Foreknowledge and predestination

Theological Arguments for Foreknowledge and Predestination

The question of whether or not God has foreknowledge and predestination has been debated by theologians for centuries. Some argue that God does have foreknowledge and predestination, while others argue that He does not. In this paper, we will examine the theological arguments for and against foreknowledge and predestination.

Foreknowledge as Divine Omniscience

In theological discussions, foreknowledge is often understood to be synonymous with God’s omniscience. In other words, God knows all things that have happened, are happening, and will happen. Therefore, He has foreknowledge of all events. This view sees foreknowledge as a passive attribute of God in which He simply knows all things that will happen.

While this is a common understanding of foreknowledge, it is not the only view held by theologians and scholars. Some argue that foreknowledge is not simply passive; rather, it is active. In this view, God’s foreknowledge is not just His knowledge of future events, but His caused knowledge of future events. This means that God’s foreknowledge does not just include His awareness of what will happen; rather, His foreknowledge includes His shaping and causing of what will happen. Those who hold to this view often argue that if God’s foreknowledge was merely passive, then it would be limited to what will happen by chance or luck. By contrast, if God’s foreknowledge is active, then He can cause or determine what will happen.

Foreknowledge as Necessary for Love

Many people have a hard time understanding how God can predestine some people to eternal life and not others. They find it unfair that God would choose some and not others. The main theological argument for foreknowledge is that it is necessary for love.

How could God love someone if He did not know them? This is the basic argument. In order to love someone, you must have knowledge of them. If God did not know us, then He could not truly love us.

This argument has been used by many theologians throughout history including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Jonathan Edwards. It is a strong argument because it is based on the nature of love itself. Love requires knowledge or else it is not really love.

Predestination as God’s Sovereignty

Predestination is often thought of as God knowing ahead of time who will choose him. But that’s not what the word actually means. The word predestination comes from the Latin verb predestinare, which means “to determine beforehand.” When we talk about predestination, then, we’re talk about God’s sovereignty. He has determined everything that will happen, and he has determined it for his own glory.

Philosophical Arguments for Foreknowledge and Predestination

Is everything that happens in our lives pre-determined? Are we just following a path that has already been set out for us? Some people believe that everything that happens in our lives is foreknown and predestined. In this article, we will explore some of the philosophical arguments for this belief.

The Argument from Contingency

The argument from contingency goes as follows:

  1. Everything that exists has a cause.
  2. Nothing can be the cause of itself.
  3. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes.
  4. Therefore, there must be a First Cause (i.e. God).
  5. God is omniscient (i.e. he knows all things).
  6. Therefore, God knows all things that will happen in the future.
  7. Therefore, God has foreknowledge of all events.
    8.God is also omnipotent (i.e. he can do all things).
  8. Therefore, if God has foreknowledge of an event, then he can bring about that event (i., he has predestination power over it).
    The Argument from Evil

    The Argument from Evil is the argument that an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good God is incompatible with the existence of evil. The argument has two components:

1) If God exists, then He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good.
2) Evil exists.
3) Therefore, God does not exist.

The first premise is uncontroversial among theists. The second premise is also accepted by many theists, who argue that evil is necessary for the existence of free will or some other good. The third premise follows logically from the first two premises. Therefore, the only way to avoid the conclusion that God does not exist is to deny one of the premises.

Objections to Foreknowledge and Predestination

Some people object to the doctrines of foreknowledge and predestination on the grounds that they seem to make God the author of sin. If God has foreordained all that comes to pass, and if He knows all things that will happen, then it would seem that He is responsible for everything that happens, even sin.

The Foreknowledge Argument is Unsound

The foreknowledge argument is the argument that states that since God is omniscient, He must know everything that is going to happen in the future. Therefore, He must have predestined everything that is going to happen. This argument is unsound for several reasons.

First, it is important to note that foreknowledge does not imply predestination. Foreknowledge simply means that God knows what is going to happen in the future. Predestination, on the other hand, means that God has determined what is going to happen in the future. Just because God knows what is going to happen does not mean that He has determined it Himself.

Second, even if we were to grant that foreknowledge implies predestination, the foreknowledge argument still would not be sound. The problem with the argument is that it conflates two different concepts: moral responsibility and causal responsibility. The foreknowledge argument assumes that if someone is morally responsible for an action, then they must also be causally responsible for it. However, this is not necessarily the case.

For example, suppose a man named John kills a woman named Jane. We can say with certainty that John is morally responsible for Jane’s death. After all, he purposely killed her and there was no good reason for him to do so. But it does not follow from this that John was causally responsible for Jane’s death. Jane might have been killed by a freak accident or by another person; John might have had nothing whatsoever to do with her death. The fact that John is morally responsible for Jane’s death does not mean he was causally responsible for it.

So even if we were to grant that foreknowledge implies predestination, the foreknowledge argument would still be unsound because it conflates two different concepts: moral responsibility and causal responsibility.

The Predestination Argument is Unsound

The predestination argument is unsound because it confuses foreknowledge with predestination. Foreknowledge is simply knowing ahead of time what someone will do; it does not mean that person is powerless to do anything but what is known. Predestination, on the other hand, is the belief that some people are fated to do certain things and are powerless to change their destiny.


There are many different interpretations of foreknowledge and predestination, but ultimately it is up to the individual to decide what they believe. No matter what your opinion is, there is no doubt that these concepts are complex and fascinating.

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