Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

christians.....if god is omniscient.?

why do you need to pray, since he knows, allegedly, what you're going to ask for anyway.

and when two people ask god for opposing things who gets their prayer answered.



i'm sure no matter how much you pray, it will have no tangible influence on the outcome.

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    God can be omniscient ONLY if we DO NOT have 'free will'.

    'Omniscience' is logically incompatible with 'free will'. 'Omniscience', all by itself, is sufficient to put the lid on 'free will'; omnipresence and omnipotence are irrelevant. It is not necessary for god to intervene in order to negate 'free will' as a possibility. Omniscience negates free will all by itself.

    If we really DO have 'free will', then an omniscient god is logically excluded. The logical fallacy lies in the premise that if god is omniscient, all outcomes are already known to god... everything that you think, decide and do... and everything that you WILL think, decide, and do.

    For an omniscient being, all of existence over all of time is laid out as a tapestry before him... past, present and future, down to the smallest detail of material, of thought and of deed, and all is constantly in his awareness. There is no past, present and future from that perspective... there is only an eternal 'now'.

    If that is the case, since god already knows everything that will happen, then everything is already decided... and as we go along through life, we are merely doing what has already been seen by god. Since god knows and sees everything that will happen, NOTHING that we think or do can be contrary to what god already sees and knows. We might THINK we have free will... but since we are merely acting out what god already sees and knows, this can be no more than an ILLUSION of free will.

    Put another way, if you come to a point of decision, you have no choice but to take the path that god already knows you will take... there is no other option. That works all the way down the path of cause-and-effect... and, along the way, it even casts doubt on the validity of the concept of cause and effect. I don't want to get into that, though... it makes my hair hurt.

    So, imagine that since before time began, since before the universe was created, god has 'known' that you would come to a point of decision at some spatial and temporal coordinate, and that faced with the possible paths A and B, you would take path A.

    Now, during the course of your life, you arrive at that spatial and temporal coordinate where this choice exists. You evaluate the potential outcomes, and you have it in your head that you have 'free will', and thus, you are free to choose between path A and path B. However, since god is 'omniscient', and god 'knows' that you will take path 'A', then path B IS NOT an option... it IS NOT a matter of choice... it is a 'NECESSITY'. OF NECESSITY, you WILL take path A. Not 'must'... not 'can'... WILL take path A. You DO NOT have a choice. Path B is NOT an option... it is not even a POSSIBILITY. The best that you can achieve is the ILLUSION that you are free to choose.

    So, either god is omniscient OR we have free will. It is QUITE IMPOSSIBLE for BOTH of these conditions to coexist.

    The only way out of this logical dilemma is to limit god's power; i.e., start taking away things that god can see and know, until we get to a point where free will BECOMES a possibility. But when we start doing that, then he ceases to be omniscient... and thus ceases to be a 'supreme being'.

    So... free will is an impossibility concomitant with an omniscient diety. The following sums up the possibilities:

    1. There is no omniscient diety... therefore, the whole argument is stupid and irrelevant.

    2. IF we possess 'free will' AND god exists, THEN, of necessity, it is IMPOSSIBLE that god is omniscient. (This does not preclude the notion of 'god'... it just means that he can't be as 'supreme' as one might think he is... or wish him to be.) You are (logically) obliged to acknowledge that god CAN NOT BE all knowing... and since omniscience is one of the things that makes god 'all powerful', then this means that god CAN NOT BE omnipotent, either.

    3. IF god exists AND god is omniscient THEN, OF NECESSITY, it is IMPOSSIBLE that that we have free will, and you are (metaphorically speaking) nothing more than a piece on god's eternal game board; and, thus, "... man is not responsible for his actions."

    Personally, I vote for number 1. You can pick any one you want... but YOU MUST PICK ONE, because there are NO OTHER possible outcomes... NO OTHER logically valid choices.

    It is unfortunate (for the Abrahamic death cults of desert monotheism) that the concepts of god were solidified as dogma a few thousand years before the philosophical discipline of 'logic' was dreamed up by the Greeks. Those that concocted the religion did not have access to the intellectual tools that would have enabled them to realize that they had messed up with respect to assigning god's impossible attributes. It wasn't until the 4th century that this logical impossibility garnered serious attention, and churchmen got their theological "dancin' shoes" on, trying to weasel their way out of the logical dilemma.

