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Those who adhere to divine foreknowledge adhere to the notion that God has complete knowledge. He is omniscient. Thomas Nagel once asked the intriguing question, “What does it feel like to be a bat?”

God would know, surely? God, I would argue (probably, if I were a Christian) has complete knowledge that includes experiential knowledge. It is generally accepted that he knows counterfactuals: if this happened, then that would happen.

If God created this world, the actual one we live in, then he would know what would happen, right? And he could experience the creation. You know, what he is experiencing now in witnessing his creation.

An omniscient deity would surely have this experiential knowledge before creating. This is his foreknowledge. Thus he would have that experiential knowledge of this world without having to create this world.

Can you see where this is going?

So God creates this world. He knows in advance how much suffering there would/will be; how much evil there would/will be; who would commit what, and freely so; and so on.

And yet, knowing who will fail the test, who will freely reject him, and who will spend eternity in heaven, he creates anyway.

Why? Why bother creating if he knows the eventualities. I get Open Theism and why it was invented – to get around this problem. But, unsupported by the Bible and other theology, let’s continue to grant God the characteristics of classical theism.

So not only does God know all of the outcomes of this test of a world anyway, and creates, but he also experientially knows everything about this world, without having to create. In other words, there is absolutely no reason for God to create this world. Perhaps the personal knowledge of the few who get to heaven is worth more than the personal knowledge of the majority who will burn in hell for eternity. Hmm, sounds suspect.

No, I cannot see why God would create if he could sit back, in his GodWorld armchair before creation and just imagine having created us and that knowledge would have the same epistemic value as actually creating and experiencing creation.

By GSE843 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Well, that’s my Argument from Experiential Knowledge which concludes that the God of Classical Theism isn’t coherent.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...