David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy Compass 1 (6):662–670 (2006)
The world’s major monotheistic religions typically maintain that God freely chose, in the libertarian sense, to create the universe for a reason or purpose. Philosophers of religion often argue that the idea that God makes a free choice to create for a purpose is deeply flawed. In parallel with these philosophers of religion, philosophers of action typically argue that the idea that human beings make free choices to act for purposes is also flawed. I begin my article by briefly summarizing what is involved in the idea of a human agent freely choosing for a purpose. I then examine criticisms of this idea by philosophers of action and suggest how they might plausibly be rebutted. I conclude by suggesting that if these criticisms by philosophers of action are suspect, then there is good reason for thinking that the same or similar criticisms by philosophers of religion are suspect
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