How do you solve the apparent contradiction between God being all-knowing and all-seeing, but giving us free will to make our own choices?

If God already knows what is going to happen, then isn't free will just an illusion? If we really do have the freedom to make our own choices, but God is all-seeing, then doesn't he already know all the choices we are ever going to make?

And if He already knows all the choices we are ever going to make, are they really choices?

asked 19 Feb '10, 19:16

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 19 Feb '10, 19:32

As I see it, God is that universal consciousness that we are fractions of.

God is all-knowing and all-seeing because we are, collectively speaking.

In the beginning, there was nothing, only void. Somehow the void became aware of itself. Thus the concept of existence was born. The first duality was born (non-existence vs existence). Thus the concept of boundaries, separation. The consciousness created fractions of itself in order to observe itself, and these fractions are us.

We have free will because that's how creation works. We create as we go.

It seems we are striving towards the assumed opposite of the nothing: the everything, the completion of the concept of existence, whatever that may look like, if-ever that may be possible. We are striving from 0 to 1, from Alpha to Omega, from nothing to everything. Maybe that mission is fulfilled when every thought has been thought and every creation has been created.

Sure, then again, we learnt to believe time is an illusion. So, from a perspective "high" enough where the concept of timelines dissolves, we would already see everything that has ever been created.

But if just one of our countless free will choices and creations wouldn't have been made, there would be something missing. Existence would be incomplete.


answered 19 Feb '10, 21:48

herzmeister's gravatar image


The purpose for creation is growth and expansion. Without free will we would be living like automated robots- no growth or expansion would be taking place and what a boring life that would be. Although 'God is all knowing' I don't interpret this statement in the context that our destiny is pre-determined or etched in stone -'He knows' what choice we should make in any given situation but leaves that choice to us; otherwise he would just be a puppeteer and we his puppets.


For some reason this question popped into my mind today again and I kept thinking of that line from The Lord's Prayer - "Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven". This has me pondering that maybe free will is really an illusion of the ego. When we use our free will to make choices, from that perspective, we really don't feel good,however when we make our choices from a God or loving perspective we are putting our ego aside and doing God's Will and thus we feel good about the choices we make. So don't we really have to relinquish our free will and do God's Will in order to realize happiness?


answered 20 Feb '10, 14:20

Michaela's gravatar image


edited 02 Apr '10, 17:40

I think God's will is the most "optimal" choice we can make for the well-being of ourselves and those around us and for the universal consciousness we live and weave in. But it takes us for it to be manifested. We also can make "wrong" choices, and they will also exist because they have to, their outcome will have a valid existence in time and space and thus belong to the "all there is and ever will be". "Wrong" things however are unstable, will have to be nurtured artificially and thus will crumble sooner or later, albeit they can be tough like our financial system. ;-)

(02 Apr '10, 18:11) herzmeister

So it is really just the lesson learned from the 'wrong' thing that will become part of "all there is and ever will be" if the 'wrong' thing itself eventually crumbles?

(03 Apr '10, 13:23) Michaela

In this point of view, I meant that also the 'wrong' things will become of the "all there is and ever will be". Time might be an illusion after all, and whatever happened, happened. ;-) That there are "lessons" to be learned might finally be a good reason why "wrong" things have to exist after all. It's interesting to note however that we alone judge if we made a mistake or not and if there is a lesson for us to learn.

(06 Apr '10, 00:32) herzmeister
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

Your question contradicts itself, because humans are asking the question. We decided that God is all-knowing and we decided that we have free will.

How do we really know?

It's not like we can just ask God, like getting a video replay in a line-ball decision.

Maybe we are wrong about these suppositions in your question.


answered 19 Feb '10, 20:46

TheSevenMan's gravatar image


I don't understand your question. Just because God is all knowing has nothing to do with God giving us free will. Just like parents knowing the outcome of the decisions their kids make. The parents still let the kids make their decisions and face the consequences there of. Does this mean the parents made the choices for their kids?


answered 19 Feb '10, 21:37

RPuls's gravatar image


Without personal or spiritual growth there is no expansion.I might be wrong or I might be right.But we all just grew because of my "Choice". We all chose to live in this Illusion for one reason only, to learn for God.


answered 19 Feb '10, 19:58

Roy's gravatar image


IF god were always ALLKNOWING and ALL POWERFUL,then how is it possible that we,gods creation' exist in the prestent realm TIME ,if god wer presently all knowing their would be no further thought to occupy his mind..wich proves that KNOWING ALL is impossible, what all is their for god to know??? knowing all means he knows absolutley nothing,or perhaps HE doesnt exist....the world that we exist inn could not possibly be a creation of an ALL POWERFUL/ALL KNOWING its 2 small of an idea 2 occupy HIS thinkin,the fact that the bible says he creates something NEW into existence apart from himself, is evidence that he indeed did not always have all knowlege..just a random theory for your topic

not 2 claim im correct


answered 03 Mar '10, 22:56

shylo's gravatar image


it is part of the plan for your evolution,
self consciouness will lead to greater awareness of what is going on,
how it is that you are a part of the whole, divine intuition again


answered 08 Dec '10, 00:56

fred's gravatar image


God ways are very mysterious to man, and man ways are an open book to God!

