Why There Can't Be Infallible Foreknowledge of Libertarian Free Choices
I say that God cannot have infallible foreknowledge of creaturely libertarian free choices. By 'infallible' I mean the impossibility of error. By 'foreknowledge' I mean knowledge of an event that is temporally prior to that event. Thus, "S foreknows that event E will occur" means that at some time t S knows that E will occur at some time subsequent to t. By 'knowledge' here I shall mean merely non-accidentally true belief. By 'true belief' I mean one the propositional content of which corresponds to how things actually are. By 'libertarian free choices' I mean choices in which the agent has an unconditional power to choose otherwise immediately prior to the time of the choice.
Now, for knowledge to obtain requires that there be a proper sort of relation between knower and known. Since knowledge entails truth, and truth consists in correspondence with reality, knowledge requires that there be a correspondence between mind and world, between what is believed to be the case and what is the case. Furthermore, since knowledge entails that true belief be non-accidental, there must be something that grounds or secures the mind-world correspondence. The possibilities for this seem to be limited to the following:
- World determines mind (e.g., God knows what will happen because it does happen).
- Mind determines world (e.g., God knows what will happen because he decrees that it happen and ensures that that decree is fulfilled).
- There is a probabilistic, non-determining relation between mind and world.
- There is a brute, ungrounded correlation between mind and world.
If (2) is the case, then God can have infallible knowledge of creaturely choices, but these choices cannot be free in a libertarian sense. If God knows that a creaturely choice will be made because he determines that it is made, then the creature cannot have unconditional power to choose otherwise. Instead, the creature will only have a conditional power of contrary choice - it is only IF God had decreed otherwise, that one could have chosen otherwise.
If (3) is the case, then God can have "knowledge" in the sense of non-accidentally true beliefs about what creaturely libertarian free choices will be made, but this knowledge cannot be infallible. Infallible knowledge requires not merely non-accidental truth, but also the impossibility of falsity.
Finally, if (4) is the case, then God can have true beliefs about what creatures with libertarian freedom will do, but not knowledge. The reason is that, on this option, the non-accidentality criterion for knowledge is not satisfied. That God's beliefs about what will happen sync up with what does happen turns out to be sheer luck.
So something has to give. We have to reject either (a) creaturely libertarian freedom, or (b) exhaustive, infallible divine foreknowledge.