The Free Will Defens1

The Free Will Defens1 - some relevant limitation on what an...

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The Free Will Defense In the last lecture, I discussed the tough-minded responses to the arguments from evil, and I argued that these tough-minded responses are wholly adequate, in and of themselves, to defeat the arguments from evil. In this lecture and the next one, I turn to the tender-hearted responses. I will argue that they too are fully adequate. We have, then, two independent and sufficient ways of rebutting the arguments from evil. The tender-hearted responses depend on challenging premises 4 and 5 of the standard argument, namely, 4. A world with the greatest possible surplus of good over evil would be a world devoid of evil. 5. An omnipotent God could actualize any world. By rejecting one or both of these premises, the tender-hearted theist is, in effect, arguing for
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Unformatted text preview: some relevant limitation on what an omnipotent God could do. If we reject premise 4, we are suggesting that the range of possible worlds is narrower than we might have thought. Since whatever God can bring about must ipso facto be possible, any limitation on the range of possibility is also a limitation on the range of God's omnipotence. If we reject premise 5, we are very obviously placing limits on God's omnipotence, limits that are additional to the limits of the possible. Therefore, the tender-hearted response to the problem of evil turns on the question of the definition of omnipotence. We must settle that issue before we turn to the relevance of the limitations of omnipotence to the problem of evil, that is, before we turn to the free will defense....
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