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❶One major issue theological determinists must grapple with is how there can be any creaturely freedom in a world in which all events are determined by God.

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Christof Koch argues against it, and in favour of libertarian free will , by making arguments based on generative processes emergence. Thus the unpredictability of the emerging behaviour from deterministic processes leads to a perception of free will, even though free will as an ontological entity does not exist. As an illustration, the strategy board-games chess and Go have rigorous rules in which no information such as cards' face-values is hidden from either player and no random events such as dice-rolling happen within the game.

Yet, chess and especially Go with its extremely simple deterministic rules, can still have an extremely large number of unpredictable moves. When chess is simplified to 7 or fewer pieces, however, there are endgame tables available which dictate which moves to play to achieve a perfect game. The implication of this is that given a less complex environment with the original 32 pieces reduced to 7 or fewer pieces , a perfectly predictable game of chess is possible to achieve.

In this scenario, the winning player would be able to announce a checkmate happening in at most a given number of moves assuming a perfect defense by the losing player, or fewer moves if the defending player chooses sub-optimal moves as the game progresses into its inevitable, predicted conclusion. By this analogy, it is suggested, the experience of free will emerges from the interaction of finite rules and deterministic parameters that generate nearly infinite and practically unpredictable behavioural responses.

In theory, if all these events could be accounted for, and there were a known way to evaluate these events, the seemingly unpredictable behaviour would become predictable. These philosophers make the distinction that causal determinism means that each step is determined by the step before and therefore allows sensory input from observational data to determine what conclusions the brain reaches, while fatalism in which the steps between do not connect an initial cause to the results would make it impossible for observational data to correct false hypotheses.

This is often combined with the argument that if the brain had fixed views and the arguments were mere after-constructs with no causal effect on the conclusions, science would have been impossible and the use of arguments would have been a meaningless waste of energy with no persuasive effect on brains with fixed views. Many mathematical models of physical systems are deterministic. This is true of most models involving differential equations notably, those measuring rate of change over time.

Mathematical models that are not deterministic because they involve randomness are called stochastic. Because of sensitive dependence on initial conditions , some deterministic models may appear to behave non-deterministically; in such cases, a deterministic interpretation of the model may not be useful due to numerical instability and a finite amount of precision in measurement.

Such considerations can motivate the consideration of a stochastic model even though the underlying system is governed by deterministic equations. Since the beginning of the 20th century, quantum mechanics —the physics of the extremely small—has revealed previously concealed aspects of events.

Before that, Newtonian physics —the physics of everyday life—dominated. Taken in isolation rather than as an approximation to quantum mechanics , Newtonian physics depicts a universe in which objects move in perfectly determined ways. At the scale where humans exist and interact with the universe, Newtonian mechanics remain useful, and make relatively accurate predictions e. But whereas in theory, absolute knowledge of the forces accelerating a bullet would produce an absolutely accurate prediction of its path, modern quantum mechanics casts reasonable doubt on this main thesis of determinism.

Relevant is the fact that certainty is never absolute in practice and not just because of David Hume's problem of induction. The equations of Newtonian mechanics can exhibit sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This is an example of the butterfly effect , which is one of the subjects of chaos theory.

The idea is that something even as small as a butterfly could cause a chain reaction leading to a hurricane years later. Consequently, even a very small error in knowledge of initial conditions can result in arbitrarily large deviations from predicted behavior.

Chaos theory thus explains why it may be practically impossible to predict real life, whether determinism is true or false. On the other hand, the issue may not be so much about human abilities to predict or attain certainty as much as it is the nature of reality itself. For that, a closer, scientific look at nature is necessary.

Quantum physics works differently in many ways from Newtonian physics. O'Connell explains that understanding our universe, at such small scales as atoms, requires a different logic than day-to-day life does. O'Connell does not deny that it is all interconnected: O'Connell argues that we must simply use different models and constructs when dealing with the quantum world. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is frequently confused with the observer effect.

The uncertainty principle actually describes how precisely we may measure the position and momentum of a particle at the same time — if we increase the accuracy in measuring one quantity, we are forced to lose accuracy in measuring the other. This is where statistical mechanics come into play, and where physicists begin to require rather unintuitive mental models: A particle's path simply cannot be exactly specified in its full quantum description.

