This article is written to inspect the conflicts of freedom, and foreknowledge of God, and to propose some alternate ideas extending beyond orthodox theories of divine timelessness and monolism. I wrote this article before reading a segment of Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy” written in 524 AD, which deals with the same topic. His explanation is not exactly what I present, but a more technical argument supporting the harmony of free will and foreknowledge.
God is not a subject of time, because He created all things, and is the God over time. Besides being timeless (beyond the bounds of time, endless, eternal), God is “time-full.” He is always past, present and future. By knowing all our actions before and after we do them, God knows what actions we will/did freely do. Since God is past, present, and future, God has freedom in all realms simultaneously. Except for God, freedom is only possible in the present. We cannot perform a different action than an action that has already been done. One cannot alter their destiny because if they decided to do something they normally would not do, it would in fact be their destiny to do something they wouldn’t normally do. Without knowing everything, like God, we cannot truly alter our destiny. Because God knows every single thing, He is the only Being that has the ability to change our destinies, but because He does not force you to do the action, He does not redefine your destiny or confine your freedom. The only way for Him to hinder a person’s freedom is to make them choose something they do not choose to do.
If we are free, we have the freedom to choose anything we are capable of doing. We are not free to be timeless, or to become God, or to redo the past, or to change God’s foreknowledge. We are not free in the sense that we cannot change our choice we made in the past, or act beyond the laws of physics. Although I have to abide by the laws of gravity, I can still make choices. I can still lift my left hand or lift my right hand. Although a limitation may be put on me, I can make choices because I am free. I consider myself free although I have a limitation, because I have the ability to make decisions. Even if “Someone” knows that I am going to do something, or have done something, it is irrelevant. Just because God knows/knew the action, it does not stop my action. It does not change my action. It does take away that action. For example, my friend knows that I will raise my left hand, but the fact that he knows won’t stop me from doing it. I am not influenced because he knows. My freedom to lift my hand will only be removed if my friend stops me. God does not put our hands down when he wishes us not to. That may be one reason why there is evil in the world, because God allows it through the freedom of mankind. God did not actually create evil, but it was formed as a bi-product of mankind (and the freedom given it).
The basic argument goes that if God knows every action of every time, including what we have not yet performed, then there is no way to change (even with freedom) what God already knows. This is true, but this does not automatically conclude free will is an illusion. Like I state before, there is no causal impact upon the knowledge set in God’s mind. The factor of time is opposed on us, not God. Because time is not applicable to the knowledge of God, there is no “God already knew.” God is not riding the train of time with us. The essence of God dwells in an all-encompassing, everlasting time-frame.
There is no earthly way to become 100% “free.” If you want to be ultimately free, you have to be God. You must dwell in each dimension of time, and you must have unfathomable powers. I am perfectly satisfied being the “free” that I am, because I am not being ultimately oppressed. No one is stopping me. Only I can stop myself, because I have the freedom to stop myself.