Predestination and the Transcendent

In a subsequent post, I plan to construct properties to attribute to the Transcendent as that on which a moral order with so-called libertarian free will depends for its existence. As a preliminary, I here point out that the type of omniscience already attributed to the Transcendent does not rule out free will by entailing some type of predestination. Previously in Morality and the Transcendent I attributed omniscience to the Transcendent to facilitate saying that our moral lives were transparent to the Transcendent. I quote from an earlier post.

“I propose that we attribute omniscience o the Transcendent because it is the sustaining condition for all true thoughts as true.
The Transcendent holds in existence the truth of the thoughts of our most secret sins! Isn’t this transparency to the Transcendent? “ and, I could have added “our successes in the moral struggle.

For sake of discussion, I accept using “hold its truth in existence” as “being aware of.”

An example brings out that transparency of our choices does not eliminate our choices.

Suppose that I am still alive two years from this date 1/1/21, viz., 1/1/23. I am facing a long painful last illness. Suppose also that I have an option of legal physician assisted termination of my life.

I have two choices: Accept the opportunity to end my life or reject the opportunity to end my life.

The Transcendent holds in existence the truth of this disjunction. If I choose to have my life terminated, the Transcendent holds in existence the truth of my immoral choice and its consequences. If I choose to reject the offer of assisted suicide, the Transcendent holds in existence the truth of my morally correct choice and its consequences.

So far we have only that the Transcendent is aware of whatever happens. The awareness of the Transcendent is simply a catalog of the truths.

But what about the logical truth: In 2023 Charles commits suicide or in 2023 Charles does not commit suicide? The Transcendent is aware of this logical truth, –Law of excluded middle– in 2021. Also the Transcendent is aware in 2021 that only one of these disjuncts can be true in 2023. But our attributions of awareness to the Transcendent do not require saying that in 2021 one or the other of these disjuncts is true and thereby the Transcendent is aware in 2021 of my 2023 choice.

The law of excluded middle says less than the so-called law of bivalence. Bivalence says that every statement is True or False. If we accept bivalence and that statements specifying that an action occurs on a definite date, then we can convert the Transcendent’s omniscience into a type of foreknowledge. However, we can get a type of predestination simply from assumption of bivalence and the admissibility of statements specifying dates for actions. Reference to a Transcendent or deity is irrelevant to this logic and language based determinism.

Believers in predestination or some other type of determinism would hold that in 2021 one or the other of these disjuncts would be true and thereby be in the Transcendent’s awareness. But the determinism’s elimination of choice would not come from the awareness of the Transcendent; it would be based on whatever rationalized the deterministic outlook.

Of course rejection of predestination, or better: genuine (libertarian) free-will, requires rejection of bivalence. That means accepting at least a third truth value of “undetermined.” Many, many statements about the future have this third truth value. Logic does not rule out a third value. Three, and other many value logics, are well developed. In this regard, the significant conceptual problem is clarifying and defending a metaphysical vision of an “open future.”