Is the Free Will Defence Irrelevant?: FRANK B. DILLEY

Religious Studies 18 (3):335-364 (1982)
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Recently Steven E. Boër gave another turn to the discussion of the free will defence by claiming that the free will defence is irrelevant to the justification of moral evil. Conceding that free will may be of real value, Boër claims that free will could have been allowed creatures without that leading to any moral evil at all. What I shall hereafter refer to as the ‘Boër reform’ is the suggestion that God could have allowed creatures to exercise free choices but have intervened with ‘coincidence miracles’ to prevent all the intended evil from actually occurring. What is important to the free will defence, according to Boër, is the ability to choose freely and not the ability to succeed in effecting what we have intended to accomplish. It is no intrusion on the freedom of our wills for God to prevent us from accomplishing what we tried to do with our free wills as long as we were free to try



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