Sunday, June 6, 2010

Edward's Duck (or why Proximate Causation Doesn't Solve the 'Author of Evil' Issue)

In his essay, Freedom of the Will, Jonathan Edwards, to escape the implication that God would be the author of sin if his philosophy of the will is correct, says:

They who object, that this doctrine makes God the author of sin, ought distinctly to explain what they mean by that phrase, “the author of sin.” I know, the phrase, as it is commonly used, signifies something very ill. If by “the author of sin,” be meant the sinner, the agent, or actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked thing; so it would be a reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the author of sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the author of sin; rejecting such an imputation on the Most High, as what is infinitely to be abhorred; and deny any such thing to be the consequence of what I have laid down. But if by “the author of sin,” is meant the permitter, or not a hinderer of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow: I say, if this be all that is meant, by being the author of sin, I don’t deny that God is the author of sin (though I dislike and reject the phrase, as that which by use and custom is apt to carry another sense), it is no reproach for the Most High to be thus the author of sin. This is not to be the actor of sin, but on the contrary, of holiness. What God doth herein, is holy; and a glorious exercise of the infinite excellency of his nature. And I don’t deny, that God’s being thus the author of sin, follows from what I have laid down.1

Edwards says because God is not the proximate cause (the direct creature acting) of sin, therefore He is not the author of that sin. He says God is only permitting that sin while at the same time making it necessarily so by being the "disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow." Now, as much as I admire Jonathan Edwards as a mighty man of God and amazing philosopher, I gotta call a duck when I see one.

Edwards claims that proximate causation is enough to clear God of the author of sin charge leveled by incompatibilists. I argue that this isn't a good defense for the compatibilist. Consider a couple of examples. The most relevant to this is the example of the cause of a book, since it actually includes an author. The proximate cause of a book is a printing press. It is the reason the book exists in printed form. But no one credits the printing press, or even its operators, with being the creator of the content in that book. The author of the book, the one who originated the idea, is the one we give credit for writing the book. The writer is the ultimate cause and reason that book exists. Or consider the Titanic. When someone asks what the cause of the boat's sinking was, you could answer that it was because it submerged beneath the waterline, water filled the hull, the ship gained more density that the water it was floating on, and it could no longer stay afloat. That is the proximate cause of the sinking of the Titanic. But that is a completely uninteresting and unsatisfactory answer for why the ship sank. We all know the ultimate cause was an iceberg.

I think you can see what these examples show. Just saying "God isn't the author of sin because He isn't the proximate cause" isn't a sufficient answer to the charge leveled by libertarians. God, on strict determinism, is the ultimate cause of sin. He "from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass."2 I think it's obvious what is in mind when libertarians recoil from this idea as making God the author of sin. He came up with the idea, as in it originated in His mind, and He brings it about as a result of His decree that it will happen. And if He decrees it, it becomes necessary. This does not allow Edwards the convenience of simply saying that God is "permitting" sin, as the Westminster Confession continues, "[He] has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions."3 This isn't simple permission based on what He knew would happen, as it is in Arminianism, but rather a deliberate authorship of all acts, including sin.

This also has the unintended consequence of bringing doubt into whether we can actually attribute anything to the direct causation of God. For instance, one of the motivators to accepting Calvinism is so man is not given any power over his own salvation (which the Arminian doesn't claim anyway). But if man is, as I'm assuming, the proximate cause of his faith, then wouldn't this also strip God of that glory? This would extend to anything God uses proximate causes to do. We attribute many good deeds, rightly in my opinion, to God that He uses proximate causes to accomplish, like when someone is cure of a deadly disease through the work of doctors. Following Edwards' logic, we should strip this honor from God and lay it solely on the proximate causes. But, as we know, all good things are from God. Paul writes that God works all things together for good for those who love Him, and He uses proximate causes for such ends.

I think it has been made obvious that simply "getting God off the hook" by proposing proximate causation as a solution to the authorship of evil is not sufficient and should be rejected by Christians. I think it is clear that man in himself determines to sin by the power of his own will, and has no excuse before a holy and sovereign God. As John said, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world" (1 John 2:16).

