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Sophia

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The Necessity of the Best Possible World, Divine Thankworthiness, and Grace

  • Justin J. Daeley
Article
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Abstract

A number of analytic philosophers of religion have asserted what we will call proposition (T): If God creates the best possible world from an internal necessity alone, then God cannot be thankworthy with respect to creating the best possible world. According to (T), there is inconsistency between divine thankworthiness and the idea that God creates the best possible world from an internal necessity alone. In this article, however, I develop an argument for the consistency of divine thankworthiness and the idea that God creates the best possible world from an internal necessity alone, thus claiming that proposition (T) is false. An exploration into the Judeo-Christian doctrine of divine grace will expedite the argument. This doctrine (applied to God’s act to create the best possible world) will provide sufficient grounds for thinking that God is thankworthy with respect to creating the best possible world. I also argue that the idea that God creates the best possible world from an internal necessity alone can also be a gracious act. Along the way, I will consider possible objections to my argument.

Keywords

Grace Necessity Thankworthiness Best possible world Theism 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to Jesse Couenhoven, Paul Helm, James McGlothlin, Katherin Rogers, and Thomas Senor for critical remarks and fruitful discussion on earlier drafts of this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Northwestern – St. PaulSt. PaulUSA

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