Author Topic: Time and free will?  (Read 2184 times)

Offline Quaremerepulisti

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3879
  • Thanked: 1272 times
  • Religion: Catholic (Byzantine)
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2018, 01:25:32 PM »
Quote
It was metaphysically impossible for him to do otherwise, given God's willing some optimum which logically entailed depended upon that he act as he did, and which willing was ontologically prior to him acting.
  Better with the correction.

Quote
Now, you can try to say Hitler "freely" chose what was metaphysically necessary for him to choose, but that is not a definition I will accept for "free" will.
  No one cares if you choose an unorthodox definition of free will.  You seem to ignore the term "necessity" in "necessity by supposition" or "modal necessity".  I freely admit that free will is in the realm of Divine Providence and Predestination.  Free will has historically meant absence of coercion, nothing more.

 :banghead:

If God willing the optimum is ontologically prior to and entails Hitler's action, then Hitler's action is metaphysically predetermined.  Which means, it is metaphysically impossible for him to otherwise than he does, given God's willing the optimum, which exists prior to his action.  Which means that, given the actual, concrete circumstances he finds himself in, it is metaphysically impossible for him to do other than he does.

Anyone who says that nevertheless he acts "freely" due to "absence of coercion" and that therefore it is "just" for God to punish him is an intellectually dishonest charlatan and a moral cretin.
 
The following users thanked this post: Pon de Replay

Offline Quaremerepulisti

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3879
  • Thanked: 1272 times
  • Religion: Catholic (Byzantine)
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2018, 02:06:05 PM »
Xavier, you need to get the modalities right before you can begin to formulate the argument.

God knows X(GKX) implies nothing else or more than that X is actually true (i.e. GKX=>X; GKX is true if X is true. And if X is true, GKX is true. Hence GKX is actually true if and only if X is actually true. And no more). Trying to turn an actual truth into a modal necessity is the modal fallacy.

Yes, but there is no modal fallacy here.  GKX->X and X->GKX are not contingent facts.  They are necessary facts.  In every possible world where God knows X, X; and vice versa.  Not only in this one.  It not only happens to be actually the case that God knows I exist; it is impossible that He not know that I exist, given that I do.

Quote
Now, the fatalistic atheistic reasoning is as follows.

If X is true, it is useless to prepare, because it is true that A will win.
If Y is true, it is useless to prepare(UP), because it is true that B will win.
Therefore, in either case, UP. Therefore, fatalism - nothing can be changed.

The fallacies in this mode of reasoning - which exactly parallels the atheistic error concerning divine foreknowledge - are numerous. It should be evident that the truth of either X or Y coming true is contingent precisely upon sufficient preparation for the game; it is neither caused nor affected by either statement being actually true.

I will note that you didn't actually expose the fallacies in this mode of reasoning - you merely stated the conclusion must be wrong, without argument, and your conclusion (contingency upon preparation) is precisely what the fatalist denies.  So wait a minute, the logical fatalist will respond.  X or Y doesn't come true in the future.  One of the two is true right now.  You've merely made an argument by assertion.  If one of the two is true right now, then nothing can be done to change it.

The proper answer is to say that, it is also true "right now" the team will or will not prepare for the game, and that such preparation will impact performance during the game, which will impact the final outcome, and while victory is perhaps possible with insufficient preparation, it is much less likely, given our knowledge of sporting events.

Quote
Atheists claim, if God foreknows X (which, as shown above, means nothing more or less than that X is actually true, or simply X), then X becomes modally necessary. To quote Michael, "In all possible worlds where God foreknows A, you must do A. Obviously the necessity of doing A doesn't hold in worlds where he foreknows B".

False: the true proposition is, when God foreknows A, A will happen in the actual world. The many possible worlds for B will not actually happen. And no more. And so the atheistic claim is a non sequitur.

Michael is right and you are wrong.  It is impossible that if God foreknows A, ~A.  It is not something that merely happens to be the case in the actual world that God foreknows A -> A.  It is necessarily the case.  God is not contingently omniscient, but necessarily so.

Quote
Quote from: Quare
Necessarily, if God knows you will choose X, then you will choose X.

3. And this changes the modality precisely how, Quare? You are still going from a contingently true proposition to a modally necessary one. Let's break it down.

Do you agree, "God knows you will choose X" implies no more or less than that X is contingently true, as shown above. If you take issue with that, let us know and explain why. If not, your statemet can be simplified.

Yes, it is impossible that God be mistaken.  Therefore, in every possible world where God knows I will choose X, I choose X.

