Intrinsically Good, God Created Them

Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion (forthcoming)
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Erik Wielenberg [2014] and Mark Murphy [2017], [2018] have defended a series of arguments for the conclusion that creatures are not good intrinsically. In response, I take two steps. First, I introduce a conception of intrinsic value that makes created intrinsic value unproblematic. Second, I respond to their arguments in turn. The first argument is from the sovereignty-aseity intuition and an analysis of intrinsicality that makes derivative good extrinsic. I challenge the analysis. The second comes from a conception of perfection where God exhausts all possibilities for goodness. I challenge this conception. The third comes from the contingency of creation and the internal logic of intrinsic value. I challenge the assumption that connects the two. I then present an argument from reference magnetism that the only conception of God, God's perfections, and religious language that makes it plausible that the sentence "God is intrinsically good and creatures are not" is true involves a strongly univocalist position. A view that is either unstatable or places strong demands on our conception of God, God's perfections and religious language thereby loses plausibility.

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Daniel Rubio
Hope College


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