Is God not free, therefore not morally perfect?

Summary of my position before posting the conversation below: Moral perfection requires the freedom to choose the good and always freely reject its privation (evil). That God always chooses the good and never chooses the evil (because he is necessarily, essentially good) does not mean the evil choice was never open to him. The evil choice is possible whether or not someone chooses or rejects it. Choosing it is not a sign of freedom and strength, but of slavery and weakness.

If god is essentially morally perfect, he isn’t morally free. If he isn’t morally free, he can’t ground the goodness of moral freedom. #POE

  1. @doubtcast ability to choose the contrary is not necessary to basic free will. All that is necessary is that one not be coerced by another.

  2. @thejasonwisdom I’m talking about libertarian free will – the kind appealed to as an answer to the Problem of evil etc.

  3. @doubtcast in a Christian worldview that applies to contingent beings. God need not possess libertarian freedom to be the standard of good.

  4. @doubtcast obviously, I know we disagree on that, but it is philosophically sound.

  5. .@thejasonwisdom that’s the point though. He can’t ground the goodness of lib free will unless his nature is lib free.

  6. @doubtcast I think that assertion needs support. It follows that any gift bestowed by a necessarily good being is, in essence, good.

  7. @doubtcast I understand the point and see its appeal but it fails if God (exists and) is necessarily good. I suppose thats the real snag.

  8. @thejasonwisdom according to your theory of grounding, it has none.

  9. @doubtcast Well, shoot me some articles and/or recommendations to help me understand. Thanks.

  10. Because God is morally perfect, he will always choose the good & reject evil (evil being a sign of weakness, not omnipotence). @doubtcast

  11. @Ichthus77 according to what standard? Presumably, god’s nature (the good) is good and it is logically incoherent to talk about a ‘choice.’

  12. @doubtcast If a behavior is forced, not chosen, then it isn’t love (Golden Rule love: treat the other as self, demonstrated on the cross).

  13. @doubtcast Just bcuz God would never choose evil (because he is omnipotent, not weak) does not mean that choice was never a viable option…

  14. @doubtcast Do choices mold character, or does character mold choices? Are we free if moldable? What if choices/character flow frm eachother?

  15. @Ichthus77 Q: is it logically possible for God to do evil?

  16. Rejecting the weakness of evil requires freedom to choose the stronger good, which God necessarily always does, being omnipotent. @doubtcast

  17. @Ichthus77 ok, then that entails that it is not logically possible for god to choose evil. There is no pos world where he chooses evil, yes?

  18. @doubtcast A good being is good because they freely reject the logically possible evil. It is impossible to reject the impossible.

  19. @Ichthus77 So, you don’t believe God is essentially morally perfect Because choosing evil is a possibility. Then my remarks don’t apply 2 u.

  20. @doubtcast I believe God is essentially morally perfect, demonstrated in his rejecting every possible evil and choosing instead the good.

  21. .@Ichthus77 if he necessarily rejects all evil, he isn’t morally free – not in the libertarian sense at least.

  22. @doubtcast Although we’re unable, it is logically possible for us to always reject evil. If we always did, we’d be essentially good (God).

  23. .@Ichthus77 Again, if he necessarily rejects all evil, he isn’t morally free – not in the libertarian sense at least.

  24. @doubtcast How can you acknowledge he rejects things, while denying his freedom to reject them?

  25. @Ichthus77 because his ‘rejection’ is either a contingent or necessary matter. You need to pick one.

  26. @doubtcast I’ve already picked. *That* it is necessary does not negate his freedom, just as his omniscience of all time doesn’t negate ours.

  27. @Ichthus77 @doubtcast I just checked Job 2:10, Isaiah 45:7, Amos 3:6 and Lamentations 3:38. Your god creates both good and evil.

  28. @Ichthus77 if there is no possible world where he does t choose the good, how can that be lib free will?

  29. @Ichthus77 lib free will entails the POSSIBILITY of choosing differently. That is to say, choosing evil in SOME world.

  30. @doubtcast Actually choosing evil is different than possibly choosing evil. All that is required is possibility, not actuality.

  31. @doubtcast Because the possibility is real, and his freely rejecting it is actual.

  32. @Ichthus77 and possibility entails truth in some possible world

  33. @doubtcast …truth that the evil is a viable option–not truth that God actually chooses it.

  34. @doubtcast Apply that to every choice. It would require that we make the wrong choice, for every choice, in some possible world. It’s off.

  35. @doubtcast By your reasoning, in order for any choice to be possible, we must choose it in some possible world. Makes no sense.

  36. @Ichthus77 that’s what the difference between possibility and necessity.

  37. @Ichthus77 you can reject modal logic axioms if you want though. :/

  38. @doubtcast So to which axiom are you referring? :0)

  39. @doubtcast How does a choice become more possible by my choosing, or less possible by my rejecting it?

  40. @Ichthus77 @doubtcast Subjective interpretation is fun, isn’t it? I disagree but thank you for the research. Good day.

  41. @Ichthus77 until you start using modal definitions for these words, I’m done here.

  42. @Ichthus77 also, I never said that. Possibility isn’t a matter of degree. You’re thinking probable.

  43. @doubtcast Choosing a choice is not what makes it possible, just as rejecting it does not make it impossible.

  44. @doubtcast A choice is possible whether or not someone actually chooses it.

  45. @doubtcast Not talking probability, either…

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About Maryann

Maryann Spikes is the past President of the Christian Apologetics Alliance. She blogs at Ichthus77, and loves apologetics and philosophy. In particular she loves to study all things Euthyphro Dilemma and Golden Rule. A para-educator (autism) for five years, she holds a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, an AA in Humanities via Modesto Junior College, and moonlights as a freelancer. You can follow her on Twitter @Ichthus77, connect with the Ichthus77 community on Facebook, or look her up on Google+.

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