The incoherency of libertarian free will

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TomFL

Guest
I can accept correction on that point. There is an inconsistency in many Calvinistic understandings of the fall (will of Adam and Eve) with the will of people post-fall. I distinctly remember reading Calvinistic literature to that effect. Usually, this is where the various Latin phrases pop up.

On account of the above, I stand corrected. The other poster, simpletruther, holds a consistent understanding of the will (compatibilism) and is thusly at odds with the WCF on the particular point with respect to Adam. Since neither Simpletruther nor I hold the WCF to be authoritative, however, the rub created by being at odds with it is lost. It is, however, a fairly well-worded document that usually describes Calvinism well.
How about the London Baptist confession it says the same thing

But Ok

regarding Compatibilism

In order to understand this better theologians have come up with the term "compatibilism" to describe the concurrence of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Compatibilism is a form of determinism and it should be noted that this position is no less deterministic than hard determinism. It simply means that God's predetermination and meticulous providence is "compatible" with voluntary choice. Our choices are not coerced ...i.e. we do not choose against what we want or desire, yet we never make choices contrary to God's sovereign decree. What God determines will always come to pass (Eph 1:11).
In light of Scripture, (according to compatibilism), human choices are exercised voluntarily but the desires and circumstances that bring about these choices about occur through divine determinism.
Monergism.com How can God be sovereign and man free

it is still determinism

The idea of compatibilism is make free will compatible with determinism

that it is why it is called compatibilistic free will and those who deny determinism had to coin the term libertarian free will

How can it when free will is denied ?
 

His clay

Well-known member
LFWism has no specific mechanism for the final choice landed upon, therefore it is has no better explination than the mere flipping-of-a-coin...

LFW-ism = The “chooser” lands on x instead of y...
Flip-a-coin-ism = The “coin” lands on tails instead of heads...

This is exactly the problem. And if "chance" is inevitably part of LF, then it follows that human identity is destroyed. And it follows that the very idea of responsibility is destroyed, which is what the very idea of LF was supposed to solve.
 
T

TomFL

Guest
I didn't say that you "rule out the greatest desire." I said that your understanding of it is inverted from what myself and another were saying. You place it under the choice; while we place choice under the greatest desire. A person's nature is fixed in stone at the moment of choice. The fact that people deliberate (mentally consider pros and cons of a particular decision among various future objects of choice) does not change this.
I thought we agreed desires do not make choices

That the person does
 

zerinus

Well-known member
Is it difficult to see that one with an addiction might not be free to avoid that behavior
Addiction by definition is something that curtails freewill. If someone is suffering from some kind of addiction, then his freewill is compromised, and he does not enjoy full libertarian freewill—until he has overcome his addiction.
 

York

Active member
I agree with Johnathan Edwards on the problem of the will being self determined...

Edwards finds this argument both incoherent and subject to an infinite regress. He points out that for the will to determine itself is for the will to act. Thus the act of will whereby it determines a subsequent act must itself be determined by a preceding act of will or the will cannot properly be said to be self-determined. If libertarianism is to be maintained, every act of will that determines a consequent act is itself preceded by an act of will, and so on until one comes to a first act of will. But if this first act is determined by a preceding one, it is not itself the first act. If, on the other hand, this act is not determined by a previous act, it cannot be free since it is not self-determined. If the first act of volition is not itself determined by a preceding act of will, that so-called first act is not determined by the will and is thus not free.

Edwards’s point is that if the will chooses its choice or determines its own acts, it must be supposed to choose to choose this choice, and before that it would have to choose to choose to choose that choice, and so on ad infinitum. Therefore, the concept of freedom as self-determination either contradicts itself by positing an unchosen (i.e., non-self-determined) choice or shuts itself wholly out of the world by an infinite regress.

To avoid this conundrum, some libertarians argue that acts of will come to pass of themselves without any cause of any sort. They simply happen, spontaneously and inexplicably. But nothing is causeless, except the uncaused First Cause, God. To argue for volitional spontaneity would render all human choice random and haphazard, with no reason, intent, or motive accounting for its existence.

If human acts of will are not causally tethered to human character, on what grounds does one establish their ethical value? How may one be blamed or praised for an act of will in the causation of which neither he nor anything else had a part? Furthermore, how can one explain a diversity of effects from a monolithic no-cause? If there is no ground or cause for the existence of an effect, what accounts for the diversity of one effect from another? Why is an entity what it is and not otherwise if not because of the specific nature of the cause that produced it?

