Divine Determinateness and the Free Will Defense

Philosophy Research Archives 8:531-534 (1982)
Abstract
Proponents of The Free Will Defense frequently argue that it is necessary for God to create self-directing beings who possess the capacity for producing evil because, in the words of F.R. Tennant, “moral goodness must be the result of a self-directing developmental process.” But if this is true, David Paulsen has recently argued, then the proponent of the Free Will Defense cannot claim that God has an eternally determinate nature. For if God has an eternally determinatenature and moral goodness must be the result of a developmental process, then God cannot be considered morally good. In response, I argue that (1) many contemporary Free Will theists do not affirm a developmental concept of morality and thus avoid Paulsen’s criticism and that (2) even those who affirm a developmental concept of morality on the human level need not grant that divine morality is also developmental in nature
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