The redoubtable Calvindude did a post on freewill which has long since disappeared into the archive. However, the debate continues apace in the combox. Here is my side of the debate.
“If he were consistent with his theological determinism he would admit that if all events are predetermined then the reality of choice is an illusion. In each and every situation we find ourselves we may think that we could actually choose from among available alternatives, but in reality, since every event is predetermined, we can only do the one action which we were predetermined to do in a particular situation. And if we are only able to do that one action, then we do not have a choice.”
But in reality, we can only make one choice at a time even if our choices were not predetermined and we had a variety of live options.
So why, even on your own grounds, is it necessary to have a number of unexemplified alternate possibilities if the choice you make is the choice you were going to make all along?
Whether you subscribe to determinism, predeterminism, or indeterminism, there is only one actual future.
Even if you think a human agent helps to create the future, there is only one actual future.
So that is the only future that was ever going to be. You may not think that this is the only future that had to be. But it does come down to just one future. Just one outcome.
Hence, there is only one future choice you were actually going to make. This is irrespective of what preconditions you posit for that outcome.
That being the case, why do you assume that freedom of opportunity or freedom to do otherwise is morally essential or even morally significant?
It might be morally significant if the outcome you would have chosen differs from the actual outcome. But suppose they are the same?
Henry seems to have a problem thinking outside his own little box. For purposes of this discussion, I’m not presenting or defending my own theological position. Rather, I’m posing a more general, philosophical question as it bears on his underlying assumptions.
On any view you take, whether libertarianism, soft determinism, or hard determinism, there is only one actual future. So there is only one action you were going to perform.
This doesn’t depend on whether you always intended to do that. It doesn’t depend on a particular chain of causality.
Rather, I’m merely posing a question about the fact that there is only one actual future, and hence, only one future action that you can take at a time, in which case, that’s the only thing you were ever going to do.
If that is the case, then why is it morally significant to have unexemplified alternate possibilities? Alternate possibilities which you were never going to act on.
Suppose you're given an apparent choice between Door A and Door B. Unbeknownst to you, Door A is locked. So you didn't have a "genuine" choice. You couldn't go through Door A even if you wanted to.
Yet, suppose you choose Door B. And since you choose Door B, that was the only door you were going to choose. That's the only door you were ever going to choose.
In that event, what does it matter if Door A was locked or unlocked? It would only matter if you tried to choose Door A. If you tried to open Door A, and failed, because it was locked.
“I am not the one who has God in a box claiming that he cannot know the future choices of human persons unless he predetermined all of them. That is your imaginary box,not mine.”
Henry appears to have difficulty sorting out who said what. In the course of this thread, I’ve never said whether God’s foreordination is or is not a prerequisite for his foreknowledge.
i) Since, however, he raises the issue, I would note that, in Isaiah 40-48, God’s foreordination is a prerequisite for his foreknowledge. God knows the future because he planned it, and nothing can thwart his plan. So my box is the Bible.
ii) And, of course, an open theist would say that Henry is putting God in a box by insisting that God must know the future to control it.
“Seems to me the more important question is whether alternatives to the actions which we choose to perform ever exist (or are doable).”
How is that more important if their existence is morally inconsequential?
“It is no use discussing why these unrealized alternatives exist, if it has not been first established that alternatives exist when we decide from among alternative actions.”
Sigh. Someone else who can’t follow his own line of reasoning. Traditionally, the primary appeal of libertarianism has been the intuition that alternate possibilities are necessary to ground responsibility.
Now, Frankfurt-type examples of the sort mentioned by Manata have forced some libertarians to reconstruct libertarianism.So the question of whether alternative possibilities are morally significant is quite germane to the case for or against libertarianism.
After all, it’s not as if we enjoy independent access to alternate possibilities. For even if these “exist” (whatever that means), they cannot be simultaneously realized—otherwise they wouldn’t be *alternate* possibilities. So even if we could act on one, we cannot explore all of them. Therefore, we have no direct evidence for the existence of alternate possibilities.
Hence, the arguments for their existence are indirect, such as arguing from responsibility to alternate possibilities.
“This is why I have been discussing the reality of choices.”
You don’t get to dictate the terms of the discussion.
“Choices cannot exist unless alternatives exist because to make a choice, select, decide, is to do so from among available alternatives.”
This simply begs the question in favor of libertarianism. And, as Peter has pointed out, it also equivocates over what makes a choice a choice.
