Free Will ⊕ Omniscient Being

– Axiom 1: Determinism and the ontological possibility of choice, are mutually exclusive.

– Definition 1: let deterministic mean: “a system in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system. A deterministic model will thus always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state.”
– Definition 2: let free will mean : “the capacity unique to persons that allows them to control their actions by making choices”
– Definition 3: let omniscience mean: “knowing everything : having unlimited understanding or knowledge”

-Given 1: there is an omniscient entity
-Given 2: humans have free will

– P1: There is an omniscient entity (G1)
– P2: If an entity is omniscient, it will know the starting and ending states of a system, as well as all states in between. (D3)
– P3: if an omniscient entity knows every state, including the ending state of a system before the system gets to that point in time, then events within the system cannot vary from what is destined to happen. (P2)
– P4: Events that are destined to happen can not occur any way other than what is destined to occur. (P3)
– P5: If events cannot occur any way other than what is destined, the cosmos will always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state. (D1)
– P6: If there is an omniscient entity, then the cosmos will always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state. (P4, D1)
– P7: Any system which will always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state, is deterministic. (D1)
– P8: If a system is deterministic, any and all future actions are already destined, and choice is not ontologically possible. (A1, D1, P3, P4)
– P9: Free will requires the ontologically possibility of choice. (D2)
– P10: Free will and determinism are mutually exclusive (A1, D2)
– P11: Reality is deterministic. (P1, P2, P6, P7)
– P12: Humans have free will (G2)
∴ (P1 ⊕ P12 )
QED

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Free Will ⊕ Omniscient Being

  1. I think there are a few problems with this formulation. The first and foremost is Axiom 1, which simply dismisses the Compatibilist position without reasoned argument. As a Compatibilist myself, I would obviously reject that Axiom, and the rest of the argument tends to fall apart without it.

    Next, P8 does follow, but you forgot to cite A1 within your reasoning for it.

    For P9 to follow, I think that you would need to amend D2 to read, “the capacity unique to persons that allows them to control their actions by making choices.” Personally, I don’t agree that this capacity is unique to persons, but that change would at least correct the flow of this argument’s logic.

    P10 similarly does not follow simply from A1. You would also need to cite D2, and particularly a corrected version of D2 which links Free Will to ontological choice.

    P11 also needs to cite G1 or P1.

    Other than my opposition to A1, these all seem to be fairly minor problems, though. An interesting argument, to be sure.

    • First, thanks for the corrections. I really appreciate it.

      Second, I suppose that I did exclude compatibilism from the equation. I’ve never heard a convincing argument for it, or a solid one that didn’t have verbiage that would require a raft of lawyers to adjudicate. Although, of course, perhaps I haven’t read quality work on the subject. Could you suggest anything?

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