Logically possible worlds God could feasibly create.

Often philosophers of a theologically orthodox persuasion will speak about how some worlds are logically possible for God to create without them being feasible for God to create (which is equivalent to saying that God cannot ensure the reality of the intended possible world). One example might be a world in which every free person freely chooses to not sin at every occasion when that choice presents itself. That is a logically possible world, and one which God can create. However, it isn’t a feasible world for God to create – since it is not logically possible for God to make anybody freely do anything.

Here’s a thought experiment which may be able to punch a whole in typical theodicies on offer by these same orthodox philosophers and apologists. Consider that God can create a world with agents who have free will, and upon creating that world he has exhaustive knowledge about that world including all future contingencies and counter-factuals. God could then employ a process where if world w1 satisfies ~S then the world remains, and if the world does not satisfy ~S then it is immediately annihilated. Make S to be ‘instantiates sin’. Thus, if the world God creates instantiates sin, it is immediately annihilated. Moreover, if it is annihilated then God creates another such world: if w1 is annihilated, then God creates w2. Or: for any wn, if wn is annihilated, then God creates w(n+1). Thus, God creates a world which can potentially actualize the state of affairs in which all free agents freely choose never to sin (which is logically possible), and for every world which does not ‘actually’ satisfy this state of affairs, God annihilates the world and creates a new one. On this argument, it is logically possible (though I’m not sure that it is logically necessary) that there be a world created by God which involves free agents who never sin, and this world is, it would seem, feasible for God to create. Perhaps an infinite set of worlds all created at once, all of which are destroyed if and only if they involve any occasion of sin, would all be destroyed, since a set’s being infinite does not guarantee that it contains all members which it plausibly could contain (for example the set of all odd numbers from 0 to positive infinity is infinite, as is the set of all odd numbers from 0 to positive infinity not including 3). So perhaps it remains infeasible for God to create. Nevertheless, it seems that God could create an infinite set of worlds which is guaranteed to involve the member ‘the world in which all people freely choose to not sin’ (though I am unsure about this).

Suppose such a thing is true for the sake of argument, it seems incumbent on the apologist to develop a theodicy on which all things ‘work out for the Glory of God’ in such a way that even in a world where the maximal amount of possible suffering instantiates (including perhaps all human beings going to Hell), that world would be sufficiently ‘good’ for God to be satisfied with its existence. This has always been my intuition when it comes to theodicy. Thus, the ‘greater good’ is understood very much in the terms Dante proposes when he placates over the gates of hell the words “me too made eternal love”. One has a prerogative, therefore, to develop a theodicy on which Hell is seen as an ultimate good.

An alternative thought, probably deserving of its own separate post, is this: consider on A theory that every single moment may be a logically possible world (see Pruss here)- that would entail that God could simply destroy the possible world at which sin is instantiated, and re-create the moment over and over again until no sin obtains. If this argument runs through, then it is plausibly a good argument against the A theory of time. If it doesn’t run through, then one must ask why. Obviously Craig’s model of God in time satisfies a strong view of omniscience such that God knows future propositions and even counter-factuals. Thus, why not adopt such a process? Just a thought worthy of thought.


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.
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Free Will, Hell, Philosophical Theology, Philosophy of Time, Theodicy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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