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The Mystery Of The Freedom Of God

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Traditionally, theistic philosophers have concerned themselves with cogently and coherently defending belief in God. The charge of the incoherence of theism is a perennial objection that any theistic philosopher will inevitably encounter. I aim to address the claim that the conjunction of God’s perfect goodness, power, and knowledge with divine freedom is incoherent. I will develop the incoherence objection in the form of a reductio and then offer various theistic attempts at resolving the problem of incoherence.
Before proceeding into the thick of this essay it is necessary that I establish the force of the objection against theism. Why, after all, should the theist be at all bothered by the claim that God cannot be perfectly good, omniscient, and omnipotent as well as free? Where would the absurdity lie in believing God to not be free? I take it as obvious that traditional theism cannot regard God as lacking moral perfection, omniscience, and omnipotence. But is divine freedom really on par with these essential properties of God? Is it necessary to the nature of God that he be free?


Joshua L. Watson

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