This post is a continuation of
this earlier post, which itself is an offshoot of
the Inventokos post.
Now, Godismyjudge (aka GIMJ or Dan) has written:
Dear Turretinfan,You asked for a reconciliation between LFW-P and my three points.
LFW-P “man is able to do either A or not-A prior to the deed”
And Man is:
1) Able T=1, to choose or not choose A
2) Able at T=2, to stop willing A at T=3, without an external sufficient cause
3) Unable at T=2, to be choosing and not choosing A.
#1 “Man is Able T=1, to choose or not choose A” is essentially LFW-P. I suspect that’s not where you have questions, but if you do please ask them.
#3 is essentially the excluded middle principle you used to drive a wedge between LFW and LFW-P. IE man can’t do the logically impossible.
#2 is the interesting one. I will try to make it boring by rephrasing.
2* man is able at T=2, to stop or continue willing A at T=3.
Now it’s the same as 1 and LFW-P. The only difference is inception verses continuation of a choice. IE let’s say I choose to run a mile. At the ½ mile point, I have to continue in that choice.
I worded #2 differently. I didn’t use alternates (ie stop or continue), but only one object: continuation. Hence I added the qualifier: “without an external sufficient cause”. For our present purposes, please think of a sufficient cause as that which necessitates in an LFW-N sense. So if there is a sufficient cause for A, A is LFW-N. So 2 and 2* have the same import.
That’s a high level matching of points 1-3 and LFW-P.
Thanks for your response to my question. I will get back to you on it.
God be with you,
I respectfully disagree with at least some of your statements above.
Allow me to begin by pointing out again the definition of LFW-P:
LFW-P is defined as “man is able to do either A or not-A prior to the deed”
Your numbers 1-3 do not derive from LFW-P, but are rather new ideas.
In view of that position of mine, and for convenient reference, I will refer to them as LFW-3 (your number 1), LFW-4 (your number 2), LFW-5 (your number 3). At one point you provide yet another definition which at first appears to be neither derived from LFW-P, nor from your points as written, but which you refer to as 2*. Nevertheless, because it may be derivable from LFW-P, I will refer to this definition as LFW-P2.
LFW-3 defines freedom as: “Man is Able [at] T=1, to choose or not choose A”
This is not the same as LFW-P.
The first difference is minor, in that the genus "deed" has been replaced by the species "choice," which is one type of deed. This is a minor difference, as I would view LFW-3 as derived from LFW-P if it were a species of LFW-P.
The notable difference, however, is "is able ... prior to the deed ... to do," vs. "[at] T=1 ... is able to choose."
Surely you see the difference.
"Prior" means before the event, whereas "[at] T=1 ... is able to choose" means at the event. At and before are distinct concepts.
You wrote: "I suspect that’s not where you have questions, but if you do please ask them."
I respond: It's not so much that I have questions, as that it is important for us to be clear. To be clear, as shown above, LFW-3 is not the same as LFW-P, nor is it derived from LFW-P.
LFW-4 defines free will as: "Man is Able at T=2, to stop willing A at T=3, without an external sufficient cause."
This definition has the same "at"/"prior" difference from LFW-P as does LFW-3. LFW-4 introduces a further difference, the qualification "without an external cause."
This qualification did not derive from the definition of LFW-P. Instead, the qualificaiton LFW-4 appears to be simply your insertion, Godismyjudge. That's one reason it really ought to have its own label, as opposed to be a species of LFW-P or even LFW-3.
Another difference is "stop willing" as compared to "do" (LFW-P) or "choose" (LFW-3). Since to forebear is a deed, albeit a negative deed, this simply provides a species or example, and if it were only for this difference, we could accept LFW-4 as a species of LFW-3.
LFW-5 defines (apparently necessity) as: "Man is Unable at T=2, to be choosing and not choosing A."
LFW-5 is simply a species of Logical Necessity. I think we are in agreement (for once) on this, inasmuch as you comment: "#3 is essentially the excluded middle principle you used to drive a wedge between LFW and LFW-P. IE man can’t do the logically impossible."
