Friday, September 2, 2016

610: The All knowing one....

With the introduction of a personal almighty and all-knowing god, of course there was a new problem introduced regarding free will.

Saint Augustine raises the question whether God’ s foreknowledge is inconsistent with man’ s freedom? 

He believes both that man has free will, as we have seen, and also that God knows everything, including everything that is going to take place in the future.

There clearly is an incompatibility here, but Saint Augustine wants to show us that this is only apparent and not real.

And now there happens something, that is so typical for theologians. Although nobody ever had a real conversation with this god in person,

men like Augustine seem to know exactly how this god thinks and acts and 

what special interpretation you have to give of this all knowing capability to save free will and escape total determinism.

The other issue is that due to free will man can choose between doing good or evil.

For Aristotle man is a rational animal, and he considers that it is by virtue of his capacity to consider reasons 

that man can make choices and so can choose between right and wrong, good and evil. This distinguishes man from other animals 

and makes him more independent than they are from the nature he shares with them and also from his environment.
Augustine adds to this that man can only do good with the help of the grace of god. Why that is, I have no idea, but it shows that free will and good reasons for him is apparently not enough.

About a thousand years later the christian theologians still struggle with the problem: man has free will and thence is free to choose between doing good or evil

and yet there is an all-knowing god, who thus knows ahead what a person will do, which is incompatible with free will.

Thomas Aquinas (1225 -1274) had a really ingenious answer to this problem. Since Saint Augustine (about 380 AD) there still was no definite answer.

Aquinas argues that God’ s knowledge of what I shall do in the future is not really a knowledge of the future. 

For God is not in time and so knows everything timelessly. We see and know the things we know from within time. 

So we can at best predict what will happen tomorrow on the basis of what we know today 

and remember in our experience of the past. God, on the other hand, sees it from a vantage point outside time.

Of course I haven’t the slightest idea, how he knew this, but  Aquinas says that God did not  know in the past  what I do today. 

He knows it timelessly; not from within any particular time: ‘ God acts in the timelessness of his eternity.’ 

What is to come, what lies in the future for us, does not lie in the future for God. Just try to figure this out.

This is historical and to us it may sound outdated and obsolete, but it is the intellectual struggle of our culture to define the individual.

At this moment we live in a time in which our individualism is challenged by other cultures that do not share our human and political values.

After 1500 AD the debate on free will is taken out of the hands of theologians and taken over by philosophers like Descartes, Spinoza, Hume and others.

It might lead to a better understanding of the question about free will.

Thank you…the floor is yours :-)

