Author Topic: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?  (Read 681 times)

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Offline Lectus

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If God knows everything, then you can't really change your future. It's pre-written.

But there's free will. So, you can choose or not to go to hell?

Also, when a man impregnates a woman is he forcing God to produce a new soul?
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Offline Nick

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 02:23:01 PM »
No, you cannot change your destiny.  Example:  we all know Nam is an asshole.  Can he change this?  No, it has been his destiny.  So why does God continue to play this game when He knows the outcome?  Seems like a boring game that way...kind of like heaven.
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Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 02:57:55 PM »
To believe in a Christian god you must believe the following;
God lives 'outside' of time. So he knows all; past and present.

When Noah built the ark, it took him about 50 years (source; answersingenesis.org). So, 50 years before The Flood, god knew that nobody and I mean NOBODY would amount to any good. That includes children at the time unborn. Which basically means; we have no free will. Everything that we will do has already been done. God knows the outcome of creation. God knows the decisions you will make. Your life is already laid out, unchangeable, unalterable. Makes you wonder why He bothered making creation in the first place?

But it also means God has no free will. He already knows what course of action he will follow and cannot change it.

Think of every choice this way; There is a field. There are only two gates, there is a gate in one side and opposite another gate. To continue on your way you must enter the field by the only entrance gate and leave by the only exit gate. Now it doesn't matter if the field is infinitely wide, god can give you all the room you want to run around, but at the end of the day you must use the only exit.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realise things like;
Adolf Hitler, WWII and the holocaust; God knew that would happen from the time he supposedly made creation. In fact, he had to make sure all those events would play out that way, which means he planned it that way.

The 'sin' you will commit in 10 years time has already happened. You not only will commit it, you HAVE to commit it otherwise god will be wrong.

Thank goodness I don't believe in this nonsense.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 03:31:09 PM »
The way I understand it, he already knows what you will decide. This is because he has to reserve space for us in hell, and he needs to know years in advance where you're headed, because hell is booked up. Heaven? Not so much. But that's because the only folks that make it there are the ones that accidentally get it right. The last I heard, 19 have made it. They were all newborns who never figured out how to masturbate in the womb.

He didn't foresee that.

Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Dominic

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 02:17:09 AM »
If God knows everything, then you can't really change your future. It's pre-written.

But there's free will. So, you can choose or not to go to hell?

Also, when a man impregnates a woman is he forcing God to produce a new soul?


1. When you read a non fiction book and then you know the ending did you force that ending ?  No

We as individuals are constrained by time. God is not.

2. A new person is a new soul.  One and the same thing.  No force involved.


Offline William

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 03:22:03 AM »
1. When you read a non fiction book and then you know the ending did you force that ending ?  No

We as individuals are constrained by time. God is not.

This is either a useless analogy or it puts your God in a terrible light.  If you are right that God is not constrained by time then God is reading the "book" before the events unfold.  If you were reading a book about the Twin Towers, or the Tsunami in Japan, or Chernobyl, or the introduction of smallpox to natives by Christian missionaries, before the events happened, what would you do?  :o  Can you respect an all powerful deity who stands by and does nothing?  Knowingly?

2. A new person is a new soul.  One and the same thing.   No force involved.

I'm confused.  Are you saying the soul is created by physical biological events? - a reaction triggered when one living gamete penetrates another?  :-\

I have trouble with this because if souls depend on biochemistry they'd die when the person dies. 

The soul, if it exists, must somehow turn up at conception - surely it must've been out there floating, waiting to hop on board - much like it leaves the person when the brain dies.  Otherwise God has to be right up every vagina, lurking in the uterus, ready to go right up either of the fallopian tubes as required, watching every incoming sperm swimming along to see which one is going to be the lucky one - to be right there on the spot, exactly on time to poof a soul precisely at the moment of conception.

And now we have the spectre of a God, having just read the "book" - knowing this particular soul is going to hell, but having to poof it into existence anyway.  That's being "forced" in my opinion.  Unless I'm wrong about Gods love and instead God quite enjoys the idea of some of our souls heading for eternal punishment - especially having already read the "book" of our individual lives.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2013, 03:58:13 AM »
BM
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2013, 04:04:12 AM »
When you read a non fiction book and then you know the ending did you force that ending ?  No...

Disagree.  The author of a book does indeed "force" the ending.  If your god is an omniscient creator and its will is the author of all events everywhere for all time, it's essentially role-playing a script it wrote.
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Offline Dominic

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2013, 10:48:57 AM »
1. When you read a non fiction book and then you know the ending did you force that ending ?  No

We as individuals are constrained by time. God is not.

