Monday, April 9, 2012

Turretinfan's Conclusion: The Bible Teaches Libertarian Free Will Debate (Part 10 of 12)


The first point that we should consider is that the affirmative burden has not been met.  If fact, all that scripture does is speak about choosing, which both on compatiblism and on LFW is the case. More significantly, scripture even speaks of the will being exercised, choices being made and God determining those things, hand in hand, which shows that those two things are compatible.  That’s the strongest evidence that we could get that those things are compatible and we haven’t had anything from the other side.  There’s no where in scripture that says the other way, that they are incompatible. 

Most of the argument has revolved around whether or not something is a real possibility if unbeknownst to us, God has determined which of the two possibilities we will choose.  In other words, what it comes down to is one side shouting more loudly that such and such isn’t a real possibility if in fact God has determined we will select the other possibility of the two possibilities.  Or that in fact nothing is possible, given the fact that everything is absolutely certain to occur. 

Now, those points skip over the fact that the bible is written in the common speech.  And was we elucidated at great and somewhat painful length, the ordinary sense of choose doesn’t normally have reference to God’s decrees.  We provided some examples in scripture where they do have reference to God’s decree, but in those cases, the choice is one way. In other words, in the Daniel case, there are certain things that he will do, things that he will choose to do, he will exercise his will.  But these are the things he will do, he will exalt himself above the God’s and he will even blaspheme the God of god’s.  These as things he will do, but God has determined they will occur.  Look in the context, you can see this is a prophecy, these are things that are certain to occur and these things are things God has determined.  God is not suggesting fatalistically that only the final judgment has been determined but the various enumerated items that are going to occur, will occur.

The question from the libertarian free will side, ultimately boils down to, not what does the scripture say; it comes down to what philosophical structure we impose on those words. There is not one case of the peg is square, the peg is square, the peg is square, where we are told the square peg doesn’t go into this type of hole.  In other words, you have a choice, you have a choice, but you don’t have a choice when God’s has determined.  If it has some sort of statement like that, perhaps we would have some sort of compelling case for incompatibly.  As it stands, from the standpoint of scripture, they merely say that men can choose and they say that these choices are compatible with God’s determination. 

The classic example that I provided in addition to the Daniel case, is the example of Christ’s crucifixion.  Which was the choice of the Sanhedrin and yet it was at the determinate council of God.  Now maybe someone will say that freewill is sometimes suspended, but these are acts (the ones that I identified, in fact the 7 men I identified) which men were held responsible for, which God determined what they would do.    So unless we are going to take an irrelevance position with respect to free will, in which they can be held morally responsible for things in which they had no free will, which would be a very strange point for a libertarian free will advocate to take.  If we grant they had responsibility and that responsibility is tied to it being voluntary, these are all voluntary acts and yet they were determined by God, which proves they are compatible and it proves it from scripture, unlike trying to prove that the philosophical meaning of possibility requires possibility not withstanding God’s decree. Which isn’t the ordinary meaning, as we explained many times.

Accordingly, since the burden has not been met, I respectfully request a vote for a negative ballot. 

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