Theological Fatalism

Is anyone here familiar with theological fatalism? Are you a proponent of it or not? What arguements make you dismiss it or accept it?

Theological Fatalism is a view according to which free will is incopatible with the existance of an omniscient God who has forknowledge of all future events

Heres a very good video explaining it

To me that suggests that free will really doesnt exist.

For me I don’t think we can really apply to much science to this subject since science does not yet fully , or even very strongly, seem to understand free will versus the illusion of free will.

So I’ll come from it from a theological and philosophical position.

  1. No where in the Bible does it teach free will is not there. It teaches the opposite. It teaches we must constantly choose righteousness and truth over sin and lies.

  2. An all knowing God does not mean free will does not exist. An all knowing God who is not trapped by time or materialism is a God who knows all things, including the choices you freely make. Knowing what choices you’ll make before you make it does not mean it’s not your own free will choosing it.

I know of a man head dives into an active volcano face planting into dozen feet of lava that he will get burned. Me knowing he will get burned does not mean I’m causing him to be burned. The only difference is Gods wisdom goes beyond cause and effect to knowing the choice that will be made.

1 Like

The difference is you are not God. You didnt create him. You didnt “programmed” him . You knew he would not choose otherwise. Yet you did nothing to stop him . Not only that will make you an evil person but also responsible

There were 0.000000% chances that he wouldnt do it and you knew it. You had the power to stop him but did not.

When it comes to God its more co.plicated but you get the point

Except God is not programming anyone. He simply knees what we will choose. He always gives us a choice. For the better or worse. God did not “make” robots for a reason but allowed intelligent beings to evolve.

I’m a theological optimist. No matter what, Jesus saves.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
 
John 3:16-19

God is just (that means fair) and he will judge with perfect righteousness. In humility, accept the free gift of Jesus. Jesus saves, if you let him.

I don’t see how freewill is incompatible with an omniscient God.

Allowing people to make their own choices is a decision that can be made even if there is foreknowledge that they will fail.

I am willing to give my grandchildren a task beyond their power and capacity, knowing it is both an opportunity and a learning experience.

2 Likes

Did you see the video above? God knows what you will choose. You have no free will. Ill even go further to accuse him beign evil since he doesnt stop you from choosing so.ething destructive

Out of topic really but ok,ill allow street preaching to my thread

Not really. If i tell you to choose between two options knowing that you will chose the x option rather than the y then you really dont have a free will. You just have an illusion of free will. You might think you have an option but you dont

Well, we don’t agree

But we have free will to disagree

You think you have while the only option here is to disagree . It just seems like we have 2 though

I did watch much of the video. I felt he missed some simple things and made a argument built around the presumption that free will and knowing all things can’t coexist .

God knows all things. That means God knows what choices you will make. You are still free to make any choice. God does not force or prevent you from. Making a choice means you have free will regardless if God already knows what choices you’ll make. God being aware of your future choices does not change the fact you still had to pick it on your own.

1 Like

According to Google (referencing plato.stanford.edu)…

Theological fatalism is the thesis that infallible foreknowledge of a human act makes the act necessary and hence unfree

I do not agree with the conclusion which says we have no free will.

From quantum physics we know that there is no such thing as knowledge apart from interference – knowledge (i.e. measurement) creates what is known. And without such interference, things exist in a superposition of possibilities. Thus to give us free will, God chooses to know the future only as such a superposition, making His plans with contingencies accordingly. I do not believe that life and consciousness is compatible with a fixed future. Characters in a written story are neither alive nor conscious no matter how much detail (like in a Star Trek holo-novel) you use to present that story.

For this reason I am an incompatiblist libertarian open theist, and I disagree with premise behind theological fatalism that God must know the outcome of ALL events before they happen. Omniscience means that God CAN know whatever He chooses not that He must know everything, just as omnipotence means God CAN accomplish what He chooses not that He must do everything. Saying that God MUST know everything you dictate is as presumptive and limiting as saying that God must do whatever say. It is to make God incapable of a long list of things which any human being can do, such as taking risks, giving privacy, and trust – all things frankly essential for a loving relationship.

I strongly suggest you step outside your theological dogmatism to ask yourself these questions.

  1. CAN God create beings with authentic free will who can make their own choices and write their own story in so far as the choices they make in their lives responding to circumstances?
  2. If God can create beings such as this then would He limit himself to writing holo-novels?
  3. Does Genesis chapter 6 sound like it is describing a God who has written a holo-novel?

What then of the stories where God or Jesus apparently knows what people will do? Even ordinary human being can predict many things that people are going to do. Free will is not universal or absolute. Free will is rare and fragile. Most of our free will is used to form habits for we are highly habitual beings. And while good habits increase our potential and possibilities, bad habits decreases them. Thus the self destructive habits of sin destroy a great deal of our free will and make us VERY predictable (the slaves of sin says the Bible). Thus while God did not predict the fall of Adam & Eve or the descent of mankind into evil continuously (so says the Bible). God certainly can (as the Bible says) predict the behavior of people dominated by bad habits which He can also easily manipulate if He finds it necessary to do so.

1 Like

If Gpd doesnt know everything hes not God.

You just destroyed your own argument above with that simple line. You just made your God manipulative

How you are free when in reality you are “predertermined” to choose a certain option? If God knows what youll choose how you are free to ? God created us , countless years of evolution knowing our very next step,knowing even the meaningless decision. He could have created us otherwise but he didnt. Hense yes we are some kind of"robots". From the first homo sapient to the last human on earth. Think about it God lnew what will happen . He knew how everyone would hvae died. He knew your decisions. He knew some would go to hell and did nothing.

“He gave you a choise” is pretty weak here. He gave you the illusion of choise. You think you have one but you dont. He created humankind knowing the outcome in the end. Thats not free will

What is free will?

I would say that it is a possibility to choose between two or more alternatives without someone deciding for you. It may be that the decision is a logical consequence of your previous choices but even in that case it is free will if the series of events follows from your own choices.

If God would stop us doing wrong things, we would not have free will. My interpretation of biblical scriptures and my own experiences is that God gives advice, tells what you should or should not do, in biblical scriptures and in many cases, also through what other people (Christians) tell to you. Sometimes God may even give a personal advice, in sleep, vision, etc. If you choose the wrong way despite these advice, you have the right to do it. God has not programmed you, you have free will.

I believe that God is not tied to the time of this universe as we are. He can see the beginning, the end and everything between, simultaneously. Yet, he decided to give us free will, a possibility to choose between alternatives.

So the opposite holds true or not? If God would stop you from doing right things will that hold the same value as your statement above?

You do realise that there are no alternatives when you are predestined to choose x action rather than y.

If you ask God"What woukd have happened if i choose y instead of x" he will reply"Nothing because that possibility dpesnt exist. I already knew youd choose x"

Let me try to make this more clear

Chances for you to pick x:100%
Chances for you to pick y:0%

or the opposite

You mix predestination and knowing. They are NOT the same thing.

If I know someone well, even I could predict what that person will choose when the alternatives are related to previous events. My knowing does not make the choice predestined. The person has the possibility to choose between the alternatives, despite my ability to predict the choice with high confidence.

If God knows, that is the same principle: knowing does not make a choice predestined. Only if God would make that decision for you, then it would be something else than free will.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.