Does God have libertarian free will?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Brandon C. Jones, May 21, 2005.

  1. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
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    Namely, does this hold true of God:
    #2. God has free will, choice REAL option. Is this where you claim Calvinism can't keep up?? [quote from BR]

    Well, if what the Arminian means by "choice REAL option" is libertarian free will, then a Calvinist would say no.

    The key to libertarian freedom is that, according to an Arminian, a person is only morally responsible when there are genuine options; that is the agent could have chose otherwise.

    God's moral perfection and libertarian free will:

    Some arminians do believe that libertarian freedom is true in heaven as it is on earth. Therefore, God is not essentially morally perfect, but chooses to be morally perfect--He could have sinned. Since God is everlasting (or eternal), then whatever choice He makes, He makes everlastingly--(which then removes His libertarian freedom in my opinion). But, if one says that God could flip flop back and forth between good and evil, then all notions of ethics and divine immutability are shattered. The Arminian says that if God does not have libertarian freedom, then when one praises Him for being righteous it reduces to mere aesthetic praise, like one would praise a painting.

    The Arminian says that if God is essentially morally perfect, then He does not have libertarian freedom regarding being able to do otherwise in all moral decisions and is not morally praiseworthy.

    However, many Arminians would say no that God does not have libertarian freedom because He is essentially morally perfect. This means that God could not have sinned. This means that libertarian freedom, at least for God, is not necessary for moral praise or responsibility. This means that God does not have real choice or options regarding being righteous or sinful.

    So, does God have choice, real option?
     
  2. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    The answer to that last question is this question.


    Did God have to create?
     
  3. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
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    Wrong Wes, when we you start refraining from these coy answers in the form of questions.

    Okay, let's see if Wes is right?

    So, does God have choice, real option [in the context of the post it related to moral perfection, praise, and responsibility]?

    Did God have to create? [the answer is no].

    Was God's decision to create morally praiseworthy; that is was it a decision that was either righteous or evil? No, the "response" above is irrelevent and answers nothing.
     
  4. Wes Outwest

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    Then you declare God's choice to create irrelevent?

    It seems that with an eternal being, any choice is morally praiseworthy. It is through the creation that the world we live on was set aside to be the battleground between good and evil. Did God know that before he created? Yep! He planned for it!

    So God's choice to create is most definitely morally praiseworthy! And, Yes he did and does have the very real option and choice, the choices are His alone, as is the whole of Creation over which he alone has dominion. Therefore the answer is definitely Yes, God did have to create in order to demonstrate his holy power over evil!
     
  5. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
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    It is irrelevent in determining whether or not God has libertarian free will (could have sinned) unless if one holds that His decision to create was, in fact, evil (I doubt you would hold that) or if one holds that He would have been evil if He chose not to create (I won't speak for you on this one because you say some things in your post that may imply such a statement).

    Eternal being = all choices are morally praiseworth? That's a new one to me. Why does God's relationship to time determine His moral perfection or whether or not He has libertarian free will?

    This statement here troubles me: "It is through the creation that the world we live on was set aside to be the battleground between good and evil. Did God know that before he created? Yep! He planned for it!"

    My response: are you a dualist or Calvinist?

    Either way you want to answer that one, God's decision to create does not answer whether or not He could have sinned.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    Well, if what the Arminian means by "choice REAL option" is libertarian free will, then a Calvinist would say no.
    </font>[/QUOTE]"Again" your attempts to evaluate the mind of God as in "being God to know how he thinks" is not serving your argument.

    God could send Christ on Tuesday or Wednesday - but sends Him on Tuesday - DID HE HAVE THE CHOICE of sending Christ on Wednesday??

    The OBVIOUS answer is YES! (Calvinist or Arminian -- unless the Calvinists are volunteering to jump down a deeeep hole on this one as well).

    God has free will - CHOICE EVEN though He KNOWS the future.

    So unless you can SHOW that Calvinism utterly fails on this one -- the point remains.

    The ploy of hiding behind the idea of God not sinning as "proof" that He has no free will does not even BEGIN to solve the huge problem that you propose for God by saying He does not have free will since HE has foreknowledge.

    Once you admit that HE DOES have free will - you explode your own arguments against the Arminian view.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. BobRyan

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    Sin and temptation REQUIRE ignorance and a motivation to contradict the character and will of God.

    Your circular argument that God is not tempted - (does not sin) as "PROOF" that He does not have free will, is the pointless argument that "God is not ignorant so He WILL never choose to make a stupid mistake".

