Subject Area

Religion; Science


There exists a complex relationship between human freedom and God's divine foreknowledge; the questions surrounding this topic abound and are difficult to answer. The question arises, if God knows all that we think and do, now and in the future, and has Providence over all of our actions, are we truly free; do we have free will? I assert that we do. The arguments that would pit God's foreknowledge and human freedom against each other as incompatible have a faulty foundation surrounding the nature of God's knowledge, His Being, and our purpose in the world. Essentially, the nature of God's knowledge is not deterministic, and His knowing does not necessitate that actions happen as they will; they do not happen because He knows, He knows because they happen. Additionally, God created us with a particular nature, and that nature includes a free will as human beings. God can neither impede nor prevent this nature, as He would actually, in effect, be contradicting His own nature as well as ours. We as beings are made to fulfill our natures, and thus we were made to act freely. God's providence exists in that He made us, and made us to fulfill our particular natures, and as such, we are naturally inclined towards the good and towards our divine end and Creator. The divine end and purpose exists for us all, but it is our free will which allows us to choose to fulfill or not fulfill this nature. Once the true nature and metaphysics of God's knowledge and being, our nature as humans, and our purpose as humans are understood, we can better attempt to reconcile the idea of God's foreknowledge and providence with our freedom and free will as human beings.


Providence College


Spring 2013








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Religion Commons