Monday, May 30, 2005

Is Jesus a compatibalist?

Compatibalism is the view that we always act according to our strongest motivation. All of the choices we make are determined by our character and the dispositions, and inclinations of the heart.

Libertarianism is the view that there are no antecedent conditions and/or causal laws that determine what our choice will be. Our choices arise spontaneously out of the self-determination of the will.

Compatibalists and libertarians both use the term "free will," but they both mean something different by it, as you can see from the definitions above. There are a few things Jesus said which seem to indicate that Jesus was a compatibalist. Here are some things he said:

Matthew 7:17-18 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit."

Matthew 12:33-35 "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil."

Luke 6:43 "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit; nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."

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