Quote
Necessarily, if X is contingently true, it is true that you will actually choose X. Which in no way proves " X is chosen in every possible world."

No, but in every possible world where X is true, I will actually choose X.  Understand an expression of the sort,

Necessarily, X -> Y means that every possible world that contains an X also contains a Y.  It doesn't mean X (or Y) is present in every possible world.

Quote
God's knowledge is neither determinative nor causal. Predestination is something distinct from foreknowledge as discussed elsewhere.

That depends on exactly what the "fore" in "fore"knowledge means.  If the "fore" means ontologically prior, then it certainly is determinative.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 02:08:32 PM by Quaremerepulisti »
 
The following users thanked this post: Michael

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8197
  • Thanked: 2718 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2018, 06:40:42 PM »
Quote
My logic is absolutely correct.

Then let me know the metaphysical difference between my case A and Case B using your system.  From what I can tell, you can't distinguish between the two.

Quote
But that's making God's ultimate plan subsequent to Hitler's choice, whereas what you said the first time was God's plan being prior to Hitler's choice
. This is always the cause of dispute.  Mixing human perspective with God's perspective.  There is no subsequent, prior, etc... with God.  He is THERE and EVERYWHERE and EVERY TIME.  That is why his foreknowledge is infallible, though we could also say His view of history is infallible.  Both are equivalent.

edit:  I'm guilty of this also.  It is easy to fall into.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 06:52:27 PM by james03 »
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8197
  • Thanked: 2718 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2018, 06:51:30 PM »
Quote
If God willing the optimum is ontologically prior to and entails Hitler's action, then Hitler's action is metaphysically predetermined.  Which means, it is metaphysically impossible for him to otherwise than he does, given God's willing the optimum, which exists prior to his action.  Which means that, given the actual, concrete circumstances he finds himself in, it is metaphysically impossible for him to do other than he does.
  In other words, when St. Thomas says "necessity by supposition" he really means necessity.  I don't deny that.  I believe in predestination and Divine Providence.

Quote
Anyone who says that nevertheless he acts "freely" due to "absence of coercion" and that therefore it is "just" for God to punish him is an intellectually dishonest charlatan and a moral cretin.
  God sees the evil in every  man's heart.  He can punish all of us, even for actual sins.  What is the fate of Hitler?  I have no idea.  I insist on only one thing: In hell there is perfect Justice.  How does that translate into existence?  I have no idea, never seen it.

Also, it is not intellectually dishonest to say Hitler acted freely and without coercion.  Unless you presuppose a metaphysical system that can't distinguish between Case A and Case B.  In which case your system is incoherent.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline Michael

  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Thanked: 26 times
  • Religion: Atheist
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2018, 10:57:25 PM »
If indeterminism is true, there are three truth values: true, false, and not-yet-determined (i.e. open). To have free will, both "X will win" and "Y will win" have to be open. If it's already true that X will win before the game even happens, then X is fated to win. Otherwise, losing would falsify the truth value of the proposition, which is absurd.

To have free will, it is not enough that in different possible worlds, you do different things. You need to have access to those alternate worlds at the time of your choice. On classical theism, once God actualizes a world (or from eternity), the alternate possibilities are closed off, and it is no longer possible for you to do B if God foreknows A, for doing B would falsify God's foreknowledge.

No one is arguing that foreknowledge means causation, so throw that red herring in the trash.
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8197
  • Thanked: 2718 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2018, 11:04:11 PM »
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Q. has accomplished the following:

Starting with a Congruentist definition of Free Will, he has shown that Congruentism must arrive at a belief in Divine Providence.

"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8197
  • Thanked: 2718 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #51 on: November 29, 2018, 01:51:11 PM »
Quote
No one is arguing that foreknowledge means causation, so throw that red herring in the trash.
  Not a red herring.  Just seeking confirmation of understanding.

Quote
and it is no longer possible for you to do B
Correct.  For clarity, let's say it is "impossible to do B".

Here then is the dispute.  What is meant by "impossible"?

Impossible due to logical NECESSITY?  True.  And I'm freely stipulating that A will definitely happen, and it happens by NECESSITY.  This is called Divine Providence and that is the Catholic position.

