We’re trapped in the timeline, and we’re exercising our agency to the hilt, meanwhile he’s tweaking the spacetime continuum the way a composer tweaks the score of a master symphony he’s in the process of writing. In this composition, though, the entire orchestra gets to interact with the composer’s gigantic artwork by inserting their own themes and melodies. The future, then, would be both dynamic and static. That’s how I see it. God definitely knows the future, and we’re completely free to make our own choices. What seems to many people like a logical contradiction makes perfect sense in such a framework.]]>
If God lives outside of time and knows you are going to commit horrible crimes in 2017 (because he lives there too somehow) there is no amount of promptings or intervention he could try to change that fixed future. He couldn’t even kill you now (lest the future not be fixed after all) — he would just be stuck with the future he knows must happen. In such a scheme God becomes a powerless spectator (just like we would be) instead of a destiny-making participant in the present.]]>
You bring up a great point for your case with prophesies. I might guess that what they were shown was a representation of the future and not an actual future. And that perhaps part of the reason they were forbidden to tell us what they saw is because it might change.
The coercion of God is not the issue. The issue is whether or not we are able to choose any differently than we are choosing. I have heard others argue that we can still be held accountable for who we are regardless of whether or not we have destiny shaping free will. I don’t like it, but it is better than saying absolute forknowledge and robust free will are compatible in my opinion.]]>
God must be outside of what we perceive as time. We have scriptural references to his time being endless and eternal. We are told that God knows the past, present and future (although what “knows” actually means is obviously up for debate). There must be some mechanism for getting “outside” of time spiritually as well, as we have records of prophets being shown visions of what would happen to men millenia in the future. Interestingly, they were forbidden to tell us what what they say in most cases, but it does appear they were also able to see a time line into the future.
#24: I would still argue that God knowing what we will do doesn’t force us down that path, even if he knows that that path is. He just knows that that is what we will choose.
And in any event, whether we have “true” free will or just an “illusion” of free will, I would argue that it doesn’t matter. We are all born into different circumstances. It doesn’t really matter our situation, but we are to learn how to choose correctly in what we are given. We will also be judged by God by our choices. So, if the point of all this is to help us learn how to choose to be more like God, as long as we have that choice (even if just an illusion) we still have that choice.]]>
The real issue, from a free will perspective, is whether or not we have real, destiny shaping, livertarian freedom. If the future exists in any concrete form, and is knowable to God or anyone else, then we are not really free in the libertarian sence. We are incapable of doing anything other than what it is known we will do. We may have a sensation of freedom, and God may not be coersing us, but that does not define free will.
What you seem to be pushing for might be called hypothetical free will or something, but it is not destiny shaping.
This would be EXPECIALLY true if God were outside of time. Your explanation of God being outside of time makes things even worse for free will, not better.]]>