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.


  1. John
    February 17, 2014 @ 2:41 am

    Thanks for your useful response on the subject of ‘universals’!

    I find this aspect very repetitive when talking to Trinitarians.

    How often does one hear ‘ instead of talking about how things differ, should we not be talking about
    what they have in common’
    This approach may be useful in resolving political or industrial disputes, but can prove quite hopeless in other areas!

    (I suspect that this ‘ploy’ is aimed at getting one away from talking about ‘identity’.)

    Consider the following –

    What is
    (i) Human
    (ii) Found at fires
    (iii) Is prepared to take calculated risks ?

    The answer could be an arsonist , or a fireman!

    Trinitarians tell me that I am ‘spoiling their game’- after all they are having such fun –
    and aren’t they so clever with their philosophical musings?

    Like insane people their ‘constructs’ have become reality for them.

    Their only resort is to declare the whole thing to be a ‘mystery”

    The problem is that these people are not ‘mad’ – they are mere men trying to entrap human souls in their spheres of influence.

    Every Blessing

  2. Dale
    February 16, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    It’d probably be best for me to punt on this one: http://www.iep.utm.edu/universa/

    Plato was the initiator of belief in universals, which he called “forms” or (confusingly) “ideas”. Interestingly, probably most philosophers now believe in them. Also, interestingly, the catholic tradition committed itself to this sort of theory, by positing such things as the universals divinity and humanity.

  3. John
    February 16, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

    Hi Dale
    That was most interesting!
    At a risk of appearing really ‘dumb’ , could you please explain the concept of ‘universals’ and how they are affected by Platonist thinking.
    Sorry to be so ‘pedestrian’ !
    Every Blessing

  4. Dale
    February 16, 2014 @ 9:29 am

    Hey Ben,

    I’ve discussed it in a paper which is in process (I’ll post when it’s published) and also in a paper that’s not ready for prime time. If you email me, I’ll send you a draft some time this week. I’m looking for comments on it.

  5. Dale
    February 16, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    Hey John,
    “As I understand it, ‘divine’ means something like ‘of God’”

    I would say that the word has a primary usage – which means the quality (property) of being a god. And then there are secondary usages – basically, being somehow related to one of those.

    So God, since he’s a god, is divine in the primary sense. But we also talk of divine truth, divine scriptures, divine attributes – because those are in various ways related to him.

    About God being the “source of divinity” – yes, surely. People will understand this differently, though, depending on whether or not they believe in universals. For the Plato-inspired church fathers, it seemed obvious that there are universals. So God is, or is closely related to the universal divinity. But Jesus and believers have to “participate in” or “imitate” this divinity – it has to, in a derivative way, manifest in us, to a lesser degree. These are, in my view, obscure claims. If you don’t believe in universals, then we just have a concept of divine which applies to things or not, depending on how they are. Of necessity, the concept applies to God. It applies to others – to Jesus, and to us – because of what God has done. He’s brought us into being, and in different ways, has made us like himself. Jesus is the spitting image of God, says the Gospel of John, so he’s most like God. We are gradually be changed into beings who are similar to God – now, mainly in moral ways. But we will be made immortal too, after the resurrection. So on this way of understanding properties and property-terms generally (including divinity) – usually called “nominalism” – there is no universal entity *divinity* which we must “participate in.” God’s divinity is just his being such that our concept of divinity applies to him.

    Of course, as I’ve argued, there are really two such concepts – the concept of being a god and that of being a GOD, the latter requiring much more.

    I hope that helps!

  6. John
    February 13, 2014 @ 9:51 am

    I’m a bit confused about comments made above about the word ‘divine’

    As I understand it, ‘divine’ means something like ‘of God’

    “Divine is a ‘nature’ and not an identity.

    The source of divinity is the Lord God Almighty

    The divine nature has been inherited by our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Believers are said to be ‘partakers’ of the divine nature,

    BUT IN THE END the SOURCE of divinity is always The Lord God Almighty ‘ Himself’

    Am I ‘on track’ here ?



  7. Ben Nasmith
    February 13, 2014 @ 8:11 am

    Dale, have you published your definitions of the terms “godhood” and “GODhood” anywhere yet? It would be helpful to have something to cite because I think they are helpful terms.
    All the best,

  8. Dale Tuggy, binary divinity, godhood, and GODhood | Cognitive Resonance
    January 25, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

    […] Dale Tuggy and I have been interacting on the blogosphere about Richard Bauckham’s understanding of ancient Jewish monotheism (henceforth monotheism). In this post, I’ll continue the dialogue by responding to his recent thoughtful reply. […]

  9. Dale
    January 24, 2014 @ 8:17 am

    No hurry – I know a lot of complex issues are raised here.

  10. Early Jewish Christian Christology
    January 23, 2014 @ 10:41 pm

    […] Dale Tuggy interacted with Ben Nasmith on related issues as well. […]

  11. Ben Nasmith
    January 22, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

    Thanks for the reply Dale. Some interesting points here. I’ll write a response as soon as I get the chance. Take care,