Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quote of the Day

One friend replied to [our] claim like this: "You agree that it is possible for one
essence to be transworld depraved, don't you? And you agree that it is possible for two
essences to be transworld depraved, right? Thinking things through from this starting
point, isn't it reasonable to believe that it is possible that every essence suffers from
transworld depravity?" How should we answer this question? Well, note that our friend
encourages us to think that for every natural number n, it is possible for there to be n
essences that suffer from transworld depravity. We concede that it is possible that there
are an infinite, nay, an indenumerable number of transworld depraved essences. Should
we infer that it is possible that every essence suffers from transworld depravity? Of
course not. Consider the following analogue to our friend’s reasoning: "I'm going to
show you that it is reasonable to believe that at no possible world do Bill and Jane marry.
You can imagine one world where they don't. And you can imagine two worlds where
they don't. So, is it not reasonable to think that at every possible world they don't marry?"
Seen for what it is, our friend’s argument is no better than this one.


-Daniel Howard-Snyder and John Hawthorne, “Transworld Sanctity and Plantinga’s Free Will Defense”, Int’l. Journal for Philosophy of Religion 44:1 (1998).

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