To read more click here
I understand what's being said re: infinate regress but...

God somehow manages to get the sticky toffee paper of his fingers. He created all, but somehow disconnected himself from his creation such that they are responsible for evil and not him.

This infinite regress argument would make God the direct creator of evil, were it not for the "magic bullet" called his creating us separate and distinct from him, capable of action founded ultimately in our own hearts.

If we can't say "you made me do it" then it means we did it. And the i finite regress argument fails.
 

His clay

Well-known member
How about the London Baptist confession it says the same thing

But Ok

regarding Compatibilism

In order to understand this better theologians have come up with the term "compatibilism" to describe the concurrence of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Compatibilism is a form of determinism and it should be noted that this position is no less deterministic than hard determinism. It simply means that God's predetermination and meticulous providence is "compatible" with voluntary choice. Our choices are not coerced ...i.e. we do not choose against what we want or desire, yet we never make choices contrary to God's sovereign decree. What God determines will always come to pass (Eph 1:11).
In light of Scripture, (according to compatibilism), human choices are exercised voluntarily but the desires and circumstances that bring about these choices about occur through divine determinism.
Monergism.com How can God be sovereign and man free

it is still determinism

The idea of compatibilism is make free will compatible with determinism

that it is why it is called compatibilistic free will and those who deny determinism had to coin the term libertarian free will

How can it when free will is denied ?
So I've already read this many times before. You are not introducing new information into the discussion. "Free will" is not necessarily denied. Libertarian freedom is denied and another form of freedom is asserted. The question at the end (How can it when free will is denied?) is simply begging the very point at question by assuming a disputed point (LF's view of freedom) as the standard to judge the very point that replaces LF (compatibilistic freedom).

I'll repeat. The idea of "freedom" is not denied. It is simply different than LF. Voluntary choice is preferred over the misleading fantasy of LF. Freedom is doing in accord with one's highest motive/preference/desire. Doing as one pleases may be another way of saying this. Of course, this excludes scenarios where other human beings are trying to play god (hypnotism, etc).
 
T

TomFL

Guest
Addiction by definition is something that curtails freewill. If someone is suffering from some kind of addiction, then his freewill is compromised, and he does not enjoy full libertarian freewill—until he has overcome his addiction.
Exactly LFW may be limited and need not be absolute which is why when asked most will note it is a soft libertarian free will they hold to
 

His clay

Well-known member
I thought we agreed desires do not make choices

That the person does
Are you back to that straw man again? Seriously, try to follow what I'm saying about your position simply being different than ours. It does not follow that because our position is different than yours (remember my inversion comment) that this then leads to your straw man of "desires do not make choices". Please, try to be understanding; at least try to understand the other side properly.
 

zerinus

Well-known member
No it is not assumed the LFW is absolute but limited

Libertarian freedom is the ability to genuinely choose between a range of options, each of which is consistent with one’s nature.

as was stated in the definition
That definition of “freewill” is compromised and wrong. “Consistent with one’s nature” is what compromises it and makes it go wrong. It certainly is not compatible with “libertarian” freewill.
 
T

TomFL

Guest
So I've already read this many times before. You are not introducing new information into the discussion. "Free will" is not necessarily denied. Libertarian freedom is denied and another form of freedom is asserted. The question at the end (How can it when free will is denied?) is simply begging the very point at question by assuming a disputed point (LF's view of freedom) as the standard to judge the very point that replaces LF (compatibilistic freedom).

I'll repeat. The idea of "freedom" is not denied. It is simply different than LF. Voluntary choice is preferred over the misleading fantasy of LF. Freedom is doing in accord with one's highest motive/preference/desire. Doing as one pleases may be another way of saying this. Of course, this excludes scenarios where other human beings are trying to play god (hypnotism, etc).
Libertarian free will is free will

The term libertarian was added to avoid the misunderstanding of a compatibilist free will

but you have affirmed free will while many here won't. One poster you had mentioned falls into that
category

I would disagree which you however that controlled desires allow for a free choice
 
T

TomFL

Guest
That definition of “freewill” is compromised and wrong. “Consistent with one’s nature” is what compromises it and makes it go wrong. It certainly is not compatible with “libertarian” freewill.
Well you are going to have to disagree with the philosphers who so defined it

Can you will yourself to fly ?

Live under water ?
 

His clay

Well-known member
Libertarian free will is free will

The term libertarian was added to avoid the misunderstanding of a compatibilist free will

but you have affirmed free will while many here won't. One poster you had mentioned falls into that
category

I would disagree which you however that controlled desires allow for a free choice
"Libertarian free will is free will" <--begging the question fallacy. That is precisely the point in question.

