Perfect Freedom and God's Hard Choices

Faith and Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Rationalist models of divine agency typically ascribe perfect freedom to God, where this is understood as a freedom from external causal influences and non-rational influences, including desires or preferences not derived from reason alone. Paul Draper has recently developed a rationalist model of God’s agency on which God faces “hard choices” between options differing in moral and non-moral value. He argues that this model is preferable to rival rationalist models because it is compatible with God’s having significant freedom and being maximally worthy of praise and gratitude. I argue that on an alternative model of divine agency, which rejects perfect freedom and holds that God makes hard choices on the basis of brute preferences, God would be more worthy of praise and gratitude. However, a probabilistic problem for theism which Draper identifies for his model also applies to the brute preference model.

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Luke Wilson
Illinois Wesleyan University


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