Thursday, May 21, 2020

Jumping from a burning building

Freewill theists often contend that allowing evil is distinct from causing evil. Suppose someone must jump from the fifth story of an apartment building to the parking lot below. Suppose there's a bystander underneath who's watching. Suppose there's a trampoline which the jumper will just miss, and the bystander can see that. Suppose the bystander can push the trampoline over so that the jumper will fall into the trampoline, but the bystander does nothing. Is there no sense in which the bystander caused the death of the jumper? Sure, freewill theists can resort to a stipulative definition of causation to deny that implication, but that's an ad hoc definition.

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