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. Now God can create free creatures, but He can't cause or determine them to do only what is right. For if He does so, then they aren't significantly free after all; they do not do what is right freely. To create creatures capable of moral good, therefore, He must create creatures capable of moral evil; and He can't give these creatures the freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so. As it turned out, sadly enough, some of the free creatures God created went wrong in the exercise of their freedom; this is the source of moral evil. The fact that free creatures sometimes go wrong, however, counts neither against God's omnipotence nor against His goodness; for He could have forestalled the occurrence of moral evil only by removing the possibility of moral good.
I need help from you guys to refute this....and when asked for why god gives importance to free will... he says
Free will, as such, is NOT fundamental. Its Quantum Mechanics roots is that which is fundamental. So, to say that god values Free will, itself, is flawed.
I don't why people come with Quantum Mechanics as if people understood it completely...
I think you should attack the very core of this discussion - does god even exist? And if he does, who created him/her & gave him/her the free will to create a world full of creatures with free will.
And if he goes the "god is omnipotent, and ever lasting, without a beginning or end, yada yada yada" route, ask him how can he think that way if he can't think of this universe without a creator? Why does he want to add another layer of complexity to the already very complex universe.
theists love to say that the problem of evil has been solved, and solved by the free will defense. they'll say that J.L. Mackie proposed (1955) the problem of evil and that Plantinga offered (1974) the free will defense and that upon reading Plantinga's free will defense Mackie conceded that the free will defense solved the problem of evil.
'cept, it just isn't true.
but even if it were true that in Mackie's estimation his formulation of the problem evil was solved by Plantinga's free will defense it wouldn't mean that it necessarily had been solved or that any other formulation was also solved.
here's what Graham Oppy thinks:
First, I think that Plantinga’s free-will defence involves a hitherto undetected inconsistency. Second, I think that even if Plantinga’s free-will defence is consistent, it relies upon some questionable metaphysical assumptions. Third, I think that even if the metaphysical assumptions upon which Plantinga’s free-will defence relies are defensible, there are serious questions to be raised about the moral assumptions that are made in that defence. Finally, I think that, even if Plantinga’s free-will defence is acceptable, there are arguments closely related to those developed in Mackie (1955) that are not vulnerable to any variant of Plantinga’s free-will defence, and yet that are clearly deserving of further examination. (2006: 263)
anyway, his response to you sounds like a mumbo jumbo dodge. you asked him why free will has such unrivaled value (to us or to god) that its existence is worth all manner of otherwise unnecessary pain and suffering. to come back with the answer "quantum mechanics is fundamental" doesn't even come close to answering the question.
and you were right to ask this question. as Andrea Weisberger says, "[T]he free-will defender maintains that all would agree that free will is intrinsically valuable and that it is sufficient to justify the resulting evil, even though no reasons have been forthcoming in support of this claim." (2007: 177)
and note too that the latest physics actually seems to disprove free will in favor of determinism. so invoking quantum mechanics is especially funny.
you might also point out that if libertarian contra-causal free will (what is normally meant when theists refer to "free will") exists then ordinary morality goes out the window. after all, if our actions aren't in any sense determined by our beliefs, thoughts, and desires- if our actions have no dependence on prior states- then how can we be held responsible for anything?
anyway, check out Graham Oppy's Arguing About Gods (from which the Oppy quote above comes), Andrea Weisberger's Suffering Belief, Michael Martin's (Ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (from which the Weisberger quote above comes), and J.L. Schellenberg's The Wisdom to Doubt for decisive refutations of the supposed power of the free will defense and for treatments of the PoE generally.
Platingia, himself, dismissed the compatibilist view as self-contradictory and implausible. Even if we subscribe to the compatibilist determinism, the problem of evil does not exists, for the reason that evil is seen as something to be "avoided", and if the "suffering" is deterministic, then there is nothing "real" about it. The pain type response is also deterministic, and need not be, then, causally related to "suffering".
