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If the DDS is true, then God is abstract

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  • If the DDS is true, then God is abstract

    I am looking for reasonable answers to the following objection to the DDS

    P1 If the DDS is true, then God is identical to his properties (I am also aware this assumes the identity account of Gods properties, but thats what I am interested in)
    P2 But, properties are abstract
    P3 So, God is identical to something abstract
    C1 Therefore, God is abstract

    And obviously, this can't be, because God is said to be concrete.

    My first thought would be that predicating properties of God is simply analogical predication, not univocal, so it can't necessarily be said that when we say God has the property X (even though God doesn't have properties in the way creatures do) we mean it in the same abstract sense, when we say person P has property X.

    Thoughts or answers?

  • #2
    I would reject P2.

    Longer answer is that it depends on what your are thinking of as properties. If you think a property just is a function, e.g., the property blue is the function "______ is blue", then properties are abstract objects if mathematical objects are abstract. But that is not the only way to think of properties. I can, for instance, refer to a particular property, like the blue of your shirt.

    If you did have a spare view according to which properties are just functions or perhaps sets of objects (intuitively, those possessing the property), then the DDS proponent won't be interested in affirming P1. But if you have a richer conception of properties, then reject P2. God is identical to his knowledge, not to knowledge as some abstract thing.

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    • #3
      Truthmaker theory takes care of this nicely. God is the truthmaker for “God is omniscient”, “God is omnipotent”, and so on, but is a sui generis entity rather than identical with properties.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by John West View Post
        Truthmaker theory takes care of this nicely. God is the truthmaker for “God is omniscient”, “God is omnipotent”, and so on, but is a sui generis entity rather than identical with properties.
        Yes, but then we are swapping one form of mysterianism for another.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Greg View Post
          Yes, but then we are swapping one form of mysterianism for another.

          Well, we can meaningfully apply predicates to entities without assigning them properties (cf. here).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by John West View Post
            Truthmaker theory takes care of this nicely. God is the truthmaker for “God is omniscient”, “God is omnipotent”, and so on, but is a sui generis entity rather than identical with properties.
            Any links you could give me to read more about the truthmaker account of God's attributes?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ClassicalLiberal.Theist View Post
              I am looking for reasonable answers to the following objection to the DDS

              P1 If the DDS is true, then God is identical to his properties (I am also aware this assumes the identity account of Gods properties, but thats what I am interested in)
              P2 But, properties are abstract
              P3 So, God is identical to something abstract
              C1 Therefore, God is abstract
              1 and 2 might be taken to refer to property-instances/tropes rather than properties. So whilst the property of being omnipotent might be an abstract object all given omnipotence tropes would be concrete objects. One is then faced with the objection that this would make God a property-instance but if one admits natural kinds as properties all substances are a type of property-instance so why worry?


              Originally posted by ClassicalLiberal.Theist View Post

              Any links you could give me to read more about the truthmaker account of God's attributes?
              https://maverickphilosopher.typepad....uthmakers.html

              https://www.academia.edu/23446298/Th...ine_Simplicity

              http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-con...Simplicity.pdf

              Last edited by DanielCC; 05-03-2019, 03:22 PM.

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              • #8
                By accident I was reading the Divine Simplicity entry on Stanford Encyclopedia and it seems to be addressing your concern.

                https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/divine-simplicity/

                The basic idea is that DDS is coherent only in the framework of a constituent ontology.

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