Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Simple Argument Against Libertarian Free Will from Foresight

1. Libertarian Free Will has, as a core element, the ability of a person to do otherwise. [def.]

2. The ability to do A means the power to bring A into existence. [def.]

3. The ability to do A given B means the power to bring A into joint existence with already-existent B. [def.]

4. If it is logically impossible for A to exist jointly with B, then it is impossible to bring A into joint existence with already-existent B. [def.]

5. Let A refer to a person doing otherwise than X, and let B refer to God foreseeing the person doing X (at the same time and in the same way, etc.). [def.]

6. It is logically impossible for A to exist jointly with B. [implied from 5 by consideration of God's infallibility of foresight]

7. Therefore, it is impossible to bring A into joint existence with already-existent B. [from 4 and 6]

8. Therefore, it is impossible to do A, given B. [from 3 and 7]

9. Therefore, given God's foresight that a person will do X, it is impossible for the person to do otherwise than X. [from 5 and 8]

10. Therefore, Libertarian Free Will is false. [from 1 and 9]

-TurretinFan

139 comments:

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Subscribe.

Godismyjudge said...

1 is in a divided sense and 9 is in a compound sense. So 10 is a division falicy and does not follow.

It's like saying 4 is an even number. 1 and 3 are parts of 4. Therefore 1 and 3 are even.

Yes, the combo of doing nonX and God foreknowing X is impossible, but that doesn't mean doing X is impossible.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Dan:

In order to show that something is a division fallacy, you need to show that there is a movement from a whole to a part, such that something can be true of the whole but not true of the part. You haven't done that here. So, you haven't justified your assertion that there is a division fallacy here.

Regarding: "Yes, the combo of doing nonX and God foreknowing X is impossible, but that doesn't mean doing X is impossible."

It means that doing X is impossible given God foreseeing X. (I prefer "foreseeing" to "foreknowing" since the Bible uses the term "foreknowing" differently than philosophy does - but that's a tangent)

If your position is that LFW is true only in a divided sense, you seem to be positing only a hypothetical freedom, not an actual freedom. Is that your position?

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Hi TF,

In order to show that something is a division fallacy, you need to show that there is a movement from a whole to a part, such that something can be true of the whole but not true of the part. You haven't done that here. So, you haven't justified your assertion that there is a division fallacy here.

I am not sure I agree with that definition of a division fallacy but so that we don’t equivocate, what I mean by a division fallacy is reasoning that what is true of the whole must also be true of the parts.

9 is a statement about a whole (i.e. both God’s foreknowledge and our doing otherwise) and statement 1 is about just our ability to do otherwise (and statement 10 is a negation of the same). So you argued from a truth about the whole to a conclusion regarding one of the parts. Without additional argumentation, the conclusion does not follow.

Regarding: "Yes, the combo of doing nonX and God foreknowing X is impossible, but that doesn't mean doing X is impossible."

It means that doing X is impossible given God foreseeing X.


No, there’s a difference between:

doing X [or rather nonX] is impossible given God foreseeing X

AND

# 9 “given God's foresight that a person will do X, it is impossible for the person to do otherwise than X”

9 is in a compound sense because the “it’ refers to the combination of God’s foreknowledge of X and doing nonX and ‘doing X’ refers to just doing X.

If your position is that LFW is true only in a divided sense, you seem to be positing only a hypothetical freedom, not an actual freedom. Is that your position?

No. A divided sense of logical possibility is all that is needed to preserve the real core of LFW; causal possibility. The assertion, Bob is able to do X is in a divided sense from a logical possibility perspective. But it’s also an assertion regarding Bob’s abilities or causal powers. This is real and doesn’t disappear in a compound sense.

God be with you,
Dan

wtanksley said...

I agree... But when I used this argument the response was that God's foreknowledge is _grounded_ on our actions; our actions are not grounded on God's foreknowledge. Therefore, the impossibility in line 10 isn't LFW; it's rather that the argument claims that God knew a fact that wasn't true (and the problem may be in line 10, or it may be in the fact that line 3 does not apply to this situation, since God's knowledge depends on the reality of our actions, not the other way around).

Now, with that said, I do think LFW advocates take a step too far: since God's knowledge is grounded in something real, this implies that unless there is either a decree from God or a set of middle-knowledge entities with real existence, God cannot have knowledge of uncreated things. So to assert this, one either has to affirm something like Open Theism, or something like Molinism, or something like Calvinism. And of those, only Open Theism is compatible with LFW.

Reformed Apologist said...

We can leave foreknowledge out of the mix and simply speak in terms of truth values, for something that is foreknown presupposes its truth value.

The objection from Arminians will be that of a modal fallacy. They will assert that something can be logically true but not metaphysically necessary, which gets them to say things like that which might not occur will occur, yet might and will are contrary truths.

Turretinfan said...

"I am not sure I agree with that definition of a division fallacy but so that we don’t equivocate, what I mean by a division fallacy is reasoning that what is true of the whole must also be true of the parts."

And as I said, what you need to do to show that such a fallacy has occurred is to show you a movement [by me or whoever you are accusing of committing this fallacy] from a whole to a part, such that something can be true of the whole but not true of the part.

"9 is a statement about a whole (i.e. both God’s foreknowledge and our doing otherwise) and statement 1 is about just our ability to do otherwise (and statement 10 is a negation of the same)."

It is true that 9 mention both God's foresight and man's ability, whereas 1 and 10 do not mention God's foresight. However, normally merely mentioning more things in one case than another doesn't create a part/whole relation.

But if you believe it is illicit, we can fix this problem in the following way, namely by substitution 1* for 1 and 10* for 10.

1* Compatible Libertarian Free Will has, as a core element, the ability of a person to do otherwise notwithstanding God's knowledge of the future. [def.]

10*. Therefore, Compatible Libertarian Free Will is false. [from 1* and 9]
"So you argued from a truth about the whole to a conclusion regarding one of the parts. Without additional argumentation, the conclusion does not follow.

Now, 1 and 9 both mention the same two things.

"No, there’s a difference between:

doing X [or rather nonX] is impossible given God foreseeing X

AND

# 9 “given God's foresight that a person will do X, it is impossible for the person to do otherwise than X”"

We should correct your first item to "doing X is impossible given God foreseeing nonX"

Let's see how you justify your assertion that these things are not the same:

"9 is in a compound sense because the “it’ refers to the combination of God’s foreknowledge of X and doing nonX and ‘doing X’ refers to just doing X."

The expression "it is impossible for the person to do otherwise than X" means exactly "the person cannot do otherwise than X." The "it" is just a way of wording the sentence passively. The word "it" therefore should not serve as a sticking point.

I wrote: "If your position is that LFW is true only in a divided sense, you seem to be positing only a hypothetical freedom, not an actual freedom. Is that your position?"

You replied: "No."

But then you argued: "A divided sense of logical possibility is all that is needed to preserve the real core of LFW; causal possibility."

Please state whether you agree or disagree with the following:

In order for something to be causally possible, it must be logically possible.

"The assertion, Bob is able to do X is in a divided sense from a logical possibility perspective. But it’s also an assertion regarding Bob’s abilities or causal powers. This is real and doesn’t disappear in a compound sense."

If it doesn't disappear in a compound sense, then you must disagree with 9, because you already complained that 9 is expressing things in a compound sense.

-TurretinFan

Reformed Apologist said...

"In order for something to be causally possible, it must be logically possible."

Bingo

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

It appears you are trying to distinguish between the compound and divided sense based on context rather than syntax (as can be seen based on your 1* and your comments on ‘it’). Might I suggest Heytesbury on this subject:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heytesbury/#3.4

I agree that in order for something to be causally possible, it must be logically possible.

“If it doesn't disappear in a compound sense, then you must disagree with 9, because you already complained that 9 is expressing things in a compound sense.”

I don’t see why, but this may be the same compound/divided problem that I hope Heytesbury helps with.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"I agree that in order for something to be causally possible, it must be logically possible."

Then your objection unravels. If I have proved that something is logically impossible, I have also proved that it is causally impossible.

In other words:

Given God's foresight that a person will do X, it is [logically] impossible for the person to do otherwise than X.

implies

Given God's foresight that a person will do X, it is [causally] impossible for the person to do otherwise than X.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Oh you guys with your logic! :)

I like this logic, TF:

"... In order for something to be causally possible, it must be logically possible."

Dan, using your nonX and X logic, let me draw you out, not nefariously, just honestly?

Would these things be true?

X= Gal 3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ. ?

X= Luk 1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
Luk 1:55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever."
?

X= Jer 33:25 Thus says the LORD: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth,
Jer 33:26 then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them."
?

X= Isa 66:22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain.
Isa 66:23 From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD.
?

X= Psa 89:3 You have said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant:
Psa 89:4 'I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.'" Selah
?

X= Neh 9:7 You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham.
Neh 9:8 You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.
?

X= 2Sa 22:50 "For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.
2Sa 22:51 Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever."
?

X=Rth 4:10 Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day."
Rth 4:11 Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem,
Rth 4:12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the LORD will give you by this young woman."
?

X= Gen 28:13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring.
Gen 28:14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
?

X= Gen 26:2 And the LORD appeared to him and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you.
Gen 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.
?

continuing with X= and then nonX= :::>

Reformed Apologist said...

From here...

http://reformedapologist.blogspot.com/2007/12/molinists-and-calvinists-agree-in.html

I write this:

Molinists and Calvinists agree over the soundness of the following argument, where x is a creaturely choice.

1. Necessarily, if God foreknows x, then x will happen
2. God foreknows x
3. Therefore, x will happen

Molinists and Calvinists even agree that the following argument is fallacious as written:

1. Necessarily, if God foreknows x, then x will happen
2. God foreknows x
3. Therefore, x will necessarily happen

The fallacy in view is that of transferring the necessity of the inference to the conclusion. The Molinist will not accept, however, that the fallacy can be made to disappear a number of different ways. One way is by establishing that a necessary condition for God’s foreknowledge of x is the necessity of x. Molinists assert that x will occur, not necessarily but contingently. Of course a contingent x, by definition, truly might not occur. Accordingly, Molinists are left with God knowing that x might not occur while knowing it will occur – but these are contrary truths and, therefore, impossible for God to know both. Accordingly, God’s foreknowledge of x presupposes the necessity of x for the simple reason that might and will are semantically antithetical and it is true that x will occur. Consequently, if x will occur, then it is false that it might occur.

natamllc said...

continued:

X= Gen 24:59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men.
Gen 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your offspring possess the gate of those who hate him!"
?

X= Gen 24:7 The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, 'To your offspring I will give this land,' he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
Gen 24:8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there."
?

X= Gen 22:15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven
Gen 22:16 and said, "By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,
Gen 22:17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,
Gen 22:18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice."
?

X= Gen 12:7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. ?

X= Gen 9:8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him,
Gen 9:9 "Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, ...
?

X= Gen 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him."
Gen 4:26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.
?

X= Gen 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
?

Now, nonX

nonX= THE SERPENT: Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" ?

nonX= ISHMAEL: Gen 16:11 And the angel of the LORD said to her, "Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction.
Gen 16:12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen."
?

nonX= A KING: 1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah
1Sa 8:5 and said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations."
1Sa 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the LORD.
1Sa 8:7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.
?


continuing:::>

Godismyjudge said...

"In other words:

Given God's foresight that a person will do X, it is [logically] impossible for the person to do otherwise than X.

implies

Given God's foresight that a person will do X, it is [causally] impossible for the person to do otherwise than X."

The logical impossiblity of the combination does not imply the causal impossilbity of the members (or the logical impossiblity in a divided sense).

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Dan:

I'm not sure which case from the summary of Heytesbury you think applies.

It seems you may be misapplying what is being said. What is being said is simply this (applying it to LFW):

According to LFW the following is true:

A free agent can do X and not X.

That is true (per LFW advocates) in a divided sense only, though. In other words, a free agent cannot do both at the same time. A comparison would be "I can lift 100 kg of lead and 100 kg of gold" is true in a divided sense but it may not be true in a compound sense. Perhaps I can lift either kind of weight, but not 200 kg at the same time.

