“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes…And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” (Mt 11:21,23).
The question is that since it looks like there are possible worlds where the above possible persons repent and believe, why didn't God create the world at where they believe. One answer is that if God had actualized that world, N1 people would have been saved who are not saved in this world, but in this world (the actual world) N2 people are saved, and N2 > N1
In full disclosure, I once read something similar to the argument made in the last email below in a journal, but I cannot recall which journal or who wrote it. It was an off-the-cuff remark towards the end of the article, the below expands on it and uses my own illustrations.
Well, that is unfortunate for those unsaved people who wonder why God created them in those circumstances where they would freely choose to reject him since he could have created them in circumstances where they would have freely accepted him. God's reply is, "Well, yeah, that's unfortunate for you, but, you see, it isn't for mankind overall. If I had put you in those circumstances where you would have freely accepted me, N1 people would have been saved. However, N2 people have been saved in the world where you freely reject me, and N2 > N1. So, off to hell!" They might respond, "Okay, I'll go, but it still sucks that you had to make me in the first place and put me in those circumstances so to maximize a world where more get saved. So, um, I guess I'll take one for the team."
I wonder if Reppert will use his "God uses the reprobate as means to and end" argument against Calvinism, against Molinism now.
So again, it doesn't look like Molinism has any edge over Calvinism in terms of the "intuition" that it is stomach turning to contemporary philosophers of religion.
Of course, that Molinist response [on Calvinism God determines that the reprobate will go to hell, on Molinism he doesn't] doesn't help our poor hell-bound sinner who only needed to be actualized in a world where he "freely" trusted in Christ rather than his own "selfish reasons." In fact, from his perspective (and perhaps his saved friends and relatives too (since they are his friends and they don't even know 99% of those who were saved through him going to hell)), I would think it doesn't matter much to him whether he was determined to go to hell or simply instantiated in a world with the sufficient circumstances where he freely chooses to go to hell when he could have been instantiated in another world where he didn't. How's that go for consoltation? "Well, of course I could have instantiated you in a world where you accepted the gospel, but instead I instantiated you in a world where you chose hell, and weren't able to choose otherwise [as Craig also reminds us]. But, hey, at least I didn't determine you to go to hell." I guess the response here is, "Awe, shucks, thanks."
It's kind of like the father who has two sons. One he sends one to the best private school, enrolls him in the best etiquette schools, has him trained in polo and fencing, arranges meetings with some of the most powerful men in the world so he can develop contacts for later, lavishes affirmations of praise on him, etc. Heck, we can even stipulate that the child develops some medicine that improves the lives of others and that would not have happened had he not been put in those circumstances.
The other son is sent to an orphanage, much like little orphan Annie was. He goes to the most run-down public school in the ghettos of Chicago. Is not kept away from drug pushers and not put in circumstances where he is praised and affirmed and so takes drugs to fill the gap in his life. His diet is government cheese. He ends up robbing old ladies, sleeping with prostitutes, and selling drugs to the rich kids from the suburbs.
As the story would suggest, these two go on to different lives (though with Molinism the different life-outcomes are certain, there are no rags to riches stories, no Daddy Warbucks to come rescue the little orphan). One is successful and the other is not. One gets "heaven on earth" and the other gets "hell on earth."
The second son finds out about the different upbringings and goes to question his father (he has a gun too, 'cause he's pretty upset). After he questions his father, his father says, "Hey don't blame me. You did all those things freely, I didn't determine you to do them. So what if I knew what would happen if I placed you in those circumstances. Besides, you're brother developed that pill and so tons of people are better off. More than would be if I had put you in his circumstances. Quit yer whining."
In this case, wouldn't we justly blame the father for placing one child in circumstances where he succeeds and the other in circumstances he justifiably believes would result in failure for that son? Many, like Victor Reppert &c., argue that the "God of Calvinism must be judged by human intuitions of what is moral, and if a human did what Calvin's God did, we would call it evil, a monster!" This is one reason why I don't find free will defenses, especially in Molinism, persuasive.