“God will know what ethical decisions we will make” Discuss (35 marks)
There are many views as to whether God does know what ethical decisions we will make, the three main views being; hard determinism, soft determinism and libertarianism. These all pose different strengths and weaknesses into this statement which I will discuss in this essay.
God is universally known throughout religious faiths as omniscient, meaning that he is an all-knowing being. Thus suggesting that in the eyes of Christianity, God would surely know what ethical decisions we make. Another idea related to this is the idea of predestination which was the view of the philosopher- John Calvin. Predestination is the idea that our lives are set/planned out previous to the start of our lives. Calvin said that man is “inherently evil and is not capable of good as his free will chooses to reject God”. Therefore, this suggests that God has predestined our lives as to those who will be saved and who will not. This further reinforces that we have no choice or influence on our lives and the events that happen, so therefore God will know the ethical decisions we will make as he has already predestined them in our lives.
Hard determinism is the teaching that denies humanity has free will and believes that all actions have a prior cause. It removes moral responsibility for our actions. Hard determinists would therefore agree with the statement above, and will believe that God does infact know what ethical decisions we will make as he has already perceived it. This idea links to predestination in the fact that it believes everything in the universe- even human action- has a cause which precedes it. This is based upon science, as if it wasn’t case that one event or set of circumstances lead to another, scientific observations and conclusions drawn from that, then it would be both meaningless and pointless. The philosopher John Locke gave an example of a man sleeping in a locked room. The man wakes up and...