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5/29/2018 8:27 am  #11

Re: Yujin Nagasawa

Put that way I think that’s an equivocation between 1. prove a necessary being is (metaphysically) possible i.e. prove a specific necessary being such as God or a prime number betwen  x and y is possible and thus actual, and 2 prove beings which exist necessarily are (epistemically) possible i.e. coherent, and thus a live explaintory option if we have reasons to think specific necessary beings exist (or are metaphysically possible) e.g. a theistic or mathematical proof. If the latter then the critic needs to give some arguments e.g. subtraction, inconviability or such, as to why the concept of necessary beings are incoherent

Kvanving's formulation in terms of existential durability has some thing to it but I ultimately think it bottoms out into a Type 3 criticism. It’s not the Maximal-God thesis which entails necessary existence but the perfect being thesis. The only reason why a being we have reason to think is necessary* might not be so is because something in a world conflicts with one of its material properties or there’s a problem with necessity in and off itself.

As necessity is the upper limit of existential durability we have reason to think a maximal being is necessary unless we find any problems with it being such, be Kvanving seems to be envisaging an almost necessary being which exists in a great many possible worlds, the maximal number of possible worlds consistent weighed up against the value benifits of its other properties. The only canidate for explaining why certain worlds might in ‘existentially unendurable’ I can think of is the Modal Problem of Evil, which I do think is a problem for this account.

He’s wrong though that ‘all bets’ need be off with a top down approach too. The Maximal-God  thesis is not meant to preclude people from giving developed accounts of the divine attributes only change their priorities when doing so (that perfect being theology does not stand or fall with one a priori account). Because of the maximal factor we are obliged to start on the assumption that God has top-limit of a perfection if there is no reason why we shouldn’t. It’s not ‘ohh well a maximal being might be omnipotent or it might have any random degree of knowledge, there’s no way of telling’. One thinks of the omni-degree and decides if there is any cause to reason away from it (maybe a person begins with omniscience and then decides that it’s more fitting if a perfect ergo omnibenevolence/highly benevolent being lacks a certain kind of knowledge e.g. de de knowledge of mortal sins, however by the Maximal-God thesis this does not threaten God’s status as perfect being).

Last edited by DanielCC (5/29/2018 8:28 am)


5/31/2018 12:49 pm  #12

Re: Yujin Nagasawa

Btw this debate over the coherence and credibility of the concept of necessary beings is central to the opening chapters of Pruss new book too. I will be writing about that soon too.


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