On the number of gods

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72 (2):75-83 (2012)
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Abstract

A god is a cosmic designer-creator. Atheism says the number of gods is 0. But it is hard to defeat the minimal thesis that some possible universe is actualized by some possible god. Monotheists say the number of gods is 1. Yet no degree of perfection can be coherently assigned to any unique god. Lewis says the number of gods is at least the second beth number. Yet polytheists cannot defend an arbitrary plural number of gods. An alternative is that, for every ordinal, there is a god whose perfection is proportional to it. The n -th god actualizes the best universe(s) in the n -th level of an axiological hierarchy of possible universes. Despite its unorthodoxy, ordinal polytheism has many metaphysically attractive features and merits more serious study.

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Eric Steinhart
William Paterson University of New Jersey

Citations of this work

The Intrinsic Probability of Grand Explanatory Theories.Ted Poston - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (4):401-420.
On the plurality of gods.Eric Steinhart - 2013 - Religious Studies 49 (3):289-312.
Against the Theistic Multiverse.Sara L. Uckelman - 2020 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (4):1-14.
“I Am the Gracious Goddess”: Wiccan Analytic Theology.Jonathan Hill - 2020 - Journal of Analytic Theology 8 (1):152-177.

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References found in this work

Philosophical papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?Nick Bostrom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243-255.
Dialogues concerning natural religion.David Hume - 2007 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late modern philosophy: essential readings with commentary. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 338-339.

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