Saturday, March 06, 2010

Plausible Denial

Bill Vallicella considers an inconsistent triad:

1. Every free agent is a libertarianly-free (L-free) agent.

2. God is ontologically simple (where simplicity is an entailment of aseity and vice versa).

3. There are contingent items of divine knowledge that do not depend on divine creation, but do depend on creaturely freedom.

Bill says, "(3) cannot be plausibly denied." He doesn't give any reasons for thinking this. The problem with this, of course, is that exactly the opposite judgment has been made by most major figures in the history of philosophy: Augustine, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Scotus, Descartes, Malebranche just to name a few, all clearly deny that (3) is even remotely plausible: there are no contingent items independent of divine creation, although some of those items of divine creation also depend on creaturely freedom. Most of them give reasons for thinking this. Now this does raise some important questions with respect to the relation between divine action and creaturely action; but this is precisely why philosophers through history have tended to focus on that problem rather than the sort of problem raised above.

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