Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Could God be divinity?

Here's a plausible thesis:

  1. If it is of x's essence to be F, then Fness is prior to x.
This thesis yields a fairly standard argument against the version of divine simplicity which identifies God with the property of divinity. For if God is divinity, then divinity is prior to divinity by (1), which is absurd.

But (1) is false. For, surely:

  1. It is of a property's essence to be a property.
But propertyhood is a property, so it is of propertyhood's essence to be a property, and so propertyhood is prior to propertyhood if (1) is true, which is absurd. So, given (2), we need to reject (1), and this argument against the God=divinity version of divine simplicity fails.


Christopher Michael said...

Alex, where is the argument you refute here made?

Alexander R Pruss said...

I don't know. I may have seen it in Richard Gale's book on the existence of God. Or maybe I've seen a version that is similar but without essentiality.

vexingquestions said...

If we are talking about second-order properties, and so forth, couldn't we say that property has the second-order property of propertyhood, and propertyhood has a third-ordered property of propertyhood, call it propertyhood', and so on?

Alexander R Pruss said...

But don't all these levels of properties have something in common, namely that they are properties?