Molinist Debate

Molinist shared a link to the group:

April 5 at 9:17pm ·

Both Calvinists and open theists have argued that if God knows the future infallibly then it must be determined and Free Will does not exist. Leighton flowers has mentioned that this is a logical fallacy of conflating certainty with necessity. This originally came from William Lane Craig and here is the video that it came from.

[William Lane Craig] Q&A – If God foreknows all my decisions, do I have free will?

 

Chris Fisher Craig fights a strawman, which allows him to avoid the real questions:

 

 

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Monilist Not a straw man at all. Both calvinist and open theists have argued that if God knows the future completely then it makes it necessary and dr. Craig was responding to that. God knowing the future does not mean that he determined it. You can believe in determinism if you want to but two conflate certainty with necessity is logically fallacious.

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Chris Fisher You built the strawman too. It can both be true that foreknowledge does not equal causation and that a known future necessitates fatalism. See my chart above, which you ignored.

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Monilist Your graph also does not follow with the video because it’s not about God telling what color should I wear tomorrow the issue is since God knows what color should I wear tomorrow does that make it determined

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Chris Fisher ^Again, ZERO people are claiming that because God knows what color shirt you will wear means He determined it. That is the strawman which allows you to maintain your fiction to fight.

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Monilist Tons of people are claiming that who have you been reading?

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Chris Fisher Alright, from this thread, you have claimed that I claimed that foreknowledge equals God determining everything. Because that is not true, and blatantly false, and you didn’t understand my argument, I am going to go out on a limb and say you probably didn’t understand other people’s arguments either.

If God knows what shirt I WILL wear tomorrow, fatalism is true. See my chart.

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  • Reply · 4w · Edited

Monilist You said if God knows what shirt I will wear tomorrow fatalism is true. That is the same thing as saying that if God knows the future it must be determined. You just affirmed the supposed strawman that you claim that I made

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Chris Fisher False. This is why it is hard to have an honest dialogue. It could be the case that God is a part of fatalism. God is just fated as much as everything else in the universe, and although He is fated to know the future, the fate (or some other third party mechanism) is the cause and not God.

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Chris Fisher In your system, God is just as much an aspect of fate as you and I. He has no volition and no free will. Not even He can change the future.

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Monilist So you’re saying you believe in materialistic fatalism

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Chris Fisher No… Never said that. Deal with my arguments.

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Chris Fisher

 

 

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Chris Fisher And, as a note, none of my arguments rise or fall on anything I personally believe.

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Monilist Okay first of all the chart you cited is a little wonky. The first blue bubble asked two different questions. But it only provided one no. If the no is an answer to the first question it does not follow that fatalism is true. If no was an answer to the second question then fatalism would be true. The yes to the first blue bubble if that is the answer to both questions the conclusion that the future is open does not follow. Same with the green bubble that’s connected to the final blue bubble. It does not follow that if you were to choose a different color shirt then God wouldn’t have told you what color shirt you will wear. He just would have told you differently have you chosen a different color shirt

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Chris Fisher Monilist You are not following the premise of what is happening here. Molinism is false for the same reason any time travel movie falls apart. You have results pre-existing the cause.

I am going to wear a shirt tomorrow. God should have that knowledge and SHOULD be able to tell me what shirt I WILL (not MIGHT) wear. If God knows the future and what I will do in any circumstance, He should be able to even factor in telling me what color shirt I WILL wear. Now that I am informed, I use that knowledge to subvert what God knows WILL happen. God didn’t actually then tell me what shirt I WILL wear.

 

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Chris Fisher Either the future that God knows WILL happen CAN be subverted, or fatalism is true. Pick one. You don’t get both.