Impossible due to absolute ontological necessity?  False.  There is no coercion.  The efficient cause for a free will choice is man.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline Quaremerepulisti

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3879
  • Thanked: 1272 times
  • Religion: Catholic (Byzantine)
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #52 on: December 01, 2018, 04:08:13 PM »
Quote
But that's making God's ultimate plan subsequent to Hitler's choice, whereas what you said the first time was God's plan being prior to Hitler's choice
. This is always the cause of dispute.  Mixing human perspective with God's perspective.  There is no subsequent, prior, etc... with God.  He is THERE and EVERYWHERE and EVERY TIME.  That is why his foreknowledge is infallible, though we could also say His view of history is infallible.  Both are equivalent.

Again, "subsequent" and "prior" here refer to ontology, not time.  God is outside of time, granted, so there is no temporal subsequent or prior with God.  However, God is not outside of ontology, not in the West anyway, so your argument doesn't work.
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8197
  • Thanked: 2718 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #53 on: December 01, 2018, 07:02:44 PM »
For clarity:

Divine Providence is ontologically prior to Hitler's choice.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline Kreuzritter

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 1244
  • Thanked: 874 times
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2019, 06:36:53 PM »
If indeterminism is true, there are three truth values: true, false, and not-yet-determined (i.e. open).

There's no such thing as a "third truth value".

From a perspective within time, the problem with your "X will win" being taken as a proposition lies in the inevitable explanation of the conditions under which one would assing a value of "true" or "false" to it; usually, that's in the form of "check it after it has happened", then "X will win" is just a proxy for "X won", and, if "X won" is true, "X will win" was "always" true because it was "predetermined". That seems to be the determinist's view. And your "third value" becomes just a way of trying to force deterministic concepts upon a view that doesn't accept them or maybe even find them to be meaningful. For the one who, rejecting determinism, rejects that sense, it's not clear to me that he even accepts or has to accept "X will win" as a form of a propositional statement that accepts truth values; taking "X will win" to state "'X won' will be true" doesn't get us closer, while "X won" is literal nonsense in relation to a future event.

On the other hand, if we take a transcendental perspective, the use of "not yet" and the word "predetermined" entails a frame of reference within time before the event, but there is no temporal "before" within this frame of reference; all temporal events are "determined" in some sense here, whether by free or compulsive cause or no cause at all, but obviously they are, and this perspective exists as a mathematical concept whether we are theists or not and whether we like it or not; what this perspective does not entail is an implication that it makes free will an impossibility and everything "predetermined", including the acts of agents by external compulsion.

To reiterate, free will is just a reference to the freedom of the spiritual act of a transcendental subject, that is, to conceptualise part of what that means, such a subject acts out of himself in such a way that, taken as a causal node, he is not merely some set of rules that transforms information coming in to the information that comes out, and becomes a genuine first cause feeding into a causal chain. And no, another transcendental subject in the form of God having a view to the causal net that is thus established, or determinign what information is fed in form some other points, does not logically conflict with this idea.

Quote
To have free will, both "X will win" and "Y will win" have to be open.

In your definition of "open", no, that doesn't follow form your argument.

Quote
If it's already true that X will win before the game even happens, then X is fated to win. Otherwise, losing would falsify the truth value of the proposition, which is absurd.

"Fated" is not defined here, which makes your "otherwise" questionable, but either way it tells us nothing about the cause of the state of affairs that makes "X will win" to be "true", which is what the proponent of free will is interested in. The determinist is maintaining, in one way or another, that all information about future events is already contained in past events and some set of rules, but the proponent of free will, rejecting that, is not claiming that all information about all events is not available from a point in a higher dimension. But if you've already excluded the possibility of free will by a definition of "X will win" that makes it sensible to assign to it truth-values, then you are, I'm afraid, just begging the question, which is what I suspect you are in fact doing.

Quote
To have free will, it is not enough that in different possible worlds, you do different things. You need to have access to those alternate worlds at the time of your choice.


I do have access to them, as I make them, but my spiritual acts aren't in time; they are acts upon time. However, your claim doesn't follow anyway; even if there is only one possible way to act due to material limitation, I may nevertheless act upon the available matter out of myself as a transcendent subject  rather than under the compulsion of an external power, which points to a problem of equivocation on concepts of something being "predetermined".

Quote
On classical theism, once God actualizes a world (or from eternity), the alternate possibilities are closed off, and it is no longer possible for you to do B if God foreknows A, for doing B would falsify God's foreknowledge.

One giant fail of a non-sequitur with a categorical error. God's knowledge isn't temporal foreknowledge, the language in which you formulated your argument; it is transcendental knowledge. God knows because I do, and he knows scientia media beyond even what I actually do because he knows the nature of my heart out of which I act. The "alternate possibilities" are closed off by myself and my free choices, not by God's creative and sustaining act which allows me to be and them to occur.
 
