1. Joined
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    06 Jan '07 07:371 edit
    Consider the following argument for theological fatalism (see [1]). P is some proposition about the future concerning some agent and action (e.g., P is that Lemon will tie his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow.) We also assume that God's beliefs are infallible: it is not possible that both God believes P and P is not true.

    1. Yesterday, God believed P.
    2. For any past event, it is now necessary that the event occurred when it occurred.
    3. From 1 and 2, it is now necessary that God believed P yesterday.
    4. Necessarily, if God believed P yesterday, then P.
    5. If X is now necessary; and if necessarily, X implies Y; then Y is now necessary.
    6. From 3, 4, and 5, it is now necessary that P.
    7. If it is now necessary that P, then Lemon cannot do otherwise than tie his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow.
    8. If Lemon cannot do otherwise than tie his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow, then, upon tying his shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow, Lemon does not act freely.
    9. From 6, 7, and 8, upon tying his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow, Lemon does not act freely.

    What do you think about this argument? Which premise(s), if any, would you reject and why? Personally, I don't think any of these sorts of fatalist arguments are sound because I reject the idea that alternate possibilities are necessary for acting freely (I reject Premise 8). But, there are a lot of people who would not reject Premise 8. So, I'm wondering what these people think about the other premises.

    The necessity trying to be established here is that Lemon's tying his shoe tomorrow in a world with a God who possesses infallible foreknowledge is necessary in the same way that we often view past events as necessary – presumably because they are outside the set of causable events. The argument also relies on a transfer of necessity via Premise 5. Obviously, the argument also supposes that propositions about the future can have determinate truth values.

    An aside:

    I have a strong feeling that some people are going to reject Premise 1 based on the idea that God is eternal or atemporal and that it doesn't make sense to say that God believes something at any specific temporal point. Rather, they would say that God eternally believes P if in fact P is true. But I think the argument can be modified in a simple way to make this objection irrelevant (as outlined by Plantinga in [2]). So for those people troubled by Premise 1, consider the following modification:

    1. Yesterday, it was true that God eternally believes P.
    2. Thus, since the past is now necessary, it is now necessary that yesterday it was true that God eternally believes P.
    3. Necessarily, if yesterday it was true that God eternally believes P, then P.
    4. If X is now necessary; and if necessarily, X implies Y; then Y is now necessary.
    5. From 2, 3, and 4, it is now necessary that P.
    6. If it is now necessary that P, then Lemon cannot do otherwise than tie his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow.
    7. If Lemon cannot do otherwise than tie his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow, then, upon tying his shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow, Lemon does not act freely.
    8. From 5, 6, and 7, upon tying his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow, Lemon does not act freely.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    [1] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/free-will-foreknowledge/
    [2] Alvin Plantinga, On Ockham’s Way Out, 1986.
  2. Standard membereagleeye222001
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    06 Jan '07 07:59
    Do you "feel" the decision to read this post or were you forced "prediestined" to?

    Do we really think that we have no say in what we do, think, say, etc? Sounds like a pointless world to me.

    So what if our God is so powerful that he knows what decisions we will make? I still feel myself making the decision so I don't understand where people feel like there is no free will.
  3. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Jan '07 21:24
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Consider the following argument for theological fatalism (see [1]). P is some proposition about the future concerning some agent and action (e.g., P is that Lemon will tie his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow.) We also assume that God's beliefs are infallible: it is not possible that both God believes P and P is not true.

    1. Yesterday, God believed P ...[text shortened]... du/entries/free-will-foreknowledge/
    [2] Alvin Plantinga, On Ockham’s Way Out, 1986.
    My alternative would be...

    1. lemon Jello ties his right shoe at 3pm (he could have tied his left shoe if he had wanted)
    2. God watches Lemon tie his right shoe (whilst simultaneously watching Lemon be born and die)
    3. God has this information eternally (not restricted by time) so this information is available to him both before , during and after lemon ties his right shoe and both pre - post lemon's life span. It makes no difference.
    4. All free actions that Lemon does or will do in his future are acts which to God have already occurred but to lemon have not yet occurred.
    5. God's knowledge depends on lemon tying his right shoe at 3pm and not his left. If lemon ties his left shoe at 3pm this is what God knows.
    6 God only watches , but does not predict. He has no need to predict. He does not have to wait for lemon's tomorrow , he's there right now.
  4. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    07 Jan '07 21:55
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    My alternative would be...

