DISCLAIMER: This is a thought experiment: This is not a Theological postulation. This is a Philosophical pondering. None of this may be true, or it all might. Let’s not argue the validity of the axioms, but let’s assume them for a philosophic purpose. These axioms are impossible to prove or disprove and anyone claiming they can is making a Theological assertion, be they Theist or Atheist. Let’s argue within the system we set up, and attempt to make an internally consistent viewpoint.
If God Knows Everything, including the future, then he knows what everyone will do, and they cannot do otherwise. Predestination.
If God Knows Everything, including the future, then He knows what he will do, and he cannot do otherwise. Double Predestination. If God has no freewill then he is not Omnipotent.
Ergo, for the first two statements to be true, God cannot know the future with any degree of certainty. Now, doesn’t this contradict God “knowing everything?” Yes it does.
However, God (being an infinitely smart brain) would know all of the possibilities and be able to calculate the probabilities of all future events.
Ergo, we have the current state of affairs today because God, in a specific moment in time and space created the universe in a specific way, knowing the probabilities of all the possible futures and all the possible worlds created the universe in such a way that would create the likelihood for the best of all possible worlds. If God strove for anything less than the best, then he would not be good. The possibility does exist that that there are multiple “bests” in the form, and this happens to be the one we have.
Now this assumes that God started everything in motion and stood back to let it develop. However it doesn’t change much to postulate that God from time to time intervenes in human/universal affairs. However, there is much evil in the world. I am defining evil in 2 categories: Natural evil such as tornados and tsunamis, as well as Tigers and Eagles hunting for prey; and Moral evil committed by humans. Moral evil includes both willful and incidental evil.
So if God created this particular universe in the specific way he did, knowing the probability for so much evil, and we assume that this is one of the best possible worlds, then God willfully created and is responsible for evil. So at first glance God is not Good.
However, God could be Good if there was a sufficiently important reason for moral evil to exist. The greatest forms of evil are committed by humans willfully committing moral evil. We CHOOSE to do such evil. In order for a good God to allow such evil, he must value Man‘s freewill above his possibility for evil.
Now we get into a grey area: Hypothesizing (Guessing) God’s Motivations. This is Theology, no longer philosophy. However, I will postulate several possibilities which I cannot prove. I can only infer from my limited human experience.
1. Why did God Create the Universe?
2. Why did God Create humanity?
3. Why did God bestow humanity with Freewill?
God may have created the Universe because it is within his nature to Create. Humans have a creative constructive nature, which if we are created by a Creative God makes sense. In this postulation, assuming God exists, and created Man, it is logical to assume that our human nature is an imperfect copy of the nature of the Creator. When we paint or sculpt we create imperfect copies of parts of ourself, be it our image, our psyche, our thoughts and feelings represented through abstraction. They are less perfect copies of ourselves.
We feel the “need” to represent and express ourselves through creation. Perhaps we get this desire from our Creator? Classical Theologians call this understanding “Imago Dei”: (we are created in) the Image of God. Effectively, we have freewill and creativity because God made us like him in many ways, the same way that our ART reflects us as the creator.
So assuming these new motivations, we must conclude that we have freewill because God has freewill, and he imbued us with a limited version of that same freewill. Ergo, God has the capacity for evil and chooses not to commit it, which is what truly makes him good. We have the capacity for evil, and we choose to commit it, which makes us less than good. God must value the fact that we are created in his image more than the capacity for evil that we possess.
Classical Theologians postulate that God’s love is supreme. God desires to have a relationship with his creation. With each human. This sounds rather absurd, when you figure that there have been 108 Billion people since Humanity arrived at 50,000 BC. Each human lives for a fraction of the almost 14 Billion year old Universe. Logically, God is older than all of that – assuming of course, that God doesn’t age or die. Of course he could jut be aging incredibly slowly, and will die one day. There could be a whole race of gods that each create their own universes, and oversee them for Billions of years. Who knows? It is a Faith statement to assert either way, and I can’t back either up, logically. Anyway, classic Theologians assert that God desires a relationship with each human, which if true, means that God must have an infinite love and attention span to actually care about each person with any real depth. Perhaps he only truly loves and get’s to know specific “important” humans and the rest he blankets in a generic love the way a farmer loves all of his livestock, but he only bonds with a few like his horse or dog. Again, who knows?
Back to the point at hand: if God desires our love, then we would need freewill in order for our love to be genuine. Theoretically God could value this capacity for love above the capacity for evil: Gambling that our love would outshine our evil. You cannot have the capacity for great virtue without the capacity for great vice. Otherwise, it is not great virtue. It is merely a computer program. Computers will never be capable of love until they can be capable of choice. If they are capable of choice, then they will have a capacity for evil, just like us. This is the balance and the risk that God must have taken. He weighed Love vs Evil, and chose to allow both, in order to create the capacity for true love.
Hypothetically speaking of course, the reverse could be equally true: God could actually enjoy dark evil, and in order to have the darkest evil possible, he had to create true love, so that Evil may be it’s blackest. However, this is a postulation for another post. This is the danger we get into when postulating God’s Motives. We are just guessing and we can’t prove the positive or the negative. However, for the postulation at hand, I move to reject the “Maximization of Evil” Theory.
In Summary, God Doesn’t know the future, because there is no possible way for him to know the future, due to the freewill he gave his creation. God can know the future of all non-freewill systems, like the rotation of the planets, the death of the universe, the expansion of the galaxy, the shift of the Teutonic plates, volcanic eruptions, the weather, etc. God Can know his own future actions: If such and such happens, then I will do such and such: The same way we plan our actions in advance based on contingencies, but on a greater scale. God cannot know with certainty what either he or freewill beings will do, and thus the future is unknowable.
Here is a link to an excellent video explaining the 10 Dimensions and God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqeqW3g8N2Q