I have a question about Plantinga's Free Will Defense that I assume someone here can help me answer. It's a question, not an argument.
Suppose I suffer from the following condition: there is no world that God could have actualized in which I am significantly free with respect to a significant range of choices and do not freely sin. Suppose also that there is no one that God could have called off of the bench, as it were, to take my place who does not suffer from this condition. It seems that a consequence of this assumption is this:
(1) Although it is a fact that in @ 'CL sins' expresses a true proposition, this is not a fact for which I am morally responsible.
I take it that because it is part of the story that there is no surrogate that God could have put in my place that would have lived an impeccable life, God cannot be held responsible for choosing to actualize what God knew to be a defective person over some merely possible impeccable person. So, we get:
(2) Although it is a fact that in @ 'CL sins' expresses a true proposition, this is not a fact for which God is morally responsible.
Now, just to be clear. When I say that someone is not morally responsible for something, I do not mean that they are not morally responsible in a generic sense. In other words, I do not mean to say that this is a fact for which they cannot claim responsibility in a morally significant sense. These are facts for which the relevant agents might be answerable, but not facts for which they ought to be blamed. If there is no way things could have been such that I do not freely sin once, that I freely sin at least once and 'CL sins' expresses a true proposition, I cannot see that this is the fact for which I can be blamed. Not if we assume something like the principle of alternate possibilities.
So far, I do not think anyone will have any major qualms with anything that I've said. Myself, I'm not a fan of principles of alternate possibilities. But, it seems that Plantinga assumes something in the ball park. (Whether he must is an interesting question. Far more interesting, I fear than the question I'm raising. If you want to discsus it, see the previous post and thread.) So, I take it Plantinga wants to say that there is something for which we can be properly blamed. If not, it is hard to see how the free will defense amounts to a defense. Maybe the natural alternative is something like this:
(3) What I am primarily responsible for is the act or omission that made it true that 'CL sins' expresses a true proposition in @.
If God had actualized w1 rather than @, I would have freely shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. But, since God actualized @ rather than w1, I did no such thing. In @ I freely knocked over a Piggly Wiggly in Yazoo. So, what I am properly responsible for is freely knocking over the Piggly Wiggly in Yazoo. But, what blocks the inference to:
(4) God is morally responsible for actualizing a world in which CL makes 'CL sins' express a true proposition in the @-way rather than the w1-way.
We know that God had to actulize some world or other for morally good reasons and that the worlds included worlds in which we'd freely sin. But in selecting @ over w-1, why can't the victims that suffer the @ sins say they have a claim against both me and God since God could have just actualized the world segment where I'd freely sin otherwise and elsewhere?
Here is where things get tricky. It seems to me a not terribly crazy thing to say this in response. In choosing which worlds to weakly actulize, in light of the inevitability of my sinning somewhere or other and the necessity for creating a situation in which this will occur, you cannot say that God is morally responsible in a blameworthy manner by actualizing @ rather than w1 if morally speaking it would have been worse for the w-1 sins to have occurred than the @-sins. Better to rob a Piggly Wiggly than to shoot a man in Reno. And, the victims of the robbery cannot rightly demand that there was such a trade off. But, if this is the whole of the response, it only generalizes across the relevant range of cases on the hypothesis that to have actualized different initial world segments differently, people would have not freely sinned in less evil ways.
But this seems like a rather strong assumption. Now, someone could just say that this assumption is possibly true but as the modalities pile on top of each other, I start to get dizzy. So, let me say that there is one kind of response that will not work. As someone once said, moral responsibility does not sum to 1. While it is true that I am primarily responsible for sinning the way I do in @, that does not by itself establish that someone who created the conditions under which this is a foregone conclusion is not partially responsible for what happens in virtue of the effects of my sinning in @. Consider an analogy. Imagine there was some world leader who for somewhat obscure reasons thought it was crucially important to topple another country's leader knowing in advance that terrorist and insurgent groups would respond in ways that would lead to mass civilian casualties. (This example is purely hypothetical. Well, possibly purely hypothetical.) Surely the civilians affected had claims against both parties unless the world leader could at a minimum show that those actually harmed would have been worse off under alternatives or others would have been worse off in intolerable ways in which case their suffering becomes a necessary evil.