Essays24.com - Term Papers and Free Essays
Search

1. The Three Primary Divine Attributes

Essay by 24  •  December 26, 2010  •  2,549 Words (11 Pages)  •  954 Views

Essay Preview: 1. The Three Primary Divine Attributes

Report this essay
Page 1 of 11

1. The three primary divine attributes:

Omnipotence: God has maximal powerful, is all powerful, capable of doing anything

Omniscience: God is all seeing and all knowing

Omnibenevolence: God does only good, God is morally perfect and is considered the source of morality

Two secondary divine attributes:

Omniprescence: God is present everywhere at the same time

Incorporeal: God is not composed of matter, has no material existence

2. The Thomistic Account of Omnipotence states that x is omnipotent, by definition for any logically possible state of affairs, o, it is possible for x to bring it about that o.

The Cartesian Account of Omnipotence states that x is omnipotent by definition for any state of affairs, o, it is possible for x to bring it about that o.

I favor Saint Thomas' account. It offers more clarity, I believe than Descartes position. It seems to allow for clarity in terms of revealing internal or joint consistency in possible arguments and can be used to show limited aspect of paradoxical arguments. If something is not logically possible then a paradox may be shown to be inconsistent, or incoherent.

3. Paradox of the Stone

1. Either God can create a stone which he cannot lift, or he cannot create a stone which he cannot lift.

2. If God cannot create a stone which he cannot lift, then he is not omnipotent

3. If God can create a stone which he cannot lift, then He is not omnipotent

4. Therefore, God is not omnipotent

This argument attempts to show that the notion of God's omnipotence is incoherent. By definition, omnipotence means that God is all powerful and capable of doing anything. Omnipotence is also a divine attribute of God. In line 1 Mavrodes presents two possible states of affairs. In line two he asserts the possibility of God not being able to do something, create a stone that he cannot life, which is the assertion of the first part of line one, thereby exhibiting limits upon His power. In line three he asserts the limitations that appear if God can create a stone that he cannot lift, thereby, also, not performing an action, and so it would seem, that God's omnipotence can be called into question.

This argument is valid and is in modus tollens form. It is valid because the assertion in line 4 logically follows from lines 1 through 3. However, the argument is not sound. Mavrodes attempts to show that God's omnipotence is paradoxical, for it appears that there is something that God cannot perform, as in not being able to create a stone which he cannot lift.

One objection to this argument can be found in line 3, per Saint Thomas' account of omnipotence which states that God is omnipotent by definition, that for any logically possible state of affairs, it is possible for God to bring something about.

This would show that the paradox is inconsistent with the definition of God's omnipotence. Simply because God, or something cannot perform a certain task, it does not mean that God, or something is not omnipotent.

5. Omnipotence and Moral Perfecton

1. Suppose that x is essentially omnipotent and omnibenevolent (For Reductio Ad Absurdum)

2. If x is omnipotent, then there is no logically possible action, a, such that x cannot perform a.

3. If x is omnibenevolent, then there is a logically possible action, a, such that x cannot perform a.

4. So, there is no logically possible action that x cannot perform, and there is a logically possible action that x cannot perform.

5. Therefore, it's not the case that x is essentially omnipotent and omnibenevolent (for any x)

This argument begins with the supposition that x is essentially omnipotent and omnibenevolent, and through reductio ad absurdum, attempts to show through lines 2 to 4 that these two notions are not jointly consistent. One of the divine attributes is omnipotence, which by definition means that God has the power to do anything. Moral perfection is another divine attribute which means that God is omnibenevolent, or does only that which is good. A reductio assumes premises are true and then argues toward invalidity or absurdity. It shows the opposite and proves that it couldn't possibly be true.

If something is defined essentially then it means that these qualities exist by definition in all possible worlds. Stating that God is essentially omnibenevolent means that God is good in all possible worlds.

Line 3 is contradictory, because if God is essentially good in all possible worlds, it would be logically impossible for God to perform something morally wrong. There is no possible world in which God could perform an action that is not morally perfect. Simply because God cannot do something that is not good, it does not limit his omnipotence.

6. The Prophet Problem

1. Suppose I perform an action, A, at a time, t.

2. If I perform A at t, then God knows atemporally that I perform A at t.

3. So, God knows atemporally that I perform A at t.

4. If I am free with respect to A at t, then I can refrain from performing A at t.

5. Suppose God tells a prophet on April 1, 1066 that I perform A at t.

6. If I refrain from performing A at t, then either I bring it about that God's message is false, or I change a fact about the past.

7. It's not the case that I bring it about that God's message is false.

8. It's not the case that I change a fact about the past.

9. Therefore, it's not the case that I am free with respect to A at t.

This argument attempts to show that God's foreknowledge of action is incompatible with freedom of will. In line two, God's knowledge is stated as an atemporal state of affairs.

...

...

Download as:   txt (14 Kb)   pdf (153 Kb)   docx (13.3 Kb)  
Continue for 10 more pages »
Only available on Essays24.com
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). 1. The Three Primary Divine Attributes. Essays24.com. Retrieved 12, 2010, from http://tomato441.com/essay/1The-Three-Primary-Divine-Attributes/25681.html

"1. The Three Primary Divine Attributes" Essays24.com. 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <http://tomato441.com/essay/1The-Three-Primary-Divine-Attributes/25681.html>.

"1. The Three Primary Divine Attributes." Essays24.com. Essays24.com, 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <http://tomato441.com/essay/1The-Three-Primary-Divine-Attributes/25681.html>.

"1. The Three Primary Divine Attributes." Essays24.com. 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010. http://tomato441.com/essay/1The-Three-Primary-Divine-Attributes/25681.html.