God can punish us for our actions, even though we couldn’t have done differently, because we do them willingly.
This just pushes the problem a step back; the same dilemma can be applied to our wills. If we do not control our wills, then we have the exact same problem.
Why are you judging God? God judges us, not the other way around.
I am using the biblical concept of God as grounds to judge Calvinist soteriology, not the other way around.
The way that determinism and moral responsibility intertwine is very complex.
This doesn’t work and here’s why. The only way that a counterargument like that could work is if it is in reply to an argument which has a premise which gives the arguer the burden of proof that would require knowing the effects of everything we do, God’s providence, etc. Most formulations of the problem of evil have a hidden premise like this, that God can’t have any morally sufficient reasons to allow evil. But that isn’t what this argument does:
P1: In order for an agent to be morally responsible, he must have been able to do otherwise.
P2: On Calvinism, the nonelect are not able to repent of their sins.
C: On Calvinism, the nonelect cannot be morally responsible for not repenting of their sins.
As you can see, there are no premises that put the burden of prood on me which would require me to know the inner workings of Divine providence. The logic is also ironclad, and there are no hidden premises which are required to make the conclusion follow. So no, the complexity of God’s providence won’t help you here.
Read Romans 9.
The Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9 is not only not the only one, it is anachronistic and misreads Scripture with western eyes, rather than understanding how Paul’s original audience would have understood it: tektonics.org/tulip/bubba9.php
We can’t let philosophy influence how we read the text of Scripture.
That you shouldn’t let philosophy influence how you read the text of Scripture is a philosophy that influences how you read the text of Scripture.
If your understanding of logic and Scripture contradict, then it is your understanding of logic that is wrong, not Scripture.
There is a key part of this dilemma which we need to add in, and it becomes pretty clear what the Calvinist is trying to do:
If your understanding of logic and my understanding of Scripture contradict, then it is your understanding of logic or my understanding of Scripture that are wrong, not logic or Scripture.
Truth does not contradict truth. As a theist, I believe that God is inherently logical and created everything else to be logical as well, so there cannot be a contradiction between a conclusion validly drawn from logical inference and a conclusion validly drawn from Scripture. If we draw two contradictory conclusions from both, what we need to look to do is see which conclusion was invalidly drawn, not to try to discredit logic or Scripture.
Now the typical Calvinist line of argument from here is to argue from the noetic effects of sin, and to say that since human reasoning is inherently flawed, that we have to have a clear revelation like Scripture to straighten us out (basically sola scriptura on steroids.) However, the astute non-Calvinist will immediately see that this is self-referentially incoherent, because we are hopelessly bound to human reason when drawing conclusions from Scripture even in the most basic ways. Even if we grant that the Calvinist interpretation of Scriptural text X is the right one, they need to make a simple logical argument to get from there to affirming X:
P1: If something is taught in Scripture, than it is true.
P2: Calvinism is taught in Scripture
C: Calvinism is true.
So the Calvinist is using human reason to counter human reason, which is self-refuting.
Also, if something like God’s decree transcends human logic, we cannot make an argument based on huamn logic to establish anything about God’s decree, even the most basic ones like the one above.
What this amounts to is the taxi cab fallacy; human reasoning is flawed where I want it to be, and it isn’t where I don’t want it to be.
God can do what He wills with huamns for His own glory.
This objections does to God’s justice and benevolence what many Muslim arguments do to God’s justice when they say things along the lines of “why did God need to send Jesus? Couldn’t he just forgive us?”
You can’t just disregard one of God’s attributes on a whim, as if one of God’s attributes, namely His freedom, can override another, like His justice.
The more I look through this, the more I think that a Molinistic view of soteriology is the only view that answers all of the tough questions related to these issues (why is there evil, how do we reconcile Divine sovereignty with human responsibility, etc.) while maintaining all of God’s attributes.