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Free Will & Divine Foreknowledge

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7/21/2014 8:50:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have only recently started to look at this in more detail, the argument states that divine foreknowledge (which is a subset of omniscience) and libertarian free will are incompatible. The argument goes (roughly) as follows:

P1) If God has divine foreknowledge, then he knows the results of all choices that will occur
P2) If he knows the results of all choices that will occur, then one cannot have chosen differently
P3) If one cannot have chosen differently, then libertarian free will does not exist
C) If God has divine foreknowledge, then libertarian free will does not exist

Defence of P1:
This is part of the description of divine foreknowledge, God knows the future the same way that God knows the past. It doesn't matter which series of time is true (although B series raises serious free will questions anyway) since he description follows. Also since. choices occur all the time then rejecting this premise means God can barely know the future.

Defence of P2:
This is trickier, but also very logical. Let's say I have a choice to eat weetabix or toast for breakfast tomorrow, if libertarian free will is true then I can at any moment choose differently. However if God already knows my choice, then for me to choose differently is to violate God's omniscience, God would have been incorrect, which is absurd given P1. Therefore for God to know the future, the future would then be 'set in stone', similarly to how the past is.

Defence of P3:
Already partially defended in P2, there are a handful of compatiblist arguments (all of which are unconvincing). It gives up on the notion that free will gives us the power to do otherwise (doctorine of free will). Going back to my breakfast example, let's assume that the breadbox is empty, and that toast is impossible to make. However in the morning I choose (in ignorance of the lack if bread) to eat weetabix.

Now, did. I choose to eat weetabix? Clearly the answer in this case is no, one's ignorance has no bearing on whether or not one actually had a choice, since choosing to do otherwise would yield an impossible solution (there is no break for toast, so I must have weetabix). Similarly, this is the equivalent of compatiblist defences, which essentially assert that we can enjoy being puppets so long as we like our strings.

The conclusion logically follows if all premises are true, which states you cannot have both free will and perfect foreknowledge.