The free will defense does not really solve the problem of evil for the deity is seen as not being all good because the being is in part responsible for evil. A world containing creatures who are significantly free and freely perform more good than evil actions is more valuable, all else being equal, than a world containing no free creatures at all. Apr 24, 2018 in addition, the skeptic cannot reject a defense for a particular problem of evil by arguing that it does not solve every problem of evil. Objections to the freewill defense as a logical solution to evil will also be presented in the discussion. The free will defence argument extract from the problem of evil.
The concept of god is, in the strictest sense, the concept formed by conjoining the attributes i have listed. Aug 21, 2009 another quick reminder is that in writing this section, my intention was to show two of the most popular answers to the problem of evil from the christian faith. In response to the logical problem of evil, notable philosopher alvin plantinga describes such a possible reason in his famous free will defense. In addition, the skeptic cannot reject a defense for a particular problem of evil by arguing that it does not solve every problem of evil. The logical form of the argument tries to show a logical impossibility in the coexistence of god and evil, 1 4 while the evidential form tries to show that given the evil in the world, it is improbable that there is an. I did not even like the book myself when i first read iti was an ardent young socialist. The experiential problem of evil and theodicy new apps. Given that the free will defense is the most common. The author interacts primarily with the logical problem of evil as expounded by j.
Among philosophical reflections concerning theodicy the problem of evil, none has an older or more distinguished lineage than that known as the free will defense. Job insisted on his innocence, to which the book of job also testifies. The free will defense fwd maintains that god has to allow the existence of some evil in order to preserve human free will e. The free will defense and the problem of evil, philosophy. The defense does not explain what god does, but simply shows that the believer is not irrational in holding both propositions. John peckham offers a constructive proposal for a theodicy of. The logical problem of evil, plantingas free will defense, and how it relates to the debate on free will posted on january 29, 20 by leesomniac my recent posts have spoken a bit on the problem of evil, but i havent really fleshed out the logical problem of evil and plantingas response to it because i did not think most readers would. Author and acclaimed philosophy professor jeremy a. He has delivered the gifford lectures at the university of st andrews, the wilde lectures at oxford university.
Challenges for the free will defense phil 185 february 8, 2007 one way to raise the problem of evil is to ask why, if god is allknowing, allgood, and allpowerful, he created a world containing so much evil. Free will is a great good, and it is impossible for god to give us free will without allowing evil. No one defense addresses every problem of evil, nor was it intended to do so. An allpowerful god can create or, as plantinga says, actualize any logically possible world. Oct 04, 2010 in 1955, he wrote an important article on the problem of evil entitled.
Mackies version of the logical problem of evil is a failure, as even he came to recognize. The idea that evil results from free will evil results from free will. Phillips, a leading exponent of philosophy of religion from perspectives often identified with the later wittgenstein, examines in part 1 what he calls the problematic inheritance of efforts to frame and resolve the problem of evilas is typically done in the project of. However, natural evil is not evil caused by humans, so this defense is invalid because natural evil exists whether there is free will or not. Does the free will defence successfully solve the problem of. His many publications include an essay on free will 1983, material beings 1990, ontology, identity, and modality. This entry relied heavily on james and stuart rachels book. Mackie considers three main objections to this argument, all of which are best understood as objections to one of 3 or 6. God is love incarnate 1, and despite the high amount of choice that he allows, he also is bursting to lavish his love not merely on the perfect, which existed solely in christ, but on the imperfect who could never deserve it by virtue of their imperfection 2. Plantinga on the free will defense hugh lafollette. What is plantingas free will defense, and how does it. It contains an abundance of wisdom on topics as diverse as the nature of love, the importance of narrative for philosophy, the epistemology of second person experience, and the relationship between human flourishing and the desires of the heart. Alvin plantingas version of the defense is a famous attempt on the problem of evil. A world where humans always freely do good is logically possible.
