It could not have been otherwise: an articulation and defense of divine source compatibilism

Daeley, Justin J. (2017) It could not have been otherwise: an articulation and defense of divine source compatibilism. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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Proponents of perfect being theism have recently explored the resources of compatibilist accounts of free will, such that freedom is compatible with necessity, as a way of countering the charge that it is not possible to reconcile God’s essential perfect goodness with any significant degree of divine freedom. However, William Rowe and others have charged the proponents of this strategy with saving divine freedom while at the same time jeopardizing other fundamental ideas within traditional theism. A small number of analytic philosophers of religion (most notably Edward Wierenga, Katherin Rogers, and Thomas Talbott) have drawn from the resources of compatibilist accounts of free will as a way of understanding God’s freedom, one that they do not think is inconsistent with traditional theism. To this day, however, no one has produced an extended articulation and defense of a compatibilist outlook of divine freedom, an outlook which I will call in this dissertation, Divine Source Compatibilism (DSC).

In chapter 1 and 2 I introduce both this study and the view of divine freedom under consideration, namely, DSC. Chapter 3 explores whether or not DSC seriously deviates from the claims of the Christian tradition regarding divine freedom. Chapters 4 and 5 are focused on the issues of divine aseity and divine thankworthiness. Here I investigate whether or not DSC is inconsistent with each of these two fundamental attributes of perfect being theism. In Chapter 6 I explore whether a certain variation of traditional theism, which I call Theistic Compatibilism, is committed to DSC in light of its metaphysical commitments to freedom and explanation. Finally, in chapter 7 I offer a conclusion and point out some areas that await further study.

In this dissertation, I argue that DSC need not fall prey to the charges typically leveled against it. I argue that this outlook of God’s freedom does not seriously deviate from the claims of the Christian tradition with respect to God’s freedom and is consistent with divine aseity and divine thankworthiness. Moreover, I argue that DSC is the most plausible view of God’s freedom for a particular outlook on theism, namely, Theistic Compatibilism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > London School of Theology
Item ID: 21647
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2017 09:46
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 21:07

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