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Do We Have Free Choice? Part 1

If G-d Knows the Future, How Can We Make Choices? The Perceptive of Jewish Philosophers

1 hr 27 min

Class Summary:

If G-d Knows the Future, How Can We Make Choices? The Perceptive of Jewish Philosophers

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    Free choice

    I understand that we're here because that's Hashem's will. However, this will must reflect on Hashem's essence to some extent. Therefore, the Zohar, and Toras HaNistar in general cannot really just say that it none of our business, because the Ramchal in Derech Tvunos says that Toras HaNistar is learning about Hashem's essence! If so, the rationale behind His will cannot simply be ignored.

    Also, regarding the issue of His knowledge vs. free will. Scientists talk about the multi-verse. That is, all possible futures exist in a multiplicity of futures. Each future depending on the decisions of each individual at every moment.

    I don't believe that this is so, because it means that Bechira is meaningless. Everyone has chosen correctly and incorrectly.

    However, perhaps Hashem knows all possible outcomes resulting from all possible decisions until the end of the world, without necessarily knowing which outcome will occur. For example, a chess game starts with 20 possible moves for white. Black has 20 possible moves with which to respond. The number of possible positions at that point is 400. There are at least 20 moves available for white depending on the 1st 2 moves made, resulting in over 8000 possible positions. In the same way, Hashem knows the effect of every possible decision on all of existence, before the decision is made. This is like the chess player who knows all 8000+ possible positions before the game even starts. As decisions are made, the future becomes more limited. That is, the number of potential positions from that moment shrink. After white's first move, there are not 8000+ potential positions, because white chose 1 specific move. After that, there may be only 500 possible positions after 1 1/2 moves.

    I'm not sure that this is a valid approach. (Personally, I don't believe in it.)
     
    I am most comfortable with the approach that Hashem is outside the dimension of time. As such, as far as He is concerned, everything has already happened. In addition, because time and motion are intertwined according to Einstein, Hashem cannot move. כבודו מלא עולם. He's already filling every space. Since He is a יחידות שאין כמוהו, movement has no meaning to Hashem. Therefore, time does not exist for Him, either.

    Just some thoughts.

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    • AC

      Allan Cooper -3 years ago

      very interesting thoughts

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  • NO

    Nate Offenberg -7 years ago

    Sorry, asked my question before watching the whole class. The question was answered.

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  • NO

    Nate Offenberg -7 years ago

    The problem i have with the Rashbatz and Ralbag is; Time is just a creation of Hashem..
    Since he created it , past present and future all happen simultaneously. Also the question of this class seems to be mute since; G-D is infinite in his capabilities why put limits ..why can't he know what we call the future and still give us free choice.
    By asking the question of the class it would seem that we are judging Hashem's abilities based on our capabilities and since in our world it is impossible we apply this to Hashem without considering the true definition of infinite " WITHOUT LIMITATIONS"

    Nusi Offenberg

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  • A

    Alex -9 years ago

    i think that וכל זה איננו שוה. that the Raaved says doesnt mean that his answer is not an answer, it means that it didnt pay to open this conersation

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  • SU

    Scroll Up -9 years ago

    The audio is very unclear, will there be a higher quality version available? Thanks.

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • January 11, 2015
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  • 20 Tevet 5775
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  • 6704 views

Dedicated in merit of Avraham Moshe ben Esther Avigayil

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