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The Nature of Agency

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35 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Compatibilism applies not just to causal determinism but also if there are truths about the future (i.e. things akin to foreknowledge). Arguably many of the arguments also apply to randomness - the opposite of determinism.

If God has foreknowledge then the same problem appears and typically accurate knowledge of the future is a part of most Mormon readings of scripture. There are attempts to avoid this. So for instance Blake Ostler argues that God has foreknowledge only of things he can bring about. I think that runs into problems if there's foreknowledge of how Christ was killed for instance since it would imply God brought about crucifixion which seems problematic at best. There's also the question in science (still open) over whether the four dimensional universe is the proper conception of relativity. That is that pass and future are determined at the same time. It gets tricky and there are different ways to conceive of the issue. However an even bigger problem is that if there are multiple creations you have the problem of how God can interact with them all at the same time. That seems to clearly imply faster than light communication which logically requires a block universe and thus compatibilism.

Where open theism attempts to deal with this, I find the arguments against relativity to be extremely weak. Primarily I think people who are disturbed about compatibilism look for any possibility, however strained, to avoid foreknowledge. However I think it's clearly presupposed by scripture and the relativity issue is also deeply problematic for such theology (as is the big bang).

This is my favorite explanation of how God's foreknowledge might allow for free-will without relying on compatibilism, which simply waters down free-will. 

It's short enough that I will just copy and paste the whole article for your convenience:

Quote

 

Modern scripture speaks unequivocally of the foreknowledge of God: "All things are present before mine eyes" (D&C 38:2). It affirms that God has a fulness of truth, a "knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come " (D&C 93:24,emphasis added).

Divine foreknowledge includes the power to know even the thoughts and intents of the human heart: "There is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart" (D&C 6:16). Divine foreknowledge is at least, in part, knowledge of his own purposive plans for the cosmos and for humankind, plans that "cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught" (D&C 3:1). "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18; Abr. 2:8). These include the conditions of the Plan of Salvation. For example, "God did elect or predestinate that all those who would be saved, should be saved in Christ Jesus, and through obedience to the Gospel" (TPJS, p. 189). It is likewise foreknown that all humankind will die, be resurrected, and be brought to judgment.

In scripture, the root terms for divine knowing connote more than a subject-object, cognitive relationship; they imply a close, direct, participative, affective awareness. Divine foreknowledge is the knowledge of a Heavenly Father, not knowledge of a metaphysical abstraction. Scriptures that speak of divine foreknowledge emphasize God's understanding of an experience with his people and their destiny rather than the content and logic of that knowledge. Anyone seeking to understand divine foreknowledge must begin by recognizing that scripture does not directly address the question as it has been formulated in philosophy and theology, where the emphasis is on the content and logic of knowledge. The scriptures are explicit that God knows all and that we can trust him. They have not been explicit about what that means philosophically or theologically. Consequently, short of new revelation, any answer to the theological question of God's foreknowledge can be only speculative.

In an attempt to reconcile divine foreknowledge and human freedom, major Jewish and Christian theologians and philosophers have offered three alternatives. In the first, both horns of the dilemma are affirmed: "Everything is foreseen, and freedom of choice is given." This is the position of Rabbi Akiba and Maimonides (Aboth 3, 19; Yad, Teshuvah 5:5), as well as of Augustine and Anselm (City of God 5.9-10; The Harmony of the Foreknowledge, the Predestination, and the Grace of God with Free Choice 1.3). Maimonides argues that though it is logically impossible for human foreknowledge of one's actions to be compatible with freedom, God's foreknowledge, which is of a different and mysterious kind, is compatible with freedom.

In the second, God's foreknowledge is limited. Since people are free, God knows the possibilities and probabilities of human choice, but not the inevitabilities. God is omniscient in knowing all that can be known; but not in knowing beforehand exactly how people will use their freedom, since that cannot be known because future, contingent events do not exist. This is the view of the Talmudist Gersonides (Levi Ben Gershon, 1288-1344; Milhamot Adonai, III, 6) and, with some modifications, of Charles Hartshorne and process philosophers.

In the third, humans are not genuinely free. Freedom is an illusion that arises from human ignorance of divine cause and necessity. All that individuals do is actually determined and predetermined. God both pre-knows and pre-causes all that occurs. This is the view of Spinoza and Calvin.

Historically, most Latter-day Saints have taken the first general position: everything is foreseen and freedom remains. Some have taken the second, that God's foreknowledge is not absolute. The third alternative, that human freedom is illusory, is incompatible with LDS belief in genuine free agency and responsibility. Praise and blame, accountability and judgment, are meaningless unless humans are free. Any doctrine of foreknowledge that undercuts this principle violates the spirit and letter of LDS scripture.

Consequently divine foreknowledge, however it is finally defined, is not predestination. What God foresees is not, for that reason, divinely caused, even though it is in some sense known (Talmage, p. 317). Divine foreknowledge is the background of foreordination. But, again, foreordination is not pre-causation. Rather, "foreordination is a conditional bestowal of a role, a responsibility, or a blessing which, likewise, foresees but does not fix the outcome" (Maxwell, p. 71).

https://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Foreknowledge_of_God

 

 

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11 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Did anyone see them take the cookies?

I ain't tellin' !  ;)

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

...but the way I see it is that they serve no purpose without antimormons.

Isn't that kind of true though?  To defend against critics where there are no critics seems kind of moot.  Likewise, to defend free-will against determinism where there is no determinism is equally moot. 

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

I kind of see compatibilism as the apologists for free will.

It might defend one version/definition of free-will, but not the version I believe in. 

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26 minutes ago, pogi said:

This is my favorite explanation of how God's foreknowledge might allow for free-will without relying on compatibilism, which simply waters down free-will. =

Yeah, I don't buy that. I think Jim in his three choices misses the obvious example of compatibilism. It's not even an option he presents even though among the figures he mentions it was a very live and common option. The Pharisees for instance were compatibilists and the idea was debated at the time even though Pharisee compatibilism was different from Stoic compatibilism which was the dominant position of that era. Jim points to Maimonides statement but he's an incompatibilist proper yet sees God's foreknowledge as mysteriously not applying. Whether that is because he see's God's foreknowledge as middle knowledge or something else isn't entirely clear. (Middle knowledge is more or less the idea that God sees all possibilities that are freely chosen - although its very debatable of whether that works for incompatibilists)

I honestly don't know if Jim advocates open theism or not. He's written elsewhere on archetypes and the idea that foreknowledge is knowledge of repeating patterns and not individual facts. I think that's true since the modern conception of facts, time and individual events really arises after the rise of Christianity and it's merger with Greek thinking. That doesn't mean individual facts aren't entailed by various texts though. Nephi's vision of the future in 1 Nephi 11-14 being the obvious example. Again the interpretation by open theists to Nephi's vision is that it either is prophecies God is able to bring about (such as the gentiles coming to the new world) or is expansions in the 19th century on what were originally much vague prophesies on the plates.

 

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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William James uses the analogy of God as a master chess player with infinite intelligence, vs we amateur chess players

He knows us inside and out -think of that as the game. In principle his foreknowledge is naturalistic, like a chess master knows his game. Chessmasters cannot actually foretell the future yet they know with near certainty what will happen in any given situation. 

I like the analogy because it places us in some sense as operators within the same realm as God, as members of the same species had yet he of course is infinitely above us and intelligence.

So what we see as foreknowledge is for God no more than understanding the principles of the game with abilities far beyond what we can even imagine.

We still make choices but he anticipates with virtually certain accuracy what they will be.

So like us God's ability lies upon predicting what will happen and then having it happen. that is something like the methodology of science and its ability to predict what will happen.

The difference of course is that God can anticipate our motivations and decisions where science cannot.

