Sunday, March 22, 2009

Determined Choices

Paul Manata at Triablogue has a fascinating post on Determined Choices (link). He provides a reasonably concise explanation of how God's declaration that he decides when we die (John 14:5) and the fact that people sometimes choose to kill themselves are compatible, not contradictory. Thus, he reasonably concludes that the nature of free will is at it is described in Calvinism.

-TurretinFan

9 comments:

Turretinfan said...

Some anonymous blasphemer has been harassing this comment box. This is just a comment to let him know that his sin has not gone unnoticed.

bossmanham said...

But God determined he would commit that sin, did He not?

Turretinfan said...

God surely did determine both that the blasphemer would blaspheme and that the blasphemer would do so out of the abundance of his own wicked heart. That is to say, God determined it, but God didn't force it.

bossmanham said...

How is that not a contradiction? Could the blasphemer not have done it of his own free will? After all, who could not do something if God determined they would do it?

Turretinfan said...

"How is that not a contradiction?"

Man willing and God pre-determining that man would will are compatible, not incompatible. Thus, there is no contradiction.

"Could the blasphemer not have done it of his own free will?"

That's kind of a moot point. He did do it of his own free will. He could have done it under compulsion if, for example, the real blasphemer had put a gun to his head and made him type something blasphemous. But, of course, that didn't happen. The blasphemer blasphemed freely.

"After all, who could not do something if God determined they would do it?"

It seems you're focused on what didn't happen, rather than on what did happen. It seems a little puzzling.

-TurretinFan

bossmanham said...

If God pre-determined the sin, there is nothing the man could have done anyway. Sure, if God works this way, then the man willed it because God willed it for him. This makes the man an automaton.

natamllc said...

If I might, TF, to that last question, it was a could of, would of and should of question begging to be answered.

It is possible, all things being considered then that he couldn't of, wouldn't of, but rather, shouldn't of answered it, that is, if he answers you?

The question asked:

"...."After all, who could not do something if God determined they would do it?"...."

Why do we focus on what could have been done, would have been done or should have been done and not what was done?

That too is compatible with God's predetermined Will seeing the fact remains that nothing has yet been done to answer the question!

:)

Turretinfan said...

BMH:

You wrote: "If God pre-determined the sin, there is nothing the man could have done anyway."

This kind of claim is a bit silly. Let me explain why I say that.

Yes, there cannot be a world where God predetermines that the man does "X" and the man actually doesn't do "X".

But it's also true that there cannot be a world where God knows in advance that the man does "X" and the man actually doesn't do "X".

But this idea of creating a world where there is a conflict between what is and what God has either predetermined or foreseen is not a meaningful way of talking about what man "could" do. Instead, we talk about what man "could" do in terms of things like whether he was compelled - whether a gun was placed to his head.

In this normal way of talking, under either case, the man "could have" done something other than what he did, but the man chose to do what he did.

You wrote: "Sure, if God works this way, then the man willed it because God willed it for him."

If God works the way I described, the man wills it this way freely, because God willed that man would do so.

Thus your following comment does not follow: "This makes the man an automaton." Instead, man is still man. Man is not another god - man is not free from God's sovereignty. But Man does things voluntarily, unlike an automaton, even though God decrees the actions: both the free actions of men and the mechanical actions of automatons.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Bossmanham,

I got your latest comment. It makes accusations and gets up on a soapbox, but does not answer my comments.

I don't mind your disagreement, but if you want to participate, you have to be able to give an answer - not just assertions.