Friday, May 6, 2011

God's Outta Time!!!

A combox discussion caught my eye. I don't have time to read through the whole thing, but the issue of time came up and God's relation to it especially regarding whether His omniscience implies divine determination. I've shown here why that isn't the case. However, to counter the claim that a future time must be already existent for God to know it, and therefore it is already existing, which means that free will doesn't exist, the Arminian in the discussion felt it was necessary to say that God is outside of time.

I've seen this a lot from Arminians when confronted with this argument. However, I think there's a much stronger retort to this deterministic assertion. Pulling God outside of time isn't necessary to defeat the determinist assertion that divine omniscience implies divine determination. Rather, one simply needs to see God's omniscience as innate. As an omniscient being, God knows only and all true propositions. So say God knows that at 12:00 tomorrow, I will go to Chick Fil' A for lunch and enjoy a tasty chicken delight. Does that event have to exist in a concrete way or be determined for God to know about it? Not if He has knowledge of only and all true propositions. That fact alone means that, if the scenario is in fact going to be true, that God knows it.

So the answer to the claim that event E must exist to know the truth of event E is simply an assertion. It seems patently false that a being that knows all true propositions must have that knowledge based on the actuality of the event itself actually existing in that concrete manner.

PS, this is really just the grounding objection re-stated in a different context. I've shown why that objection doesn't seem to hold too much water here and in the comments here.

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