a1 Assistant Professor of Philosophy, The University of Maryland
The problem of foreknowledge and freedom presents a challenge to the defender of traditional Western theism. Nelson Pike has argued that the existence of an essentially omniscient God who possesses foreknowledge is incompatible with human freedom. Pike's opponents in this matter, among whom is Alvin Plantinga, argue that no incompatibility has yet been shown. I shall develop the view that neither Pike nor his opponents have conclusively settled the question whether foreknowledge and freedom are compatible. Furthermore there is a reason why the issue has not been, and may never be, conclusively settled: it is an inherently paradoxical issue. To aid in demonstrating this point I shall discuss a modified version of a paradox that has come to be known as Newcomb's Problem.