“In my previous post I gave some reasons why alternatives are important for moral purposes, and you chose to ignore them all.”
Yes, because they’re nullified by the question I’m asking, unless you can answer it.
“The presence of both alternatives we choose to do and alternatives that we did not choose to do, but could have done, is good evidence for the reality of choices.”
You don’t have any evidence for that since you can only make one choice at a time. Hence, you don’t know if the other apparent options were live options or not. You never tried that doorknob.
One of the problems is that you’re confounding imagination with alternate possibilities. The fact that you can imagine alternative scenarios, and the further fact that this figures in your moral or rational deliberation, does not, of itself, mean that you could actually have done otherwise.
“Regret by the way presupposes that we could have done otherwise, that we had a choice, and that we believe that we chose wrongly.”
No, it merely presupposes an active imagination. We can imagine having done otherwise.
“When Jesus is about to be arrested he claims that he could call a legion of angels to deliver him. Did he do so? NO. But his appeal to an ‘unexemplified alternative’ is evidence of His power and authority.”
You’re tacitly assuming that divine and human freedom are analogous. The fact that Jesus could do something doesn’t me that you or I could do the same thing.
“In the so-called warning passages in Hebrews, assuming rightly, that we cannot lose our salvation. Some calvinists will speak of these warnings as pointing to ‘unexmplified alternatives’ that are useful for sanctification purposes. So again, ‘unexemplified alternatives’ can be instructive. In the story of Keilah where David is told about what would happen if he stayed (an unexemplified alternative), based on this information he then decides to leave Keilah. Knowing the ‘unexemplified alternative’ was useful for him to know.”
A Calvinist doesn’t deny alternate possibilities. That’s not the question.
The question, rather, is whether these possibilities are indexed to the agency of man or God. From a Reformed standpoint, a counterfactual is something that could have been otherwise had God chosen to decree otherwise.
“But none of this has much of a bearing on what I have been emphasizing, which is that exhaustive determinism eliminates the reality of choices.”
Another one of Henry’s problems is the assumption that by merely annexing an adjective to a noun, like *real* choices or *actual* choices, he has presented a metaphysically tenable or meaningful distinction.
“I have asked you repeatedly if you think there are ever situations in which actual choices can occur if every event has been predetermined by God and you won't answer that question.”
This is simplistic. Can a man choose contrary to what God has decreed? No. Are the reprobate free to either believe or disbelieve the gospel? No. Can the saints in heaven commit apostasy? No. Can the damned repent? No. Can Pharaoh resist the hardening of God? No.
On the other hand, human beings are free to follow their strongest desire as long as they have the opportunity to do so.
“The Isaiah passage is a good one to present to open theists as in in it is made clear that God knows the future. But the claim that ‘foreordination is a prerequisite for his foreknowledge" is merely the statement of a calvinist presupposition.”
Wrong. That linkage is made in Isaiah itself.
“Calvinists commonly believe/assume that the reason God knows the future is that He predetermined it in its entirety. Other christians do not hold this assumption.”
What other Christians assume is not an argument.
“Regarding the idea that God accomplishes his purposes this is clearly stated in scripture. However, the idea that God predetermined every event is yet another assumption, again not held by the majority of christians throughout church history. Particularly in the centuries before Augustine we do not see christians espousing either of these assumptions.”
For some unstated reason, you seem to think this historical appeal is important. It isn’t.
Consensus is not the rule of faith. People are not the rule of faith. Revelation is the rule of faith.
The fact that you feel the need to retreat into this historical appeal shows what a weak hand you have.
“The idea that God predetermines all events is in fact the controlling presuppositon of the calvinist system.”
Calvinism doesn’t have just one controlling presupposition. We are only discussing the predestinarian aspect of Calvinism because that’s what *you* want to talk about.
“It is one thing to say that God accomplishes his purposes and quite another to say that every event that occurs is predetermined by God.”
Scripture says both.
“I think it is even more basic than that: we control our actions and often make selections from alternatives so we reasonably conclude that our choices are real. If our choices are real, if we really are able to choose from among various alternatives that are available, we conclude that our actions are freely performed and not exhaustively determined. We see evidence of the reality of choice in both our own experience as well as in scripture.”
You’re simply repeating yourself. I’ve addressed all these claims—as have others.
“If we are not going to speak of choices as involving selections from among various available alternatives, then not only are we denying the meaning of the word, we are denying our universal and almost constant experience.”
Once again, you have nothing new to say. Both hard determinism and soft determinism are well aware of this appeal, and both of them can account for the experience on their own terms.
“Frankfurt cases are imaginative stories involving interveners whom we do not encounter in everyday experience.”
That’s irrelevant. It’s a limiting case. Its function is to undermine the intuitive presumption that freedom to do otherwise is a precondition of responsibility. You thereby lose *your* controlling presupposition. You can no longer object to determinism in *principle*.
“If the word choice and the reality which it represents are eliminated from the discussion this begs the question for the determinist.”
You have a problem when it comes to interacting with anyone who doesn’t already share your precious assumptions. No one is eliminating “choice” from the discussion.
The question at issue, rather, is our concept of what makes a choice a choice. And, as I’ve said before, using adjectives like “real” or “genuine” is not an argument.
“We seem to experience choices between actual and available alternatives constantly. How do we account for this phenomena?”
Once again, you’re simply repeating yourself without advancing your original argument, or addressing the counterargument.
“Is it real? In which case exhaustive determinism is then false.”
i) As Manata, for one, has demonstrated, compatibilism can process this experience.
ii) Moreover, your argument cuts both ways. If exhaustive determinism is true, then your inference is false.
“Or if not real, and merely illusory, why does scripture even use the language of choices and could have done otherwise/should have done otherwise?”__
i) You are reading more into Scripture than is there. Libertarianism is not a Scriptural teaching. At best, libertarianism would only be a possible inference from Scripture. An extrascriptural way of grounding certain Scriptural statements. A metaphysical presupposition.
ii) But that inference is ruled out by many other Scriptural teachings involving predestination, providence, original sin, &c.
iii) One of the stated functions of preaching in the Bible is to harden the audience. It does not assume that the listener could do otherwise. To the contrary, its purpose is to harden his heart against the truth.
iv) You yourself are very dismissive of certain hypotheticals. You dismiss Frankfurt-type cases as mere thought-experiments. And, indeed, they are. They are imaginary scenarios which have, as of yet, no real life counterpart. But, in that event, why should we take your own hypotheticals any more seriously?
v) Even if a conditional or counterfactual statement implies a possible world in which that scenario plays out, this doesn’t mean that the human agent is in a position to actuate that possible world. I can conceive of many apparent possibilities which I am quite unable to actuate. I can imagine a bodacious blond in a Duisenberg. But, unfortunately, I’m unable to will my hypothetical into existence.
“I do not believe that either our experience or scripture is misleading us.”
To the contrary, you have written off many major teachings of Scripture to salvage libertarianism.
“Whenever we consider multiple alternatives we use our imagination. And this consideration of various alternatives is critical for our deliberation and reasoning. But either we can do these various alternatives or we cannot. Experience and scripture say these alternatives are real: theological determinism must claim them to be merely imaginary.”
So, according to Henry, whatever we can imagine, we can do. All I can say is that, if that’s the case, then we must suffer from a pretty limited imagination. Certainly the world I see out the windows bears precious little resemblance to the imaginary world of Ray Bradbury or Cordwainer-Smith.
“Most of our lives when we move our hand one way it goes that way, and if we move it the other it goes that way. So either this is a very powerful delusion or it is reality.”
Once more, Henry has no grasp of compatibilism. And how far does he plan to take this example? Ants and cockroaches move left or right as well. Do they also have freewill?
Likewise, computer chess programs make apparent choices. Do you ascribe freewill to computers too?
“I say it is reality you say it is imaginary.”
Actually, I never said it was imaginary. Rather, I simply pointed out that your conclusion was underdetermined by the evidence. That imagination alone could account for rational and moral deliberation.
“This also has very practical consequences for example in your denial of the reality of regret.”
The “reality” of regret as in what? The *feeling* of regret?
“When people regret they are convinced they could have done otherwise. You negate this by saying of regret: ‘No, it merely presupposes an active imagination. We can imagine having done otherwise.’ Again you deny a universal human experience because of your system of determinism.”
In point of fact, this is transparently false. What people frequently regret is that they were unable to rise to the occasion. They would have done better if only they were better. They regret their lack of control over their own emotions.
Someone who’s hooked on drugs or gambling or pornography may profoundly regret his addiction. And what exacerbates his regret is that he lacks the willpower to kick the habit. He hates what he’s doing. He hates himself for doing it. He hates what he’s doing to himself and his loved ones. He can see the dire consequences of his actions. And yet the urge to do it is irrepressible.
