Friday, April 1, 2022

Respecting vs. not violating free will

God could pretty much guarantee that you freely choose to love him. Here’s how. God puts you in a situation where you have a non-infinitesimal probability of freely choosing to love him (this may require grace, etc.). Such situations clearly exist, since a significant number of people have freely chosen to love God. If you don’t freely choose to love him, then God resets your memory and character to how they were before your choice, and puts you in the same situation again. No matter how small the probability of freely choosing to love God, as long as it’s not infinitesimal, the probability that eventually you would freely choose to love God is one, or at least within an infinitesimal of one.

I think this scenario illustrates something interesting: There is a difference between (a) not violating someone’s freedom and (b) respecting someone’s freedom. If God engaged in the above course of action, he wouldn’t be violating our freedom, but he also wouldn’t be respecting it.

5 comments:

Walter Van den Acker said...

It also illustrates the absurdity of LFW.

Oktavian Zamoyski said...

How would this relate to the case where Adam and Eve are created within the context of the irresistible bliss of the beatific vision, or granted this vision before the Fall could happen?

Unknown said...

Eric Reitan and John Kronen give a similar argument for universalism - in how God could pretty much guarantee that all eventually freely choose him with libertarian freedom. I recommend checking out their book "God's Final Victory" or one of their articles.

Walter Van den Acker said...

The problem is that if God could guarantee that you freely choose to love him but doesn't do it, salvation is a matter of injustice or pure luck.
Consider two created persons, A and B. Now either the probability of choosing to love God is the same in A and B, or there is a difference.
If there is a difference, say the probability of A choosing to love God is significantly higher than B, God is not just.
If it is the same, but A ends up choosing to love God while B doesn't, that is a matter of pure luck, because, as Alex claims, the nth time B faces the same situation, he also chooses to love God. The only difference is that this nth time for A happens to be the first time.
So, God saving A but not B is not just.

So Alex's scenario does not only illustrate that LFW is a matter of random chance (or luck), it also shows that, unless universalism is true, God is not just.

Andrew Dabrowski said...

It's not necessary to restart the scenario until success occurs,
it's only necessary to give the agent an unlimited amount of time in which to change her mind.
Eventually she will find the truth of god on her own.

What's your take on Universalism?
Have you ever written about Apocatastasis?