March 20, 2004

God and Free Will, Redux

Brian Weatherson, Keith DeRose, and I are discussing free will, indeterminism, and the possibility of God's existence over at Brian's site.

Stray thought: Is Newcomb's problem like the question of how we should behave if predestination is true? God has already predicted what you would do and decided where you will go based on that; should you now reason that the decision has been made and do whatever you want?

My understanding of predestination is not sound enough to say--believers in predestination think salvation is through faith, not works, I think, which might undermine the analogy.

Posted by Matt Weiner at March 20, 2004 09:40 AM

Hmm we've had a similar thread going on here, although I'm sure not at quite the same level. It appears some of us are still trying to work these problems out.

Posted by: Matthew at March 20, 2004 05:57 PM

Nice link. On transworld depravity I find myself sympathetic to the last two posts on that link by Mark Steen and Clayton Littlejohn--the structure of worlds is the structure of possibility, so to say that it is possible that everyone is transworld depraved is either question-begging or a category error.--There's a lot more stuff to be said, though, concerning which worlds God can actualize and what it means to actualize a world, anyway. (And Plantinga says some of it.)

Some of the other arguments theists are making in that thread I find sympathetic to the soul-making theodicies; Wykstra's CORNEA argument in particular doesn't seem to posit incompatbilist free will but some greater good that defeats the evil.

Anyway, Keith and I were certainly eliding a lot of details of the debate in order to state our final positions; your thread gets into the nitty-gritty a lot more.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at March 20, 2004 11:04 PM


Predesdtination operates by Grace. At least in classical Calvinism.

Posted by: robin at March 23, 2004 02:26 AM

In classical Calvinism, is whether you get God's Grace correlated with your behavior? I don't mean that it's caused by your behavior, as that would go against the idea of Grace, I'm just curious whether those who receive God's Grace go on to behave virtuously. My memories of Max Weber would imply that he thought that that was the case, but he may not be the best source.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at March 24, 2004 08:40 AM

Been away - sorry.

No, absolutely not correlated with behaviour. The Elect are chosen - end of story. The opposite of redemption by works and not at all like redemption by faith. Hardly surprising it didn't catch on much. But where it did it was very high handed.

The snag is: who knows who has been Chosen?

Posted by: robin at April 5, 2004 09:55 AM