One follow-up needs to be provided, though. I am not here to force any position on non-Calvinists. You can pick your definitions, and I wll analyze them. My analysis will be as pointed and thorough as I can provide, but we're keeping busy enough with actual definitions.
LFW-P2 is defined as "man is able at T=2, to stop or continue willing A at T=3."
LFW-P2 can be viewed as a species of LFW-P.
Reasons why LFW-P2 can be viewed as a species of LFW-P:
- The specific designations T=2 and T=3 (understood as T = 3 is later than T = 2) are examples of the general principle of "prior."
- The two qualifers of the act of "willing," namely "stop or continue" are mutually exclusive qualifiers, such that they form examples of the general principle "do A or not-A."
The criticism provided in the Inventokos post applies with equal force to LFW-P2, and LFW-P2 does not provide freedom at the example T=3, but only at the example, T=2. Thus, man's acts under LFW-P2 are not free any more than man acts are free under LFW-P, which (we have shown) is zero freedom.
You remark: "Now it’s the same as 1 and LFW-P."
I reply: It is a species of LFW-P, but it is not the same as LFW-3 (your "1"). The same "prior" difference noted above applies to LFW-P2 as it did to LFW-P.
You continue: "The only difference is inception verses continuation of a choice."
I reply: You have verbally conflated the act of choosing with the object of the choice. The inception versus continuation are not differences in the choice, but in the object. Allow me to demonstrate.
Using your example: "IE let’s say I choose to run a mile. At the ½ mile point, I have to continue in that choice."
I reply: Notice that the object of the choice is "run a mile." At the ½ mile point (and arguably at every conscious moment along the way), you have a choice about whether to complete the running of the mile or quit. Nevertheless, those choices are different choices - not the same choice, strictly speaking.
The language in your example provides an interesting hook for our discussion. You wrote: "At the ½ mile point, I have to continue in that choice."
Now, we both know you meant that "have to continue" as assuming the unstated "if I am to go on to complete the mile." In other words, neither of us would say that you are under an absolute necessity to complete the mile, in ordinary speech.
Nevertheless, if we adopted LFW-P or LFW-P2, we might imagine such a scenario, where you were free to choose to continue only at the starting line, not at the ½ mile point. That, of course, is an absurd world, which is why we should recognize the absurdity of LFW-P and LFW-P2 and return to the simple, Calvinistic sense of freedom of will, as de jure and de facto freedom, as described in the Inventokos post.
You stated: "I worded #2 differently. I didn’t use alternates (ie stop or continue), but only one object: continuation."
I reply: I don't have a problem with your implying one of the two alternatives. I know what you mean when you say a choice to continue: you mean a choice between continuing and not continuing (and likewise you convey the same thing negatively when you say "stop").
You wrote: "Hence I added the qualifier: “without an external sufficient cause”."
I reply: Non Sequitur. No qualifer is necessary if your goal is simply to convey the same information, since - as noted above - we can deduce the other alternative from the stated alternative.
You continued: "For our present purposes, please think of a sufficient cause as that which necessitates in an LFW-N sense."
I reply: I point you back to my earlier comments about the confusion that the use of the verb "necessitate" creates.
Nevertheless, as I understand you, you are saying that sufficient cause (SC) is anything that produces LFW-N in an act. Recall, however, that we already established that LFW-N is just logical necessity. Furthermore, recall that we established that the basis for logical necessity is the nature of God. This would seem to render "external" superfluous for everyone except God. As a corollary, however, it also produces the result that "without [the nature of God]" is a null set, because the nature of God applies everywhere and over all of time.
Nevertheless, there's no reason to start addressing the sufficiency of causes, so let's not force that particular definition on SC just yet.
You continued: "So if there is a sufficient cause for A, A is LFW-N."
I reply: Possibly you meant to insert "external" again? Or perhaps you recognized its superfluity and omitted it? In any event, everything that happens is LFW-N, because LFW-N just logical necessity, and everything is subject to logical necessity.
You wrote: "So 2 and 2* have the same import."
I respond: NS, QED.