The most charitable interpretation of Henry’s statement is that he’s very young, naïve, and inexperienced. But for those who haven’t led such a charmed life or sheltered existence, the source of bitter regret is not that we could have done otherwise, but that we couldn’t bring ourselves to do otherwise.
“For you, since you *assume* exhaustive determinism, every thing that occurs is exactly what God predetermined to occur so possibilities are ‘indexed to God’ alone.”
You continually make the false and foolish imputation that a Calvinist merely “assumes” exhaustive determinism. Try not to flaunt your ignorance of Reformed theology.
This is an exegetical finding with many lines of evidence. Some online materials include:
The standard Reformed commentary on John's Gospel is by D. A. Carson.
The standard Reformed monograph on Rom 9 is: J. Piper, The Justification of God: An Exegetical & Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23.
The two standard Reformed commentaries on Romans are by Tom Schreiner and John Murray.
And that’s just for starters.
“It is impossible for those preselected to be damned to ever be saved. They have no possibility of being saved. And as their every action is predetermined by God according to you. They live a life of sin and then are eternally condemned for performing the very sins which God planned for them to commit [since according to your determinism their every action is predetermined, they can never do otherwise than they actually do].”
This is true as far as it goes. But it oversimplifies the issues by omitting many other things. Predestination does not select for any particular model of causality. And predestination is not a coercive force.
“Most christians told that this is what your assumption of exhaustive determinism leads to, will rightly reject this view and its underlying assumption.”
This is a purely emotional appeal, which is the last resort of the scoundrel. You reject the witness of Scripture because you dislike the consequences.
“Your whole system is driven by the *assumption* of complete determinism.”
No, we’re discussing determinism because that’s what you want to discuss. It’s not the be-all and end-all of Calvinism. It’s a necessary feature of Calvinism. But there are many other equally important things we believe in.
“Yes and they need to be aware that according to your determinism even their desires like everything else is predetermined by God.”
Other issues aside, the logical alternative to divine determinism is not some form of indeterminism. Rather, the logical alternative is some naturalistic form of determinism, like social conditioning or biochemistry.
1. Notice that Henry simply ignores many objections which Peter, Manata, and I have raised to his position.
2. In addition, why should we agree with his claim that God causes his actions? Does Henry regard God as a composite being, so that you can subdivide God into actions which are the effect of his "self causes?"
3. And even if we accepted (2), for which Henry offers no supporting argument, why should we further assume that divine and human agency are sufficiently analogous for Henry's further inference to hold?
"The Bible however does not say that all events are predetermined by God."
Actually, it does. Trying reading the online article by Warfield which I referred you to.
"I will drop my “PAP libertarianism, when the Bible drops its passages which refer to the reality of choices, free will, being able to do otherwise."
This is typical of a weak opponent. Henry raises an objection, his objection is answered, then he repeats the very same objection without bothering to interact with the counterargument.
"The Bible presents passages suggesting that some events are predetermined it also presents verses that some events involve real choices from among available alternatives."
i) He continues his vacuous and question-begging habit of using adjectives ("real," "genuine") as a substitute for a reasoned argument.
ii) In addition, he's evidently unacquainted with the literary background for these "alternatives." This is a literary convention which goes back to the covenantal format of Scripture. As one scholar observes:
"Many comparisons have been made between the Mosaic codes in the Pentateuch and cuneiform law codes from the third-millennium BC...Not only do both employ the conditional 'if-then' clauses, but many of the laws are nearly identical," Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, 576.
Scripture uses conditional clauses because Scripture is covenantal, and conditional clauses were a stock feature of that literary genre.
"Our experience also presents both of these kinds of data."
As I've pointed out before, this is demonstrably false. We only get to do one thing at a time. Hence, we have zero experience testing each alternate possibility. Hence, there's absolutely no experimental evidence that we can actuate alternate possibilities.
Let's briefly amplify one of Manata's points. Libertarianism classically includes the freedom of contrary choice, i.e. the agent is free to choose between either good or evil. But if this is untrue of either God and/or Christ, then Henry's attempt to use divine freedom as the exemplar of libertarian freedom for man backfires badly.
"Steve says that he answered my objection (i.e. the Bible verses which show the reality of choices, free will, being able to do otherwise), and that I repeat the same objection without interacting with his counterargument. Big problem needs to be made explicit here: I **never** presented these verses. So how is Hays answering an objection that has not even been stated yet? This is highly presumptuous. How do you know that you “answered” someone’s argument if they had not even madetheir argument?"
