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The issue of the omniscient God

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posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 09:59 PM
As many of ponder upon the great depth of the Universe, the Multiverse, and Reality, we find ourselves perplexed with the question of existence. What brought forth creation? Was it pure will, a random expansion of energy, a random birth of a powerful being? We sit, contemplate, and answers to these questions come not in this stage of existence. So we live, and we make assumptions as to the origins of things.

Taking for granted that there is a source, a creator, a God of sorts, or a presence an issue arises. If we are to skip the argument of infinite regression and assume that there is a source in which all originates, we have a conundrum on our hands. In many spiritual teachings, choice plays a major part in development. However, never enough do we question the validity of free will. What factors allow us to choose? Is it an evolutionary development that assists our brains in higher levels of cognition? Is it a benevolent gift from the source? What is choice? Well, to be honest, I'm not here to answer what choice is exactly, I'm just here to state a fact of the third dimensional plane of thought.

Under our rules and understanding, if a Omniscient, Omnipotent god being existed then the idea of free will and choice are more or less fictional ideas; at least in our level of understanding. It takes merely simple logic to question the validity of free will under Omniscience. If such an all knowing being existed, outside of space and time, all of our actions would be known to it. All of choices, before we were even here to make them, are known by our assumed God. This being knows all, it knows when all will be born and when all will die. It knows what a person will choose to have for breakfast and it knows what a person will have for dinner. It knows what route one will take to work, and what route one will take to return home. It knows all. It knows what exact words, down to the awkward verbal punctuation, one will say to their co-workers on that given day. All of our choices were known, thought of, and contemplated long before we existed under this assumed God.

How is free will or choice to be considered valid under an Omniscient God? How can our decisions make a difference to our well being if they were already crafted, like a computer program in play. Are our individual experiences and choices meaningless on a personal level? Are our choices the choices of God, therefore giving more credence to the idea of all of reality just being God experiencing?'s omniscience we are discussing, and nothing short of it. If it exists, and God is all powerful, then God has it. If God has it, then our individual free will is automatically in question.

What exactly is going on here? What are our choices if we are to believe in an omniscient source?

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:06 PM
to admit that would be to admit the this all knowing god also knows about all the evil actions people have done and will do. every rapist every murderer every adulterer, every pedophile.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:07 PM
Do you think Quantum Theory plays a part in this ?

Free will ---> decision --- > one of many universe options

Although it is know which can happen, maybe our essence or soul only takes one ?

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:09 PM
and these people have us believe that this is a loving god too. whats going on is religion and "god" are the wool that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from reality we are alone on this planet. there is no god, there is no Heaven there is no hell. stories told to conjure fear in children and to control uneducated masses.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:10 PM
Here's my present understanding:

It takes zero omniscience to predict the outcome of a game I rigged. In fact, I can't call that foreknowledge at all. So if God only foreknows what he causes, he is not omniscient at all. Therefore, if God is omniscient, then he cannot violate free will by causing everything in advance. Rather than mutually exclusive concepts, then, free will is a necessary prerequisite of omniscience/foreknowledge.

I take an almost Molinist view known as "middle knowledge", where God's foreknowledge is like that of an expert chess player: the set of all possible remaining moves changes with each move, and the best players are those who can best anticipate the most "possible worlds". If God is omniscient, then it means he knows absolutely all possible worlds, and chose the best one initially for some desired "end game" or conclusion.

But just as a chess game has rules or boundaries yet does not force the players to make particular moves within them, so also God sets limits to free will but does not micromanage or force our actions. He, being omniscient, foreknows without causing, which when you think about it is actually a redundant thing to say.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:14 PM
and there is no predetermination. what would be the point of that? zero free will = every interaction between people and whatever is exactly like god wants it.
Everything in life is a choice, some choices are tainted by prior experience. others are not. we are self determined beings, we create a god and predestination to take away our responsibilities to our more base natures.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:16 PM
Well, for my part, I do not believe in an omniscient "god"... I believe in a "god", aka a sentient universe, that is trying to understand itself.

An omniscient god seems not only illogical, but superflourous. I mean seriously, what's the point of existing if you know everything already.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:19 PM
Here is a post in another thread, which states an answer very eloquently:

Here is the source link:

Originally posted by OldCorp
OK, I'm gonna take a swipe at this.

I see two questions raised by the OP:

1. Why does God allow suffering.
2. Why is free will so important.

If I'm missing something, please let me know.

There is a lot of suffering in the world. Why would a supposedly loving God allow this to happen?

I believe God is the creator of the human race (and possibly other races as well,) making Him for all intents and purposes our Father, just as I am the father of my children. What does any parent want for their child? To grow. To grow intellectually, to grow emotionally, and eventually to grow a family of their own. In order to grow, we must experience; love, loss, joy, pain... all of these things teach us something.

