Subjectivity of the Divine Will part 1
I have talked about the inherently subjectivity of the divine will before, but I don't think I've ever written a full account of it anywhere except in my (yet to be released) book on presuppositionalism. So I will do it here.
First, we have to define the terms "subjective" and "objective". The generally accepted metaphysical definition is that something subjective is directly dependent on a will. My appreciation for ice cream, for example, is subjective because it is a direct product of my will - but the fact that I do possess such an appreciation is objective, since it is not a product of my will but rather a measurable mental fact.
An objective fact, therefore, is not directly dependent on a will. I may will something to change, and effect such a change through natural agency, but it still exists independently from my will. I may decide to, say, repaint a wall, but the colour of the wall (whatever it is) is a fact regardless of my mind states.
Where does objectivity come from ? The fact that we can be objective stems from the existence of an objective reality that co-exists with our will. The proposition "when I throw a ball, it falls back down" is an objective truth derived from gravity, which is part of natural laws. If there were no natural laws, then we couldn't possibly be objective. I cannot create objectivity, and I cannot destroy it. This leads to what I call the Law of Conservation of Objectivity, which I describe in my book as such :
Objectivity cannot be created nor destroyed.
Furthermore, the amount of objectivity that can be generated is proportional to the amount of objectivity that exists.
The first proposition has been demonstrated insofar as objectivity cannot be created, but perhaps one could argue that a god could destroy a set of objective facts S after coming into existence (by destroying an objective universe, for instance). But gods are also said to be omniscient. If this is true, then any hypothetical god would have atemporal, objective knowledge of S (supposing S does not contain any indexicals or other tricky stuff of this sort). So even if S is destroyed, the knowledge of S in this god's mind is preserved forever. Thus objectivity is not destroyed, but only transformed.
The main point here is that objectivity is not an existent but designates ontological subsets. You can create or destroy a tree. You can't create or destroy the fact that said tree is in fact part of a dream you're having. You can only end the dream. It is quite impossible to make the tree "real". You can grow a tree but it would be a wholly different tree, with a completely different ontological status.
So now let's look at how this relates to the theistic ontology. The standard God scenario starts with an uncaused will without any material facts (remembering, of course, that God is "supernatural", whatever that means). There is, therefore, no objectivity whatsoever at this point. But if we start with no objectivity, then no objectivity can be created. As a will, whatever God does from that point can only be contained within its will.
To illustrate this, take the end point, which is the existence of this universe. As I said, from our worldview we say that natural law provides the objective basis for knowledge. But if the universe is a product of the divine will, then there is no such thing as natural law. God could make it so that 1+1=3 (or becomes so in the future), or that some things thrown in the air don't fall back down, or that the Sun does not rise (as it does in the Bible).
To quote famous theologian Cornelius Van Til (thanks to Dawson Bethrick for the quote):
God may at any time take one fact and set it into a new relation to created law. That is, there is no inherent reason in the facts or laws themselves why this should not be done. It is this sort of conception of the relation of facts and laws (...) that we need in order to make room for miracles.
The Defense of the Faith, 3rd ed., p. 27
Miracles require us to deny the concept of inalienable natural law within the self-contained materialist context, therefore we should deny it, and give God the freedom to "set a new relation" between facts. Which is exactly like we've been saying all along. If God exists, then there is no knowledge possible, no confidence possible, and ultimately no meaning.
Continue to part 2.