{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

Predestination and Free Will

Predestination and Free Will - The view of John S Feinberg...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The view of John S. Feinberg on predestination and free will can be summed up in a small piece of what he wrote. “God can guarantee that His goals will be accomplished freely even when someone does not want to do the act, because the decree includes not only God’s chosen ends, but the means to such ends. Such means include whatever circumstances and factors are necessary to convince an individual (without constraint) that the act that God has decreed is the act she or he wants to do. And given the sufficient conditions, the person will do the act.” Essentially he believes that, although God is all powerful, He chooses not to exercise force on people in order to protect their free will. Instead, in His foreknowledge, God has from the beginning put into place a chain of events that has occurred in the past and is still occurring today. These events being the basis for all we know of the world, they are the only thing shaping what we choose to do, or not to do. These events guide our minds in such a way that only one choice can be made in each particular situation. At the same time, God has not forced us to do anything, but only the choice God wanted us to make was made. His plan was fulfilled because the past has guided us into it. Feinberg’s essay is clearly Calvinist and he at least begins with the basic biblical facts that God is fully sovereign and that human beings have free will. His attempts to reconcile these seemingly contradictory states however end up leaving us with no real unity at all. First of all, he states that “. ..genuinely free human action is seen as compatible with nonconstraning sufficient conditions which incline the will decisively in one way or another.” (p.25) This being the basic tenet of his soft deterministic stance, one would assume that it would be a solid foundation, but it turns out that it isn’t even logical. The word non-constraining tells us that he believes that these conditions brought about by past events still allow for a choice, but then he states that these events “incline the will decisively”, the persons will has been “inclined” to such a degree that it cannot be over come. Essentially he is saying that you can choose what you want to do, as long as the choice is to do what God wants you to do. It’s akin to walking into a classroom and having the professor tell you that you can sit wherever you want, as long as it’s in the third row on the far left, you would probably just laugh, the professor must be joking because the choice he’s given you is no choice at all; it was his choice. Feinberg’s attempt to reconcile free will with predestination simply produces a contradiction that leads back to humans not having any freedom at all. On top of all of this, the Bible provides us with a clear passage that makes Feinberg’s claims very hard to defend. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 5

Predestination and Free Will - The view of John S Feinberg...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon bookmark
Ask a homework question - tutors are online