Saturday, January 31, 2009

More on the common man argument

Those who appeal to the Common Man Argument, CMA, must also demonstrate that these laymen don't believe, along with libertarian free will, that God determines, causes, plans, ordains all events whatever.

I have found that the majority of laymen are what we'd call 'Calminians.'

They appeal to "mystery" or "paradox" or "antinomy," to hold that both LFW and exhaustive determinism are true.

If the proponent wants to push CMA to its limited limits, they must demonstrate those these same people do not hold to exhaustive determinism.

But it has been my expereince that they do not disbelieve exhaustive determinism. Those who doubt it are usually those who have reflected on the debate and so are disqualified as subjects for the statistical question since intuitions are pre-reflective.

Since I take it that the above is a likely scenario with "many people" (cf. Olson, Arminian Theology, pp. 67-69), the argument has now been rendered a non-Starter. If one sees this kind of thing in non-laymen libertarians, how much more will they see it in laymen? For an example of the former, see Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, Eerdmans, 1998, 202.

CMA, at best, is seen to prove both libertarianism and determinism. So we're back at ground zero and must toss this argument in the trash where it belongs.


  1. toss your false god and false apostle in the trash while you're at it.

  2. I've been watching Ben Stein's Expelled No Intelligence Allowed. There's this one evolutionist in the documentary who claims that evolution proves that human being have no free will. A google search will show that this belief is somewhat widespread. The problem, however, is that the same people would say that evolution is an undirected process with no intelligence behind it. So, they have a random undirected process causing Determinism of the will. That's totally illogical. Determinism requires a god to determine everyone's actions. A random process cannot be deterministic by very definition! The fact that people are arguing that a random process can result in lack of free will indicates that the argument that men have no free will is an ethical argument based on people's desire to excuse their actions and not an argument based on any logical corollary of a prior doctrinal foundation. When you have rock solid creationists and totally undirected-evolution atheist evolutions saying that their view of the origin of human life proves Determinism, what you find is that neither one is basing their final result (Determinism) on their doctrinal foundation, but on the desire to excuse their evil actions.