I was going to post something else but A for Atheist’s post made me remember this post I did some time ago on my own blog. Although it refers to hell, it can actually refer to heaven if one switches the “don’t create the bad lot” to “DO create the good lot” and thus we have, it seems, some kind of logical evidence for God creating those of Godly nature that A was referring to herself.
I have just listened to Ray Bradley debate William Lane Craig. I heard this several years ago but didn't really pay it close attention. This time round I was quite shocked at how many points Craig evaded, or logical demands from Bradley that he met with the terms "God may" and so on.
Craig squirmed big time when Bradley pressed him on subsets of compossibles. This is a REALLY important point. I will try to set it out here:
Imagine a set of people, call that set A. These are all the people in this world - W1. These people are made up of people who will freely come to love God, and end up in heaven - call these Subset X; and those who reject God, and end up in hell - call these Subset Y. God knows this free decision in advance (ignore all of the issues with this).
What Bradley says, I think, is why doesn't God just forget about Y, and just make a world of only people in Subset X (Call it world W2). This means God would not be cruelly creating a whole (majority) set of people who will end up being eternally punished in hell. Him knowing of the hellish torment of Subset Y in advance prompts the question of how a loving God could produce those people anyway.
So why doesn't God simply create people whom he knows would freely love him in this world such as world W2, but only make them and no one else? This would produce a universalist world but one which is not straight-jacketed since God would know that in a world such as this, they would still freely choose him.
Craig attempts to tackle this by saying a possible. He claims it COULD be that in this new world, that same subset might have different situations whereby they now wouldn't freely love God. He claims that God might not feasibly be able to create this second world. In other words, W2 creates a different situation than W1 whereby, now, all of Subset X wouldn’t freely choose God. Rather weak defence for an omnipotent and omniscient God, no? So a few of this Subset X might not come to God in this new world W2. So don't create these ones, but only the ones in X who would freely love God in W2. It might end up being a small subset, but better that than a huge amount of people condemned to eternal torment.
God, in all his infinite wisdom must be able to create a world where he knows that all the people in it would freely come to love him. He might know this from the world W2, but also from knowing the counterfactuals of worlds W1, W3 etc. He could surely contrive a world where all the people came to love him, and he could see that these same people would be the sort of people who would love him in other worlds too.
Craig failed to address this, and I think was either being wilfully dense or disingenuous.
As mentioned above, in order to answer the issue, Craig appeals to “feasibility” which essentially means that, whilst it seems logically possible to us, since it hasn’t happened, and since God must exist (for which Craig appeals to his usual raft of other arguments), then it must be that he cannot do this – it is not feasible. There is a strange disconnect between something which appears logically viable but which is, in reality “unfeasible”. One would assume an omniGod could create a viable situation where there were at least some people who made up the entirety of a group whom he knew would love him freely in a world such as this, and then he could create that group and no other people, such that he would not need create anyone who would suffer the torment of hell.
If God knew all counterfactuals (all if…then statements about possible worlds) then God could do this without much trouble.
I think this really is one of Craig’s (and other apologists’) weakest arguments. It certainly debunks either hell or God as an omniGod.