Tooley's New Defense of Morriston's Humean Argument from Evil

Tooley, Michael. "Wes Morriston’s ‘Skeptical Demonism’ Argument from Evil and Timothy Perrine’s Response", Sophia (forthcoming). 

Wes Morriston has argued that given the mixture of goods and evils found in the world, the probability of God’s existence is much less than the probability of a creator who is indifferent to good and evil. One of my goals here is, first, to show how, by bringing in the concept of dispositions, Morriston’s argument can be expressed in a rigorous, step-by-step fashion, and then, second, to show how one can connect the extent to which different events are surprising to conclusions concerning the probabilities of those events. My second goal is to evaluate two important objections to Morriston’s argument advanced by Timothy Perrine in his article, ‘Skeptical Theism and Morriston’s Humean Argument from Evil.’ Perrine’s first objection involves comparing how probable the evils in the world are if God exists with the probability if there is a deity who is indifferent to good and evil, and Perrine argues that given the version of skeptical theism that he and Stephen Wykstra have defended, the probability given theism is greater than the probability given an indifferent deity. Perrine’s second objection focuses instead on the probability of the mixture of goods and evils found in the world, and here he argues that there is no way of assigning a probability to that, either given the God-hypothesis or given the indifferent deity hypothesis, and therefore no way of comparing the probabilities of those two hypotheses. I then set out arguments that show that neither of Perrine’s objections is sound.

Happy reading!

Climenhaga & Rubio's Fantastic New Paper on Molinism

Nevin Climenhaga and Daniel Rubio's new paper, "Molinism: Explaining our Freedom Away" (Mind 131 (522): 459-485. 2022) is a must read. Here's the abstract:

Molinists hold that there are contingently true counterfactuals about what agents would do if put in specific circumstances, that God knows these prior to creation, and that God uses this knowledge in choosing how to create. In this essay we critique Molinism, arguing that if these theses were true, agents would not be free. Consider Eve’s sinning upon being tempted by a serpent. We argue that if Molinism is true, then there is some set of facts that fully explains both Eve’s action and everything else Eve does that influences that action; and that if this is the case, Eve does not act freely. The first premise of this argument follows from the explanatory relations the Molinist is committed to, and the second premise follows from libertarian intuitions about free will.

And here's the conclusion to further whet your appetite:

"Molinists seek to reconcile a strong doctrine of providence with libertarian human freedom. We have argued that this reconciliation cannot succeed. If there are true CCFs that guide God’s providential choice of what circumstances to put us in, then that choice and those CCFs, together with any common influences on them and our actions, determine what we will do. We must give up either robust human freedom or robust divine providence: there is no middle ground."

Happy reading!

Schmid's Excellent New Paper on the Kalam Cosmological Argument

Schmid, Joseph C. " Benardete paradoxes, patchwork principles, and the infinite past ", Synthese , forthcoming. Abstract: Benardet...