If God is Omniscient, then how is it possible that we have free will at all?

One argument commonly used against free will is that if God is All-Knowing and already knows about the future, then everything must be predetermined. It is thought that God’s Omniscience contradicts free will. Either humans do not have free will or God is not All-Knowing. 

The problem in this argument is that it equates God’s Knowledge of the future with God causing the future to occur. Just because God knows what will happen in the future does not mean that He is making it happen. God’s Knowledge is independent of what actually takes place

A simple example can be used to explain this concept.

Assume someone is holding a pencil in the air, about a foot off the ground. We know that if the person lets go of the pencil, the pencil will fall to the ground due to the force of gravity. Let us assume the person told us he will let go of the pencil at a particular moment in time. Now we know that not only will he let go of the pencil, but when he does let go, the pencil will fall to the ground. 

Another example would be that of a teacher who after teaching her students for an entire year knows which one will pass and fail – but the teacher still gives the exam so that the students make their own destinies. However, her knowledge of who will pass and fail does not determine who will pass and fail

Our knowledge of what will happen when he releases his grip on the pencil does not mean we are causing the pencil to fall. Rather it is the person’s freedom of choice that causes him to let go of the pencil, which in turn causes the force of gravity to let the pencil drop. 

Similarly, human beings are like the person holding the pencil. We have the freedom to make the choices we make. God is aware of what our choices will be along with their outcomes, not because He is making them happen, but simply because He is All-Knowing. 



Leghaei, M. (n.d.). Einstein’s paradox: God’s omniscience and man’s freewill. Retrieved from

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