“There is an a way of arguing from Calvinism to atheism. If the Bible is true, we have no libertarian free will (based on Calvinist arguments), but that means that God could have created us in such a way that everyone free does what is right, and everyone goes to heaven, but didn't. But a God who not only allowed sin, but also damnation, when God could just as easily have chosen their salvation is not a God worthy of worship. Hence, if the the God of the Bible exists, he is not worthy of worship (is not omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good), and hence there is no being in existence that satisfies this requirement. Therefore, atheism is true.”
Several problems with this argument:
1.As I’ve already pointed out, this is fatally equivocal. In Calvinism, God could choose to create a world in which “everyone” is sinless.
But the “everyone” in that possible world is not the same “everyone” in a fallen world.
Everyone who is born in a fallen world is a link in a chain of moral and natural evils. To have a sinless world, you’d have to uproot the family tree of fallen humanity, and replace it with a completely different family tree.
Would that be a better world? Better for whom? It wouldn’t be better for Christians or OT saints. They wouldn’t exist in such a world.
2.Likewise, if God made a world in which everyone was regenerate from the womb, that would also change the human genealogy. Eliminate many moral evils at the cost of also culling many men and women who are the direct or indirect result of moral evils. Many of us would never make the cut.
Would that be a better world? Better for whom? Not for the causalities.
In such a world, everyone is heavenbound. But everyone who is heavenbound is not the same person or set of persons as the heavenbound persons in a world where some men are heavenbound while other men are hellbound.
3.Each scenario has its own tradeoffs. Alternate scenarios capture incommensurable goods. No single scenario combines all the goods of every other scenario.
4.A fallen world is, in some ways, a tragic world. But it’s not a purely tragic world. If it were pure loss, it would be purely tragic. But certain losses deepen our appreciation of what remains and what we had. We don’t take it for granted.
5.Reppert also acts as if his own position is immune to the objection he levels at Calvinism. But does that follow?
i) If human beings have the freedom to do otherwise, then there’s a possible world in which everyone freely does good. So, on Reppert’s assumptions, why didn’t God instantiate that combination of free choices?
ii) Perhaps he’d invoke transworld depravity. But why is that a plausible postulate? It seems to me that transworld depravity represents an ad hoc restriction on libertarian freedom.
iii) There is also a Manichean quality to transworld depravity. On this view, evil is embedded in the nature of things. A metaphysical necessity.
But in that case, good can never triumph over evil. At best, you have a stalemate.
iv) Another problem with this move is that if there’s no possible world in which everyone does right, then there’s no possible world in which everyone goes to heaven. No possible world in which everyone stays in heaven.
That’s not a problem for me, but as long as Reppert wants to reserve universalism as a live option, then this move eliminates that fallback position.
iv) Or perhaps Reppert would say there is a possible world in which everyone free does good, but God can’t know which possible world that is. God can’t foreknow the counterfactuals of freedom.
But, in that case, creation is a cosmic raffle. God reached into the rotating basket and happened to pull out this particular ticket. Which possible world becomes real is a matter of chance.
v) A further consequence of (iv) is that even if there’s a possible world in which everyone freely goes to heaven, God can’t know which world that is. Hence, God can’t knowingly instantiate a world in which everyone freely goes to heaven. God can only roll the dice and hope the possible world he creates is one of the better worlds, rather than one of the worse worlds. For, given the randomness of the selection process, the actual world might just as well be an irremediably evil world.