Re: The lot is cast ...

Chuck Noren (
Wed, 10 Dec 1997 23:50:58 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Adrian Teo <>
>Again, back to the question of what that does to free will. I personally
>don't think that foreknowledge is incompatible with free will,

Depending on the definition of free will, I would agree with that
statement. Jonathan Edwards in "Freedom of the Will" makes a
similar point.

>since God
>does not control our choices, but only that he has knowledge of what
>those choices would be.

Well, I disagree with that in this sense, I see (and I'll leave it
for now) that God is the ultimate cause of everything, but He is not the
direct cause of our actions.

>I struggle with that all the time in my discipline. I don't think free
>will implies complete unpredictability since that would contradict our
>nature as rational beings. But free will does necessary imply that in
>spite of all previous experiences and events, we can choose something
>completely unexpected. So it brings in some degree of unpredictability,
>but for the most part, we tend to act in intelligible, coherent ways.
>That's why I believe we can study human behavior, personality,
>psychopathology and so forth.

Interesting point. I think that true randomness is as much of a lack
of freedom as anything else. This is where another component of
free will is the ability to do what we desire to do. This form of freedom
is what I think lies at the heart of freedom and is not incompatible
to a universe that is "predetermined" in that it is known and even
ordained by God.

Your thoughts?