If the future is merely movement—an object moving in a space that is not itself—then, again, everything exits NOW, and now has no time limits that are anything other than theoretical…a quantification of movement, using a different set of values/reference from that of “distance”. Movement is thus of infinite duration, in a sense, with nothing literal/visceral/tangible/physical before or after it. Our existence IS, like God’s, except that in order for us to be, we must move.
So, in keeping with that understanding, I therefore submit that God cannot know perfectly what man will do, or choose to do, because it is a function of man’s creation; of man’s IS, which has been given to him to do by God, as a function of his ability to exist as an entity separate from God (which is proved by this fact that I know you won’t dispute: you aren’t God; and if you’re not, you must be able to exist apart from God). God can only know man’s choices the same time man knows them, and that “time” is when man makes them. If God knows man’s future choices before man makes them, and we accept that the choice is real, and there is nothing before God (because “before” and “after” mean nothing to an omnipresent One, by definition)then God must have created those choices, which must therefore mean that “choice” is not choice at all. Choice is an illusion; a philosophical lie.
Obviously, I would deny this. But it is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of common sense; of reason, of things we can easily observe by the senses God has given us to apprehend our reality. Man, by his God-given ability to BE, is the author of his own reality; his own “future” and “past”, by virtue of his own movement through space (and, incidentally, I do not mean outer space; I mean the space within we all move and be in everyday life) under his own power; both physical and volitional.
But if we say that man moves under God’s power, which is precisely what we say if we declare the future known—and thus created by God—then man must be merely an extension of God; which means, according to the very metaphysical basis for the Trinity, man IS God. And if man is God, then ALL our thoughts are God, and thus anyone can think and do anything, and no one is right and no one is wrong and no one is better than anyone else. There is no morality, no real standard of TRUTH. All is equally God, thus all is equally right and all is equally true. There are no distinctions of any kind between man and Creation and God. Thus, discussion is moot; debates are moot; ideas are moot; religion is moot; Jesus Christ and His sacrifice is moot; and even existence its very self is moot. WE are pointless because WE don’t really exist. However, if instead we recognize that Creation and man’s future is merely their ability to move through space under their own power, and that movement is implied and inexorable for ANY sort of action, be it physical or cognitive, when an object exists in a space separate from itself, and that man cognitively quantifies this ability to move as “time”, which includes past, present, and future theoretical constructs, and thus time is created by man as a way to rule and subdue his environment and define his existence, then we realize that indeed man is free to choose and to act and to move, and that there is no future determined by God, because there is no actual future for God to “know”. The future is merely theoretical, and thus God cannot perfectly know it. But again, conversely, if He knows it, then it is not theoretical, and man and creation IS determined. And thus, we are not real. Because we exist by contradiction; which equals a cancelling out of existence.
And so my question, which as of yet has not been answered is: How does man have “his own” choice if God knows the future already? (For those who continue to insist that God can know the future of man’s choices, and yet man still makes them). For I have argued that if the future/not yet “choice” is known by God, then it must be determined. Because if it isn’t determined, then God can only guess at the choice. He cannot know it for certain any better than you or I can know it. And this effectively means that man could choose differently from what God knows. Of course, the problem with that argument is obvious: God can possess flawed knowledge. But I don’t know a single Christian who would concede God is capable of false thinking, or of needing to make a guess. And with good reason. Possessing flawed knowledge is impossible for God. This is a metaphysical byproduct of his omnipotence (every attribute of God is a byproduct of His omnipotence, by the way…His ability to be and to create).
So, in light of God’s eternal state of “present”, or AM, what is it that He can truly know?
By “know”, I mean: knowing in man’s sense—my only frame of reference. Knowing AS movement; knowing as non-literal images and language in my brain, based upon my ability to reason, my ability to abstract and theorize and thus hypothesize, and to function upon the subconscious understanding and assumption of the “future” solidarity of physical and natural laws, based upon what my senses have allowed me to habituate. For there is no other way of knowing or apprehending than what my own frame of reference provides me. All my understanding of knowing is a function of my ability to REASON—how I know that I know anything, including that I don’t know or can’t know something, etc.. And my reason is a function of its inexorable connection to my body; the biology of my brain. And the biology of my brain is inexorably bound to the movement of a created thing in space. In short, thinking is movement just like a falling apple is movement.
So, again, let me ask: What can God truly know? If God does not move, because by definition He is His own space, and needs nothing else in order to be, then His thoughts truly can be nothing like my thoughts. And if His thoughts are fundamentally different from my thoughts as a byproduct of His alternate state of being at the both the physical and metaphysical levels, then his knowledge—what He knows and how He knows it—is going to be equally fundamentally different. Again, if His thoughts are nothing like my thoughts, then what He knows and how He knows it can be nothing like what I know and how I know it. If we are utterly existentially different, and I don’t mean necessarily morally different in this case (though we are), then God cannot know anything in the way that I know things.
If we are ever going to come to a non-hypocritical, non-redundant and consistent defense of God and our faith in Him and a proper, rational defense of His morality and authority, then we as Christians must cease to confine God to the existential nature of our human existence. We must stop demanding that God function and exist as if our theoretical constructs-which are purely the human way of cognitively organizing our environment—are REAL places which God must submit Himself to. We say “future” because that is how we organize the timing of our movement, a purely cognitive function, and then demand and expect that God must exist there, and must acknowledge it as being real. We demand that God give us comfort by declaring REAL and ACTUAL all our hopes, dreams, cognitive concepts, and random thoughts. We absolve ourselves of any moral or practical responsibility by declaring that our “future” is determined by God. We cannot sin: it’s God’s fault, because HE makes OUR abstracts, real. And so, we can always do whatever we want and yet never be held accountable. Because it’s never actually us doing it. It is us in our mind, but in reality, it’s all God. Because we declare that whatever is only to us in our mind is REAL to God. Oh, certainly we pat ourselves on the back for our humility because when we do something good or good fortune befalls us we “give all the glory” to God; as if God demands that He be given the credit for man’s own purely self-volitional actions or choices; or we assume that what is good to us is good to God (we praise God when our football team wins the Championship, giving Him all the “glory”, as if He gives a care who won a sports competition, which is probably the most irrelevant organized ceremony of mankind). But we conveniently choose to ignore the logical extension of this belief: If God gets all the credit for the good, because it’s not us (because taking credit for good choices and success in our lives is just so worldly; so arrogant; how dare we be so selfish), then He must also get the blame for all the evil we do and which befalls us. And this leads Christianity into a sea of moral relativity in which we operate as though nothing really matters (and yet we are just SO shocked by the abuse in SGM…why, how in the world could this happen, we declare in our rank doctrinal denial of cause and effect); all of it is God, and so, just as easily as we give God the “glory”, we absolve ourselves of our failings and wickedness. If God is in control, then our sin is His sin. And I submit that this, not the false humility of giving God all the glory, is what we really find attractive about determinism.
And we wonder why Christians are seen as backwards, bitter, and plain out of touch with reality. The world rightly declares Christians cannot be trusted, because they are insane.
“Future”, “think”, “decide”, “move”…the ideas and concepts behind these terms are limited to man and only to man. The way that God thinks, decides, predicts, experiences “time”, and moves, etc., are not and cannot resemble anything like we experience them as created beings. Simply because God can interact freely with man in man’s own existence and space does not confine God to the existential necessities of Creation, nor to man’s cognitive abstractions. To say that if God interacts with man, then He must exist as man exists (I constantly hear Christians defend the idea that for God to ordain an event, He must control all the events that lead to it, as though the God who creates out of nothing must somehow submit Himself a timeline of man’s). And that He must exist at the mercy of the same “rules” of being. This is of course rational nonsense. A God who creates everything and anything that is not Himself cannot need nor can He even use the “laws” of man’s existence because to do so constitutes an omnipotent, not to mention, logical redundancy. And the omnipotent, by definition cannot be redundant, because redundancy is the twin brother of irrelevancy/meaningless-ness. God can NEVER invoke irrelevancy into His being or purpose, His will or work. It is categorically impossible for God to do anything that means nothing. He can work in spite of the laws that govern the existence of man and Creation. He can interrupt them. He can circumvent them. He can create new ones on a whim. He can even live according to them in a body of flesh, but He cannot possess them, or twist them…that is, distort the natural into something unnatural. In short, the Creator cannot possess the created. His omnipotence makes it redundant, thus, it is impossible, because it is meaningless.
So, again, what can God know?
The answer is: nothing. Or rather, He knows Himself. And thus, by knowing Himself, He does not need to know anything, and that is why He knows nothing. Knowing Himself, in a way, means He already knows everything…but that does not quite define the point exactly. As the Creator, He does not NEED to know anything; because there is nothing that IS which God did not create.
But even that does not quite get to the heart of the matter. Some would say that because He created everything, He knows it perfectly. And I understand this logic, however, it still seems to miss the idea. Yes, He is the Creator; but that doesn’t mean that He must know it, in that He must possess some kind of abstract, linguistically categorized theoretical images in a mind that is governed almost entirely by abstractions relegated so deeply into habit and conscience that they seem to be visceral. More the heart of the matter—and hard to grasp, I know—is this: as the perfect One…perfect in being, knowing anything is irrelevant. It would not matter what He knew or did not know because everything He does, regardless of anything Creation IS or holds, is GOOD. GOOD is God. Good comes automatically. He does not need forethought in order to react or declare perfectly, and perfectly good. Knowledge, in the human sense, always regards to the integration, qualification, quantification of something that God has created to do and be and move in the way that it does. Man acquires knowledge by learning or exposure, routine or practice or instinct, all of which are meaningless to a God who can and does create everything in all the Universe. So, there is nothing for God to know because there is nothing for God to learn, to apprehend, to muse upon, to theoretically rationalize, organize, or mull over. God IS, and an IS does not move in the sense that man and creation move. Our knowledge comes by movement within our created space. Since there is no space to God outside Himself, there is no way He can “learn”, thus no way He can “know”. God can BE, and God can create. These are the natural and perfect attributes of His omnipotence.
He only has to be God. He only has to be; to declare. He may even be said to react, but even that is not based on something He did not know, but merely on His seeing. Now, I understand that this is difficult to grasp…particularly if we ascribe to free will; if God doesn’t know until man chooses, then man is choosing before God can know what he chose. But see, again, we fall into the trap of thinking that God and man operate on a timeline; that movement implies TIME; it does not…movement is eternal being just like God’s static being is eternal, thus what God sees in His eternal present is man eternally doing, but doing is via movement, but that does NOT presuppose, again, that time is in fact more than a purely theoretical construct. In other words, “time” is never how God sees.
Knowledge implies a an understanding which is separate from your being as a person…that is, understanding is something that is acquired, not innate (John Locke, “On Human Understanding”). There is something ELSE, outside of you that you ascertain and apprehend. The knowledge itself is separate from your emotional reaction to it, your application of it; it changes, grows, evolves, or is downright disproved. As such, it can be seen that the knowledge itself is not YOU. This is never true for God. Whatever God knows, IS God…because there can be nothing outside of God that can become God. All God knows is all of Himself. Thus, again, how God interacts is, I submit, utterly reactive and declaratory. God cannot learn anything. Because there is no RELEVANCE to God learning anything. He is omniscient. He is perfect. Nothing can be added to God; thus, He cannot know anything else besides His own being. It is enough.
Man moves; man prays and talks to God, brings God into his life and purposes and expressions and circumstances; man trusts God with his innermost issues and thoughts and fears, etc., etc., and God then is trusted to always react JUSTLY and perfectly and omnipotently because there is nothing that God can mistake; nothing that He must ponder or rationalize or learn or grasp; His interaction with you does not need to evolve, or change, or be removed. It’s not that God already knows…I’ve already declared God cannot know any movement of His Creation before it moves, because its movement has been given to IT to perform. We trust, love, believe and worship God because He, among other things, is perfect reaction and declaration to our lives; our prayers to Him are always rightly understood and applied by Him because He is perfect love, and perfect power (that is, the power of creation).
God is a force that declares and reacts. What is there outside of Him for Him to learn and thus know? Nothing. He is the source of knowledge; He is knowledge itself. He cannot know, He can only be. And He IS everything there is to know…and knowledge, then, is for man, not for God. That is, God’s “knowing” is merely a function of His being.