Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Heads up on heads up

Benjamin Ramos, on July 6th, 2009 at 6:54 pm Said:

I saw that Steve Hays over at Triablogue made a response to this post. In it he makes the following statement:

“Arminians believe in libertarian freedom, defined as the freedom to do otherwise (or choose otherwise). But one problem with this belief is the total absence of any empirical evidence to substantiate their belief. For we only make one choice at a time. Arminians think freedom of choice entails the freedom to choose between two or more options. But we have no experience in choosing each option. Therefore, we have no evidence that the options we didn’t choose were ever in play.”


Hays apparently assumes that the fact that “we only make one choice at a time” somehow vouches for his claim that there is a “total absence of any empirical evidence to substantiate” the belief that one can “choose between two or more options.” But I do not see how this follows (perhaps he might say that I’ve not been programmed to see it?).

I personally know of numerous instances in my own life where I’ve have had “experience in choosing each option” available to me in a certain circumstance. For instance, in putting a quarter into a kiddy ride for my 2-year-old daughter, I have the option of putting the quarter face up or face down. In the many times that I’ve put my daughter on a kiddy ride, I’ve exercised the choice to do both: to insert one quarter into the machine face up and another face down at the same time, since the machine requires that two quarters be placed into the delivery mechanism at the same time. Perhaps Hays would argue that I have no choice to put both quarters face up at the same time, but I’ve done this as well. I’ve even put both quarters in face down at the same time. With each repetition, I’m given the same options, and I can vary my choices from instance to instance. I can even choose not to put any quarters into the machine, or to put something other than quarters into the machine.


This is a good example of somebody who lacks basic reasoning skills. He’s not inserting the same coin face up and face down at the same time. Rather, he’s inserting two different coins at two different times. Therefore, he has no experience doing otherwise in the very same situation.

1 comment: