900.13b Conflict: Divine Knowledge / Man’s Freedom (p.135)

hard cover page 135

One problem with positing a steady-state Divine real-time omniscience is that it involves a violation of privacy-a privacy which was mandated at the denouement of the Eden narrative.529 It also would compel intercession by a merciful Deity to counter evil at a certain threshold. This second factor would again limit man’s freedom by virtue of the fact that it limits man’s freedom to perform evil or that which might ultimately lead to evil. Again, freedom to act only in morally prescribed ways, while in many respects desirable, limits man’s freedom and potential. Since gross evil does exist, we conclude that realtime omniscience is not a steady-state situation.

For we are disinclined to the notion of a super-stoic Deity who sits on the sidelines observing great evil and abomination, and does not intercede in order to achieve “higher” purposes. For then to what avail is the concept of El Moleh Rachamim-a God full of mercy? To the extent that we anthropomorphize God’s moral interaction with man, following well-established Jewish traditional doctrine, we plead guilty.

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529 See also section 800.30 above.

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