As far as how the quote from Edwards ends, where he suggests that if we define author of sin as, "the permitter, or not a hinderer of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow." I believe I have also addressed this duck as well. Edwards and other Calvinists have to stretch all known logical boundaries to assert that, even though every event is from God, He still remains holy. Edwards says, "What God doth herein, is holy; and a glorious exercise of the infinite excellency of his nature. And I don’t deny, that God’s being thus the author of sin, follows from what I have laid down." However, Edwards is stripping the meaning from what is meant by author of sin and applying something entirely foreign and, in my opinion, unintelligible to the words used.

As my discussion of proximate causes as compared to ultimate causes shows, this is just obfuscating the point. If God makes everything happen, why isn't He to blame? We say He is responsible and to be blamed for good things that He brings about, because He only brings about good things. These things He authors! If He also determines sin, why shouldn't we say so? And if we admit that He is the reason for sin, then why should we think He is holy? It seems to me, we measure unholiness against God. But if He is the reason for unholiness, how on earth can we make that distinction?

For another great essay on this, go here.

1 Freedom of the Will, vol. 1 of The Works of Jonathan Edwards.” (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1957), p. 399
(In this quote, the biggest issue I have with Edwards' theology is that God makes things "infallibly follow." I have no issue with God ordering events so that His will is accomplished. However, this is not the implication of determinism, for the actual will of man is one of the things that is determined. The Molinist or Classical Arminian approach to the situation I think is an acceptable alternative to this.)

2 Westminster Confession of Faith, On God's Eternal Decree, http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/

3 Ibid.

34 comments:

The Seeking Disciple said...

Good job Brennon. I am impressed with your ability to dive into deep philosophical issues related to determinism. Keep standing firm for the faith brother (Jude 3-4).

Steven said...

I don't see what you're getting at. He said that God is not the author of sin, if by "author" you mean the actual perpetrator of the sin. That is what his whole appeal to proximate causes is about--because God uses secondary causes, he does not actually perpetrate the sin. Where do you deal with that? Of course, if by "author of sin", you mean "ultimate cause of sin", then he'd probably give you another defense. But he doesn't deal with *that* accusation in the text, so you're not really dealing with fairly, in the first place. And secondly, I don't see why God is not the ultimate cause of sin on Arminianism--what theory of causation are we talking about here? and what would it mean to be the "ultimate cause of sin"?

Skeptical Rationalist said...

This is the problem I have with Calvinism and other theistic philosophies which don't posit free will.

I didn't ask to be created or born into this "fallen world." It's not in my power to live an acceptably spotless life, nor to accept salvation without divine intervention to my heart so hardened by sin. So God created me, threw me into this snake pit, and then looks down at me and says "naaah."

If he knew the result ahead of time, if I wasn't going to be one of "the elect," what is the functional difference between him creating me and sending me directly to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200?

It's like the old joke of how do you drive a blonde crazy--put her in a round room and tell her to go sit in the corner. Only in this case, torture her forever if she fails to fulfill your instructions.

I have trouble imagining how such a being would be worthy of worship, reverence, or equivocation with ultimate goodness and greatness.

bossmanham said...

That is what his whole appeal to proximate causes is about--because God uses secondary causes, he does not actually perpetrate the sin

And I show why that doesn't sufficiently answer the question.

Of course, if by "author of sin", you mean "ultimate cause of sin", then he'd probably give you another defense. But he doesn't deal with *that* accusation in the text,

Sure he does. "But if by “the author of sin,” is meant the permitter, or not a hinderer of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow: I say, if this be all that is meant, by being the author of sin, I don’t deny that God is the author of sin (though I dislike and reject the phrase, as that which by use and custom is apt to carry another sense), it is no reproach for the Most High to be thus the author of sin."

bossmanham said...

It's not in my power to live an acceptably spotless life, nor to accept salvation without divine intervention to my heart so hardened by sin

Well Arminians also believe this, but we believe God give sufficient grace to all men to come to Him. But we also recognize that without that grace, we would be totally helpless.

