“God forsees”

What, like a fortune teller? In a fever-dream of approaching events? Nonsense – sight is causal* simultaneity with the thing seen. “Divine foreknowledge” is a metaphor for something else, like the conjunction that (a) God knows all that is knowable and (b) God’s knowledge cannot increase** or (c) God sees all things when they happen, including his actions in the world and (b) again, his knowledge cannot increase.

Can “God foresees” mean “God scans the possible worlds and decides on the actual one”? No, since the actual world is not a possible world, and creation is not ex possibile but ex nihilo. Possible worlds are a way of describing logical possibility, which in turn is a domain proper to things that know by the principle of contradiction. True, logical possibility is true of whatever lacks contradiction and the actual world is such, but the absence of contradiction is not a substratum from which one could generate a world or anything else.


*Causal simultaneity can be alienated from the substance, which is how writing makes the mind of an author known even after death, or the star can make itself known even after it dies.

**If we only had (a), we might have Open Theism: God knows all that can be known, but the future is not known. Still, any given thing that was once future is obviously known by whoever waits around to see it.

%d bloggers like this: