Omniscience and radical particularity: A reply to Simoni

Religious Studies 39 (2):225-233 (2003)
Abstract
This paper is a brief reply to Henry Simoni's ‘Divine passibility and the problem of radical particularity: does God feel your pain?’ in Religious Studies, 33 (1997). I treat his discussion of my paper entitled ‘Hartshorne and Creel on impassibility’, Process Studies, 21 (1992). I argue that Simoni's examples used to illustrate the purportedly contradictory nature of the experiences of a God who universally feels creaturely states fail. For Simoni tacitly employs an inadequate notion of the law of non-contradiction, and thereby misses the relevant phenomenological fact that it is possible for human beings to have integrated mental states that contain spatially distinctive but conflicting hedonic properties. Thus, it is possible for God (at least under Hartshornean descriptions) to have such experiences. I also argue that I have not ‘exploited an isolated passage’ in Hartshorne to make his views seem more palatable. The point of the passage in question is in fact repeated by Hartshorne and is systematically connected with his doctrine of the ‘objective and subjective form of feeling’.
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