If he knew the result ahead of time, if I wasn't going to be one of "the elect," what is the functional difference between him creating me and sending me directly to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200?

Arminians also think God knows who will come and who will not, but God allows people to reject Him because He wants a genuine relationship. I just wanted to clarify that.

SLW said...

Brennon,
Interesting article, thank you for posting your thoughts.

How closely connected would the cause have to be to the effect for the separation between ultimate and proximate causes to evaporate? For instance, if my hand is on a wrench turning a nut, the wrench is not the proximate cause of the nut's turning because the wrench's only motion and force is my hand's. If everything is necessitated by decree, doesn't the distance between cause and effect shrink so much as to not admit a difference between proximate and ultimate?

Steven said...

Brennon, you are arguing against something Edwards doesn't even say. Proximate causation is his response to the accusation that God is the author of sin in that he himself commits the sin. He doesn't answer the objection that God isn't the author of sin in the sense that he is "the permitter, or not a hinderer of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow" with proximate causation--he grants that God is the author of sin in that sense. So what are you arguing against?

bossmanham said...

Steven, you're not paying attention to the quote. He says, "If by “the author of sin,” be meant the sinner, the agent, or actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked thing; so it would be a reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the author of sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the author of sin;" Edwards says that whoever would object to his doctrine in that it makes God the proximate sinner, he objects to that. Well no one is silly enough to say that God is proximate cause.

He then says, "But if by “the author of sin,” is meant the permitter, or not a hinderer of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow: I say, if this be all that is meant, by being the author of sin, I don’t deny that God is the author of sin."

So you are incorrect that he is simply responding to people claiming that God is the proximate cause of sin. No one suggests that and that isn't what he is answering. Rather, he says because God is not the actual actor, but rather he makes the sin come about in some other fashion, he is therefore not at fault.

He is answering the charge that follows directly from his determinism, then claims that, since God isn't the proximate cause, he isn't to fault for sin.

bossmanham said...

he grants that God is the author of sin in that sense. So what are you arguing against?

And I've shown why that duck doesn't fly.

bossmanham said...

He's trying, as many Calvinists do, to soften what "author of sin" means. He's saying, well God is only permitting this stuff, yet bringing it about in a fashion where He is still holy and blameless.

I argued by example that that is duck city.

bossmanham said...

This sentence from the post is very important.

"Edwards claims that proximate causation is enough to clear God of the author of sin charge leveled by incompatibilists"

It is the charge leveled by incompatibilists that Edwards is ducking here. He's ultimately arguing that this view doesn't affect the view of God's holiness. I say it does.

Steven said...

"If God makes everything happen, why isn't He to blame? We say He is responsible and to be blamed for good things that He brings about, because He only brings about good things. These things He authors! If He also determines sin, why shouldn't we say so? And if we admit that He is the reason for sin, then why should we think He is holy?"

Why can you not accept that God could causally determine sin for morally sufficient reasons???

bossmanham said...

Why can you not accept that God could causally determine sin for morally sufficient reasons???

I don't think there are morally sufficient reasons to cause sins, since acts in themselves have moral value. If you cause sin, it doesn't matter the consequence, good or bad. If God causes sin, what then are we to measure sin against?

bossmanham said...

God, by definition, doesn't cause sin. What an utterly blasphemous consideration.

Brandon said...

It really comes down to one question: Before the creation of the world, did God intend for sin to come about? I'm not asking if God foreknew that sin would happen. Of course he did. But if he actually intended for it to come about, by the very intending for it to come about he willed it and it came about by necessity of his sovereign decree.

The only other option is God never intended for sin to come about, and only foresaw it, and therefore came up with plan B, which was Jesus Christ. Most Arminians I talk to like to say sin is never a part of God's will on any level AND Christ was plan A, which is one of many inconsistencies in Arminian theology. How could Christ NOT be a reaction to an antecedent event (sin) AND at the same exact time sin not be a part of the original plan? If Christ was the focus of the original plan, it makes perfect since that the problem Christ came to fix was also part of the original plan. I don't read Isaiah 53, Acts 2 & 4, Eph. 1, or Daniel 4 and walk away thinking God doesn't will sin on some level.

bossmanham said...

