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Moral Evil, Privation, and God

W. Matthews Grant


On a traditional account, God causes sinful acts and their properties, insofar as they are real, but God does not cause sin, since only the sinner causes the privations in virtue of which such acts are sinful. After explicating this privation solution, I defend it against two objections: (1) that God would cause the sinful act’s privation simply by causing the act and its positive features; and (2) that there is no principled way to deny that God causes the privation yet still affirm that the sinner causes it. I close by considering a limitation of the privation solution.

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