Appraising the Risks of Simple Foreknowledge
P. Eddy Wilson
To the popular mind gambling connotes frivolity,
carelessness, thoughtlessness, and irresponsibility. So, a good person may
take risks, but a good person would not be a gambler. Philosophers like Thomas
Flint and David Basinger suggest that if God’s cognitive experience did not
include middle knowledge, then God would be a risk taker of unprecedented
magnitude. Linda Zagzebski writes, “Middle knowledge is said to be knowledge
of what any possible free creature would freely choose in any possible
circumstance.” In short, Flint and Basinger maintain that God without middle
knowledge would become a “Cosmic Gambler”. Thomas Flint says,
if God knows only probabilities, then he takes enormous risks
in creating significantly free beings: he risks creating a world in which many
or most, or even all of his free creatures consistently reject him, a world in
which they use their freedom to degrade others and themselves. It seems to me
that one can reasonably argue that a good and loving God would not take such a
This essay explores the nature of the risks involved when
God’s cognitive experience does not include middle knowledge. In it I invite
readers to appraise what is the weightier of several risks that God might
confront. If it can be shown, as I shall try to do, that the “Cosmic Gambler”
is a straw man, then we may be able to appraise more fairly how risk relates
to God’s cognitive experience. What I shall argue in this paper is that God
without middle knowledge does not take unreasonable risks. I offer two
examples to enable us to think more concretely about the relationship between
God’s knowledge and risk: one is international, and the other is domestic. Ask
yourself what type of cognitive experience would best enable God to intervene
in these examples to attain a desirable outcome?
First, consider an international controversy. Today Israel
expresses its concern that Iraq may be moving toward nuclear armament.
Logically speaking Iraq will or will not develop weapons grade plutonium in
the next few months. I suppose that any international conflict of arms would
be at odds with God’s purposes for humanity. So, would the risk of political
instability in the Middle East be reduced or eliminated if an essentially
omniscient knower (EOK) has middle knowledge of Iraq’s nuclear capability?
Next, consider the domestic trouble of a woman writing to
“Annie’s Mailbox.” After three years of marriage the unemployed husband,
Lennie, has decided to return to school in a nearby city. When the woman makes
a pass at a friend, she questions her commitment to marriage. She asks Annie
if she should end the marriage. Annie advises her to decide whether she wants
the marriage to work and to consider moving. Suppose that the woman is
“Willie”, she resides in Tacoma, and Lennie is attending school in Seattle.
So, Willie will move to Seattle or she will not. Would there be less risk that
the marriage would fail if God had middle knowledge of Willie’s decision to
I. Describing Divine Cognitive Experience
To say that God has or lacks middle knowledge is to offer a
description of God’s cognitive experience. In Flint’s view unacceptable
risk taking was associated with an absence of middle knowledge. This treats
middle knowledge as a less risky type of divine cognitive experience. Before
we can make that judgment we need to have a better understanding of the
possible forms God’s cognitive experience may take, and we need to understand
the type of risks that may be involved in this assessment. I offer the
following chart to assist us in formulating a description of divine cognitive
(God Outside Time)
(God Within Time)
|Absolute Prescience (AP)
|Middle Knowledge (MK)
||Present Knowledge (PK)
The view that God knows all future events is termed absolute
prescience (AP) or Augustinianism. With AP God can foresee a single future
perfectly, since God controls absolutely those events that unfold in time.
William Hasker says, “[Augustinianism] holds, quite simply and
straightforwardly, that God determines everything that happens. There are no
constraints whatever, independent of the divine will, to which that will must
adjust its plans.” With AP God knows God’s will for all time, and there
may be no will other than God’s will that would create a conflict of interest.
For practical purposes AP reduces God’s knowledge to natural knowledge.
Regarding middle knowledge Zagzebski says, “Molina called it ‘middle’
knowledge because it stands midway between God’s natural knowledge, or his
knowledge of what is necessary and possible, and God’s free knowledge, or his
knowledge of what is actual.” In this essay I focus upon middle knowledge
and not AP.
The view that God knows the counterfactuals of free acts is
the view that God has middle knowledge (MK). To know a counterfactual of a
free act is to know what an actor would do were he or she presented with
different alternatives than those facing the actor. I suppose that St.
