RESEARCH REFLECTION SPACE
Submitted Topic Idea:
|Addressing the paradox of free-will within the doctrine of predestination, how is god arguably guilty for mans sin?
Reason for Choosing This:
Philosophy would by far be my biggest interest and my favorite subject. I study it out of school all the time just purely reading books and online because I find it all so fascinating. Therefore, I would love to use this opportunity to dive deeper into this aspect of it – because despite not being very religious, I’ve always loved the arguments made about god. Because there are countless theories and many views of different religions, most of which strongly contradict one another. Therefore, I’d like to explore this and follow these chains of arguments to find an answer.
17/02/19 WEEK ONE:
I’ve set up a meeting with my advisor for the coming week, as my first step at the moment would be to refine my topic question. In order to organise my thoughts as to know what I want my question to cover, I made a document and created a full outline for every philosopher, theory and religion that I wanted to include in my argument.
I’ve also included a lot of the basic explanations and points that I’ve read from the book: A Short History of Philosophy.
For example, to give an overview, this is what I’m focusing on:
Considering God is omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient (THEISM / MONOTHEISM)
The argument of evil stems from if evil exists, either God doesn’t exist, or he isn’t true to one of the three qualities – therefore, not perfect.
If God cant stop it happening, then he cant be truly all-powerful. There are limits to what he can do. But if God is all-powerful and doesnt seem inclined to stop it, how can he be all-good?
OUTLINE OF WHAT I WANT TO DISCUSS:
- Introduce with Epicurus question
- Manichaeism solution in earlier days
- Augustines solution of free-will
- Other perspectives against free-will:
- Pascal: JANSENISM
- SPINOZA: DETERMINISM
- Argued against lack of free-will in Boethius theory
- Solution: Paradox of linear time
- Introduce DEFEATING argument of optimism by Alexander Pope
- Lead into Leibniz: Principle of sufficient reason
- Argue the senselessness of this by Voltaire
25/02/19 WEEK TWO:
AIM:Refining the research question and opening up new areas to explore
During these past few days, I have focused on reading as much as possible around the topic, in order to narrow down my question into specific ideas which can better be discussed. So far, my research questions will be along the lines of the following:
- Are free-will and predestination compatible?
- COMPATIBILISM vs. (uknown)
Compatibilism: The belief that free-will and determinism exist alongside one another, and are mutually compatible despite the claimed inconsistencies.
- Is the Boethian solution to predestination valid? (compelling)
- Does Boethian solve the paradox of predestination and free will?
RESEARCHING THE TWO OPTIONS BELOW:
- Contrasting the X and Boethian solutions within compatibilism
- Contrast a compatibilist and an incompatibilist
- Contrast 2 compatibilists and argue whose solution is more compelling
09/03/19 MY THREE QUESTION PROPOSITIONS:
As you can see, they have been written out in several ways each showing the progression we had in our discussion (with my EE supervisor) in narrowing and perfecting the question.
Does argument X provide a compelling compatibilist argument for premise 9? Considering Y incompatibilist rebuttals.
Does the Frankfurtian/Augustinian solution using the Principle of Alternate Realities provide a compelling compatibilist argument for the ninth premise of theological fatalism?
Does the Frankfurts use of the Principle of Alternate Realities rebut Pikes argument for Theological Fatalism?
REJECTIONS OF PAP: Hyper-incompatibilism and Source Incompatibility
- Does replaced premise 2 with Y provide a more compelling compatibilist argument?
Does a the Causal Closure of the Past reinterpretation of the Principal of the Necessity of the Past strengthen its support for the second premise of theological fatalism?
Does a the Causal Closure of the Past reinterpretation of the Principal of the Necessity of the Past strengthen the argument for theological fatalism?
- Does X or Y provide a more compelling argument for premise 2.
Between the Ockhamist Solution and the Principle of Causal Closure of the Past, which is a more compelling argument for second premise within theological fatalism?
ISSUE: Will take a long time to explain both theories
Does the Ockhamist Solution rebut Pikes argument for Theological Fatalism?
Does the Principle of Causal Closure of the Past rebut Pikes argument for Theological Fatalism?
