Saturday, August 17, 2019

Two doors

I've discussed this before, but I'd like to use a different example to illustrate the point. Freewill theism touts the necessity of having freedom of opportunity. To have "real" freedom or a "real" choice means having alternate courses of action available to you. 

But here's the problem. Say you're standing in front of two doors. You can choose between Door A and Door B. In a sense, that's freedom of opportunity. You have two options to choose from. 

But here's the catch: the doors don't have windows. They're opaque. So you don't know what lies behind each door. You don't know in advance where each door will take you. 

Moreover, whichever door you go through locks behind you. So you're trapped by the choices you make. 

Even though you can pick one or the other, it's a blind choice. You might as well flip a coin. 

What if you go through Door A and find out that as a bad choice. But you couldn't know that before you did it, and once you do it it's too late to try Door B instead. You're stuck with the choice you made even though you couldn't foresee what you were getting into.

In addition, you didn't get to choose what your options are. Rather, you're confronted with options, and you have to make a choice from the options you're given. But what if none of them are the options you wanted? 

And this isn't just a metaphor. This is what happens to us in real life. This is how "choice" actually plays out. Open theism is so shallow in that regard. 

At least in Calvinism, there's the promise that everything happens for a good reason, even if you have to go through hell on earth in this life. But in freewill theism, you make conscientious decisions with catastrophic unintended consequences for yourself or your loved ones, and it may be utterly pointless. Just your hard luck. 


  1. Behind one door might be a lady, behind the other perhaps a tiger. But what if behind one is a lady tiger?

  2. I also wonder if God wants creaturely freedom so much that he permits evil for it, why he permits humans to fall into vices, which make us decidedly unfree. Why did he subject the creation to futility if he wants use to be able to choose otherwise. When it comes to the most important choice, to will God's righteousness out of faith in Christ or not, we don't have the ability, of ourselves, to choose, and even if one accepts prevenient grace, that ability is still deformed, the will is inclined against it, it's not, as it were, a level playing field. Besides, in fact, the choice to come to faith is not our doing, at least initially, since if we could do that, our hearts would already be willing God's righteousness out of faith.

    It seems that a lot of advocates for free will seem only to have in mind the sheer ability to do otherwise, but that is hardly satisfying. I want faith and virtue, which hone my will on its its proper target, I want to no longer be able to sin. Then I will be free.