ever has or will exist will be enlightened to the truths of our creator, which is briefly described in Revelation.


I suspect that you're rather unfamiliar with the Gnostics, for the misspelling, if nothing else, but they were most certainly NOT believers in universal salvation (which they view as something far different than Christianity does, anyway.) They believed, in fact, that the vast majority of humanity was utterly incapable of it.


Originally posted by Thesickness
God from what I was taught, being omniscient and loving, knows everything before it happens. Thus being omniscient aka all knowing. He says we have free will to make the choice between salvation and damnation.


Though I am quite fond of Eight Bits' answer, that God doesn't know something that he can't, Christian theology gives you a couple of different directions to consider. Protestants believe that God needs to give you the grace of faith in order to believe (because of a fairly stubborn streak that paints people as inherent dirtbags who can't ever do anything right that pervades most Protestant thought.)

From that perspective on who gets the grace of faith, we have two schools (three, in a way, because Lutherans and Anglicans have an amalgam) -- Reformed Theology and Arminianism. Reformed says that God preselects (before you're born, before the creation of the world, in fact) some for salvation, and some for damnation, and withholds the gift of grace for those who aren't going to be saved. Why? What's the reason that someone gets salvation and someone else doesn't? Who knows, and even Calvinist theologians argue the point (and I'll spare you the details
).

The other school, which I am a adherent of, is Arminianism, which also says that God needs to give you grace, but that it's up to you to accept or reject it. Opinions differ on whether this is a "saved once, saved always" or if you can lose your salvation if you abandon your faith, but it's always up to you. As above, God knows what your decision will be, because he exists outside of time, but it is always your decision.

Catholics view faith differently, but have an out -- if you're not super evil, you're relegated to Purgatory, where you get a "second chance" to accept God or not.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 11:11 PM
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reply to post by Thesickness
 


I too found this problem. Now, I wasn't particularly raised any way, but I study for myself. I found too many inconsistencies in many. So I leaned towards more eastern religions. But those too have their flaws, but some accept those flaws as an inevitable part of "reality".

Have you ever read up on Aleister Crowley? Or Thelema in general? It combines many religions, taking what is seen as universally true, and trying to make a working structure out of it. Just a thought, its seeming promising to me so far

PS: I am not part of O.T.O or any Thelematic organization, so I don't know for certain on specific things of the nature



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 01:24 AM
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Originally posted by Ersatz

In order for God to know what will happen in the future, the nature and sequence of future events must be fixed and invariant from his perspective.
Otherwise, God could not know with any certainty what course history will ultimately take.

The question is:
"Is it possible to do anything different other than what God has foreseen?"

if the answer is "yes" then that negates the "infallibility" of the god
if the answer is "no" then that negates the "free will" of man.
.


now this is only how i see it. but.
God knowing what we'll do before we do does not mean that free will is not present. it just means He knows.
we, as human beings are stuck experiencing time in a linear fashion. therefore we only know up until the present moment. it's my understanding that God does not experience time the same way. i basically see it as two different questions that should be asked. 1. is God omniscient? 2. Do we as humans have free will? I disagree that the two should be lumped together.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 01:40 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by Ersatz
The question is:
"Is it possible to do anything different other than what God has foreseen?"

if the answer is "yes" then that negates the "infallibility" of the god
if the answer is "no" then that negates the "free will" of man.


God didn't "foresee" anything -- as an eternal being, he exists outside of time, so your action is not "foreseen" by him, he knows it because, to him, you already did it. Everything that is, was, and ever will be has already happened for God. So yes, your decision is still yours to make, regardless of whether God knows about it or not.



'Existence outside time' is one of those oxymorons like 'military intelligence' or 'government work', I'm afraid.

You're going to have to show how something 'outside time' can exist, not merely assert that it does.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 01:45 AM
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Originally posted by slowisfast

Originally posted by Ersatz

In order for God to know what will happen in the future, the nature and sequence of future events must be fixed and invariant from his perspective.
Otherwise, God could not know with any certainty what course history will ultimately take.

The question is:
"Is it possible to do anything different other than what God has foreseen?"

if the answer is "yes" then that negates the "infallibility" of the god
if the answer is "no" then that negates the "free will" of man.
.


now this is only how i see it. but.
God knowing what we'll do before we do does not mean that free will is not present. it just means He knows.
we, as human beings are stuck experiencing time in a linear fashion. therefore we only know up until the present moment. it's my understanding that God does not experience time the same way. i basically see it as two different questions that should be asked. 1. is God omniscient? 2. Do we as humans have free will? I disagree that the two should be lumped together.


