Two questions about human freedom:
1. Is human freedom compatible with Diving Foreknowledge?
If God already knows what I will do in the future, am I still freely doing it?
2. Is human freedom compatible with Determinism?
Background on St. Augustine: (354 – 430 A.D.)
Medieval Philosophy = 5 Century to 16 Century A.D.
Philosophy is dominated with theological concerns
Theologians apply rational dialectic to the mysteries of faith
Develop philosophical arguments on theological themes
Other influential Medieval philosophers
St. Thomas Aquinas
Augustine, On the Free Choice of the Will
Is God the cause of Evil?
No, people are the cause of evil. We are free to choose.
We are morally responsible for our free choices, not God.
Connection between freedom and responsibility.
Without free will we would never sin, so why would God give us free will?
Because, without wrong, there is no right. The purpose of life is the happiness found in choosing to love God.
Our free will enables us to choose to love God.
Problem of divine foreknowledge
God is omniscient – he knows all truths
If God knows that X will happen, Xwill/must happen
It’s not possible that X won’t happen because God is always right
But, freedom involves the ability to do otherwise
If Xmust happen, then how am I free to do notX
I’m morally responsible only when Ifreely choose an action
So if I’m not free, I’m also not responsible
God knows I will lie to my mother tomorrow evening.
If he knows that I will lie, then I cannot NOT lie to her.
If I can’t do otherwise, then it seems I’m not free.
Free choices are things we choose among alternatives.
We are not morally responsible for things we don’t choose.
So, if God already knows that I will lie, then I’m not free when I life, and I’m not responsible for the lie.
It seems that God’s foreknowledge is incompatible with human freedom – freedom to do otherwise.
Since freedom is connected to responsibility, God’s foreknowledge is incompatible with moral responsibility.
Augustine defends the compatibility of divine foreknowledge and human
Free exercise of the will is among the vents foreknown by God.