Edited by mfbukowski
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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Yeah, I don't buy that. I think Jim in his three choices misses the obvious example of compatibilism. It's not even an option he presents even though among the figures he mentions it was a very live and common option. The Pharisees for instance were compatibilists and the idea was debated at the time even though Pharisee compatibilism was different from Stoic compatibilism which was the dominant position of that era. Jim points to Maimonides statement but he's an incompatibilist proper yet sees God's foreknowledge as mysteriously not applying. Whether that is because he see's God's foreknowledge as middle knowledge or something else isn't entirely clear. (Middle knowledge is more or less the idea that God sees all possibilities that are freely chosen - although its very debatable of whether that works for incompatibilists)

I honestly don't know if Jim advocates open theism or not. He's written elsewhere on archetypes and the idea that foreknowledge is knowledge of repeating patterns and not individual facts. I think that's true since the modern conception of facts, time and individual events really arises after the rise of Christianity and it's merger with Greek thinking. That doesn't mean individual facts aren't entailed by various texts though. Nephi's vision of the future in 1 Nephi 11-14 being the obvious example. Again the interpretation by open theists to Nephi's vision is that it either is prophecies God is able to bring about (such as the gentiles coming to the new world) or is expansions in the 19th century on what were originally much vague prophesies on the plates.

My point is that there are other alternatives ways to potentially reconcile foreknowledge without relying on compatibilism, which does not align with my understanding of both foreknowledge and free-will.

Compatibilism is only necessary given the presupposition of a certain kind of foreknowledge, but as Jim points out "the scriptures are explicit that God knows all and that we can trust him. They have not been explicit about what that means philosophically or theologically. Consequently, short of new revelation, any answer to the theological question of God's foreknowledge can be only speculative."

I think there are good alternative explanations of foreknowledge might be that align better with our theological understanding of free-will and which does not require compatibilism to water down free-will into something that most Latter-day saints wouldn't recognize as free-will.  Mark gives one such example above which sounds a lot like what Jim wrote here, 

Quote

Consequently divine foreknowledge, however it is finally defined, is not predestination. What God foresees is not, for that reason, divinely caused, even though it is in some sense known (Talmage, p. 317). Divine foreknowledge is the background of foreordination. But, again, foreordination is not pre-causation. Rather, "foreordination is a conditional bestowal of a role, a responsibility, or a blessing which, likewise, foresees but does not fix the outcome" (Maxwell, p. 71).

Given that understanding of foreknowledge, free-will doesn't need to be defended by watering it down. 

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On 1/10/2019 at 3:01 PM, pogi said:

My point is that there are other alternatives ways to potentially reconcile foreknowledge without relying on compatibilism, which does not align with my understanding of both foreknowledge and free-will.

Well the question is whether they work. Blake Ostler has a fairly good discussion of why middle knowledge doesn't work in his first theology volume. The Maimonides method doesn't work since it makes God's knowledge not normal propositional knowledge of the future. (It's not clear if he's asserting middle knowledge, but if he is then it's irrelevant for what Jim is discussing) So what's left is knowledge of God's character or knowledge of plans God can and says he will bring about. The problem with that as I mentioned, are prophecies involving future destructions or prophecies involving particular types of torture.  But of course the open theists make that same argument. Whether it can account for all the purported prophecies though seems the problem and is why not everyone accepts open theism.

On 1/10/2019 at 3:01 PM, pogi said:

Given that understanding of foreknowledge, free-will doesn't need to be defended by watering it down. 

It's worth turning the tables and asking why a particular conception of free will is what's so important to maintain. Blake does have an argument along those lines that's quite interesting. God punishes people. But it's only just to punish if the choices they are punished for are free. Therefore given God punishes we are free. (At least part of the time anyway) The counter argument typically is that God's punishments are actually developmental and not retributive. This position actually goes back to early Christianity and the conceptions of whether hell is punishment and whether there's universal salvation eventually. There was a conception where hell as such is just a process of purifying souls who wouldn't let Christ purify them through his sacrifice. (You can see echoes of that position in places like D&C 19) It's just that the more retributive conception of hell won out, particularly in American history. Given D&C 76, D&C 19 and others it's not entirely clear that judgment is punishment. A very common interpretation is God gives people as much as they are able to accept but that he's constantly trying to develop them. i.e. there's just not the retributive justice Blake Ostler requires for his conception of free will.

I'm fairly agnostic on the whole thing. So I don't really have a position on the free will issue, although I am typically pretty skeptical of the arguments for free will.

Edited by clarkgoble
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This idea goes back to the argument of Nature verus Nurture, which is a discussion that seems to have no bottom. It is true that the circumstances that you are born into and many circumstances that come after, you have no control over. Some of these may be natural from merely existing where you are, when you are, or a byproduct of existing itself. And others may be the “flaws” or “weaknesses” that you are “given” before this life. An example of those, say my family has 5 generations of Alcoholism, then I too will most likely be prone to Alcoholism. This weakness is given to me by birth within this family.

