Saving Eternity (and Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will): A Reply to Hasker

Keywords: Anselm of Canterbury, William Hasker, eternity, foreknowledge, free will


William Hasker and I disagree over whether or not appealing to a particular understanding of divine eternity can reconcile divine foreknowledge with libertarian human freedom. Hasker argues that if God had foreknowledge of a particular future choice, that choice cannot be free with libertarian freedom. I hold, to the contrary, that, given a certain theory of time—the view that all times exist equally—it is possible to reconcile divine foreknowledge with libertarian freedom. In a recent article, “Can Eternity be Saved? A Comment on Stump and Rogers”, Hasker makes it clear that one of the fundamental disagreements between us lies in what each of us takes to be required for libertarian free will. In the present paper I outline the version of libertarianism that I find plausible, then explain how a libertarian free choice can be foreknown by God. (I call my approach “Anselmian”, in that it is based on my interpretation of the work of St. Anselm of Canterbury.) Then I will explain why Hasker finds this reconciliation unacceptable since it fails to do justice to what he takes to be required for libertarian freedom. Finally, I will argue that Hasker is wrong to insist upon his analysis of free will.


Hasker, William. 1989. God, Time, and Knowledge. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Hasker, William. 2020. “Can Eternity be Saved? A Comment on Stump and Rogers.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 87:137–48.

Rogers, Katherin. 2008. Anselm on Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Rogers, Katherin. 2015. Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rogers, Katherin. 2019. “Foreknowledge, Freedom, and Vicious Circles: Anselm vs. Open Theism.” In Philosophical Essays against Open Theism, edited by Benjamin H. Arbour, 93–109. New York: Routledge.