Skip to content
July 4, 2007 / Daniel

Craig on Molinism

Luis Molina

Image via Wikipedia

Bill Craig has released some new audio on his site explaining Molinism.  It’s titled “The Doctrine of God (Pt. 8).”  Catchy, isn’t it?

For those of you that don’t know, Molinism is a view of God’s foreknowledge that explains divine sovereignty and human responsibility.  It’s pretty convincing.

Advertisements

15 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Steven Carr / Jul 14 2007 8:29 pm

    Here is the proof that Molinism is true.

    What is Molinism?

    In every conceivable set of circumstances, free agents like us will choose one particular way.

    These free choices are out of God’s control.

    In a particular set of circumstances , that agent will choose that way, and that is all there is to it. Nothing can God do about it.

    How does this possibly work?

    As an example, take two different sets of circumstances that I can conceive of.

    1) I am sitting down to breakfast in an hotel at 8:30 am on 2/04/2007, and a waiter is asking me ‘Tea or Coffee’, and God has infallible knowledge that I will choose tea.

    2) I am sitting down to breakfast in an hotel at 8:30 am on 2/04/2007, and a waiter is asking me ‘Tea or Coffee’, and God has infallible knowledge that I will choose coffee.

    Clearly, I can conceive of both sets of circumstances, and they are both possible, and they are clearly different to each other.

    We can apply Molinism to each set of circumstances, and see if the claim is true that a person will freely choose one particular way in each set of logically possible circumstances that could occur in a real world.

    Molinism works perfectly here.

    In the first, I will freely choose one particular way, just like Molinism said I would. I will choose tea.

    In the second set of circumstances, Molinism is right again. I will choose one particular way. I will choose coffee.

    Of course, my choices are different in the two sets of circumstances, but I’m sure people will agree that free agents will choose differently in different circumstances, and it cannot be denied that the 2 circumstances are different.

    And Molinism is right once again that not even God can determine my choice in those 2 sets of circumstances. In set 1), I drink tea, and in set 2), I drink coffee, and there is nothing God can do to change the outcome of either set of circumstances.

    And, of course, this is all God’s middle knowledge as neither of those 2 circumstances were actual.

    So Molinism is perfectly true, and nobody has ever refuted this proof.

  2. fiester25 / Jul 14 2007 8:35 pm

    Steven,

    Do you think that Molinism is taught in Scripture?

  3. Steven Carr / Jul 14 2007 8:50 pm

    As Molinism is trivially true (granted libertarian free will and an omniscient God), then it might be.

  4. fiester25 / Jul 14 2007 8:55 pm

    And do you believe in those things?

  5. Steven Carr / Jul 14 2007 9:02 pm

    That is irrelevant.

    Craig believes in libertarian free will and an omniscient God.

    In which case, you can work through the steps of his reasoning as I did (list logically possible circumstances, see if a creature will freely choose one way in each possible set of circumstances, see if God can know this counterfactual)

    If you do, you see that Molinism follows trivially from the definitions of libertarian free will and an omniscient God.

  6. fiester25 / Jul 14 2007 9:14 pm

    I’m assuming based on your evasiveness that you don’t believe in such things.

    You make a great point in saying that it’s logically possible. That’s great.

    But the more important question is whether it’s true.

  7. Steven Carr / Jul 14 2007 9:19 pm

    I just proved that Molinism follows from libertarian free wil and an omniscient God.

    Neither of those things can be demonstrated.

    As can be seen from the analysis, there is a counterfactual of freedom that allows God to create a world where I freely choose coffee.

    There is also a counterfactual of freedom that allows God to create a world where I freely choose tea.

    So why does God think that Molinism imposes restrictions on which world God can actualise? (There is no world where I freely choose cocoa, but that restriction on God has nothing to do with Molinism)

  8. fiester25 / Jul 14 2007 9:28 pm

    “Neither of those things can be demonstrated.”

    It depends on how you want it demonstrated. What criteria would you allow into court? Scripture? Philosophical arguments?

    I don’t get what you mean when you say, “So why does God think that Molinism imposes restrictions on which world God can actualise? ”

    Maybe you should ask Him. I can’t read God’s mind.

  9. Steven Carr / Jul 14 2007 9:31 pm

    I meant ‘Why does Craig…..’

    I confused Craig with God!

    How can libertarian free will be demonstrated? How could an action be proved to have had no cause?

  10. fiester25 / Jul 14 2007 9:36 pm

    I think that he means that God wouldn’t want to allow such a world to actualize.

    Why do you say that LFW has no cause? What aspect about it isn’t caused? Of course, they are things that influence our choices. LFW just holds that each person is a free moral agent (an unmoved mover). The choice originates from within the chooser.

  11. Steven Carr / Jul 14 2007 9:44 pm

    The chooser is part of the universe, which means that the choice depends upon what condition the universe is in.

    So the restriction which prevents God creating a world where our counterfactuals are such that we choose good, is that God wouldn’t want to allow such a world to actualize?

  12. fiester25 / Jul 14 2007 9:50 pm

    I’m not sure that I follow completely.

    Yes, God could have created a world where evil didn’t exist, but He choose to allow evil because it allowed for some greater goods (i.e. mature Christian character, love, perseverance) to develop.

  13. Steven Carr / Jul 14 2007 9:52 pm

    ‘I can’t read God’s mind.’

    Really?

  14. Daniel / Jul 14 2007 10:00 pm

    That was one possible explanation for why God choses to allow evil.

    It’s also an explanation that fits with Scripture, which I believe is a revelation of God’s thoughts.

  15. Serial Foreknowledge / Aug 4 2007 3:35 pm

    Molinism is pretty logically self-consistent, but I have several problems with it. The first is that I reject this notion:

    Steven Carr says…
    “What is Molinism?

    In every conceivable set of circumstances, free agents like us will choose one particular way. ”

    Is that really true? If a free agent is put in a set of identical circumstances a million times, will that free agent choose a particular way each and every time? If a free agent chooses differently one time out of a bazillion, then counterfactuals simply don’t exist.

    The second problem I have is that I don’t see how the existence of counterfactuals leave an agent free.

    If there is one and only one choice an agent could possibly make in a given circumstance, then his choice is determined. It is determined by that agent’s personality, sure, but it is still determined. It is part of that agent’s make-up that it will choose a certain way when given a certain choice. I don’t see how this is any different than unfree agents.

    The cleaner solution is to agree that the choices of free agents don’t exist until that free agent makes the choice. God doesn’t need to be required to have knowledge of choices that don’t exist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: