Chapter

Referring to Eternal God

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/9780199590391.003.0011
Referring to Eternal God

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How can a God timelessly eternal be referred to since he is not part of our spatio-temporal matrix? How may we obtain ‘individuating facts’ (Strawson) for such a God? The scepticism of Nielsen, Flew and Kenny is addressed. Four responses are considered: that of natural theology, that of making God a special case, exempt from the usual requirements for identification, making reference possible but referential success unknowable. Fourthly, it is argued that there is a different between giving the identity of God and enjoying referential success to God. Kripke's theory of names, and his distinction between giving the meaning (identity) and fixing the reference (making referential success possible) is used in an attempt to answer the sceptics' challenge.

Keywords: individuating facts; scepticism; natural theology; Kripke; giving the meaning; fixing the reference

Chapter.  7996 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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