The Instigator
Legendary_Houp
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
harrytruman
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Are any attempts at reconciling Free Will with Determinism reasonable?

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Started: 5/18/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 222 times Debate No: 91495
Debate Rounds (5)
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Legendary_Houp

Con

Are any attempts at reconciling Free Will with Determinism reasonable?

Even as a Christian, I still doubt the compatibility of some doctrines and philosophies with others. In this debate, I am strictly referring to the Christian God, and not a God of any other religion. Therefore philosophical and Biblical arguments can be considered. I would say that the burden of proof is split, and that my opponent must make their case by a preponderance of the evidence. All rounds can be for argument.

I expect the debate to touch briefly on the following:
Open Theism
Libertarian Free Will
Calvinism
Arminianism
Molinism
Determinism

The debate is not limited to those and I don't require my opponent to address all of them, but if my opponent can reconcile at least one of these ideas with Biblical and philosophical truth by preponderance of the evidence, then they will win the debate.

Without first seeing my opponent's arguments, it is hard to make a case, but I will try here.

1) Molinism
Molinism is the assertion that God has "middle knowledge" of what are known as "counterfactuals", for example, "If S is placed in situation C, then S will freely choose A." I would argue that this still implies determinism, although it is indirect. The Molinist argues that God's middle knowledge logically precedes his creation. This means that God chose the world that we exist in based on his middle knowledge. This is still deterministic. Say that the first person he created was Johnny. By God's factual and free knowledge, as well as his choice in creating the world Johnny is in, he already is aware beforehand of Johnny's situation C and knows Johnny will pick A. If Johnny picks A, then he is put in situation C'. God would already know, by his middle knowledge, that Johnny would choose A' when put in situation C'. Therefore, before Johnny even makes a decision during situation C, God will already know what he picked, it's results, and what he would pick in the next situation. Extend that to every choice Johnny makes in his earthly life, and God already knows everything that will ever happen to him. And that scenario happened because God chose the world to create, therefore creating the initial situation C, rendering free will null and void. And if Johnny performed any sin during his life (as all humans are sinful, he would), then God would have essentially chose him to perform that sin because he chose the situation that Johnny would be put in, knowing that he would choose everything that would lead him up to that point in his life where he would choose to sin. Rendering God not omnibenevolent.

http://www.dansheffler.com... does a good job of showing that a person's choice is either determined by God or by pure luck/chance. Whether or not "chance" can be described as true free will is up to debate, but according to a Molinistic view, these can really be the only alternatives.

2) Open Theism
Open Theism asserts that God's omniscience means that he knows any and all true propositions. What will happen in the future cannot be said to be true, for there are multiple possible worlds, none of which have happened yet. Therefore there are no true propositions regarding the future, meaning simply God does not know the future. I won't go too in-depth here, my only objection is that if God does not have even a middle knowledge of the future, then he doesn't seem very divine, powerful, or omniscient, and on that matter, how could God make prophecies about the future if he himself doesn't know they'll happen?

That is all I will address here. My opponent will need to find some way to reconcile one of these views and the problems they pose with what the Bible says both about God's sovereignty and our free will.

Thank you.
harrytruman

Pro

I will be using google documents because of clearer and larger fonts, I can post pictures on google documents, I can put words in italics, bold, underlining, or eve change their color, which is much better for arguments, also, google documents appear on a larger screen when writing than debate arguments.

https://docs.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Legendary_Houp

Con

Legendary_Houp forfeited this round.
harrytruman

Pro

Harrytruman wins by knockout!
Debate Round No. 2
Legendary_Houp

Con

Legendary_Houp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Legendary_Houp

Con

Legendary_Houp forfeited this round.
harrytruman

Pro

Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 4
Legendary_Houp

Con

Legendary_Houp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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