# God's omniscience

Pocketwatch
How does God know everything? Obviously, before God created the universe and everything in it, He had to know everything there is to know. Even if He had created a universe before this one where did He get the knowledge then. Think about the complexity of the human body. How did He know what to do to create one? How did He know that oxygen was necessary for life and created it before He created life? How did He know that water was necessary for life? The list could go on and on. I have thought about this for a long time. The only answer I can come up with is since God knows the future, He gleaned all His knowledge from the future. This would mean that He depends on us to figure things out for Him. If this is true, then the world cannot come to an end until we learn everything there is to know. Since we have a long way to go to know everything the world will be around for a long time. Or, if this world is destroyed in the near future, He would have to create another one so that everything can be learned. Unless He already learned everything from a former creation.

I know this sounds far fetched, but there has to be a reason why God knows everything. The Bible clearly says that God knows the future. So what is to prevent Him from knowing everything that we have learned and will learn in the future? After all, it was God that gave us the ability to seek out knowledge.

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Iacchus32
Originally posted by Pocketwatch
I know this sounds far fetched, but there has to be a reason why God knows everything. The Bible clearly says that God knows the future. So what is to prevent Him from knowing everything that we have learned and will learn in the future? After all, it was God that gave us the ability to seek out knowledge.
Or, maybe God has always known all there is to know and, that by setting everything up to follow an "evolutionary plan," it allows us -- His creation -- the opportunity to know who He is?

FZ+
Uh... there is an alternative here you know... It begins with an "A"...

How did He know that oxygen was necessary for life and created it before He created life?
Ah... um... because most of the oxygen was in fact created by life?

The only answer I can come up with is since God knows the future, He gleaned all His knowledge from the future. This would mean that He depends on us to figure things out for Him.
Actually, this doesn't follow. Omniscient means that God does know everything - independently of existence. And also, if we really believe in creation, we say God created the laws as well, so there is no reason why water is required rather than a sudden whim of God.

I know this sounds far fetched, but there has to be a reason why God knows everything.
Be careful when you try to mix reason with God... That's atheist talk...

"evolutionary plan,"
Do you by any chance realise that's an oxymoron?

Do you by any chance realise that's an oxymoron?

Woohoo, thanks FZ, thats the word I've been trying to remember to describe "Creation Science"

Anyhow, I've always thought that if there is a god, he'd be somewhat dependant on life. I mean, think how much it would suck to be some vapor or whatever god is, never get to kiss a pretty girl, ride a motorcycle, climb a mountain, etc.

I'd say if there is some grand creator, then our purpose would be to expieriance everything life has to offer so as to give him the expeiriance.

But in the biblical sense, do you not see the blatantly obvious flaw the bible has presented? How can something no everything thats to come, with out it being written out? If god knows everything that will happen, then its not free will. The same idea works on pyschics as well. If a person knows your future, how do you have any control over it?

My only other thought on this subject is that god is everything there is to know. In other words, god is information. In this case, god would know everything, since he is everything there is to know. Even in the earliest of stages of the universe, Information was present. I'd think it be safe to bet that whatever events triggered the Big bang, information was present.

Laser Eyes
But in the biblical sense, do you not see the blatantly obvious flaw the bible has presented? How can something no everything thats to come, with out it being written out? If god knows everything that will happen, then its not free will. The same idea works on pyschics as well. If a person knows your future, how do you have any control over it?

If a deity knows everything, then the concept of existance becomes illogical. We exist, therefore an omniscient god doesn't exist.

Iacchus32
Originally posted by Zero
If a deity knows everything, then the concept of existance becomes illogical. We exist, therefore an omniscient god doesn't exist.
And yet if I'm a designer of say a computer, then I ought to know full well how it was designed to operate, and can most assuredly project ahead the specifics of how it will be used -- i.e., it's possible. Much in the way we can project one foot will follow the other when we're walking.

Of course we're only speaking of the abilities of one "feeble mind" here, in comparison to God's, so who's to say that His ability to "project" into the future isn't light years beyond ours? Or, even light years beyond that? Again, who's to say?

I agree that the argument that "If a deity knows everything, then the concept of existance becomes illogical. We exist, therefore an omniscient god doesn't exist." is false. First of all, you never even proved the first part, you can't just toss a "therefore" in there! :-)

Actually, though, my idea of omniscience is a little different than most. But, only a little.

