[Milton-L] Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom

Carol Barton cbartonphd at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 2 17:10:53 EDT 2006

Jeffery, I am the one who suggested the analog of a child playing with
someone's lighter in near proximity to my livingroom curtains as an example
of foreknowledge not necessarily involving causation.

I would argue (as I think Milton might) that God could not create the
universe knowing how free agents would act until they had elected a course
of action--any more than a human parent can know whom his or her child will
ultimately turn out to be, despite all efforts to instill fairness and
compassion and respect for others and their property in him or her. God
knows (in human terms) "after the fact" and simultaneously that Adam and Eve
will do/have done as they have: a concept foreign to our linear way of
thinking. (Thus, "I made them good and right . . . free to
fall" --paraphrase.)

In response to your argument that "A further step is needed, namely, an
argument that the
cosmos is worth creating despite the evil that will
come to permeate it -- for example, that the amount of
evil does not cross the equivalent of a "Van Inwagen
line," a threshold whose crossing would result in an
amount of evil sufficient to disqualify the cosmos
from being created."

God has that argument. Its name is Jesus Christ--who will restore the
universe, except the reprobate, to "at-one-ment" via his atonement for the
sins of Adam and Eve and their progeny who accept grace.

Were there no agape, the God-as-Pontius Pilate concept might apply.

Best to all,

Carol Barton

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