This is related to the fallacy of composition in that although I can lift each component, I cannot lift the whole. The mirror image fallacy would be to assume that since I cannot lift the whole, I cannot lift either component individually.

But, of course, no such error is found in my argument.

- TurretinFan

natamllc said...

continued:

nonX= 1Sa 9:27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God."
1Sa 10:1 Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, "Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.
?

nonX= Mat 2:3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; ... ?

nonX= Act 12:21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them.
Act 12:22 And the people were shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!"
Act 12:23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
?

and lastly:

nonX= Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison
Rev 20:8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them,
Rev 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
?

Does not the causally of X in those verses subscribed by me negate LFW?

I am assuming you believe Jesus is that Offspring Paul wrote about in Galatians; and, that you confess that He is the Christ; and, that you confess that He is Lord and believe in your heart, too, that God raised Him from the dead; and, by so doing, He, with His own Blood secured eternal redemption for His called Elect?

Don't those verses, X= and nonX= establish that God governs His creations and this present heavens and earth are following His eternal purpose and plan, including all your ideas about LFW, all the seeds of His Righteousness and all the weeds of the devil? :)

Mat 13:36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."
Mat 13:37 He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
Mat 13:38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,
Mat 13:39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
Mat 13:40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
Mat 13:41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,
Mat 13:42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Turretinfan said...

It seems I cross-posted.

Your assertion: "The logical impossiblity of the combination does not imply the causal impossilbity of the members (or the logical impossiblity in a divided sense)," is understood by me this way:

The logical impossiblity of [given God's foresight, man doing otherwise] does not imply the logical impossibility of [man doing otherwise not considering what God has foreseen] (and therefore also does not imply the causal impossibility of the same).

We can grant the truth of that assertion without changing our argument. After all, our argument was about the situation in which God's foresight is a given, not about other situations. If you are willing to admit that in such situations (which is every situation) man lacks the ability to do otherwise, then we have effectively eliminated any LFW.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

Thanks for taking the time to read the summary of Heytesbury. My point in bringing up Heytesbury was to show that the divided/compound sense is based in syntax rather than context and to show that 1 and 1* are in a divided sense, but 9 is in a compound sense. Do you now agree with at least that much?

Heytesbury isn’t addressing the foreknowledge argument and although your application is one of the ways in which what he says applies to the general topic of freewill, it’s not the only way.

To resummarize my overall response to your argument, 1 (or 1*) is in a divided sense and 9 is in a compound sense and reasoning that what is true of the whole must also be true of the parts is invalid.

God be with you,
Dan

Reformed Apologist said...

Dan,

You wrote: "I agree that in order for something to be causally possible, it must be logically possible."

As TF, noted, if you agree with that, then LFW unravels.

Your quote implies that logical possibility is a necessary condition for causal possibility, so it reduces to:

If causally possible, then logically possible.

And that implies: if not logically possible, then not causally possible.

Godismyjudge said...

RA,

I agree. But I don't think TF has shown that being able to choose otherwise is logically impossible. Only that the combination of God foreknowing one thing and you doing something else is logically impossible.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Dan:

"My point in bringing up Heytesbury was to show that the divided/compound sense is based in syntax rather than context and to show that 1 and 1* are in a divided sense, but 9 is in a compound sense. Do you now agree with at least that much? "

No, I don't think we agree about that.

Let me try to explain this from another angle.

Which of the following do you agree with:

1) Given that God has foreseen X, man cannot do otherwise.

or

2) Given that God has foreseen X, man can do otherwise.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

2 since that's in a divided sense.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Let's expand on that. Some of your earlier comments made it sound like you would consider 2 to be expressing a compound sense. Let's try to figure out why you consider it a divided sense.

(1) "Given that God has foreseen X, man can do otherwise."

Item (1) can be expressed this way:

The following can be simultaneously true:

1) God has forseen x
2) Man does otherwise

Do you affirm that restatement of 1?

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

No, that's in a compound sense.

It also changes from:

1) can do otherwise to doing otherwise

2) the agent's ability to cause something to the truth or falsehood of statements about what the agent does.

So the restatement changes things.

God be with you,
Dan

Reformed Apologist said...

Dan, yes, I see what you meant. I thought you were conceding something you weren't.

Immediately above TF writes this: Given that God has foreseen X, man cannot do otherwise.

What might surprise you is I don't think that has been proven either, but I think it can be. To prove from God's foreknowledge that man cannot do otherwise is not the same thing as simply proving that man will not do otherwise. Even Helm admits this against Craig and others.

Let me see whether you, Dan, will bite off on this contradiction, and whether TF sees this as a different contradiction then the one he's trying to show.

It is true that necessarily, if God foreknows x, then x will happen, which makes it logically impossible that it will not happen (which is not to argue that it is logically impossible that the agent cannot do the opposite.)

Here's an argument that shows the contradiction I'm speaking about:

1. If God knows it will happen, it will happen

2. God knows it will happen

3. It will happen

4. To affirm both a truth and its denial... is a contradiction

5. Given it will happen, it is a contradiction that it will not happen (3 and 4)

Dan, do you accept that contradiction, and TF, do you see that the contradiction I just showed is not the same as the one you've tried to establish?

We may not argue like this:

1. Necessarily, if God foreknows x, then x will happen
2. God foreknows x
3. Therefore, x will necessarily happen

An additional premises must be provided to link the epistemic portion to the metaphysical portion of the argument. In other words, that three step argument immediately above is fallacious. We may not make that leap from God's knowledge to the grand conclusion that the outcome will be by metaphysical necessity. In other words, it won't do for the determinist to say that "if x will happen, then man cannot do otherwise," for the antecedent is not a metaphysical claim but the consequent is. The two must be linked another way, like by arguing that the outcome of contingent truths aren't knowable. From that premise one can argue that the metaphysical necessity of the outcome is necessary condition for its truth value and consequently God's knowledge of it.

Reformed Apologist said...

TF,

Real quick, do you see a difference between

1. Jones will not do otherwise

2. Jones cannot do otherwise

When your argument employs the premise "impossible to do otherwise," it seems as though it means more than just "impossible that otherwise will occur" but rather it seems to be a metaphysical claim, but that claim cannot be established solely on the bases of what will occur.

Thoughts?

Turretinfan said...

"No, that's in a compound sense."

Everything can be in some compound sense. The question is what you are dividing out.

"It also changes from: 1) can do otherwise to doing otherwise"

It changes from "can do" to "it can be true that he does." The "can" is maintained.

"It also changes from: 2) the agent's ability to cause something to the truth or falsehood of statements about what the agent does."

The truth or falsehood of statements about what the agent does is present in both cases. It's implied in the first case, but made explicit in the second case.

"So the restatement changes things."

Formally, no doubt, but not substantively.

But let's give restatement another try:

Original: Given that God has foreseen X, man can do otherwise.

Restatement: Given that God has foreseen X, man can bring about a state of affairs in which man does otherwise.

This rephrases "man can do otherwise" as "man can bring about a state of affairs in which man does otherwise." This should be acceptable to you, in that for a man to "do otherwise" is the same as for a man to "bring about a state of affairs in which man does otherwise."

Paul said...

The divided and compounded out doesn't save libertarianism, for compatibilism can make the same claim.

Given the prior determining conditions, I cannot do otherwise; however, this doesn't mean that I don't have natural powers to do otherwise, for surely I do when the same person does otherwise given a different decree. I couldn't do otherwise if I didn't have those potentialities in my nature.

Libertarianism needs to have identical pasts with different actions, but if it is admitted that identical pasts (say, identical past foreknowledge) always result in the same action, then this is determinism.

Turretinfan said...

Exactly, Paul.

Ron, as I explained by email, yes - I see the difference between the "can" claim and the "will" claim. If the future is fixed (and it is), the two issues end up merging (at least in some sense).

Reformed Apologist said...

TF - yes, and so there's no confusion, I certainly affirm that if it is true that Jones will choose x, then Jones will choose x. Nothing controversial there for you or Dan. I also believe that if it is true that Jones will choose x, he will choose x necessarily (not contingently). Notwithstanding, my only point is that the truth of Jones's choice (and consequently God's knowledge of it) does not by itself establish the necessity of Jones's choice, the refutation of LFW. My point was that we may *not* transfer the necessity of the inference to the conclusion, like this:

1. Necessarily, if God foreknows x, then x will happen
2. God foreknows x
3. Therefore, x will necessarily happen (not according to LFW)

In a word, the truth of the outcome, that it will occur, does not in and of itself address the metaphysical question of how the outcome will occur, i.e. either contingently or necessarily.

Turretinfan said...

Without agreeing or disagreeing, I simply observe that I didn't present this argument:

1. Necessarily, if God foreknows x, then x will happen
2. God foreknows x
3. Therefore, x will necessarily happen (not according to LFW)

Reformed Apologist said...

"if it is admitted that identical pasts (say, identical past foreknowledge) always result in the same action, then this is determinism."

Yes, but that's true for the Molinist too, yet they have no claim on the position. :)

Dan,

For the Molinist, in any feasible world (i.e., one God can instantiate) Jones will choose x even though Jones “might not” choose x. {The molinist needs the might-counterfactual in order to preserve LFW.} Consequently, the Molinist ends up with contradictory truth values. The truth value of what will occur is incompatible with the truth value of the metaphysical contingency that the Molinist requires to preserve libertarian freedom. After all, what does it mean to say that it is true that Jones might choose x? With respect to counterfactual logic, if it is true that Jones might do x, then it is philosophically false that Jones would not do x; and if it is true that Jones might not do x, then it false that he would do x. Accordingly, given LFW, there can be no true counterfactual of freedom regarding what Jones would do; and if there are no such counterfactuals, then God cannot know them as true.

In Molinism, that Jones would choose x is not according to God’s free knowledge, let alone his free knowledge of the eternal decree! That Jones would choose x is a truth that God is alleged to know according to His alleged middle-knowledge. This is a foundational axiom of the system you would like to purport, I trust.

For the Molinist, the grounding of God’s choice to instantiate a world where Jones acts in accordance with God’s alleged middle-knowledge of how Jones would choose is, of course, indexed to God’s creative decree. Notwithstanding, the would-counterfactuals of creaturely freedom that are to be found within all feasible worlds are not grounded in God’s free knowledge of the creative decree - for the decree is logically subsequent to (not prior to) the would-counterfactuals in view. In fact, these true-counterfactuals (for the Molinist) are not grounded at all! Their grounding cannot be indexed to God’s determination, for that would be determinism. Neither can they exist due to the agents themselves, for the agents themselves are not eternal. {You do deny retroactive causation I trust.}

So, although we may not argue directly from the truth of an outcome to the metaphysical birth of the outcome, we can get there a few different ways.

Reformed Apologist said...

TF,

In short hand, that's how I interpret the argument. It seems to me that you've established some general principles like given God's foreknowledge of an outcome, it is not logically possible that a contrary outcome occur. That implies that if x will occur, then it is a contradiction for not to occur (or that something incompatible with x will occur). But somewhere along the line the argument seems either to assume or beg the relationship between what will happen and what must happen necessarily and not contingently. In other words, that it is illogical that "both x not and will happen" does not imply in and of itself that x does not happen contingently.

Nuff said by me.....ron

Turretinfan said...

One way to avoid such an interpretation is by sticking more rigidly to the argument I set forth.

Paul said...

My point was that we may *not* transfer the necessity of the inference to the conclusion, like this:

1. Necessarily, if God foreknows x, then x will happen
2. God foreknows x
3. Therefore, x will necessarily happen (not according to LFW)


But the non-fallacious argument is:

1. Nec(If God infallibly believes x, then x will happen).

2. Nec(God infallibly believes x).

3. Therefore, Nec(x will happen).

The necessity in (2) isn't logical necessity, it's more like accidental necessity. If God believes at t1 that I will x at t3, then at t2 God's belief has accidental necessity, and so at t2 I cannot do otherwise than x-at-t3.

