Why Would God Create People He Knows Will Go to Hell and Why Does Simple Foreknowledge Deny that God Can Know What Someone Who Never Exists Would Do?

, posted by SEA

On his website, Arminian Perspectives, Ben Henshaw has a questions page at which he answers questions about Arminianism and Calvinism that visitors to his site pose in the comment section of the page. Here is a question from a commenter with the screen name TDC:

Question: My question is related to the question “Why would God create people whom he perfectly foreknew would reject Him and go to hell?” I understand that this question is answered here


though I have trouble understanding why God can’t know what a hypothetical person might do, even if there is no person to know about.

Answer: [Editor’s note: Ben answers this question from a Simple Foreknowledge position. A Molinist Arminian would answer differently.]

Because there is no person to know anything about, just as you said. That seems plainly absurd to me. How can God know what a person (and remember there is no “person”, nor will there ever be) would freely do in a situation when the “person” will never exist to make the free choice or be in that situation? If God could know such a thing it would only be possible within the framework of determinism where God could know what such a person would choose simply because God would know what He would cause the person to choose. But the Arminian is operating from the perspective of freedom, and not determinism. For that reason, the objection, based on the presupposition of determinism, cannot succeed. It is simply question begging.

Also, if God did foreknow what a person would freely choose and then not create that person based on that knowledge, God would falsify His own foreknowledge by not creating that person. God would essentially make Himself wrong by making something He foreknew happening as not happening, or making a person He foreknew as existing, never to exist. Since God cannot be wrong, He cannot not create someone based on what He knows this “person” (who will actually never exist) would do or choose. Do you see the problem?