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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by DHK, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

    Jul 13, 2000
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    Compatibilism? What is it?
    I heard a pastor refer to himself as a Compatabiliist, and didn't know exactly what position he was referring to.
  2. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Oct 6, 2004
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    It’s a doctrine generally coming from someone who calls themself a “Calvinist” and/or wants to hinge all theories of election on the TULIP, in which all points are vitally dependent on determinism, but he/she is either intelligent enough to see the theological fatality concerning the origins of evil in the Determinist’ doctrine or is actually Arminian at heart and recognizes the necessity of free will , or both, so they rest their theology on that creaturely free will exists and say free will is “compatible” with determinism, thus “Compatibilism”.

    Of course, free will and determinism are logically mutually exclusive, despite the many efforts of some to explain simple logic away with things like saying there is such a thing as “soft determinism”. I think in reality these are admitting they are “soft on their support of determinism” and are Arminian at heart. More and more often today the ones that are bent on sticking to determinism will recognize it is logically mutually exclusive to free will so will give up on the theory of Compatibilism altogether and just admit to Hard determinism while putting this priority of holding to the doctrines of Calvinistic principles above the importance of avoiding theological fatalism. These are the ones who will generally or openly attribute evil to God and deny the Gospel as being a genuine offer to all God’s creatures, i.e. Hyper-Calvinism/Hyper-Determinism.

    Compatibilists will attempt to build philosophical arguments that involve first and second causes, and try to call free will other things, but their logic concerning causal effects always fails to show how both determinism and free will (or whatever they want to call it; see the second line of my signature)can both be true. I have this statement I put together a few years ago for those who have been pinned down on their theological fatalism in debate when trying to hold to determinism and will only then, usually only temporarily, try to say free will is also true:

    Free will should be defined as volition and this sustains the meaning that a creature has the ability to consciously choose; one can not do both, have this ability and not have this ability in any logical sense. If creaturely response is determined by causal means to have an irresistible effect on the creature then creaturely volition logically becomes void.

    Hope that helps. :)
    #2 Benjamin, Jan 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2012