Re: The lot is cast ...

Chuck Noren (
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 12:55:19 -0500 (EST)

My hurried previous post was not very clear. I was giving some
brief comments about Jonathan Edwards' book, "Freedom of the Will".
In a discussion, from a theological perspective, on whether people
have free will depends on several factors, such as your view on God's
foreknowledge and the working definition of free will. For instance,
if we use the definition of freedom as the ability (within certain
contraints) of doing what you want to do, then under a Calvinistic
predetermined universe people exercise freedom in that they are doing
what they want to do. However, many have other definitions of freedom
in which people in such a Calvinistic universe whould not be viewed
to have freedom. An interesting exercise is one that Martin Gardner
gave in Mathematical Games in Scientific American back in the 70's.
I'll modify Gardner's example for the purposes of this discussion.

Suppose you have before you two closed boxes that you cannot se
inside of:

Box A -- This box holds $10,000.
Box B -- This box either holds $20,000 or nothing.

You are given the following options. You may choose box B
or you may pick both boxes (A and B). In addition, you are told
that God had placed the $10,000 in box A and had placed the
$20,000 in box B depending on what He thought you would do:
nothing would be in box B if God thinks you would choose the
two boxes, or $20,000 would be in box B if God thinks you would
only choose box B.

Question: what would you do? Does God have the ability to
predict with complete accuracy what you would do? Gardner
then posed the question if God is able to always accurately
predict what your action is here, then do you have free will?

Any thoughts?

Chuck Noren
Marietta, GA (home) / (work)