Quote
No one is arguing that foreknowledge means causation, so throw that red herring in the trash.

No, you're arguing that foreknowledge depends upon a causal act that itself fully determines everything, and that is what I choose to throw into the trash.

There's really no point in talking with people who neither believe nor see, because they are incapable of understanding the meaning of the mystic's words and have no desire to learn to. Or perhaps they can't. There are those who have speculated about solipsim-lite, of biological AI, automata in human form, bodies without souls and "organic portals", and the more I think about my interactions with some "people" and the bizarre language of "scientific materialists" & co. in talking about the self, free will, consciousness, and the phenomena of experience, the more I'm inclined to believe there may be something to it. We already know from the cognitive psychological literature that there are apparent human subjects who do not understand what visualisation is and those who dream imageless dreams, and I'd be willing to bet we're only scratching the surface of such aberrations.
 
The following users thanked this post: james03

Offline Michael

  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Thanked: 26 times
  • Religion: Atheist
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #55 on: March 12, 2019, 08:02:37 PM »
There's no such thing as a "third truth value".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-valued_logic

Contrary to what you said, I think if one insists that there are truths about what will happen, that entails logical fatalism. If "I will do A in two minutes" is true, then I can't do otherwise without falsifying the truth of that proposition. If I did otherwise, then the proposition would not have been true, contrary to hypothesis.

Quote
[A]ll temporal events are "determined" in some sense here, whether by free or compulsive cause or no cause at all,

It sounds like you're proposing a B-theory of time where all times exist at once. I think this is a problem for free will as well. It implies the universe is a static, frozen cube. Free will requires a genuine locus of indeterminacy that is then settled by an agent. Freezing (open) to frozen (closed). But on B-theory, the whole thing is eternally settled, forever in stone. It is one overall state, rather than a freezing state followed by a frozen one.

So all my "future" choices exist already, so they can't change.

Quote
...becomes a genuine first cause feeding into a causal chain.

Did something cause the agent to cause himself to choose A over B, or is it arbitrary randomness? Why did Lucifer choose B over A, given that with everything being the same, he could've chose A?

Quote
In your definition of "open", no, that doesn't follow form your argument.

If you insist on classical logic, "X will win" and "Y will win" are both false, and the tenseless "X wins" and "Y wins" are both variably false, since nothing grounds their being true. When one of them wins, either "X wins" or "Y wins" becomes invariably true, and the other one becomes invariably false.

Quote
"Fated" is not defined here

There is a 100% chance that it will happen.

Quote
[M]y spiritual acts aren't in time; they are acts upon time.

Nonsense. If I choose to drink chocolate milk at 6:03, that's an act of will taking place in time.

Quote
God's knowledge isn't temporal foreknowledge, the language in which you formulated your argument; it is transcendental knowledge.

See my comment above about the tenseless theory of time. Even God knows your future from a timeless vantage point, that means your future choices are already set in stone and you can't change them.

Quote
God knows because I do
But before I do something, I'm obviously not doing it. It hasn't transpired yet.

Quote
...and he knows scientia media beyond even what I actually do because he knows the nature of my heart out of which I act.

So your choices are determined by the nature of your heart? That's compatibilism. You didn't choose the nature of your heart which determines your choices. Even if you chose your nature, that choice itself would be based upon your prior nature, which was unchosen or based on an even prior nature, which you didn't choose.

Quote
[Y]ou're arguing that foreknowledge depends upon a causal act that itself fully determines everything

I'm arguing that libertarian free will and foreknowledge cannot co-exist. If I am free, I can do A or B, so there is nothing there to be foreknown. If God foreknows, I can't do otherwise without invalidating God's foreknowledge. It's impossible to break God's knowledge.
 
The following users thanked this post: Pon de Replay

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8197
  • Thanked: 2718 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Time and free will?
« Reply #56 on: March 14, 2019, 06:54:18 AM »
Quick aside, from God's perspective, "B Theory" is correct.

Getting back to the OP, let's look at the classic complaint:

Statement A: "Since God has foreknowledge that I will do X, I can't truly have Free Will and furthermore I am not responsible for my sin."

Now consider this statement:
Statement B: "Because I can look back in history and see that Trump decided to run for office, it is not possible that Trump freely chose to run for office BECAUSE I'm looking back in history and I see he did it."

If you agree with Statement B, then your reasoning for Statement A is at least coherent.  If you believe Statement B is absurd, then believing Statement A is incoherent, because Foreknowledge and History are absolutely identical from God's perspective.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."