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Compatibilism and the Free Will Defense

Compatibilism and the Free Will Defense

(p.56) Chapter 4 Compatibilism and the Free Will Defense
Free Will and Classical Theism
Michael Almeida
Oxford University Press

There’s a longstanding and widely endorsed argument that the free will defense is inconsistent with compatibilist views of free will. Indeed, Alvin Plantinga—the originator of the contemporary free will defense—claims that it’s obvious the free will defense must assume an incompatibilist view of free will. Michael Almeida considers the thesis that, necessarily, if God creates any free agents, then God creates agents that are “free” only in the compatibilist sense. Both strong and weak compatibilism entail that, necessarily, God can actualize a morally perfect world. Every version of compatibilism entails that limitations on divine power cannot explain why God might fail to actualize a morally perfect world. Nonetheless, if strong or weak compatibilism is true, then there must be morally imperfect worlds. A successful free will defense does not require the possibility of universal transworld depravity, and can easily accommodate both strong and weak compatibilism.

Keywords:   free will defense, compatibilism, incompatibilist, logical problem of evil, transworld depravity

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