Monday, May 19, 2008

Frankfurt Schmrankfurt II

Last time Victor Reppert thought he had a silver bullet objection to Frankfurt-type counter examples. I pointed out that Frankfurt-cases have been employed that dealt with choice and not only action.

Another objection to Frankfurt-cases we will look at has a strong pedigree. It has been advanced by Kane (who many of our Arminian friends here have lauded ad nauseum), Widerker, Ginet, and Wyma. It goes like this:

If free choices are undetermined then a Frankfurt controller could not ensure or control them without actually intervening and making the agent choose what the controller wants. In indeterministic worlds, as Widerker has put it, there will not be a reliable "tell" sign which lets the controller know that the agent will do. In other words, since no one can know what a free agent will do in an indeterministic world, the only way a choice (or action) controller could work is by forcing the choice he wants, which takes away responsibility for the agent (cf. Kane, Free Will, Oxford, 2005, p. 87-88).

Thus to use this out the Arminian would have to grant Open Theism. A move most Arminians, especially those who come here, don't want to make.

So Victor's answer won't work, neither will this prominent one work for the Christian who wants a traditional view of God's foreknowledge.

(Note: There are other Frankfurt cases that work even in an indeterministic world. Mele's is one such example. But to discuss that would take us beyond the scope of this post.)

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