Some theists will answer: God is eternal in a timeless way. But then he would have to timelessly decide to act at a given moment.
When was God more timeless? Before during or after Creation?

And when He acted to create He entered into time, of necessity, now having a past and a present.

We are told that God set everything in motion.
Nothing existed before he did; therefore he is the cause of everything.

He had a choice of worlds to create. He knew everything that would happen in each of them.
If God is Omniscient and has perfect knowledge... he has foreknowledge and is responsible for how his plan unfolds.

The existence of an omniscient God, whose foreknowledge of future events is necessarily correct, completely precludes human free will.
Otherwise God's foreknowledge would be incorrect.
.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 02:01 AM
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reply to post by Ersatz
 


that's all well and good.
i still just don't understand how you can make that leap. that God's foreknowledge of events impedes on our free will, and that it's an either/or issue. knowledge of does not mean directed by.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 07:48 AM
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Originally posted by slowisfast

I still just don't understand how you can make that leap. that God's foreknowledge of events impedes on our free will, and that it's an either/or issue. knowledge of does not mean directed by.


Nobody is saying that knowledge of the action causes the action.

I'm saying that if perfect knowledge of what will happen exists before the event, then there is only one set of possible outcomes regardless of how much participants feel like they're choosing.

An Omniscient Creator must know the consequences that would issue from His decision because all actions were designed / included by God in His creation.

God knows in advance what is going to happen in the future.

If God knew, when He created, that I would assassinate John Kennedy, I have no real choice in the matter: I will assassinate him.
Otherwise His knowledge would be wrong.
.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by Ersatz
If God knew, when He created, that I would assassinate John Kennedy, I have no real choice in the matter: I will assassinate him.
Otherwise His knowledge would be wrong.


You've a logical fallacy there, because you're putting the cart before the horse.

Time is a measurement in this reality. God exists outside of this reality, because the creation cannot logically contain the creator (if you need an example, creation is inside of a box, and God is (depending on your theology) the box, or outside of the box.) So time isn't a limitation of God. He knows everything, from beginning to end, because he's not constrained by the measurement. If you will, we are currently experiencing reality, but God has already experienced it. Everything -- Big Bang, your birth, your death, destruction of the Earth, entropic end of the Universe, it's all "past history" to an eternal being.

You're stuck on the whole notion of "God knows what I'm going to do", but what you're going to do isn't relevant, it's what you're going to decide to do that matters, because that's the free will bit. So, to you, your decision to do "A", rather than "B", is still in the future, still waiting to be made, but God already knows it, because you've already made it, from his perspective. It doesn't impact your free will, because if you chose "B", that's what he would have seen.

God doesn't foresee anything -- the fact that he already knows what, to us, are future events, is a factor of the nature of God, not an impediment on us.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Time is a measurement in this reality. God exists outside of this reality, because the creation cannot logically contain the creator (if you need an example, creation is inside of a box, and God is (depending on your theology) the box, or outside of the box.) So time isn't a limitation of God. He knows everything, from beginning to end, because he's not constrained by the measurement. If you will, we are currently experiencing reality, but God has already experienced it. Everything -- Big Bang, your birth, your death, destruction of the Earth, entropic end of the Universe, it's all "past history" to an eternal being.

You're stuck on the whole notion of "God knows what I'm going to do", but what you're going to do isn't relevant, it's what you're going to decide to do that matters, because that's the free will bit. So, to you, your decision to do "A", rather than "B", is still in the future, still waiting to be made, but God already knows it, because you've already made it, from his perspective. It doesn't impact your free will, because if you chose "B", that's what he would have seen.

God doesn't foresee anything -- the fact that he already knows what, to us, are future events, is a factor of the nature of God, not an impediment on us.


Now I have not created, now I am creating, now I have created ...are events that happen in time.

God, by creating, deliberately set off a chain of events.

God cannot act in a temporally causal way and still be said to be timeless.
If God acts to create, then this change in a state of affairs immediately becomes past to Him.
God would be timeless without creation (which is what I think is incoherent) and temporal with it.
And when He acted to create He entered into time, of necessity, now having a past and a present.

UNLESS you want to actually describe a category of "doing things" bereft of time and space and a mechanism by which they could operate, all without committing an internal contradiction by making any time/space contingent references. In this case, you might actually be on to something. 

