International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 75–83

On the number of gods


DOI: 10.1007/s11153-011-9325-2

Cite this article as:
Steinhart, E. Int J Philos Relig (2012) 72: 75. doi:10.1007/s11153-011-9325-2


A god is a cosmic designer-creator. Atheism says the number of gods is 0. But it is hard to defeat the minimal thesis that some possible universe is actualized by some possible god. Monotheists say the number of gods is 1. Yet no degree of perfection can be coherently assigned to any unique god. Lewis says the number of gods is at least the second beth number. Yet polytheists cannot defend an arbitrary plural number of gods. An alternative is that, for every ordinal, there is a god whose perfection is proportional to it. The n-th god actualizes the best universe(s) in the n-th level of an axiological hierarchy of possible universes. Despite its unorthodoxy, ordinal polytheism has many metaphysically attractive features and merits more serious study.



Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA