Freedom and the free will defense

Social Theory and Practice 16 (3):397-423 (1990)
It is my purpose to explore some of the problems concerning the relation between divine creation and creaturely freedom by criticizing various versions of the Free Will Defense (FWD hereafter).1 The FWD attempts to show how it is possible for God and moral evil to co-exist by describing a possible world in which God is morally justified or exonerated for creating persons who freely go wrong. Each version of the FWD has its own story to tell of how it is possible that God be frustrated in his endeavor to create a universe containing moral good sans moral evil. The value of free will is supposed to be so great that God is morally exonerated under such circumstances for creating the Mr. Rogers type persons you know, the very same people who are good sometimes are bad sometimes. If it is objected that God could not be unlucky in this manner, that it necessarily is within his power to create goody-goody persons, either by supernaturally willing in his own inimitable manner that it be so, which is the theological compatibilist objection, or by a judicious selection of the initial state of the universe and operant causal laws which together entail that every free action be morally right, which is the causal compatibilist objection, the response is that it is logically incompatible that a creaturely free action be determined by God or by anything external to the agent, such as causes outside of the agent
Keywords Divine Will  Evil  Free Will  God  Metaphysics
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DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract199016321
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