Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Presentism and classical theism

  1. If presentism is true, then everything that exists, exists presently.

  2. Anything that exists presently is temporal.

  3. God exists.

  4. So, if presentism is true, then God is temporal.

  5. But God is not temporal.

  6. So, presentism is not true.

Some presentists will be happy to embrace the thesis that God is temporal. But what about presentist classical theists? I suppose they will have to deny (1). Maybe they can replace it with:

  1. If presentism is true, then everything temporal that exists, exists presently.

Presentism is now longer an elegant thesis about the nature of existence, though.

Maybe a better move for the presentist is to deny (2)? There is some reason to do that. God while not being spatial is everywhere. Similarly God is everywhen, and hence he is in the present, too. But I am not sure if being in the present is the same as existing presently.

1 comment:

Christopher Michael said...

What's inelegant about (7)? Presentism is a thesis about the times at which temporal entities exist, just as eternalism is. Both presentists and eternalists agree that eternal entities exist at all times. Eternalists just think temporal entities do too (if they ever exist, that is), whereas presentists deny this. Presentists think the difference between eternal and temporal entites goes as deep as their existence, whereas eternalist seem to think it goes only as deep as their causal powers.

NB: I say that x exists at a time just if the proposition "x exists." is true at that time, but not necessarily in that time.