If anyone has not read the previous post, I would recommend it; however, I will also give an overview of my argument as well as the counterarguments below.
The original question I looked at was simple: “Is it even possible for God to actually create a being that can make a non-determined choice, or does the brute fact of creation render that impossible?” To shorten it a bit, we can ask: “Is it possible for God to create a being capable of a non-determined yet also non-random choice?” I argued that it is impossible, and in the comments went so far as to say that the only type of being capable of making a non-determined, non-random choice is one that is self-existent (namely, if it is possible, only God can do it).
The reasoning is fairly simple and since you can read the original argument, which used an illustration and more laymen language, I will present it here in a more precise way than I originally did. (Also, please note this argument assumes Christianity to be true.)
1. Let the faculty that produces a choice in an agent (whether that be the will, the mind, the soul, or whatever) be X.There have only been three counterarguments presented to me thus far (well, four if you count “You’re wrong” statements as an argument, which apparently some people do). The first is to insist that just because we can’t do it doesn’t mean God can’t do it; the second is to say that there is some feature of the soul that gets around this problem; the third is to fall back to quantum mechanics.
2. Let X be created (that is, X is not self-existent).
3. Let C be a choice of X such that the statement “X chose C” is true.
Given the above:
4. If X is created, then X was created by something other than X (definition of “created”).
5. X could not create itself (implications of 4)
6. X has properties that enable X to produce choices (per 1).
7. The properties of X that produce choices are either a direct result of creation or they are accidental features.
8. If the properties of X that produce choices are accidental features, then X was not created with the intention of X producing choices.
9. If X was not created with the intention of X producing choices, then the ability of X to make choices cannot be ascribed to the creator.
10. Christians do ascribe the ability of X to make choices to the creator.
11. Therefore, Christians cannot hold that the properties of X that produce choices are accidental features.
12. Therefore, the properties of X that produce choices are a direct result of creation (from 7 & 11).
13. Since C is a choice of X, then either C originates in some fashion in the properties of X, or C is accidental to the properties of X.
14. If C is accidental to the properties of X, then X did not intend for C to occur.
15. If X did not intend for C to occur, then X did not choose C.
16. Premise 15 contradicts 3.
17. Therefore, C must originate in some fashion due to the properties of X.
18. The properties of X are a direct result of creation (restatement of 12).
19. Therefore, if X chose C, then C is made, in some fashion, due to a direct result of creation.
To examine these in reverse order: Quantum mechanics does take away the determinism of physics, but only by adding an element of randomness into the equations. Yet my argument has never claimed that choices couldn’t have arisen from random behavior—yet if they did arise from random behavior, then the will wouldn’t properly be considered to have been making the choice. (In my above argument, this would be premises 14-16.)
Secondly, to say that there is some property of the soul that gets around the problem is wishful thinking. As I’ve demonstrated above, it doesn’t matter what X is composed of. There are only two relevant issues: 1) was X created and 2) did X make the choice? If X did make the choice (that is, C is not random) and X was created, then it follows that the choice is, in some fashion, a direct result of the creation of X, no matter what X is.
This is true, mind you, even if the human will is sui generis (which it is not), which leads us to the first objection. Just because man cannot do something obviously doesn’t mean God cannot do something; but there are certain things that are simply impossible to do by definition. A bachelor cannot be married, a square cannot be round, and a created will cannot make choices independent of the properties of its creation.
So the counter that “God has sui generis will, so why can’t humans?” fails because even if we embrace the contradiction and stipulate that man has sui generis will, it is must be a sui generis will that is created. Again, the only way to avoid the logic of the situation is to assert that man’s will is self-existent. If it is created, no matter what physical or immaterial properties are created, then my argument stands.
And with that, I open up the comments once more for continued discussion.