Deductive Argument Against Calvinism

A simple deductive argument against Calvinism’s doctrine of universal, divine determinism occurred to me today:

(1) If Calvinism is true, then all human choices and beliefs are divinely determined and thus not free.

(2) I can freely choose to believe premise 1 or not.

(3) Therefore, Calvinism is not true.

The only rejoinder a Calvinist can offer is to admit that all our beliefs are divinely determined including our belief or disbelief in Calvinism. Therefore we are not free to believe in Calvinism or deny it. However if that be the case then Calvinists must also concede that it is absurd and meaningless for them to expend energy to write a plethora of books seeking to persuade persons to believe in Calvinism. But of course in a world where everything is divinely determined the absurdity of writing books under the pretense and illusion of bolstering belief in Calvinism would likewise be determined! And if God preordained Arminianism just as equally as he preordained Calvinism, then from whence does a Calvinist muster up the motivation to challenge what God has ordained?

Moreover it is simply a failure to connect the dots for Calvinists to argue back that God’s determination of all things doesn’t thereby expunge or nullify a Calvinist’s responsibility to be a faithful Calvinist because (as they might say to their Calvinist ranks) “You might be God’s chosen, divinely ordained means to achieve God’s determined ends!” (i.e. X number of people becoming Calvinists…)

But of course a Calvinist can choose to do nothing, can he not? And the mere fact that he or she does nothing is all the evidence one needs that their “doing nothing” was itself also determined. What other conclusion can be drawn except to assume they were simply determinatively willed by God to be a loafing, lazy Calvinist? Indeed the mere fact that anything occurs at all in this world is all the evidence one needs to conclude that it was divinely determined to be–and not something else (which logically entails this anti-Calvinist rant). Alas for Calvinism to insist that nothing occurs that God did not first divinely determine to occur is to commit intellectual hara kiri.

To embrace the underpinning logic of Calvinism is to destroy all rationality and consign one’s mind to a Mad Hatter’s world of dizzying vertigo. As the preeminent, Christian philosopher William Lane Craig astutely observes:

“There are many problems with the neo-Reformed view…Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one’s mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation.

You can 4 more arguments Craig makes against Calvinism here: 

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About StriderMTB

Hi, I'm Matt. "Strider" from Lord of the Rings is my favorite literary character of all time and for various reasons I write under the pseudonym "StriderMTB. As my blog suggests I seek to live out both the excitement and tension of a Christian walk with Christ in the 3rd world context of Asia. I am unmarried yet blessed to oversee an orphanage of amazing children in South-East Asia. I hate lima beans and love to pour milk over my ice-cream. I try to stay active in both reading and writing and this blog is a smattering of my many thoughts. I see the Kingdom of God as Jesus preached it and lived to be the only hope for a broken world and an even more broken and apathetic church.
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2 Responses to Deductive Argument Against Calvinism

  1. lazarus says:

    I have often thought that Calvinism is it’s own worst enemy. This article has really done a good job of pointing that out the obsuridy of thier views. To believe Calvinsum you have to ascribe to cognative disodance.

    • StriderMTB says:

      Thanks Lazarus. It is very absurd at its core. By the way you have a few misspelled words you might want to click on edit to fix 🙂 I spell words wrong all the time in my rush so no shame 🙂

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