You see, I think that all it means is that God knows everything that CAN be known. I think there are many things that can't be known. God doesn't know those things. For example, the future is not set in stone. There is no "the future". So, God doesn't know the future. He probably has a pretty good idea. (For example, if I write a program and put in some data, I have a good idea what the program is going to do with the data, but other things could happen.) But, he doesn't know the future for sure.

That's my take.

Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet if I'm a designer of say a computer, then I ought to know full well how it was designed to operate, and can most assuredly project ahead the specifics of how it will be used -- i.e., it's possible. Much in the way we can project one foot will follow the other when we're walking.

Of course we're only speaking of the abilities of one "feeble mind" here, in comparison to God's, so who's to say that His ability to "project" into the future isn't light years beyond ours? Or, even light years beyond that? Again, who's to say?
No, see, you miss the point...the greater the ability to see the future, the less activity becomes necessary. If I know how every movie turns out, I won't see too many of them. If I can see the entire movie in my head, I would NEVER go out to see a movie.
In the same way, if a deity could see all possible futures, there would be no reason to actually do anything at all, because all teh outcomes are known.

Iacchus32
Originally posted by Zero
No, see, you miss the point...the greater the ability to see the future, the less activity becomes necessary. If I know how every movie turns out, I won't see too many of them. If I can see the entire movie in my head, I would NEVER go out to see a movie.
In the same way, if a deity could see all possible futures, there would be no reason to actually do anything at all, because all teh outcomes are known.
And yet what would be the difference between God and a playwright? The playwright and those who study the script will know the outcome of the play, but not necessarily those who just wish to view the play, which would be the audience, "us." In which case maybe the playwright derives his livelihood for the sake of the audience's appreciation?

Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet what would be the difference between God and a playwright? The playwright and those who study the script will know the outcome of the play, but not necessarily those who just wish to view the play, which would be the audience, "us." In which case maybe the playwright derives his livelihood for the sake of the audience's appreciation?
That still doesn't wash...if the 'playwright' on question already knows the exact ways that we will respond, there is no reason to do it.

Iacchus32
Originally posted by Zero
That still doesn't wash...if the 'playwright' on question already knows the exact ways that we will respond, there is no reason to do it.
And yet, perchance because of the fact that we don't know and, that God has a tendency to "live on" through His creation, then maybe this is His way of playing "hide-and-seek" with Himself? Who knows? ...

Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet, perchance because of the fact that we don't know and, that God has a tendency to "live on" through His creation, then maybe this is His way of playing "hide-and-seek" with Himself? Who knows? ...
You don't know...so why do you go around making declarations?

Tog_Neve
Megashawn

? If god knows everything that will happen, then its not free will.
Sorry to say you are slightly confused in your ideas of terminology here. You are mixing up the concept of precognition, or the knowing of future events with preordained or predestined. Knowing the future is only that...knowing the future. It is not imposing ones own will to preordain or predestine the outcome of the future. I would agree completely that if God imposed his will on the outcome of the future then there would be no free will. But God knowing the future is not altering the free will of men.

Well, to me it seems that if it is possible to know of specific future events, and not ones that can be guessed, then it must contradict free will. Atleast the concept that you are in control of your life, by the decisions you make. If something knows what choices I make, before I'm alive to make them, then how is that free will? What is the purpose in doing anything, if its already planned out.

Of course it is possible to know the future in some cases. For instance, I predict I will eat a cheeseburger for dinner tonight.

This is knowable and reasonable. Something more extreme such as "I predict that in two years I will be adopted by Bill Gates and me and him will take over the world" is crazy. And also, if such a prediction came true, it would mean, atleast to me, that there is some sort of way to gain information from the future, which must already be happening in order to predict it.

And of course, if god knows the outcome, and is all powerfull, why not just skip the 3 ring and get right to the main event?

Why does an all powerfull being have to make a creation that must win the respect of its creator, when he could have simply made a being that would be as he wishes?

HazZy
Originally posted by megashawn
Well, to me it seems that if it is possible to know of specific future events, and not ones that can be guessed, then it must contradict free will. Atleast the concept that you are in control of your life, by the decisions you make. If something knows what choices I make, before I'm alive to make them, then how is that free will? What is the purpose in doing anything, if its already planned out.
but they are your decisions, you're just not aware that something else knew what you were going to choose. for example if god came down and said "at 3:00pm you will go to the store and buy some beer." would you actually go to the store or would you sit home laughing your ass off because you just proved god wrong? if god grabbed you and flew you over to the store, put the beer in your hands, and threatened to throw a lightning bolt at you if you didn't pay for them then it would be an obstruction of your free will. the only way to know specifics on the future is to make sure you're the only person who knows that future.