This is either a useless analogy or it puts your God in a terrible light.  If you are right that God is not constrained by time then God is reading the "book" before the events unfold.  If you were reading a book about the Twin Towers, or the Tsunami in Japan, or Chernobyl, or the introduction of smallpox to natives by Christian missionaries, before the events happened, what would you do?  :o  Can you respect an all powerful deity who stands by and does nothing?  Knowingly?


I think your argument boils down to 'How can a good and all powerful God allow evil and/or major suffering ?'.  Correct me if I am wrong.

I suppose that could perhaps be considered off topic and/or have been dealt with in many other threads but in the interests of clarity I'll address it here anyway.

1.  At the core of Chistianity is the claim/belief that physical life is temporary and is a pale imitation of the spiritual life which is our essential and permanent state.  'We see now as through a glass darkly' was Paul's attempt to explain our physical life situation.

2.  A permanent existence in heavenly perfection without any opportunity for a physical life like this one is unlikely to be properly appreciated without knowing anything to compare that 'blissful' state to.  You, William, (and all of us) would not know any 'better way' that God 'should have done it' if we did not first experience something to the contrary.

3.  Furthermore, I would imagine that we would in fact demand some opportunity for some hardship and challenge if we were initially denied it.  We might think Heaven becomes dull when all is easy and smooth.  Think of how we seek out adventures, challenges and selective dramas in our normal physical lives.

4.  Now taking it one step further, if we were to launch into this earthly 'adventure' with full memory of our heavenly nature then we would hardly take this life seriously at all and hence we would probably fail to learn or even strive for anything useful at all.  So the ultimate adventure requires entering this Earthly plane with no memory of our true heavenly nature.

5.  The final essential ingredient in this physical experience is free will.  Without free will we would simply complain that we are just being forced robotically through experiences which thus makes the whole process pointless.  And again our wish is granted.  What this all amounts to is that a temporary physical life as we now experience it is exactly what we would demand if we were in a situation of eternal bliss.

6.  In this scenario, the dreadful events you describe while being some of the worst and most distressing aspects of living this human existence, they are in fact not harmful to our true spiritual nature, but instead serve to teach us the meaning of goodness, love and beauty by experiencing the alternatives.  And our demand for free will insists that we have access to these experiences and further insists on as little interference as possible from God (unless specifically requested).  This is the very nature of free will.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2013, 11:11:42 AM »
2.  A permanent existence in heavenly perfection without any opportunity for a physical life like this one is unlikely to be properly appreciated without knowing anything to compare that 'blissful' state to.  You, William, (and all of us) would not know any 'better way' that God 'should have done it' if we did not first experience something to the contrary.

3.  Furthermore, I would imagine that we would in fact demand some opportunity for some hardship and challenge if we were initially denied it.  We might think Heaven becomes dull when all is easy and smooth.  Think of how we seek out adventures, challenges and selective dramas in our normal physical lives.

Doesn't seem terribly likely in a Christian context. The souls in Christianity have been invented by later theologians, and the idea doesn't stack up as well as karma does, because Christianity assumes that the soul gets one life. This life can be as short as 3 minutes long, or even negative length. Some souls get a raw deal, and unless you have a recycling birth system from the Hindus, it makes no sense.

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4.  Now taking it one step further,

Don't, unless you are an Indian, or a Christian just making stuff up.

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if we were to launch into this earthly 'adventure' with full memory of our heavenly nature then we would hardly take this life seriously at all and hence we would probably fail to learn or even strive for anything useful at all.

One of the major failings of karmic religion is that we are supposed to "learn" idiotic lessons, without any memory. Exactly how many lives are we supposed to take, to learn something very simple about sharing food, or beating up our children?

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  So the ultimate adventure requires entering this Earthly plane with no memory of our true heavenly nature.

It works, if this is a role playing game, like a computer game. If I was a bored alien, looking for amusement, I could submerge myself in The Game, for no reason other than cryptic stimulation. Don't pretend that there would ever be anything logical for us to learn. What's going on in this game, is all about sharing resources, and suffering thermodynamics. The sins we commit are all about fearing our limited lifespan, and running out of food. None of what happens here, would be "ultimate" if you drew the short straw and got to experience the millions of years of boring tribal life that has gone on. In this age, some people experience "ultimate" things, but in yesteryear, you got to experience slavery, bubonic plague, and hanging around in bark huts. Yeah, "ultimate". Even more ultimate, if you get to be a Chinese bear.

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5.  The final essential ingredient in this physical experience is free will.  Without free will we would simply complain that we are just being forced robotically through experiences which thus makes the whole process pointless.

