Wednesday, May 26, 2010

William Lane Craig on the Compound and Divided Sense

“When addressing the question of whether it is within one’s power to prevent some future event, it is important to keep clear that the distinction between the sensus divisus and the sensus composites. In sensu composito I cannot prevent a future event, for this is self-contradictory. But in sensu diviso I can prevent some future event, for I have contra-causal power to bring about future events. Similarly it is not within one’s power to postvent a past event in sensu composito because this is self-contaditory. Since backward causation is metaphysically impossible, we do not generally have it within our power to affect the past even is sensu division, thus generating our intuitions of the unalterability of the past as over against the future. But where what is past is conditioned by what is future (for example, future contingent propositions’ being antecedently true), I have the power to act in such a way that the past would have been different than it in fact was. (Craig. Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom. p 159)

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