Tog_Neve
Well, to me it seems that if it is possible to know of specific future events, and not ones that can be guessed, then it must contradict free will. Atleast the concept that you are in control of your life, by the decisions you make. If something knows what choices I make, before I'm alive to make them, then how is that free will? What is the purpose in doing anything, if its already planned out.
The thing is again that knowing the future and having it planned out are completely different. To be planned/preordained/predestined would imply that someone other than yourself has planned/preordained/predestined your future. To say that God has planned your life is actually vastly different that God knows your life. With one you have no free will and everything is planned for you. With the other you still have your free will and will make the choices you make throughout your life. It is just that someone knows what choices you will make. It does not mean that person is making those choices for you.

And if a person knows what choice I'm making, before I reach that point, then I apparently do not have any influence in the decision process.

But see, I know better then this.

For instance, Hazzy's example, if god knows I'm going to by the beer, and told me I was, sure I'd probably wait until 3:15 just to be a smart ass, but the fact of the matter is that God knew my decision, before I ever had the question.

FZ+
Originally posted by Tog_Neve
The thing is again that knowing the future and having it planned out are completely different. To be planned/preordained/predestined would imply that someone other than yourself has planned/preordained/predestined your future. To say that God has planned your life is actually vastly different that God knows your life. With one you have no free will and everything is planned for you. With the other you still have your free will and will make the choices you make throughout your life. It is just that someone knows what choices you will make. It does not mean that person is making those choices for you.
It doesn't say it is X's fault, but look at this analogy.

Life is a journey on the traintracks of time. If life is pre-ordained, then it would be an on the rails experience. If life is free, you put down the rails as you go - there is a track behind you, but none in front.

If we are to say that an observer in front of you can see the train tracks that you travel on as existing in front of you, this would be evidence that you are just on the ride and so any free will is an illusion. It may not be the observer that places them - indeed, the track may always have been there. But it is then clear that the life is ordained, and determined. God may not be making choices for you, but you aren't making any choices either.

Iacchus32
Originally posted by FZ+
It doesn't say it is X's fault, but look at this analogy.

Life is a journey on the traintracks of time. If life is pre-ordained, then it would be an on the rails experience. If life is free, you put down the rails as you go - there is a track behind you, but none in front.

If we are to say that an observer in front of you can see the train tracks that you travel on as existing in front of you, this would be evidence that you are just on the ride and so any free will is an illusion. It may not be the observer that places them - indeed, the track may always have been there. But it is then clear that the life is ordained, and determined. God may not be making choices for you, but you aren't making any choices either.
Ah yes, if life were only but a train ride? And if it were, what would you do on the train during all this time?

Or, what about all the switching junctions which lay ahead? That would require a choice now wouldn't it?

I think most of those are automated nowadays.

Iacchus32
FZ+ actually poses a good question. Does time carry us? ... in the "active sense." Or, are we just a mere observer of its passing? ... in the "passive sense." I'm more inclined to believe that time is just a "passive experience" and doesn't really affect anything.

Iacchus32
Ever have a problem making a decision when you felt you had too many things to choose from, and things weren't all that clear? This is an indication of free will, or essence. And yet, without a predominant degree of determinism (form), we would be in the same boat, because we would be unable to distinguish between our choices. Which is to say, what we choose -- and hence free will -- becomes more clear, to the degree that things have already been "determined."

But does that imply free will doesn't exist? Or, that free will can only be employed with a significant degree of determinism?

And indeed this is what we see with the material world, the aftermath or, that which has been pretermined through our prior choices, and hence free will.

This also implies that to the degree that we understand things, then to that degree we can "forsee" what "should" happen next, because we have the "visible forms" (results) in front of us. Perhaps it would be similar to designing a car, and designing it so well that it could be "preset" in the factory and not require a tune-up for the first 100,000 miles. Or, something like that.

Tog_Neve
Preordain - To appoint, decree, or ordain in advance
appoint - To select or designate to fill an office
- To fix or set by authority
- To furnish; equip
- To direct the disposition of property to a person
Decree - An authoritative order having the force of law
- judgement of a court
- a doctorinal or disiplinary act
ordain - To invest with ministerial or priestly authority
- to authorize as a rabbi
- To order by virtue of superior authority
- To prearrange unalterably; predestine

Predestine - To fix upon, decide, or decree in advance
- To foreordain or elect by devine will or decree.

