Archive | August 2016

Please Stop Saying Free Will Contradicts Universal Reconciliation

There’s a meme that universal reconciliation (wherein the Gehenna of Judgment doesn’t last forever) doesn’t work with free will.

We’ve discussed this before on this blog, but that material had some distractions that I hope we can avoid this time around.

The point this time is to focus, and make a really simple rebuttal of the idea that these two things are incompatible.

In order to focus, we’re going to avoid defining free will — whether you think it’s the libertarian kind, or a compatibilistic kind, or something else, should be unimportant to the argument.

(The argument is pointing out a non sequitur — “Free will’s falsity is not a corollary of purgatorial universal reconciliation, and PUR’s falsity is not a corollary of free will” — by way of a thought experiment.)

The Three Humans

Imagine that there are only 3 humans: John, George, and Ringo.

Here are 3 possibilities:

  • In possibility 1, only John shall freely submit to God at Judgment, and George/Ringo shall remain in rebellion.
  • In possibility 2, both John and George shall freely submit to God at Judgment, but Ringo shall remain in rebellion.
  • In possibility 3, all three of John, George, and Ringo shall freely submit to God at Judgment.

We don’t have to commit to any of these possibilities, but can talk about a series of “ifs” related to possibility 3.

In other words, let’s “float” possibility #3 for a moment, and see what happens:

  • If possibility 3 happens, there’s no contradiction between possibility 3 and free will, since all three humans in the group freely submitted.
  • Furthermore, if God knows that possibility 3 shall come about, there still shouldn’t be any contradiction with free will.
    • (God knowing something does not have any effect on the group’s free will.)
  • Furthermore, if God inspires a writer to assert that possibility 3 shall come about, there still shouldn’t be any contradiction with free will.
    • (God inspiring a writer to make that assertion does not offend the group’s free will.)
  • Furthermore, if folks read those assertions and subsequently believe with confidence that possibility 3 shall come about, there still shouldn’t be any contradiction with free will.
    • (Folks holding to a conveyed foretelling with confidence does not offend the group’s free will.)

All done.

All across the board, John, George, and Ringo’s free wills have not been offended in any way, even if possibility 3 is held true for the sake of argument.

Conclusion

PUR may be false. Perhaps some will refuse to submit at Judgment, and opt for interminable rebellion instead.

But the truth or falsity of PUR is not presently at issue.

Rather, at issue is the meme, “PUR would contradict free will if it were true.”

And that meme is false. It entails non sequiturs.

Incredulity

How can it be that the above meme is so virulent and resilient, even among very educated, sincere, brilliant thinkers?

The reason is because non sequiturs are extremely difficult to root-out, especially when they involve tough-to-crack concepts like free will.

I suspect that a modal scope fallacy is responsible for this non sequitur. Modal scope fallacies are very, very easy to commit, even from people vastly more intelligent than you or me.

Visit the Purgatorial Hell FAQ and search the page for “free will” to look deeper into the modal scope fallacy we often see here.

 

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