Archive for the ‘Terrance Tiessen’ Category

William Lane Craig – not a Molinist?

February 1, 2013

Terrance L. Tiessen (TLT) makes an argument that William Lane Craig (WLC) is not a Molinist. In summary, the argument is (1) a Molinist must hold to Libertarian Free Will (LFW) in the sense of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP); (2) WLC claims to hold to LFW but not in the sense of PAP; and thus by combining (1) and (2) WLC is not a Molinist.

(link to Tiessen’s post)

The material he quotes from WLC is remarkably similar to what a Calvinist might use as an objection to traditional Molinism. TLT quotes the following:

I’m persuaded that so long as an agent’s choice is not causally determined, it doesn’t matter if he can actually make a choice contrary to how he does choose. Suppose that God has decided to create you in a set of circumstances because He knew that in those circumstances you would make an undetermined choice to do A. Suppose further that had God instead known that if you were in those circumstances you would have made an undetermined choice to do not-A, then God would not have created you in those circumstances (maybe it would have loused up His providential plan!). In that case you do not have the ability in those circumstances to make the choice of not-A, but nevertheless your choice of A is, I think, clearly free, for it is causally unconstrained—it [is] you who determines that A will be done. So the ability to do otherwise is not a necessary condition of free choice.

That does look like an argument for compatible freedom, although – as TLT points out – WLC continues to self-identify as a Molinist (presumably because he does not like the idea of “determinism”).


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