Moreover, since it is impossible to change the past, i.e., one *cannot* change the past, we can simply apply that, mutatis mutandis, to the argument, and get "X cannot be otherwise", since X is entailed by something accidentally necessary.

Paul said...

Ron,

if it is admitted that identical pasts (say, identical past foreknowledge) always result in the same action, then this is determinism."

Yes, but that's true for the Molinist too, yet they have no claim on the position. :)


Well, yes, and here the difference will be the ground of God's foreknowledge, which, on the Molinist scheme, is ungrounded. :)

Reformed Apologist said...
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Reformed Apologist said...

Paul, yes, and as you know, I think the accidental necessity argument has great force. I have it on my blog somewhere. The interesting thing is, I allow for God's necessary belief to happen apart from creation, something that most Calvinists won't do. So, for those that don't go there with me, it would seem that the creaturely choice becomes necessary but only after time is created and not "before."

Reformed Apologist said...

TF,

Yes, as I look at this more, you are correct. It doesn't seem to me that you committed the fallacy I suggested.

Let me explain. I think one of your definitions will be challenged by the Molinist and that a question is begged, but question begging is not necessarily a bad thing and in this case I think it's fine. Your argument is valid by secular standards and sound by Reformed standards. The argument is a template for discussion and offers a starting point for inquiry into the premises.

You wrote:

"4. If it is logically impossible for A to exist jointly with B, then it is impossible to bring A into joint existence with already-existent B."

That is a true premise but one that will eventually have to be defended to the Molinist for the heart of the debate is assumed in the premise as opposed to argued for in the proof. Yes, it is logically impossible for A and B to *exist* jointly because A and B are contrary truths. Also, it is "impossible" for Jones to *choose* A when he ends up choosing B is also true, but it's modally different than the other consideration of contrary truths being knowable. The point that will be challenged is the unspoken premise that is presupposed in the definition, that Jones cannot choose B when he it is true that chooses A. In other words, the logical contradiction you have in view is that what will occur negates the metaphysical outcome of its contrary occurring by choice. But, again, that something will not occur does not imply in and of itself that it cannot occur, though it is true that it cannot occur but we know that from additional argumentation. Additional premises are needed to establish that Calvinistic truth, which is what I was getting at in my posts.

Sorry to lend confusion to this matter. Maybe though you might take in my posts, less what I just retracted.

Paul said...

Ron, do you think the actual world is the only possible world?

Turretinfan said...

If 4 were challenged ... I think one could readily (re)gain assent to it in this way:

If it is impossible for the state of affairs (A and B) to exist; then it is impossible for that same state of affairs to begin to exist.

Therefore, if it is logically impossible for A and B to co-exist then it is also logically impossible for A and B to begin to co-exist.

And, of course, no actor can do the logically impossible. Therefore, no actor can make A and B begin to co-exist.

Therefore, 4 ought to be acceptable.

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

For some reason I missed this earlier:

Your assertion: "The logical impossiblity of the combination does not imply the causal impossilbity of the members (or the logical impossiblity in a divided sense)," is understood by me this way:

The logical impossiblity of [given God's foresight, man doing otherwise] does not imply the logical impossibility of [man doing otherwise not considering what God has foreseen] (and therefore also does not imply the causal impossibility of the same).


No, it’s more like the logical impossibility of A & B does not imply the logical impossibility of A and therefore the causal impossibility of A. So the logical impossibility of the combination of God’s foreknowing X and nonX happening does not imply the logical impossibility of nonX, nor the causal impossibility of nonX.

The issue isn’t what’s under consideration, rather, it’s a matter of what we are stating is possible or impossible. Are we saying one thing is possible or rather are we saying the combination of two things are impossible.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

Everything can be in some compound sense. The question is what you are dividing out.

Are you saying that expressions (regardless of syntax or context) can be in a compound sense?

Which do you disagree with? 1 is asserting a possibility in a divided sense (man’s ability). 1* is asserting a possibility in a divided sense (man’s ability).
9 is an impossibility in a compound sense (talking about the possibility of God foreknowing knowing something and the opposite happening).

It changes from "can do" to "it can be true that he does." The "can" is maintained.

Do we at least agree that you changed from one thing can be to the combination of two things can be?

It's implied in the first case, but made explicit in the second case.

Implied in what, your statement “Man does otherwise” or the actual man doing otherwise?

Whether or not events imply truth (and I don’t think they do) I hope that at least we can agree there’s a distinction between the basis of truth and truth.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

Ron,

God willing, I will read/respond a little later tonight.

God be with you,
Dan

Reformed Apologist said...

Ron, do you think the actual world is the only possible world?

Paul,

To use Molinistic terms, I would say that it's the only feasible world. There are other theoretical (possible) worlds, but to what I think your question to be, I say yes. I don't think that God has LFW and I don't think anything exists that is between pure contingency and necessity, so yes I believe that this is the only world that God could have created given his eternal intention. This doesn't mean that "creation has a claim on God" as John Frame said to me, but rather that God's eternal intention has a claim on his actions. Not a popular view, I know, but I'm not alone in the Reformed camp. *duck*

Reformed Apologist said...

No Hurry, John. I'm sure you've seen these arguments before so I don't expect to win you through an argument. I don't even think the matter is intellectual but rather I think it's purely spiritual. :)

Paul said...

Ron, given God's creation, do you say he *had* to save *you*? I know you're cool 'n all, and if I were God I'd save you, but that means I'd save according to coolness and not grace.

Reformed Apologist said...
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Reformed Apologist said...

typos, typos, typos... Given God's eternal desire to extend grace to me, he had to save me. What's more, he had to save you too! What's the alternative though, that God had an eternal desire to save us but could have had a contrary eternal desire at the along side it? *shrug*

Godismyjudge said...

Ron,

I agree with you that is a problem:

1. Necessarily, if God foreknows x, then x will happen
2. God foreknows x
3. Therefore, x will necessarily happen


It’s a similar division fallacy to the one I am addressing with TF.

With respect to counterfactual logic, if it is true that Jones might do x, then it is philosophically false that Jones would not do x; and if it is true that Jones might not do x, then it false that he would do x

This seems to conflate possibilities with hypotheticals.

Their grounding cannot be indexed to God’s determination, for that would be determinism. Neither can they exist due to the agents themselves, for the agents themselves are not eternal. {You do deny retroactive causation I trust

Let’s say God created a multi-verse and let it all play out in different dimensions. Would you then agree that counter-factuals of freedom would be grounded?

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

don't think that God has LFW and I don't think anything exists that is between pure contingency and necessity, so yes I believe that this is the only world that God could have created given his eternal intention.

That is the way I understand Edwards and Turretin.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

This rephrases "man can do otherwise" as "man can bring about a state of affairs in which man does otherwise." This should be acceptable to you, in that for a man to "do otherwise" is the same as for a man to "bring about a state of affairs in which man does otherwise."

Yes, that's fine.

God be with you,
Dan

Reformed Apologist said...

Certainly Edwards, Dan but if I'm to believe Dabney,then Turretin (not to be confused with TF) was not in agreement with Edwards.

"But in a metaphysical point of view, I cannot but think that Turretin has made unnecessary and erroneous concessions. The future acts of free agents fall under the class of contingent effects: i.e., as Turretin concedes the definition, of effects such as that the cause being in existence, the effect may, or may not follow. (For instance: the dice box being shaken and inverted, the dice may or may not fall with their first faces uppermost.)... But let me ask: Has this distinction of contingent effects any place at all, in God's mind?" R.L. Dabney

Paul said...

Given God's eternal desire to extend grace to me, he had to save me.

No Calvinist disagrees with this, but you said Calvinists disagreed with you on the matter. The question is, could God have desired differently? Could there have been a different eternal decree than the one that *in fact* exists?

I disagree with Dan and Ron on their readings of Turreting and Edwards :-)

Reformed Apologist said...

This seems to conflate possibilities with hypotheticals.

Dan,

Please expand upon your point.

Let’s say God created a multi-verse and let it all play out in different dimensions. Would you then agree that counter-factuals of freedom would be grounded?

What is it to “play out” apart from the eternal truth of how it will play out, which gets us back to what eternal entity grounds that eternal truth? All that exists in eternity is God in his simplicity, including his will, so I place the grounding of those sorts of truth in his determination. Where do you place the grounding of such eternal truth?

Reformed Apologist said...

Paul,

I noted that Dabney disagreed with Turretin on the necessity of man's will, suggesting it was less than Reformed. But let's leave that aside because Turretin, if Dabney is correct, could have most certainly thought that God could have desired differently.

As for Edwards, his chapter on the necessity of the divine will clearly argues that God must act most wisely just as he must behave most holy. He indexes the determination of this world to God having to act most wisely, saying that this is the world God had to create in his wisdom. He employs the same basic polemic as he does for the necessity of the human will.

"The question is, could God have desired differently? Could there have been a different eternal decree than the one that *in fact* exists?"

As I said, the desire to create this world, from which the act followed, was eternal so it was never not the case and being eternal had to be the case. I would argue that to deny that is to get into a regress problem, which becomes doubly problematic given that there was no time in which to digress.

Ron

Reformed Apologist said...

Edwards argues that God's will is no less necessary than his being:

"It no more argues any dependence of God’s will, that his supremely wise volition is necessary, that it argues a dependence of his being, that his existence is necessary. If it be something too low for the Supreme Being to have his will determined by moral necessity, so as necessarily, in every case, to will in the highest degree holily and happily; then why is it not also something too low for him to have his existence, and the infinite perfection of his nature, and his infinite happiness, determined by necessity. It is not more to God’s dishonor to be necessarily wise, than to be necessarily holy… and, in every case, to act most wisely, or do the thing which is the wisest of all; for wisdom is also in itself excellent and honorable… One thing more I would observe, before I conclude this section; and that is, that if it derogates nothing from the glory of God to necessarily determined by superior fitness in some things; then neither does it to be thus determined in all things…”

Paul said...

Ron,

"As for Edwards, his chapter on the necessity of the divine will clearly argues that God must act most wisely just as he must behave most holy. He indexes the determination of this world to God having to act most wisely, saying that this is the world God had to create in his wisdom. He employs the same basic polemic as he does for the necessity of the human will."

I meant disagreeing about the modal categories. Aside from that, virtually all libertarians agree with the first sentence (see Kane, O'Connor, Timpe, Wolf, etc). God has self-perfecting freedom. Secondly, that God must act wise and holy doesn't get determinism, as there could be commensurate holy/wise actions. Frankly, I can't believe that if I had an hour with Edwards he'd say that it was more wise to create someone with 99 freckles on their bottom than 99.25.


"As I said, the desire to create this world, from which the act followed, was eternal so it was never not the case and being eternal had to be the case. I would argue that to deny that is to get into a regress problem, which becomes doubly problematic given that there was no time in which to digress."

That it never *was not* the case doesn't entail that it never *could not* have been not the case.

I would argue that to affirm this involves a modal collapse, and robs God of his freedom in creation and salvation. For instance, Turretin &co. argue that God did not have to save and send Christ, but that once he decided to save, *then* salvation and the incarnation became *hypothetically* necessary (see e.g., Oliver Crisp, Retrieving Doctrine).

Reformed Apologist said...
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Reformed Apologist said...

Frankly, I can't believe that if I had an hour with Edwards he'd say that it was more wise to create someone with 99 freckles on their bottom than 99.25.

Paul,

Not if he remains consistent with his words. That God must act most wise means that this world (x-world), being an act, is most wise. What happens is defined as most wise if God must act most wise. To say that it would be more wise to have done y in world x is to imply that x world was not most wise, which undermines that God must act most wise.

That it never *was not* the case doesn't entail that it never *could not* have been not the case.

Let me take this in another direction rather than develop that.
God cannot know contrary truths, but if God could have created another world, then it would have been *true* that he was going to create this world and also true that he might not create this world, but "might not" create this world is a contrary to truth to "will" create this world. Moreover, knowing that he'd create this world, he knew that he would not create any other world, which also means that he did not know that he might create another world.

Paul, this matter is not worth discussing for there is probably no way that you or I are moving on this matter.

Grace and peace,

Ron

Paul said...

Okay, Ron, I'll drop it. I'll just say this, though. You're assuming that either there is, or Edwards thought there was, always just *one* wise thing rather than *commensurate* wise things; in other words, that 99 freckles could not be *just as wise* as 99.25 freckles on someone's rumpus. Perhaps there are, for some sets of things, *ranges* of *equally* wise elements of that set.

Paul said...

Oh, and on the other point:

Let me take this in another direction rather than develop that.
God cannot know contrary truths, but if God could have created another world, then it would have been *true* that he was going to create this world and also true that he might not create this world, but "might not" create this world is a contrary to truth to "will" create this world.


Right, by why put the matter that way? First, Dan's divided sense distinction, actually an old scholastic distinction, comes into play here. Second, God knows

[CA] I will create alpha.

[CR] I could refrain from creating alpha.

[CB] I could create beta.

Of course, [WC] and [CR] and [CB] are not contradictory, and so God can know all three.

Paul said...

But Ron, I do admit that affirming a modal collapse gets around the modal fallacy of illicit transfer of necessities. You'll just need to convince people that God couldn't have made a world where I had 456 hairs on my legs rather than 457.

Reformed Apologist said...

Perhaps there are, for some sets of things, *ranges* of *equally* wise elements of that set.

Paul,

If God must act most wisely and two sets were identically wise, then what would cause one to be chosen over the other? Whatever that deciding influence is, even if it wasn't wisdom, it must exist and I doubt it's arbitrariness.

I wrote: God cannot know contrary truths, but if God could have created another world, then it would have been *true* that he was going to create this world and also true that he might not create this world, but "might not" create this world is a contrary to truth to "will" create this world.

You responded: Right, by why put the matter that way?

Paul,

I put the matter that way because it makes my point. I'm obviously not sure what you must mean by the question.

Moreover, addressing the other thing you wrote - it is false that “I will do X” and "I can refrain from doing X” are not contradictory truths. They are contradictory truths, properly understood:

If it is actually true that agent A will do X in state of affairs S, then it is also true that agent A will be inclined to do X in S, lest pure contingency obtains. If A can refrain from X in S, then he’d also have to be inclined to ~X (i.e. refraining from X), making it false that he was inclined to X in S, yet we started by saying he will do X, which presupposes the truth of the inclination to X.

If you recast the change in inclination to state of affairs S minus 1, then I'll pursue what agent A would do in S minus 1 and address the contradictory notion of refraining from what he would do in that state of affairs.

Ron

Reformed Apologist said...

Paul, my post is poorly stated. Let me clear up some problems.

Reformed Apologist said...

I hope this is more helpful, Paul.

If it is actually true that agent A will do X in state of affairs S, then it is also true that agent A must be inclined to X in S, lest pure contingency obtains. If it is true that A can refrain from X in S, then it is false that A must be inclined to X in S. Given S, X is necessary.

Moreover, if you prefer, if A will act to bring into existence S, then S is true. If S is true, then agent’s inclination must be to S. If the inclination to S must be, then it is false that it could not be.

When you say that God “could have done otherwise” it sounds as though you’re speaking of liberty (the common parlance use of “could”) and not metaphysical ability.

What puzzles me is that (a) there seems to be a mysterious metaphysic that you allow for God, but will not allow for creatures, and (b) if you allowed man to have such freedom, man's choices would be purely contingent and irrational, so why not with God?

Paul said...

Ron,

I see you want to continue!

If God must act most wisely and two sets were identically wise, then what would cause one to be chosen over the other? Whatever that deciding influence is, even if it wasn't wisdom, it must exist and I doubt it's arbitrariness.

"What would cause?" Why are you assuming God needs a prior cause for all his choices? Moreover, obviously, *God* would cause. Lastly, suppose it is some other reason, ¥, you claimed that the wisdom claim showed God was determined to only one result, but the addition of ¥ nicely sidesteps this. So, it need not be arbitrary, for it is for a reason, but it also need not be determined.

I said: Right, by why put the matter that way?

Ron said: Paul,

I put the matter that way because it makes my point. I'm obviously not sure what you must mean by the question.


I reply: Oh, I don't know how obvious it is that you're not sure, but if you say so . . . Anyway, I rather thought it was obvious that I was pointing out that you phrased matters in a biased and tendentious way, so as, like you say, to get your point through.

Ron said: Moreover, addressing the other thing you wrote - it is false that “I will do X” and "I can refrain from doing X” are not contradictory truths. They are contradictory truths, properly understood:

Okay, let's see. You write:

If it is actually true that agent A will do X in state of affairs S, then it is also true that agent A will be inclined to do X in S, lest pure contingency obtains. If A can refrain from X in S, then he’d also have to be inclined to ~X (i.e. refraining from X), making it false that he was inclined to X in S, yet we started by saying he will do X, which presupposes the truth of the inclination to X.

Well, first off, I'm not sure the first sentence is a necessary truth, for it doesn't take into account cases of akrasia and self-deception; however, I'll agree God doesn't suffer from this.

Now, my point is that God can refrain from intending to create. God did not have to bring about S, he could have kept the state of affairs as they were. However, yes, once he decrees to create, then he must create, but he never had to decree that. Thus, as I said, standing in the Christian tradition, creation is hypothetically necessary; as such, it is not necessary per se.

What puzzles me is that (a) there seems to be a mysterious metaphysic that you allow for God, but will not allow for creatures, and (b) if you allowed man to have such freedom, man's choices would be purely contingent and irrational, so why not with God?

Yes, I do have a habit of drawing a distinction between creature and Creator—chalk it up to the Van Tillian in me. I also hold that God's freedom, causal powers, etc., are *sui generis*, which of course sheds light upon why I afford God such odd sounding powers. Indeed, I don't think God's freedom is either libertarian *or* compatibilist—there's elements of both.On (b), given the status I afford God, there are relevant disanalogies that account for why man falls prey to luck-type objections. With God, given identical reasons identical results will follow … always. According to libertarians, this can't be. However, "before" God decreed to create, he could have refrained. Creation is contingent upon God's decree to bring it about, and he need not have brought it about.

I do plead guilty as charged though in affording God a lot of room and mystery. I rather don't think he's just a bigger and better me, a being I can stick under my spiritual or philosophical microscope and make him all neat and tidy to rationalist hankerings. But I understand not all theists are like that. So I recognize freedom of conscience here.

Reformed Apologist said...

Paul,

You noted something I wrote in my modified post, the part that included “What puzzles me” yet I was hoping you’d interact with the better version of the main part of my post. I am not suggesting that your intentionally overlooked it, not by any stretch. I’ll reproduce it below, make a quick comment and then touch upon your use of logical order.

I wrote:

“If it is actually true that agent A will do X in state of affairs S, then it is also true that agent A must be inclined to X in S, lest pure contingency obtains. If it is true that A can refrain from X in S, then it is false that A must be inclined to X in S, (hence a contradiction). Given S, X is necessary.”

What that means is that the truth of a volitional action presupposes its antecedent-necessity - i.e. the requisite intention to act. If such a premise is false, then a volitional act need not follow from an intention to act that is consistent with the act itself.

By introducing a logical order as you have, you’ve only pushed the question back one step. You are left with an inclination that eventually arises at some other logical point, which you say could have (the intention that is) been other than it will be, but that leads to the same regress we find in LFW theory. You wrote in defense of that line of reasoning that you allow for such mysteries with God. My point is that I don’t see how the creator-creature distinction relieves the apparent similarity between God’s supposed spontaneity and the logical impossibility of man having such spontaneity. Time vs. eternal doesn’t seem to solve the problem; it seems to be a truism that has no bearing on the metaphysic or the rationality that choices presuppose.

Cheers,

Ron

wtanksley said...

Godismyjudge said: "Let’s say God created a multi-verse and let it all play out in different dimensions. Would you then agree that counter-factuals of freedom would be grounded?"

No, because at that point they are not counterfactual, but factual (and that's presuming that LFW is possible in any universe, which I assume only for the sake of argument). Does that matter to your argument?

I'm not certain why you brought that up; but I actually had one person attempt to defend LFW by saying that was a way to ground Molinistic middle knowledge. It doesn't work, though, because Molinism specifically requires that God creates ONLY the best feasible world, and this requires God to create EVERY feasible world.

-Wm

Turretinfan said...

I wrote: "Everything can be in some compound sense. The question is what you are dividing out."

You replied: "Are you saying that expressions (regardless of syntax or context) can be in a compound sense?"

Syntax and context are two ways (sometimes conflicting) that can be used to determine the meaning of a statement.

What I am saying is that at least nearly all statements can be taken in restricted and unrestricted ways. So, if you say "Man can do x," that can be a global claim about man's ability, or merely a narrow claim about man being able to do x under certain restricted conditions.

"Which do you disagree with? 1 is asserting a possibility in a divided sense (man’s ability). 1* is asserting a possibility in a divided sense (man’s ability).
9 is an impossibility in a compound sense (talking about the possibility of God foreknowing knowing something and the opposite happening)."

Actually, the point underlying my comment is that you are not paying attention to what is being divided out in the first statement.

Specifically, the way in which 1 is "in a divided sense" is in that 1 is *not* claiming that man can do X and not X at the same time and in the same way. In that way, it is a "divided sense" claim, like the claim that I can be in NYC and London. I can exist in either place, but I cannot be in both places at once. So my statement is true in a divided sense, though it would be false in a compound sense.

The statement (1) is not, however, made in a divided sense with respect to past history. In other worids, (1) is not saying "a man could do otherwise if past history were different." It is saying that a man can do otherwise.

9 does not add in something that 1 divided out.

"Do we at least agree that you changed from one thing can be to the combination of two things can be?"

Not really. It's like I said with respect to another item:

"It's implied in the first case, but made explicit in the second case."

You responded to that: "Implied in what, your statement “Man does otherwise” or the actual man doing otherwise? Whether or not events imply truth (and I don’t think they do) I hope that at least we can agree there’s a distinction between the basis of truth and truth."

One can make a distinction, and yet one can imply the other.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

I had written: Your assertion: "The logical impossiblity of the combination does not imply the causal impossilbity of the members (or the logical impossiblity in a divided sense)," is understood by me this way:

The logical impossibility of [given God's foresight, man doing otherwise] does not imply the logical impossibility of [man doing otherwise not considering what God has foreseen] (and therefore also does not imply the causal impossibility of the same).


You replied: "No, it’s more like the logical impossibility of A & B does not imply the logical impossibility of A and therefore the causal impossibility of A. So the logical impossibility of the combination of God’s foreknowing X and nonX happening does not imply the logical impossibility of nonX, nor the causal impossibility of nonX."

I answer:

Let me try to provide a yet simpler explanation of the problem, based on your explanation above.

1) It is one thing to ask "Can man do otherwise" - it is another thing to ask "Given God's foresight, can man do otherwise."

2) The former can be understood as true (or false) in a divided sense (i.e. not taking into account God's foresight). The latter cannot be understood in a divided sense (i.e. not taking into account God's foresight).

3) If man cannot do otherwise, given God's foresight, and if God's foresight extends to all human deeds (including mental deeds), then man cannot now do otherwise, even if man could have done otherwise, logically prior to God's foresight.

You also wrote: The issue isn’t what’s under consideration, rather, it’s a matter of what we are stating is possible or impossible. Are we saying one thing is possible or rather are we saying the combination of two things are impossible.

We are definitely saying that the combination of two things is impossible: the actual past and a counter-factual future. That means, given our actual past, there is no LFW.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

We seem to be using ‘divided sense’ and ‘compound sense’ differently: I use divided sense to state a fact about one thing and a compound sense to state a fact about the combination of two things.

For example, in a compound sense, Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn killed Darth Maul. That is when we consider them as a team or the combination of the two of them. But in a divided sense, Qui Gon did not kill Darth Maul.

