A date with Molina... date #2 - A rose by any other name...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    How is it unreasonable to say that Molinism explains how God uses foreknowledge to effectively determine all things and yet still hold man morally responsible?
     
  2. HeirofSalvation

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    It wouldn't be...well more accurately he uses "Middle Knowledge" to do that. That is what it seeks to explain; in the Molinist view man truly is...in an ontologically real sense....a free moral agent with the power of contrary choice. Man is a truly moral agent, in the same way he is in Arminianism or I daresay OT. The crux of the determination God made was based upon the free choices of creatures. God took those into account logically prior to the creation of the Universe. Compatibilism is not a part of Molinism.
     
    #2 HeirofSalvation, Apr 25, 2012
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  3. humblethinker

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    Wow, I was not expecting an admittal... I'll have to think on that. Ok, you other molinists, what do you say to this? Do you agree?
     
  4. Benjamin

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    I'm pretty much in agreement with HOS, (Molinists are not compatibilists) although I wouldn't "exactly" call myself a Molinist, (could have answered HOS's poll in another tread to the affect that I consider myself above all that, I suppose, but he didn't make it sound too good...:smilewinkgrin:). I enjoy this subject a lot, but I have finals and graduation coming up so can't spend time here but will give my 2 cents in the fly-by.

    I would begin to explain that middle-knowledge is a “theological concept”. MK is about pre-volitional counterfactual knowledge and the Molinist just needs to show that MK can be pre-volitional. A Molinist doesn’t suppose that God’s knowledge is a “kind of active force” (causal determinism) but rather God’s knowledge is just that – knowledge. Moreover, Molinism is about how God can be Provident in a world that exhibits things that seem to be against His character, such as being responsible for evil. God, as per His nature, in Truth, allowed for free actions to be self-determinative through a greater knowledge than many would like to give Him credit for; I prefer not to go deeper into that here and now, but just to clarify.

    “By means of His natural knowledge, then, God has knowledge of every contingent state of affairs which could possibly obtain and of what the exemplification of the individual essence of any free creature could freely choose to do in any such state of affairs that should be actual.
    In the second moment, God possesses knowledge of all true counterfactual propositions, including counterfactuals of creaturely freedom. That is to say, He knows what contingent states of affairs would obtain if certain antecedent states of affairs were to obtain; whereas by His natural knowledge God knew what any free creature could do in any set of circumstances, now in this second moment God knows what any free creature would do in any set of circumstances. This is not because the circumstances causally determine the creature's choice, but simply because this is how the creature would freely choose. God thus knows that were He to actualize certain states of affairs, then certain other contingent states of affairs would obtain. Molina calls this counterfactual knowledge "middle knowledge" because it stands in between the first and third moment in divine knowledge. Middle knowledge is like natural knowledge in that such knowledge does not depend on any decision of the divine will; God does not determine which counterfactuals of creaturely freedom are true or false. Thus, if it is true that…” (No Other Name – Dr. William Lane Craig)
     
  5. humblethinker

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    If God were to simply have this knowledge, that would be one thing. But, and this directly pertains to the OP, it is his use of this knowledge as described by Molinism that creates the trouble for me. Molinism: what God did not causally determine he meticulously manipulated by employing selective actualization informed exclusively through his exhaustive foreknowledge.

    If calvinism and molinism were the only entrées on the menue, one might do just as well to tell the waiter, "Eh, whatever the chef recommends... as long as I get dessert. Oh, and I'm a good tipper!"
     
  6. Benjamin

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    Ah, I wish had time for this, I would put on my Molinist’ hat and address how you are essentially begging your question with your reasoning; and therefore directly answer your question in the Op, that yes, it is an unreasonable assumption to attempt to place a view of determinism on the Molinist. Molinism assumes creaturely volition and rests on that being an absolute truth being consistent with creational Devine design, the Nature of God, and would go about to prove MK IS an unavoidable truth, scripturally. All this, while not having to accept the flavors off the menus of OT which logically attempts to escape holding on to the Omniscient nature of God, as well as MK avoids the theological fatalism that Calvinist’ views that determinism brings…or otherwise often attempts to avoid with the logically mutually exclusive claims of Compatibilists trying to insist creaturely volition and causal determinism can both be true… :rolleyes: But, alas, my physical therapist hat is presently glued to my head so I can explain the physiological deficiencies caused by poor cervical posture (Upper Cross Syndrome) and ways to correct such a condition. Keep your head up and maybe later I can toss you some tips of which dessert would be the most practical to swallow. ;)
     
    #6 Benjamin, Apr 25, 2012
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  7. humblethinker

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    :thumbs: Your commitment to your priorities is my loss I'm sure! You would be a worthy opponent and a superior one I must say. But, question begging as it may have been (although I'm not convinced of that just yet... Besides, i think there may be some of that by molinists themselves regarding the grounding objection), look what I've managed to do! I've managed to elicit significant contradictory statements from two Molinists!

    Come back when you can change hats... Although I might could use some advice some back issues... ;-)
     
  8. HeirofSalvation

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    I like you too much to enjoy bursting this bubble....but....this is not quite true in that Benjamin said:

    I was using the word "determined" in a more common parlance sort of way when I accepted the contention that things are "determined". I suppose I should not have...in order to avoid confusion. If, by "determined" you mean in the sense that they are inescapably pre-ordained or inescapably decreed....no. I would not say that. The very crux of where we tend to disagree is what might be your contention that inexhaustible foreknowledge is tatamount to a "decree" the crux of Molinism is that we do not see this as "determinism". I think we can go over this some more, it is a legit concern.
     
    #8 HeirofSalvation, Apr 26, 2012
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