Category Archives: Divine Mathematics

Divine Mathematics: Molinism’s Three Logical Moments and Divine Timelessness

God has three “logical moments” in his knowledge according to Molinism: knowledge of what could occur, what would occur, and what will occur. Now, this last moment (God’s “free knowledge”) seems to require that God be temporal. But Molina could not have thought this, since he was a Catholic (I think timelessness was de fide in the 16th century?)

Anyway, maybe he could have said this.

The three logical moments of knowledge in God exist simultaneously, as sort of three premises that he deduces in one timeless act. If this is true, it seems God’s free knowledge of what “will” occur would more correctly be called his knowledge of what “is occurring at such and such a time.” For “will” occur imports temporal passage into God’s knowledge, which wouldn’t exist if he were timeless.

Or you could look the creation of the world like an equation. 1 + 2 = 3, where 1 is God’s natural knowledge, 2 is his middle, and 3 his free. Now, God being timelessly omniscient could know all possible permutations and equations, and he could timelessly choose to actualize whichever equation he thought best. Thus God timelessly contemplates a particular equation as actually existing, and timelessly contemplates an infinite number of other equations as not existing, but as possibly able to exist were he to will their existence.

Maybe I should buy part IV of the Concordia and see if he addresses this issue specifically.