I distinctly remember trying to come up with the biggest number as a child. I would say something like one-hundred-trillion-billion-quazillion, and then my older brother would torment me by saying one-hundred-trillion-billion-quazillion-and-one. I canâ€™t wait to torment my kids with that when they get to the right age.
The age where that works is fleeting. At first they are too young to appreciate the problem, and then very quickly, they get old enough to appreciate the silliness of the exercise. Of course, there is no â€œbiggest number.â€ It is so obvious that it is hardly worth stating.
But, wait, does it make it more interesting to ask if God knows what the biggest number is? After all, he knows everything, right? After careful consideration, I conclude that it doesnâ€™t make it any more interesting. The thing that makes it obvious and silly is that there is no biggest number, not that I had some limitation in figuring it out. God canâ€™t know the biggest number because it doesnâ€™t exist to be known.
Okay, so where am I going with all of this? This is where: the logic that says God cannot know the biggest number also says that God cannot know the future exhaustively. Assuming, as I do, that the future goes on forever, there is always more to be known, just as you can always add â€œand-oneâ€ to a big number. If God knew all of the future, it could not be infinite. This leads to the conclusion that it should be *obvious* to say that God doesnâ€™t know the future exhaustively–in the same way it is obvious to say God doesnâ€™t know the biggest number. And yet, many people believe God does know the future exhaustively. If you are one of those people, I am interested in your reaction to this argument.
Godâ€™s foreknowledge has been debated at length on this blog, but not recently. In fact, those debates predate my discovery of NCT. Blake and Geoff have been advocates of the idea that God does not know the future exhaustively, and I side with them on this one. Nevertheless, I know there are a lot of you out there in the bloggernacle who believe God knows the future exhaustively. How do you account for the future being infinite? Or is the argument fundamentally flawed? What do you think?
 Blake Ostler made reference to a similar argument many years ago in his excellent paper The Mormon Concept of God pg 77. He notes that the basic logic of this argument can be found in Brigham Youngâ€™s correction of Orson Pratt concerning Godâ€™s foreknowledge (see footnote 38).