Divine foreknowledge and human freedom

From Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy:

Since God has an eternal and omniscient nature, his knowledge surpasses time’s movements and is made in the simplicity of a continual present, which embraces all the vistas of the future and the past, and he considers all this in the act of knowing as though all things were going on at once. This means that what you think of as his foreknowledge is really a knowledge of the instant, which is never-passing and never-coming-to-be. It is not pre-vision (praevidentia) but providence (providentia), because, from that high vantage point, he sees at once all things that were and are and are to come.

* * *

God can see as present future events that happen as a result of free will. Thus, they are, from God’s point of view, necessary, although in themselves they do not lose the freedom that is in their nature. All those things, then, that God knows will come to be will, indeed, come to be, some of them proceeding from free will, so that when they come to be they will not have lost the freedom of their nature, according to which, until the time that they happened, they might not have happened. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s