Direct Awareness and God's Experience of a Temporal Now

Gregory E. Ganssle

in God and Time

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195129656
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849130 | DOI:
Direct Awareness and God's Experience of a Temporal Now

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This chapter explores the implications of William Alston's claim that God knows what he knows without having any beliefs. Most discussions of God's knowledge assume that we ought to understand God's knowledge as being something like a propositional attitude, just as we understand human knowledge. Alston has challenged this construal of divine knowledge. God knows what he knows, Alston claims, in virtue of his direct awareness of facts. He does not have propositional attitudes at all. It is argued that if God knows what he knows by direct awareness, then God must be atemporal. If God is temporal, he cannot have absolute immediate awareness of past or future facts. Absolute immediate awareness cannot span time. A knowing subject who is temporal can have direct intuitive awareness only of those facts that are temporally present.

Keywords: God; William Alston; divine knowledge; human knowledge

Chapter.  10309 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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