 

It is difficult to say how much choice/agency/free-will you have in a specific moment of a specific scenario. Whether I choose red or blue.

 

I do feel there is a strong argument for “Angecy” if one thinks of it in terms of “sacrifice for the future.” The more you are willing to sacrifice for a future goal, the more your agency has an affect on your life. An example, If one sacrifices their time and youth in school or a specific craft, they choose to limit their Free-Will now to increase the opportunities of Free-Will for the future person. Things such as money, status, influence, knowledge, sexual market value, and so on can be increased this way. This can be applied to any goal a person feels is worth aiming for. Such benefits and opportunities can be decreased if a person does not choose to limit their Free-Will. Instead the sacrifice is placed upon the future person. The future options are more limited or even unavailable (sacrificed) because no effort (no sacrifice) was made by the person in their past.

 

The idea of Free-Will I am presenting is less about “Do I want blue or red right now?” and more about “Do I want to be able to choose blue, red, green, yellow, and purple in the future?” 

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Sorry for the delayed response.  I got involved in another thread and kind of forgot about this one.

On 1/11/2019 at 1:55 PM, clarkgoble said:

I'm fairly agnostic on the whole thing. So I don't really have a position on the free will issue, although I am typically pretty skeptical of the arguments for free will.

Your being here on earth proves that you chose free will, of your own free will of course.  That is, if you accept the narrative of the gospel as presented to us.  I find it hard to understand how one could reconcile the restored gospel without the concept of free will.  It seems rather central to our being here.

On 1/11/2019 at 1:55 PM, clarkgoble said:

Well the question is whether they work. Blake Ostler has a fairly good discussion of why middle knowledge doesn't work in his first theology volume. The Maimonides method doesn't work since it makes God's knowledge not normal propositional knowledge of the future. (It's not clear if he's asserting middle knowledge, but if he is then it's irrelevant for what Jim is discussing) So what's left is knowledge of God's character or knowledge of plans God can and says he will bring about. The problem with that as I mentioned, are prophecies involving future destructions or prophecies involving particular types of torture.  But of course the open theists make that same argument. Whether it can account for all the purported prophecies though seems the problem and is why not everyone accepts open theism.

It's worth turning the tables and asking why a particular conception of free will is what's so important to maintain. Blake does have an argument along those lines that's quite interesting. God punishes people. But it's only just to punish if the choices they are punished for are free. Therefore given God punishes we are free. (At least part of the time anyway) The counter argument typically is that God's punishments are actually developmental and not retributive. This position actually goes back to early Christianity and the conceptions of whether hell is punishment and whether there's universal salvation eventually. There was a conception where hell as such is just a process of purifying souls who wouldn't let Christ purify them through his sacrifice. (You can see echoes of that position in places like D&C 19) It's just that the more retributive conception of hell won out, particularly in American history. Given D&C 76, D&C 19 and others it's not entirely clear that judgment is punishment. A very common interpretation is God gives people as much as they are able to accept but that he's constantly trying to develop them. i.e. there's just not the retributive justice Blake Ostler requires for his conception of free will.

To say that we don't know how God's foreknowledge works is not to say that it doesn't.  Theologically speaking, it would be hard to argue from scripture that God doesn't have foreknowledge and that we don't have free will.  The two concepts do not seem to be mutually exclusive in the eyes of God.  We don't need to dilute one to support the other.  Man's concepts of free will and foreknowledge are just that - man's concepts.   

God's knowledge is not really the question anyway.  If his foreknowledge is not causative/deterministic, then free will exists. His knowing what we will do in the future does not strip us of our agency - it simply means that he knows what we will choose, but the power to chose remains ours.

Edited by pogi

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20 minutes ago, pogi said:

Your being here on earth proves that you chose free will, of your own free will of course.  That is, if you accept the narrative of the gospel as presented to us.  I find it hard to understand how one could reconcile the restored gospel without the concept of free will.  It seems rather central to our being here.