If God is all knowing, and then of course he knows you, inside out, but do you really know yourself the way God knows you?

So, God gave man free will to help man to have a more fruitful, and productive life, and he gave man the opportunity to lead, to direct, and to control his own life by the choices he makes. So, indeed, man could be his own best worst enemy, based upon the choices he makes, but without choices what would man life look like?

Did you ever stop to think, what if you had to eat Pork every day for dinner? So, God knows the heart of man, and he knows that free will enhance man’s experience in life!


answered 25 Jan '11, 08:21

Inactive%20User's gravatar image

Inactive User ♦♦

The concept of quantum physics and parrallel realities is what helped me to see that life is like a Choose your own adventure book. We have choices to make all the time. Each choice takes us to a different future than if we had made another choice. There is a law in physics that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Because we have free will, this law does not apply to us. Yes, there will be an equal reaction, but what that reaction is, is our free will to decide. We can react with opposite force, or turn it around into a possitive one. For example, in the Bible it says to pray for your enemies and also it says to pray without stopping. So when I am driving on the road, and another driver cuts me off I have a choice to get angry and yell, cuss, etc... creating a negative environment for me and everyone in my car, or I can pray for that person and ask blessings for them, creating a sense of calm and peace for myself and anyone in my car and perhaps the other driver as well. This is free will. Both choices have different futures.


answered 11 Mar '11, 18:41

Fairy%20Princess's gravatar image

Fairy Princess

If we take someone that is not so good at chess and put him against a master chess player, the not so good player has free will to pick any moves. The master chess player is thinking like 20 moves in advanced so no matter what move the not so aware chess player picks the master chess player knows what we he will do even before he chooses. The inexperienced chess player feels he is calling all the shots and indeed he is but the master chess player knows what those choices will lead to that the inexperienced player does not and contributes to bad luck, mistakes, poor choices if I would have known then what I know now I would have chosen differently. This of course makes no difference to the master chess player as he knows even if this inexperienced player chose differently he would still say he made the wrong choice and wish he could have saw that coming. Maybe next time he turns to a fortune teller to tell him what to do, this only makes things worse because now he is really not growing giving away his control to outside authority. But these of course are all his free will to do what he chooses. No matter what the master chess player will win every time since he knows what the inexperienced chess player will do.

God is infinite intelligence he can see infinite moves ahead maybe even for all time. So if a master chess player can know what an inexperienced chess player will do. Even though it is his choice what he picks to move. Do you think it may be possible for God to know every single thing we will do before we do it, even though we have free will to do what ever we choose?


answered 11 Mar '11, 20:48

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

Wade, I really like this analogy. It shows that "all things" do "serve the Lord". Thanks for taking the time to post this answer. It has really made me think about my choices...Love, Jai

(12 Mar '11, 06:04) Jaianniah

This, really, is not a question. you assert a litany of false assumptions in it. you presume that there is a gawd. second, you presume it is all-knowing. third, it's a him. fourth, that there is a "we." and fifth, that "we" have free will. the real question is, from which of these angles do you wish to tear apart the question to expose the beliefs. I would start with the "free will" part and see if you can prove it to yourself somehow. i'll start there too. by choice.


answered 07 Dec '10, 08:52

mr.g's gravatar image


I read that God is not like Santa Claus so asking for things isn't going to get what you want. I accepted this theory and stop getting angry at God for "ignoring" my prayer request. This same book says that God gave man free will and that he, God, won't intervene in our choices so that we may learn from our choices. If this is true, then why are we even praying? Wouldn't this mean prayers are just a waste of time since God isn't "Santa" therefore is not going to change a situation just because we prayed for it? Then why are we even praying?


answered 18 Apr '11, 17:34

sonia2's gravatar image


yes god know all! but you don't and having free choice gives you option he is the father you are the child! so experiance and learn child and try to make the right choice for you and other! the journey is more important then the target!free will is the greatest lesson you can have! what choice are you going to make? will you use free will to help people around you? will you use free will to help yourself? will you use your free will to not imposse your will on other? will you use your free will to show example of how to be in life?


answered 14 May '11, 05:52

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

edited 06 Jun '11, 02:29

Free will is an illusion. Free will means you chose on your own, uninfluenced. But our own conditioning through experiences and influences immediately negates free will. Yes we have free will based on our own experiences. Uninfluenced, NO. Not free will.

That is why your free will is different than mine.

Free will is as much as an illusion as time.

good luck


answered 14 May '11, 07:11

you's gravatar image


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