Chapter

God, Evil, and the Metaphysics of Freedom

Alvin Plantinga

in The Nature of Necessity

Published in print February 1978 | ISBN: 9780198244141
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598241 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198244142.003.0009

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

 God, Evil, and the Metaphysics of Freedom

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Chapter 9 is the first of two chapters that apply the findings of the previous eight chapters of The Nature of Necessity to some traditional problems in natural theology. The Problem of Evil is the objection to theism that holds that the conjunction of the propositions, God is omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good and There is evil in the world, is necessarily false. The Free Will Defense is an effort to show the two propositions are compatible, and in the process of the defence, I use the concept of transworld depravity. I then prove that the possibility that every essence suffers from such depravity entails that it is possible both that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good and that there is evil in the world. I conclude by addressing special problems caused by natural evil and by arguing that the Probabilistic Problem of Evil is unsuccessful.

Keywords: essence; free will; God; natural evil; Problem of Evil; transworld depravity

Chapter.  13350 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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