 

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Monilist Once again you’re conflating certainty with necessity. You’re committing the very fallacy that dr. Craig is talking about in the video. And I don’t think you’re actually following with what I’m saying either. Just because God knows something in advance does not make that necessary or faded Just as us knowing what happened in the final game of the World Series in 1997 for example does not make what happened in that game necessary. And God can know the future without telling us what the future is. I don’t understand why the graph felt the need to mention God telling us the future. And I don’t have to pick one of the choices that you gave me. I would say neither one. God does know what will happen in the future and it cannot be subverted. That does not make fatalism true because I could have done something different and if I had God’s foreknowledge would have been different. Moreover there could be tons of other ways that God could know the future exhaustively without necessitating fatalism. For example God could be present in all times as well as all places. In this scenario God would know all the future exhaustively because he would already be there presently. And certainly fatalism would not be necessitated in that situation. But even if you interpret foreknowledge to mean that God is looking ahead into the future but only existing in our present it still does not follow that fatalism is true.

 

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Chris Fisher Now you attempting to win the argument by introducing outside concepts that don’t make any sense, and that you have not proved. An event in the past that cannot be different than it is, you label it as not a “necessary” event. That is a major assumption you are importing into the conversation. Explain to me how an event that cannot be other than it is, and never could have been, is anything except a fated, necessary event?

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Chris Fisher “That does not make fatalism true because I could have done something different”… no you couldn’t have. That is what we are discussing. Just import unproven assumptions. I am arguing that 100%, absolute knowledge of the future means fatalism is true. Assuming your position is true before the discussion begins is the fallacy of Begging the Question.

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Monilist Moreover if you are arguing that God himself is faded then you are in a sense saying that there is something greater than God that is fading God to do what he does

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Chris Fisher Again, I am not arguing anything about what I believe. My arguments do not rise or fall on my personal beliefs. This latest comment of yours is more evidence of this bad thinking. While I do argue that foreknowledge does not equal causation, foreknowledge plus other factors might. If you assume new factors into the equation, yeah, God can easily be the cause of the fate. But that is why this thread exists. WLC and you build strawmen to dismantle, rather than the actual arguments.

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Monilist I disagree and I really do not have time to debate this all night. If you had watched the video you would have noticed that William Lane Craig brought up open theists which have used the argument that he refuted so it is not a straw man it may not be what you believe but it is not a straw man of what his audience is

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Monilist And I was no more begging the question than you were when you simply asserted that you couldn’t have done otherwise if God had known it we simply have different philosophical assumptions

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MonilistNUM2t Chris Fisher Having taken a graduate level class on Divine omniscience with Dr. Craig, I can assure you he does not build a strawman.
He typically does not engage other view points with cartoons and memes, unlike some; rather, he actually refers to Molina, Boyd, Sanders, Hasker, Plantinga, etc.

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Chris Fisher You: So SFK (simple foreknowledge) of God does not equal fate.
Me: True. But foreknowledge means things are fated.
You: So foreknolwedge causes fate.
Me: No. Again, it is proof of fate’s existence. Something else could cause the fate.
You: But God has the SFK and nothing is greater than him, so therefore he could be the only cause.
Me: Alright, so why on Earth are you building strawman arguments about SFK and fate, rather than your SFK + Perfect Being theology actual belief.

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Chris Fisher MonilistNUM2t Yeah, thanks for a constructive addition to this conversation that added real intellectual points.

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Monilist Foreknowledge does not mean things are faded it just means that God knows them that’s all it means

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Chris Fisher Again, refer to the chart. If something is known 100% by anyone, even if that being is not God, then fatalism is true.

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Monilist And I disagree with the reasoning of that chart

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MonilistNUM2t Chris Fisher Of course, you’re welcome.

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Chris Fisher You haven’t answered it though. Can God tell me something I WILL (no kidding, not a joke, not a funny funny, I WILL, seriously, not kidding) do, and then can I do something else?

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Monilist The issue is God’s knowledge not what God may or may not tell you

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Monilist And I have answered it you just don’t agree with it yes you could have done differently and if you had God would have told you differently

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Chris Fisher Yeah, we have examples in the Bible of God telling the future. So apply my example to those instances rather than running from the question.

