Monday, November 07, 2011

The Stanford Encyclopedia Entry on Theological Voluntarism


Anonymous said...

What about it?

Victor Reppert said...

This is to help with the discussions of God and the good that I had started on the previous two posts.

Anonymous said...

I see! If you don't mind me complicating matters, I should add that a classical theist would not approach this matter thusly. Instead, would understand the problem of evil in relation to the doctrines of privation and the transcendentals.

You should check out the current discussion on Edward Feser's blog with Stephen Law and his evil God argument. Given its treatment of evil and God's nature, it somewhat parallels the discussion here.

IlĂ­on said...

Yet, who -- even among the "classical theists" -- gives a rip about "classical theism"?

What matters is Chriatianity ... and misrepresentations of it.

Gregory said...

How does the statement "God's will is determined by His nature" escape the charge of Divine compatibilism?

I suppose the Augustinian/Calvinist would be content with this statement, but how do true metaphysical libertarians answer this charge?

I believe I already have, but it may take more prodding to understand the points I had raised on prior posts.

Gregory said...

Compatibilism completely undermines rationality and the mind's ability to grasp truth.

Furthermore, compatibilism is rejected by St. Paul in his sermon given on Mar's Hill in Acts 17....his own libertarian understanding is what allowed him to give a sermon in the first place. Secondly, it was why some were interested in what he had to say, while others were not.

True freedom is the explanation for why there is error in the knowing process.

What's more, theological determinism doesn't alleviate the problem of simply pushes it back to God. And by that I mean God's nature; which is worse than attributing error to God's will because error is "built in", as it were, to the very fabric of what God is. This flavor of determinism raises far more problems than it can actually answer. Whether you want to say error (i.e. evil) is due to God's will or to His nature is irrelevant. Both options are bogus.

Anonymous said...

What matters is classical theism ... and misrepresentations of it.

Gregory said...

God is good by nature. However, His "will" is said to be good because it acts in conformity with His nature. However, "natures" don't make decisions....persons do!!!

His will, by willing "good", merely ratifies and confirms His own will in "goodness"...thus making God truly and completely "good".

Therefore, God's "will" is said to be "good" because He acts, unconstrained by His own nature, in conformity with His own "goodness".

Why does God not act in an "evil" fashion?

Answer: Firstly, because "evil" is not a thing. Instead, evil is a deprivation of the will in failing to act according to a person's own "nature" (i.e. good). Secondly, God has everything, and is in need of nothing. Therefore, his "will" acts "good", not because He is constrained by His own nature, but, instead, because there is nothing that God doesn't possess.

Someone might say: "omniscience can't lie to itself, therefore God acts according to his nature"

But here's the rub: a "will" acts of it own accord, whatever "nature" it happens to be.

Finally, we can't really say "what" God's nature is. We can only say what it is not. We know, understand and love God because of how He has revealed Himself via his energies (i.e. the varied ways He expresses Himself by and through the universe). We infer the "goodness" of God because of our experience of Him through our own bodies.

"He makes His rain to fall on the evil and the good"


"All good things come from the Father of lights"

In other words, all things of creation are created "good". Therefore, to "love" the universe and the things therein is another way of expressing one's love for God (Acts 17).