Friday, October 14, 2016

Contrarian Philosophy of Religion Friday

If lacking the ability to do wrong thereby makes a person a robot, then the God of classical theism is thereby a robot. But if the lack of ability to do wrong does not thereby make a person a robot, then finite creaturely agents who lack such an ability are not thereby rendered robots.


Kaspian said...


I have two remarks. First, is the "lack of ability to do wrong" meant as "metaphysical impossibility to do wrong"? That would exclude not only libertarian but also compatibilist freedom in this respect.
Second, I think that the problem lies not with being able or unable to do wrong, but with being subject to moral evaluation in general. If God is not able to do wrong in the sense that it is metaphysically impossible for God to do wrong, then moral vocabulary does not apply to God. What follows is that being a person is not essentially connected to being subject to moral evaluation.

All the best,

Kaspian said...

A follow-up comment: You assertion seems to be the perfect starting point for developing a version of the argument from evil.

1. What needs to be proved, I think, is that it would be possible for God to create persons which (metaphysically) cannot do what is wrong (perhaps this ability goes hand in hand with being created).

2. The world without persons who can do what is wrong would not be a *morally* perfect world, however, it could be perfect in some other sense (perhaps in the sense that everybody in this world would enjoy the communion with God). Let's call this soteriological perfection.

3. One would have to prove then that is God can actualize the soteriologically perfect world then God does actualize it.

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen said...

Perhaps appeal to a distinction between Creator and creature here?

Perhaps only a Trinitarian conception of God can account for something like a real choice of loving surrender in the Godhead making the Persons of the Trinity pass the test of being non-robotic in an analagous way to humans yet divinely distinct (via analogia entis)?

(It's amusing to note that this website requires me to click a box that says 'I am not a robot' in order to post this comment!)

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