"Timeless " is just another meaningless apologetic buzzword that allows for endless special pleading in situations where the apologist would otherwise be philosophically phukked.
.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by Ersatz
God cannot act in a temporally causal way and still be said to be timeless.


He can if he is not a part of what he created, which is what I said. What "time" is, to God, an eternal being without beginning or end, outside of our notion of time, I have no idea. It doesn't make sense that something akin to temporal interaction wouldn't be a part of that -- how could you talk if the words all came out at once, or they were in a random order? -- and yet we believe that, for our own particular time, which begins over here and ends somewhere over there, God has already experienced all of it.

The example that I generally use is this. Take a piece of paper. On the left side, draw a dot, signifying your birth. On the right side, draw another, signifying your death. Now draw a line from the left to the right, signifying your life and the passage of time. As you can see, time moves ever forward and, as time passes, you age, and you die. God is not the line, he is not time, nor does he move with you along it.

God is the piece of paper.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


How do you know GOD is the piece of paper?



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 03:46 PM
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Originally posted by truthseeker321
reply to post by adjensen
 


How do you know GOD is the piece of paper?


He's not literally a piece of paper
I'm simply using that as a metaphor to explain the concept of temporal perception within Christian theology. You see time as a line, with each point only existent in order, one bit at a time. God sees the whole thing, all points, at once, because he's the underlying thing, that which is neither dot nor line, which was before the line was drawn, and will remain after the line fades away.

Understand two points, though -- first, theology isn't an expression of what is true, it's the intellectual exploration of the nature of the divine, based on faith. For example, we have faith that God is eternal, theology is an attempt to sort out how that works and what it might mean, but it could very well be completely off the mark.

Secondly, I'm responding in this thread to explain what Christians believe, and why, because the question was asked. If one wants to believe that God is not eternal, or that his nature precludes free will, or that he doesn't even exist, that's fine, but this is not what Christians believe, and we do, indeed, have a reasonable explanation for it.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by truthseeker321
reply to post by adjensen
 


How do you know GOD is the piece of paper?


It's a wide open LIGHT space.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by Ersatz
 


There is no past or future. Time is a concept made by mankind to enslave us. Time was invented to get you up in the morning to go to work. Time was not needed until industrial farming was introduced, so planting and sowing could be done.
All there is is this. The rest we make up in our heads. It is eternally now.
God knows everything because god is everything including you.
There is no choice or freewill. It is all just happening.
If there is any choice, the best choice is not to chase after thoughts and concepts. Stay as the awareness.
www.youtube.com...
edit on 18-2-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I know what you meant. I was just messing with ya. I was thinking GOD is actually the tree that the paper came from! Now that is deep.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 05:34 PM
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reply to post by Jim Scott
 

Actually, Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty look before a fall, but I hear where you're comning from

Jean Paul Satre said (I believe,) 'Man is condemned to be free'.
We are constrained in this world by time space and matter.
I would argue that GOD is outside of these constraints
Lets' say, for example that we are watching a parade go through the city. We observe it as it passes through the city, float by float. However, someone who is watching from a blimp up above the city sees the begining and the end of the parade before we have even clapped eyes on it. I guess it's a matter of perspective.
Is history and our decisions in life mapped out in eternity?
Yeah, I think so.
Do we have free will and are we free to make our own decisions?
Yeah, I think so.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Time is not a man made concept. There are mathematical propositions to determine cycles, be it seasons, planetary movements, astronomical movements, or even (probably,) bowel movements

Mathematics is a language GOD has chosen to use to speak volumes.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 05:41 PM
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And time is not a constant either. That is something difficult to get our heads around. Things like mass and gravity have an effect on it.
I remember someone giving an interesting example of this:
2 twins were born at the exact same time. Later in life, one becomes an astronaut and travels to Alpha Centauri (our nearest star at 4.5 light years I think,) at HALF the speed of light. When he travels the distance and returns back to earth, he is 2 years YOUNGER than his identical twin brother.
How's that for a noodle baker?



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by chr0naut
 


Did I guide the children to harm? Obviously you are joking. Children are hit and killed by vehicles everyday.

If God is omnipotent then he knew that when he made reality one day that "child" would be hit by a car. Is it his fault? Does god have control over our reality or not? You have to decide.

What I gathered from the bible was that God is responsible for everything even our behavior. Some theologians suggest that we are merely an extension of god? How could god not be at fault?

We have no free will because everything we do is determined by our brains. Our life is a series of reactions from our brain right from the very first second of consciousness.
edit on 19-2-2011 by Marulo because: (no reason given)



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