iambiguous wrote:And what might that argument sound like? If a particular Christian philosopher starts with the assumption that God is omniscient, then how is that reconciled with human autonomy?
The same way as an argument beginning with omipotence, I would imagine. Philosophers who believe in libertarian free will tend to refer to omnipotence as 'having the maximal degree of power' - the most power any Being can have. Omniscience would be having the maximal degree of knowledge. So for example, maybe God doesn't know what it's like to be a bat, because as Nagel pointed out, it's impossible for anything but a bat to know. Philosophers will argue about whether or not knowing the future imposes on being's free will. Plantinga wrote quite a bit about the interaction between devine foreknowledge and free will. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/free- ... knowledge/
So you could argue that God simply doesn't know what free creatures will do, as a consequence of him giving them free will. Or you could argue that God does know what free creatures will do, but this doesn't make them any less free.
Yes, you could argue this; but my point above involves taking these generally abstract, scholastic assessments of the relationship between an omniscient God and mere mortals, and situating it out in the world of actual human interactions.
Omniscient: having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.
To argue then that an all-knowing God does not know whether Jane will abort or not about her unborn baby, or that Jack will or will not report her to the authorities, seems to ascribe the meaning of the word "omniscient" to God as but one more manifestation of His "mysterious ways". And, of course, the faithful can always fall back on that to rationalize anything with respect to Him.
Similarly if a bat could only be as God intended it to be how could this omniscient God not know what it is like to be a bat? It is as though this all-powerful entity set life itself into motion such that it would evolve on its own into minds [ours] able to probe these questions self-consciously.
In other words, whatever that means.
And [thus] we are still back to square one: connecting all of these endless "intellectual" and "theoretical" speculations to an actual extant God.
A God, the God, your God.
And not theirs.
Or, sure, maybe it's just me. My inability to reconcile the idea of an omniscient God able to be the "perfect predictor" with mere mortals able to choose behaviors that would be both "free" and
wholly [necessarily] in sync with God's prediction of what it will be.
And what then is the limit to that which mortals are
able to think, feel and behave autonomously?
Are they able to prove the existence of God if God does not want His existence able to be proven? Are they able to teach themselves to behave in such a manner that God is not aware of it? Can they discover how to trick God? To defy God with impunity?
As long as there is a gap between what mere mortals think, feel and do and God's awareness of this, it would seem to make this relationship considerably more problematic.
For example, am I "free" to not believe in God? Or, as some Christians [among others] insists, "free" or not, will my refusal [inability] to accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior result [necessarily] in eternal damnation?
And [of course] always this: with so much at stake how/why is it that God makes answering these crucial questions so seemingly elusive?