You seem to be using divided sense to talk about one thing without considering something else and a compound sense to talk about one thing relative to something else. Let’s say you were watching the Phantom Menace and half the screen was covered so you couldn’t see Obi Wan. I think you would say that in a divided sense, Qui Gon Jinn was fighting Darth Maul man on man. And if you could see the whole screen I think you would say Qui Gon is not fighting Darth Maul man on man, but rather two on one.

Thus your use of the divided/compound sense may say one thing in a divided sense, and the very reverse in the compound sense. I don’t like that, nor do I think that’s what Heytesbury was up to. But leave that aside, all I want at the moment is to be clear I am not using your way of dividing/compounding things.

My fear is that you take 1 or 1* to say or imply that the combination of God foreknows X me doing otherwise is possible. If that’s what you mean by 1 or 1* I would reject 1 and 1* but simply deny that they represent LFW.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"We seem to be using ‘divided sense’ and ‘compound sense’ differently: I use divided sense to state a fact about one thing and a compound sense to state a fact about the combination of two things."

That explanation doesn't appear to conflict with anything I said.

"For example, in a compound sense, Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn killed Darth Maul. That is when we consider them as a team or the combination of the two of them. But in a divided sense, Qui Gon did not kill Darth Maul."

That's an example of a statement that is true only when the expression "Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn" is understood in a compound sense, and not when it is taken in a divided sense. In a divided sense, the statement would be false, for the reason you identified.

"You seem to be using divided sense to talk about one thing without considering something else and a compound sense to talk about one thing relative to something else."

For example, not taking into account his being part of the Jedi team, QGJ did not kill DM. However, considered as part of the team, he did.

I think the "relative" part of your characterization is wrong, or at least imprecise.

"Let’s say you were watching the Phantom Menace and half the screen was covered so you couldn’t see Obi Wan. I think you would say that in a divided sense, Qui Gon Jinn was fighting Darth Maul man on man. And if you could see the whole screen I think you would say Qui Gon is not fighting Darth Maul man on man, but rather two on one."

That example doesn't seem to work, because it is about our knowledge of the facts, rather than about how we characterize the facts. Now, you could tweak it, such that the statement QGJ fought DM solo is true in a divided sense, in that QGJ did fight DM solo while OWK was blocked by those energy barriers, although considered as to the whole battle, it was not a solo fight.

"Thus your use of the divided/compound sense may say one thing in a divided sense, and the very reverse in the compound sense."

That's, of course, the way that the divided and compound senses work. You, of all people, ought to be cognizant of this. In a compound sense, a man cannot do X and otherwise. It is only in a divided sense that such is true. For example, I can go up and down the elevator. That's true, only if taken in a divided sense. Taken in a compound sense it is obviously false. I can't go up and down the elevator at the same time and in the same way.

[cont'd]

Turretinfan said...

"I don’t like that, nor do I think that’s what Heytesbury was up to."

I don't have Heytesbury's Latin in front of me, but the encyclopedia entry you provided gives this example: "So we might say “you can be here and in Rome,” meaning that you have a capacity, which can be exercised at different times, to be in one or the other of those places, and this is presumably true. It does not follow that “it can be that you are here and at Rome,” marking the compounded sense by placing the modal term before the entire proposition, for that means that “you are both here and at Rome” can be true at one and the same time, and this, of course, is false (at least for those of us writing in Wisconsin)."

I trust you see it is just as I have described.

"But leave that aside, all I want at the moment is to be clear I am not using your way of dividing/compounding things."

Well ... but what are you doing?

"My fear is that you take 1 or 1* to say or imply that the combination of God foreknows X me doing otherwise is possible."

That is what it means. Perhaps you should just not affirm it. Or perhaps you can explain what you do affirm more clearly to me.

I know you affirm this proposition:

(A) Man has the ability to do x and to do otherwise.

And I know that you affirm that proposition in a divided sense, meaning that you affirm only that he can do one or other but not both at the same time.

The only question is whether you are compatibilist or incompatibilist with respect to divine foresight. That's tested in this way:

If you affirm that "given God's infallible foresight of x, (A)" then you are asserting that LFW exists even in a world where God's infallible foresight of x exists. If you deny that "given God's infallible foresight of x, (A)" you are saying that LFW does not exist in a world where God's infallible foresight of x exists.

By way of analogy, saying "I can beat my father at one-on-one basketball" is one claim, whereas "I can beat my father at one-on-one basketball while blindfolded" is another claim. In a world where you are blindfolded, perhaps you would not be able to beat him at one-on-one basketball, whereas perhaps you could in a world where that was not the case.

So, my argument against LFW is only an argument against LFW in a world where God has infallible foresight, not an argument against LFW in a world without God's foresight.

That's a very different argument from Ron's argument, which is an argument against LFW in general.

My argument proves that it is impossible for any creature to have LFW. My argument, however, does not address whether God had LFW logically prior to his decree to create (since, at least in a traditional Reformed framework, God did not have infallible foresight prior to his decree to create, since the decree grounds the foresight).

- TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Grace, as defined is What God Gives us that we don’t deserve.
Mercy, as defined is What God does not give us that we do deserve.
Peace is the outcome of both Grace and Mercy from God in our daily lives.

What about Jesus, what did He get and did not get??

Jesus did not deserve what He got from God and was given, so hence, He was shown no Grace.
Jesus did not deserve what He got from God and was not given, so hence, He was shown no Mercy.
Therefore Jesus was deprived of Peace from God.

"10 ¶ Yet it pleased the LORD to afflict him; he has put him to grief; he laid down his life as an offering for sin, that posterity may see, and his days shall be prolonged, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see the reward of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied with the knowledge; he shall justify the righteous; for he is a servant of many, and he shall bear their sins. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he has poured out his life to death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and died the death of transgressors."

And God did not give Him Grace, Mercy or Peace so that we could receive Grace, what we don’t deserve and Mercy, what we don’t deserve and Peace with God after we leave this mortal life.

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

My basic issue here is that you seem to think an expression can be true in a divided sense that is false in a compound sense. That’s a contradiction. Rather, the expression itself must change to switch from a divided to a compound sense. That’s Heytesbury’s primary point and can be seen in just about every paragraph of his essay.

Given your view that the same expression can be understood in either a divided or compound sense, you seem to give greater flexibility to authorial intent/reader interpretation than to the written text. You provide no explanation as to when a reader should understand an expression in a compound sense and when in a divided sense. Yet ironically, you hold that #1 in your argument (which is expressed in a divided sense although you don’t agree) must be understood in a compound sense.

I will go through the examples cited, but it’s basically just the playing out of this general disagreement we have.

Godismyjudge said...

Me: "For example, in a compound sense, Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn killed Darth Maul. That is when we consider them as a team or the combination of the two of them. But in a divided sense, Qui Gon did not kill Darth Maul."

Thee: That's an example of a statement that is true only when the expression "Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn" is understood in a compound sense, and not when it is taken in a divided sense. In a divided sense, the statement would be false, for the reason you identified.

My statement (i.e. , Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn killed Darth Maul) cannot be understood in a compound sense. You have to change it to “Qui Gon did not kill Darth Maul” to arrive at a divided sense.

Me: "You seem to be using divided sense to talk about one thing without considering something else and a compound sense to talk about one thing relative to something else."

Thee: “For example, not taking into account his being part of the Jedi team, QGJ did not kill DM. However, considered as part of the team, he did.”

Not ‘he’ did, rather ‘they’ did. QGJ is part of the team, not the whole team.

Me: "Let’s say you were watching the Phantom Menace and half the screen was covered so you couldn’t see Obi Wan. I think you would say that in a divided sense, Qui Gon Jinn was fighting Darth Maul man on man. And if you could see the whole screen I think you would say Qui Gon is not fighting Darth Maul man on man, but rather two on one."

Thee: That example doesn't seem to work, because it is about our knowledge of the facts, rather than about how we characterize the facts.

I am not trying to put words in your mouth but I find it odd (and perhaps even inconsistent with your view) that you say this does not fit your view. I don’t think our knowledge of the facts is relevant. Say you saw the full screen and then covered it yourself or covered one eye. Why couldn’t you say, in a divided sense QGJ is fighting DM man to man? This doesn’t seem at all inconsistent with your principle here. After all QGJ is only one man, as is DM.

Godismyjudge said...

Me: "Thus your use of the divided/compound sense may say one thing in a divided sense, and the very reverse in the compound sense."

Thee: That's, of course, the way that the divided and compound senses work.

No, I have to change the expression to switch from a divided to a compound sense. I can choose nonX. It cannot be that God foreknows X and I choose nonX. Different expressions, different concepts. It’s not that the same expression or concept is true in a divided sense, but false in a compound sense.

Thee: In a compound sense, a man cannot do X and otherwise. It is only in a divided sense that such is true.

As Heytesbury says, the expression “a man cannot do X and otherwise” is in a divided sense when not accompanied with ‘at the same time’. So you would have to change the expression to (a man cannot do X and at the same time do otherwise) to arrive at a compound sense.

Thee: For example, I can go up and down the elevator. That's true, only if taken in a divided sense. Taken in a compound sense it is obviously false. I can't go up and down the elevator at the same time and in the same way.

The expression “I can go up and down the elevator” is in a divided sense and would have to be changed to “I can go up and down the elevator at the same time and in the same way” to express a compound sense.

Thee quoting and commenting on Heytesbury: "So we might say “you can be here and in Rome,” meaning that you have a capacity, which can be exercised at different times, to be in one or the other of those places, and this is presumably true. It does not follow that “it can be that you are here and at Rome,” marking the compounded sense by placing the modal term before the entire proposition, for that means that “you are both here and at Rome” can be true at one and the same time, and this, of course, is false (at least for those of us writing in Wisconsin)." I trust you see it is just as I have described.

No, Heytesbury changed the expression to switch from the divided sense to compound sense. He changed from the divided sense “you can be here and in Rome” to the compound sense “it can be that you are here and at Rome”.

Godismyjudge said...

Me: "My fear is that you take 1 or 1* to say or imply that the combination of God foreknows X me doing otherwise is possible."

Thee: That is what it means. Perhaps you should just not affirm it. Or perhaps you can explain what you do affirm more clearly to me.

No, they are stated in a divided sense and you are saying the must be understood in a compound sense? Here’s 1 again:

1. Libertarian Free Will has, as a core element, the ability of a person to do otherwise.

Please explain why this must be understood in a compound sense (i.e. it’s possible God foreknows X and the person does nonX)?

Thee “I know you affirm this proposition:

(A) Man has the ability to do x and to do otherwise.

And I know that you affirm that proposition in a divided sense, meaning that you affirm only that he can do one or other but not both at the same time.

The only question is whether you are compatibilist or incompatibilist with respect to divine foresight. That's tested in this way:

If you affirm that "given God's infallible foresight of x, (A)" then you are asserting that LFW exists even in a world where God's infallible foresight of x exists. If you deny that "given God's infallible foresight of x, (A)" you are saying that LFW does not exist in a world where God's infallible foresight of x exists.(end quote of thee)”


Man has the ability to do nonX, given God’s infallible foresight of X. What cannot be is the combination of actually doing nonX and God’s foresight of X.

Thee: By way of analogy, saying "I can beat my father at one-on-one basketball" is one claim, whereas "I can beat my father at one-on-one basketball while blindfolded" is another claim. In a world where you are blindfolded, perhaps you would not be able to beat him at one-on-one basketball, whereas perhaps you could in a world where that was not the case.

I agree, but don’t see the relevance.

Thee: So, my argument against LFW is only an argument against LFW in a world where God has infallible foresight, not an argument against LFW in a world without God's foresight.

And my response to your argument is that since 1 is in a divided sense and 9 in a compound sense, the conclusion does not follow. If you rephrase 1 into a compound sense, I would reject 1 as representing LFW.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Dan wrote: "My basic issue here is that you seem to think an expression can be true in a divided sense that is false in a compound sense."

Yes, that's right.