The probabilities discovered in quantum mechanics do nevertheless arise from measurement of the perceived path of the particle. As Stephen Hawking explains, the result is not traditional determinism, but rather determined probabilities. In fact, as far as prediction goes, the quantum development is at least as predictable as the classical motion, but the key is that it describes wave functions that cannot be easily expressed in ordinary language.

As far as the thesis of determinism is concerned, these probabilities, at least, are quite determined. These findings from quantum mechanics have found many applications , and allow us to build transistors and lasers. On the topic of predictable probabilities, the double-slit experiments are a popular example. Photons are fired one-by-one through a double-slit apparatus at a distant screen.

Curiously, they do not arrive at any single point, nor even the two points lined up with the slits the way you might expect of bullets fired by a fixed gun at a distant target. Instead, the light arrives in varying concentrations at widely separated points, and the distribution of its collisions with the target can be calculated reliably.

In that sense the behavior of light in this apparatus is deterministic, but there is no way to predict where in the resulting interference pattern any individual photon will make its contribution although, there may be ways to use weak measurement to acquire more information without violating the Uncertainty principle. Some including Albert Einstein argue that our inability to predict any more than probabilities is simply due to ignorance.

They argue that the course of the universe is absolutely determined, but that humans are screened from knowledge of the determinative factors.

So, they say, it only appears that things proceed in a merely probabilistically determinative way. In actuality, they proceed in an absolutely deterministic way. Bell criticized Einstein's work in his famous Bell's Theorem which proved that quantum mechanics can make statistical predictions which would be violated if local hidden variables really existed.

There have been a number of experiments to verify such predictions, and so far they do not appear to be violated. Better and better tests continue to verify the result, including the " Loophole Free Test " that plugged all known sources of error and the " Cosmic Bell Test " that based the experiment cosmic data streaming from different directions toward the Earth, precluding the possibility the sources of data could have had prior interactions.

However, it is possible to augment quantum mechanics with non-local hidden variables to achieve a deterministic theory that is in agreement with experiment. Bohm's Interpretation, though, violates special relativity and it is highly controversial whether or not it can be reconciled without giving up on determinism. More advanced variations on these arguments include Quantum contextuality , by Bell, Simon B.

Kochen and Ernst Specker in which argues that hidden variable theories cannot be "sensible," which here means that the values of the hidden variables inherently depend on the devices used to measure them.

This debate is relevant because it is easy to imagine specific situations in which the arrival of an electron at a screen at a certain point and time would trigger one event, whereas its arrival at another point would trigger an entirely different event e.

Thus, quantum physics casts reasonable doubt on the traditional determinism of classical, Newtonian physics in so far as reality does not seem to be absolutely determined. This was the subject of the famous Bohr—Einstein debates between Einstein and Niels Bohr and there is still no consensus. Adequate determinism see Varieties , above is the reason that Stephen Hawking calls Libertarian free will "just an illusion". All uranium found on earth is thought to have been synthesized during a supernova explosion that occurred roughly 5 billion years ago.

Even before the laws of quantum mechanics were developed to their present level, the radioactivity of such elements has posed a challenge to determinism due to its unpredictability. One gram of uranium , a commonly occurring radioactive substance, contains some 2.

Each of these atoms are identical and indistinguishable according to all tests known to modern science. Yet about times a second, one of the atoms in that gram will decay, giving off an alpha particle. The challenge for determinism is to explain why and when decay occurs, since it does not seem to depend on external stimulus. Indeed, no extant theory of physics makes testable predictions of exactly when any given atom will decay.

At best scientists can discover determined probabilities in the form of the element's half life. That is, it explicitly and uniquely predicts the development of the wave function with time.

So if the wave function itself is reality rather than probability of classical coordinates , then the unitary evolution of the wave function in quantum mechanics, can be said to be deterministic.

But the unitary evolution of the wave function is not the entirety of quantum mechanics. Asserting that quantum mechanics is deterministic by treating the wave function itself as reality might be thought to imply a single wave function for the entire universe , starting at the origin of the universe. Such a "wave function of everything" would carry the probabilities of not just the world we know, but every other possible world that could have evolved.

For example, large voids in the distributions of galaxies are believed by many cosmologists to have originated in quantum fluctuations during the big bang.

