User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: What is the Difference Between Molinism and Open Theism?

  1. #1
    Over 1000 post club Mocking You's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sarcasm, USA
    Posts
    1,005
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    73115

    What is the Difference Between Molinism and Open Theism?

    Rookie poster in this section, be nice!

    What is the difference between Molinism and Open Theism?

    As I understand it Molinism is the idea that God knows the future based on the premise that He knows every possible choice or action a free agent might take in any circumstance. One way to think of it is the ultimate decision tree or flowchart.

    Also, as I understand it, Open Theism states that there are some things that free agents could do that God (possibly) does not know. Or to put it another way, God could know that a free agent has "X" number of options, but there is always a possibility of X+1 possibilities.

    Comments? Thoughts?
    "Until I land a job that pays me to surf the internet I'm going to have to keep doing it at this one."

  2. #2
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,367
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 182 Times in 115 Posts

    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    451544
    I'm speaking for myself and not for other OVers here. I also believe that this is an area where I do disagree with OVers who follow the Molinist or 'neo-Molinist' view.

    My view is that the universe is by definition fully open. It is simply nonsensical to argue that the future of the universe as a whole is in any way truly predictable. The idea of knowing every possible future is incompatible with the basic idea of the openness of the universe. The real universe is of necessity open and stating that God knows all possibilities but just doesn't know which of those possibilities will become actualised seems to me like openness in name only.

    I can appreciate the sentiment though. It is an attempt to justify God without conceding predestination but without also conceding some measure of impotence or lack of control on God's part. In this view, God's lack of knowledge of the actual future is replaced by his knowledge of all possibilities of the future. It's a substitute. But it suffers from some profound weaknesses:

    1. The actual future, or rather the actual course of history, is relegated to merely one of many possibilities. This devalues our lives. Surely we are more than just some arbitrary possibility? Surely there is more purpose to our lives than this?

    2. The assumption is that God needs to be some all powerful magnate, knowing everything and perhaps controlling everything, in order to be God. This is effectively the same presupposition as Calvinism, which just goes a step further by asserting that God controls everything. Calvinism is indeed logical in that sense. But I don't think we need to go down that road. God is the most godly being it is possible to be. If anyone is godly, God is. But godliness was never about being the most powerful being in the world. It was about humility. 'Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit' says the Lord.' The point of the resurrection was to prove this principle. As Jesus said, if he had wanted to, he could easily enough have called upon 12 legions of angels to save him from crucifixion. In openness theology, at least the way I see it, we need a new view of God. Calvinists declaim open theists as making God like some ordinary human who doesn't know or control the future but I say that Calvinists make God out to be nothing more than a superhuman, everything that man in his pride dreams of being - having so much power, so much knowledge, so much control. In my view of openness, these concepts are thrown out of the window. The God I believe in is not like this at all and it is the Calvinists who are making God out to be a man. As I say, I appreciate the idea that Molinism tries to bring but I feel it is misguided and something more radical is required.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  3. #3
    Journeyman Ardima's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Miami FL
    Posts
    171
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    817
    I believe that God has set the beginning and end points and has planned the end from the beginning. He has left the middle open and has given us the option to either participate in that plan and be blessed; or, not be part of the plan and miss out on many blessings. All of our choices are our own, but no matter what we choose it will not change the preset endpoint of God becoming all in all.
    Christ is the Gospel; Christ is our righteousness; Christ is our hope!!! No Jesus; no righteousness. No Jesus; no hope!

  4. #4
    TOL Legend Cross Reference's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    9,196
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 586 Times in 534 Posts

    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    81116
    Quote Originally Posted by Ardima View Post
    I believe that God has set the beginning and end points and has planned the end from the beginning. He has left the middle open and has given us the option to either participate in that plan and be blessed; or, not be part of the plan and miss out on many blessings. All of our choices are our own, but no matter what we choose it will not change the preset endpoint of God becoming all in all.
    What a contradiction! __ unbelievable!