God is not as concerned as some people would like to think with our day to day lives. I mean let's face it, what are 60-70 years spent as a mortal being here on Earth when you compare it to an afterlife that will last for eternity? Nothing, nada, zip, and zilch. He's concerned with our immortal souls.

So what does God want? I believe He, like any father, wants his children to be happy, to be successful, and to expand His family by having children of their own; children who will pass on His ideals to the next generation. God wants to be a grampa. He wants to look into the faces of His offspring and see Himself reflected in them. This is where free will comes in.

Think for a second about love. Would you be satisfied with the most beautiful woman, or most handsome man, in the world if you had to force that person to be with you? Which would be preferable when it comes to love, someone who wants to be with you or someone you have chained up in the basement? I think for most normal people the answer is obvious.

God doesn't want a bunch of mindless automatons bowing down to worship Him all of the time. Where is the satisfaction in that? You can train monkeys, or dogs, to do that. God wants us to WANT to be with Him. He wants us to WANT to do what is right. He wants us to WANT to be part of His eternal family. That my friends is where free will comes in.

So yeah, in my opinion God has emotions just like any other intelligent being. Actually, it's not just my opinion as you can find examples of God's emotions throughout the Bible. He gets angry, He feels remorse, He is compassionate, He feels love, and like everyone else He wants to be loved for who He is, and not what He can do for us. By allowing our temporary bodies to endure suffering, God is allowing us to grow. Think about how often you tell your own children things like, "Don't touch the stove, it's hot and you'll get burned," or "That kid is no good, if you hang out with him you're just going to get into trouble."

Now think about how often they listen to you.

The only way people learn anything is through first hand experience. You can warn your children about possible dangers until you're blue in the face, but until they experience the consequences of their actions themselves they will never understand what it has taken you a lifetime to learn. God knows this. He has given us plenty of warnings. He even gave us 10 rules to live by, forming a basis for the way he wants His children to grow. God wants the members of His eternal family to reflect His values, just like any other parent.

And then He wants us to pass these values down to the next generation; but that's a whole other discussion for a whole other thread.

I hope that made sense.

edit on 6/1/2011 by OldCorp because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-6-2011 by trekwebmaster because: Added Link to Source: Edit.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:26 PM
all biblical prophecy directly contradicts that god doesn't know the future the biblical god could forsee any event. Nebuchadnezzar dreams ... etc

Psalm 147:5
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.

1 John 3:19-20
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

Isaiah 46:9
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done.

Matthew 10:30
But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

Psalm 139:4
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:40 PM
Knowing every possible outcome does not imply lack of free will. You still have to choose which branches to take in the event tree. But if you know the event tree of everything, you can compute the future. Furthermore if you are not restricted by time and space, you can see the future and return to the past infinite times, to both tell the future and mold the future. That is why I think it's says that God's words accomplishes their purpose and return back to him. To us it may appear the past is set in stone but to such a being it's dynamic.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:41 PM
free will can not coexist with an omniscient god it just is impossible.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:42 PM
reply to post by 547000

but god would still know even before your birth that you would be president or another jeffery dahmer.
that would make him responsible for all the good you do in life and all the bad. he cant take credit for one without taking lumps for the other because he knew it was gonna happen but he did it anyhow.
edit on 1-6-2011 by CaDreamer because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:44 PM
reply to post by 547000

every biblical prophesy is an attempt to "mold the future" molding the future negates free will
edit on 1-6-2011 by CaDreamer because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by CaDreamer

Then is may not have been His purpose for people to be happy in this life, but rather in the life to come. I know from experience it was suffering that eventually led to the events that made me to believe the gospel.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:48 PM
Could it be as simple that an all powerful God--through a sense of fair play--consented to a world where Satan was allowed some freedom--and adjudicated powers--to make his point.

Thusly, God sort of "chooses" not to know the little details. And the father of lies gets his day in court.

In the mean time: Our souls are up for grabs and nothing is assured except a coming judgement.

Hey, we all have our opinions.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:50 PM

Originally posted by CaDreamer
reply to post by 547000

every biblical prophesy is an attempt to "mold the future" molding the future negates free will
edit on 1-6-2011 by CaDreamer because: (no reason given)

The way I see it he knows all possible outcomes of every event but humans have to choose which branches to take. It is likely that all these various outcomes converge into a general future. Say, an event such as judgement day.
edit on 1-6-2011 by 547000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:59 PM
reply to post by TheOneElectric

Dear TheOneElectric,

I am answering your question with my understanding. I am limited same as everyone else, I don't have all knowledge. We understand that we exist, that we have sentience, that means that sentience in the universe exists. That is a good definition of God, the sentience of the universe. I mean it must start with knowing something. I make decisions, choices between right and wrong, that is free will I think.

