Determinism and God’s knowledge of the future

שו”תקטגוריה: מחשבהDeterminism and God’s knowledge of the future
ב' שאל לפני 2 שנים


I finished reading your book Science and Freedom. Philosophy is really not my field, although I’ve been trying to enter it (for personal interest) in the last 5 years. I found that you often pre-empted questions that I had, in the process of reading which I found refreshing!

I’ve tried some of these ideas on colleagues. By the way, I know that your experience is probably similar, I find that science colleagues have very little idea about these concepts, the philosophy of science in general, and the basic implications of the determinist/materialist (take your pick) beliefs that they would (probably by default) support. Its a shame that that ship has sailed (to some extent), post Vienna circle, post Positivism and Mach. I read the Pauli/Jung letters that you mention in your reference; that kind of scientist doesn’t exist so much any more; or perhaps they were also just exceptional circumstances that were only found out a lot later. As another example, I’ve read a lot about the extraordinary (i.e. not ordinary) self-experimentation of Feynman, and of course others. Science has become somewhat of a ‘production’ and i see that in the concerted effort of many to judge success by where you publish, or how much. I would put a bet that most scientists i meet wont know some basic difficulties regarding verification and falsification and couldn’t present an argument about whether they think “science is truth”, etc. I don’t really know what to do about that. Apparently, at Weizmann, there used to be a course in the philosophy of science. Thats not done any more.

As an aside: you mention a couple of times in the book about God being omnipotent/scient but that, despite having infinite knowledge, it doesn’t necessarily follow that He knows what we will choose. I thought you would develop on that idea specifically in the book (and I’m quite sure that you’ve written on this point elsewhere), but you dont address it further.

If you could point me to the relevant article I would appreciate that (Hebrew is fine as well).

Many thanks,

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1 Answers
מיכי צוות ענה לפני 2 שנים

שלום ב’.
לא כתבתי משהו מסודר על על הידיעה מראש של הקב”ה. הדברים נדונו פה ושם באתר שלי, בעיקר ביחס לשאלה האם ניתן לייחס לקב”ה סתירות לוגיות. אם הסתירה בין ידיעתו לחופש הרצון שלנו היא לוגית (וכך זה לדעתי בעיקר מכוח פרדוקס ניוקומב) אז הטענה “X יודע מראש את מה שאבחר חופשית” היא משפט חסר מובן, וזה ממש לא משנה אם X הוא הקב”ה.

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