Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

One Comment

  1. Mike
    March 21, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

    Again, suppose these are necessary truths: God exists. God is essentially free. God is essentially all-powerful. If so, it is possible that God makes an everlasting, but at any time finite universe (finite in time, in spatial extent, and in number of creatures). Now given this, IF making happy creatures is a great-making property (if this is so, it’ll be necessarily so), then it is possible that God could be getting ever greater, while never being as great as a being could be. (We may have to add an assumption that possibly, God is “in time”, so that he can satisfy predicates like “is great to extent n at time t”.)

    I’m not sure this is entirely fair. You make the creating of H’s the great-making property and then you stipulate the God can create only finitely many H’s! If greatness depends on creating as many H’s as possible and the most possible is some finite number, then, you want to conclude, you can be only finitely great. Let me see if you’ve tied my hands. Suppose what God creates are infinitely many happy non-spatial beings? Angels are contingent, creatable, beings that enjoy the beautific vision. Suppose what a GPB does is create a countably infinite number of such beings (make it uncountably many, if you like). Or, if you insist that such beings must be finitely countable, stipulate that the highest angelic beings, finite in number, are limitless in the happiness they experience. If having the property of maximizing the amount of happiness experienced is also a great-making property–and I can’t see why it wouldn’t be–then we have a GPB that need not have the additional great-making property of creating infinitely many happy beings. In other words, if the units of happiness take up all of the even numbers, and God’s greatness is increased as units increase, then adding all of the odd numbers (i.e., infinitely many happy creatures) would not increase God’s greatness.