  5. #5
    Journeyman Ardima's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Miami FL
    Posts
    171
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    817
    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Reference View Post
    What a contradiction! __ unbelievable!
    Please elaborate on what you perceive as a contradiction in that post. Its just like you to attack without proof and run. Then come back, attack again when you are proven wrong, then run again...
    Christ is the Gospel; Christ is our righteousness; Christ is our hope!!! No Jesus; no righteousness. No Jesus; no hope!

  6. #6
    The Dubious Toad is skeptical of your claim. musterion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    16,795
    Thanks
    2,346
    Thanked 10,147 Times in 6,057 Posts

    Blog Entries
    3
    Mentioned
    41 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    2147691
    I thought the thread was going to be about the worship of this guy.

    Leaving relieved, yet slightly disappointed.
    You cannot convince me to your "your works cannot save you" corrupt doctrine.
    The Jehovah's Witnesses posting as "Meshak," 6:31 pm, 4/8/2017.

  7. #7
    TOL Legend Cross Reference's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    9,196
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 586 Times in 534 Posts

    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    81116
    Quote Originally Posted by Ardima View Post
    Please elaborate on what you perceive as a contradiction in that post. Its just like you to attack without proof and run. Then come back, attack again when you are proven wrong, then run again...
    Sorry. Do you own research on your own ramblings. It's all there. I am done with you.

  8. #8
    Over 1000 post club Mocking You's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sarcasm, USA
    Posts
    1,005
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    73115
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    My view is that the universe is by definition fully open. It is simply nonsensical to argue that the future of the universe as a whole is in any way truly predictable. The idea of knowing every possible future is incompatible with the basic idea of the openness of the universe. The real universe is of necessity open and stating that God knows all possibilities but just doesn't know which of those possibilities will become actualised seems to me like openness in name only.
    You're using circular reasoning. You state your view is that the universe is fully open. Then you state that knowing every possible future is incompatible with the basic idea of openness. But you've never shown that openness is indeed the state of the universe. The argument doesn't follow.

    Furthermore, the openness of the future depends on the frame of reference of the observer. To humans, no, the future is not predictable. But to God?

    I can appreciate the sentiment though. It is an attempt to justify God without conceding predestination but without also conceding some measure of impotence or lack of control on God's part. In this view, God's lack of knowledge of the actual future is replaced by his knowledge of all possibilities of the future. It's a substitute. But it suffers from some profound weaknesses:

    1. The actual future, or rather the actual course of history, is relegated to merely one of many possibilities. This devalues our lives.
    The course of history is, in fact, "relegated" to one of many possibilities--the sum total of all our collective decisions and actions.

    Surely we are more than just some arbitrary possibility? Surely there is more purpose to our lives than this?
    Now you are begging the question. The future is not an arbitrary possibility because it is based on the cumulative sum of our actions and decisions.

    2. The assumption is that God needs to be some all powerful magnate, knowing everything and perhaps controlling everything, in order to be God.
    Appeal to popularity. Anyway that's not my assumption.

    This is effectively the same presupposition as Calvinism, which just goes a step further by asserting that God controls everything.
    You are getting far afield from Molinism.

    As I say, I appreciate the idea that Molinism tries to bring but I feel it is misguided and something more radical is required.
    Besides not being as radical as it needs be, what's the difference between Molinism and Open Theism?
    "Until I land a job that pays me to surf the internet I'm going to have to keep doing it at this one."

  9. #9
    Over 1000 post club Mocking You's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sarcasm, USA
    Posts
    1,005
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    73115
    Quote Originally Posted by musterion View Post
    I thought the thread was going to be about the worship of this guy.
    Nope, nope, nope, nope....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC2BMBdul0o
    "Until I land a job that pays me to surf the internet I'm going to have to keep doing it at this one."

  10. #10
    Over 1000 post club Mocking You's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sarcasm, USA
    Posts
    1,005
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    73115
    Quote Originally Posted by Ardima View Post
    Please elaborate on what you perceive as a contradiction in that post. Its just like you to attack without proof and run. Then come back, attack again when you are proven wrong, then run again...
    If Cross Reference isn't going to answer I'll take a shot. CR is (apparently) a Calvinist. As a Calvinist, he doesn't believe anyone has a real choice in anything. CR would say our sin nature makes it impossible for us to have certain choices, like to believe in Jesus, or even seek God. It's a knee jerk reaction by Calvinists that whenever someone says "free will" or "my choices" then they have to shout out the T in TULIP, which is Total Depravity, a subset of which is the idea that man has no such thing as free will.
    "Until I land a job that pays me to surf the internet I'm going to have to keep doing it at this one."

