061-What We Learn From The Problem of Evil (Pt 2) - Vol 4



Topics Discussed:
• Gods Options and the Free Will Defense
• The Less Evil Options Argument from Evil



Show Notes:

God’s Options and the Free Will Defense.

Can we prove there really are unjustified evils by showing that there were less evil options available that could accomplish the same good?


(IV) An omni-god could create persons who always freely choose what is good.
(V) An omni-god would create persons who always freely refrain from choosing evil if it could. (VI) God created persons who sometimes freely choose to do evil.

Trans World depravity: The optimal possible world that omni-god can actualize includes persons with incompatiblist freedom who each go wrong at least once (and maybe often).

Free will maintained n this view?

What of natural evils?

Also is free will really worth the evils it can cause?

The Less Evil Options Argument from Evil.

The omni-god had other options open to it in creation that don’t take away free will and that don’t require as much evil as exists in this world. Call this the “less evil moral option” argument.

God created creatures who go wrong with distressing frequency. Mackie argued that the omni-god could have created creatures who never went wrong if it were truly omnipotent. Due to Leibniz’s lapse, Mackie was wrong with respect to morally significant actions that must be free in a libertarian sense. However, God could have created cognitively perfect creatures instead of us and such creation is not incompatible with libertarian free will in the most robust sense.

(A) The omni-god exists.
(B*) An omni-god could create creatures that are virtually omniscient who would be
capable of freely eradicating many natural evils that have occurred and many that
continue to occur.
(C*) An omni-god would create creatures who are virtually omniscient if it could to
empower them to freely eradicate these natural evils.
(D*) Humans are not virtually omniscient
(F*) If (B*), (C*) and (D*), then not (A).

Objection #1: The believer in the omni-god may reject (B*) by arguing that even the omni-god cannot impart properties of near divinity to creatures.

Objection #2: An objector may respond: your argument is still not a decisive logical argument.

Whether any given person develops a cure to smallpox or bubonic plague is a matter of free will. God cannot create creatures, even very smart creatures, and bring it about that they freely choose to develop cures to such diseases.

Objection #3: There are some goods that the omni-god cannot create in persons out of nothing because they can be developed only by free creatures who endure challenges over a period of time.

Objection #4: It is good that the omni-god creates the fullest chain of being that it can consistent with what is good. The omni-god has created a full continuum of beings having a full range of intelligence from viruses and bacteria on the lower level of sentience to near-omniscient angels on the upper end of sentience. It is good that the full range of intelligence is manifest. It is just possible that God has created an infinite number of multiverses with the full array of every logical possibility of kinds of beings to display the fulness of his creative powers and the beauty of his glory. We just happen to fall within the range of beings having just our capacities for knowledge and cognitive rationality.

Objection #5: The believer would undoubtedly retort: but the omni-good may have his reasons for making us as cognitively limited as we are even if it means that many natural evils continue that we could eradicate if we had better cognitive faculties than we actually do. After all, the omni-god himself could have eradicated these same evils because it is omniscient and able to eradicate them, but apparently chose not to do so. We have no clue why the omni-god would subject us to such devastating natural evils. We admit that preserving free will is not among the reasons that the omni-god didn’t create virtually omniscient beings instead of us. The evils that occur must be a necessary condition to the realization of some greater good that we cannot fathom.





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