Tuesday, July 4, 2017

God and fate

The following view would, I think, be acceptable to most, though not all, Western theists.

God exists necessarily and is necessarily whatever he is, including omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, perfectly just and moral and righteous.

But then how do things stand regarding God, so understood, and fate, whose other names are contingency and sometimes chance?

In the metaphysical sense, God could have created any possible world and, as modal metaphysicians might put it, in each possible world God creates exactly that world.

So God is, like everyone and everything else, the captive of contingency.

What he actually does, including which world he creates - it being understood that in each world God creates only its creatures, whatever is contingent within it - , depends upon which world is actual.

And not the other way around.

It is Whirl that rules, fate or chance, pure, baseless contingency.

It is fate that rules God, and not the other way around.

And the point is not altered if the set of worlds God could create, consistent with all aspects of his nature, is a proper subset of the set of all metaphysically possible worlds.

Not even if it's a unit set.

Or if it's not.

Though this is not how believing theists familiar with these and related issues in the philosophy of religion see things.

Too, these remarks are not without bearing on the free will defense, where both God and humans, for theist libertarians, escape fate and contingency by a free choice that, not determined by which world is actual, determines which is the actual world - God, by his nature, choosing the best he can and humans, by their nature, choosing not that.

A senseless though popular view among Christian theists, though of doubtful consistency with the at least equally popular argument a contigentia mundi, many of whom take it to be a successful refutation of the anti-theist argument from evil.

Reflections provoked by The Hunchback.

And Hugo's view?

Or Claude Frollo's?

Hugo in his preface says the entire work is based on the idea of fate.

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