Sample Thesis Paper
Explain how God’s omniscience appears to rule out human free will. Next explain how Augustine and Gersonides handle this problem. Who do you think is more right, and why?
Within religious idealism, the belief the God is an omniscient. The belief that God is a being, who is not only the creator of everything in existence and is the central source of the wisdom, love and divine intervention in the universe. In the realm of philosophy omniscience refers to essentially having the knowledge of all the true intentions of the universe and knowing which intentions do not hold true. The essential idea behind this concept can be explained by considering the terms which are used to describe individuals in the first person. If an individual expresses I am in pain, in this case the only manner in which omniscience can exist is if another individual understands how the person sees his pain, not simply how he sees it himself.
The question of course then becomes can free will exist in humans in the presence of God’s omniscience. Before we begin trying to understand how the two concepts may be compatible or incompatible, it is first important to consider how human beings see the future. For human beings knowledge of the future is a problematic concept since our perception of the reality around us is entirely dependent on our current environment. We cannot know the future because the future as an environment cannot be perceived by individuals. Thus, our reasoning regarding the future is entirely dependent on our perception of the present. Thus, if we consider that God knows all the actions of human beings in the present and in the future, then it follows that God will know every action an individual takes. But then the question becomes if an individual has free will, does that mean that individuals can avoid committing to the same actions they are expected to do. Or perhaps if it is foretold that a person will do a particular act, does that mean that an individual does not have the will to choose to desist from committing the act (Cahn).