Alvin plantinga, born in 1932, is a philosopher and has been a professor at both calvin university and the university of notre dame. This argument, if proved to be true, would refute the cosmological argument for gods existence. Broadly stated, the problem of evil is the seeming contradiction between an allpowerful, allloving god and the human experience of suffering and evil in the world. A critique of the free will defense, a comprehensive look. There is no cogent theodicy or defense against it, plantinga notwithstanding. The argument for the problem of evil states that there is a allgood, allpowerful god. The free will and ignorance defenses fail for a number reasonmost prominent of which being the groundless presuppositions underlying the arguments. Mackies argument against the free will defense is twofold. Alvin plantingas version of the free will defense 1 is an attempt to refute the logical problem of evil, the argument that to posit the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god in an evil world constitutes a logical contradiction.
Plantinga on the free will defense 125 tological proof, the atheist can, as even plantinga admits, successfully revise 2 to say. The problem of evil is often formulated in two forms. Mackie in his famous article, evil and omnipotence. Plantinga the free will defense flashcards quizlet. Apr 16, 2014 the fourth part in a series on the problem of evil designed for people studying philosophy of religion at asa2 level. Generally, a defense against the problem of evil may refer to attempts to defuse the logical problem of evil by showing that there is no logical incompatibility between the existence of evil and the existence of god. In part one i gave an introduction to the problem of evil. The problem of evil disproved by the free will defense. Get the philosophy vibe philosophy of religion part i ebook. Oct 04, 2010 2 his free will defense which is viewed by many as having demolished the logical problem of evil. The free will defense to the problem of evil just the. The argument for the problem of evil and suffering proves that fact. Alvin plantingas freewill defense is a logical argument developed by the american analytic philosopher alvin plantinga and published in its final version in his 1977 book god, freedom, and evil.
Critics claim that the existence of evil is proof that the omnipotent, omnibenevolent god of the bible cannot exist. Plantingas free will defense alvin plantinga s version of the free will defense 1 is an attempt to refute the logical problem of evil, the argument that to posit the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god in an evil world constitutes a logical contradiction. Thus peter van inwagen, throughout his book the problem of evil. Aug 09, 2011 thats why nonbelievers frequently use the problem of evil to criticize religion.
This free course, two concepts of freedom, looks at a positive and a negative concept of freedom, asking you to think carefully about how freedom is restricted by our place in society and how it can vary. Plantingas free will defense, would be described as possibly broadly moral evil due to. The first work by hannah arendt that i read, at the age of sixteen, was eichmann in jerusalem. Logical problem of evil internet encyclopedia of philosophy. A critique of the free will defense, a comprehensive look at alvin.
As such, it attempts to explain the probability of an omnipotent allpowerful and omnibenevolent allgood god amid evidence of evil in the world. A world with humans and the evil that results from their free will is better than one without humans even if that world had no evil. He is credited with formulating the most robust and wellrespected response to the logical problem of evil. The problem of evil stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Eleonore stumps magnum opus, wandering in darkness, is an ambitious and impressive book on the intellectual problem of god and evil. Free will, suffering, and the problem of evil anne weaver.
Evans treats the history of the problem with fairness, looking at it through contemporary philosophical literature and offering responses to the most substantive arguments from evil. Plantingas version of the defense is a famous attempt on the problem of evil. In this book, god, freedom, and evil, plantinga analyzes several mainline arguments of both natural theology and natural atheology. Christian theology is hardly unprepared for evils problem. Does the free will defence successfully solve the problem. Responses to the problem of evil have occasionally been classified as defences or theodicies. Mackie and numerous others who have argued that the existence of evil is logically incompatible with the creation of the world by an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent god, plantinga. The logical problem of evil and the freewill defense. The problem of evil, especially when adding the element of gratuitous evil, remains an outstanding problem for theism. It states that god being allgood means that he only wants good to exist. Thats why nonbelievers frequently use the problem of evil to criticize religion.
Obrien professor of philosophy emeritus at the university of notre dame, and published in its final version in his 1977 book god, freedom, and evil. It argues that evil is the result of our free will. Mind you this a philosophical argument for the socalled problem of evil, plantinga himself states that this book is not for a pastoral response. In one of his objections, mackie takes two things to be true.
If the moral character development argument is combined with the free will defense then we have given the best account of evil possible. Apr 15, 2014 the third part in a series on the problem of evil designed for people studying philosophy of religion at asa2 level. There is no question that the problem of evil vexed leibniz as much as any of the problems that he engaged in the course of his philosophical career. Leibniz on the problem of evil stanford encyclopedia of. Moral evil is the pain and suffering that comes from acts of free will. Does the free will defence argument provide a sufficient defence to the. Elsewhere in the book ehrman adds that the free will defense doesnt explain natural evil 12. American analytic philosopher and protestant, alvin plantinga, is renowned for his free will defense, a rational philosophical defense of god in the face of evil that was originally put forth in his book god, freedom, and evil in 1974. Contrary to current mythology, however, its failure was not established by alvin plantingas free. A person is not obligated to accept any of plantingas views in order to recognize thatlogicallyhis defense succeeds in defeating that particular version of the problem of evil. Plantingas argument is a defense against the logical problem of evil as formulated by the philosopher j. The logical problem of evil, plantingas free will defense. An obvious outcome is that there still exists a subarea in theology known as theodicy that aims to solve the problem of evil.
Lewis published the problem of pain, his first major defence of christianity. This was followed in 1942 by the screwtape letters, in 1943 by the abolition of. Lewis, author of the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, was a tireless academic defender of christianity. Problem of evil responses introduction to philosophy. The author explains one of the most wellknown response to mackies version of the logical problem of evil, the free will defense by alvin plantinga. An international journal for the philosophy of religion 2004. In this post, i would like to point out a few problems with his free will defense as a. The deity is testing humans by giving them free will in order to determine if they will use that free will to do good or to do evil.
Recall that mackie argues that appealing to human free will does not solve the logical problem of evil. In the first chapter he discusses various senses of the term, problem of evil. The fourth part in a series on the problem of evil designed for people studying philosophy of religion at asa2 level. Plantingas free will defense, then, cannot serve as a. Though, these two answers do work, my convictions are more towards the greater good defense rather than the free will defense, especially when it comes to libertarian free will. Finally, the soulmaking theodicy smt contends that god allows some evil because it builds positive character in the victims or in others which outweighs the negative value of the. God, freedom, and evil kindle edition by plantinga, alvin. The author explains one of the most wellknown response to mackies version of the logical problem of evil, the freewill defense by alvin plantinga. The first is essentially based on his rejection of incompatiblism, i. The problem of evil disproved by the free will defense essay. The problem of evil offers a comprehensive examination of the problem of evil from both technical and ministerial perspectives. The problem of evil disproved by the free will defense the problem of evil states that because evil exists the existence of a triomni being, which we typically refer to as god, is impossible. This problem is raised in just about every book defending atheism, and takes pretty much the same form. Nov 25, 2018 this first chapter begins by introducing the problem of evil relative to christian theism, the basic parameters of the free will defense and some significant objections and perceived shortcomings of the free will defense, along with some of the more prominent proposals that advocate alternatives or additions to the free will defense.
According to chad meister, professor of philosophy at bethel college, most philosophers accept plantingas free will defense and thus see the logical problem of evil as having been sufficiently rebutted. Christian responses to the problem of evil classic dts. In the wake of the tragic shooting incident at newtown, i have been thinking a lot about the problem of evil and classical theodicies and defenses, such as john hicks soul building theodicy and various forms of free will theodiciesdefenses e. The problem, in short, is that any axiological formulation of the argument from evil, as it stands, is incomplete in a crucial respect, since it fails to make explicit how a failure to bring about good states of affairs, or a failure to prevent bad states of affairs, entails that one is acting in a morally wrong way. Perhaps the most famous theodicy is the free will defence.