"That’s a contradiction."

No.

"Rather, the expression itself must change to switch from a divided to a compound sense. That’s Heytesbury’s primary point and can be seen in just about every paragraph of his essay."

The encyclopedia entry's author explains: "Heytesbury is trying to find a way within a natural language to make statements logically unambiguous, so that rules of inference can developed and applied to them syntactically, a reasonable aim, of course, within logic. It did not occur to medieval logicians to create an entirely artificial language for this purpose, as we have done, so they tried to develop a specialized form of Latin for the task."

Heytesbury dislikes the ambiguity and is trying to eliminate it with rules for syntax. If you follow his syntactic conventions for how to word your expressions, they will (apparently) only express either a compound or divided sense. This eliminates the ambiguity present in natural language.

But the ambiguity does exist in natural language - and consequently statements in natural language can be understood in more than one sense (as in the various examples both I and the author of the encyclopedia entry gave).

I hope that helps clarify things for you. I'm not sure it makes sense for me to respond to the rest of your comments, until you and I are on the same page about this.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

Is it your position that Heytesbury’s methods do not work (or at least don’t work as applied to our discussion)?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

I have not expressed any opinion about that.

His proposed conventions for how to express divided and compound senses were not something I was intentionally following in wording my sentences (nor do I see any particularly need to follow his conventions).

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

His proposed conventions for how to express divided and compound senses were not something I was intentionally following in wording my sentences (nor do I see any particularly need to follow his conventions).

Do you see disconnects between your expressions and Heytesbury’s principles?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

I have not taken care to ensure that my statements follow his suggested syntactic rules.

Given the level of artificiality of his proposal, I would be surprised if my statements happened to accord with his proposal (though, since apparently English syntax influenced his choices, they may).

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Well let’s just take one example from the summary:

"So we might say “you can be here and in Rome,” meaning that you have a capacity, which can be exercised at different times, to be in one or the other of those places, and this is presumably true. It does not follow that “it can be that you are here and at Rome,” marking the compounded sense by placing the modal term before the entire proposition, for that means that “you are both here and at Rome” can be true at one and the same time, and this, of course, is false (at least for those of us writing in Wisconsin)."

Heytesbury is using two different expressions to form the compound sense and divided senses. Do you think he is correct that ‘you can be here and in Rome’ is in a divided sense and ‘it can be that you are here and in Rome’ is in a compound sense? Or rather, do you see ambiguity remaining in either or both the expressions such that they might be in a divided sense or might be a compound sense.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"Heytesbury is using two different expressions to form the compound sense and divided senses."

He expresses a compound sense one way and a divided sense another way.

"Do you think he is correct that ‘you can be here and in Rome’ is in a divided sense and ‘it can be that you are here and in Rome’ is in a compound sense?"

That's just a convention he uses. Either statement can be understood in either way, within the rules of English syntax.

"Or rather, do you see ambiguity remaining in either or both the expressions such that they might be in a divided sense or might be a compound sense."

Well, if you know and apply his rules - then the ambiguity (according to him) is eliminated. But, English syntax rules don't force the result that he assigns.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Well I am not sure if this is fair to you or not, but I take your comments as effectively disagreeing with Heytesbury. I based this on your finding ambiguous, statements he finds clear and also your characterizing Heytesbury’s views as a ‘proposed convention’ or ‘artificial’.

We were discussing the question of if #1 (i.e. 1. Libertarian Free Will has, as a core element, the ability of a person to do otherwise.) is in a divided sense or a compound sense. I brought up Heytesbury as a way of resolving this question. Apparently we don’t agree on that approach.

Fair summary?

If so, do you mind explain or re-explaining (setting aside Heytesbury) why #1 should be understood in a compound sense (i.e. the combination of Bob does nonX and God foreknew X is logically possible)?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"Well I am not sure if this is fair to you or not, but I take your comments as effectively disagreeing with Heytesbury."

I'm not disagreeing with Heytesbury. I'm not evaluating the truth of anything that Heytesbury says. I'm just not adopting his proposed convention.

"I based this on your finding ambiguous, statements he finds clear and also your characterizing Heytesbury’s views as a ‘proposed convention’ or ‘artificial’."

As explained in the encyclopedia article to which you already linked, he was involved (and building on) "the development of technical devices involving word order within Latin to distinguish" the compound/divided senses. And, "The distinction made by word order is an artificial one ... ."

"We were discussing the question of if #1 (i.e. 1. Libertarian Free Will has, as a core element, the ability of a person to do otherwise.) is in a divided sense or a compound sense. I brought up Heytesbury as a way of resolving this question. Apparently we don’t agree on that approach."

Yes. I don't think your application of Heytesbury is correct.

I would add an additional explanation. See part 1a of his "The Compound and Divided Senses." There, the purpose of his 25 examples is to persuade you that the compound sense does not imply the divided sense and the divided sense does not imply the compound sense. Thus, "four is two and two" is true in a compound sense, but would be false in a divided sense (i.e. "four is two") whereas "I can be here and in Rome" is false in a compound sense, but would be true in a divided sense (i.e. I can be in Rome). Thus, one sense does not imply the other sense.

Maybe that will help you to see how "a man can do what he will do and otherwise" might be false in a compound sense and yet true in a divided sense (i.e. a man can do otherwise). Of course, I deny that it is true in a divided sense, and that is the crux of the argument.

"If so, do you mind explain or re-explaining (setting aside Heytesbury) why #1 should be understood in a compound sense (i.e. the combination of Bob does nonX and God foreknew X is logically possible)? "

The same proposition can be in a divided sense with respect to one thing and a compound sense with respect to another thing.

Thus, #1 is in a divided sense with respect to what man will do, but it is not in a divided sense with respect to the man's past. I concede that the absence of division of man's past may not be clear, which is why I offered 1* in which the absence of division of the past is made explicit.

I hope that helps.

-TurretinFan

yourundeservinglove said...

So what would propose in replacement to liberty? A Dictatorship? No government is going to be perfect unless it is governed by the Triune God. Doesn't it make sense then to strive for the system of government, although not perfect, that gives us the freedom to practice religion and share the Gospel with oppression?

Turretinfan said...

I think you've badly misunderstood what you've read.

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

Sorry for the delay.

I'm not disagreeing with Heytesbury. I'm not evaluating the truth of anything that Heytesbury says. I'm just not adopting his proposed convention.

One person can contradict another without evaluating what they say.

As explained in the encyclopedia article to which you already linked, he was involved (and building on) "the development of technical devices involving word order within Latin to distinguish" the compound/divided senses. And, "The distinction made by word order is an artificial one ... ."

As far as I know that article gives the most detail regarding what Heytesbury said available online, even if the author disagrees with Heytesbury.

Heytesbury is elaborating on Aristotle’s On Interpretation – which explains the meaning and logic of language. Even if you think this project fails and a new language needs to be developed (like the author of the article things), it’s not quite fair to Heytesbury to mischaracterize what he was attempting to do.

See part 1a of his "The Compound and Divided Senses." There, the purpose of his 25 examples is to persuade you that the compound sense does not imply the divided sense and the divided sense does not imply the compound sense.

Agreed. But please also note Heytesbury changes the syntax in all 25 examples to switch from expressing the compound and divided senses. It’s not as if he sees the statements as ambiguous, rather, one is expressing the compound sense, and the other the divided sense.

Thus, "four is two and two" is true in a compound sense, but would be false in a divided sense (i.e. "four is two") whereas "I can be here and in Rome" is false in a compound sense, but would be true in a divided sense (i.e. I can be in Rome). Thus, one sense does not imply the other sense.

Heytesbury’s principles does not allow the expression “I can be here and in Rome” to be understood in a compound sense. It’s in a divided sense. It’s not like he found the proposition ambiguous.
He says, “Regarding them [the verb can and modes of it], it is import to know that when one is found in a proposition without a ((aliquot/alio)) modifying relative following it, the divided sense occurs. And then, in such a proposition, the ampliative verb is interpreted personally, as in… ‘You can be in Rome and Ausonia.’” (2. Mode I)

So the expression ‘I can be here and in Rome at the same time is in a compound sense’, the expression ‘I can be here and in Rome’ is in a divided sense.

Understanding ‘four is two and two’ in a divided sense (4=2) seems obviously wrong.

You seem to be saying both that: ‘Heytesbury sees statements as ambiguous with respect to the compound/divided sense’ and ‘Heytesbury has a method of understanding if a statement is in the compound or divided sense’. Do you see him as self-contradictory in this?

I concede that the absence of division of man's past [in #1] may not be clear, which is why I offered 1* in which the absence of division of the past is made explicit.

Again, I offer Heytesbury’s principles to as evidence that 1* is in a divided sense – you draw the opposite conclusion. If you don’t agree with Heytesbury, then my approach won’t work. But I must ask what reason you have to say 1* is in a compound sense (not ambiguous but compound)? It’s not as if 1* was written in a new language (like the author of the article suggest), so how is it that the English in 1* is now clearly expressing a compound sense?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

We may have to agree to disagree about what Heytesbury means, about whether Heytesbury is even relevant to modern English, and about whether Heytesbury was right either about Latin (the language he was writing in) or Greek, the original Latin of Aristotle.

But let's assume that he means that whenever one employs the syntax that I've employed, the expression should be understood in a divided sense.

How do you suppose that cashes out?

Let me explain:

Presumably, my statement would somehow fall into Mode I because "ability" has been mentioned. Referring to H's explanation of Mode I, what is the composition that you think exists in in 1 and 1*?

Recall that the example H gives are:

a) You can traverse this distance
(the composition is the end points of the distance)

b) You can be in Rome and Ausonia (the composition is Rome and Ausonia)

c) A white thing can be black (the states of being white and black are the composition)

Those statements referring to successive times can be true. Thus, what is being divided is, in essence a temporal aspect. You can't instantaneously traverse the distance, but you can in time. You can't be in Rome and not at the same time, but at two different times. A thing cannot be white and black at the same time, but a previously white thing can become black.

As I already explained, the ability to do otherwise is normally viewed in the divided sense with respect to what you will do. You can't do both at the same time.

You seem to want to imply some further decomposition. What is it? What are you dividing out, and more exactly what other thing or things do you think that the Libertarian position is dividing out besides what will be? In short, how is my statement in a divided sense to be understood?

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"original Latin" should be "original language"

Godismyjudge said...

Hey TF,

Hope your having a good day. Let’s take the Rome/Ausonia example. What you say is true (i.e. you can’t be in Rome and not at the same time, but at two different times). So what more am I saying? Saying you can…. relates to the future, but not only to the future. There’s a potentiality in the present that converts to actuality in the future. So in the present, two potentialities exist. Both “I can be in Rome” and “I can be in Ausonia” are true and they are true because they correspond to something about me, right now (even though they also relate to the future). So two potencies simultaneously exist in the present. That’s the piece you’re analysis doesn’t seem to reflect.

Now let’s talk about the future. Future me in Rome is in a different possible world than future me in Ausonia. It’s not like there are two future mes in one possible world. So these futures are alternative and either/or rather than a combination or both at the same time.

So are we ‘dividing out’ time. Not as far as I can see. Today, two potentials exist, related to alternative futures.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

a) I'm not sure I see how your answer tells me what is being divided out in my 1 or 1*?

b) I'm not sure I agree with your analysis of H. Consider that he writes, "But the divided sense signifies a succession with respect to different times and to different parts of the same time." On the other hand, he says nothing about possible words or congruent potentialities (that I can see), in his discussion of Mode I. Correct me if I've overlooked something.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

A) What do you mean by being divided out? B) depends what H. means by 2 parts of the same time.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

In H. and in general, saying that "X is in a divided sense" means that some composition is being avoided. In H's examples it is a temporal composition. Something can't be black and white at the same instant - nor can someone instantaneously bilocate. Indeed, one cannot instantaneously traverse a distance (which is his example for "different parts of time").

- TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

I guess I am getting a little hung up on 'avoided' or 'divided out'. Is a horse avoiding being a dog, or 2 horses or some other thing or things?