It's a pity that Henry is so forgetful. Earlier in this same thread he referred to the admonitions in Hebrews, along with 1 Sam 23, as prooftexts for his position.
"Regarding my use of adjectives, we have to use adjectives to make proper distinctions."
Which is not the point. The point, rather, is his use of adjectives as if they were arguments.
"For example, if someone thinks he can choose certain alternatives (and those alternatives are available to the person) we could call that a **genuine**, or **actual** or **real** choice because the alternatives are doable by the agent, within his power to do. On the other hand, if the person thinks that he can choose certain alternatives and none of those alternatives are doable by the agent, or within his power to perform, we could call that 'unavailable alternatives' or 'illusory alternatives' to convey the fact that these alternatives are not available for the agent to do."
Which illustrates my point. His use of these adjectives assumes the conclusion of an argument he has failed to make. So his usage is prejudicial.
"Hays brings up the “if-then clauses” present in the OT anticipating that this is one of my arguments for the reality of choices in scripture. The fact that I have written **nothing** about If-then clauses in any of my posts and that this subject has not been discussed in this thread until Steve brings it up, indicates that now Hay is putting words in my mouth."
i) As I just pointed out, Henry can't remember his own argument. And I'd add that the admonitions in Hebrews have their precedent in the Mosaic covenant.
ii) And even if he hadn't brought it up before, I don't have to lag behind my opponent. I reserve the right to skip ahead and cut to the chase.
"It is significant that Hays brings up the subjunctive mood, which refers to events which are conditional in nature. In a completely predetermined world, such as Steve believes to be the case, where there is no free will in the libertarian sense, there are no contingent events, all events are necessary events in which nothing could possibly be otherwise as there are no choices, no alternatives."
As I pointed out before, this doesn't entail libertarianism, for counterfactuals can be indexed to the divine will rather than the human will. Once again, Henry is simply repeating himself rather than addressing the counterargument.
What we have in Calvinism is the conditional necessity of all events. They are bound to happen, for God decreed them. But God could have decreed otherwise.
Predestination does not obviate contingency. Rather, it's a question of what the outcome is contingent upon. In Calvinism, it's contingent on the divine decree. It would be helpful if Henry made an effort to acquaint himself with the opposing position.
"There would be no need or usefulness in using the subjunctive mood in such a world. And yet our languages contain statements in the subjunctive mood, because this reflects the **fact** that some realities are conditional, dependent on actual choices occurring or not occurring."
An obviously lame argument since it's possible to construct many linguistic statements which are inactionable. If I could go back in time, I'd like to hear George Whitefield preach. Does this mean that I can actually go back in time to hear George Whitefield preach?
"In scripture often when a conditional is present, the resulting event is something connected to a human individual’s choice (i.e., If you repent, God will turn from judgment; If you obey, then you will be blessed; etc. etc.). So God’s response is sometimes conditioned upon the choices made by the people."__
But that's not the final explanation. For Scripture attributes human choices to God's ulterior plans and action.
"This is further evidence of the reality of choices, unless you claim that the invitations and commands to respond were appeals which the people could never respond to ('illusory invitations', 'illusory promises')."
He continues to miss the point. This is a literary convention, not a metaphysical claim—just as a sonnet is a literary convention.
"Calvinists dream of having such a **demonstrable proof**. A sort of mathematical equation showing the non-reality of free will and choices. There is no such thing. And if Hays had it, or was familiar with it, he’d already have happily paraded it before us. But there hasn’t been any such parade or anything even close. Hays has made no such demonstration, nor even attempted to do so. His claim is merely an unsupported dogmatic assertion."
i) Not an assertion. I have, in fact, argued that point in my replies to Henry. Once again, he seems to suffer from short-term memory loss.
ii) Then he tries to erect a straw man argument by redefining my statement as "a sort of mathematical equation." That was no part of my argument.
"He starts with the claim that 'we only get to do one thing at a time'. First, there are cases of multi-tasking, but assume that he is right, and let’s put these aside."__
Is he trying to play coy? In context, my statement has reference to the question of alternate possibilities.
"Doing one thing at a time does not negate the reality of the deliberation and actual choice from among alternatives which resulted in that **one** action occurring. In many of our experiences the resulting **one** action is the outcome of a process of deliberating and considering and evaluating multiple available alternatives. Examples of this process would include the words we use to express our selves, daily decisions, where we will vacation, where we will go to school, what books we will read for recreation, the moves we make in a chess game, and on and on and on."