See cosmic inflation , primordial fluctuations and large-scale structure of the cosmos. However, neither the posited reality nor the proven and extraordinary accuracy of the wave function and quantum mechanics at small scales can imply or reasonably suggest the existence of a single wave function for the entire universe. Quantum mechanics breaks down wherever gravity becomes significant, because nothing in the wave function, or in quantum mechanics, predicts anything at all about gravity.

And this is obviously of great importance on larger scales. Gravity is thought of as a large-scale force, with a longer reach than any other. But gravity becomes significant even at masses that are tiny compared to the mass of the universe.

A wave function the size of the universe might successfully model a universe with no gravity. Our universe, with gravity, is vastly different from that which is predicted by quantum mechanics alone.

To forget this is a colossal error. Objective collapse theories , which involve a dynamic and non-deterministic collapse of the wave function e. Ghirardi—Rimini—Weber theory , Penrose interpretation , or causal fermion system s avoid these absurdities. The theory of causal fermion systems for example, is able to unify quantum mechanics , general relativity and quantum field theory , via a more fundamental theory which is non-linear, but gives rise to the linear behaviour of the wave function and also gives rise to the non-linear, non-deterministic, wave-function collapse.

These theories suggest that a deeper understanding of the theory underlying quantum mechanics shows the universe is indeed non-deterministic at a fundamental level. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Nomological determinism. This article is about the general notion of determinism in philosophy. For other uses, see Determinism disambiguation. Not to be confused with Fatalism , Predeterminism , Predictability , or Theological determinism.

This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. This section is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings about a topic. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style.

November Learn how and when to remove this template message. This section does not cite any sources. An open theist convinced of the impossibility of middle knowledge might respond that this must similarly be what is especially frustrating and even terrifying! But just as a parent still chooses to give birth to a child, so God still chooses to bring into being such creatures, because of their great value. A third argument for theological determinism focuses on the divine attribute of aseity.

Closely related to the concept of divine aseity is the medieval conception of God as pure act actus purus. If the divine causality is not predetermining with regard to our choice To illustrate his point, Garrigou-Lagrange asks us to imagine that when God gives two men grace to fight temptation, one cooperates with this grace while the other does not, but that the difference between their responses is not determined by God. God is either determining or determined, there is no other alternative.

His knowledge of free conditional futures is measured by things, or else it measures them by reason of the accompanying decree of the divine will. Our salutary choices, as such, in the intimacy of their free determination , depend upon God, or it is He, the sovereignly independent pure Act, who depends upon us. In response to this argument for theological determinism, Eleonore Stump contends that the dilemma presented by Garrigou-Lagrange—that God either determines or is determined—is a false one, if determination is taken to be equivalent to causation.

She offers examples of both divine and human knowledge in which the knower neither determines what she knows, nor is determined by it. On the human side, a person might know that an animal is a substance, but the human obviously does not determine this truth. Likewise, on the divine side, God presumably knows of His own existence without determining that He exists; but neither, presumably, is God determined in His knowledge of this truth , pp.

One thing to note about the examples offered by Stump—of a human knowing that an animal is a substance, or of God knowing that He exists—is that the truths known are in both cases necessary.

One question that a theological determinist might raise is whether, when it comes to knowledge of contingent events, the indeterminist can likewise maintain that the knower neither determines nor is determined by what she knows. While our coming to know necessary truths on the basis of, say, complex mathematical reasoning would seem to be quite an active process, our coming to know contingent truths on the basis of some very clear and distinct perception—say, that we have hands—would seem to be more passive.

Furthermore, even if the theological indeterminist can defend a conception of divine foreknowledge on which God is not determined by some of what He knows, in the sense that He is not caused to know some truths, it is very hard to see how He would not in some sense be dependent on something outside of Himself for that knowledge.

The question for theological indeterminists is whether this sense of dependency is compatible with a conception of God as supremely perfect. So far we have considered arguments that theological determinists have put forward in support of their view of divine providence, as well as some objections raised to these arguments. Critics of theological determinism not only object to the positive reasons offered in favor of the view, but also to certain negative implications. One major issue theological determinists must grapple with is how there can be any creaturely freedom in a world in which all events are determined by God.

The claim that at least some creatures are both free and responsible for their actions is a central part of traditional Western theisms—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—and most contemporary theological determinists affirm this claim, though as we will see, some within these traditions dissent from it.