Augustine did not find the ring of Gyges, a ring that would make its wearer
invisible, but what would happen if he had? An answer would require middle
knowledge. Though middle knowledge could be used to identify the acts you or I
might now do if world events were different, God makes use of middle knowledge
prior to God’s creative work. Flint says: “Prior to any act of will on his
part, God knows which worlds are possible. Subsequent to his act of
will, he knows which world is actual.” The counterfactuals of MK
are relative to the world God selects to actualize.
An analogy may be drawn between middle knowledge and game
play. Players in a live chess tournament can only anticipate their opponent’s
next moves. If the opponent is executing an identifiable series of moves, then
the player may anticipate the outcome of that play, though other plays may
remain indefinite. As an alternative players can engage in a simulated game.
In the simulation the players would make previously identified moves such as
chess masters made in well documented games. The moves are predictable and
from them one can infer what moves were not executed, the counterfactual moves
of that game. The choice of one game for simulation determines what
unactualized opportunities would classify as counterfactuals. William
In the light of his middle knowledge, God surveys the creative
options available to him, and selects the one that is most pleasing and most
in harmony with his ultimate purpose for his creation. Middle knowledge is
intimately involved in the process by which the world comes to be as it is; it
is causally relevant to the highest degree.
Simple foreknowledge (SFK) is foreknowledge without middle
knowledge. With SFK God may know the end of a series of events. Simple
foreknowledge makes no reference to the counterfactuals that would be known
before creation if God had middle knowledge. SFK reveals not only the outcome
of a series of events but also the causal antecedents that lead to that
singular effect. As I shall suggest below SFK eliminates the sense of
calculated anticipation that accompanies present knowledge.
Finally, present knowledge (PK) is knowledge of events as they
occur in time. For God PK would be cumulative and comprehensive, but the
future would remain open, that is, contingent. Both Basinger and Flint
associate risk taking with an absence of middle knowledge. Without MK what is
at risk is the outcome of events, since the future is taken to be contingent.
Hasker says, “the theory of divine risk-taking, in its consistent form, holds
that since the contingent future is as such ontologically indeterminate it is
not capable of being known with exactness even by a perfect Knower. (A perfect
Knower knows all and only what exists to be known.)”
Implicit in the argument for MK is a value judgment. It is
suggested that some forms of divine cognitive experience are too risky for God
given the nature and reputation of God. This discussion does not explore the
notion that some of the four types of cognitive experience would not be open
to God. Rather it focuses upon the notion that God’s cognitive experience
should include or exclude certain forms of knowledge.
II. Risks to God and Theists – The False Dichotomy
Defenders of MK argue that limiting God’s cognitive experience
to SFK or PK is too risky. When Basinger contemplates what God would know
without MK, he maintains that the uncertainty of future outcomes introduces an
unacceptable level of risk for God and God’s creation. He says, “Assuming that
[God] desired to create a universe containing significantly free individuals,
he did not know ‘before’ creation exactly what would happen. . . . In short,
for a God with PK, the creative act was a significant gamble.” Where is
Basinger says, “let us grant for the sake of argument that a
God with PK does have the power to ‘veto’ the actualization of any free
choice. It does not follow that no human actions (as distinguished from a
human choice) will ever occur which God does not desire to occur.” Some
thinkers believe that if God were to intervene after a decision was made but
before it could be executed the outcome of the event could be controlled by
God. Basinger thinks that even in a world where God retains a veto power to
override human action God’s ends may still fail. Basinger says, “God chose to
create us with incompatibilistic (libertarian) freedom – freedom over which he
cannot exercise total control.” I would agree with Basinger and others
that the problem cannot be resolved by intervening in an alleged temporal gap
between the decision of an actor and the execution of the decision. That
is a red herring, since this aims to override the attempt to execute the
decision but not the free decision. The risk Basinger foresees is that
human actions will produce effects God does not desire. This risk of
undesirable outcomes I shall term a first order risk.
I state at the outset some assumptions I shall make regarding
risk taking as it relates to God. The liability of God for evil can be
correlated with an increase or decrease of freedom in the world. Free agents
may experience their freedom naturally or they may receive it through a
delegation process. If freedom is something that God can delegate, then the
more freedom that is delegated the less liability God would bear for the first
order exercise of freedom. Some traditions like Augustinanism maintain
that God alone is free; hence God bears all liability for evil in the world. I
assume that if there were an increase of freedom in the world, God would
become less liable for evil in the world.
Basinger’s description of risk lends support to a false
dichotomy: either God’s cognitive experience includes MK or God allows the
first order risk of human freedom to go unchecked. Implicit in the dichotomy
is the assumption that if the risk of human freedom goes unchecked, it will
result in some untoward events that God cannot veto. The first premise of the
dichotomy forms a logical disjunction, and it is treated as a strong
disjunction. The dichotomy entails the problem of evil. Either God is impotent
to do otherwise or God is not good, if God cannot eliminate first order risk.
However, the disjunction that introduces the dichotomy is neither well formed
nor sound. As a strong disjunction it is not well formed, since first order
risk could be checked by forms of divine cognitive experience other than MK
such as AP. It is unsound, since the risk associated with God’s cognitive
experience cannot be reduced to first order risk. Reducing the risk associated
with God’s cognitive experience to first order risk ignores the possibility
that God’s cognitive experience could include second order risks.
Below I shall discuss in greater detail how SFK entails second
order risks. Here I want to suggest that the disjunction fails to account for
the possibility that MK entails second order risks for God and humanity. First
order risk was identified as the risk of having untoward consequences when
free actors make choices contrary to the will of God. Basinger, Flint and
others suppose that if God had MK humans would still exercise their freedom to
make choices, but the outcome of these free choices would be no surprise to
God. Why? God would have made use of MK to determine what world to actualize.
MK would allow God knowledge of all the counterfactuals that
were not risked in the world that was chosen for actualization. The risk of
allowing free agents to produce undesirable effects would not be eliminated,
since the choice to actualize one world or another entails an identifiable
degree of risk. With MK the risk would become a necessary but well-calculated
risk. MK informs God about the (counterfactual) risks associated with
individual worlds God may actualize, but God retains the discretionary power
to choose one world to actualize rather than another. This discretionary power
to act upon the basis of MK introduces a second order risk. By choosing to
actualize this free world God determines that no other set of actual and
counterfactual choices would pose a greater threat to God’s reputation. With
MK God can actualize a world where the evil of first order risks are
minimized, but has God chosen to minimize the evil of first order risks? An
answer requires a value judgment, and it places God’s reputation at risk. How?
God’s reputation is placed at risk, since the claim that God has minimized the
evil of first order risks is a value judgment that not all qualified judges
would be willing to assert.
III. Risks of Present Knowledge and Simple Foreknowledge
God with PK encounters an unacceptable degree of risk in
Basinger’s view. He says, “to the extent to which human choice will play a
part in any future sequence of events, God does not know exactly how things
will turn out.” Absolute prescience (AP) can be used to eliminate first
order risk entirely, while middle knowledge can be used to reduce first order
risk to an identifiable and calculated risk. The first order risk management
made possible by AP and MK takes place before creation and they jeopardize
genuine freedom. Now we must examine the risks of PK and SFK more precisely.
Are SFK and PK useless for God’s management of first order
risk? To answer that question we need a better understanding of SFK. Elsewhere
I distinguish two types of SFK: fine-grained simple foreknowledge (FG-SFK) and
broadly comprehensive simple foreknowledge (BC-SFK). The first is
foreknowledge of specific events, and it may entail knowledge of the causal
antecedents. The second is a comprehensive and undifferentiated knowledge of
the future. One who knows in August, 2005, the winner of the 2005 World
Series has FG-SFK, but one who has BC-SFK knows all the baseball statistics of
the American and National Leagues for the entire 2005 Baseball season.
If SFK is broadly comprehensive, then it seems unlikely that
God has any discretion over God’s exercise of SFK. In other words, BC-SFK does
not lend itself to manipulation. If SFK is fine grained, then it is possible
that God could make discretionary use of foreknowledge or forego using it.
David P. Hunt suggests that God may employ a two tiered system for managing
SFK. Using an analogy of computer information Hunt suggests God can access SFK
that would otherwise remain unaccessed. Hunt says,
Adopting a computer model, we might say that knowledge can
exist in either an accessed or (as in the examples just cited) an unaccessed
form. But the Doxastic Principle almost certainly requires accessed knowledge
if it is to be at all plausible; thus the Strong Thesis can evade this problem
if unaccessed beliefs may be counted in determining the extent of an agent’s
Hunt’s example of the two tiers of computer information gives
us the notion of discretionary foreknowledge. I shall assume that FG-SFK is
normally in an unaccessed state and that unaccessed SFK does not intrude into
God’s occurrent beliefs. Some mechanism would allow SFK to be accessed on
cue. An analog may be found in the difference between my memories and my
occurrent beliefs. I may hold as an occurrent belief some memory, if I choose
to recall it. By exercising my memory I may recall the non-occurrent belief.
