Compatibilism about x and y is the doctrine that x and y are compatible, that is, that they may obtain together or be true together or that an individual may possess both. The usual use of this term in philosophy is concerning freedom or moral responsibility on the one hand and determinism on the other. The compatibilist claims that freedom or moral responsibility is compatible with determinism, that is, that an individual may be determined by something distinct freely to perform an action for which he or she is morally responsible. The incompatibilist denies this claim, saying that if an individual is determined to perform an action then he or she does not perform it freely and has no moral responsibility for it. Many Christian philosophers are incompatibilists, claiming that God has graciously refrained from determining us in order that we might freely love him. But other Christian philosophers are compatibilists, claiming that if God does not determine everything then he is not sovereign over all. There is also another, rarer, usage of the term 'compatibilism', concerning freedom and infallible foreknowledge. According to this usage, a compatibilist claims that it is possible for an individual, such as God, infallibly to foreknow what an individual will freely do. The incompatibilist in this sense claims that it is not possible for anyone infallibly to foreknow what an individual will freely do. Many incompatibilists in this sense are proponents of open theism.
   Further reading Fischer 1989 and 2005; Kane 2002 and 2005; Tomberlin 2000; van Inwagen 1983

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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