Posted 29 June 2012 - 02:30 AM
I wish to explore with you the subject of whether knowledge proves causation, as people often ask whether God can be Omniscient and allow free-will and my hunch is that at the crux of this matter is whether or not God's knowledge of your choice leaves you free to make it, in other words, does God's knowledge make the choice for you (/cause you to make the choice) or do you make the choice freely and God somehow knows what it will be?
So it seems relevant to explore whether knowledge proves causation.
If I know that a person is a cocaine addict, but I never supplied them the drug and always discouraged drug use, is my knowledge of their addiction either the initial cause of their addiction or something which forces them to continue in their addiction?
Here is another way to think about it.
You and I know that Hitler chose - presumably of his own free will if you are an atheist - to hate and attack Jews. Now does our certain knowledge of this prove that Hitler did not make that choice of his own free will at the time?
In order to prove that God's fore-knowledge of a choice is the cause of it (and therefore that this knowledge precludes such choice being made without free-will), it would seem we would need to know the following;
(a)The means by which God knows the future
(b)That the means used causes a person to make the choice instead of allowing them to make it of their own free will.
I don't know of either a believer or an atheist who knows the answer to (a), and this would seem to rule out the possiblity of determining (b).
Your thoughts are much appreciated.
Posted 29 June 2012 - 04:13 PM
This problem or paradox is multi-level. As I have already shown, the straight and logical approach leaves one with an impossibility. You then have what some apologists tend to do, which is twist and re-re-interpret words to show that this scenario is actually quite different and thus satisfy themselves that they have shown this to be irrelevant. They have not.
So what situation do we have is Islamic texts? In Islam there is a single being which has different attributes. One of these descriptions of the attributes is shown in the 99 names. Then you have what is claimed in various sentences of the Koran, where certain attributes are either mentioned or implied. Then you have the various interpretations of Islam scholars in the tafsirs, describing these attributes and how they should be understood as mentioned by the god himself in the Koran. Then you have the qudsi, which e.g. #19, are quite intimidating and lastly, you have the hadith proper. I am excluding the sirat for the obvious reason that they are too far removed from any divine origin.
So we see that there are absolute claims for the attributes of the Muslim god.
I know that people now argue whether almighty is the same as all-powerful and whether either of them means the capability to do anything. The same then goes for all absolute claims - once they are challenged.
I gave an incredibly simple example for all-knowing or omniscience using just 2 arms - and was promptly misunderstood.
As a result of this I assert (let's test if the spelling algorithm has been fixed ) as-sert that all-knowing is the same as omniscience and that this means knowing what was, what is and what will be. Unconditional. The fact that in the Islamic literature we have 12 angels watching over every human is not a requirement by the god described in Islam, but the metaphorical picture to help humans understand the concept. An all-knowing god would not require the help of angels to record the status of anything.
Now, this is my dilemma with this: if I come to a fork in the road, I can choose to follow the right side or the left side. On either side of the fork is a 500m cliff so that I really have only these 2 choices (choosing death is not one of the options).
If I decide to take the left side and start walking to the left, can I change my mind, turn around and take the right side?
In my premiss I have god knowing that I will take the left side.
I take the left side, confirming the prior knowledge.
Situation 1: I go left. I can NOT change my mind.
Result: I confirm an all-knowing being. I do not have free will
Situation 2: I can change my mind and go right.
Result: I confirm free will but contradict an all-knowing being.
This is the paradox.
Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:51 PM