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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 89, 2015

Analyzing Catholic Philosophy

Robert A. Elisher
Pages 85-95
DOI: 10.5840/acpaproc201612552

Molinist Divine Complicity
A Response to Neal Judisch

I argue here that God, as Molinism conceives Him, is complicit in moral evil. This is of course a problem because complicity in evil undermines divine perfection. I argue, however, that it is a problem that Open Theism, as a theory of “general” (as opposed to “meticulous”) providence, avoids. This claim opposes that of Neal Judisch, who has recently (2012) argued that theories of general providence (e.g., Open Theism) are in no better position to answer the problem of gratuitous evil (i.e., the evidential problem of evil) than theories of meticulous providence (e.g., Molinism or Calvinism). Here, Judisch draws on important insights about just what these theories involve in terms of gratuitous evil to diffuse what he calls “the argument for divine complicity.” In response, I offer a reformulation of this argument that is immaterial to the question of gratuitous evil. I then explain why my argument does not convict an Open Theist God and, in the course of doing so, I consider whether an application of the doctrine of double effect exonerates a Molinist God as well.