Faith and Philosophy

Volume 38, Issue 3, July 2021

Fabio LampertOrcid-ID, John William Waldrop
Pages 287-301

Grim Variations

Patrick Grim advances arguments meant to show that the doctrine of divine omniscience—the classical doctrine according to which God knows all truths—is false. We here focus on two such arguments: the set theoretic argument and the semantic argument. These arguments due to Grim run parallel to, respectively, familiar paradoxes in set theory and naive truth theory. It is beyond the purview of this article to adjudicate whether or not these are successful arguments against the classical doctrine of omniscience. What we are here interested in is a way in which these arguments can be generalized. In particular, we show how generalizations of these arguments can target, explicitly, alternatives to the classical doctrine of omniscience, including what we here call restricted omniscience and open future open theism. As a corollary, considerations of Grim-style arguments do not support these alternatives to the classical doctrine of omniscience over the classical doctrine. We conclude that what is paradoxical is not the classical doctrine of omniscience just as such; rather, what is paradoxical is a core commitment shared by the classical doctrine and its more modest alternatives, namely, the thesis that God is a perfectly logical reasoner.