As you can see all of these require that someone or something elses will in imposed upon the future or upon your decisions. To state that our future is preordained or predestined means that someone else is imposing their will over ours. And this is simply not the case. The definition of precognition is: knowledge of something in advance of its occurrence, especially by ESP.

Knowledge of future events and or outcomes of occurrences is not imposing or overriding anyones will of of actions during those occurences.

Besides the fact that knowledge of the future by a 3rd party does not alter freewill of the 1st party, is that you would also have to consider this. God not only can see the future of your life but also all possible futures of your life. God could see the future of your life as it unfolds before you. The future of your life if you chose to eat your piece of toast with Jam or with peanut butter. Foreknowledge of not only every choice you have throughout your life but your entire life throughout your entire existance. Every choice can have an effect upon your future and God can see all of that. The outcome of every decision as it affects your life.

And this I believe. I believe God knows, and can see our entire future. That which comes to be and that which could have come to be.

*begin interrupt*

To state that our future is preordained or predestined means that someone else is imposing their will over ours. And this is simply not the case.
Isn’t it???

Tog, we have been over this matter before and according to the Bible god did in fact harden pharaoh’s heart, causing him to not release the Israelites. It happened more than once to this individual, btw.
I don’t see how, in clean conscious, one can excuse such tampering while continuing to insist we have free will, because to me it is simply a case of rationalizing away the obvious to continue what we want to believe.

Maybe I just have the wrong translation of something.

*end interrupt*

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Tog_Neve
BH,
Have you ever had a decision in your life that other people tried to push you into making?
People saying something like "If it were me I would...."?
Are those people removing your free will? Do you still not ultimately make up the decision on your own?
In the case of the Pharoh as you have mentioned it does say that God hardened the heart of the pharoh...it does not say that God took over the Pharohs life/mind/ or anything like that and made the decisions for the Pharoh does it? Nope. Thus Pharoh still had the ability to make the decisions himself. I do not disagree that God was not there to influence. But influence is NOT ordaining, decreeing, or controlling anothers free will.

And we have free will. We have the will to make decisions for ourselves. No one is making decisions for us. No one is controlling our decisions.

You can try to state as much as you want that we do not by convoluting what free will actually is. But that does not work. No matter how much influence there is we ultimately are in control of our decisions. We have free will to make our own decisions. And advanced knowledge by anyone or anything of our decisions is NOT removal of the free will because the decisions are still ours to make.

FZ+
But if God is allowed to harden hearts etc, what is then left of the free will defence for the existence of evil? Atheists don't require free will, and the pre-ordained feature is rather a diversion. The fact is however that the free will defence requires a very specific sort of free will which would then need the existence of evil, and this sort of free will is inconsistent if such train tracks exist to allow omniscience, or if we take some parts of the bible as accurate.

The making of decisions is meaningless if we are unable to affect the causality chain. If we have no effect. A slave has by your idea every power, but his power is ineffectual. Same here. And the free will defense requires that our lives are dynamic, unpredictable and hence require the option of evil.

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Originally posted by Tog_Neve
…In the case of the Pharoh as you have mentioned it does say that God hardened the heart of the pharoh...it does not say that God took over the Pharohs life/mind/ or anything like that and made the decisions for the Pharoh does it? Nope. Thus Pharoh still had the ability to make the decisions himself.
Tog,
Ok, maybe what that entire passage was actually talking about was nothing more than god inflicting Pharaoh with atherosclerosis and/or a bad case of angina…

Seriously though, god was affecting Pharaohs ultimate decision by altering his mental condition whilst he was unawares. This is deceitful and degrades the concept of free will. Your argument is like saying that god could twist my mind into thinking anything god wanted me to think, but because I ‘appear’ to make a decision at the end I must therefore have free will.

I do not disagree that God was not there to influence. But influence is NOT ordaining, decreeing, or controlling anothers free will.
Influence certainly DOES affect the decisions that people make, and clearly god does not seem to have sat down with Pharaoh and talked with him openly in an effort to convince him that reneging on his promise to let the Israelites go would be an idea pleasing to the god of Israel. No, what god did was something quite different altogether, causing Pharaoh to go back on what he had promised.