    They did not succeed, and this issue continues to be debated even 'til this day. This logical dilemma (and the resulting 'cognitive dissonance') was a key element in some of the various 'heresies' that were spawned in the early days of Christianity.

    However, the simple observation that these impossible beliefs still exist shows that this does not seem to have been a very big hindrance, under the simple expediency that "There is no problem so big that we cannot ignore it, until it will go away." Too bad for them, though... it DOESN'T go away.

    Corporate religion is helped along by the fact that most 'believers' do not employ logic or critical thinking skills; heck... that's why they're believers in the first place. If they employed logic and critical thinking, they WOULD NOT BE believers. So, even though these concepts create a logical impossibility, it does not seem to present a significant problem for them. Why should it? Their followers seem to be immune to the influence of logic, anyway... so... no worries.


    Source(s): DuckPhup
  • 1 decade ago

    Christians aren't the only ones to believe God is omniscient. I pray to show my love for Christ. I know my parents love me yet them saying it means more sometimes than them just assuming I know. I'm sure the sentiment is returned.

    Prayer is not just for God, it's also for his people. Two people praying for opposing things, I guess it would be up to God to answer who gets their way. Or maybe you can conduct an experiment of two people praying for opposing things and see what happens. If nothing happens then maybe you're praying to a God you don't believe in.

  • 4 years ago

    Ha! of course He knew that the Bible in 2007 will sound weird and wonderful. this is why there's a determination of sixty six books interior the Bible. in case you don't get one, perchance you get the different. all of them talk with reference to a similar element. BTW... the slavery and the wars, and how women have been dealt with, wasn't God's thought or doing, this is crystal clean adult males did it. God sent His Son, and rescued a prostitute from being killed by the mob. which could supply you a concept approximately God's view. yet... hmmm, some human beings can study the full Bible and in no way get it. bear in mind, each and every e book of the Bible advance into written with a definite purpose. you come across the significant, you comprehend the e book. do no longer study the Bible until eventually you prefer to unencumber the code. Or, study it.. even possibly you will get it, sometime!

  • 1 decade ago

    Prayer changes our hearts, not God's mind. It's the best thing we can do to aid our own spiritual growth and foster a closeness to God.

    When 2 people pray for opposing things, their prayers are both answered, but in different ways. Perhaps one will get what they pray for and the other will get a change of heart on the issue. Or perhaps neither will get what they ask for and both will receive a change of heart.

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  • Sal D
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Omniscient is being applied in the wrong way. One can be all-knowing without being all deciding and all controlling. For example, If I know every last detail of how a process works but am letting others run it, I may choose not to interfere unless my assistance is requested. Someone who is all-knowing may also choose not to exercise all of that power and authority unless a person opens up to them. This is what free will and privacy is all about.

  • 1 decade ago

    How many people does God watch over? Sometimes, people feel that, with a prayer, perhaps they will get God's attention a little more at that moment. Sometimes, it's helpful to put into words, whether in your own head or vocalized in prayer, what you feel you need to communicate with God about at that given moment. God answers the prayers he deems worthy individually.

  • Misty
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Yes, God does know what we will ask for, but that doesn't mean that if we don't ask it will be done anyway.

    You are right, there are times when people are praying opposite each other so to speak. God allows all things that happen and there is his glory there. Everything is answered to sharpen our faith and our focus on him. If you pray for something, the greater good is that your are communicating with God. This opens your soul to his grace and mercy. This is the "seek and you shall find" promise at work.

    Prayer is our communication and interaction with the Creator. He desires us and we seek him.

  • 1 decade ago

    Prayer is far deeper than just asking for things. You can liken it to a small child asking the parents for things. As a parent, you would use the asking and the ensuing conversation to teach the child. Prayer is communication and learning about God.

  • 1 decade ago

    If your son or daughter wanted something from you and you knew what it was. Didn't you wait for them to ask nicely for it, or do you just give them everything they want all the time.You don't always get what you ask for. Theres probably a reason for it. Maybe you don't deserve it or maybe if it's given to you it will hurt you in the long run. God is just watching out for us.

  • 1 decade ago

    Do you know what your kids (or any kids) want ? Why do they need to ask ?

    The prayer answered is the one that follows the will of the Father.

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