But I think it would be something like the combination of the propositions 'God foreknows Bob will choose X' and 'Bob chose nonX'. Both propositions cannot be true and combination implies a logically impossible contradiction.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

I still think we are using compound/divided sense slightly differently. Can we revisit the Darth Maul example. Here's where we left it:

I am not trying to put words in your mouth but I find it odd (and perhaps even inconsistent with your view) that you say this does not fit your view. I don’t think our knowledge of the facts is relevant. Say you saw the full screen and then covered it yourself or covered one eye. Why couldn’t you say, in a divided sense QGJ is fighting DM man to man? This doesn’t seem at all inconsistent with your principle here. After all QGJ is only one man, as is DM.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"I guess I am getting a little hung up on 'avoided' or 'divided out'. Is a horse avoiding being a dog, or 2 horses or some other thing or things?"

You can avoid a composition by not taking both constituents together (i.e. by dividing the constituents out from one another). A horse isn't a constituent of a dog, but it could be a constituent of a matched pair of horses. The matched pair would be a composition. The horse itself would be a constituent of that matched pair composition. Thus, the expression (understood in a divided sense) "those horses can pull 10 tons on a sled" (i.e. each horse can pull 10 tons on a sled) may be false, whereas the same expression understood in a compound sense (i.e. the matched pair can pull 10 tons on a sled) may be true.

"But I think it would be something like the combination of the propositions 'God foreknows Bob will choose X' and 'Bob chose nonX'. Both propositions cannot be true and combination implies a logically impossible contradiction."


1) Dividing out God's foresight of Bob's future is a concession of my point.

2) I'm not sure how the composition you are talking about (God's foresight plus Bob's action) is supposed to be connected to my statement about Bob's ability.

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"I don’t think our knowledge of the facts is relevant. Say you saw the full screen and then covered it yourself or covered one eye. Why couldn’t you say, in a divided sense QGJ is fighting DM man to man? "

The issue of a divided sense is not about partial knowledge or partial information, but about partial consideration of a composition. If I saw two men fighting, I might think they were fighting one on one until I discovered more information. That would not mean that they were fighting one on one in a divided sense, though, just that I thought they were fighting one on one.

I'm not really sure how this is germane, though.

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

Dividing out God's foresight of Bob's future is a concession of my point

I doubt it. I suspect one of two things are in play here. Most likely we have a different understanding of the compound/divided sense (one deeper than a semantic difference). However, it could be that we have a different understanding of LFW.
I am not sure if I should further explain my views on the divided/compound sense or why I think it’s appropriate for LFW to be about the divided sense we are discussing. I am guessing it’s the compound/divided sense.

The issue of a divided sense is not about partial knowledge or partial information, but about partial consideration of a composition.

OK, but I canged the illustration so it wouldn't be based on partial knowledge or information. Let’s try again. Here are 4 illustrations of the compound/divided sense.

1) The divided/compound sense is like two lego pieces that can be separated or joined together. Each stands alone, but the combination can be described differently than the individual pieces.

2) The divided/compound sense is like a penny, viewed on one side as Abe and the other as the Lincon Memorial. Unlike the two lego pieces, the sides of the penny don’t have separate existence, but rather are parts of a whole, that can be viewed and discussed distinctly.

3) The divided/compound sense is like white and black paint mixed into grey. Unlike the penny, the parts cannot be viewed separately, except when considering what they were before combination or would be if somehow re-separated.

4) The divided/compound sense is like an optical illusion picture. Unlike the grey paint, the illusion isn’t a real part of the picture, but rather only exists in the mind of the observer.

Of these four, which matches your view the closest and of the others why don’t they work and are there any sub-aspects of the illustration that do work?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"The divided/compound sense"

Normally we speak about "the divided sense" in contrast to "the compound sense." Are you suggesting (by "divided/compound") a third category in addition to the two?

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Nope, I was just saving key strokes.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

You gave four examples:

1) A lego sculpture;

2) A coin;

3) Grey paint; and

4) An optical illusion.

The first three are clearly examples of things that can either be considered as a composition, or that can be considered as to to their constituents. All three are expressed as a composition above.

They could be expressed as constituents instead:

1) a red brick and a yellow brick.

2) heads and tails

3) white paint and black paint

Where the different senses come in to play is when I make statements about the constituents and/or compositions.

In some cases, what is true of the part is also true of the whole. For example, the heads of a coin can be made of copper and the coin as a whole can be made of copper. Likewise, the heads of a coin has a face on it, and the coin has a face on it.

In other cases, what is true of the part may not be true of the whole. For example, while the face may be pure copper, the coin as a whole may not be pure copper.

Likewise, what is true of the whole, may not be true of the part. For example, while a face appears on the coin, a face may not appear on the tails.

These examples illustrate the danger of reasoning either from the part to the whole or from the whole to the part. While it may sometimes be true that the part shares a characteristic with the whole, such is not always the case.

If a proposition is made about the composition, then we cannot infer anything about the constituents from that proposition and vice versa.

Thus, if I argued that the composition (A+B) is C; therefore A is C, I would be guilty of the fallacy of division.

Likewise if I argued that A is C; therefore the composition (A+B) is C, I would be guilty of the fallacy of composition.

Now, if I say that "A and B is C" you might ask if I mean that the composition A and B is C or whether I mean that A and B considered individually is each C (assuming you want to know what I mean, of course).

In some cases, you can figure out what I mean from the English syntax rules relating to the verb "to be." So, "one and three is even" refers to the composition, whereas "one and three are odd" refers to the numbers individually (with both statements being true).

Turretinfan said...

Let me plug that back into the question at hand.

Your complaint here is that I am saying that A+B is impossible, therefore B is impossible, where "A" = God's foresight and "B" = man doing otherwise.

However, what I'm actually saying is that A+B is impossible (which you seem to grant), therefore B is possible (if at all) only in a divided sense (considered in isolation from God's foresight).

However, since God's foresight is always a given, that divided sense possibility (if it even exists) is not worth anything. There's no person who's faced with a choice in which God has not foreseen the outcome. So, the question is always A+B, never B alone.

- TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

I like the lego example best. In comparison to the grey paint, normally we wouldn’t say part of the paint is white because we can’t scoop a white portion out of the bucket. Perhaps if we had a microscope the grey paint would look just like the lego pieces, one part white, one black. But my concern is that normally when considering the white in grey paint, we would think of the components in the abstract or pre-homogenization.

But if you are talking about the ‘under the microscope’ type look (or something like that), OK, we are on the same page.

Your complaint here is that I am saying that A+B is impossible, therefore B is impossible, where "A" = God's foresight and "B" = man doing otherwise.

However, what I'm actually saying is that A+B is impossible (which you seem to grant), therefore B is possible (if at all) only in a divided sense (considered in isolation from God's foresight).

However, since God's foresight is always a given, that divided sense possibility (if it even exists) is not worth anything. There's no person who's faced with a choice in which God has not foreseen the outcome. So, the question is always A+B, never B alone.


Two problems here. First, let’s say the combo of a red + green lego brick is impossible. That doesn’t mean the combination of red and yellow is impossible. The impossible combination is not facing a choice + God’s foreknowledge of what the choice will be. Rather, it’s the combination of actually choosing the nonX when God has foreknown X.

Second, I suspect you really are arguing from the impossibility of the combination to the impossibility of a member (i.e. the combination of the yellow brick and red brick is yellow and red, therefore the yellow brick is yellow and red). If the divided sense (be it about the possibility or the counterfactual) only exists in isolation of God’s foreknowledge and we can never divided out God’s foreknowledge, then the divided sense cannot exist. This non-existance of the divided sense is why I posited the case of the optical illusion picture.

This second problem seems headed toward the accidental necessity based foreknowledge argument. Not that your argument directly deals with accidental necessity but you now seem to be headed towards ‘locking down’ God’s foreknowledge because it’s in the past.

The first problem, however, seems quite different – and my solution seems more directly related to the argument in your main blog post above.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

If you can't "actually do" X, then you can't do X. Agreed or disagreed?

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Agreed.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"The impossible combination is not facing a choice + God’s foreknowledge of what the choice will be. Rather, it’s the combination of actually choosing the nonX when God has foreknown X. "

The question isn't whether man can be presented with a choice, given God's foresight. The question is whether man can do otherwise, given God's foresight. Agreed?

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Well we may run into a seperate disagreement as to if those two statements are convertable.

But setting that aside, yes. I have no problem with dealing with it the way you have expressed it here(i.e. a man can do otherwise, given God's foreknowledge).

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Would you agree in general that having the opportunity to do X is different from doing X? If so, do you also agree that there is a difference between having an opportunity to choose and choosing?

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

agreed.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"If the divided sense (be it about the possibility or the counterfactual) only exists in isolation of God’s foreknowledge and we can never divided out God’s foreknowledge, then the divided sense cannot exist. This non-existance of the divided sense is why I posited the case of the optical illusion picture."

I'm not sure we are on the same page here. A situation where "the divided sense does not exist," would seem to be like a situation in which all the yellow bricks are coupled to red bricks. There are no individual yellow bricks.

To make the example more poignant, if what you need is O2 (paired oxygen molecules to breathe) but all that is available is CO2 (carbon dioxide), it is not particularly germane whether - in fact - the O2 constituent of C02 is good for breathing, since C02 is not. In other words, if all the 02 is in the form of C02, then the fact that O2 divided from C may have a particular property is true only in a slightly abstract way.

Does that seem to match your understanding?

Godismyjudge said...

Well I like the CO2 analogy. I take your point that not that O2 vanishes in the CO2 compound, but rather, be careful about waxing eloquent about the beatitudes of O2 because they no longer apply. In other words, given foreknowledge, it’s the usefulness of the divided sense, that’s in question, not its existence.

Is that correct? If so, I suppose it makes sense for me to explain why I think the divided sense undergirds LFW and that the compound sense is irrelevant.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Yes, I think we are on the same page now. Although O2 has the quality of being good for breathing, if a planet (Planet X) is covered completely in C02, that quality of O2 isn't relevant to the question of whether the air on Planet X is good for breathing. On Planet X, air is not good for breathing.

Even so, if man only "can do otherwise" when God's foresight is not considered, then there is never a time when man can do otherwise, because there is never a time to which God's foresight does not extend.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

What does O2 represent? The ability to do otherwise or use of that ability in actually doing otherwise?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

The ability to do otherwise is what is necessary in order to do otherwise.

If you can't do otherwise, you lack the ability to do otherwise.

And given God's foresight ... you can't do otherwise.

Therefore, given God's foresight, you lack the ability to do otherwise.

Thus the O2 is man, C is God's foresight, and breathability is the ability to do otherwise. If a man were considered in the absence of God's foresight, perhaps he could do otherwise. But given God's foresight, he cannot. Just as 02 can be considered breathable on its own, but combined with C it becomes exhaust gas.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

That’s a good illustration of your position, but not necessarily the reasoning supporting your position. At least I took the argument in your blog post to be based on some impossible combination (i.e. doing otherwise than God’s foreknowledge) not a possible one (i.e. man and God’s foreknowledge). If that’s the case, do you mind giving reinterpreting the CO2 analogy in terms of your argument rather than your view?

Perhaps there is a semantic issue and I am taking your denial of being able to do otherwise as in a divided sense, but perhaps all you mean is the combination of God’s foreknowing X and Bob choosing nonX is impossible. If that’s the case, I could just go about arguing the irrelevance of your analogy and argument.

I hope you position isn’t something to the effect of man’s being unable to do otherwise (in the divided sense) is self-evident, given God’s foreknowledge, such that me asking for your supporting reasons is like me asking for a prime number lower than zero. If that’s the case, then I doubt anything I say would be useful.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Let's call A "God foresees that man will do X"

Let's call B "Man does not do X"

If A, then B is not possible.

If B is not possible (given A) then man cannot do otherwise than X (given A).

If you think the question "Can man do otherwise, given God foresees man will do X" is not relevant to the question of Molinistic LFW, I'd love to hear your explanation.

