As you are a brilliant supporter of Molinism, I dare send you a question about that doctrine.
I find Molinism quite appealing from a theological point of view, for it reconciles everything in a very elegant manner: freedom, providence, omniscience, etc. But, this marvelous theological solution has a very high philosophical cost (as far as I understand it, of course).
It supposes that God can know the future contingent facts… without any ground to do it!
To know something is to have a justified true belief. Now, there are only two ways to justify a belief about events: either there is a causal relationship (direct or indirect) between the event and one’s mind, or one is able to deduce the realization of the event from the present state of the world (scientific prediction).
But, and that is the problem, according to Molinism, God is supposed to know the future contingent events without predicting them from their causes (which is normal since they are contingent), and without “seeing” them (God doesn’t wait in order to see them, nor cause them, as in Thomistic theory of physical premotion).
Therefore, what is the link between ideas of God about the events and the events themselves? God doesn’t cause the event, and the event doesn’t cause the idea…Whence do these ideas come? I see no solution. The presence of the idea in God seems absolutely inexplicable, absolutely unfounded. Where does the adaequatio rei et intellectus come from in that case? This situation sounds absurd to me. My question is : how can we explain the truth of innate ideas of God about the things that do not exist and are unpredictible from present situation? To say that divine ideas are true “by definition” seems to be a pure assertion…
Thank you for your help!
Frédéric Guillaud (Paris/France)
Since the site has been down for approximately three months and is slowly getting back up, I’d like to give an update on what has been happening and some changes in the direction of my doctoral research.
Over the last couple years a lot of things have happened but the details will have to remain absent for now. One series of events led to several medical bills from the States needing to be paid. Due to some government policy changes they were moved to the forefront, which required immediate attention and affected much of my financial situation over here. A friend of mine, Alfonso Alvarez created a fundraising page, which completely blew me away.
So many friends and strangers helped me exceed my goal to help with the circumstances. I’m very grateful for everyone who helped. For those who prayed, gave financially, and even gave food, thank you! I’m truly humbled by what happened and it was quite encouraging. To see how a community of like-minded people can come together and help out another person is inspirational. I’ve given ebook copies to all those who helped that wanted them. Some were anonymous and if you’d like to get in touch with me and get your copies, please do.
Within hours, dare I say minutes, of the 13 November terror attacks in Paris I saw so many images and messages with varying hashtags saying that we should pray for Paris. But what does that even mean to most people?
It seems like a few different things may be happening:
- People of prayer are genuinely praying for and requesting prayer for victims’ families, survivors, aid, security, national well-being, the political atmosphere, justice, humanity, and so on.
- People of prayer send out prayer requests but don’t actually pray themselves.
- Prayer is a euphemism for sympathy and thoughts (i.e. “I’m thinking of you”).
- Prayer means, well, something else(?).
Qu’est-ce que la prière? Minimally, prayer is communication with a personal being that has the ability to introduce new causes into a system. Prayer may be intercessory. Prayer may be admonishing. Prayer may be confession. It may be many things. I think the most modest model of prayer was outlined by Thomas Aquinas.
I have received many emails and messages from readers within the last week of the 404 Errors. At first I thought it was because I had recently taken down many posts that contain material that I have submitted for publication (copyright purposes).
However, the site is temporarily unavailable beyond what is able to be seen on the front pages. There website is currently without funds to maintain it and the domain has suspended services due to the lack of funds.
In due time, I will be able to get the site back up and running as it should be (hopefully the podcasts can be up again in the future–they were shut down for lack of funds as well). The material won’t go anywhere but it won’t be available until I’m able to front the needed funds.
(The site automatically tweets posts queried through a plugin so please disregard any posts in the near future.)
Thank you for your loyalty and for your readership!
- If scientific explanation is causal explanation, and causation is law-governed sequence, then it follows that scientific explanations require laws. However, a problem with this (i.e. the ideal gas law: PV=nRT) is that instead of making things clearer, it threatens to involve the analysis of scientific explanation in a thicket of “metaphysical” issues that several philosophers and positivists sought to avoid. Scientific explanation requires a causal explanation, which requires a law-governed explanation.
- Natural law describes but does not explain natural phenomena.
- Consider the use of D-N: Newton’s law of universal gravitation described, but did not explain, what caused gravitational attraction. Newton claimed that he invented no hypotheses but deduced them from observations produced by rationalistic positivism, which engulfed contemporary European science. Even though Newton’s law does not explainthe data, it is still scientific but offers no scientific explanation. Many scientific theories do not offer an explanation by natural law. Instead, they postulate past regularities to explain presently observed phenomena, which also, in turn, allow for predictive capabilities
- Our knowledge of cause and effect relationships, which can sometimes formulate as laws, will often guide the inferences that scientists make about what happened in the past and will influence their assessment of the plausibility of competing explanations.
read more »
In the beginning, there was God. Just God. No one or nothing else (“prior” to creation). Now, for the sake of taking some of the language down a few notches, let’s suppose God is deliberating between which worlds he wants to create (I deny divine deliberation, but work with me here).
Behind door number 1 is an option for a world and universe for God to create. Let’s concoct what this world would look like:
- Cassidy owns a ginger cat named Basil
- Hugo won $156,000,000 in the lottery
- James got a haircut on 09 November 2004
- Desmond went to prison