Swinburne’s logic proceeds thusly.
1. God seeks to allow humans to create with him
God cannot allow us to create with him without giving us the power of free will
Free will cannot be granted without allowing some evil
Therefore, God allows evil in order to give humans a greater meaning
Swinburne argues that God has given us free will in order to take an active part in creating a world for ourselves. “[God] will seek to give us great responsibility for ourselves... and thus a share in his own creative activity of determining what sort of world it is to be” (106). Swinburne goes on to argue that in order for free will to truly exist, there must exist meaningful choices between good and evil. Humans to whom God only allows choices between two equal goods are therefore not acting of their own free will, and thus cannot create their own world any more meaningfully than the flip of a coin. Johnson would likely refute this point by saying that allowing one man, such as Hitler or Genghis Khan, to kill millions of people cannot be justified by the potential good of the “gift” of free choice. Johnson would go on to argue that...
... middle of paper ...
...d by evil people is absurd.
Natural evil would still exist without the creation of the human race, but the much darker and much more intentionally bad form of evil, moral evil, would not. Humans present two very basic problems to the idea of a perfectly good God. First, an all-good God would not create humans without free will. A human without free will is held in bondage by God. Religious people voluntarily put their lives into the hands of God, but would likely not consider God as a being who would create creatures only capable of carrying out his will. Second, if a perfectly good God would not create humans without free will, and creating humans with free will introduces unnecessary evil into the world, then a perfectly good God would not create humans. Each and every human on the earth stands as evidence against the existence of a perfectly good God.
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