Classical Theism, Arbitrary Creation, and Reason-Based Action

Sophia 61 (3):565-579 (2022)
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Surely God, as a perfectly rational being, created the universe for some _reason_. But is God’s creating the universe for a reason compatible with divine impassibility? That is the question I investigate in this article. The _prima facie_ tension between impassibility and God’s creating for a reason arises from impassibility’s commitment to God being uninfluenced by anything _ad extra_. If God is uninfluenced in this way, asks the detractor, how could he be moved to create anything at all? This _prima facie_ tension has recently been formalized and dubbed the ‘Problem of Arbitrary Creation’. In this article, I defend a new extension of this problem. I begin by characterizing classical theism, divine simplicity, and divine impassibility. I then spell out the Problem of Arbitrary Creation as developed by R. T. Mullins. I next raise a worry for Mullins’ version of the argument. Finally, I extend the argument and show how my extension avoids the aforementioned worry.

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Joseph Schmid
Princeton University

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
God and necessity.Brian Leftow - 2012 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Divine Simplicity.William F. Vallicella - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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