OTHER POSSIBLE QUESTION PROPOSALS:
Does the Principle of Alternate Realities provide a more compelling compatibilist argument within the ninth premise of theological fatalism or incompatibilist argument supporting open-theism?
- Incompatibilist approach: to affirm libertarian free will along with the principle of alternate possibilities (premise 9), and to deny the possibility of infallible foreknowledge. This position has recently become well-known in the view called open theism. (Pinnock et al. 1994)
Does the Boethian Solution provide a compelling compatibilist argument to deny the first premise of theological fatalism?
11/03/19 RESEARCHING MY QUESTIONS:
I chose the questions from my few ideas and made simple outlines for all of them to give myself a better idea of what the best question would be to write about. For example, I would need a question that would allow me to consider counterclaims, different and unique arguments, other theories, etc. All whilst not being too broad that there is too much to talk about within the limited word count.
- Does Frankfurts use of the Principle of Alternate Realities rebut Pikes argument for Theological Fatalism?
Do Frankfurt-Style Cases invalidate the Principle of Alternate Realities argument for Theological Fatalism?
- Harry Frankfurt is a prominent defender of the compatibilist view of free-will
- IDENTIFIES: a flaw in Premise 9: If you cannot do otherwise when you do an act, you do not act freely. [Principle of Alternate Possibilities]
- CLAIMS: an agent can act freely, even when she lacks alternate possibilities
- an agent is morally responsible for an action only if that person could have done otherwise, however, in the PAP – they can not
- AIMS: to drive a wedge between responsibility and alternate possibilities, and to thereby drive a wedge between responsibility and libertarian freedom.
- those defending libertarian freedom also defend PAP
- those attacking PAP, like Frankfurt, defend determinism
- Zagzebski argued a flaw of this: how the standard Frankfurt case would have to be amended to make it a close analogy to the situation of infallible foreknowledge.
- Possibly it is not clear in the amended story whether or not Mary has alternate possibilities.What he shows, then, is that alternate possibilities are not always relevant to the possession of libertarian freedom.
- two-horned dilemma raised by philosophers such as Widerker, Ginet, and Kane.
- Focuses on the connection between the agent’s inclination and the agent’s decision.
- This connection can be either follow a deterministic ARGUMENT
- Or indeterministic.
- REBUTTAL TO THE TWO-HORNED DILEMMA:
- Fischer argued for this response that Frankfurt-style cases cannot stand alone, but must be taken in conjunction with other arguments.
- These other arguments are supposed to show that causal determinism in and of itself and apart from ruling out alternate possibilities does not threaten moral responsibility.
- OR revise the Frankfurt-style cases
- creating a case with an explicit indeterministic connection where the agent is still morally responsible without any alternate possibilities. These kind of Frankfurt-style cases do it by incorporating buffer zones that act to eliminate alternate possibilities.
- Frankfurt cases (also known as Frankfurt counterexamples or Frankfurt-style cases) (presented in 1969) as counterexamples to the principle of alternate possibilities (PAP)
- Interpret the case where she exercises libertarian free will but does not have alternate possibilities. If Frankfurt cases can be successfully interpreted in this third way, then they can be used to show the compatibility of infallible foreknowledge and libertarian freedom.
- Does a Causal Closure of the Past reinterpretation of the Principal of the Necessity of the Past strengthen the argument for theological fatalism?
- ISSUE: it is not at all clear that pastness per se puts something outside the realm of our causal control. Rather, it is pastness in conjunction with the metaphysical law that causes must precede their effects. If we decided that effects can precede their causes, it is likely that we would no longer speak of the necessity of the past.
- ARGUMENT: Zagzebski (2014) argues that the interpretation of the necessity of the past as a purely temporal modality is confused. What people generally mean by the necessity of the past is that the past is causally closed, meaning the past is neither causable nor preventable. Understood that way, the necessity of the past is not a purely temporal modality, and it is not a form of necessity. The categories of causability and non-causability do not correspond to the standard modal categories of the necessary, possible, and impossible. The attempt to assimilate the causal categories to modal categories is a mistake.
- SOLUTION: change the argument for theological fatalism from the necessity of the past to be understood as the causal closure of the past.
- Must implement Principle of the Unpreventability of the Past: