On creating worlds without evil – given divine counterfactual knowledge

Religious Studies 40 (4):457-470 (2004)
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Abstract

An important question raised in the Molinist debate is, ‘Given God's access to counterfactual knowledge, could God create a world in which free creatures always refrain from evil?’ An affirmative answer suggests that God cannot possess counterfactual knowledge since such knowledge would allow God to create seemingly more desirable worlds than the actual world. However, Alvin Plantinga has argued that it is at least possible that every possible person is transworld depraved – meaning that each person would perform some wrong actions if any world in which that person is morally free were actualized. I argue that, given an infinite number of possible persons, the probability that everyone is transworld depraved is exceedingly low. In addition, I investigate whether there are enough possible persons vis-à-vis the number of moral choices per person so that God could create worlds like the actual world, except lacking in moral evil.

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Joshua Rasmussen
Azusa Pacific University

Citations of this work

Yet another anti-molinist argument.Dean Zimmerman - 2009 - In Samuel Newlands & Larry M. Jorgensen (eds.), Metaphysics and the Good: Themes From the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams. Oxford University Press.
What Are the Odds that Everyone is Depraved?Scott Hill - 2020 - American Philosophical Quarterly 57 (3):299-308.
Atonement’s Axiological Boundaries.Yishai Cohen - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (3):177-195.

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