A skeptic writes:
I understand your viewpoint, but I was hinting at 2 distinctly
different ideas. First, that if God does in fact, as they say, have infinite
ability, then he most definitely could have (could have and can) will G [good]
out of E [evil] if he wants. According to Christian beliefs at least. Infinite
ability would imply ANYTHING is possible, including a real Utopia.
That, in my eyes, would be more desirable than Earth as-is. I'd be more apt
to say it was a product of "love" than what we've got now. The idea
that a world with free will is much more desirable than a Utopian world
is absurd. Free will spawns good AND evil, but in a Utopian world, only
good come about. Free will is enjoyable because it does hold the
potential to spawn good. In Utopia, life would be enjoyed to its utmost and
one would ALWAYS feel good. I can't imagine anyone who would pass up the
opportunity to live in such a paradise for "free will." I would
sacrifice free will to live in a controlled Utopian world in a heartbeat!
Part of my response to his remarks is:
The term "infinite" is ambiguous. It seems to me that Christians have been wont to deny that God is quantitatively infinite but they have usually contended that God is qualitatively infinite. Moreover, although God is by hypothesis (EX HYPOTHESI) omnipotent or has maximal power [omnipotence], God evidently cannot do that which is logically or conceptually impossible. That is to say, God cannot do that which results in a contradictory state of affairs. Hence, certain "Christian" philosophers argue that it is logically possible that God cannot bring it about that a rational creature has free will, yet always unequivocally does what is right. Be that as it may, you raise another issue. Is a utopian world in which people always do what is right because of being determined to do X or Y (certain actions) preferable to a world in which people are free and have the ability to do what is morally wrong or what is morally right? You suggest that option A is superior or preferable to option B. But I submit that it is difficult for you to know how you would like a [deterministic] utopia in comparison to the world we have now since neither you nor I have ever experienced a utopia. Moreover, if we lived in a world where everything was determined (including our actions), would we really prefer [or have the ability to prefer] that world to a world where free will obtained? I might add that as a parent, I can tell you--and this is the testimony of a number of parents--that I prefer my child to love me because he or she wants to, not because he or she has been programmed to love me. I submit that God also wills that his creatures love him freely, not because they have been programmed or determined to love him.