Notice who Gets the Good Here

The free will defense seems to say, in cases of this kind: well, it‘s all very unfortunate, of course, but this is the price we must pay for having freedom. For the father to have the opportunity to display moral goodness, God must give him the opportunity to choose evil. You can‘t have the one opportunity without the other. And the father‘s having the opportunity to display moral goodness is such a great good that it outweighs the fact that he chooses evil.

But notice who gets the good here. It‘s the father. And notice who suffers the evil. It‘s the little girl. Let us grant, for the sake of argument, that the benefit outweighs the cost. Freedom is a very great good. Still it makes some difference who pays the cost. Freedom may be a great good, even a good so great that it would outweigh really horrendous suffering. But justice requires some atten- tion, not only to the net amount of good, after you have subtracted the evil, but also to the way the goods and evils are distributed. Some distributions just aren‘t fair.*

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Notice who Gets the Good Here
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

The mention of Ivan Karamazov brings me to my final objection. Ivan claims that if God does not exist, everything is permissible. Dr. Craig believes the same thing. Dostoevsky, speaking through Ivan, may have stated the problem of evil as powerfully as any atheist; but he was himself a Christian, who believed that God must exist if we are to make sense of morality.

I think the opposite is true. I think Christian belief makes morality, as we normally think of it, unintelligible. Consider the story of Abraham and Isaac. One day God put Abraham to the test. He said to Abraham: “Take your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering.“** God gives no reason for this horrifying command. And Abraham asks none. He simply sets out to obey the command. And he nearly does obey. He has the knife raised to kill his son, when God sends down an angel to stay his hand. God then says he is satisfied with Abraham: “Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (Gen. 22:12) In the end God does not actually require the sac- rifice. But he does require that Abraham demonstrate his willingness to carry out the sacrifice.