Chapter

Divine Foreknowledge and Fatalism

Paul Helm

in Eternal God

Second edition

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590391
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595516 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590391.003.0008
Divine Foreknowledge and Fatalism

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This chapter brings together the results of the previous two chapters. It is argued that God's foreknowledge is incompatible with human indeterministic freedom. Does this mean that this conclusion involves logical fatalism? Different senses of ‘fatalism’ are discussed. Two concepts of divine foreknowledge are distinguished. Does God foreknow an event because it will occur, or will it occur because God foreknows it? Theological and logical determinism are compared, as is the distinction between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ facts. It is argued that the ‘hard’ fact - ‘soft’ fact distinction does not provide a means of defending divine foreknowledge against deterministic consequences, since a timeless God's beliefs are ‘hard’ facts.

Keywords: indeterministic freedom; fatalism; hard facts; soft facts; divine foreknowledge

Chapter.  6182 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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