Divine unsurpassability

Philosophia 35 (3-4):293-300 (2007)

Abstract
One historically significant model of God holds that God is a perfect being. Analytic philosophers of religion have typically understood this to mean that God is essentially unsurpassable in power, knowledge, goodness, and wisdom. Recently, however, several philosophers have argued that this is inconsistent with another common theistic position: the view that for any world that God can create, there is a better world that God could have created instead. The argument runs (roughly) as follows: if, no matter which world God creates, there’s a better creatable one, then God’s action in creating a world is necessarily surpassable. And if God’s action in creating a world is necessarily surpassable, then God is necessarily surpassable. If this argument is sound, it reveals a serious flaw in an important model of God. In what follows, I set out this argument, and I then distinguish and evaluate four replies.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Science   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Language   Ethics   Epistemology   Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-007-9084-6
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The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Oxford University Press USA.
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Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Mind 110 (440):1110-1115.
Must God Create the Best?Robert Merrihew Adams - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (3):317-332.

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