For me the recollection of memories may happen intentionally or
Does discretionary power over SFK improve God’s ability to
deal with first order risk? No and Yes. Hunt surmises that our account of
foreknowledge must take into consideration a metaphysical principle: “(MP) It
is impossible that a decision depend on a belief which depends on a future
event which depends on the original decision.” Unless we can make sense of
the notion of backward causation, a subject who has or acquires foreknowledge
of an event cannot change the outcome foreseen. For example, I mowed on
Wednesday believing that I would be traveling out of town on Friday. I did not
travel out of town on Friday. If I had foreknowledge on Wednesday that I would
not be traveling on Friday, I would not have mowed on Wednesday. The decision
to mow or not to mow on Wednesday was not caused by the decision on Friday to
change Friday’s travel plans.
Hasker argues that SFK is not useful for the purpose of
changing outcomes or the causal antecedents of those outcomes. The ability
to alter the outcome of a series of events would elude God or humans who
possess SFK of the outcome. This generates the dilemma of incapacitation –
either God has foreknowledge of an outcome or God can influence an event in a
way that changes the outcome. Speaking of SFK of a hypothetical marriage
(M) Hasker says,
God’s knowledge of M involves the entirety of causally
relevant past history of the universe leading up to M . . . . It follows from
this that God cannot use his knowledge of M as a basis for any prior action
occurring within the relevant past sector of space-time; the entire history of
the sector is presupposed in God’s knowledge.
If SFK is useless for the purpose of changing events, and if
God may access it at will, then God may also refrain from accessing SFK. The
likelihood that God could positively influence the outcomes of events would be
increased if God were to refrain from accessing God’s SFK. So, the repression
of SFK would enable God to act more effectively in achieving ends that would
be desirable to God or free agents. Whether an EOK could turn a blind eye
toward SFK would be contingent on the notion that FG-SFK can remain
unaccessed. In contrast, when SFK is accessed it necessitates the outcome, and
undesirable outcomes cannot be remedied. They are beyond redemption, since the
outcomes are known as actual and not as possible outcomes.
Basinger notes that without SFK God has only PK and the
ability to anticipate how things would turn out given the actions and
circumstances involved. This sense of anticipation is not to be confused
with MK. The calculated probabilities gained with PK may be adequate to direct
affairs toward desirable ends in most cases, but they offer no assurance that
undesirable counterfactuals are eliminated. Without MK what cannot be chosen
before creation is a select series of events that would identify those
counterfactuals that shall never come to be actualized. With PK only the sense
of divine anticipation can greatly minimize risk, though it cannot eliminate
In Hunt’s view God has discretionary access to SFK. I maintain
that this constitutes a second order power, since God has the power to repress
SFK or to raise SFK to the level of an occurent belief. So, God is liable for
this second order power of having discretionary access to SFK. God makes
use of SFK only after God has already chosen what world shall be actualized.
The discretionary use of SFK is a second order power, and its use entails the
necessity of some first order risks as does the use of MK. In other words,
invoking SFK can effectively eliminate the uncertainty associated with first
order risk taking, since one who has SFK knows the precise risk that is
involved. God’s use of SFK entails that God cannot alter the future risk. The
risk is no longer unknown, but the risk is known as an actual risk. God
becomes powerless to do anything other than bring about the end foreseen.
One of the difficulties confronting God is the decision to use
or forego SFK. If Hasker is correct, then SFK is useless for the purpose of
changing the outcome of an event. If Hunt is correct about God’s discretionary
power, then SFK may be useful in those instances when God would bring closure
to a matter. So, the second order decision to use or forego SFK creates an
identifiable risk. If we suppose that SFK is fine grained, then the decision
to use or repress SFK is one that must be made repeatedly. In other words, it
is a decision that God must make for each instance that God would influence.
As we conduct our risk assessment we may compare the second
order decision to use SFK with the use of MK. Descriptions of MK suppose that
humans still act as free agents making first order decisions. God can still
influence those first order decisions. Yet, the option that MK presents to God
is to actualize or to refuse to actualize one world along with its
counterfactuals. So, I would regard the exercise of MK as a second order
decision. Once MK is exercised the outcome is as certain as the outcome of
SFK, but the effect is systemic rather than local. When God makes use of MK
the range of first order events is defined relative to the counterfactuals
neither God nor humans may actualize. So, the loss of freedom becomes massive
with the exercise of MK.
If God has PK only, the future remains open to God, and the
possibility arises that some undesirable outcomes will occur. Those first
order risks are eliminated or reduced to a necessarily calculated risk by the
exercise of SFK or MK. However, the use of either SFK or MK involves second
order risk. With the use of SFK God becomes fully responsible for the outcome
of first order events. We may speak of free choices of persons only in a
qualified sense. With the use of MK God becomes fully responsible for the
choice to actualize one world and thereby insure that the counterfactuals to
that world remain unactualized. By using PK only God mitigates responsibility
by allowing free agents to make choices and to share responsibility for their
free choices. God without MK may be a risk taker, but God without MK is no
gambler. Though God with PK only may take grave risks, those remain first
order risks. God with SFK or MK must take second order decisions that involve
considerable risk, and God must assume full responsibility for those risks.
Our investigation exposed a false dichotomy – either God lacks
middle knowledge and becomes a cosmic gambler or God uses middle knowledge to
identify risk and eliminate it from the outset. I suggested that the risks
associated with PK had to be understood as first order risks, and I suggested
some guidelines for evaluating that risk. I also suggested that God’s decision
to use SFK posed a second order risk, but it was a risk on a manageable scale.
The magnitude of the second order risk associated with MK dwarfed any second
order risk associated with the use of SFK, since MK is used to make a systemic
choice that impacts all subsequent first order choices of God and humans.
Consider how God’s cognitive experience could impact the two
cases I described in beginning. If God uses MK or SFK to eliminate the first
order risk of uncertainty, there is no guarantee that God shall achieve the
end God desires without a significant loss of human freedom. In other works,
MK or SFK may only confirm that an international conflict shall or shall not
occur in the Middle East depending on what God disallows. In the second
example if God uses MK or SFK to salvage the marriage of Willie and Lennie,
then God must assume full responsibility for the future of their marriage.
Taking full responsibility for their marriage does not insure that it will
succeed, since the very attempt to salvage their marriage may result in its
dissolution. Since God with SFK may foresee its ruin, that insight would be
useless for the purpose of salvaging the marriage. When God’s reputation is at
stake, it seems the odds favor a God who makes use of PK only rather than SFK
 Linda Zagzebski, The Dilemma of Freedom
and Foreknowledge (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 125.
 See David Basinger, “Middle Knowledge
and Classical Christian Thought,” Religious Studies 22 (Sept., 1986):
 Thomas P. Flint, Divine Providence: The
Molinist Account (Ithica, New York: Cornell University Press, 1998), p.
 See “Iran’s Nuclear Advances Worry
Israel”, News & Record, Greensboro, North Carolina, September 28, 2004, page
 “With husband away, wife is tempted to
play”, Annie’s Mailbox, News & Record, September 29, 2004.
 The case may become clearer if we state
some of the variables in logical form:
- Lennie will remain in residence in Seattle. (Assumption)
- Either Willie decides to move to Seattle, or Willie decides to
remain in Tacoma.
- If Willie decides to move to Seattle, then she will have to
seek new employment.
- If Willie seeks new employment, then she will have to give up
her tenure and benefits at her old job.
- If Willie remains in Tacoma, then she will meet Sam.
- Sam’s marriage failed, and he is searching for a new
- If Willie finds Sam compatible, then Willie will end her
marriage to Lenny.
What conclusion can we derive from these disjunctions and
conclusions? If there is no assumption to logically close the first
disjunction, we may arrive at no conclusion. Given what I now know, I have no
warrant for the conclusion that Willie and Lenny lived happily ever after. If
this were the conclusion to be drawn, then the premises might well be
understood as a series of enthymemes, and we would ask the reasoner to supply
the suppressed premises. For all practical purposes middle knowledge supplies
the suppressed premises so that the foreseeable conclusion attains.
 For the purpose of this essay I shall
focus on four forms of divine cognitive experience only. I suppose that God’s
cognitive experience could assume other forms, but I shall not explore that
 For the moment I shall assume that the
chart I introduce describes how our understanding of human freedom is to be
related to descriptions of God’s cognitive experience. No doubt, there are
exceptions to these generalizations.
 Additional details may be added to the
chart to assist readers who wish to correlate divine and human cognitive
(God Outside Time)
(God Within Time)
|Absolute Prescience (AP)
||Simple Foreknowledge (SFK)
|Middle Knowledge (MK)
||Present Knowledge (PK)
|| Consistent with
|Entails Second Order
||Entails First Order
 William Hasker, “The Antinomies of
Divine Providence”, Philosophia Christi 4 (2, 2002): 363.
