Alternative possibilities and the free will defence

Religious Studies 33 (3):267-286 (1997)
Abstract
The free will defence attempts to show that belief in an omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient God may be rational, despite the existence of evil. At the heart of the free will defence is the claim that it may be impossible, even for an omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient God, to bring about certain goods without the accompanying inevitability, or at least overwhelming probability, of evil. The good in question is the existence of free agents, in particular, agents who are sometimes free with respect to morally significant actions and who are thereby responsible, at least in part, for those actions and the personal character which is a function of and exhibited in those actions. The free will defender contends that if an agent is to be truly responsible for her actions, then she must be free to bring about both good and evil, and God cannot be blamed if such agents choose to bring about the latter rather than the former. A number of years ago, Antony Flew objected that God was not forced to choose between creating free agents who might act wrongly and not creating a world with free agents. Instead, God could have created free agents who were wholly good, i.e. who always acted rightly." Freedom and responsibility, Flew argued, are compatible with one’s actions being causally determined by God, thus it was within God’s power to create agents who were both free and responsible yet causally determined to always act rightly. In response, proponents of the free will defence criticized Flew’s conditional analysis of freedom – if S had chosen to do otherwise, she would have been able to do otherwise – maintaining instead that an agent’s freedom consists in her ability at the time in question to both perform the action and refrain from performing the action. Acting freely, on this libertarian view, is incompatible with one’s actions being determined by God, for an agent..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0034412597003892
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,678
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
What is so Good About Moral Freedom?Wes Morriston - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (200):344-358.
What is so Good About Moral Freedom?Wes Morriston - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (200):344-358.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Popper and Free Will.Danny Frederick - 2010 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 3 (1):21-38.
Thoughts About God.Brian Davies - 2005 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 79:21-27.
The Problem of Evil and a Plausible Defence.Frank J. Murphy - 1995 - Religious Studies 31 (2):243-250.
Free Will: A Very Short Introduction.Thomas Pink - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Anderson on Plantinga.David Basinger - 1982 - Philosophy Research Archives 8:315-320.
Freedom and the Free Will Defense.Richard M. Gale - 1990 - Social Theory and Practice 16 (3):397-423.
Is There Freedom In Heaven?James F. Sennett - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16 (1):69-82.
Free Will and the Problem of Evil.James Cain - 2004 - Religious Studies 40 (4):437-456.
Truth-Making and Divine Eternity.Kevin Timpe - 2007 - Religious Studies 43 (3):299 - 315.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
73 ( #82,748 of 2,236,870 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #190,765 of 2,236,870 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature