Divine Unsurpassability

Philosophia 35 (3-4):293-300 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

One historically significant model of God holds that God is a perfect being. Analytic philosophers of religion have typically understood this to mean that God is essentially unsurpassable in power, knowledge, goodness, and wisdom. Recently, however, several philosophers have argued that this is inconsistent with another common theistic position: the view that for any world that God can create, there is a better world that God could have created instead. The argument runs (roughly) as follows: if, no matter which world God creates, there’s a better creatable one, then God’s action in creating a world is necessarily surpassable. And if God’s action in creating a world is necessarily surpassable, then God is necessarily surpassable. If this argument is sound, it reveals a serious flaw in an important model of God. In what follows, I set out this argument, and I then distinguish and evaluate four replies.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,509

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

God and the Hypothesis of No Prime Worlds.Klaas J. Kraay - 2006 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 59 (1):49-68.
Could There Be More Than One God?Richard Swinburne - 1988 - Faith and Philosophy 5 (3):225 - 241.
Leibniz, Creation and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Jesse R. Steinberg - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (3):123 - 133.
Anselm and His Islamic Contempories on Divine Necessity and Eternity.Katherin Rogers - 2007 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (3):373-393.
Can God Choose a World at Random?Klaas J. Kraay - 2009 - In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Divine Simplicity and Divine Command Ethics.Susan Peppers-Bates - 2008 - International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (3):361-369.
Incommensurability, Incomparability, and God’s Choice of a World.Klaas J. Kraay - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (2):91 - 102.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
113 (#108,765)

6 months
1 (#417,896)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

KIaas Kraay
Ryerson University

References found in this work

Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Oxford University Press USA.
.R. G. Swinburne - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Philosophia Christi 3 (2):327-328.
Must God Create the Best?Robert Merrihew Adams - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (3):317-332.

View all 18 references / Add more references