Explain and Illustrate the Claim That If God Is Eternal the He Cannot Be Omniscient

Topics: God, Free will, Omniscience Pages: 2 (867 words) Published: October 14, 2008
God’s omniscience is typically understood as His knowing of all things. This casts an image of Him that knows everything, even time. By calling God omniscient, we assume that He knows past, present and future. He knows what has and will happen. An example of this assumption is found in the Bible: ‘even before a word is on my tongue, O lord, thou knowest it altogether.’ Psalm 139:4. This raises difficult questions on it’s own about description’s of God and His power. We believe we are given free will, but if God already knows the future, he knows what we are going to do, before he even creates us, giving us no choice but to follow a path that has already been laid before us. We are created in God’s image and therefore he must have choice too, after all he chose to create the world. Similarly, the question is raised that if knows what would happen if he did create a particular being, and he knows that he does not want the world to experience that, he could decide not to create that being, as before it becomes a being it has no freedom of choice, no right to life as it is not living. This also raises a similar question of purpose. If we were created in this way, then perhaps we all have a purpose to fulfil that God knows of already. For example, Moses’ purpose was to free the Jew’s from Egyptian corruption and slavery. God knew he would grow up to do this, and so took away any choice Moses might have wanted over the matter. God’s omniscience clashes with human right to free will, as omniscience is not simply great wisdom, but the ability to know all.

God’s being eternal is typically understood as God existing outside of our time, with neither beginning nor end, having existed ‘eternally.’ God is seen as being independent of time, not susceptible to change. This contrasts with one God’s other descriptions as ‘everlasting,’ a word which implies a sense of time, in correspondence with our world and time, as lasting indicates some sort of beginning, but no end. The...
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