How do we have free will if God already knows what we’ll do?


So if God knows what you’re going to do before you do it then when you do it how can we say you actually have free will? This question confuses the concept of foreknowledge with foreordination or forecausation to know the future and to cause the future are two different things. God may simply live outside of time and space he may live in the eternal now for the time-space continuum may be something that is created by God that does not apply to him therefore he knows all but that doesn’t mean he’s causing all. He may have actually chosen to create genuine freewill agents within his creation. It may just be that God has infinite relational knowledge of who you are that is he knows you better than you know yourself and so given whatever circumstances arise he knows how you’re going to respond and he knows how your response will cause someone else to respond because he knows them infinitely as well and he knows everyone infinitely so that he can see history moving forward and even just based on his infinite relational knowledge he can predict the future but that doesn’t mean he’s causing anyone to act in a certain way. Just because you know someone well doesn’t mean you can claim to have forced them to be that way. I know when I get home my wife’s gonna give me a big hug and a big kiss and she’s a good kisser but that doesn’t mean I forced her to kiss me. It just means I know her well and if I can do that in a limited sense think of how God can do that in an unlimited sense. Knowing the future is not the same as causing the future. It does raise the question though if God knew there was going to be so much pain and suffering that would eventually come our way why did he create us in the first place? But that’s another question.

12 thoughts on “How do we have free will if God already knows what we’ll do?

  • If he created his wife, and knows how she works, he MADE her that way.
    This loser in the video FAILS.
    If he created his wife to fail, yes fail because he knows how to make her to not fail, guess what, he is responsible for her failing. It's not that he was not sure when making her, he didn't know what he was doing.

  • Maybe a bad analogy on a Christian channel, but I think of it like this. If on today I could get in touch with myself about a month ago and tell my past self to bet all my money on the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl, did I make the Denver Broncos win?

    Existing outside of time means that God knows everything that will happen…and even what might have been. He allows some people to fall short of His perfect will: David SHOULD have built the temple, Moses arguably SHOULD have made it to the promised land, but both fell into God's permissible will rather than His perfect will…and He wasn't one bit surprised when they did because He already knew that they would. I think I just went cross-eyed, but that's what happens when the finite tries to explain the infinite.

  • If I was god and I create someone and I make them so stupid that they do stupid things, that's my fault that I made them stupid, not their fault that I created them that way. And if I make someone so smart that they don't do stupid things, that's also my fault that I created them that way, not their fault that I created them that way.

    So here's how it plays out.
    Trillions of years before god even created anyone god knew in advance that he would make trillions of people that were so stupid that they would do stupid things. And god knew in advance that he would hurt these people by putting them in hell.
    To create someone while knowing that you're going to hurt them by putting them in hell is evil cruelty.
    And to make them so stupid that they do stupid things is gods fault, not the peoples fault.
    A creation is not at fault for how its creator creates it.

    For god to make it so bad things are possible, that's gods fault, not our fault.
    So if god exists it is his fault for what it designs and creates, not it's creations fault that he created it the way he did.

    So if god exists this god can only blame itself for the way it designed and created things to be.

  • This is problematic on Leibniz's account of being: Leibniz postulates that because being is intelligible, anything that is truly substantial (on Leibniz account, these are so-called monads, including us, human beings qua souls) must correspond to a 'complete concept', in which properties are ascribed to them, and that the reasons why these properties are ascribed – or their causes – must go back in the end, to a necessary cause which is God. God must be infinitely intelligent, because he possesses the complete concept of these substantial things according to which he creates the world. Here arises the problem of free will: God ordained according to the complete concept of a being, which determines it in its existence, and therefore the being cannot freely choose what its actions (because these are properties as well) are. Leibniz solves this problem by saying that there are necessary (like the Law of Non-Contradiction, e.g. one cannot both be a student of philosophy) and contingent truths about these beings (such as one's choices). Choices are included only hypothetically in the concept, and only become determined, factual actions when one wills and acts accordingly. Nonetheless, it is problematic on this account that God should know these actions (to preserve His infinite intellligence), because He created according to His knowledge of the complete concept

  • God knows EVERYTHING. GOD knows good AND GOD knows evil. God knows what decision or conversation we are going to make WAYYYY before we even think of making that decision or choice for he knows our future. With this being said He also knows what other 10000 decisions we could have possibly made. So in that sense itself God does allow free will.

  • This is not a trivial question. If God foreknows and controls all events, he is ultimately the author of evil.
    Open Theism is the only logical way out of this, and there are numerous examples in the Bible of God changing his mind, being surprised or disappointed by things, etc.

  • Wouldn’t torturing someone for all eternity require some form of hatred towards that person? It’s hard to believe people in hell are/we’re loved by our creator. It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around a perfectly loving creator sending people to eternal Suffering. If I were to torture someone I would have to have some deep hatred towards them.

  • "God can predict the future" Well, isn´t It at the future, past & present at all times? If so It knows the future since the moment It forged the design.

  • He might not have caused all, but if He knows all, all is already determined (not by Him, but by something). If all is determined, you are not truly free. Objections?

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