Change My Mind (?)

Let’s summarize where we are.

If we’re going to adopt a universalist outlook, we have to deal with the notion that the damned freely choose damnation, and furthermore, that they choose so eternally and irrevocably.  That a finite being can make such a choice seems to me problematic, though it violates no obvious laws of logic or definition.

This problem does not exist for God, since He is eternal in the strict sense of the word.  Therefore, God is quite capable of making irrevocable decisions for eternity.

By the same token, it doesn’t seem plausible to make the same argument for the fallen angels or lost souls, since they are not eternal, properly so-called, but aeviternal.

The consistent teaching of Christianity is that angels and humans were created with true free will.  I accept this teaching.  I don’t know if anyone  has elaborated it, but presumably this free will persists into heaven (for the angels and saved humans) and hell (for the demons and the damned).  Thus, even the saved and the damned retain free will.  Therefore, it would seem, by the commonsense definition of what “free will” actually means, that hypothetically, at least, an angel or saint could change their mind and fall, or a devil or damned soul could change their mind and ascend to heaven.

I think it is cogent to argue that the saved, angelic or human, are in a sense partially assimilated to God’s eternity and exercise free will in a different mode, more like that of God; and that therefore they can, in fact, eternally choose to stay in heaven without loss of free will.  I elaborate on this contention here.  I contend, however, that the damned (demonic or human), since they are not eternal, but aeviternal, and since they certainly are not assimilated to God’s eternity, exercise their will in essentially the same way we do.

This opens up the question as to how we can assert a priori that the damned will never change their minds by choosing for God, and therefore never be saved, and therefore remain in Hell for all eternity.  In short, how is it intelligible for a finite (in being, not in span of existence), aeviternal being to make an irrevocable choice without God’s intervention (i.e. He gives the Beatific Vision to the saved, in light of which they can freely choose never to sin, irrevocably)?  That’s what I want to look at again in the next posts.

Part of the series “You Pays Your Money and Takes Your Chances: Free Will

Posted on 15/01/2014, in Christianity, religion, theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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