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Hi Elisa,
One small point about the set up. I don't think that an omnipotent being has to want what happens to happen. If you can judge that it would be best to bring about X or let X come to pass while wanting X not to come to pass or not to be brought about, you might think that the judgments will be connected to what God brings about/allows to come to pass rather than the wants.

This might matter to the solution you offer because I can see someone saying that while God wouldn't want anyone to suffer a great loss or harm, God might judge that it's best to bring about the harm or let it come to pass.

Elisa Freschi

thank you, Clayton. If I am understanding you correctly, you mean that God might make X happen, even though S/He would not have chosen it as the preferred option. Still, this seems to make sense if there is a bigger good to be achieved through that (e.g., someone suffers a great loss, but through that she discovers what really matters in life and forgives her child). But what could be more important than a human being's destiny?


Dear Elisa,

Sorry for the slow response, I've been caught up in a number of other responsibilities.

"If I am understanding you correctly, you mean that God might make X happen, even though S/He would not have chosen it as the preferred option"

No, I don't want to say that. I only meant to say that choosing x over y doesn't entail that you didn't want y. It might mean (on some views) that you wanted x more than y, but that's compatible with wanting y and regretting that you had to choose x. So, similarly, God's decision to annihilate us, set us on fire, let us get run over by a bus, might be something that God wants not to do.

But, I think you're ultimately right that if God is a parent, God is a very, very bad parent. (Or, if you didn't mean to say that, I'll say it.)

Elisa Freschi

Thanks, Clayton, now I understand your point better. As for my claim, I was suggesting that, if we want to admit that God is omnipotent *and* that S/He is a good parent, then there cannot be any eternal punishment.

Mohammad Nur Syamsu

There is a simple logic to free will that is no more complex than the logic of tic-tac-toe.

Besides what is already obvious there is the rule; any conclusion about what the agency of a decision can only be arrived at by choosing the conclusion.

That means "the painting is beautiful" is equally valid to the conclusion "the painting is ugly", if the conclusion is chosen from both options beautiful and ugly. A forced conclusion is therefore invalid.

In the same way the conclusion that the soul (which does the choosing) is real, is equally valid to the conclusion the the soul is not real. Same with God.

Elisa Freschi

Thanks, Mohammad. If I understand you correctly, however, you are denying that there can be any fixed ontology to refer to and which could solve the issue in a way which is independent from the knowing subject, right?

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