Does god have a nature

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616 BOOK REVIEWS Does God Have a Nature? (The Aquinas Lecture: 1980.) By ALVIN"j PL.ANTING.A.

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Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1980. Pp. ii + 146. Among the magnificent characteristics crucial for Christians and also various other theists is God"s aseity, which Alvin Plantinga in this excellently crafted book initially glosses as God"s " uncreatedness, self-sufficiency and also independence of every little thing else" (p. 1); "all things depend on him, and he depends upon nopoint at all" (p. 2). But the presence of abstract objects, according to Plantinga, poses troubles for idea in God"s aseity. "

roperties, propositions, numbers and also claims of affairs ... are objects whose non-existence is rather impossible" (p. 4). God cannot be sassist to develop them, given that they are beginningless; and given that their non-existenec is impossible, they execute not seem to depend on God in any type of other method either. But if such objects are components of the people which God just hregarding accept, their presence appears to impugn God"s aseity. The trouble is made even more acute by considering God himself. If God has actually a nature, that is, if he has actually some properties essentially, then it is not within his control whether or not he has those properties. "So God"s having actually a nature seems incompatible through his being in full control" (p. 8). In the background of thoughtful theology, nominalism, possibilism, and the doctrine of divine simplicity have been presented as solutions to this trouble. Nominalism attempts to resolve the difficulty by denying the existence of abstract objects such as properties and also propositions.

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Plantinga suggests that tright here are a variety of challenges through nominalism as a solution (one of them, he says-p. 85-is its noticeable falsity), however chief among them is the fact that nominalism is ssuggest irpertinent to this trouble, which continues to be also if we pare our ontology down to concrete objects only. On Plantinga"s interpretation of it, the doctrine of God"s aseity is the doctrine that all things, including all truths, are approximately God. Given that interpretation, the p11oblem with God"s aseity is not really addressed by nominalism. Although nominalism denies that properties, divine or otherwise , have actually independent presence, particular propositions about God"s nature nonethemuch less remajor necessarily true; and also these truths are not within God"s control. Therefore, also if nominalism were correct, there would still be truths about God"s nature which are not up to God and also which subsequently impugn his aseity. Possibilism attempts to solve the difficulty by claiming that God has actually no nature; all truths, consisting of truths about God himself, are up to God. Much of Plantinga"s discussion of possibilism is populated with the question of whether Descartes was a possibilist. Plantinga concludes that he was and that he held a somewhat perplexed version of possibilism, an in- BOOK REVIEWS 617 continual mixture of " restricted possibilism" (the view that some truths are important though God can have actually made them otherwise) and also "global possibilism " (the check out that tright here are no essential truths, only contingent ones). Plantinga argues that contrary to appearances universal possibilism is a systematic position. And he maintains that, of the standard remedies to the difficulty of God"s ascity, global possibilism is the only one really pertinent to the problem because it alone puts every little thing , including all truths, within God"s control. As for the doctrine of divine simplicity, on Plantinga"s watch, it is choose nominalism in that both positions, besides their other flegislations, have the overriding failing of irrelevance to the difficulty because according to each of these putative options some truths are not as much as God. The strategy of Plantinga"s own solution to the problem is the mirror image of that of nominalism. Nominalism attempts to solve the noticeable incompatibility of abstract objects and God"s aseity by denying the presence of abstract objects. Plantinga attempts to resolve it by denying God"s aseity. At the start of his last chapter he asks his "last question": "must we follow Descartes in offering full persuade to the sovereignty -aseity intuition, hence denying that God has a nature"" (p. 126); and his answer is "No". He concludes by keeping that God does have actually a...


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