Friday, May 01, 2009

How 'bout 'dem apples

The tu quoque apple

I am always perplexed at how Arminians (for example, Victor Reppert) think they can offer problem of evil objections against Calvinism. There are plenty of other ways to attack it rather than using the PoE on it, for this move is doomed to failure.

Anyway, a great example of how a popular way to employ the PoE against Calvinism (i.e., claim there's a strong intuition that a God who rejects some sinners, consigning them to hell as punishment for their sins, is just a nasty God; and then rejecting any attempted solution as being insufficient to overturn your intuition) gets the tu quoque happens in Ed Feser's recent interview on the Jim Bohannon (I'm not saying that Feser is an Arminian or has anything to do with the overall point I'm making in this post).

Basically, this guy has a raw gut intuition that there just are no justifications that justify an all-powerful God to allow children to die from cancer, get molested, etc. It seems that nothing can change his mind. Of course an Arminian philosopher will think he has provided good reason (just as the Calvinist), but this dude doesn't care. He'll just laugh at you and tell you that you're living on another planet.

Reppert has claimed at times that if the Calvinist’s God is good then Reppert is massively mistaken, and is using the term good wrongly. That's exactly what Bohannon would say. Arminians should drop PoE arguments against God; they look like special pleaders to onlookers.

I have other reasons why Arminian’s bringing a PoE against Calvinism’s view of God are fraught with problems (I’ve listed them before), the above is just a concrete example of how one of my objections cashes out in the real world.

So, just as, say, a Reppert wouldn't take this guy's bad (and horribly so) reasons for rejecting God based on evil, or his defeater-deflector by-way-of powerful gut intution, as instancing a rational way to have a philosophical debate, the Arminian should apply this same razor to his PoE against Calvinism.


  1. Calvinism is grade-school for atheism, so it makes perfect sense that the argument that it makes God out to be evil wouldn't work against Calvinists. They are committed to becoming atheists and nothing will divert them from this path back to the message of God's love, for they hate God.

  2. Wow, I got a twofer with this post. I made an Arminian argument look bad, you made Arminian arguers look bad.

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