In answer to the question “Why were we created here and not just directly into heaven?” I argued:
“that there is intrinsic value in undergoing the personal history that brings you to a particular place or makes you into a particular kind of person which is simply not retained by creating the end product without the intervening history.”
In the discussion thread Counter Apologist understood me to be arguing this:
“Randal’s reason is that having a moral history will allow for the development of “second order good attributes” that we could not otherwise have if we were “created perfect.”” (emphasis added)
And Counter Apologist objects to that thesis on the following grounds:
“It’s certainly logically possible to create us as beings with those attributes as if we had lived without us having to go through it.”
I don’t dispute Counter Apologist’s claim. God could have created creatures with the set of attributes that they will exemplify at glorification. Consequently, what Counter Apologist calls “Randal’s reason” for the moral history is not in fact Randal’s reason. So what is? Instead, my argument can be unpacked by comparing the following two scenarios:
(1) Jones is created finite and limited and grows over time to the point where he exemplifies perfectly attributes a, b, c …
(2) Jones is created by divine fiat to exemplify perfectly attributes a, b, c …
My argument is not that God is only able to actualize (1). Rather, the claim is that there is some additional good in God’s realizing (1) instead of (2). For sake of convenience we can label this the “Value in achievement thesis”:
(VAT): in at least some cases gradually acquiring personal attributes is preferable to acquiring those attributes through a process of immediate infusion.
Thus it could be preferable to actualize (1) over (2) due to the, as I put it, “intrinsic value in undergoing the personal history….”
There are two reasons that I believe VAT (or something like it) to be true.
Reason 1: it seems likely to be true based on analogies like climbing to the mountain top vs. being dropped off on the top. To illumine that further let me fill out the picture a bit.
In scenario 1 Jones climbs to the top of the mountain and through the climb becomes more courageous, daring, and wise.
In scenario 2 Jones is given a surgical implant which results in him being more courageous, daring and wise and after which he is dropped on the top of the mountain.
In both scenarios Jones may end up on the top of the mountain with the same degree of courage, daring and wisdom. But the picture where he climbs to the top of the mountain still seems preferable to the scenario where he was infused with these virtues and then dropped off on top.
Reason 2: since I believe God is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent thus would not allow unnecessary suffering, I have good reason to believe that something like VAT is true.