…And we have free will. We have the will to make decisions for ourselves. No one is making decisions for us. No one is controlling our decisions.
This is simply a belief and nothing more. Don’t you agree that god was hardening Pharaohs heart for a reason, and not just because god was bored and wanted to have some fun, knowing that it would all amount to nothing? What logical reason can there be except that god wished to have some control over Pharaohs ultimate ‘free will’ decision? Remember that Pharaoh had had enough of the Israelites and was prepared to let them leave before god worked his little trick. Free will? Ha!

You can try to state as much as you want that we do not by convoluting what free will actually is.
Convolute, shmongalute. I posted my interruption to negate what you said about;

“To state that our future is preordained or predestined means that someone else is imposing their will over ours. And this is simply not the case.”

… because what you said is completely untrue according to that story, as god did indeed impose his will over Pharaoh, hardening his heart and leading Pharaoh to have a change of mind about letting the Israelites go.

…But that does not work. No matter how much influence there is we ultimately are in control of our decisions.
Yes it does work, for if god is tampering with people’s minds and emotions then god is causing us to do things that we might not otherwise have done had god minded his own business. This affects our decisions absolutely and undeniably, and if our decisions are affected in such a way (especially without our knowledge or consent) then free will is largely a moot point, and perhaps like Pharaoh we are having tricks played on us too but simply don't know it. Impossible to know, true???

…We have free will to make our own decisions. And advanced knowledge by anyone or anything of our decisions is NOT removal of the free will because the decisions are still ours to make.
This free will you believe exists means nothing at all when god intervenes in such a way as we have been discussing, and leads me to my conclusion;

Ultimately, the position of god is insane. Imagine being reduced to creating your own game board, rules, and then worst of all by far stooping to tampering with the pieces in order to alter the outcome !!!
To me what this shows is simply the nature of a cruel, sadistic, cheat.

Gooday!

Iacchus32
*begin interrupt*

Isn’t it???

Tog, we have been over this matter before and according to the Bible god did in fact harden pharaoh’s heart, causing him to not release the Israelites. It happened more than once to this individual, btw.
I don’t see how, in clean conscious, one can excuse such tampering while continuing to insist we have free will, because to me it is simply a case of rationalizing away the obvious to continue what we want to believe.

Maybe I just have the wrong translation of something.

*end interrupt*
And yet the whole thing may just be illusory. Much in the way the "fierceness of the wrath of Jehovah" is none other than the "sun itself" shining in some arid desolate region. Whereas the sun remains a constant no matter where it shines, be it in the desert or, some lush tropical rain forest. In which case you really can't blame the sun, and yet it weren't for the sun, you would have neither the desert, nor the rain forest. While I think much of the same could be applied to the human condition with respect to God.

Iacchus32
Originally posted by Iacchus32
FZ+ actually poses a good question. Does time carry us? ... in the "active sense." Or, are we just a mere observer of its passing? ... in the "passive sense." I'm more inclined to believe that time is just a "passive experience" and doesn't really affect anything.
In other words it just goes along for the ride ... perhaps like a shadow?

Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet the whole thing may just be illusory.
That is exactly what I suspect. [:D}

Tog_Neve
Ok now lets go back and take a look at a couple of things here. You have caused me to study and study a bit I have. Further along than I had gotten to on my own as of yet (I am still only in Gen ;) )

Lets take a look at Exodus 7:3-4...and I am looking from Youngs Literal Translation.
This is before the plagues
7:3 And I harden the heart of Pharaoh, and have multiplied My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt,
7:4 and Pharaoh doth not hearken, and I have put My hand on Egypt, and have brought out My hosts, My people, the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments;

So God hardened the heart of Pharaoh sounds a bit more like God was trying to touch the heart of Pharaoh in order to let the people of Israel go. And lo and behold it states the Pharaoh did not hearken...which means listen.

We see the same thing mentioned is Exodus 9:12
And Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh, and he hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken unto Moses.

Otherwise all throughout this story it is the Pharaoh that has hardened his heart against letting the people of Israel go.

And as you can read that even with an influence of God the Pharaoh did not listen. So God did not override the Pharaoh's free will. This influence is no more so than what Pharaoh's own scribes have to state to Pharaoh in Ex 8:19 that "it is the finger of God". Even Pharaoh's scribes though could not influence Pharaoh.

