Monday, December 27, 2021

Essentially evil organizations

Start with this argument:

  1. Everything that exists is God or is created and sustained by God.

  2. God does not create and sustain anything essentially evil.

  3. The KKK is essentially evil.

  4. The KKK is not God.

  5. So, the KKK does not exist.

Now we have a choice-point. We could say:

  1. If the KKK does not exist, no organization exists.

  2. So, no organization exists.

After all, it may seem reasonable to think that the ontology of social groups should not depend on whether the groups are good, neutral or bad.

But I think it’s not unreasonable to deny (6), and to say that the being of a social group is defined by its teleology, and there is no teleology without a good telos. A similar move would allow for a way out of the previous argument.


Ibrahim Dagher said...

Hi Dr. Pruss,

This is unrelated, but what do you think about the new so-called 'intentional challenge' to Divine Simplicity? Namely, classical theists want to say that contingent predications of God are not intrinsic. But imagine God (causally) prior to creation, call this state of affairs P. In P, God is alone, creation has not (yet) been actualized. Since God is a rational agent surely we want to say that God *intends* to actualize our world. But this intention is contingent (if for no other reason than our world being contingent). But in P there is nothing extrinsic to God. It appears, then, that we need some kind of account of intentionality wherein God is intrinsically the same across all worlds, but has different intentions of creating causally prior to actualizing those different creations. Unlike the problem of divine knowledge of contingents, I don't think we can ground God's intention to actualize our world in P in the absence of anything. What account of intentionality do you subscribe to that may solve this puzzle? Thanks!

Alexander R Pruss said...


Ibrahim Dagher said...

Thank you!

Contra Sedevacantism said...

groups aren't essences, so they can't be essentially evil.