I am presently taking a course on the philosophy of religion and addressing metaphysical frameworks for the Christian faith. One of the more interesting dilemmas is reconciling God's omniscience and human free will. Some thinkers assert either:
1. God can know the future because he will determine it.
2. We have free will over our decisions and therefore God cannot know our future paths.
But both cannot be true. Free will is logically inconsistent with divine omniscience. Here is a common example known as the Cheese Omelet Argument:
1. It is now true that I will have a cheese omelet for breakfast tomorrow. (Assumption)
2. It is impossible that God should at any time believe anything false or fail to believe anything which is true. (Assumption: divine omniscience)
3. Therefore God has always believed that I will have a cheese omelet for breakfast tomorrow. (Inference from 1 and 2)
4. If God has always believed a certain thing, it is not in my power to bring it about that God has not always believed that thing. (Assumption: the inalterability of the past)
5. Therefore it is not in my power to bring it about that God has not always believed that I will have a cheese omelet for breakfast tomorrow (Inference from 3 and 4)
6. It is not possible for it to be true both that God has always believed that I will have a cheese omelet for breakfast tomorrow, and that I do not in fact have one. (Inference from 2)
7. Therefore it is not in my power to refrain from having a cheese omelet for breakfast tomorrow. (Inference from 5 and 6) So I do not have free will with respect to the decision whether or not to eat an omelet. (Hasker 51-52)
There are a variety of possible resolutions to this dilemma. One is that God transcends time and therefore "foreknowledge" is a meaningless term when applied to God. God doesn't know things before they happen; he knows everything at every point of time simultaneously. Another is called Open Theism, featuring a diminished God who doesn't know the future (among other limited capacities).
I hypothesize another alternative. We Wesleyan-Arminians believe that God has omnipotence and can, if he wishes, make us move, act, and think as puppets. But God instead gives us free will to choose our course of actions, including sinful ones. God has omnipotence, but chooses not to use it. That God has a faculty does not necessitate that he use it.
Perhaps, in like manner, God has omniscience, but does not use it fully. God has the capacity to know (and therefore dictate) our every action, but chooses not to engage that power.
What do you think of this hypothesis?