Below, several theological deterministic conceptions of human freedom are discussed. Perhaps the most common conception of free will espoused by theological determinists is the standard compatibilist one: Theological determinists espousing this view often appeal to secular theories of freedom and arguments for the compatibility of such freedom with natural determinism to support their claim that theological determinism is also compatible with free will.

For instance, according to the classic compatibilist position defended by Thomas Hobbes , a person is free to the extent that she finds no impediment to doing what she wants or wills to do. Contemporary compatibilists, recognizing the limitations of this position—for example that it allows for actions resulting from brainwashing to be free—have offered various refinements, such as that, in addition to being able to do what one wants or wills to do, one must act with sensitivity to certain rational considerations the reasons-responsive view , or one must have the will one wants to have the hierarchical model.

One proponent of the latter view is Lynn Rudder Baker. More generally, theological determinists point out that on all such contemporary compatibilist accounts of free will, divine determination does not automatically rule out human freedom, since none of these accounts specifies what must be true of the first causes of human volition and action. This lack of specificity, however, is precisely the problem that incompatibilists—those who hold that determinism of any sort is incompatible with determinism—find with the compatibilist position.

They reason that if either God or events of the distant past are the ultimate causes of our actions, then our actions are not under our control. The debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists has a long history, and is ongoing. While many theological determinists take the standard compatibilist line, some differentiate between natural and theological determinism, and maintain that only the latter is compatible with free will.

McCann should not be interpreted as denying theological determinism here—that is, as saying that God does not determine what creatures do , but only what they are. Rather, he means that, unlike creatures who can only make other creatures do things, God has the unique ability to make creatures themselves; and rather than first bringing creatures into being, and then making them do certain things, God by one and the same act makes creatures doing the things they do.

However, theological compatibilism, like its natural counterpart, has been criticized by standard incompatibilists. One of the most influential arguments for the incompatibility of causal determinism and human freedom—the Consequence argument—relies on the premise that, in a deterministic world, the ultimate causes of our actions are events of the distant past.

The reason why this is considered a problem, though, is simply that such causes lie outside of our control. As mentioned already, however, some who seem to espouse theological determinism deny that God should be considered a cause at all, at least in any univocal sense as creatures are.

Thus one finds some theologians who seem clearly committed to theological determinism when considering the order of the Creator, speaking of the possibility of libertarian human freedom in the context of the order of creation.

The trouble with such a view, however, is that it seems to face a dilemma. On the other hand, if such fundamental concepts do apply to divine causation in something like the way they apply to creaturely causation, then arguments against the compatibility of theological determinism and human freedom must be considered and responded to, rather than simply dismissed as involving a confusion of categories.

One final position that theological determinists may adopt on the issue of human freedom is the standard incompatibilist one, admitting that determinism of any sort is incompatible with free will and thus that there can be no creaturely freedom. This view, called hard theological determinism, has historically won few adherents, in part because of the centrality of the belief in human freedom to so much civic and religious life. On the civic side, the assumption of free will has been thought to underwrite reactive attitudes such as resentment, indignation, gratitude, and love, and the moral and legal practices of praise and blame, reward and punishment.

On the religious side, human freedom has seemed crucial to the logic of divine commandment and judgment, and to such reactive attitudes and practices as guilt, repentance, and forgiveness. However, some hard theological determinists have challenged such assumptions about the centrality of free will. Derk Pereboom, for instance, has argued that, while theological determinism is not compatible with the basic sense of desert that is, deserving praise or blame simply because of the moral status of what one has done it is compatible with judgments of value for example, that behavior is good or bad , as well as the reactive attitudes and practices which are most central to traditional theism, and which might seem to presuppose basic desert.

Furthermore, even if hard theological determinism is compatible with such attitudes and practices central to theistic traditions, it is another question whether the denial of free will and moral responsibility in the basic-desert sense is itself compatible with the teachings of these religions.

One question that remains for hard Christian determinists, for example, is how to make sense of the many New Testament passages that discuss the freedom found in Christ cf.

As with the former issue, their responses to the latter are many and varied. Below a number of distinct responses are discussed. Some theists attempt to offer a theodicy , or plausible explanation of why God has created a world in which evil exists. One historic and popular explanation of why evil exists in a world created by God is the free will defense , first proposed by St. Augustine and developed by Alvin Plantinga God created humans to live in harmony with Himself and each other, but they freely chose to rebel against God and to sin against one another.

