Another redated post from 05.
Some responses in the comments section on my discussion of Calvinism and the problem of evil deserve attention. First of all, Rak suggests that the concept of an OOP being is ambiguous, and that parties on both sides analyze this concept in ways that are designed to get the results they want with respect to the problem of evil. I think it's a little easier to issue these charges in the abstract than to apply them to particular cases. So, since I'm the teacher..uh er...blogger here, I'm going to issue a homework assignment. Take Alvin Plantinga's classic analysis in The Nature of Necessity or God, Freedom and Evil, and show that Plantinga commits this offense.
Second, David says that it is less than clear that a predestined world in which some people are damned is a worse world than the predestined world of Mr. Rogers, where everyone lives a sin-free life and goes to heaven. I'm afraid you lost me on that one. If WMR isn't clearly a better world, then the problem of evil can be instantly eliminated, because every time the atheist recounts for us the virtues of a world that God should have created, the theist can answer that it is not clear that such a world would be really better than this one. Second, God is supposed to love all human creatures, so we have to figure out, now, how creatures God loves end up in hell in a predestinarian world. If I have any moral intuitions at all, it is that a life of eternal bliss beats the heck out of a life of eternal torment, not just because I like it better, but because it is really better. I would just have to ask what the statement "God loves every human creature" means in the context.
Was John 3: 16 mistranslated? Should it really say "God so loved the elect, that he gave his only begotten son, the whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life?" Maybe that's how it will read in the NCV (New Calvinist Version).
Why would God choose a world in which there He risks the possibility of sin, when he could have chosen to just give us compatibilist freedom and gotten the World of Mr. Rogers? I gave at least a possible reason, namely, that all the love that God receives in the WMR is the result of God's guaranteeing that people will love him. In the last analysis, God is just loving himself. At least on Star Trek, Flint, had a problem with that, and I do too.