Remember that Pharaoh had had enough of the Israelites and was prepared to let them leave before god worked his little trick. Free will? Ha!
And I have no idea where you got this idea from? Of which shows that you may not know of which you are talking about. The Pharaoh was never prepared to let the Israelites go...
First meeting of Moses and Pharaoh Exodus 5
5:2 and Pharaoh saith, 'who is Jehovah, that I hearken to His voice, to send Israel away? I have not known Jehovah, and Israel also I do not send away.'
And it even goes on to state that the work load of the Israelites was multiplied because "ye have caused them to cease from their burdens" Ex 5:4. And as punishment they were to make bricks from mud with no straw supplied...they would have to get their own straw.

Pharaoh was in no way preparing to get rid of his free labor...he was building himself an vast empire and monuments and great things in his name. He was not about to let his labor force just go free and away.

Again I state that God did not control Pharaoh or make his decisions for him. And the verses clearly state that even with an influence of Pharaohs heart the Pharaoh clearly exercised his free will and hardened his own heart against releasing the people of Israel. God wanted him to let Israel go...but he did not listen as the verses state.

Yes it does work, for if god is tampering with people’s minds and emotions then god is causing us to do things that we might not otherwise have done had god minded his own business. This affects our decisions absolutely and undeniably, and if our decisions are affected in such a way (especially without our knowledge or consent) then free will is largely a moot point, and perhaps like Pharaoh we are having tricks played on us too but simply don't know it. Impossible to know, true???
Then I propose to you to no longer read, watch TV, or do anything. Because everything you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, or feel can influence your decisions and thus possibly make you do something you would not normally do without any of those influences.

You attempt to pick and choose what influences are "tampering" with free will and which do not. A friend giving advice by your definition is removing free will. The directions a parent gives a child is tampering with free will. And quite frankly you are incorrect. An influence is just that...an influence. It does not ultimately control your decision. Your decision is still of your own free will. As even shown by the verses above even God's influence can be ignored...how? Because He does not control us, and lets us decide for ourselves. He does not make our decisions for us. Thus since our decisions are our own to make then we are not predestined/preordained... because those state that our decisions are not our own.

Originally posted by Tog_Neve
And I have no idea where you got this idea from? Of which shows that you may not know of which you are talking about. The Pharaoh was never prepared to let the Israelites go...
You have simply stopped your reading and quoting a tad short of the mark, that is all. Go to the next chapter, Tog. Here is the KJB at Exodus 10:20;

“But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.”

Gee, that kinda sounds like god controlling Pharaoh, doesn’t it?

Now if you read the next few verses (21 through 23) you get to see what god inflicted on the Egyptians following that particular heart hardening session. Next, in verse 24, Pharaoh has had enough and says;

“Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.”

So we can see from the above that they had been given the nod to leave. Next, Moses proceeds to tell Pharaoh they will need to take the cattle, too (for sacrifices). So the deal would seem all but done. Now look at what happens next in verse 27;

“But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go.

Do I need to go on? It is clear that god wishing to inflict the Egyptians with yet more plagues is the reason why he controlled the will of Pharaoh. Try reading Exodus 11:9 where god tells Moses;

“...Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

This is one of the reasons why this god is such a foul and cruel entity. What this god is calling ‘wonders’ is merely death and suffering on a grand scale.

Again I state that God did not control Pharaoh or make his decisions for him. And the verses clearly state that even with an influence of Pharaohs heart the Pharaoh clearly exercised his free will and hardened his own heart against releasing the people of Israel. God wanted him to let Israel go...but he did not listen as the verses state.
See above.

Then I propose to you to no longer read, watch TV, or do anything. Because everything you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, or feel can influence your decisions and thus possibly make you do something you would not normally do without any of those influences.
Straw man argument that has nothing to do with being forcefully controlled by god.

You attempt to pick and choose what influences are "tampering" with free will and which do not. A friend giving advice by your definition is removing free will.
The directions a parent gives a child is tampering with free will. And quite frankly you are incorrect. An influence is just that...an influence. It does not ultimately control your decision. Your decision is still of your own free will. As even shown by the verses above even God's influence can be ignored...how? Because He does not control us, and lets us decide for ourselves. He does not make our decisions for us. Thus since our decisions are our own to make then we are not predestined/preordained... because those state that our decisions are not our own.
Tell that nonsense to Pharaoh.

You cannot misdirect away from what god did to Pharaoh by making it seem like god was just a ‘friend’ giving advice to him, either. This is not the way the story goes at all.

