Could God Do Something Evil? A Molinist Solution to the Problem of Divine Freedom

Faith and Philosophy 28 (2):209-223 (2011)
Abstract
One important version of the problem of divine freedom is that, if God is essentially good, and if freedom logically requires being able to do otherwise, then God is not free with respect to willing the good, and thus He is not morally praiseworthy for His goodness. I develop and defend a broadly Molinist solution to this problem, which, I argue, provides the best way out of the difficulty for orthodox theists who are unwilling to relinquish the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. The solution is that the divine essence includes the property of transworld goodness: i.e., for any possible morally significant choice that God could have faced, if God had actually faced it, God would have chosen to will the good. This view makes coherent the otherwise paradoxical theological intuition that it is within God’s power to do something evil, but He would not ever do such a thing
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0739-7046
DOI 10.5840/faithphil20112825
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: 30,224
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Recent Work on Molinism.Ken Perszyk - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):755-770.
Plantingian Theism and the Free-Will Defence.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (4):451-460.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Divine Freedom and the Problem of Evil.Theodore Guleserian - 2000 - Faith and Philosophy 17 (3):348-366.
Duns Scotus on the Goodness of God.Marilyn McCord Adams - 1987 - Faith and Philosophy 4 (4):486-505.
Logical Problem of Evil.James R. Beebe - 2003 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Aquinas, Divine Simplicity, and Divine Freedom.W. Matthews Grant - 2003 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 77:129-144.
Divine Foreknowledge and Eternal Damnation: The Theory of Middle Knowledge as Solution to the Soteriological Problem of Evil.Rik Peels - 2006 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 48 (2):160-75.
The Eternity Solution to the Problem of Human Freedom and Divine Foreknowledge.Michael Rota - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):165 - 186.
Freedom and the Free Will Defense.Richard M. Gale - 1990 - Social Theory and Practice 16 (3):397-423.
Divine Responsibility Without Divine Freedom.Michael Bergmann & J. A. Cover - 2006 - Faith and Philosophy 23 (4):381-408.
Evil and a Finite God.David Basinger - 1987 - Philosophy Research Archives 13:285-287.
Freedom and Evil.Richard Swinburne - 2003 - In Julian Baggini & Jeremy Stangroom (eds.), What Philosophers Think. Continuum Press.
Foreknowledge and Human Freedom in Augustine.Vance G. Morgan - 1994 - Journal of Philosophical Research 19:223-242.
Timeless Troubles.John J. Fitzgerald - 2008 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:203-215.
Added to PP index
2011-07-14

Total downloads
45 ( #118,812 of 2,191,999 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #144,931 of 2,191,999 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature