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If we assume that God knows the future, we think that the only possible way to do that is because He knows all possible states of the system: He could thus "compute" that future. But this "computation" could maybe imply that no "free will" exists. A SECOND WAY to get that information is hereby proposed: as done by a time-machine, the God's eyes could move in the future and simply OBSERVE it. By doing so a) the above doubts of lack of "free will" are cancelled b) God should commit not to modify at least the part of the future that has been observed: since it has been observed by Him, that future must really take place. Are there concerns about the logical validity of the proposed "second way"?

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    Possible duplicate of Is God free to make decisions? – Conifold Nov 4 '18 at 23:06
  • There is not even an overlap between the two questions: this question is concerned with the problem of how it is possible to obtain information regarding the future, in the other question "Is God free to make decisions" this problem is not an issue and it is assumed that the future is someway already known. – Claudio Zanella Nov 5 '18 at 0:01
  • The definition of duplicate is not that there is any relation between questions but rather that the answers answer both. The reasoning in both questions is based on too naive an idea of what omniscience means and how it affects free will, hence they are duplicates. The reading suggestions there also apply here. – Conifold Nov 5 '18 at 0:05
  • you don't like my question and I withdraw it but I don't agree that I have a naive idea of the God's "omniscience", the purpose of my questions is to assess what God can do, i.e. what is logical, there is no naivety in that. My first question has been found clear when I posted it. The answers don't answer both, they answer none: my question has been largely answered by "omnibus type" God's theories that didn't address the problem if terms are unclear the right thing to do is ask for clarification rather than provide verbose posts, only with discipline it's possible to make steps forward – Claudio Zanella Nov 5 '18 at 16:45
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    The problems are that God's omniscience is not analogous to human eyesight, he does not "observe" anything from "outside", as he is the active source of everything that is, and on many conceptions he is not subject to time either, so there is no future or past for him. There are legitimate concerns about the interaction between omniscience and free will, but your particular presentation is too human-like to get to them. See the SEP article linked at the other thread, it may help you come up with a more elaborate question. – Conifold Nov 5 '18 at 21:23
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We don't need the detour via a deterministic universe to get the issue with "free will" and "knowing the future". Provided that your god can reveal information to people[1], they could tell a person what that person will do tomorrow. The question then becomes whether that person can decide to act differently from what is fortold.

If they cannot, this is a problem for free will.

If they can, you would need something like changing timelines to reconcile. Then you can either have your god being able to observe "future timelines", and repeat the problem; or you can prohibit them from that and get an issue with "omniscience".

[1] Of course you could have a god that observes the entirety of spacetime, but never acts. Since this god is completely irrelevant, it causes no problems for free will or anything else.

  • 1 God WON'T tell people what they will do in the future, this of course would kill their "free will" 2 observing directly the future doesn't mean that God should refrain from interacting with people: God could observe a certain event in the future AND interact with it (those God's actions will be carried out in that future event). Then He could proceed to the following event and so on until the end of time. – Claudio Zanella Nov 8 '18 at 23:49

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