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1/06/2018 4:34 am  #21

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

Nowwhat? wrote:

1.  Creation is the act of bringing from potential to actual
2.  Potential requires an actual to exist within.
3.  God is fully actual
4.  God is the only actual being.
5.  No potential exists
6.  God cannot have brought anything from potential to actual
7.  God is not the creator

Seems like God has to either be a mixture of potential and actual, or there has to be another uncreated actual being to bear potential besides God.  Thoughts, critiques?



I think the classical theist would say that, in creating ex nihilo, God bings about both the potentiality and the actuality of an object (which is a mixture of both). So, He doen't need any potential "within", at least not if one thinks creatio ex nihilo is coherent.

I think, however, that there is another way of looking at it. 

I'll give it a shot

1. God is Being itself.
2. God is the whole of reality (from 1, there is no other being than God)
3. The whole of reality is immutable (from 2 plus Divine immutability)
4. The whole of reality cannot change (from 3)
5. Obvious to our sense is change (premise 1 of the argument form change)
6. conclusion: change can't be real.

I seems as though, starting form classical theism, we end up proving Parmenides was right after all. 


Last edited by belorg (1/06/2018 4:35 am)


1/06/2018 11:02 am  #22

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

Dennis wrote:

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.

It's not so much that the actual world has always existed as it is that God has always existed. It is God who creates, and thus ushers in a new state of affairs. God is the Ground of Being, and thus free to exist in absentia created essences. So non-AW0 states of affairs are necessarily causally posterior to AW0 since nothing other than God is necessary, and hence AW0 is in a sense the "default" state of affairs.

Dennis wrote:

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.

Metaphysical possibility is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of actuality.

Dennis wrote:

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?

Regarding (1a) it is not a change between possible worlds, but rather a slight narrowing as to the number of descriptively compatible possible worlds. Since God alone is necessary, all possible worlds share the same initial state, viz. AW0. For a world in which nothing exists, or at least God does not exist, is not really possible. If fatalism is false then there are multiple possible next states of affairs AW1, AW1' etc. and assuming that each of those second states of affairs each possibly diverge in various ways through contingency, then for every subsequent actual state of affairs more and more possible worlds are ruled out as being the actual world.

Regarding (2) 'maximal' is not being used to mean 'best possible' or qualitatively greatest. It simply means descriptive fullness. So for example, I have in front of me a book that is 386 pages long. And another that is 512 pages long. If I say that both have 386 pages, that is the maximal truth in the former case but not the latter. For the latter has 126 more pages beyond the 386th.


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