  11. #11
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,367
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 182 Times in 115 Posts

    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    451544
    Quote Originally Posted by Mocking You View Post
    You're using circular reasoning. You state your view is that the universe is fully open. Then you state that knowing every possible future is incompatible with the basic idea of openness. But you've never shown that openness is indeed the state of the universe. The argument doesn't follow.

    Furthermore, the openness of the future depends on the frame of reference of the observer. To humans, no, the future is not predictable. But to God?

    The course of history is, in fact, "relegated" to one of many possibilities--the sum total of all our collective decisions and actions.

    Now you are begging the question. The future is not an arbitrary possibility because it is based on the cumulative sum of our actions and decisions.

    Appeal to popularity. Anyway that's not my assumption.

    You are getting far afield from Molinism.

    Besides not being as radical as it needs be, what's the difference between Molinism and Open Theism?
    I wasn't really trying to make an argument since you just asked for the differences between OV and Molinism. In summary, the differences betwen my version of OV and the Molinist versions are that I don't count possibilities as having anything other than intellectual value. The real world does not consist of possibilities and actuality but just actuality. I have been accused of being just another Molinist (as if being a Molinist is a crime!) but obviously by those who don't bother to listen.

    If you want something more of an argument then get this: you said

    Furthermore, the openness of the future depends on the frame of reference of the observer. To humans, no, the future is not predictable. But to God?
    This is exactly false. It is the same argument I have heard so often that we ourselves cannot understand God's purposes because we are not clever enough. Or that we are not righteous enough or just totally depraved. And the same as when I say 'But your argument is not logical and here is why' and they reply 'ah but God is beyond logic, therefore you must accept what I say.' Your statement above is similar: Human beings cannot predict the future because we are in the wrong frame of reference but God can because he is in the right frame of reference.'

    The issue is not whether any particular intelligent being can predict the future. The issue is whether the future is in itself predictable. If the future is predictable then we can think about who is able to predict it.

    On the other hand, if (as I suspect) what you mean by your assertion is that in a certain reference frame the future is fundamentally and inherently unpredictable but in a different reference frame the future (the same future as referred to in the other reference frame) is inherently and of itself predictable, then this is the part that is illogical. It is just an assertion that proposition X is both true and false simultaneously.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  12. #12
    Over 1000 post club Mocking You's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sarcasm, USA
    Posts
    1,005
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    73115
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    I wasn't really trying to make an argument since you just asked for the differences between OV and Molinism. In summary, the differences betwen my version of OV and the Molinist versions are that I don't count possibilities as having anything other than intellectual value. The real world does not consist of possibilities and actuality but just actuality. I have been accused of being just another Molinist (as if being a Molinist is a crime!) but obviously by those who don't bother to listen.
    OK, I understand now.

    If you want something more of an argument then get this: you said



    This is exactly false. It is the same argument I have heard so often that we ourselves cannot understand God's purposes because we are not clever enough. Or that we are not righteous enough or just totally depraved. And the same as when I say 'But your argument is not logical and here is why' and they reply 'ah but God is beyond logic, therefore you must accept what I say.'
    No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm simply saying that humans can't know the future but God can. Our differences are (apparently) in how much of that future God actually knows. Believe me, I'm no fan of the Calvinist's mantra, "It's a mystery, just accept it" which they apply frequently in an attempt to get out of numerous theological corners.


    Your statement above is similar: Human beings cannot predict the future because we are in the wrong frame of reference but God can because he is in the right frame of reference.'

    The issue is not whether any particular intelligent being can predict the future. The issue is whether the future is in itself predictable. If the future is predictable then we can think about who is able to predict it.
    Maybe the word predictable is the wrong word. Maybe the word I should use is knowable.

