>Sure, Paul and his buddies were free to swim or free
>to not swim. Nevertheless, God could know what these
>human souls would do without "peeking" into the future
>or knowing their actions eternally.
Okay, we have to distinguish our points of view
here, since you're viewing God as temporal (not having
to "peek" into the future). But assuming your view, how
could God's "knowledge" of what these passengers
would do once their ship wrecked and they sunk into
the water be called anything more than a supremely
"well-educated guess"? How could he have "known"
(without "peeking") that this or that passenger wouldn't
panic and freak out, or that those who couldn't swim
would encounter a piece of floating timber at just the
opportune moment, or that a freak wave wouldn't smash
the mast down upon the heads of two swimmers and
instantly kill them? I just don't see how this could be
called "knowlege" at all, even in what Hume would call
the relatively "weak" epistemic sense with which we
declare ourselves to "know" that the sun will rise tomor-
>God knew what the
>sons of Israel would do [in the wilderness] by reading their collective
>hearts. He infallibly knew what Esau would do before
>birth, probably based on His knowledge of the human
Say WHAT? This sounds something like reading
tea leaves! How could knowledge of Esau's embryo
in the present furnish God with all the variables (of time,
place, relation, quality, and circumstance) necessary for
Him to know that Jacob would happen to be making an
appealing "mess of pottage" at the precise moment when
Esau would come in starving hungry from an unsuccessful
>My point is that God is capable of knowing the
>future without necessarily "foreknowing" the future. That is, God
>can predict [or foretell] with certainty what will happen based on
>one's track record or one's present desires and thoughts, etc.
I don't think this can work, because even
omniscient knowledge of a "track record" doesn't
account for the infinite number of variables involving
conditions of chance (future contingencies of weather,
earthquakes, famine, circumstance, and human choices)
that, on your view, God can't know before they are actual-ized.
>And, FWIW, I do not deny God's foreknowledge or foreordination.
Except when you do.
>Only timeless theists say that God does not literally foresee or foreordain events.
Not necessarily: we speak of God "foreknowing"
events just as the Bible does and as you and I, long
after the Copernican Revolution, continue to reasonably
speak of "sunrises." We just don't take such language
without due philosophical qualification when theorizing.