Tell him to stop blurting out memorized arguments & start using some original thoughts.
my intention isn't to debate someone secondhand, through relay but:
the assertion that there is nothing real about suffering on determinism is pretty shocking. compatibilists hold that we have freedom of our choices as long as we allow that our choices are determined by our prior states. it's hard to see how that our past experiences dictate our actions now means that suffering isn't real. the suffering caused by my action is just as painful if my action was determined by my prior experiences than if it was the result of a contra causal will. it is in fact contra causal free will that abdicates responsibility for suffering (making it unreal) insofar as, quoting Richard Carrier:
[I]f determinsim were not rue, then our actions and choices would not necessarily be caused by who we are. And what "we" (as a set of personality traits, memories, and so on) did not cause, we cannot logically be blamed or praised for.
but, he continues:
[I]f determinism is true, then our actions and choices, those that have in fact been caused by us-- and not by, for instance, our bodies without the involvement of our "selves" (our minds, our thoughts, our personalities)-- are necessarily caused by who we are, and thus "we" can always be blamed or praised for them. (2005: 98)
compatibilists hold that we can dictate our futures through our present choices because our present choices determine our future choices. that's a deeply powerful view of responsibility to the future. it makes you take incredible care with your present choices.
the PoE doesn't do that though.
it goes along these lines:
theist: my conception of god is this...
atheist: there lies a contradiction in your conception of god, hence your god doesn't exist.
i understand that you're saying that talking about the mating habits of Invisible Pink Unicorns is silly if you haven't even established that Invisible Pink Unicorns exist. but if you allow for the moment that they do exist on the Unicornists conception of the Invisible Pink Unicorn and then show how their conception is contradictory then that's a powerful thing.
it's unfortunate isn't it?
oh well. here's to continuing to try to get them to think. :)
again, you're missing the point of the problem of evil. it DOES argue against the existence of god. it argues thus from a contradiction of the divine attributes.
look. whenever you debate a theist you're only doing right to begin by asking what the theists conception of god is so that you're not talking past each other, wasting time arguing against a position that the other doesn't hold.
so i fail to see the problem- but more than that, i argue it's not a problem at all but a very powerful strategy!- to say "ok. that's your conception of god as you understand it and i understand that, but here's where your conception of god has problems and those problems render your god to be either impossible or, at the very least, far less likely to exist."
you can continue to repeat "well what's your evidence for your god?" but that's only going to work against the uninformed theist. it's just philosophically naive because the the truth or falsity of the god hypothesis rests not just on pure evidence but also on the success or failure of formal arguments. and those formal arguments rest on a conception of the divine- a transcendent atemporal tri-omni god of classical theism. and insofar as they do, when we argue against those formal arguments we argue against THAT conception. and that's no different than saying "well. granting your framework for the sake of the debate, here's where it fails."
I didn't mean we should just ask for evidence of god & end the argument at that. What I meant was to debate the existence of god and try to win the argument there. If you go deeper, its gonna be a crap-shoot.
And yeah, my way is better for use on uninformed, stubborn theists.
Plantinga's "God" fronts for murderers
The god of philosophers (since Parmenides) bears scant resemblance to the ill-tempered, immoral, death dealing misogynist splashed over the canons of the Big-3 Monster Theisms. There are no experts “on gods” or “on morality”. No philosopher can save "God" from "him"self. No need to waste time on pointless theological gamesmanship. Theology is fifth-rate fan fiction.
Without formal systems of rule-governed empirical method and rule-governed review, Science and Law would disappear. Only religion and mores easily survive in cultures without well-grounded methods for establishing knowledge claims. Science and Law operate successfully using Freud’s ‘reality principle.’ Mores and religion are cultural atavisms given over to paternalist social control and the principle of ‘wish fulfillment’.
There are no religions; only religious institutions manned by self-anointed god proxies -- priests, pastors, rabbis, imams, televangelists, xian thugs and murderers, "C" Street Family, Palin, Huckabee, Romney. They have no rational methods for discerning false from true. They offer only illogic (apologetics) and authoritarian demands (theo-fascism). They counsel intolerance and hatred, violence and murder as legal and godly.