etiologue

logue of etion wanderments

Omniscience and free-will : update

Recent discussions at orkut have prompted the following updated version of the omniscience and free will impasse in monotheistic theology:

Premise:
1. An omniscient being exists. [Omniscience, by definition means knowledge of all past, present and future.]
2. Free will exists. [Free will by definition is ability to exercise a choice at at least one point in time]
3. A choice is always exercised in the present (not in the past nor the future) and it is defined as a decision that leads to at least two different sets of consequences.

Argument:
From #1 we get that someone can “know” the future for every moment in time (that someone being the omniscient being)!

To be “known” the future of the world has to be unique at every point in time. {Or in other words the world is a determinable one! }

By #2 and #3, by definition of free will and of choice: The world had at least one point of ambiguity that is at least one point where the future is not uniquely known.

A contradiction!

One of the three premise must now be discarded. Premise #3 is a “justified” one as no choice can be exercised in the dead past or unborn future. Thus,

Conclusion: If an omniscient being exists no free will exists.

Note that the converse is also true: if free will exists, no omniscient being ever existed. Also note that this simple proof supersedes and confirms both proofs of the previous post if as a special case, when we think of the omniscient being as the creator. In that case no choice was ever exercised ever since the creator came into existence (or if we think that creator always existed and was not himself created by some meta creator then the elegant result: No choice was ever made!)

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2 responses to “Omniscience and free-will : update

  1. etio January 31, 2011 at 17:28

    Looks like atheistic approach is unnecessary for part of the above conclusions. A Christian pastor raises issues on omniscience while quoting genesis:
    http://arbevere.blogspot.com/2009/07/what-does-god-know-and-when-does-god.html
    The comments to the blog show that he is not alone either!

  2. Pingback: Omniscience and free-will: simplified « etiologue

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