Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Files: Hunt - Why Simple Foreknowledge is Still Useful

In Dave Hunt's article, Why Simple Foreknowledge is Still Useful, Hunt argues that God uses simple foreknowledge providentially. His primary case is a rock, paper scissors example: The lynchpin of my argument was a counterexample, developed at length and with great care. It involved a version of rock-paper-scissors played between God and Satan. In this version God first declares rock, paper, or scissors, but only mentally, without revealing it; Satan then makes a libertarian free decision to declare rock, paper, or scissors; finally, God reveals what he declared. I claimed that the open theist God, who lacks simple foreknowledge, might well lose this game: victory is not guaranteed. (No open theist would dispute this claim.) But it is equally clear that a God endowed with simple foreknowledge can always make the right declaration of rock, paper, or scissors, based on his foreknowledge of what Satan will freely declare. So if God's objective is to win this game against Satan, simple foreknowledge gives him a clear providential advantage.

Hunt then addresses Haskers' counterargument:

(1) In order for God's decisions to be made on the basis of his foreknowledge they must be subsequent, in the logical and explanatory order, to that foreknowledge.
(2) In order for God's decisions to be included in God's foreknowledge the decisions must be prior, in the logical and explanatory order, to that foreknowledge.
(3) Therefore, if God's decisions are included in God's foreknowledge (as they are according to CSF [Complete Simple Foreknowledge]), those decisions cannot be made on the basis of his foreknowledge.


Hunt's response it to distinguish between God's foreknowledge of what someone else will do and God's foreknowledge of what He will do.

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