Who says it's not pointless? Did you get an instruction card, saying that your job in The Game had a point? How does that Chinese bear feel?

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but instead serve to teach us the meaning of goodness, love and beauty by experiencing the alternatives.

Except if you die at age 3, of malaria.

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And our demand for free will insists that we have access to these experiences and further insists on as little interference as possible from God (unless specifically requested).  This is the very nature of free will.

Why would suffering need free will. Is this a learning experience, or a suffering experience? To appreciate bliss, we need only suffer, not have any free will.
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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2013, 01:53:50 PM »
The way I understand it, he already knows what you will decide. This is because he has to reserve space for us in hell, and he needs to know years in advance where you're headed, because hell is booked up. Heaven? Not so much. But that's because the only folks that make it there are the ones that accidentally get it right. The last I heard, 19 have made it. They were all newborns who never figured out how to masturbate in the womb.

He didn't foresee that.
If you accept Jesus as your "Lord" it does not matter what you will or will not do 10 years in the future. The get out of hell free card is used by all believers to justify the actions they know to be wrong in the eyes of their God. From the priest undoing his zipper,to the Reverend banging the hooker,Jesus is the reason they can sin. Then they use the excuse God does not expect them to be perfect as long as they accept "Jesus".
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Offline William

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2013, 08:35:27 PM »
I think your argument boils down to 'How can a good and all powerful God allow evil and/or major suffering ?'.  Correct me if I am wrong.
Yes - and please remember it was you who said that God is not constrained by time - so He has no excuses for sitting around watching.  Actually God doesn't do that. The Bible and testimonies of theists say He intervenes - a lot. The Flood, bombing cities with fire, turning people to salt, helping Jephthah with military tactics to wipe out enemies, parting the sea, dropping quails everywhere to eat, chatting freely to prophets, facilitating miracles, and constantly moving around in the Holy Ghost to whisper stuff in people's ears - to name a few of God's interventions. 

I suppose that could perhaps be considered off topic and/or have been dealt with in many other threads but in the interests of clarity I'll address it here anyway.
No it's completely relevant because God was right there in the throbbing dark, pressing through the hot mucous of Hilter's mum's fallopian tube when Hitler's dad's semen came squirming through - and this God, fully informed about Hitler's potential, was either faced with clear choices, or was forced to create Hitler's soul.

1.  At the core of Chistianity is the claim/belief that physical life is temporary and is a pale imitation of the spiritual life which is our essential and permanent state.  'We see now as through a glass darkly' was Paul's attempt to explain our physical life situation.
So this Paul fellow ... could he see the future spiritual life himself or did God tell him about it?  Was Paul's glass less "darkly" than mine?  Is God incapable or unwilling to reveal to the rest of us what He revealed to Paul?
Paul's explanation seems like a bumpluck unless God was behaving differently towards Paul than most other humans.

2.  A permanent existence in heavenly perfection without any opportunity for a physical life like this one is unlikely to be properly appreciated without knowing anything to compare that 'blissful' state to.  You, William, (and all of us) would not know any 'better way' that God 'should have done it' if we did not first experience something to the contrary.
Ah, I see now - heaven only is relatively blissful. Not absolutely heaven. I suspected as much - to enjoy being stuck in place like blank wallpaper in God's living room we need to already know what anxiety and pain is all about. And especially for hell to feel terrible - its efficacy as a punishment depends on longing for the better time we had during our lives.

But wait, what about the spontaneous abortions and infant deaths? :-\  I suppose they just miss out on the benefits of relativity.  Or maybe they get recycled for another go - reincarnation - there's a thought.

3.  Furthermore, I would imagine that we would in fact demand some opportunity for some hardship and challenge if we were initially denied it.  We might think Heaven becomes dull when all is easy and smooth.  Think of how we seek out adventures, challenges and selective dramas in our normal physical lives.
Yes this all makes sense.  Except for aforementioned infants and people with Alzheimer's - will they start demanding adventures on arrival in heaven?
The case for Buddhism and reincarnation is getting stronger.

4.  Now taking it one step further, if we were to launch into this earthly 'adventure' with full memory of our heavenly nature then we would hardly take this life seriously at all and hence we would probably fail to learn or even strive for anything useful at all.  So the ultimate adventure requires entering this Earthly plane with no memory of our true heavenly nature.
Okay I'm losing the thread of your reasoning now.  Why is anything on earth useful at all?  God doesn't provide cures and scientific solutions to problems - so how are they useful in God's plan?  If the whole idea is to make heaven feel great, then why is learning and achievement useful?  Surely having the "ultimate adventure" on earth would diminish heaven as the ultimate reward!

