Divine Necessity

Edited by Daniel Von Wachter (International Academy of Philosophy In The Principality of Liechtenstein)
About this topic
Summary Theists usually hold that God exists necessarily. You could cease to exist, and you could have never come into existence. It even could have happend that no humans ever existed. By contrast, it is supposed to be impossible that there ever would have been or will be a time at which there exists no God. However, it is debated in which sense God exists necessarily. With the concept of necessity which was favoured by the linguistic turn and logical positivism, the claim that God exists necessarily becomes implausible.
Key works Findlay 1948 argues, based on the positivist notion of necessity, that there is no God. Hick 1961 and 1960 argues that God's necessity should be understood as ‘factual necessity’. Leftow 2010 defends that God's existence is logically necessary, Swinburne 2010 objects. von Wachter 2009 (ch. 13) and 2002 argues that logical necessity is not properly called ‘necessity’ and that God exists necessarily in the proper sense.
Introductions An encyclopedia entry: Davidson unknown.
Related categories

28 found
  1. Is the Concept of Necessary Existence Self-Contradictory?W. E. Abraham - 1962 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 5 (1-4):143 – 157.
    In this article I have tried to rebut certain types of arguments which purport to show not merely that God does not exist but that the notion of necessary existence is itself either self-contradictory or senseless. In showing that it is not self-contradictory I have allowed myself the luxury of a negative and a positive approach. Negatively, I have had to show that when the accusation of self-contradiction is made, it is often accompanied, not by an argument but by a (...)
  2. Presumption and the Necessary Existence of God.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1988 - Noûs 22 (1):19-32.
  3. Divine Necessity.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy 80 (11):741-752.
  4. Has It Been Proved That All Real Existence Is Contingent?Robert Merrihew Adams - 1971 - American Philosophical Quarterly 8 (3):284 - 291.
  5. Modal Evil and Divine Necessity.Robert Bass - manuscript
    God is often conceived as a necessary being, but if gratuitous evil is even possible, then God cannot be necessary. Two arguments are developed that the possibility of gratuitous evil is more probable than divine necessity. Thus, probably, it is impossible for God to be a necessary being. The main argument is then followed with some reflection on what this conclusion means for philosophical theism.
  6. God Exists at Every World: Response to Sheehy.Ross P. Cameron - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (1):95-100.
    Paul Sheehy has argued that the modal realist cannot satisfactorily allow for the necessity of God's existence. In this short paper I show that she can, and that Sheehy only sees a problem because he has failed to appreciate all the resources available to the modal realist. God may be an abstract existent outside spacetime or He may not be: but either way, there is no problem for the modal realist to admit that He exists at every concrete possible world.
  7. Talbot School of Theology Divine Timelessness and Necessary Existence.William Lane Craig - 1997 - International Philosophical Quarterly 37 (2):217-224.
  8. God and Logical Necessity.Adel Daher - 1969 - Philosophical Studies 18:160-171.
  9. The Concept of Divine Necessity.Brian Davies - 1980 - New Blackfriars 61 (725):486-496.
  10. Does the Kind of Necessity Which Is Represented by S5 Capture Logically Defensible Notion of a Nece.Stamatios Gerogiorgakis - 2012 - In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Ontos Verlag. pp. 50--309.
  11. God as Necessary Being.John Hick - 1960 - Journal of Philosophy 57 (22/23):725-734.
  12. Theism and Modal Collapse.Klaas J. Kraay - 2011 - American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):361.
    God is traditionally taken to be a necessarily existing being who is unsurpassably powerful, knowledgeable, and good. The familiar problem of actual evil claims that the presence of gratuitous suffering in the actual world constitutes evidence against the existence of such a being. In contrast, the problem of possible evil claims that the possibility of bad worlds constitutes evidence against theism. How? It seems plausible to suppose that there are very bad possible worlds. But if God exists in every world, (...)
  13. A doutrina de São Tomás do ser necessário (tradução).Fabio Lampert - 2012 - Fundamento 1 (4):201-2014.
  14. God and Necessity.Brian Leftow - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Modal basics -- Some solutions -- Theist solutions -- The ontology of possibility -- Modal truthmakers -- Modality and the divine nature -- Deity as essential -- Against deity theories -- The role of deity -- The biggest bang -- Divine concepts -- Concepts, syntax, and actualism -- Modality: basic notions -- The genesis of secular modality -- Modal reality -- Essences -- Non-secular modalities -- Theism and modal semantics -- Freedom, preference, and cost -- Explaining modal status -- Explaining (...)
  15. Necessity.William E. Mann - 1997 - In Philip L. Quinn & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), A Companion to Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell. pp. 264-270.
