Would it be better to have a world with no free creatures
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Free Choice, moral beings, free will
- Ankerberg: Let’s go to another one. Some people, strangely enough, have said, “It would have been better if we had a world with no free creatures” because free choice, I mean, if that’s the thing that allowed us to bring all these evils in, it would have been better to have a world with no free choice, which is a strange thing to say.
- Geisler: Well, if they mean “morally better,” then obviously, they’re in a self-defeating statement because it can’t be morally better to have a non-moral world. A non-moral world isn’t moral at all. So to say that no world is better than this world is to say that no moral world is morally better than a moral world.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Take your illustration of the animals in one world that have cancer and in another world where they do not have cancer; the difference between moral and metaphysical wellbeing.
- Geisler: It’s the difference between, let’s say, a human being who is a moral creature, having cancer and an animal having cancer. And it’s the difference between an animal not having cancer and an animal having cancer and not having a moral world. For example, a moral world where somebody has cancer, that event has moral significance because it’s happening to a moral being. If a non-moral being like an animal, who doesn’t have free will and moral responsibility, has cancer, it’s not a moral question, it’s a physical question. It’s not a physically perfect world. But you can’t say it’s morally imperfect just because it’s physically less than perfect.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. In the one world where he doesn’t have cancer, he would be better physically, but not morally because there are no morals involved. Okay? But take this over to man. If we said, “Okay, God, make a man who’s perfect and can live a thousand years but he doesn’t have any choice.” Okay? You have a better physical world but you don’t have a better moral world. And that’s a problem because the higher good is for man to be given the choice, otherwise you’ve got a robot.
- Geisler: See, this is a moral problem and so what they’re confusing is moral and physical. You can have a physically perfect world that’s morally imperfect. Or you can have a physically perfect world that’s not moral at all because there’s no moral free will and no moral choices and no moral law. And so what the problem is for a theist is to explain how this world is a morally superior world to the other worlds or how no other world could be morally superior to this, to put it better. And a non-moral world, like no world at all, or a world where there’s no free creatures, can’t be morally better than anything, because it’s not even a moral world.