@clint, you asked me what I think regarding what you laid out, and at the risk of sounding cheeky, I think you’ve laid out 100% Molinism! Let me give a few comments on your last post so show why I think so:
If God knows all ‘possible’ outcomes and also knows the ‘actual’ outcome, how does it address how man can be free to choose between what is possible with what is actual; since, through God’s foreknowledge, even though man is able to choose the possible he will not, according to the actual reality that God actually knows.
Recall, in an earlier post I showed how knowing and causing are two different things through the example of my wife choosing a vacation destination. God causing individuals to do/not do things is what we’re trying to avoid, not Him knowing what we will choose. The only way for escape God knowing our choices is for him to not be omniscient or to not exist – neither are orthodox Christianity.
LFW addresses that man is possible to choose between choices, which I agree with, but it wholeheartedly misses the other component of the theological equation; that man can only choose the ‘actual’ reality that God knows since the possible will not be actual because if it was actual then it could not have even been possible from God’s perspective.
Well, assuming you’re meaning ‘God knows’ is equal to ‘God causes’ like the prior paragraph, this is almost like the characterization of Compatibilism I gave in a previous post, “You are free to choose what God has determined you to do.” However, you rejected that summary and replaced it with another, ‘being free to do what you will determine yourself to do.’ Your summary would be more consistent by replacing, “ man can only choose the ‘actual’ reality that God knows since the possible will not become actual… ’ with “man can choose otherwise, but will only choose what God knows he WILL choose (taking knowing and causing not to be synonymous here).” This is the Molinist position.
Our conversation is not about just possible and actual states of affairs, it is about God’s necessary knowledge of what is actual apart from what is possible.
Correct, we are seeking how man can be free while God is simultaneously sovereign without contradiction.
Molinism through its foundation of LFW appears to not be able to account for God’s necessary knowledge of man’s choice, it just accounts for what is possible and what is actual to retain man’s freedom from DCD…
Although not through LFW, Molinism does account for God’s necessary knowledge of man’s free choice. MK accounts for what man WOULD choose (possible), but through foreknowledge, also a component of Molinism, God knows what man WILL choose (actual). Molinism addresses possible choices and actual choices as two separate issues
but this misses the crucial aspect of necessary knowledge; that is, that man will not do the possible, but only the actual- meaning that God knows the exact route you will take despite all the other possible routes.
Molinism agrees. God does know the exact route you will take despite all other options. It would be silly for one to try to affirm that man can choose to both sit and not sit at the same time.
This necessary actuality needs to be accounted for because it appears to rest on a contradiction that, from God’s perspective, what is possible and what is actual is one and the same thing- An insuperable contradiction within the knowledge of God. Thus, Molinism guided by LFW does not appear to logically work given God’s knowledge. It impugns his omniscience.
Molinism would agree here, too. Actual and possible are not one in the same thing, and thereby would not be beholden this accusation.
Molinism through compatibilism retains everything that LFW wants except it does not claim that God holds a contradiction of what is possible and what is actual within himself. Instead, it establishes that man can only choose from what he desires the most (from which he conditions himself for future choices), absent any outside conditions from ‘reconditioning’ those prior choices.
Molinism would affirm what you have affirmed in this paragraph and reject what you have rejected yet using different words .
Since man ‘determines’ himself through his conditioning of actual choices, there is no need to reconcile or justify any issue between God and Man under this framework, there isn’t any issue, especially adopting a Molinist Compatibilism (there are also DCD Molinists)- that problem you are talking about only arises from the claim that God determines man. So my contention asserts that Molinism inevitably collapse into compatibilism because God cannot hold a logical contradiction within himself that LFW inadvertently offers to Molinism; that is, in God’s mind that what is an actual state of affairs is also a possible state of affairs and vice versa.
I think we’ve shown this accusation, actual vs possible states of affairs contradiction, to not hold merit. Rather than Molinism collapsing, I think it’s standing firm and maybe what you are describing.
This does lead me to two further questions. First, I still don’t know how Compatibilism justifies divine sovereignty. The view that you have supported so far has asserted that God is sovereign without explaining how He is sovereign – a main portion of this discussion. From what I’ve gathered you don’t think there’s a need for explanation or you implicitly agree with Molinism’s handling of the issue. If there’s not a basis for God’s sovereignty, one could take your view and say it’s like Open Theism, particularly the version endorsed by Greg Boyd. So, again, how does God accomplish his purposes under your view of Compatibilism?
Secondly, you are the first person I’ve encountered that holds to ‘Molinist Compatibilism.’ I’ve been looking for more on this view, but I only find articles that hold to the juxtapositions of Molinism and Compatibilism. Could you send some articles or other links to help me better understand? Because, if I may be frank, if there aren’t other articles and literature on Molinist Compatibilism, I think you may have created your own view (which is fine) or, perhaps as my gut is telling me, you are a Molinist but don’t call yourself so because of a few misgivings of Molinism. Please forgive me if I’m wrong or have shown myself to be unfit to run a Google search.