The Molinist solution to the problem of evil is an elegant one. It was first proposed in contemporary philosophy of religion by Alvin Plantinga. The idea is, in the words of a great gentleman and scholar, that “God knows something you don’t.”(1) Some have tried to seize upon this proclamation by stating that it actually makes the problem worse, not better. For on Molinism, the objector claims, God would know precisely what factors would be necessary for evil not be in the world, or for everyone to freely be saved, etc. Not only this, but God would know how to accomplish such a feat as well (via his middle knowledge). So, rather than solving the problem of evil, middle knowledge actually exacerbates it.
- If a loving God exists, then evil would not exist.
- Evil does exist.
- Therefore, a loving God does not exist.
- If middle knowledge is true, then God would know how to prevent evil and know which world to actualize to achieve this.
- Such a world exists.
- Middle knowledge is true.
- Therefore, God knows how to actualize (2) worlds.
- Therefore, God would actualize (2) worlds (from original ).
- Therefore, evil does not exist (reductio against original ).
(1) Conversation with Tim McGrew