Iowa professor to lecture on philosophy of religion

By Tom Chadar

A lecture today will address the creation of the universe and the choices God might have had in doing it.

The issue will be discussed in a free lecture, “Divine Freedom,” at 3:30 p.m. today in Room 405 of the Holmes Student Center.

Evan Fales, lecturer and philosophy professor at the University of Iowa, is also the author of the book Causation and Universals. Fales has written on the philosophy of language, metaphysics and the philosophy of science, and his recent research has been the philosophy of religion.

The topic of the lecture reflects a libertarian conception of free will, using the case of God’s freedom to distinguish two alternative conceptions of freedom.

“There will be people who are interested in philosophy or religion, or both. The problem discussed is, ‘Did God do so freely or did he have to create this world,'” said NIU Associate Philosophy Professor Tomis Kapitan.

The topic presupposes that the world was created by God and only extends to discussing a related issue. The dilemma is whether the creation of an imperfect world was dictated by some supreme entity or whether a perfect world was created by free will.

Generally, the libertarian view can be described as the existence of free choices not caused by other events.

“Some people would say that God has chosen to create the best possible world. Others may say there’s no best possible world. So God had an option which world to create,” Kapitan said.

“I don’t think most people even think about the issues of divine freedom. However, still most of them believe in the creator, and they certainly have different visions of what that God is.”

According to Kapitan, the majority of young people tend to believe in God as the primary cause of the creation of the universe. However, very few people ever go deeper into trying to comprehend the complexity of the issue.

The lecture is free and open to all. It is sponsored by the NIU philosophy department and Graduate Colloquium Committee.