past, power over the

   One solution to the problem of foreknowledge and freedom is to say that we have power over the past, in particular over God's past forebeliefs about what others would freely do in the future. It follows that I have the freedom to stay in bed tomorrow and the freedom to get up tomorrow since I have the power to bring it about that God believed yesterday that I'd freely stay in bed tomorrow and the power to bring it about that God believed yesterday that I'd freely get up tomorrow. Christian philosophers disagree over how exactly 'bring it about that' is to be understood. Most, though not all, Christian philosophers do not want to affirm that we can now cause God to have had certain beliefs in the past. Many Christian philosophers do, however, want to affirm that we have counterfactual power over the past. Others deny that it is possible to have any sort of power over the past, thus leaving the problem unsolved. Like many other areas of contemporary discussion in Christian philosophy, this has its root in medieval philosophy.
   Further reading: Fischer 1989; Flint 1998; Hill, Daniel J. 2005

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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