here and combox.
Poul Anderson's fictions encourage philosophical discussions so it is appropriate that the discussions continue in new blog posts as well as in the combox, especially when they become lengthy.
When I agreed with Chee Lan, I did say that I was not basing my argument on the idea of divine foreknowledge. The author of a novel does more than foreknow what the characters will do. He makes them do it. Similarly, an alleged omnipotent creator from nothing of all things other than himself creates intelligent beings with the motivations as a result of which they choose to commit evil acts. An aggressive drunk automatically kicks a dog that bites him whereas a pacifist saint who lives what he believes does not. Both men act freely, which can only mean without any external constraint, yet their actions are not only opposite but also entirely predictable.
God could have created the first man without an addiction to alcohol or with moral beliefs and will power strong enough to counteract his spontaneous impulses or with different spontaneous impulses. With a single proviso, it is unthinkable either that the saint would kick the dog or that the drunk would refrain. The proviso is that, even in extreme cases like the drunk and the saint, we cannot predict a man's actions with 100% accuracy because we do not know all the factors influencing his actions. God not only knows those factors but creates them and could have created them to be different. He could have created a world full of saints or at least with a population whose moral starting point was closer to sainthood than that of an aggressive drunk.
An adult can pull a child away from a fire or, respecting his freewill, warn him of the danger but let him choose. However, God creates:
the properties of the fire;
the effects of the fire on a human body;
the child's inclination to approach the fire;
the child's inclination or disinclination to heed a warning;
the adult's attitude of concern or indifference towards the child;
anything else that we can think of that is relevant.
Thus, the child can have freewill in relation to the adult but not in relation to an omnipotent creator.