  16. Absolute Creation.Thomas V. Morris & Christopher Menzel - 1986 - American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (4):353 - 362.
  17. Leftow on God and Necessity.Graham Oppy - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (3):5-16.
    This paper is a critical examination of some of the major themes of Brian Leftow's book *God and Necessity*.
  18. Duns Scotus on Natural Theology.James F. Ross - manuscript
    Scotus’ natural theology has distinctive claims: (i) that we can reason demonstratively to the necessary existence and nature of God from what is actually so; but not from imagined situations, or from conceivability-to-us; rather, only from the possibility logically required for what we know actually to be so; (ii) that there is a univocal transcendental notion of being; (iii) that there are disjunctive transcendental notions that apply exclusively to everything, like ‘contingent/necessary,’ and such that the inferior cannot have a case (...)
  19. God and "Logical Necessity".James F. Ross - 1961 - Philosophical Quarterly 11 (42):22-27.
  20. L'être de Dieu.Yann Schmitt - 2016 - Editions d'Ithaque.
    Le théisme est la position métaphysique au cœur des religions monothéistes : il est l’affirmation qu’il existe un Dieu omniscient, omnipotent, parfaitement bon et créateur. Penser l’objet de ces croyances, à savoir Dieu, suppose donc une étude des catégories métaphysiques nécessaires à l’explicitation du théisme. Loin de tout rationalisme étroit et de toute exaltation mystique, le présent ouvrage mobilise les outils de la philosophie contemporaine afin de mettre au jour les choix théoriques qui sont requis pour concevoir un Dieu compris (...)
  21. Might God Not Have Been God?Patrick Shaw - 1995 - Religious Studies 31 (4):421.
    James Sennett has argued that Yahweh may possess the properties of divinity contingently; that it is an open question whether Yahweh is divine in all possible worlds, and that perfect goodness cannot belong essentially to anyone. In response to Sennett it is here argued that it does not make clear sense to suppose that properties apply to Yahweh contingently, and that Sennett fails to demonstrate that perfect goodness cannot apply essentially. There are problems with the notion of perfect goodness, but (...)
  22. Reply to Cameron.Paul Sheehy - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (1):101-104.
    Ross Cameron has argued that the modal realism of David Lewis furnishes the theist with the resources to explain divine necessity. Cameron is successful in identifying two theistic strategies, but neither is attractive in light of a commitment to modal realism. The first theistic strategy is to treat God as an abstract entity in the same way that the modal realist treats pure sets. This is undermotivated in light of the nominalistic spirit of modal realism. The second strategy is to (...)
  23. Theism and Modal Realism.Paul Sheehy - 2006 - Religious Studies 42 (3):315-328.
    This paper examines the relationship between the classical theistic conception of God and modal realism. I suggest that realism about possible worlds has unwelcome consequences for that conception. First, that modal realism entails the necessity of divine existence eludes explanation in a way congenial to a commitment to both modal realism and classical theism. Second, divine knowledge is dependent on worlds independent of the creative role and action of God, thereby suggesting a limitation on the nature of divine knowledge and (...)
  24. Criteria of the Divine Attribution.A. Shirzad - unknown - Kheradnameh Sadra Quarterly 18.
    Having proved the first Origin, the Divine Unity, and the simplicity of the Divine Essence, Ibn-Sina intejects the attributes of the Necessary Being under two categories:First- the universal issues such as the kinds of attributes and the criteria for attributing God throug attributes, the criteria for negating some other attributes, andanalyzing attributes such as knowledge, power, will... individually.The fact that, in terms of the existential reality and existential perfections, God is also unrivalled, is resulted from the fact that the Truth's- (...)
  25. What Kind of Necessary Being Could God Be?Richard Swinburne - 2012 - In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today. Ontos Verlag. pp. 345.
  26. Classical Theism and Modal Realism Are Incompatible.Chad Vance - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (4):561-572.
    The standard conception of God is that of a necessary being. On a possible worlds semantics, this entails that God exists at every possible world. According to the modal realist account of David Lewis, possible worlds are understood to be real, concrete worlds—no different in kind from the actual world. Some have argued that Lewis’s view is incompatible with classical theism (e.g., Sheehy, 2006). More recently, Ross Cameron (2009) has defended the thesis that Lewisian modal realism and classical theism are (...)
  27. The Necessity of God's Existence.Daniel von Wachter - 2002 - In A. Beckermann & C. Nimtz (eds.), Argument & Analyse. Mentis. pp. 516-525, http://epub.ub.uni-muen.
    It is spelled out in which sense God exists necessarily. Some contemporary accounts are criticised.
  28. Die Notwendigkeit der Existenz Gottes.Daniel von Wachter - 2001 - Metaphysica 2:55-81.