5.  The final essential ingredient in this physical experience is free will.  Without free will we would simply complain that we are just being forced robotically through experiences which thus makes the whole process pointless.  And again our wish is granted.  What this all amounts to is that a temporary physical life as we now experience it is exactly what we would demand if we were in a situation of eternal bliss.

No, I don't get this, not even from the Bible.  Did Paul have "free will" when Jesus shouted at him from the sky?

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Acts 9: 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.


And the Lords Prayer: "... Thy will be done ..."

Jesus had to tow the line for God's plans:

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John 19:28  Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty."

Where is the free will in any of this?


6.  In this scenario, the dreadful events you describe while being some of the worst and most distressing aspects of living this human existence, they are in fact not harmful to our true spiritual nature, but instead serve to teach us the meaning of goodness, love and beauty by experiencing the alternatives.  And our demand for free will insists that we have access to these experiences and further insists on as little interference as possible from God (unless specifically requested).  This is the very nature of free will.

Well the plan is backfiring on me - spiritually :-\   All these terrible events teach me is the illogicality of theism and the importance of science and organisations like médecins sans frontières.  And you are saying God knew I'd come to these conclusions regardless, but went ahead with me anyway! :o  Either God loves the idea of me going to hell or His hand was forced back there in my mother's fallopian tube in 1959.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 08:39:40 PM by William »
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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 12:06:42 AM »
William,if disease is part of God's plan,wouldn't scientific exploration for a cure go against the wishes of God? God gives you the disease,he expects you to die,but Satan must be working with the medical and research people to circumvent God's master plan.

 Satan is working to save people,if they are non-believers,even more puzzling from hell. Even if it is a short time we have Satan fighting for people,against God's wishes to send them to hell earlier than if there was no cures for disease. If the person Satan saves is a believer,God gets the credit,but Satan stops them from paradise. God it seems is a fucking megalomaniac
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 12:09:28 AM by 12 Monkeys »
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Offline William

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 12:21:42 AM »
^^ Yes, and it must be particularly frustrating for God when human orthopaedic and robotic engineers come up with artificial limbs, preventing amputees from noticing the effects of God's spiritual healing.

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 01:02:51 AM »
Think about it William,Satan is actually trying to stop God from sending people to hell,that is F'd up
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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2013, 09:31:22 AM »
Trying to figure out how free will can fit inside determinism is tough enough without trying to inject omniscience into the mix.

Offline Jonathan MS Pearce

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2013, 03:05:10 AM »
Omniscience, especially of future events, is incoherent, and self-evidently false.

1) an 'omniscient' being cannot KNOW indubitably that it is omniscient. It falls into the same trap as Descartes' evil demon.

2) it cannot act contrary to its own future predictions based on infallible foreknowledge. Therefore, it has no real free will, its actions set immutably in advance and in stone for all of time.

(details for these points here)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 03:13:42 AM by Jonathan MS Pearce »

Offline William

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2013, 03:49:42 AM »
Omniscience, especially of future events, is incoherent, and self-evidently false.

Yes, but in this case the theist's claim was that God is not "constrained by time;)
Therefore (and the theist is Dominic) coherence doesn't come into it  :laugh: 
And so God, knowing full well He's making an Almighty cockup, is forced to go ahead with manufacturing souls doomed to hell, creating Adam & Eve destined to fall, choosing a race that doesn't get it, having contradictions written into the Bible, never healing an amputee (as of November 2013), not having a twitter account ...  :o   
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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2013, 04:34:21 AM »
Omniscience, especially of future events, is incoherent, and self-evidently false.
not having a twitter account ...  :o

https://twitter.com/god

https://www.facebook.com/TheGoodLordAbove?fref=ts

I will return tot he points about time above when I get back from work as they are pretty interesting.

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Re: If God knows the future (omniscient) can you change your destiny?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2013, 01:36:58 PM »
Omniscience, especially of future events, is incoherent, and self-evidently false.

Yes, but in this case the theist's claim was that God is not "constrained by time;)
Therefore (and the theist is Dominic) coherence doesn't come into it

So this presents two horns of a dilemma.

1) god is outside time and has no coherent or logical way to intervene in a temporal world.
2) god is in tome at the creation of the world as someone like Craig would argue. This then presents issues of divine foreknowledge and free will. Already most physicists accept a b theory of time such that free will cannot exist anyway. That aside, there is no coherent account of the a theory of time, free will, and divine foreknowledge despite theists' best efforts.

To interact with a temporal framework, one must be victim to that framework otherwise the universe would appear like one instantaneous flash.