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Chris Fisher “yes you could have done differently”, then God didn’t tell me the future. Congratulations, God didn’t “know” the future.

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Monilist Now we’re just talking in circles

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Chris Fisher You literally just told me that the future God knows WILL happen, will NOT happen.

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Monilist Soteriology 101 what was the passage in 1st or 2nd Samuel where God foreknew an event that did not come to pass

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Monilist No that is not what I said that is a straw man

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Chris Fisher Me: Can God tell me something I WILL (no kidding, not a joke, not a funny funny, I WILL, seriously, not kidding) do, and then can I do something else?

You: Let me not answer your question, and change it to something entirely different so I can avoid your point. Because I build strawmen rather than dealing with arguments.

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MonilistNUM2t Monilist You might be thinking of 1 Samuel 23:6–13

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Chris Fisher

 

 

 

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Chris Fisher 1Sa 15:11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night.

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Chris Fisher 1Sa 2:30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

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Chris Fisher What he is actually referencing is Keilah. 1Sa 23:12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will surrender you.”

I have a response to the Heiser position here:

https://godisopen.com/…/apologetics-thrusday-god-warns…/Manage

Apologetics Thursday – God Warns David about Keilah – God is Open

GODISOPEN.COM

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Chris Fisher Abraham, as well, “knows” the future:

Gen 12:11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance,
Gen 12:12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live.
Gen 12:13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.”

So, if you are claiming Keilah tells you something about God knowing “all possible futures” you might as well make the same claim about Abraham.

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MonilistNUM2t Chris Fisher “Me: Can God tell me something I WILL (no kidding, not a joke, not a funny funny, I WILL, seriously, not kidding) do, and then can I do something else?”

Sifting through the superfluous parts about jokes and being funny, the answer is yes; God could tell you what you will do and you still can do something else.

I’m not sure why this is confusing to you. Perhaps you’re unaware of logical priority as opposed to temporal priority or other such terminology.

Part of the reason this discussion is not going far is terms are not being defined properly. For example, defining exactly what you mean by “can” would be prudent. For example, “can/could do otherwise” usually means completely different things for a compatibilist versus a libertarian.

I’ll take the time to respond once to you, but then have other things I’d rather spend time on.

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Chris Fisher //God could tell you what you will do and you still can do something else.

Then the future is not known. God doesn’t “know” the future. If your argument is that God can change the future, and man can as well, that is not molinism, that is Open Theistic neo-molinism. The future is not set and can be changed. It is not “known”.

Also, Begging the Question is a fallacy. If you are introducing concepts that should be rejected for being self-contradictory, at least attempt to prove them.

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Chris Fisher And straight out, Molinism is not a Biblical concept, as we see from God revoking an eternal promise to replace it with a conditional promise. It doesn’t get more clear than that.

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MonilistNUM2t Chris Fisher “Then the future is not known.”
Of course it is. I just said that God knows what you will do and He told you so. Maybe I could make it more obvious for you: The future is known by God.
That should be hard to misunderstand or strawman.

You seem to misunderstand Molinism (and my explicit response) completely. You keep talking about people running from your questions but then when I do answer, you ignore my answer.

The Molinist-biblical view is more than clear that God knows the future, including creaturely free choices. So in no uncertain terms the future is known by God.

And I never said anything about God or man changing the future. That’s not “neo-Molinism” in the slightest; One of Molinism’s core tenets is God’s exhaustive foreknowledge.

I did not attempt to prove logical or temporal priority (why these basic philosophical axioms would need to be proved is beyond me, however). You are the one speaking as if your cartoon disproved Molinism and I merely pointed out you seem wholly ignorant of Molina’s writings.

