Incompatible And Incomparable Perfections: A New Argument Against Perfect Being Theism

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-19 (2024)
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Abstract

Perfect being theism is the view that the perfect being exists and the property being-perfect is the property being-God. According to the strong analysis of perfection, a being is perfect just in case it exemplifies all perfections. On the other hand, the weak analysis of perfection claims that a being is perfect just in case it exemplifies the best possible combination of compatible perfections. Strong perfect being theism accepts the former analysis while weak perfect being theism accepts the latter. In this paper, I argue that there are good reasons to reject both versions of perfect being theism. On the one hand, strong perfect being theism is false if there are incompatible perfections; I argue that there are. On the other hand, if either no comparison can be made between sets of perfections, or they are equally good, then there is no best possible set of perfections. I argue for the antecedent of this conditional statement, concluding that weak perfect being theism is false. In the absence of other analyses of perfection, I conclude that we have reason to reject perfect being theism.

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