Well I think we have to be careful here again over the meaning of free will. Agency isn't necessarily the same thing as free will - and indeed from most scriptures on agency they seem to be quite different. So there's a certain amount of question begging here.

A very defensible way to read the scriptures is that it doesn't take a position on libertarian free will and may actually presume it's false if God has robust foreknowledge (as is frequently presumed). What was at stake in the council in heaven was agency in the sense of enticement. That is it made no claims about our "essence" and whether it was free. Rather it was only concerned in terms of freedom as equal enticement. (Say 2 Nephi 2:16) Various theological thinkers like Blake Ostler have gone beyond that, but the scriptures are actually pretty vague on it and, I'd argue, really aren't concerned with free will properly speaking.

Remember the key issue in the free will debate is whether one could have done otherwise, ontologically speaking. Scriptures simply don't address that. To them the concern is having live options between good and evil not why an individual picks one over the other and whether they could have done otherwise in some deep ontological sense. That's why Blake's argument for free will ends up being about whether God would be just to punish us if we couldn't have done otherwise.

20 minutes ago, pogi said:

To say that we don't know how God's foreknowledge works is not to say that it doesn't.  Theologically speaking, it would be hard to argue from scripture that God doesn't have foreknowledge and that we don't have free will.  The two concepts do not seem to be mutually exclusive in the eyes of God.  We don't need to dilute one to support the other.  Man's concepts of free will and foreknowledge are just that - man's concepts.   

God's knowledge is not really the question anyway.  If his foreknowledge is not causative/deterministic, then free will exists. His knowing what we will do in the future does not strip us of our agency - it simply means that he knows what we will choose, but the power to chose remains ours.

Actually it doesn't matter whether God's foreknowledge is causally deterministic. Even if it is not causal then free will in a robust fashion wouldn't exist. That's because if God knows at t1 what you will do at a later t2 you couldn't have done otherwise. Now for a compatibilist that sense of "couldn't have done otherwise" doesn't really matter. So if you think it only matters if it's causative then really you're just embracing compatibilism by definition.

So, put an other way, it really does matter how God's foreknowledge works. If God's foreknowledge is by "seeing" or "knowing independent of his choices" the future then there's no free will. If God's foreknowledge is really just knowing he has the ability to force some event without it being determined that he will (i.e. God is also free) then there's no problem.

Edited by clarkgoble
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7 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Well I think we have to be careful here again over the meaning of free will. Agency isn't necessarily the same thing as free will - and indeed from most scriptures on agency they seem to be quite different. So there's a certain amount of question begging here.

A very defensible way to read the scriptures is that it doesn't take a position on libertarian free will and may actually presume it's false if God has robust foreknowledge (as is frequently presumed). What was at stake in the council in heaven was agency in the sense of enticement. That is it made no claims about our "essence" and whether it was free. Rather it was only concerned in terms of freedom as equal enticement. (Say 2 Nephi 2:16) Various theological thinkers like Blake Ostler have gone beyond that, but the scriptures are actually pretty vague on it and, I'd argue, really aren't concerned with free will properly speaking.

I don't understand the distinction you make between agency and free will.  The question for me is about determinism.  Neither agency nor free will could exist in a deterministic universe.  If freedom of choice exists, then determinism does not exist, and it follows then that compatibilism is unnecessary.   "Agency in the sense of enticement" is free will according to my definition.  That is opposed to the idea of determinism.  

I am not sure what you mean by "essence", but the following passage seems to be a blend of this idea of "enticement" that you mention and freedom "essence" in some sense. 

Quote

16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.  (2 Nephi 2)

 

7 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Actually it doesn't matter whether God's foreknowledge is causally deterministic. Even if it is not causal then free will in a robust fashion wouldn't exist. That's because if God knows at t1 what you will do at a later t2 you couldn't have done otherwise. Now for a compatibilist that sense of "couldn't have done otherwise" doesn't really matter. So if you think it only matters if it's causative then really you're just embracing compatibilism by definition.

So, put an other way, it really does matter how God's foreknowledge works. If God's foreknowledge is by "seeing" or "knowing independent of his choices" the future then there's no free will. If God's foreknowledge is really just knowing he has the ability to force some event without it being determined that he will (i.e. God is also free) then there's no problem.