As I've said before, this doesn't rise above the level of the imagination. We can imagine alternate possibilities, and the consequences of each. And we can imagine many things which we are unable to actuate. (Or does Henry suppose that every figment of the imagination must correspond to a real world situation?)
Once more, all we get is Henry's broken record. No attempt to address the counterargument.
"The next statement indicates a major misunderstanding of the nature of choices: 'we have zero experience testing each alternative possibility'. This is misunderstanding the nature of intentional actions. Intentional actions involve consideration of various available actions (i.e. deliberation) and then the person chooses one of the actions which he intends to actuate."
For which an active imagination will suffice.
"We do not have to **test** every alternative possibility before we choose the **one** action we end up doing. Nobody thinks that way, lives that way, or makes decisions that way. This is disconnected from our actual decision making reality."
As usual, Henry can't follow his own argument. The point at issue is not whether we have to test every alternative possibility to make a choice. Rather, the point at issue is whether we have any evidence for either the "reality" of alternative possibilities or the availability of alternative possibilities absent actual experience with alternative possibilities.
"Experimental evidence for our **lifetime** continuous experience of actuating our own choices?"
Henry never fails to miss the point. Let's go back to one of his own examples:
"In the story of Keilah where David is told about what would happen if he stayed (an unexemplified alternative), based on this information he then decides to leave Keilah. Knowing the 'unexemplified alternative' was useful for him to know."
Does David get to experiment with both? Does he get to try out each scenario? Is it possible for David both to stay in Keilah and leave Keilah at one and the same time? No.
So David has no "actual" experience of alternate possibilities. Therefore, David has no "real" evidence that he could have actuated either scenario.
Could God have actuated the alternative? Yes—providing that he had decreed otherwise.
"First, this is precisely the kind of statement materialists such as Dennett or Flanagan make in regard to the reality of intentional actions by a self, or immaterial human soul. This is a statement of **scientism**, the claim that unless some piece of knowledge derives from the scientific disciplines, it cannot constitute reliable or accurate information. Implying that if something is not physical and capable of mathematical description and so in some way observable by means of observational equipment, it cannot be real or exist."
Unfortunately for Henry, this doesn't begin to follow from what I said. Perhaps Henry has a limited command of the English language. Maybe, for him, the word "experiment" automatically connotes "scientific" experimentation.
If so, then he doesn't know the history of English usage. "Experimental" is synonymous with experiential. 18C divines used to speak of "experimental religion." That was not a scientific classification.
Henry then carries on and on with his faulty understanding of English usage, so I'll skip over the rest of his mini-diatribe.
"We would find people making one selection at a time and we would find that they consistently appear to be in complete control of the deliberation, selection, and actuation of alternative possibilities."
Two or three more errors:
i) To say that an agent can make a selection does not imply that an agent can actuate reality. A more theologically orthodox explanation is that God foreordains our choices and then actuates our choices. The future is what we choose it to be because God foreordains our choices, and actuates the future consistent with his decree, inclusive of the choices he foreordained for us.
ii) Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that the human agent actuates reality, he never ever actuates *alternate* possibilities. Alternate possibilities are incompossible. That's what makes them "alternate" possibilities. They are mutually exclusive. The agent has zero experience doing what Henry claims for him.
So even assuming, for the sake of argument, that the agent can actuate reality, there is no evidence that he can actuate more than one reality. Actuate more than one future.
iii) And even if, ex hypothesi, an agent could do so, there is no evidence that he could so. No evidence that these apparent alternatives were ever in play. Were ever live options.
"This is a major reason why Calvinism/exhaustive determinism will always be an extreme minority position among human persons."
No, the major reasons are as follows:
i) Many people are just as illogical as Henry.
ii) Many people simply dislike the idea of predestination.
"One of the reasons that Calvinism is a tough sell is because it requires that we deny, put under the rug, hide in the closet, our whole lifetime of daily experiences."
It is to Calvinism's credit that it doesn't pander to humanistic self-flattery, our overweening pride, and our delusions of godhood.
"It is surprising that Calvinists are shocked when their views are rejected by most people."
Can Henry quote any Reformed theologians who are "shocked" by this phenomenon?
The rest is more of Henry's broken record. It was a trite tune to begin with, and it doesn't improve with repeated hearings.