Worst of all Possible worlds, God and contingency

Consider the following question: “Does Leibniz think it is logically possible for God to choose to create the worst of all possible worlds?” It seems that while Leibniz wants to say that it is logically possible in some sense, so that speaking about possible worlds is still possible (and therefore speech which presumes contingency is coherent) still Leibniz’ God is inclined by nature to choose only the best of all possible worlds. In a sense, God’s only choices, for Leibniz, are to create the best of all possible worlds, or else refrain from creating.

Therefore, it is not logically possible, it seems, for God to create the worst of all possible worlds, since it is against his nature, and Leibniz maintains that his nature is not contingent (that is precisely his retort to the Cartesians when they suggest that logic is contingent). Therefore it is no more logically possible for God to create any world other than the best of all possible worlds than it would be for God to cease to exist, create a rock so heavy he could not lift it, smell the touch of the colour 9, or create a married bachelor. To suggest that God could implies that language has simply gone awry.

This constitutes a good reason to reject Leibniz’ idea that it is coherent to even speak about a “best of all possible worlds,” as I tried to demonstrate in a previous post; “The Best of all possible worlds“.

I think in one sense this demonstrates that God could create a world which is part of a set of the “best of all possible worlds” but this ‘best’ would be constrained by qualities which the world had fundamentally, and not constrained by what instances of good or evil are actualized in that world (at least without concerning oneself with the eschatological category). For instance, one property which all worlds fitting the description of “best” must have, plausibly, is the quality of significantly free moral agents. One might then argue from the supposition that “all things work out to the Glory of God” that whatever evil instantiates in that world, ultimately that world is maximally good (certainly this is true if Hell is good, which I take it ultimately and Metaphysically that it is; see Pruss herehere and most recently here). I may work out in detail what I mean in a later post (probably if I get into blogging about Molinism, which I do not accept).

About tylerjourneaux

I am an aspiring Catholic theologian and philosopher, and I have a keen interest in apologetics. I am creating this blog both in order to practice and improve my writing and memory retention as I publish my thoughts, and in order to give evidence of my ability to understand and communicate thoughts on topics pertinent to Theology, Philosophy, philosophical theology, Catholic (Christian) Apologetics, philosophy of religion and textual criticism.
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