Man's Moral Will vs God's Nilly-Will
I am a compatibilist - that is to say, my position is that "free will" and "determinism" are both true because they co-exist in different respects. As you know, a contradiction exists when A and not-A are said to co-exist in the same time and in the same respect. It is that latter condition that does not obtain.
I think the debate is greatly muddled by religious assumptions. "Free will" has come to be associated with the contracausal will of the religionists, the "soul", supernatural monster in the head. That much is obvious nonsense : everything is material and causal.
What I propose, therefore, is the expression "moral will" instead of "free will". The reason why I chose this particular expression is because it is routinely used to talk about God's will, in a way parallel to what I wish to point out in man's will. For instance :
"God's moral will (God's moral commands which are revealed in the Bible)"For Christians, the moral will of God gives us our own sense of morality - which implies by extension our love of rationality and truth, and our purpose in his Divine Plan. Since it is in fact human will which is the only possible agent in determining and using all these things, it is only proper to give the name back where it belongs : to the human will.
"This verse is saying that if you trust in God and follow His ways (God's moral will), He will make you successful."
"By God's "moral will," we mean the moral commands revealed in the Bible which teach men how they ought to believe and live. The Bible is God's revelation in which He unfolds His moral will -- the principles by which we are to live our lives."
"Moral Will -- this is God's will for human conduct, as expressed in the Bible."
It is more than values and purpose that the human will finds and uses, of course. It is all of knowledge. The human will, not God, is sovereign over itself.
Basically, man's will is "moral" because it is squarely within the realm of morality : it is a capacity for mental and physical acts. This also touches epistemology and knowledge : our use and love of rationality is moral. So is the Christian's hatred of rationality.
How does that relate to presuppositionalism, you might ask. Well, presuppositionalists assume that the human will is impotent in some way, and that the only possible source of knowledge is God. On his laughable blog (which I linked before), presuppositionalist Paul Manata gave some materialist quotes he finds "amusing", including this one :
"A revised and modernized materialism concludes from all this that human thought and feeling is the product of a series of unthinking and unfeeling processes originated in the big bang." (Richard C. Vitzthum, "Materialism: An Afiirmative History and Definition," Prometheus Books, 1995, pp.218-219,)As a presuppositionalist, why he finds this quote "amusing" is no mystery. He thinks it's absurd to support human will while also supporting that it came from an unthinking and unfeeling process.
Ironically, this quote neatly shows the absurdity and contradiction in presuppositionalism itself : they want to have their cake (a subjective universe impregnated with feeling) and eat it too (an objective human will). Without uniform "unthinking and unfeeling processes" - without laws of nature - there could be no wil whatsoever. The human will evolved and functions as a very complex organic system : without objective and uniform laws, it could never have evolved, let alone function.
We should be highly grateful that the universe is "unthinking and unfeeling". A subjective universe - that is to say, a universe with God - would be wholly unknowable. Knowledge is based on induction, and subjectivity destroys its very possibility.
What about God's will ? More like God's Nilly-Will. Without any interior motivations (such as desires, needs or emotions) or exterior motivations (since it existed before anything else), God has no motivation whatsoever except chance. Ironically, it is the Christian who believes in chance ! This God of theirs is really a Nilly-Will God.