I think it does matter.  God's foreknowledge does not change or have any effect on what we can or cannot do.   We can do whatever we want - "there are no strings to hold me down".  He simply knows what we will chose to do of our own free volition and choosing.  That is very different from determinism.  And again, compatibilisim is moot without determinism.  I don't think it follows that knowing the future restricts free will.  It does not restrict it, it simply knows how it will act - it is not that one can or cannot do otherwise, it is not that they don't have power to do otherwise, it is simply that God knows what they will choose to do.  Much like if I give my kid a piece of chocolate, I can be fairly certain that he will eat it. My limited foreknowledge is not restrictive of his free will to choose it, even though in some sense I am confident of the outcome. 

Compatibilism requires us to be puppets of deterministic forces.  That is not what foreknowledge does.  There simply are no strings and therefore no determinism and no compatibilism. 

If God knows at t1 what you will do at t2, it does not necessarily follow that you "can't" do otherwise, it could be rather that you won't do otherwise.  I think that is an important distinction that matters.  Won't does not imply can't; It is a path we choose for ourselves.  The mysterious manner by which God knows our future choices does not in any way equate to causal determinism.  The only determinism that can be said to exist is self-determinism.  God's foreknowledge in no way alters or impedes upon self determinism.  Again, it is not that one can't do otherwise, it is simply that they self-determinably won't do otherwise.  To do other than what will be self-determined (which is what God somehow knows), cannot be said to be self-determined. 

 

Edited by pogi

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6 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't understand the distinction you make between agency and free will.  The question for me is about determinism.  Neither agency nor free will could exist in a deterministic universe.  If freedom of choice exists, then determinism does not exist, and it follows then that compatibilism is unnecessary.   "Agency in the sense of enticement" is free will according to my definition.  That is opposed to the idea of determinism.  

I think the issue is more what we mean by determinism. There's causal determinism in which the state of affairs at one point in time determine any future state (along with the laws of nature). However that's just one kind. There's also the block universe kind of determinism where it's possible the state of affairs at one point in time don't necessarily determine the future state (along with the laws). Yet at any t there's truth of the matter about some future time.

This is significant because many (and probably the vast, vast majority of physicists) assume a block-like universe where the future in determined in this second sense even if it's not in the first sense. 

So even if there's not causal determinism that doesn't mean there's free will (in the libertarian sense). If you think there can be now a truth about the future (not just a prediction based upon power) then you're a compatibilist. 

The distinction about agency is just that the scriptures don't talk about determinism. They talk about options and enticements. They simply don't engage with the ontological questions.

So if to you "agency in the sense of enticement" is free will as you understand it, then your sense of free will simply is different from how people like Blake Ostler are using the term. That's fine. The majority of philosophers probably agree with you. 

Quote

 

God's foreknowledge does not change or have any effect on what we can or cannot do.   We can do whatever we want - "there are no strings to hold me down".

 

If it is true now what you will do in the future, then it couldn't be any other way than what it is now. So you can't do whatever you want except in a very loose sense. Again this gets fairly technical and it's one of those debates you have to be really careful with definitions. But more or less you're just espousing the compatibilist position. Again, that's completely fine. I'm agnostic on the issue and many Mormon philosophers like David Paulsen or Blake Ostler reject compatibilism. But I tend to agree with you in terms of how the scriptures engage the issue. That is even if I'm agnostic on free will vs. compatibilism I don't think an appeal to scripture is particularly helpful. People are mainly going by certain intuitions. To me the only issue that counts is whether someone or something is causally stopping me.

Edited by clarkgoble
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18 hours ago, pogi said:

Your being here on earth proves that you chose free will, of your own free will of course.  That is, if you accept the narrative of the gospel as presented to us.  I find it hard to understand how one could reconcile the restored gospel without the concept of free will.  It seems rather central to our being here.

That's right, it can't be done.

The fact that we can get up and move around, go to the store when we need milk and eggs is common sense proof of agency, and that this whole silly"problem" was invented by philosophers. 

It's about words, nothing more.

Sigh. Wittgenstein should be required reading in high school, and then folks would learn how bewitched they are by confused language games.

What color is virtue?

Now that is a real problem!!

:)

 

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