Even so, the point is that God knows what you will do precisely because the free choice was made. The logical priority is to the free choice. God knows temporally prior what the free choice will be; but that in no way suggests it is determined. God knows the free choice because it will be made. At the moment of the choice, you will have (libertarian) freedom to choose A or -A. Meaning you *can* choose otherwise. You *won’t* choose otherwise, but you can. Also, the choice is self-determined, which is a weaker, but also sufficient condition for libertarian freedom. Craig actually endorses this latter view of libertarian freedom.

Your final sweeping assertion about your exegetical conclusions is so vague it’s difficult to respond to. I could just as easily say this novel Open Theistic view is biblical baseless and built upon a philosophical problem which is trivially easy to solve for all but a view confused individuals. But this is hardly helpful, even though it is true.

Succinctly put, you have provided nothing compelling in the slightest to reject the biblical data of God’s exhaustive foreknowledge. There is no philosophical problem nor is there biblical space to embrace Openism.

It was a fun conversion! But I do not have the interest to engage further. Feel free to respond, though, if you feel so inclined.
Blessings, brother!

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Chris Fisher “Of course it is. I just said that God knows what you will do and He told you so.”

If God told me what I “will” do, but I did something else, then God didn’t tell me what I “will” do. He told me what I “will do under certain circumstances” but He didn’t tell me anything about what WILL happen.

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Chris Fisher “You keep talking about people running from your questions but then when I do answer, you ignore my answer.”

I directly responded to it, and quoted it.

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Chris Fisher “And I never said anything about God or man changing the future. That’s not “neo-Molinism” in the slightest; One of Molinism’s core tenets is God’s exhaustive foreknowledge. ”

Fantastic. God has exhaustive foreknowledge, excluding what future will be actualized, according to your answer to my question. Welcome to Open Theism.

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Chris Fisher “I did not attempt to prove logical or temporal priority (why these basic philosophical axioms would need to be proved is beyond me, however).”

I gave an example. There is an event that is referenced in the past. It is fixed. It can never change. It will never change. If God exhaustively knew it would always be, then it could never have been any different, but then you say it is not “necessary”. George H Smith, an atheist, points out this Begging the Question in his book against Christianity. You introduce non-nonsensical, and self contradictory categories to deal with the problems your system creates.

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Chris Fisher “Your final sweeping assertion about your exegetical conclusions is so vague it’s difficult to respond to.”

This thread is not about the Bible. I had referenced it when you side started denying God could say anything about the future, and I had to snap you guys back to reality. We could definitely debate the Biblical view of foreknowledge.

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Chris Fisher “Succinctly put, you have provided nothing compelling in the slightest to reject the biblical data of God’s exhaustive foreknowledge. ”

The Biblical data is conclusive. Your side 100% relies on Special Pleading and Begging the Question. But this thread is not about the Biblical data. But, I have hundreds of thousands of words written on the topic if you care.

 

One comment

  1. To my reading of all of the philosophical literature – fatalism and determinism are not the same thing. Fatalism posits that things occur “of necessity” where determinism does not. However my personal view is that fatalism and determinism are like two apples from the same tree. They are two distinctly unique apples, but they share the modal characteristics of inevitability, and unavailability.

    I’m not sure if Dr. Craig avoids answering the question of whether or not God knows what one *WILL* do or not. I suspect with his “God’s foreknowledge is like an infallible barometer” analogy, and that God’s foreknowledge can be “logically” posterior to what you *WILL* do – he would say that God can know what you *WILL* do. I think those who trust Dr. Craig would be willing to accept this statement without further inquiry – but the critical thinker would want to have a more concrete explanation of how that works. And I’m not sure Dr. Craig provides that.

    The current literature which reviews this territory, does point to determinism, molinism and open theism as the three schools which take this topic most seriously. Of those three, a preponderance of Christian philosophers have the least inclination for the determinist (aka Calvinist) position – due to its byproducts – which include “Author of evil”, God communicating as a deceiver in scripture, and Calvinists corrupting themselves with an almost serpentine language because determinism forces them to embrace two sides of every contradiction.

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