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Theodicy and the Free Will Defense - Essay Example

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This paper deems to tackle the concepts revolving around theodicy and free will; this also aims to know whether the free will defense meet all the three criteria for an effective theodicy. Free Will Human free will and freely chosen good actions are of high value, even though free will opens up the possibility of evil (Pinnock 5). Furthermore, as guided by the definition of freedom, free will or free act is an act that is not determined casually in any way by one’s genetic makeup, by one’s environment or even by God (Pinnock 5). Likewise, every free person is possibly sinful and free to choose evil; thus, given the independence of human freedom from divine control, it is obviously impossible for God to guarantee that individuals will always freely choose to do what is morally noble (Pinnock 5). In simple terms, Pinnock implied that free will is considered as a key justification to evil (4). Individuals deem that they have free will if they view themselves as agents capable of influencing the world in a variety of ways (Kane 5). Moreover, persons feel that it is up to them what they will choose and how they will act and this means they could have chosen and acted otherwise (Kane 5). Furthermore, Kane suggests that the basis of the actions of individuals exercising free will lie in themselves and not outside them which is something that could be beyond their control (5). The Biopic Teleological Argument Edwards inquired about how a powerful transcendent Creator can be a Benevolent Super-intellect when evil is evident in the world (299). Edwards then emphasized that no single, magic bullet neatly solves the problem of theodicy for if there is an available solution, it usually results from cumulative weight of many considerations; hence, the success or failure of theodicy is a matter of fallible and variable judgment (299). Massive evil in the world is indeed the greatest obstacle of all to have faith and believe that a good God created the universe for benevolent purposes (Edwards 299). Without theodicy, individuals would deprive God of devotion instead contempt might linger in their mind and hearts (Edwards 299). The Free Will Defense amidst the Criteria of Theodicy The Free Will Defense by Alvin Plantinga denotes that much of the evil most notably the moral evil that exist in the world is a consequence of God’s endowing humans with significant moral freedom (Nash 199). In lieu of the first criteria of effective theodicy, the premise handled only human-caused suffering satisfactorily in the sense that it rationalizes why one experiences such. Such outcome is based on the fact that a free and responsible choice originates with the intelligent moral agent who makes it (Edwards 299). Thus, being responsible for a choice and its consequences such as suffering means picking that option or choice knowingly (Edwards 299). As what Edwards (299) highlighted that moral agents are responsible only for the decisions they made that originated from them, other than that, they may not be held accountable (Edwards 299). The second criteria of an effective theodicy was tackled by the Free Will Defense, in such a way that this approach stressed that God allows moral evil in order to bring about the greater good of allowing his creation to encompass significantly free moral agents, without whom there could be no moral good (Nash 199). Though pain and suffering may be experience due to the ...Show more


Name Professor Philosophy Date Theodicy and the Free Will Defense Theodicy as defined by Pinnock (5) seeks to know the actual reasons why God permits evil. Likewise, Birnbaum defined theodicy as the accepted name for the entire subject comprising the problem of evil and its attempted resolution (3)…
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Theodicy and the Free Will Defense essay example
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