Why couldn't we say that, knowing man would sin, God created him so He could fulfill His plan to save them? God wanted to save His creatures and He knew that they would sin. Seems like it's all part of one big plan to me. Of course there had to be a reason God would need to slay His son. To suggest that His plan was to first slay His Son, and then to come up with a reason to do so seems ridiculous. I have no problem saying the antecedent cause of God willing to crucify Jesus was man's sin. Something had to prompt it. But why is that a problem?

I don't read Isaiah 53, Acts 2 & 4, Eph. 1, or Daniel 4 and walk away thinking God doesn't will sin on some level.

Well then I'd say you're holding a blasphemous belief.

Brandon said...

"Well then I'd say you're holding a blasphemous belief."

...and you're entitled to your opinion. But to say that God doesn't will sin on any level at all is to deny Scripture.

"Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him" - Isaiah 53:10

That verse plainly says it was God's will for Christ to be murdered. Murder is sin. It was God's will for sin to happen.

Steven said...

"I don't think there are morally sufficient reasons to cause sins, since acts in themselves have moral value. If you cause sin, it doesn't matter the consequence, good or bad. If God causes sin, what then are we to measure sin against?"

(i) In the first place, I spoke of reasons for acting, not consequences of the act.

(ii) I don't understand this. Don't you think that reasons for acting have some weight when calculating the moral worth of an act? Don't you think that my *reasons* for attempting to trip you over, though I may fail to actually do so, are sufficient for condemning me, whereas if I accidentally trip you over, I am not blameworthy of any evil? (C.S. Lewis used that example I think.)

If God has good reasons for acting, then, causing sin for good reasons could be a good thing.

(iii) And why can't allow sin to occur simpliciter, regardless of reasons for doing so, be an evil act in itself? I grant that allowing evil to occur can be morally permissible or even necessary if there are proper considerations for reasons, but you evidently do not. If causing sin is evil in itself, then it seems to me that allowing evil should be as well.

(iv) And we measure sin against his law revealed in scripture, for the most part.

"God, by definition, doesn't cause sin. What an utterly blasphemous consideration."

A lot of assertion, but not much argument.

SLW said...

A lot of assertion, but not much argument.

I think Steven just likes to argue for argument's sake.

Steven said...

"I think Steven just likes to argue for argument's sake."

(i) This is normally what someone says when they don't have answers to the objections of their opponents.

(ii) This is also just an assertion. Of course, by saying "I think Steven..." you didn't mean to inform us as to what you happen to be thinking at the moment; you mean to say something substantive, make some kind of assertion of fact. You should provide argument for it.

(iii) Brennon called my beliefs blasphemous. He thinks I'm a heretic of sorts. He thinks I am sinning against God in believing what I do. It would only make sense to contend with his arguments and objections, to see if there is any weight in them, and see if I really am sinning, etc.

bossmanham said...

SLW,

I suppose all we can do is let him vent. I'm done saying the same thing to him over and over. And I'm finding it hard to take the determinist position seriously anymore.

bossmanham said...

And I think it's ironic that I'm told I don't have an argument. Haha.

Steven said...

"I suppose all we can do is let him vent. I'm done saying the same thing to him over and over. And I'm finding it hard to take the determinist position seriously anymore."

(i) I wasn't *venting*, I was *arguing* against you and your constant confusions and misunderstandings of my position.

(ii) That you say the same thing to me over and over is something wrong *with you*, because I've offered *responses* to what you've written. It shows you have no more arguments.

(iii) I'm not even necessarily a determinist, unless you would be so obliged to define the term.

"And I think it's ironic that I'm told I don't have an argument. Haha."

(i) You have terrible reading comprehension, which is evident enough in your weak attempt to critique a position Edwards never espouses in the text you quote. But now it is obvious, because I said that to SLW, not to you.

