George Smith on Fatalism and Omniscience

Theologians have devised a number of unsuccessful ways to reconcile omniscience and free will. One method is to argue that God’s foreknowledge does not “impose” itself on the course of events, and God knows a free action “according to the nature of the event itself— which is free.” This, of course, solves nothing, because it evades the central issue. How can an event be “free” in the first place, if God has infallible knowledge of it prior to its happening? Another approach has been to argue that “God does not exist in time at all” —but this serves only to strengthen agnosticism. Other attempts at reconciliation are similarly unimpressive, so it seems that the Christian is forever plagued with the dilemma of preaching a religion of salvation to a world of men who, according to the doctrine of omniscience, are nothing more than automatons.

Smith, George H.. Atheism: The Case Against God (The Skeptic’s Bookshelf) (p. 74). Prometheus Books. Kindle Edition.

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