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Freewill, Determinism and Omniscience.
Determinism all events are predetermined and because God knows that something is
going to happen it means that it will happen.
Fatalism That free will does not exist, meaning therefore that history has progressed in
the only manner possible. This belief is very similar to determinism.
Molina The general consensus is that "scientia media" was a phrase not simply
used, but coined by Luis de Molina (15351600) in Concordia Liberi Arbitrii cum
gratiae Donis (Lisbon, 1588/Antwerp, 1595).1 It entails a utilization of modal logic to
describe God's knowledge not of necessities only, but also of hypothetical future
contingents (i.e., events that do not have to occur).2 Molina stated his point this way:
"Unless we want to wander about precariously in reconciling our freedom of choice
and the contingency of things with divine foreknowledge it is necessary for us to
distinguish three types of knowledge of God."3
The first type of divine knowledge which Molina distinguished was God's natural
knowledge. This knowledge consists not of individuals alone but consists as well of
knowledge of all of the possible actions and circumstances associated with
individuals. Although this knowledge of all future contingents existed before God
created anything by His free will, it is not dependent upon God's will.4 Such
knowledge is a divine attribute and is essential to God, which is why it is called
The second kind of divine knowledge which Moline distinguished was God's free
knowledge, the knowledge by which, after the free act of God's will, God knows
absolutely and indeterminately, without any condition or hypothesis, which states of
affairs from among all contingent states of affairs are, in fact, going to obtain, and,
likewise, which are not going to obtain.5 William Craig's observations and
comments on this point are helpful.
This knowledge is posterior to the free decision of God's will to create, to instantiate
one of the possible orders known by his natural knowledge . . . Since his knowledge
is posterior to the decision of God's will and since God's decision to create this
world is free, it follows that the content of free knowledge is not essential to divine
omniscience, but is contingent upon which world God in fact creates. Had God
created different worlds or even no world at all, the content of his free knowledge
would have been different. So while it is essential to God to have free knowledge,
the content of what he freely knows is contingent upon which world he chooses to
In between God's natural and free knowledge is a third option, what Molina called,
middle knowledge, by which, in virtue of the most profound and inscrutable
comprehension of each faculty of free choice, He saw in His own essence what
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Whereas by God's natural knowledge God knows what an individual could do if it
placed in a particular set of circumstances, by middle knowledge God knows what
an individual would do when placed in the same particular set of circumstances. It is,
Craig has pointed out,
God's middle knowledge which thus provides the basis of God's foreknowledge of
contingent events in the actual world.…read more
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I thought, given that Aquinas says, at ST 2-1.13.6, "For man can will
and not will, act and not act; again, he can will this or that, and do this or that,"
and this is intended to be a clarification of why we do not will necessarily. So what
does she mean?
Aquinas distinguishes between two sorts of necessity: a "necessity of coercion"
and a "necessity of natural inclination." The first is incompatible with free choice.…read more