    1. lemon Jello ties his right shoe at 3pm (he could have tied his left shoe if he had wanted)
    2. God watches Lemon tie his right shoe (whilst simultaneously watching Lemon be born and die)
    3. God has this information eternally (not restricted by time) so this information is available to him both before , during and afte ...[text shortened]... as no need to predict. He does not have to wait for lemon's tomorrow , he's there right now.
    which means that God has no freewill either. lol
    some all powerful God ,,He can't even make Lemon stop tying his right shoe. LMAO
  5. Territories Unknown
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    07 Jan '07 22:41
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    which means that God has no freewill either. lol
    some all powerful God ,,He can't even make Lemon stop tying his right shoe. LMAO
    LMAO
    God saw that.
  6. Territories Unknown
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    07 Jan '07 22:42
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Consider the following argument for theological fatalism (see [1]). P is some proposition about the future concerning some agent and action (e.g., P is that Lemon will tie his right shoe at 3 P.M. tomorrow.) We also assume that God's beliefs are infallible: it is not possible that both God believes P and P is not true.

    1. Yesterday, God believed P ...[text shortened]... du/entries/free-will-foreknowledge/
    [2] Alvin Plantinga, On Ockham’s Way Out, 1986.
    I've already responded to your post in the other thread, but the answer is found in the perspective, or tense, of the view.
  7. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    07 Jan '07 23:10
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    [b]LMAO
    God saw that.[/b]
    I just HAD to say that. Predestiny does have some advantages.
  8. Territories Unknown
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    08 Jan '07 00:46
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    I just HAD to say that. Predestiny does have some advantages.
    I knew you'd say that.
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    08 Jan '07 01:35
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    I [b]knew you'd say that.[/b]
    that is sylvester stallone's line
  10. Joined
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    08 Jan '07 03:291 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    My alternative would be...

    1. lemon Jello ties his right shoe at 3pm (he could have tied his left shoe if he had wanted)
    2. God watches Lemon tie his right shoe (whilst simultaneously watching Lemon be born and die)
    3. God has this information eternally (not restricted by time) so this information is available to him both before , during and afte as no need to predict. He does not have to wait for lemon's tomorrow , he's there right now.
    Is that supposed to be an argument or just a group of assertions you are putting forth? Either way, none of your numbered points seem incompatible with any of the premises of the second argument that I posted. Yes, I know that you believe God's existence is atemporal or eternal. Not that I think your thoughts on that matter are coherent, but in the case that they are, I've reformulated the argument to make this objection irrelevant (I think). So, regarding the second (reformulated) argument in the opening post, which premise do you reject and why?

    I think probably the best line of attack for the theist (besides rejecting the necessity of alternate possibilities) is to attack Premise 2.
  11. Joined
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    08 Jan '07 03:35
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    I've already responded to your post in the other thread, but the answer is found in the perspective, or tense, of the view.
    The other thread concerns a formulation of logical fatalism, and the necessity trying to be established in that argument is different from the necessity trying to be established here. I read your post over there and I don't think anything you said there is relevant here (I'm not even sure it was relevant there either).
  12. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    08 Jan '07 07:54
    Originally posted by LemonJello

    1. Yesterday, God believed P.
    I have a problem with this premise. Seems to be covert anthropomorphism or conceptual idolatry.
  13. Standard memberknightmeister
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    08 Jan '07 09:05
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    which means that God has no freewill either. lol
    some all powerful God ,,He can't even make Lemon stop tying his right shoe. LMAO
    And your reasoning for this is...?
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    08 Jan '07 09:141 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Is that supposed to be an argument or just a group of assertions you are putting forth? Either way, none of your numbered points seem incompatible with any of the premises of the second argument that I posted. Yes, I know that you believe God's existence is atemporal or eternal. Not that I think your thoughts on that matter are coherent, but in the cas he theist (besides rejecting the necessity of alternate possibilities) is to attack Premise 2.
    Positing the existence of Eternity is not an "objection" as such. Without eternity the whole God thing becomes a farce anyway. I fail to see how anyone can believe in a god who is not beyond time and space. The best attack for a Theist is to assert that it is only God's eternal nature that makes it possible for him to know that you are going to tie your right shoe , simply because I don't think there is any other way he could know.

    This is the one I have a problem with....

    1. Yesterday, it was true that God eternally believes P.

    God does not "believe" P , he watches P. He knows P in the same way you know the outcome of world war 2 , because it's already happened to him. Of course knowing the outcome of world war 2 does not prove that only one outcome was ever possible.
  15. Joined
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    08 Jan '07 10:15
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I have a problem with this premise. Seems to be covert anthropomorphism or conceptual idolatry.
    You probably just summed up the whole problem with organized God talk in total. Something like mistaking the finger for the moon, or...

    In relation to Premise 1, if this is a problem, it's really the theist's problem. They're always claiming with nonchalance that God knows propositions. Surely, no theist is going to claim that it makes sense to talk about God's knowing a proposition but that it doesn't make sense to talk about God's believing a proposition...
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