By Michael Swan

ISBN-10: 0194311872

ISBN-13: 9780194311878

This is often an alphabetical consultant to the commonest difficulties of grammar and vocabulary.

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Sample text

An omnipotent God could bring about any possible situation. 3. Therefore, an omnipotent God could bring it about that there are beings who are free to choose between right and wrong and always freely do the right thing. Plantinga responds to Mackie’s criticism by presenting a version of the free will defense that implies that the second premise of Mackie’s criticism is false. 15 Plantinga holds, furthermore, that these facts – the so-called true counterfactuals of creaturely freedom – are not under God’s control.

Now, at any moment, the bush will break and tear off, and he will fall into the dragon’s jaws. The traveler sees that and knows that he will inevitably perish; but while he is still clinging, he sees some drops of honey hanging on the leaves of the bush, and so reaches out for them with his tongue and licks the leaves. Just so I hold on to the branch of life, knowing that the dragon of death is waiting inevitably for me, ready to tear me to pieces, and I cannot understand why I 20 God and the Meaning of Life have fallen on such suffering.

We might put the point this way: A (putatively) moral framework that could be completely rearranged by a sufficiently powerful being is not a moral framework at all. The moral of this story is that omnipotence does not include power over all ethical claims. But presumably if the Control Thesis is true at all, it is true in virtue of the fact that omnipotence does include this sort of power. Hence, the Control Thesis is false. Some theists may be willing to bite the bullet here and accept that, strange as it may seem, the story told above is at least a coherent one.

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Basic English Usage by Michael Swan


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