If I have a child, I can usually figure out what choices they will make, if I know my child will eat all the cookies if I leave them out and I put them where the child cannot get to them, I have denied them certain choices; but, not free will. Free will does not mean getting your way, it means getting to chose amongst the options available. Getting to decide which you prefer even if you cannot necessarily obtain what you desire. Isn't that why we have created a virtual world, so we can be or get whatever we want?

What I have said is that we know two things. We have free will (the right to decide our own preferences) and there is sentience in the universe. As we grow, we learn more and our preferences can change. We know that we can grow. Some, not I, claim that we can become God and know all (gnostics and other new age groups).

You asked a lot so I am chewing on the pieces slowly and hopefully fully. Have to place the building blocks first.

The only question left is whether or not God is all knowing. I want to approach this in two ways. One it requires that we assume there is a God, if there is no God in your assumption than I can answer if he is all knowing. It is like asking someone who has never touched their wife, "Do you still beat your wife?". I am assuming that you are not going to use the question to have me prove there is a God, that would be a different question. Apparently many the assumption that your question is if there is a God, they don't read well or don't to see true discussions on any spiritual issue or question, they are all knowing, the all knowing sentience of the world, I would call them little gods, the limited sentience of the universe. For if they are like me then they know that they don't have all the answers.

Now, there are two ways to answer you, the gnostic and non-gnostic (be it Christian, Muslim or Jew). The gnostic will tell you that you can create your own universe and achieve all knowledge, to them (genarlization) we are God, our combined knowledge is all knowledge that can be known and eventually we become one. There answer does work as a possibility in answering you. The combined sentience of the universe is God and you are part of it. There answer would not deny free will. I don't agree with it; but, it does answer your question.

My answer is different. It is a Christian perspective and not far from parts of how the gnostics believe. In the bible it says in the beginning was the word and the word was God and the word was with God. What was the word, what did he call himself, he called himself the great I AM. What do you figure that means? If you define sentience it gets interesting. Sentience is the awareness of emotions and sensations. That is how we all begin. That leads to a conclusion, I AM, I exist. In the beginning God discovered that he existed. That is why it is the beginning, he had a thought rather than just experience. At that moment he knew all knowledge that was or had ever been in the universe. He was omniscient. At that moment, knowing less of the universe was possible for anything he created.

I don't presume a God that is also not capable of growth. I believe he made us so he could grow as we grew. As each part of us grows, so does society, constantly grappling with more and more difficult choices.As we make different choices he gets to see new things also, he knows as we know so he always knows all that we can know. If we could hear him, it might get in the way of our free will and then he learns less.

You see, the area we disagree over is the definition of all knowing. Perfection is not a result, it is a process, same thing with knowledge. He may know that can be known at any given second while still learning more. Free will is necessary for greater knowledge for him and us. Eternity is a very long time and continual growth would be needed to make it tolerable and worthwhile.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 11:04 PM
This has always baffled me, the question of God and the 3 O's............

If God did create the world and everything else around us, then why did he bother. Apparently or supposedly, God created man on the sixth day. Then he created Eve from Adam's rib, apparently, supposedly.

Now if God is all knowing, when he created Eve, God already knew that she was going to eat from the tree that he told them not to eat from. So why bother creating everything when he knew it was going to be all messed up a little over six days later anyway.

This even puzzled me as child who regularly went to Sunday school, due to my father being the Sunday School Superintendent, I just couldn't work out what the point of it all was. It's a bit like hitting yourself over the head with a hammer when you know it's going to hurt. You just wouldn't do it, would you?

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 11:06 PM
reply to post by davethebear

Dear davethebear,

You didn't like my answer just above your post?

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 11:23 PM
reply to post by AQuestion

Yes, I did read what you wrote and found it most interesting what you had to say.

Did you read my post?

I wrote what I did, this is mainly from the viewpoint I had as a child when you are still developing in both mind and body. A thirteen year old boy I talked to a few years ago actually brought this up in conversation from a religious education class he had been involved in and he could not get his head around what was being taught within the lesson, the same way as I had trouble getting to grips with it.

So although I understand what you wrote, from a child's point of view within an environment where they want you to believe in something in a certain way, especially within Sunday School, things don't always seem to make sense do they?

I am presuming that you are older than 13 years of age, so therefore you have grown mentally and able to come to the decision of how to decipher the belief that you have now. Did you think about this in the way that you do now, when you were 13 years of age? I think I can safely say that you didn't........

So when I wrote what I did, that is the viewpoint from what it was written....


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