Chapter

Divine Freedom

Paul Helm

in Eternal God

Second edition

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590391
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595516 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590391.003.0010
Divine Freedom

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The sense in which God is free is discussed. Only if God is significantly free is logical determinism avoided. Does the idea of a best possible world make sense? If God necessarily chooses the best, as would seem to be plausible, does this significantly compromise his freedom? But did God have to choose one possible world rather than some alternative? Is he constrained in so choosing? Aquinas's argument for the contingency of the creation is discussed. Was god's choice to create not in some sense inevitable? But not logically inevitable in Spinoza'a sense, since that obliterates the Creator-creature distinction and reduces divine purposes to logically necessary outcomes. Finally the sense in which God could have created an alternative universe than the actual one is debated.

Keywords: logical determinism; creation; possible worlds; Spinoza; Aquinas; contingency

Chapter.  8752 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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