The Discussion

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): This sounds like quantum physics i’d say
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the problem with all this
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is
[13:21] CB Axel: I don't see how an omnipotent god is incompatible with free will. Man can still exercise free will, but God, being all-knowing, knows how a man will decide to use that free will.
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is all a matter of faith
[13:21] CB Axel: Or the timelessness thing. I can see that, too.
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for both philosophers
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will never be settled
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:22] herman Bergson: CB...
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): after Thomas it may be easier
[13:22] herman Bergson: The problem is a problem of logic...
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right God may know but the person does not
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so....
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): logic is impossible to be applied to augustine or Thomas
[13:23] herman Bergson: When someone knows in advance what you are going to do what you do by necessity...
[13:23] herman Bergson: you could not have done otherwise...
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thus no free will
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): basically remote controlled by god
[13:23] herman Bergson: indeed Bejiita
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a paradox sort of
[13:23] herman Bergson: is invented nonsense by our brain, I;d say :-)
[13:23] CB Axel: You can do what you want to, it's just that God knows what you will choose.
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe I d agree with you
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but head start to spin when you start think on it
[13:24] herman Bergson: no CB..there is no choosing at all at your part...
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): this is a repetition of the discussion of last week
[13:24] CB Axel: I mean, if I disagree with Bejiita here, I can stab him, but I think you all know that I would never do that.
[13:24] herman Bergson: what you will do is already set...and known
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma....
[13:25] CB Axel whispers: Don't worry, Bejiita. I won't stab you.
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i'm not sure about that Cb
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:25] herman Bergson: we are a thousand years further in history and still they are quarrelling about the  same ideas
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:26] herman Bergson: That CB is the other problem....the problem of evil...:-)
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe it's a too scary thought that there is nothing after our death
[13:26] herman Bergson: For a granny like you perhaps Beertje..:-)
[13:27] CB Axel: My father believes in God and a life after death because he wants to believe that evil people will be punished.
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no heaven, no virgins
[13:27] CB Axel: I'm becoming more and more comfortable with there being nothing after death.
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes beliefs CB.....
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): virgins......
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:27] herman Bergson: we love beliefs....all kinds of it...
[13:28] CB Axel: I'm less concerned with no virgins than I am with no beer.
[13:28] herman Bergson: Well CB..let me tell you this..
[13:28] herman Bergson: of all people who have died..not a single one has returned to tell us that he regretted it
[13:29] CB Axel: °͜°
[13:29] herman Bergson: So I don’t think we have to worry about dieing
[13:31] herman Bergson: But to get back to free will and an all knowing god...
[13:31] herman Bergson: It is amazing that this religion dominated thought for more than a thousand years...
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well and still does
[13:32] herman Bergson: If you eliminate this god idea you are back to the basic question...
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even though we have science
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe it's a lack of education of people
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes indeed...
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and be  older times had science too
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and science is still moving forward
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): who knows what science will discover
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the problem is that religion have always tried to kill off science
[13:33] herman Bergson: has always been the key ....indeed
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and still is today
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not now
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nope
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): you know that the pope is a scientist????
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): a chemist???
[13:34] herman Bergson: Well I read today that the american congress isn’t so pro science at all indeed
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): is he?
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes he is
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I sure like this pope better then the one before I can say
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think that is what shapes some of his ideas
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): science
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this one talks about really good things in general
[13:34] herman Bergson: Ratzinger was a disaster..:-)
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg yes
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he was
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): stuck in the middle ages
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we called him Pappa Razzi
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahahaha
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): good name
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i never liked him
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ever
[13:35] herman Bergson: Just imagine...he wrote three thick books during his time in office....
[13:35] herman Bergson: About the life of jesus...
[13:35] herman Bergson: my goodness
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he wanted the title
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): had no clue about people
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or god i think
[13:36] herman Bergson: no
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): there was already a thick book, no?
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): wasn’t it called the bible?
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not his interpretation
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): don’t remember, only thing I know is i did not liked him and I like this other
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): choochoo going by
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he at least say logical and good things
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): this man is a man of the people
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): id say that too
[13:37] herman Bergson: well the real point is that a pope is a political person....
[13:37] herman Bergson: and in that sense he can influence the global debate
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i heard the cardinals don't like him, because he iss too popular among people
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): many of the cardinals are so ultra conservative in thinking
[13:38] CB Axel: This pope is at least trying to get the church into the 21st century.
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): like razzi
[13:38] CB Axel: Or at least the 20th.
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm ok
[13:38] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje ..the fat Vatican goose don't like to leave their comfort zones :-)
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:38] herman Bergson: No free will there....:-)
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and much of the African cardinals are still in a 19th century mode
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he is a puppet on a string
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it will take time for them
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it is an inhibitor of progress that way of thinking for sre
[13:39] herman Bergson: I guess we are pretty off topic now :-))
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it was our free will to do that Herman
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): you started it
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:40] herman Bergson: yes Beertje...:-)
[13:40] herman Bergson: Unless god knew it already that we would do so :-)
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there is supposed to be no free will in this class
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): if there were more here HERMAN WOULD SHOUT!!!
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but speaking of free will, when someone wants to leave life, he or she can't do that because doctors won't help them to do that, were is our free will to go?
[13:41] herman Bergson: Maybe I would, Gemma :-))
[13:41] herman Bergson: That is a serious issue Beertje.....
[13:42] herman Bergson: The problem was already stated by Plato in his Gorgias dialog...
[13:42] herman Bergson: Callicles defined freedom as to do whatever you like not hindered by any (moral) restriction...
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): you do it without dr help
[13:43] CB Axel: Is that freedom or anarchy?
[13:43] herman Bergson: The point here is....we think we are free in our actions....
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): dr took oath to save life
[13:43] herman Bergson: but we also are moral individuals...
[13:43] herman Bergson: and there is the conflicting situation
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in oregon USA ad a couple other states there a a way to get drugs from the doctor order
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is the use of moral to let someone suffer?
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but take them on your own
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is legal
[13:44] herman Bergson: to do as you like colliding with moral restrictions
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): using your own free will
[13:45] herman Bergson: I think that the problem you point at Beertje is one where we have no general rules for....
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:45] herman Bergson: You have to evaluate every situation itself
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): so, we have no free will at all
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): this is a huge circle
[13:46] CB Axel: You have free will until you get caught.
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): by a train...
[13:46] herman Bergson: We amy have a free will yet, but not everyone wants to help you with what you want Beertje
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i only ask this because i live near a railroad, and sometimes in 1 week there are 3 or 4 people who jump
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh dear
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ow!
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and where is the protection by the railroad??
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): godness
[13:48] CB Axel: Why should the railroad be responsible?
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they are not CB
[13:49] herman Bergson: no...
[13:49] CB Axel: I feel sorry for the train driver in those cases. They must feel horrible.
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:49] herman Bergson: Yes...they often are traumatized
[13:49] CB Axel: I wouldn't do that to an innocent driver.
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): here a lot of people wanted to jump from the golden gate bridge
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed, would feel horrible
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so they erected a huge fence on the bridge
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that helped
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they don't think of the driver when they want to leave life
[13:50] herman Bergson: At least the bridge wouldn’t care, Gemma
[13:50] CB Axel: We had one guy who jumped from an overpass onto a motorway, or tried to anyway.
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah yes but all the drivers who saw
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): see
[13:50] CB Axel: He landed on the roof of a truck, bounced off, and broke his arm.
[13:51] herman Bergson: Well....before we commit suicide out of free will here...
[13:51] herman Bergson: let me thank you for your participation again :-)
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): heheh
[13:52] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok cu next time
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye
[13:52] CB Axel: Bye, bye. See you Thursday.
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): same time thursday
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): jumping wouldn't be necessary if doctors would help these poor people, it's such a mess on the railroad
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

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