Human Free Will and God’s Foreknowledge
The argument of the compatibility and incompatibility of God’s foreknowledge and human free will have been going on for hundreds of years. Concerning the definition of freedom, to get a better understanding, can be described as an act that an individual can do freely without being restrained or force. Philosophers that are well known in this subject matter are Alvin Plantiga and Nelson Pike. Pike will argue that human freedom is incompatible with God’s foreknowledge based upon facts such as God being omniscient. Whereas, Plantiga argues that Pike’s theory is based upon confusion and that human free will can coexist with God’s foreknowledge.
Let’s get in to the differences in predictability and God’s foreknowledge pertaining to free will to give a bit more understanding in the argument. Shook’s example is as follows, “What justification is available for our [predictability claim] that a wind-up toy, for example, my "Thomas the Train" toy, does not freely choose its behavior?” (Shook 142) This is to say that we as human beings can predict that this wind-up toy will move forward after we wind it up just as God might. However, this prediction is merely based on our knowledge of the past in using this toy. When we try to predict such an event, it has the possibility not working and we had no idea that this would happen, whereas, God would have predicted this as He is omniscient. It’s obvious in both of these arguments it is accepted that God is omniscient in all possible worlds. Pike states that “… it is part of the essence of God to be omniscient… any person who is not omniscient could not be the person we [call] God.” (Pojman & Rea 97) He goes on to point out that if this were false, in that any person can be called “God” if one was not omniscient, then we can call anyone God. Furthermore, this means to say that at any given time in the past, present or future an omniscient and existing God would know what would...
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