    On the other hand, if (as I suspect) what you mean by your assertion is that in a certain reference frame the future is fundamentally and inherently unpredictable but in a different reference frame the future (the same future as referred to in the other reference frame) is inherently and of itself predictable, then this is the part that is illogical. It is just an assertion that proposition X is both true and false simultaneously.
    No, I meant that from the human frame of reference we can't know the future, from God's point of view He can know the future, especially since he often takes actions that shapes the future.
    "Until I land a job that pays me to surf the internet I'm going to have to keep doing it at this one."

  13. #13
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,367
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 182 Times in 115 Posts

    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    451544
    Quote Originally Posted by Mocking You View Post
    OK, I understand now.

    No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm simply saying that humans can't know the future but God can. Our differences are (apparently) in how much of that future God actually knows. Believe me, I'm no fan of the Calvinist's mantra, "It's a mystery, just accept it" which they apply frequently in an attempt to get out of numerous theological corners.
    OK, thanks.

    Back to Molinism.
    A future possibility (IMHV) exists in the imagination only. The Molinist notion of possibilities is not the same as prediction. Prediction is about committing yourself to one imagined view of the future. The argument that because God is able to and does imagine all possible futures that he of necessity predicts the future, (or knows the future) is wrong. It doesn't matter how exhaustive his imagined possibilities are, they are still just imaginations. It is not like you enter a raffle and you buy 100% of the tickets so you know that you are going to win it. It's more like guess the weight and you just guess as many weights as you can imagine 6 kg., 6.2 kg., 6.271 kg., 6.2764893 kg. - clearly you can imagine an infinite number of weights and the prize will only go to whoever imagined the nearest one.

    Future possibilities are just imaginations and being able to imagine the future says more about you and your personality and the size of your intellect than it does about the future itself.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  14. #14
    Over 1000 post club Mocking You's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sarcasm, USA
    Posts
    1,005
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    73115
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    OK, thanks.

    Back to Molinism.
    A future possibility (IMHV) exists in the imagination only.
    Ah, yes, until it becomes reality. In my view, a future possibility is the result of an humungous IF-THEN decision tree. If I do this, then this situation arises. Similarly, if someone else does something, then this will happen. So, IF I drive my car tomorrow THEN there is a chance of getting in an accident. So getting into an accident is a future possibility.

    The Molinist notion of possibilities is not the same as prediction. Prediction is about committing yourself to one imagined view of the future. The argument that because God is able to and does imagine all possible futures that he of necessity predicts the future, (or knows the future) is wrong.
    Why? If He knows every possible outcome then He knows the outcome BUT this still allows for human free will.

    It doesn't matter how exhaustive his imagined possibilities are, they are still just imaginations.
    I like to think of them as alternate potential realities. I think semantics are causing some of our disagreements.

    It is not like you enter a raffle and you buy 100% of the tickets so you know that you are going to win it.
    Actually, that's exactly the way I see it. God knows every possible action I might take, and therefore "knows" the future.

    It's more like guess the weight and you just guess as many weights as you can imagine 6 kg., 6.2 kg., 6.271 kg., 6.2764893 kg. - clearly you can imagine an infinite number of weights and the prize will only go to whoever imagined the nearest one.
    I see it in a more binary way then numbers taken to seven significant digits. Either something happens or it doesn't. IF it happens then there is another possible thing that could happen.
    "Until I land a job that pays me to surf the internet I'm going to have to keep doing it at this one."

  15. #15
    Teenage Adaptive Ninja Turtle Stripe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Posts
    14,977
    Thanks
    98
    Thanked 6,936 Times in 5,599 Posts

    Blog Entries
    2
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)


    Rep Power
    2147784
    As far as I can tell, molinism relies on "middle knowledge" to describe how men's wills exist while God has all knowledge.

    I've listened to William Lane Craig explain the position as a proponent, but it seems entirely unnecessary.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
    When the world is a monster
    Bad to swallow you whole
    Kick the clay that holds the teeth in
    Throw your trolls out the door

    "The waters under the 'expanse' were under the crust."
    -Bob B.


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
About us
Since 1997 TheologyOnline (TOL) has been one of the most popular theology forums on the internet. On TOL we encourage spirited conversation about religion, politics, and just about everything else.

follow us