You speak of ability and possibility in a divided sense. That is, given X man is able to do A, but if you consider all factors (including Y), man is unable to do A. When I say man is able to do either A or B, I am speaking in a compound sense, including all factors. You are saying X doesn't prevent the man from doing A, but Y does. I am saying no preceding cause renders him unable.You said if man is physically able to do something, LFW entails that he is able to do it.
This is not what LFW is saying. LFW says that given all preceding causes (physical, mental, spiritual...) man is able to do this or that. LFW states man has ability in a compound sense, not a divided sense. Thus even if a man is able to do something physically (ie a divided sense of ability), that action still might not be within the scope of LFW, if something else prevents it.
If I said I am able to lift a 10 lbs weight, but not a 1,000 lbs weight, what am I saying? Am I saying that I can lift a 10 lbs weight, even if I don't have a 10 lbs weight? No. Am I saying that my muscles might lift a 10 lbs weight even if my brain tells them not to try? No. What I am sayings is that given the opportunity and my decision to try, my body can perform the task (provided nothing interferes). But if I have the opportunity to lift a 1,000 lbs weight, and I decide to try, my body cannot perform the task. So saying I am able to lift 10 lbs is speaking generally. Speaking generally is a divided sense, not considering certain things.
I have been lurking in the shadows of Godismyjudge's intereaction with Triablogue, but could no longer resist when I read the above summary explanation.
I think its one of the better explanations I've seen from an LFW advocate.
The problem has several heads:
1) The convention of saying "I can bench 150 lbs." even when there is no ready way to do so conveniently at hand, is perfectly normal. Saying that I "can bench 150 lbs." meaning that I am in a compound, LFW position to be about to do so is not a normal way of talking.
That's not inherently bad. After all, we can use words in philosophy in specific technical ways that the words are not used in common speech. I do that with "foreknowledge," and rightly so. But,
2) If G admits that he is using the term philosophically, not conventionally, he has to acknowledge that Scripture references to "choice," "choosing," and the like are using that term in the conventional sense (at least in most cases), and that the burden is on G to establish some reason to suppose that the term is being used in the specialized, technical, philosophical sense that G needs. And,
3) If G admits that the divided sense is the conventional sense, then he has to acknowledge that the Calvinist interpretation of the word is the conventional sense, and, thus, that the various referneces to "choice," "choosing," etc. are generally consistent with Calvinism. Additionally,
4) It's not at all clear that early Christian users of the term "free will" such as Justin Martyr (as it is widely believed) or Augustine (which seems still more certain) meant it in the compound and not the divided sense, and
5) In fact, it may be hard to find (and I'll leave this to the LFW proponents, if they like) anyone before the scholastics, and probably not until the 17th or 18th century, that so defines "free will." In fact, I cannot specifically recall where Arminius himself so defined "free will," though my depth in Arminius surely pales compared to that of some of the Arminians that have stopped by this blog in the past. Likewise,
6) This compound sense of LFW is not necessarily the sense of LFW that tends to find support among the general populace of folks who embrace LFW (which is demonstrable from their difficulty in properly enunciating it as G has done). So,
7) The easiest and best thing for G to do would be simply to discard this view of LFW as an unnecessary and vain philosophical construct that tends to confuse and obscure the issue (through appeals to intuitions that are connected with the conventional sense of the term), in favor of the conventional definition of freedom of will in a divided sense.
I realize that the quotation above was G's attempt to explain what he thinks, not WHY he thinks it. It is bound to be assertive, not demonstrative, for that very reason. I am not faulting him for that, and I'm not planning to publish any comments that just say "G hasn't demonstrated that LFW exists." I agree: he has not; but he wasn't trying to do so, and assertion has its proper place.