In Molinist worlds nothing is left to chance, not even undetermined events. God does not choose any object or person or circumstance randomly in anyone’s life-history. Tom Flint describes the traditional view of providence captured in the Molinist account.
Isn’t it natural to think that He has arranged it so that, not just some things, but everything fits together in such a way that his love is made manifest? Isn’t it natural to think that nothing is left to chance, that nothing haphazard or unexpected from the divine perspective occurs . . .? (p. 13, DPMA).
If God is directing each and every undetermined event toward his chosen goals, then we should not observe a chance pattern in the occurence of those events. We should rather observe evidence of God’s direction. We should find the frequency of undetermined events diverging from their chances. The problem for Molinism is that there is no evidence that God is using counterfactuals of creaturely freedom to direct undetermined events in the world. We simply do not observe any divergence between frequency and chance.
Suppose God were directing micro-events in accordance with his chosen goals. We should expect to find particular instances of, say, radon or uranium or tritium or krypton that differ from other instances in their rates of decay. It is no doubt possible that the frequency with which tritium atoms decay should change radically.
. . . there is some minute present chance that far more tritium atoms will exist in the future than have existed hitherto, and each one of them will decay in only a few minutes. If this unlikely future came to pass, presumably it would complete a chancemaking pattern on which the half-life of tritium would be very much less than the actual 12.26 years (Lewis, HumSuprvncDeBugged, 482)
We should observe some evidence of God’s direction of micro-events in his instantiation of unstable atoms whose rates of decay are not predictable. But we do not find such variation. We do not find good reasons to alter our estimates of the chances of decay for any of these isotopes. So there seems to be no evidence of God’s direction at the micro level. There is no evidence of the frequency of undetermined micro-events diverging from the chance of these events. We observe instead predicable chance patterns. But there ought ot be lots of evidence of God’s direction, since much of the world is indeterministic.
There are chance processes in chemical bonds, in ionization, in the radiation of light and heat, and so on. The processes are pervasive. So much so that not only is the world as a whole indeterministic, but also it can contain few if any deterministic enclaves. (59 Counterfact. Dep. And Times Arrow).
Consider instead undetermined macro-events such as coin tosses, ordinary plates flying off sideways, tables suddenly disintegrating, automobiles breaking down, physiological decay, illness, epidemics, climatic catastrophes, flooding, tornado, hurricanes and so on. Even robust non-reductionists believe that these events nomologically supervene on undetermined micro-events. But, as J. Schaffer observes, nomological supervenience is sufficient to correlate chance values. If the chance that micro-state S1 occurs is one, and if macro-state S2 supervenes on S1 by the physical laws, then the chance that S2 occurs must also be one. The occurrence of the macro-state is fixed by the occurrence of its micro-basis. (see his ‘Deterministic Chance?’, BJPS, p. 11 ff.)
There is no evidence that God is directing undetermined micro-events in light of his chosen goals. But since macro-states supervene on micro-states, there is also no evidence that God is directing undetermined macro-events in light of his chosen goals. We have no evidence of God using the counterfactuals of creaturely freedom providentially in ways we might expect in Molinist worlds. Since we do not observe the chances of undetermined macro-events or micro-events diverging in interesting ways from their chances, we have good reason to believe that this is not a Molinist world.