It's irrelevant to the open theist version, certainly, because they deny infallible foresight to God.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

I would not express things that way, but we have already discovered that we have semantic differences and now I am interested in if we have substantive ones or not. I think you mean here that it is logically impossible that both “God foresees that man will do X” and “Man does not do X” are true. This is what I have been calling the compound sense, if that’s what you mean, we can agree and there’s no substantive difference on that. Hopefully, you won’t turn around and say either your original argument was in the divided sense or the divided sense doesn’t exist.

It’s true that if I X, then I X. But this type of necessity is not one relevant to the causal precedents to man doing X or not, because an actualization is not a prerequisite for a potentiality. This is self evident. From this it follows that whatever follows from X (via logical or causal dependence) should not be included in the causal prerequisites for Xing or not.

I have been told that God’s foreknowledge does not cause the future, but rather it implies the future had been determined by some cause or causes. This follows from the assumption that God can only know the future if He causes it. Arminians and Molinists deny this assumption; rather we think God knows the future, so the future is the object of God’s knowledge. This mean’s the future is logically or explanatorily prior to God’s knowledge of the future. Hence foreknowledge’s irrelevance to the question our ability to cause X or non X.

The above looks at the ability to cause X or non X - as it should. But another way to get foreknowledge to bump into LFW is by confusing causality and truth. If we assume man requires the ability to convert the proposition “man does X” from possibly true to actually true in order to have LFW, we will run into problems. If we know "God foresees that man will do X" we must conclude “Man will do X” and cannot conclude “Man will not do X”. It’s a necessary conclusion. But LFW should be defined in terms of man being able to cause X or nonX.

God be with you,
Dan

wtanksley said...

Dan, TF, this dialogue is very interesting. Please continue.

Dan, what type of possibility is sufficient for LFW?

Longer explanation: I usually hear Arminians saying that compatibilism isn't sufficient for REAL freedom, because there has to be moral possibility and not merely the possibility of performing the physical act. But your argument seems to suggest that the mere physical possibility is enough to satisfy your definition of LFW, which means that you should be OK with most forms of compatibilism.

(Sorry for the length of that. I didn't intend to make an argument, just to explain why I was asking the question.)

-Wm

Turretinfan said...

"I think you mean here that it is logically impossible that both “God foresees that man will do X” and “Man does not do X” are true."

Which means it is logically impossible for man not do to X, given that God foresees that man will do X.

Which means that it is causally impossible for man not do to X, given that God foresees that man will do X.

"Hopefully, you won’t turn around and say either your original argument was in the divided sense or the divided sense doesn’t exist."

If you take God's foresight out of the picture, you are no longer addressing a real man in existence, since God's foresight extends to all the actions of all real, existent men. Does that mean that the divided sense "doesn't exist" with respect to real, existent men? You tell me.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"If we assume man requires the ability to convert the proposition “man does X” from possibly true to actually true in order to have LFW, we will run into problems."

If something can't be made actually true, then it isn't possible true, it's just false.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

WM,

Man’s will, which is part of his non-physical soul, is free. Physical objects, including our bodies, only have a passive potency. In some sense, a car can go 0 to 60 in 6 seconds. But for the car to move, we understand that it must be acted upon. In the same way, the body awaits the will’s commands (at least in volitional actions). Unlike cars, or our physical bodies, agents act and are the source of their action.

Take Edwards form of compatiblism “I can eat ice cream if I choose to. My body is neither constrained nor compelled to eat ice cream, so per Edwards I am free. This is a freedom of the body to eat rather than a freedom of the will to choose to eat. This form of freedom is hypothetical, in that my body cannot eat ice cream if I choose not to eat ice cream and I cannot choose to eat ice cream. So my ability is hypothetical and not real.

With respect to the foreknowledge argument, compatiblism changes the past to be able to do otherwise (i.e. if I had chosen ice cream, I could have eaten it, or if I had wanted to I could have chosen ice cream). I affirm we can act is such a way that if we did, God’s foreknowledge would have been different. At first glance this may look like a similar move to compatiblism, but it’s different it three major resects. First, compatiblism changes relevant causal anticidents to the action but the LFW view does not. Second, the aspect of the past that in the LFW would change, are once that are logically dependent on the action (i.e. God’s foreknowledge is based in our future action). Third and most important, in compatiblism, our ability to do otherwise is hypothetical and doesn’t exist and based on a hypothetical past. In LFW, our ability to do otherwise does exist – it’s the use of that ability that is in a hypothetical future and associated with a hypothetical past.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

"I think you mean here that it is logically impossible that both “God foresees that man will do X” and “Man does not do X” are true."

Which means it is logically impossible for man not do to X, given that God foresees that man will do X.


Do you consider your statement here simply a restatement of mine, or do you think you are expressing a different concept?

God be with you,
Dan

wtanksley said...

Dan, thank you for your considered answer.

One minor thing first...

I'm puzzled by one assertion you attribute to Edwards; I scanned his "Freedom of the Will" to see whether it was any part, but it wasn't. Did you find that definition elsewhere in his writings?

In part I section 5, Edwards claimed that the exercise of will occurs when we choose according to our preferences; you claim that he defined the exercise of will as performing an action without constraint or compulsion. Your attributed definition seems difficult, since not only was I unable to find it in the text, but it's also questionable whether it could ever actually occur -- for example, I am always "constrained" to be in only one location at a time, and to be a created being and not the infinite creator.

-Wm

wtanksley said...

It's very interesting that you say that compatibilism "changes the past". Do you mean that it requires that in order for the present to be changed to demonstrate contrary choice, the past must be changed as well? If so, I'd have to agree; but this doesn't mean compatibilism is a "hypothetical" freedom, but rather that the concept of a contrary choice is an inherently hypothetical concept -- which is surely an obvious part of its definition. This makes your "most important" point completely beside the point, since you make it sound like compatibilism ITSELF is hypothetical, when it's only your hypothesis that is hypothetical (and that's not a bad thing, by the way; a hypothesis is supposed to be hypothetical).

Neither LFW nor compatibilism are inherently hypothetical. They're both either actually true or false; and they're not entirely mutually exclusive, since even a libertarian could believe that some choices are grounded in past cognition or desire.

Finally, I refer back to the post I originally replied to, in which you say "But LFW should be defined in terms of man being able to cause X or nonX."

TF's contention is that this sentence is ultimately only _trivially_ true -- that ultimately speaking, man must somehow not be able to cause nonX. I agree with him on this; although I agree with you that the cause of this alleged inability cannot be God's knowledge of the future. TF's argument does not insist that man's inability of contrary choice comes from God's knowledge; he simply uses the agreed existence of God's knowledge to show that contrary choice cannot exist.

Thus, man must not have an ability of contrary choice -- although the cause of that lack of ability is not specified by this argument (and it's unreasonable to ask the cause of nonexistence).

-Wm

Godismyjudge said...

WM,

Regarding Edwards, he said:

There are two things contrary to what is called Liberty in common speech. One is constraint; otherwise called force, compulsion, and coaction; which is a person's being necessitated to do a thing contrary to his will. The other is restraint; which is, his being hindered, and not having power to do according to his will. But that which has no will, cannot be the subject of these things.-- I need say the less on this bead, Mr. Locke having set the same thing forth, with so great clearness, in his Essay on the Human Understanding.

http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/edwards/fowp01s05.htm

Locke has a popular illustration that makes this clear. Suppose a man enters a hotel room that unknown to him is locked from the outside. The man goes to sleep. If he wanted to leave he could not have, but in some sense he freely goes to sleep.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

WM,

It's very interesting that you say that compatibilism "changes the past". Do you mean that it requires that in order for the present to be changed to demonstrate contrary choice, the past must be changed as well?

No. In the expressions you could choose X if it were your stongest desire or you could do X if you chose to the ability to chose and do don't exist. They are hypothetical, assuming conterfactual pasts.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

WM,

TF's contention is that this sentence is ultimately only _trivially_ true -- that ultimately speaking, man must somehow not be able to cause nonX.

Sure. But the question, in my mind, is if that view is based on some belief we share, or not? I would be unsupprized to find that ultimatly, we don't have the same underling presuppositions.

God be with you,
Dan

wtanksley said...

Dan, what am I failing so badly to understand about your statements regarding hypotheticals and counterfactuals? My answer seems like a perfect rebuttal, but your answer to it is simply "no", and then you repeat your original point.

I agree that you've expressed counterfactuals, but those counterfactuals are not inherent to the definition of compatibilism; rather, they're necessary to the definition of contrary choice, which is by definition a counterfactual argument. Both compatibilism and LFW work without counterfactuals (if, of course, they exist at all).

I simply see no reasonable critique in your repeated statement that compatibilism is wrong because it requires "past counterfactuals". It doesn't, except in arguments that already contain counterfactuals; and any of those arguments can be rephrased without changing their meaning to contain only future counterfactuals if need be. (And, let me add, I don't see why past counterfactuals are any different than future or present ones.)

Now, one serious problem that might be the wellspring of our confusion is our disagreement on contrary choice. It might be that you believe that contrary choice is essential, not even worth arguing; but I believe it's hypothetical (and possibly PURELY hypothetical, but I'm not making that assumption in my arguments above). In other words, it's not present in an argument unless explicitly introduced.

-Wm

wtanksley said...

Edwards wasn't attempting to define the freedom of the will in that sentence; he was attempting to explain the common perception of freedom per se. If the will were to be described as having freedom, one would expect to show that the will is free from compulsion or constraint on itself, just as if we talk about ourselves being free we are talking about our own freedom from compulsion and constraint on ourselves. This doesn't mean that the means of compulsion and constraint that work to circumscribe bodily freedom also works to define the will's freedom. And most importantly, contra your statement, this is not a definition of compatibilism at all. Edwards has a lot more work to do before he can produce that.

But this brings us to a unifying key point: Edwards and myself agree that there is no such thing as the freedom of the will. The will is a faculty of man; it is not a being in its own right. If the will is to be free, it must be free only within the bounds of the agent possessing it.

So those are the big differences between our view and yours: first, no real entity called "contrary choice", and second, there is no being within a man called "the will" that can be free.

-Wm

Godismyjudge said...

WM,

That's not how I understand Edwards, but maybe it's best if we set Edwards asside. What do you mean by compatiblism?

God be with you,
Dan

wtanksleyjr said...

Dan, I think you made a comment that got lost due to the switchover to the new system. You might want to repost. (This comment is also a test -- my previous two were apparently lost, but the loss may have been due to my system's network unreliability.)

wtanksleyjr said...

OK, here was your lost post (it shows in the RSS feed, but I don't see it on this page:

Thursday, September 01, 2011 1:56 PMWM,

That's not how I understand Edwards, but maybe it's best if we set Edwards asside. What do you mean by compatiblism?

God be with you,
Dan

wtanksleyjr said...

My response is: I don't think you're free to simply take Edwards out of context and claim to "understand" him -- but OK, let's set that aside.

My understanding of compatibilism is twofold. First, it refers to the claim that moral responsibility is compatible with the obedience of the will to causation; and second, it refers to a specific explanation of how the will might operate in accordance with the laws of causation. Both statements are present in Edwards' work.

-Wm

Godismyjudge said...

WM, I am not sure what to make of your second point (i.e. it refers to a specific explanation of how the will might operate in accordance with the laws of causation), so I will just comment on your first.

What you are describing what philosophers call semi-compatiblism (i.e. responsibility and determinism) rather than compatiblism (freedom and determinism). John Martin Fisher is famous for semi-compatiblism - his denial of freedom but assertion of responsibility; which he couches in terms of control as opposed to the ability to do otherwise.

That may account for some of our miscommunication here. I agree that the compatibility of determinism with responsibility (without the implication of the ability to do otherwise in some sense) need not be hypothetical.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

WM,

BTW, if you are really interested in Edwards, here's my review of his book on the will:

http://www.arminianchronicles.com/2008/11/index-for-critique-of-jonathan-edwards.html

God be with you,
Dan