    That kind of logic is not the basis for "Free will" - for or against it. The fact that God is not stupid does not make your case or mine.

    The ONLY leg Calvinism ever had to stand on for this subject was the foreknowledge of God- a fact that BOTH Calvinists and Arminians could agree with. And the END of their ability to stand on that leg comes when they admit that God has CHOICES.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. Brandon C. Jones

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    Wow, not just one, but two non-responses from BR.

    ""Again" your attempts to evaluate the mind of God as in "being God to know how he thinks" is not serving your argument." Well, BR, I'll drop all of this if you do too and we can just say that both of us "try to be God" in examining Calvinism and Arminianism. [Somehow I think that you will try to prove that you are right and I am wrong, but only you can say that I try to be God and not vice versa in these posts].

    Non-Response #1: I've seen this one before...(do you just cut and paste your old posts from other threads?). Well, once again, if God is omniscient and knows today that He will "send Christ" on Tuesday, then no He cannot "change His mind" because then He would not be omniscient. Do you really think that God just makes things up as this world turns?

    Non-Response #2: BR you have no clue what this discussion is about: "Sin and temptation REQUIRE ignorance and a motivation to contradict the character and will of God."

    I thought we were trying to see what the "character and will of God" is. Is it essentially morally perfect or is it everlastingly morally perfect based on God's free decision to be morally perfect? God needs to have a moral character from which to "contradict" to answer my question--one that you refuse to answer. You seem to answer that God does not have choice or real options because He will only do what is "smartest." Well, that sounds like a denial of libertarian freedom for God since He cannot do otherwise.

    God does not have libertarian free will, but is still morally praiseworthy because He acts based on His desires which are not constrained. Perhaps, humans are morally responsible without libertarian free will too.
     
  9. Wes Outwest

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    A. W. Tozer said what I believe this way.

    Therefore. It seems to me that "libertarian" is not an apt word to describe anything pertaining to God, especially God's decision making. When one is HOLY to the nth degree, one's choices must likewise be HOLY to the nth degree! That rules out gutteral choices by one of Lofty Holiness!
     
  10. Brandon C. Jones

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    I see, so libertarian free wil is not required for moral praise or responsibility Wes? God acts in accordance with His desires which are not constrained, so God acts freely?
     
  11. Wes Outwest

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    Since HOLY is the way God is, he chooses and Acts freely in His Holiness!

    That is fitting in light of what the Calvinist would have us believe about the total depravity of man and man's resultant inability to choose anything outside of his "nature". Of course that is not what scriptures say about man, as we see in 1 Peter,
    A.W. Tozer expounds on that too
    Both Peter and Tozer say one must have knowledge in the brain for the Spirit of God to illuminate for the human spirit in order to spawn faith in God and thus be regenerated!
     
  12. BobRyan

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    "Again" your attempts to evaluate the mind of God as in "being God to know how he thinks" is not serving your argument."


    Still waiting for something to respond to...

    You have indeed given the non-response you claim to give - because you are ducking the point.

    God DID have the choice of Wednesday even though your Calvinist ramblings make you say that God CAN ONLY CHOOSE Tuesday and HAD NO CHOICE for any other day.

    Your Calvinism has forced you to put God in a box -- a tuesday-box in this case.

    And that should serve as a huge red flag to any thinking person reading your logic so far.

    You are right about one thing. That was "non-response #2 from you".

    Bob Said
    "Sin and temptation REQUIRE ignorance and a motivation to contradict the character and will of God."


    I am not the one that tried to drag in this silly idea of "God not sinning" or "not tempted" as some kind of "proof" that God does not have free will -- so don't blame me for pointing out the obvious fact that those who resort to that ploy are making a silly argument about God "not contradicting Himself" as IF that proves He does not have Free Will.

    As has "already been pointed out" your question about God contradicting Himself is a nonsequitter for this thread since the fact that HE DOES NOT contradict Himself DOES NOTHING to answer the question about God having Free will.

    I am simply pointint out - that obvious fact.

    Wrong again.

    I point that He will can not be TEMPTED to SIN because sin requires IGNORANCE. I also point out "repeatedly" that this has NOTHING to do with the discussion on CHOICE or REAL options.

    (Again - the obvious).


    Which is why I offer the TUESDAY-Wednesday scenario for the second coming as a BETTER case for evaluating CHOICE and REAL options.

    Your idea that ALL God's choices stem from moral issues DOES not BEGIN to address the zillions of CHOICES inside a morally perfect realm. So I offer the Tuesday Wednesday example as one out of zillions.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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