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10/15/2017 6:13 pm  #11


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

RomanJoe wrote:

Now for God, he can create from nothing precisely because his essence is his existence, he is pure actuality. Being existence and pure actuality itself, all he needs to do is create limiting principles (i.e. essence and potency) in order have beings that participate in existence.  

Here's the thing about that:

1.  God is the only infinite.
2.  If God creates by using limiting principles, those limiting principles will be finite. 
3.  Attempting to divine an infinite by a finite will result in an infinite.
4.  God cannot create a finite using limiting principles.
5.  God cannot have created this universe in the manner you propose
 

 

10/16/2017 4:23 am  #12


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

The application of the term 'infinite' to God is a category mistake - it's like saying 'God has the property of being 4'. Infinite as a theological property is nonsense, a poetic way of expressing a number of other concepts i.e. God is omnipotent, God is absolute in the sense of being self-existent as opposed having derived existence.

It is of course the fault of theologians for talking in this way.

 

10/16/2017 11:28 am  #13


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

@DanielCC
I think theologians take infinity in God in the sense that "there is no end, no limit or no boundary"  which I think would be an accurate description of classical God (at least in my opinion).

@Nowwhat?
Taking infinite to mean as above God has the infinite power to create "boundaries" around what He creates. Which is where your 4th point fail.

 

10/19/2017 2:03 am  #14


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

RomanJoe wrote:

I feel like there would only be a problem if one conceived of creatio ex nihilo as something coming into existence with no prior cause at all. That is, something coming into existence from nothing in the strict sense.

Yes, this. And it's the job of the adherent of creatio ex nihilo to show that he is less strict.

RomanJoe wrote:

...rather in reference to God being the source of a suppositum's matter and form insofar as he ultimately sustains all beings in existence. So it's creation from nothing because there isn't *something* God uses to create beings.

How is saying that God is the source of matter and form that sustains all beings in existence equivalent to saying that God creates (from nothing)?

 

1/05/2018 10:46 pm  #15


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

If God created the universe, then the universe's creation has an explanation beyond merely the fact that God is Omnipotence and thus is capable of being the efficient cause of what might be created. Because that is also true of the other metaphysically possible objects that God did not in fact create. And hence cannot be the reason why this universe exists and not another. One needs a fuller explanation, such as invoking Libertarian freewill (just an example).

Contra what somebody wrote above, creation is a change. A change from God being a maximal description of the state of affairs, to God not being a maximal description of the state of affairs. That change needs an explanation (assuming you hold to a sufficiently strong PSR). And if you cannot turn to the created object/s for the explanation (since creation does not involve the actualisation of a potential) then you need God for the task. Which will ultimately result in the actualisation of a potential.

 

1/05/2018 10:53 pm  #16


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

surroundx wrote:

A change from God being a maximal description of the state of affairs, to God not being a maximal description of the state of affairs.

This reminds me of something, so if in a possible world where God is the sole existent, and we compare this world to a world where God creates, then there are at least two numerically distinct entities. However if God is being itself, does the same problem arise, is either of the world a maximal world? Is the concept of a maximal description of the state of affairs coherent? I don't know, just stuff that I think about.

 

1/05/2018 10:57 pm  #17


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

Dennis wrote:

surroundx wrote:

A change from God being a maximal description of the state of affairs, to God not being a maximal description of the state of affairs.

This reminds me of something, so if in a possible world where God is the sole existent, and we compare this world to a world where God creates, then there are at least two numerically distinct entities. However if God is being itself, does the same problem arise, is either of the world a maximal world? Is the concept of a maximal description of the state of affairs coherent? I don't know, just stuff that I think about.

Let's take your first possible world to be PW1 (i.e. God is the sole existent), and the second to be PW2.

Take the following statement: God exists.

Clearly this statement fully describes PW1, but it does not fully describe PW2. Thus it is a maximal description of the state of affairs of PW1, but not PW2.

 

1/05/2018 11:04 pm  #18


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

I totally understand that, but I'm not convinced or I'm not sure how this adds a problem. This certainly doesn't seem to be change, it seems to be an analysis of two distinct contingent state of affairs. So we have two different state of affairs where the the description in P1 is obviously not the same description of P2. Does the classical theist believe that God is moving from a state of potentiality to a state of actuality by the act of creation?

 

 

1/05/2018 11:33 pm  #19


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

Dennis wrote:

I totally understand that, but I'm not convinced or I'm not sure how this adds a problem. This certainly doesn't seem to be change, it seems to be an analysis of two distinct contingent state of affairs. So we have two different state of affairs where the the description in P1 is obviously not the same description of P2.

The problem isn't analytic, it is synthetic. Forget multiple PW's if that confuses you. Concentrate on the actual world. Take AW0 to be the initial non-temporal state of affairs in which God is the sole existent. AW1 causally follows, in which God is not the sole existent. If AW0 doesn't cause AW1, there is nevertheless a non-accidental explanation for why AW1 rather than some other metaphysically possible state of affairs AW1'. Since AW0 is causally prior to AW1, nothing in AW1 can serve as an explanation of the transition. Something in AW0 must explain the transition lest the transition be inexplicable.

Dennis wrote:

Does the classical theist believe that God is moving from a state of potentiality to a state of actuality by the act of creation?

They need some sort of explanation for the change in the states of affairs. Merely saying that the two are different is tautological. We've already stipulated that PW1 and PW2 are not identical, same with AW0 and AW1. They're free to explain the change without reference to a potential in God being actualised, but the explanation must nevertheless solely concern God since everything else in AW0 is pure potentiality. And pure actuality does not explain the contingent fact that AW1 followed AW0 rather than Aw1'.

 

1/05/2018 11:58 pm  #20


Re: Can the God of classical theism really be the creator?

surroundx wrote:

Take AW0 to be the initial non-temporal state of affairs in which God is the sole existent.

But I can only ever read an initial non-temporal state of affairs, as a statement about grounding relations. The actual world if eternalism is true, always existed, so I cannot give it another reading. So, given that reading, AW0 is causing both AW1 and AW2 or some other state of affairs. 

I read your 'change in state of affairs' as them needing an explanation for the difference in the two distinct possible worlds. Why is this world actualised rather than some other, and what is the explanation of that? That's a fair question. I suppose brute facts are going to come somewhere into the whole phase. And you're right, pure actuality doesn't explain the fact that AW1 followed from AW0.  My issue is two-fold, whether (1) the (a) change of the state of affairs between possible worlds or (b) creation implies that God goes from being potential to actual, and (2) whether there is a maximal state of affairs. There are going to be different truth makers for PW1 (God) and PW2 (God + Existents), and we're going to have more beings in PW2, what's the classical theist's response against saying that PW2 is a better/more maximal state of affairs than PW1?

 

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