Calvinism, Arminianism and Omnibenevolence
This post was written by Randal Rauser, PhD
[Please note that Dr. Rauser is not a member of SEA and that SEA does not necessarily endorse all of his theological positions. We include this post on our site because we think it helpful in some respects.]
Arminians like to point out that according to Calvinism God elects some people to damnation. Of course some Calvinists try to soften this teaching by claiming that the election to damnation is a passive divine act according to which God simply “passes over” and thereby opts not to redeem these people.
Unfortunately this shift in nomenclature doesn’t really make the divine act of election to damnation passive in an ethically significant way. Indeed, it calls to mind James Rachels’ famous thought experiment on passive euthanasia so I’m going to borrow from that thought experiment to make my point.