Human Beings, Compatibilist Freedom, and Salvation

Authored by: Paul Helm

The Ashgate Research Companion to Theological Anthropology

Print publication date:  February  2015
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472410931
eBook ISBN: 9781315613673
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041320


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I shall take it that compatibilism is the view that all human actions for which an agent is responsible are consistent with causal determinism, the belief that an account of all the facts at a time, together with a full account of the laws of nature, entails all that is true at that time. 1 This statement is wide enough to leave us with a variety of possible compatibilistic theories. Suppose that one takes a materialistic view of the human person. Then the beliefs or desires of a person will be understood in exhaustively physical, or materialist, or even mechanical terms. If on the other hand one thinks that a human person is a mental-physical duality, then the beliefs and desires will be no more than partly physical, partly or wholly mental. Then the question is how one understands the relation of “being a cause” for the action. Is a sufficient reason a cause? And what is it to be a cause?

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