(ii) You have an argument, maybe, but it is not a good one, or at least it isn't obvious that it isn't a good one, because you haven't given a response to my latest post, despite the clarifications I made.

Brandon said...

Still waiting on an explanation of Isaiah 53:10...

bossmanham said...

because I've offered *responses* to what you've written.

Pretty cruddy ones.

I'm not even necessarily a determinist, unless you would be so obliged to define the term.

Then it's odd you argue for it. Are you a fatalist?

You have terrible reading comprehension, which is evident enough in your weak attempt to critique a position Edwards never espouses in the text you quote. But now it is obvious, because I said that to SLW, not to you.

Um, you're the only one who thought so. From what I remember, it's you who has trouble when others say things to you, ie JC Thib, the other Steven, myself...the list goes on.

You have an argument, maybe, but it is not a good one, or at least it isn't obvious that it isn't a good one, because you haven't given a response to my latest post, despite the clarifications I made.

As I said, I'm going to let you vent cause I'm sick of discussing it with you.

bossmanham said...

Still waiting on an explanation of Isaiah 53:10...

Well have fun. I don't see anything worth discussing.

Steven said...

"Pretty cruddy ones."

You assert that God could not have good reasons for causally determining sin, because acts have moral values in themselves, and consequences of choices don't make them good or bad.

I responded by first pointing out that considerations of *reasons for acting* may make an act good is not the same thing as consequentialism, and give an argument for the view that reasons for acting enter into calculations of moral worth.

You didn't respond to any of that, except to call it all cruddy. This is not good Christian behavior; this is dishonest and embarrassing, frankly.

"Then it's odd you argue for it. Are you a fatalist?"

If by "argue for it", you mean "argue for the truth of determinism", I don't remember ever arguing for its truth. And I don't know what you mean by fatalist either.

"Um, you're the only one who thought so. From what I remember, it's you who has trouble when others say things to you, ie JC Thib, the other Steven, myself...the list goes on."

As far as JC is concerned, it's only natural to misunderstand someone who changes the definitions of his terms as is convenient for him. And it's not as if he's the greatest example of clear and precise writing, either. As for the others, I don't remember having any repeated instances of misunderstanding.

"As I said, I'm going to let you vent cause I'm sick of discussing it with you."

Then I may as well raise some hell because it is only going to look bad for you. You say you respect Calvinists like Edwards as great philosophers and theologians, but when you speak with Calvinists about their objections to your arguments, you treat them dismissively and don't deal with their objections. I gave some arguments and your only response was "cruddy", and "ha, ok." Is this how you think a person ought to behave in a discussion about serious issues?

bossmanham said...

You didn't respond to any of that, except to call it all cruddy. This is not good Christian behavior; this is dishonest and embarrassing, frankly.

It's a cruddy response, Steven, and shows a lack of thought not proper for someone whose whole degree is to think. All I need to say is no matter your reason for acting, if you cause someone to sin, there is no excuse for that. If acts in themselves have moral value, such as murder, and you cause someone to murder, even if you have a really good reason to do so, you're still sinning. If not, then all morality becomes arbitrary, because everyone thinks they have a good reason to sin. What a cruddy argument.

And speaking of unchristian behavior, I hope you've cleaned up your mouth a bit.

And I don't know what you mean by fatalist either

Wow. Okay.

As far as JC is concerned, it's only natural to misunderstand someone who changes the definitions of his terms as is convenient for him.

Steven, when it becomes only you who is claiming that definitions changed, you might want to look in the mirror about you reading comprehension charge.

I gave some arguments and your only response was "cruddy", and "ha, ok." Is this how you think a person ought to behave in a discussion about serious issues?

I'll admit, I'm finding it hard to take you seriously.

bossmanham said...

And my response above says nothing about how silly it is to hold someone culpable for something you caused them to do.

bossmanham said...

But, Steven, as I have already resolved to not speak to you on this, I will say no more.

Brandon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon said...

