Thesis: Beliefs of Gersonides on God being Omniscient

Sample Thesis Paper

One of the individuals who offers theory to tackle this problem is French philosopher Levi ben Gershon also more commonly known as Gersonides. He was a mathematician, philosopher and an astronomer from the12th century. Despite being Jewish the philosopher did not hold the same views as other Jewish theologists. He said that God does not have complete foreknowledge of human events and actions. He is one of the individuals who provided the theory of middle knowledge.

That God does not know what an individual will decide, however he knows all the outcomes of every decision an individual might make. In many ways his theories reconcile with those of Aristotle who said that God does not know the minute details of individual human beings. Gersonides believed that God despite his omniscience did not have foreknowledge of which choice human beings would make. He also speculated on prophets of God and answered a question regarding their knowledge of future events. He answered that though the prophets had knowledge of the future the knowledge provided to them was generalized and the prophets themselves perceived how this knowledge could be attributed to current events and situations. When speaking of fate he says that it is also bestowed upon individuals depending on the groups or species they currently inhabit rather than individualizing their fates. An example of this would be that philosophical men would have the same fate as other philosophers (Cahn).

“The respect in which God knows contingents is the respect in which they are ordered – that is, God knows their essences”. (Rudavsky 165)

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