Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How does God get the world he chose?

One description I've read of Molinism is that God can't directly instantiate the choices of free agents, for that causes their choices, which God cannot do if they are to be the free choices of the agents in question. Rather, God indirectly instantiates their choices by instantiating the circumstances in which they make their choices.

Two problems:

i) On a stock definition of libertarian freedom, the agent could choose differently under the very same circumstances. But in that case, how does God get the world he chose? Instantiating the circumstances has no predictive value, since the same circumstances are consistent with divergent choices. The choices are independent of the circumstances. 

It's like choosing between five different Christmas presents, only you're choosing blind because you don't know what's inside each box until you choose one, remove the wrappings, and open the box.

ii) Except for the initial conditions, circumstances are often the product of choices that agents make. So how can God even instantiate the circumstances? 

1 comment:

  1. Libertarian freedom assumes either that we can chose by some mechanism that God did not create or that when God created it, he didn't know the outcome of our choices based on what he was creating. Assuming both, if we could have chosen otherwise, then certainly God could have created otherwise because God is greater than we are. If God could have created otherwise then we can't choose otherwise - for the same reason. Therefore, we can't choose otherwise because we cannot choose by any mechanism outside of God's created order. However, we are free to choose within God's created order. And God knew what we would chose before he created it. It's a free choice for us from our point of view because we are epistemically limited. It's not a free choice for us from God's point of view because God is the source of both our knowledge and the existence of our circumstances.