Religious Studies

Articles

Theological determinism and the problem of evil

NEAL JUDISCHa1

a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Oklahoma, 455 W. Lindsey St, Norman, OK 73019

Abstract

I argue that the free-will defence need not presuppose a libertarian conception of freedom and therefore need not beg the question against compatibilists. I present three versions of theological determinism, each of which is inconsistent with freedom on compatibilist-friendly principles, and then argue that what generates the inconsistency – viz, that (1) God intentionally necessitates all human actions, and (2) no human has it within her power to influence causally God's will – is entailed by any version of theological determinism. Contrary to widespread opinion, therefore, the viability of the free-will defence does not depend upon the viability of libertarianism per se but on the falsity of theological determinism.