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The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.
-- Mikhail Bakunin

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Tog_Neve
Ok so lets go back and read the story a little bit more for you. And we shall stick to a KJV for you.

Back in Ex 7:1-3 we see God talking to Moses "And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt"
So God has made Moses like a god to Pharaoh..in that great powers have been bestowed upon Moses to turn the water to blood, sticks to snakes, etc, etc. Godlike powers in comparison to the Pharaoh. But let me ask you this. If by hardening the heart of Pharoah God meant that he was going to turn Pharoahs "heart" against Moses why would he have told Moses that? Why say "I am going to give you all this power and through you I shall do these wonders, but I am also going to turn the Pharaoh against you so that everything you do will not matter."?
And then it goes on to also state 7:4 "But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you,..." So that the Pharaoh will not listen to you.
So it would then read that God will be granting Moses great powers and through Moses great wonders, and God will tell Moses what to say to Pharaoh. And God will harden the heart of Pharaoh, but the Pharaoh will not listen to Moses.
Exodus 7 does not read "I will harden SO that Pharaoh will not listen" but reads that "I will harden, but the Pharaoh wont listen"
Ex 7:14 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go"
Youngs "And Jehovah saith unto Moses, The heart of Pharaoh hath been hard, he hath refused to send the people away; "
Ex 7:22 "And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said."
Youngs "And the scribes of Egypt do so with their flashings, and the heart of Pharaoh is strong, and he hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken, "
Ex 8:15 "But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said."
Youngs "And Pharaoh seeth that there hath been a respite, and he hath hardened his heart, and hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken. "
Ex 8:19 "Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said."
Youngs "and the scribes say unto Pharaoh, It is' the finger of God;' and the heart of Pharaoh is strong, and he hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken."
Ex 8:32 "And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. "
Youngs "and Pharaoh hardeneth his heart also at this time, and hath not sent the people away. "
Ex 10:1 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: "
Youngs "And Jehovah saith unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, for I have declared hard his heart, and the heart of his servants, so that I set these My signs in their midst, "
Ex 10:20 "But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go."
Youngs "and Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh, and he hath not sent the sons of Israel away. "
Ex 10:27 "But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go"
Youngs "And Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh, and he hath not been willing to send them away; "
Ex 11:10 "And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land."
Youngs "and Moses and Aaron have done all these wonders before Pharaoh, and Jehovah strengtheneth Pharaoh's heart, and he hath not sent the sons of Israel out of his land."
Ex 14:8 "And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand."
Youngs "and Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursueth after the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel are going out with a high hand, "

Just looking at the literal translations does show some things in a different light. The use of the "so" is not in there. We also see strengtheneth used in place of hardened. This got me looking even further...as I like to do.
Using Hebrew Lexicon I searched under KJV for hardened.
The word that came back meaning hardened was
Kabed
- heavy
- massive, abundant, numerous
- heavy, dull
- hard, difficult, burdensome
- very oppressive, numerous, rich
Used in Exodus 7:14 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go"
So then a search on Strengthen
Resulted in Chazaq
- to strengthen
- To press, be urgent
- and many other meanings similar...to encourage, to prevail, to make firm, etc, etc
Used in Ex 7:14, 7:22, 8:19, 9:12, 9:35, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8

Now Chazaq has a couple of meanings that could apply actually....To strenghen or make firm but also to press or make urgent.
Logically as stated it would not make sense for the Lord to have told Moses that he was going to do such wonderous things only to have the Lord also tell Moses that he was going to make the PHaroahs heart difficult or kabed

This does show me that there are some translational hurdles that apparently went on. Either in words in the original Hebrew that had different meanings dependant upon the sentence structure they were or something else along those lines. I can very easily and logically conclude that several of the verses the Lord had pressed upon or made urgent to Pharaoh (influencing), and the Pharaoh did not listen. Since the beginning of the entire dealings with the Pharaoh and Moses it is established that the Pharaohs heart is hardened and that the Pharaoh further hardens his own heart that by the time we get to the end the Lord is pressing upon Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go. And that it should not have been translated as a "so" as the KJV has but as the Youngs Literal has it as an "and". The lexicon I used did not really go into depth on the words so or and.

So equipped with this evidence one could very logically conclude that the Lord was not controlling Pharaoh, or even influencing Pharaoh against Moses and the Israelites but in favor of Moses. But Pharaoh exercised his free will and chose not to listen, and hardened his own heart against it.

FZ+
And so god is not omniscient, is he?