Some proponents of this defense extend it to explain natural as well as moral evil, suggesting that all suffering in the world is ultimately due to sinful choices of fallen creatures, some of which lie behind the destructive natural forces of the world.

However, the free will defense seems to assume that it was impossible for God both to create free persons and to determine all of their actions, such that they never do evil.

In other words, it seems to assume an indeterministic conception of human freedom incompatible with theological determinism. Thus, the traditional free will defense would not seem to be an option for theological determinists.

Some compatibilists have argued, however, that the free will defense need not presuppose an indeterministic conception of human freedom. On independent compatibilism, whether God could create a world with free persons who were determined in their actions and never committed moral evil depends on whether God would create such a world because the persons never committed evil, or for some other reason.

Still, theological determinists may argue that even the traditional indeterministic version of the free will defense is implausible, and that more plausible explanations of evil are available. John Hick, for instance, contends that, given a modern understanding of evolutionary theory, the claim that humans were created perfect and fell from grace is an incredible one.

Inspired by the writings of St. Irenaeus, Hick proposes instead the soul-making theodicy , according to which God created imperfect creatures in a world in which they are prone to suffering and sin. While Hick is himself committed to theological indeterminism, his basic theodicy is compatible with theological determinism as well. Two other theodicies that theological determinists have adopted likewise focus on the value of development or process.

Such work on theodicy has drawn on specifically Christian conceptions of God and the human good, and advanced them in innovative ways. Yet, these proposals raise many questions about the value of process — developing moral character, becoming sanctified, or coming to identify with God—as well as the comparative value of such processes with the disvalue of the sin and suffering that make them possible.

Even supposing the disvalue of all sin and suffering in the world is outweighed by the value of the moral development of creatures, another concern critics have raised is whether it is morally permissible for God to cause humans to sin in order to realize some good. How does it square with the Pauline injunction that one should not do evil that good may come of it? The place of that injunction in traditional moral theology is to set limits to how far we can pursue good by way of doing evil as its precondition.

There are some acts that are so heinous that one may not do them for the sake of the bringing about a greater good…. One may not murder that good may come of it. So, they maintain, this concern about divine responsibility should not be a reason to reject theological determinism in favor of such competing views of divine providence.

God's consciousness and power are unlimited, and his activity is perfect. His being is therefore unlimited. Why, though, is God being in general?

Because finite beings are absolutely and immediately dependent upon him for both their being and properties. Because they lack not only power but also consciousness and will, bodies are even further removed from real agency and hence are, as Edwards says, mere shadows of being. Students of Edwards have responded by insisting on a distinction in Edwards between God and creatures. The distinction is real but insufficient to refute charges of pantheism.

For, historically, pantheisms do not identify the divine with nature as such but, rather, with nature's substance or essence or inner being or power. Natural phenomena aren't identical with the divine. They are its modes or properties or parts.

Edwards clearly believes that God is the world's real substance. However, the sense of his assertion is very different from that of the pantheists. In claiming that God is the world's substance Edwards means that God's decrees are the only cause of an entity's being and characteristics. He isn't a pantheist because the relation between God and the world is construed as a relation between a creative volition and its immediate effects.

Edwards' model is not a whole and its parts, or a substance a bearer of properties and its properties, or an essence and its accidents, but agent causality. Edwards never doubted that God's end is himself. God's ultimate aim in all his works must therefore be himself.

Edwards concludes that he creates the world for his own glory. End of Creation reconciles these claims. In pursuing his own glory, God thus takes both himself and the creature's good as ultimate aims. Happiness consists in the knowledge and love of God, and joy in him. An apparent consequence is that God must create a world to display his glory.

Whether Edwards was aware of these consequences is uncertain. The two most common objections to them, however, — that they imply that there isn't any real contingency and that God isn't free — would not have troubled him. For Edwards thought that our world displays neither contra-causal freedom nor real indeterminacy. He also believed that moral agency and freedom are compatible with metaphysical necessity.

Edwards believes that this is the only kind of freedom that is either relevant to moral agency or worth having. True virtue aims at the good of being in general and therefore also prizes the disposition that promotes it.

Truly virtuous people thus love two things — being and benevolence. One of the principal concerns of Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, et al. Edwards' attitude toward these attempts is ambivalent. On the one hand, he denies that the truly benevolent are motivated by self-love. On the other, Edwards argues against, e.

