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If God is omniscient is free will an illusion?

I'm agnostic but interested in the truth so I do a lot of thinking and research on philosophy and religious issues in order to keep an open mind. It occurred to me when I was thinking one day that if God exists and he already knows everything I'm ever going to do then every decision I'm ever going to make has effectively already been made. This would mean that there is no such thing as free will. Since free will is a necessary ingredient for sin to be meaningful this has some pretty astounding implications. Thoughts?

Topics: religion

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    Feb 1 2013: Hi Robert.
    Good question & one discussed from time immemorial. God lives in eternity, we live temporarily in time. God created time & put us in it. He gave us free will, so that we could chose His way, or our own way. As He can see the whole of time, He knows the result, but we are responsible for our choices day by day.
    This gives us the ability to blame God for our wrong choices, which we do with great enthusiasm. However we are to a large extent operating beyond our understanding. God made the universe, I can whittle a stick; time for a bit of humility. Any universe creator who is willing to undergo the humiliation & suffering that Christ suffered gets my vote. He can explain the finer parts of doctrine at His liesure in eternity. When you throw a small child in the air it doesn't need to know how gravity operates to trust that you will catch it.

    • Feb 1 2013: I'm willing to admit that foreknowledge doesn't mean control. However, when you combine foreknowledge with the act of creation then the responsibility is much harder to duck. God knew what would happen when he created the Universe and was free to either do it or not. The ultimate control was God's at that time.
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        Feb 2 2013: By accepting this, you are agreeing to the existence of God. Do you really think you are on the moral high ground, or is it not possible God has an answer to this objection? Either way, I don't think the point is important enough to gamble your eternity on it.

        • Feb 2 2013: Not really, For the purposes of this conversation I was willing to let the assumption that God exists be made. Given that, I have to base my arguments and conclusions on that assumption, at least up to the point that I find something that calls that assumption into question.

          Asserting that God doesn't exist always makes large numbers of people very angry for some reason even though they wouldn't go to Hell for me if I was wrong. Strong emotion is often a sign of insecurity.

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