I do not accept that libertarian freedom is the very measure and standard of human freedom. I made that clear in my last post and in many others. Why are you ignoring my comments?

"one poster" That is too vague. Which poster?

"but you have affirmed free will" This is a clear case of equivocation. You have omitted my differing definition of freedom to make it seem as though I'm substantively at odds with others.
 
T

TomFL

Guest
"Libertarian free will is free will" <--begging the question fallacy. That is precisely the point in question.

I do not accept that libertarian freedom is the very measure and standard of human freedom. I made that clear in my last post and in many others. Why are you ignoring my comments?

"one poster" That is too vague. Which poster?
Reformed guy but there are others as past discussions have revealed

No it not begging the question it is definitional

here is an exerp from Free thinking ministries

The reason why we have to use the word “libertarian” when describing free will is because the term “free will” has been hijacked by determinists who want to have their cake and eat it too. They affirm an incoherent idea called “compatibilistic free will” (the idea that humans are free even though something external to humanity causally determines everything about humanity)

but what do you think is the difference ?
 
T

TomFL

Guest
That is exactly what Calvinism teaches. Learn your own theology first, before spewing out so much nonsense.
Indeed it does

In order to understand this better theologians have come up with the term "compatibilism" to describe the concurrence of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Compatibilism is a form of determinism and it should be noted that this position is no less deterministic than hard determinism. It simply means that God's predetermination and meticulous providence is "compatible" with voluntary choice. Our choices are not coerced ...i.e. we do not choose against what we want or desire, yet we never make choices contrary to God's sovereign decree. What God determines will always come to pass (Eph 1:11).
In light of Scripture, (according to compatibilism), human choices are exercised voluntarily but the desires and circumstances that bring about these choices about occur through divine determinism. Monergism.com How can God be sovereign and man free
 
T

TomFL

Guest
Calvinism does not teach are desires are externally determined. Strawman. Our desires come from the heart
Of course it does

In order to understand this better theologians have come up with the term "compatibilism" to describe the concurrence of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Compatibilism is a form of determinism and it should be noted that this position is no less deterministic than hard determinism. It simply means that God's predetermination and meticulous providence is "compatible" with voluntary choice. Our choices are not coerced ...i.e. we do not choose against what we want or desire, yet we never make choices contrary to God's sovereign decree. What God determines will always come to pass (Eph 1:11).
In light of Scripture, (according to compatibilism), human choices are exercised voluntarily but the desires and circumstances that bring about these choices about occur through divine determinism. Monergism.com How can God be sovereign and man free

how could you have not known that ?
 

His clay

Well-known member
Reformed guy but there are others as past discussions have revealed

No it not begging the question it is definitional

here is an exerp from Free thinking ministries

The reason why we have to use the word “libertarian” when describing free will is because the term “free will” has been hijacked by determinists who want to have their cake and eat it too. They affirm an incoherent idea called “compatibilistic free will” (the idea that humans are free even though something external to humanity causally determines everything about humanity)

but what do you think is the difference ?
"No it not begging the question it is definitional" Libertarian freedom is defined a certain way. If that was all that you were saying then we would be agreed. However, you are making LF as the very standard to evaluate all else, which standard is the very point in question. Hence, you are committing the "begging the question" fallacy.

Reformed guy and I are on the same page substantively, though our terminology may differ. Do you have something better than the equivocation fallacy as an argument?

So you have presented prejudice as an argument from the "Free thinking ministries." It is not convincing. The fact that others don't like compatibilism and wish to pejoratively describe it has no persuasive value. To arbitrarily assert that compatibilism is an "incoherent idea" is not convincing.

Since you wish to employ fallacies, I thought that I might utilize my own. Have you noticed how "free thinking ministries" is intimately connected to atheistic "free thinkers". This is called a guilt by association fallacy, btw.
 
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zerinus

Well-known member
To which he would respond that you are only ignoring the issue. The idea that "the choices are independently arrived at by the person making the choice," only backs the issue up a step. It is then legitimate to ask that since the person is not eternal and begins to exist, then it follows inevitably as to what causes the person to be. If you say that the person just is, then you have advocated an arbitrary understanding of the individual, and thusly you have jumped into the "chance" criticism. Hence, your third option is only illusory.
All wrong. Man is because God has made him to be; and he has complete libertarian freewill because God has made him to have.
 
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