Conscience, for instance, is the product of a power of placing ourselves in the situation of others which is needed for any sort of mutual understanding , a sense of the natural fitness of certain responses injury and punishment or disapproval, benefit and reward or approval , and self-love.

Placing ourselves in the situation of those we have injured, we recognize that being treated in that way would not merely anger us but seem unfitting or undeserved, and that we are therefore inconsistent in approving of our treating others in ways we would not wish to be treated ourselves. Edwards is inclined to think that all except pity are forms of self-love.

The important point, however, is that even if they aren't, actions motivated by them aren't truly virtuous. To see why consider pity. Now pity is directed to those in extreme distress whose suffering appears undeserved or excessive. Its object is therefore restricted to only part of being in general. Pity, for example, may motivate a judge to act unjustly. We should not conclude that pity or other instinctual affections, or even rational self-love, are bad.

Edwards point like Kant's is merely that their goodness isn't a truly moral goodness. The implication is nonetheless clear. Natural virtues are either tainted with self-love or fail to extend to being in general. They are therefore counterfeits or simulacra of true virtue. Edwards concludes that true virtue is a supernatural gift. This is an universal definition of excellency: Love's scope can be narrower or wider, however. Only true benevolence, therefore, is truly beautiful.

Since God's benevolence alone is perfect, he is the only thing that is truly beautiful without qualification. The fitness of God's dispensations, the harmony of his providential design, and so on, also exhibit the highest degree of secondary beauty.

The saints alone, however, can discern true beauty. Because their hearts have been regenerated by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the saints love being in general. At other times he identifies it with the consent of being to being, i.

His view appears to be this. True beauty is identical with benevolence or agreement in somewhat the same way in which water is identical with H 2 O or heat with molecular motion. But benevolence is also the objective basis of a dispositional property, namely, a tendency to produce a new simple idea in the savingly converted.

Edwards' account of true beauty thus resembles some accounts of color or extension. Spiritual delight is a simple idea or sensation like our ideas of color or extension. The dispositional property is a power objects have to produce these ideas in our understandings. Benevolence is the objective configuration underlying this power and corresponds to the microstructure of bodies that underlie their tendency to excite ideas of color or extension in minds like ours.

For example, a conviction of Christ's sufficiency as a mediator depends on an apprehension of his beauty and excellency. The new sense also helps us grasp the truth of the gospel scheme as a whole. Edwards' defense of the objectivity of the new spiritual sense has four steps. The world is an interconnected system of minds and ideas in which the only true substance and cause is an infinite and omnipotent love.

Human benevolence is thus an appropriate or fitting response to reality. Since benevolence is an appropriate response to reality, so too is benevolence's delight in benevolence.

There is also an implicit theological defense of the spiritual sense's objectivity. There were Puritan precedents for these claims.

Edwards is making two claims. First, the new spiritual disposition and tastes which God bestows on the soul are divine. The differences between God's love and joy and the love and joy that he bestows on his saints is a difference of degree, not of nature or kind. Hence, since God in some sense is reality or being itself, it follows that the spiritual sense is necessarily aligned with reality.

Edwards thinks that reason can prove that God exists, establish many of his attributes, discern our obligations to him, and mount a probable case for the credibility of scripture. His view is briefly this.


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Theological determinism is a form of predeterminism which states that all events that happen are pre-ordained, or predestined to happen, by a God, or that they are destined to occur given its omniscience. Theological determinism exists in a number of religions, including Jainism, Judaism, Christianity and .

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Theological Determinism. Theological determinism is the view that God determines every event that occurs in the history of the world.

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Theological fatalism is the view that because of God’s foreknowledge, whatever he knows about future events must come to pass, and the participants (humans) cannot choose to . Mar 30,  · Strong theological determinism is not compatible with metaphysical libertarian free will, and is a form of hard theological determinism (equivalent to theological fatalism below). It claims that free will does not exist, and God has absolute control over a person's actions.

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The chief theological argument for determinism is the argument from omniscience, although other arguments, from omnipotence and from grace are also invoked. Many thinkers have been reluctant to accept the implications of theological determinism. For, however much a Christian may believe in the omniscience of God, he also is committed to the freedom of man. Theological determinism is a form of determinism which states that all events that happen are pre-ordained, or predestined to happen, by a God, or that they are destined to occur given its omniscience.