Traditional Christian Theism and Truthmaker Maximalism

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (1):197-218 (2012)
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I argue that Traditional Christian Theism is inconsistent with Truthmaker Maximalism, the thesis that all truths have truthmakers. Though this original formulation requires extensive revision, the gist of the argument is as follows. Suppose for reductio Traditional Christian Theism and the sort of Truthmaker Theory that embraces Truthmaker Maximalism are both true. By Traditional Christian Theism, there is a world in which God, and only God, exists. There are no animals in such a world. Thus, it is true in such a world that there are no zebras. That there are no zebras must have a truthmaker, given Truthmaker Maximalism. God is the only existing object in such a world, and so God must be the truthmaker for this truth, given that it has a truthmaker. But truthmakers necessitate the truths they make true. So, for any world, at any time at which God exists, God makes that there are no zebras true. According to Traditional Christian Theism, God exists in our world. In our world, then, it is true: there are no zebras. But there are zebras. Contradiction! Thus, the conjunction of Traditional Christian Theism with Truthmaker Necessitation and Truthmaker Maximalism is inconsistent.

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Tim Pawl
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota


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