Theodicy and Temporality


JJ MacIntosh (U Calgary): :

A bit of explanation about Hick and Ireanean theodicies. Survival of bodily death is necessary for a successful theodicy wherein current suffering is necessary for and compensated by a future life of eternal happiness. But Hick does not believe in souls. He thinks individuals are somehow reconstituted (but without the same body or soul.)

(Jack now introduces a bit of modal logic and logical theory about identity. Identity is symmetrical, transitive, euclidean. If two things are possible identical, then they are identical, then they are necessarily identical.If a person O has reappeared (after death) as R, there must be some set of properties that R, and nothing else, possesses.) But Hick says the set Gamma need not contain the claim R=O.

So the suggestion is that R and O must share some similarities which guarantee bodily identity.

Similarity is no guarantee of identity. In some cases, it’s evidence of non-identity. Hume argues that coherence of change is necessary. But Hick’s model precludes coherence.

Back to similarity. If R1 and R2 both possess a set of similar properties to O (Gamma, which does not contain R=O), then neither is identical with O. But if only R1 or R2 exist, then one or the other is identical with O.

Jack: but if identity is transitive, then R1 = R2. Hick simply says this is logically impossible for for both R1 and R2 to coexist. But he offers no argument. And it seems that God could create a law of non-duplication in this world, but not in all possible worlds. So if R1 and

Hick’s only is haeccity, to insist that the set gamma must contain the claim R=O. But this would allow resurrection as a rock, frog, or galaxy.

Joseph Diekemper (Queens U, Belfast): Temporality, God, and Personalism: If God exists in time, then he can create changes in time. But then he couldn’t have created time. And since he is eternal, he would have had to wait an infinite amount of time before creating anything.

Could God be coeternal? Objections: (1) This seems to imply the existence of an infinitely old universe or a multiverse. But both possibilities seem extravagant. (2) God must have temporal priority over his creations.

It’s unacceptable anthropomorphization to impute human finite powers to God, but he must feel emotions (love, anger, pity, etc.) structurally similar to human emotions, rather than a dispassionate timeless cognition.


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