 Zagzebski, Dilemma, p. 125.
 Flint, Divine Providence, p. 153. I would compare middle
knowledge to the software some fiction writers now use that enables them to
forecast how their protagonist would behave if he or she were placed in
different circumstances. Both the fiction writer’s protagonist and the actor
in a world where God has middle knowledge do not experience libertarian
freedom. Their freedom is a freedom of constraint rather than a radical
freedom to choose otherwise.
 Even if creatures act out free choices
the prior choice of what world they shall act within is determined by God’s
exercise of middle knowledge. Middle knowledge is systemic knowledge that
provides complete a set of counterfactuals given the assumptions that certain
facts shall obtain middle knowledge is not the cause of what follows. Instead
middle knowledge is used to discern how world events will unfold in one world
rather than another. The actual world is one more scenario that happens to be
God’s preferred scenario of world history. In selecting what one world will be
actualized God determines what sets of counterfactuals will be relevant and
what sets will not. In this essay I shall not address the problem of how we
are to regard the truth value of counterfactuals.
 Hasker, Antinomies, p. 368.
 Hasker, Antinomies, p. 364.
 Here we are discussing what form(s) of
cognitive experience should be included in a description of God’s cognitive
experience. To determine what forms can be included in God’s cognitive
experience requires a thoroughgoing examination of variables like the
permanency of the past and backward causation. Linda Zagzebski adopts this
line of inquiry in her essay “Omniscience and the Arrow of Time”, Faith and
Philosophy 19 (4, 2002): 503-519.
 Basinger, "Middle Knowledge," p. 413.
 Basinger, "Middle Knowledge," p. 412.
 David Basinger, “Practical
Implications,” in The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional
Understanding of God, edited by Clark Pinnock, et. al. (Downers Grove,
Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994), p. 156.
 Basinger, "Middle Knowledge," p. 412
 Ibid. See also Edward R. Wierenga, The
Nature of God (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989), pp. 82-85.
 The notion that God delegates some
freedom to free agents roughly approximates the position free will theists and
open theists want to defend. Process theists would be comfortable defending a
notion that freedom necessarily belongs to life forms other than God like free
 Those willing to argue for a free will
defense must take the academic risk of having abandoned classical or
Augustinian tradition. This academic risk is not a risk to God, but it is a
risk associated with the discussion that must be considered by those who take
up the gauntlet. Can they risk abandoning tradition, since this will mean
endorsing “non-traditional theism”? That must be decided by each thinker.
 Basinger, "Middle Knowledge," p. 413.
 See my essay in progress “Simple
Foreknowledge and the Dilemma of Incapacitation.” If we assume that time is a
compilation of discrete events, then the broadly comprehensive form of SFK
includes knowledge of all future times and all events associated with each of
those discrete moments of time.
 David P. Hunt, “Divine Providence and
Simple Foreknowledge,” Faith and Philosophy 10 (3, 1993): 409.
 The problem of SFK is complicated if we
use the analogy of memories. Long term memories are formed from immediate
experience. Recall is an active, cognitive exercise that brings within the
realm of occurrent beliefs those memories stored in long term memory. This
analogy becomes troublesome when it is observed that these memories were at
one time immediate experiences. So, the problem confronting a defender of
Hunt’s two tiered system of SFK is that of establishing the primitive state of
SFK that is unaccessed.
 Hunt, "Divine Providence," p. 398.
 William Hasker, God, Time, and Knowledge
(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989), p. 60. Here Hasker assumes that only
one set of causal antecedents may issue in the effect. Only if the same effect
could be produced by a different set of causal antecedents would God be able
to influence the quality of the event.
 I discuss this problem at greater
length in my essay, “Simple Foreknowledge and the Dilemma of Incapacitation.”
I assume an essentially omniscient knower can have AP, MK, SFK, or PK. In my
essay I introduce the following dilemma:
P 1. If an essentially omniscient knower (EOK) lacks
foreknowledge of the outcome of an event, then the EOK can intentionally
contribute to the outcome of that event.
P2. If an EOK has foreknowledge of an event, then the EOK is powerless to
intentionally contribute to the outcome of the event.
P3. An EOK has foreknowledge of an event or lacks foreknowledge of an event.
P 4. So, an EOK cannot contribute to the outcome, or an EOK can intentionally
contribute to the outcome of an event.
 William Hasker, God, Time, and
Knowledge, p. 61f.
 Basinger, "Middle Knowledge," p. 413
 See note 27 above.