"Well have fun. I don't see anything worth discussing."

Ok, well all I can conclude at this point is that you simply don't have an argument. I'm glad we all agree that Isaiah 53:10 teaches that it was God's will for sinful men to kill Christ.

Your whole notion that humans can't be punished for sin if they didn't have a self-determining choice really don't have a leg to stand on. Humans by necessity must sin, and they deserve to be punished for it. If you believe it's unjust to punish humans for something they had no power to resist, i.e., if you believe a moral agent isn't blameworthy for sin when it must necessarily do so, then at the same time a moral agent isn't worthy of praise when it must necessarily act out of virtue, and therefore God is not worthy of praise since he must act righteously out of necessity.

It amazes me that in the Arminian system humans actually have more power than God does. Arminian humans are able to act contrary to their nature and choose holiness while they're in bondage to sin. God, however, is not able to act contrary to his nature. He must always act according to his nature since "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." - 1 John 1:5

bossmanham said...

Ok, well all I can conclude at this point is that you simply don't have an argument.

Well that's fine if you want, but, as I said, I don't see anything paricularly interesting about you just throwing that verse out there.

I'm glad we all agree that Isaiah 53:10 teaches that it was God's will for sinful men to kill Christ

It says it pleased God to crush Christ...it doesn't say He murdered Christ or made those men do anything. Get a new line.

Your whole notion that humans can't be punished for sin if they didn't have a self-determining choice really don't have a leg to stand on

Really? Do you punish babies for soiling themselves?

Humans by necessity must sin

Prove it. Also, they were made necessary by God on determinism, so........he makes us sin and we're culpable.....riiight.

and they deserve to be punished for it.

Well then we ought to punish babies for screaming too loud, eh? Boy I love when a dogmatic presupposition forces one to abandon all logic.

then at the same time a moral agent isn't worthy of praise when it must necessarily act out of virtue, and therefore God is not worthy of praise since he must act righteously out of necessity

So you're saying God must do something? That God isn't free? We're not talking about choosing between righteousness and unrighteousness only. That's a blatant straw man. That's a pathetically naive view of freedom. God can choose different righteous acts. He isn't necessitated by one act, and He isn't constrained by only one way of action. The fact is that God is the good so whatever He freely chooses to do is good. Now, He will never choose things against His nature, like to sin, just as we we could not choose to fly, because the human nature does not allow flying. But the human nature does allow the ability to choose.

God's choices flow from the exercise of His agency (agent-causation, within the bounds of His necessarily good nature).To say God is necessarily good simply means to say there is no possibility of Him being evil, not that there is no possibility of Him choosing other that He does. Nature may set a paramater for actions, but it doesn't mean that you can only choose one action.

Humans, however, are not necessarily good by nature, but rather have it in their nature to choose among different actions unconstrained. One of those choices happened to be sin. That isn't a power, as you so ignorantly put it, but rather a deficiency.

It amazes me that in the Arminian system humans actually have more power than God does.

Also abject silliness. Since when could a human bring the universe into being out of nothing? God is far more powerful in that He is necessarily good; unless you're saying that being able to do evil is a great making property. Are you, Brandon? Choosing sin and evil means we are weak, not strong. Haven't you read Matthew 26:41 or Romans 8:3? The flesh is weak because it is able to choose to sin.

It always amazes me the Calvinist's ability to construct and tear down straw men. It mus make you feel awful good, but doesn't get you anywhere in an argument.

Arminian humans are able to act contrary to their nature and choose holiness while they're in bondage to sin

Brother, you know that's bogus because I've specifically told you that's bogus about a million times. How bout you read Arminius sometime? Your continual and seemingly purposeful straw men are annoying (see article XXII here).

Also, figure out what natures, necessity, and free will are before you go spouting off here.

bossmanham said...

He must always act according to his nature since "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." - 1 John 1:5

Then tell me, Brandon, since we agree that God cannot act contrary to His nature (nor can any other being), how would God author sin if in Him is no darkness? If His nature is completely absent any evil, how would He necessitate evil?