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Title Author Date
Against the free will defense Lehrer, Michael Nov 20, 2009
The Problem with this argument is that we can make a reasonable case that God would have no problem reducing FW for a specified amount of time (sleeping), but that still gives the sleeper the ability to choose whatever actions he/she wants. However, stopping people from committing an evil act is a true interference of FW for the person that wants to commit it. In short, eradicating evil acts affects the range of actions that a person can do while sleeping merely affects the time one has to to them.

 

Title Author Date
Sleep as a counter-freewill argument Dan-E.Nilsson@cob.lu.se Aug 21, 2005
Childishly simple to refute.

We are unable to exercise free will while sleeping.
However, it is intended that our actions be guided by free will.
Solution: design sleep so that we are unable to perform most actions while
sleeping. And this is the case in the real world. In fact, the vast
majority of us are effectively unable to perform ANY activity while
sleeping (aside from snoring and rolling over).

Indeed, it's no surprise that we regard sleep-walking and other such
activities as abnormal.

 

Title Author Date
Sleep as FWD rebuttal rather limited? Tremblay, Francois Jun 15, 2004
As one with a keen interest on what Talk Reason calls counter-apologetics (or as I like to call it, atheology), and having published a few articles about it, I was very interested in Mr. Plugaru's argument against the FWD.

His points about the necessity of sleep being a denial of free will, and sleep being the best, least ambiguous example of such properties, are powerful and well noted.

However, I find his argument from sleep to be rather limited. That is to say, it does answer satisfactorily to a certain kind of FWDs, the kind that focus not on the moral balance entailed by our specific kind of FW, or on FW being fundamentally unchangeable, but rather on FW as an absolute value.

In the first case, believers may argue a god holds FW as "valuable" (although that term cannot mean anything for a god) and wants to effect it, given that the existence of FW does not entail more evil than the sum of all goods. Believers may then point out that effecting FW to a greater extent (including eliminating sleep) may entail overwhelming evil, although this is little more than hypothetical. Perhaps an argument may be constructed around rejecting this hypothesis, but Mr. Plugaru did not make it.

In the second case, believers posit that FW is inherently acausal and therefore beyond a god's capacity to change and completely random. Furthermore, the possibility of everyone acting for good makes a state without human evil possible. In such a case, a god could have created humans who don't need to sleep, but it would not affect the balance of good and evil. The argument therefore does not seem to assume any specific amount of FW, since FW is seen as a completely random, irrelevant factor. This argument is easily disproven by disproving acausal FW, but it is not disproven by the sleep objection.

The case where FW is considered as intrinsically valuable by a hypothetical Creator is, as Mr. Plugaru points out, well disproven by the sleep objection.