foreknowledge and freedom, problem of

foreknowledge and freedom, problem of
   Either I'll stay in tomorrow or I'll go out tomorrow. Suppose that I shall stay in tomorrow. Then God, who has perfect knowledge, surely knows now that I shall stay in tomorrow. But then how can I be free to go out tomorrow, since if I were to go out I should undo the past by making God not have known that I'd stay in after all, which surely is impossible. This is the problem of freedom and foreknowledge. It depends on God's having infallible forebelief of free actions (not necessarily of humans: the problem also arises concerning his own free actions if he is in time). The notion of freedom employed here is that of libertarianism, which is usually glossed as having the power to the contrary, that is, having the power to perform the action in question and the power to refrain from performing it. Many solutions have been offered to this problem:
   1. Denial that we have freedom on the libertarian conception. This is the strategy of theistic determinists, prominent among whom are those of a Calvinistic bent. This strategy by itself leaves the problem of God's foreknowledge of his own free actions untouched.
   2. Denial that God is in time. This entails that God has no forebelief or foreknowledge, and so the problem does not get off the ground. This does not address the problem of prophets in time, however.
   3. Denial that God has knowledge of future free actions. This is the strategy of the 'open theists', who variously claim, with regard to free actions, that there is no future to know, or that there is, but it is just plain impossible to foreknow it (Swinburne). This leaves prophecies of events requiring the performance of specific free actions looking fallible, however.
   4. Affirmation that we have power over the past. This strategy claims that we can bring it about now that God knew something in the past. Most advocates of this position deny that we have causal power over the past, but claim we have counterfactual power over it.
   5. Ockhamism. This is the view that God's foreknowledge and, indeed, forebelief, are 'soft facts' and so not accidentally necessary and so do not endanger the freedom of future actions.
   6. Molinism. This is the view that God's foreknowledge is based on his knowledge of what free agents would do in various situations and of the situations they will in fact be in.
   Further reading: Fischer 1989; Zagzebski 1991

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nature and Attributes of God —     The Nature and Attributes of God     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Nature and Attributes of God     I. As Known Through Natural Reason     A. Infinity of God     B. Unity or Unicity of God     C. Simplicity of God     D. Divine Personality… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Paris and Oxford between Aureoli and Rimini — Chris Schabel Oxford ideas in logic and natural philosophy were readily received, analysed, and partially incorporated into corresponding writings of a logical or natural philosophical nature at the University of Paris throughout the 1320s, 1330s …   History of philosophy

  • Henry of Ghent and Duns Scotus — Stephen Dumont LIFE AND WORKS Henry of Ghent Henry of Ghent was arguably the most influential Latin theologian between Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus, regent as a leading master of theology at the University of Paris for the better part of the… …   History of philosophy

  • Ockham’s world and future — Arthur Gibson PHILOSOPHICAL BIOGRAPHY Ockham was born in about 1285, certainly before 1290, probably in the village of Ockham, Surrey, near London. If his epitaph is accurate, he died on 10 April 1347. Yet Conrad of Megenberg, when writing to… …   History of philosophy

  • free will and predestination —    The tension between human free will and God’s predestination is a thorny issue in the Islamic tradition. Although one can find prominent strains of fatalism in pre Islamic thought, concepts such as dahr or zaman (‘time’, which inexorably… …   Islamic philosophy dictionary

  • free will problem — Problem arising from the apparent inconsistency between causal determinism in nature and the human power or capacity to choose among alternatives or act freely in certain situations, thus independently of natural, social, or divine compulsions.… …   Universalium

  • hard-fact/soft-fact debate —    The debate among Christian philosophers over hard facts and soft facts is bound up with the problem of foreknowledge and freedom. There is not even agreement among Christian philosophers as to the definition of the terms hard fact and soft… …   Christian Philosophy

  • Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations timeline — The Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda timeline below list allegations of meetings, all but one now discounted, denied or disproven by the United States Government, between al Qaeda members and members of Saddam Hussein s government, as well as other… …   Wikipedia

  • theism, open —    Open theism is the view of recent popularity that the affirmation that determinism is false and that humans have freedom as per libertarianism commits one to believing that God does not know future free actions. Open theism is thus a radical… …   Christian Philosophy

  • Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations — were made by some U.S. Government officials who claimed that a highly secretive relationship existed between former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the radical Islamist militant organization Al Qaeda from 1992 to 2003, specifically through a… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”