An Elegant Argument for the Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom

I came across this in a paper by Ted Warfield and I thought it was an elegant proof for the claim that God’s foreknowledge of the future is compatible with human freedom. The argument goes like this:

  1. Plantinga will freely climb Mount Rushmore in 2000 AD.
  2. It was true in 50 AD that Plantinga will climb Mount Rushmore in 2000 AD.
  3. God exists in all possible worlds and is omniscient in all possible worlds.
  4. God knew in 50 AD that Plantinga will climb Mount Rushmore in 2000 AD.

If premise [3] is true, then premise [2] is logically equivalent with premise [4]. And it follows that if [3] is true, then [4] is compatible with [1]. Thus there is a view of God and omniscience on which divine foreknowledge and human freedom are compatible.

The upshot: the necessity of the past (or ‘accidental necessity’ as it is sometimes called) does not nullify Plantinga’s freedom (even in the libertarian sense) to choose to climb Mount Rushmore in 2000 AD.

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