Philosophy of Religion - Readings

Time: 11.11.2003, 11 am
Place: Zriny 14, 412
Text; Paul Helm, "Timelessness anf Foreknowledge"
Presentor: Maja Malec

The claim is that God's foreknowledge is logically incompatible with human freedom. The claim is supported by the following reasoning. If there is an omniscient God, his knowledge encompass all of the future, including the future acts of human beings. God is infallible, therefore it is impossible for him to be mistaken. But if he necessarily knows what how somebody will act in the future, it seems impossible for that person to do otherwise. Therefore his act is not free.

In the "Timelessness anf Foreknowledge," Helm analyses Boethius' solution of the problem. God is eternal, which according to Boethius means that he is being out of time. But then, God indeed knows everything, but not before it happens. His knowledge is not foreknowledge, and therefore God's omniscience is compatible with human freedom.

Helm argues that Boethius's solution does not work.


There are three major traditional solutions to the foreknowledge/freedom argument:

       A Boethian solution
       An Ockhamist solution
      A Middle Knowledge solution

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