The free will defence a theodicy is an argument which tries to make evil compatible with the existence of an omnipotent, good god. The problem of evil in postwar europe by tony judt. This is not a theodicya complete explanationbut a defensea partial explanation. The possibility of more modest variants on defenses and theodicies, based on. However, plantinga eventually settles to the crux of the matter. Review of the problem of evil that this would be the free response of his creatur es, the decision not to reveal himself is for god a form of riskmanagement. Peter van inwagen is the ohara professor of philosophy at the university of notre dame. However, wielding this handy weapon must be used carefully against religion. The problem of evil is that these propositions seem incompatible, contradictory. Note that the point of this defense or any defense against the problem of evil is not to argue for the truth or plausibility of god or free will or any other as pect of theism but to show that the attack on theism fails. Challenges for the free will defense university of notre. Evil is a punishment for wrongdoing, the theodicy of jobs comforters.
Pdf one version of the freewill argument relies on the claim that, other things being. This first chapter begins by introducing the problem of evil relative to christian theism, the basic parameters of the free will defense and some significant objections and perceived shortcomings of the free will defense, along with some of the more prominent proposals that advocate alternatives or additions to the free will defense. The deviant use of human freedom, not god, is the source of evil and suffering. What is the biblical solution to the problem of evil.
An example of natural evil are disasters like fires and hurricanes. A reformed problem of evil and the free will defense jstor. The problem of evil evil exists, a plain and simple fact. A critique of the free will defense, a comprehensive look at. What is plantingas free will defense, and how does it address the problem of evil. If god is allpowerful and entirely good and loving, why is there so much evil in the world.
The freewill defense as a response to the logical problem of evil will also be covered in the essay as well as how the freewill response demonstrates the existence of evil to be logically inconsistent with the existence of god. What is the free will defense to the problem of evil. For example, an atheist may reject the free will defense because they dont believe it adequately handles the problem of. And so throughout the history of the church were going to see people put forth theodicies, and the main distinction between a theodicy and a defense is a theodicy is going to allege to know one of gods actual reasons, an actual reason for allowing evil to exist, where as a defense is where things have moved in the more contemporary. In this post, i would like to point out a few problems with his free will defense as a solution for the logical problem of evil. He finds all atheistic arguments wanting and most theistic arguments wanting. Alvin plantingas free will defense why i deconverted from. In particular, some responses may solve the problem of moral evil, but dont answer the problem of natural evil. Mar 12, 2007 peter van inwagens the problem of evil is a fairly short book, but only about half of it is devoted to his answer to the problem of evil. If the problem of evil is already successfully solved, i dont see the need for such a subject to c. The augustinian theodicy, named for the 4th and 5thcentury theologian and philosopher augustine of hippo, is a type of christian theodicy designed in response to the evidential problem of evil. Alvin plantingas free will defense is a logical argument developed by american analytic philosopher alvin plantinga, the john a.
I have, in a prior post, discussed the essence of his reformed epistemology. The proponent of the free will defense says, in reply, that god did not create the acts of torturing, murders, and other cruelties we. Plantingas free will defense project gutenberg self. Plantingas presentation of the free will defense against the problem of evil takes up the first part of the book. This is manifest in the fact that the first and the last book length works that he authored, the philosophers confession written at age 26 in 1672 and the theodicy written in 1709, seven years. The hiddenness of god the problem of evil can sometimes seem to be a special case of a more general problem, the seeming absence of god fromthe world, the convictionthat some. Based on a close canonical reading of scripture, this book offers a new approach to one of the most troubling challenges facing christian theism. The logical problem of evil makes a claim based on logic. Antony flew examines his views on free will and evil it was in 1940 that c. Abortion and animal rights coauthored with michael c. God gave us free will, as something that is very good. Essays in metaphysics 2001, and metaphysics 1993, second edition 2002.137 1176 697 258 998 1538 8 18 1255 437 1099 1017 696 1330 932 703 1381 361 809 1211 1538 682 634 1384 1368 828 173 80 818 76 482 129 286 998 179 1233 754