Tuggy on the Social Trinity
March 3, 2008 — 1:22

Author: Matthew Mullins  Category: Uncategorized  Comments: 5

In a series of recent posts Dale Tuggy has been going after some issues for social trinitarians. (See here, here, here, and now here.) In his most recent post Tuggy offers an argument the conclusion of which I’m attracted to. To wit, that “no Anselmian social trinitarian argument is sound.” Here is the argument:

  1. Greatness either supervenes only on intrinsic, essential properties, or not.
  2. If it does, then the property “loving another” isn’t a great-making property (it isn’t intrinsic).
  3. If the property of “loving another” isn’t a great-making property, then no Anselmian social trinitarian argument is sound.
  4. If it does not, then properties other than intrinsic and essential ones may contribute to a thing’s greatness.
  5. If properties other than intrinsic and essential ones may
    contribute to a thing’s greatness, then some of these other properties
    are infinitely increasable.
  6. If some of these properties are infinitely increasable,
    then the concept of a Greatest Possible Being (GPB) is in fact the
    concept of an impossible being (in other words, there couldn’t be a
    GPB).
  7. If a GPB is an impossible being, then this reasoning is always unsound:
    1. God is a GPB.
    2. For any x, if x is a GPB, then x has feature F.
    3. God has feature F.
  8. If the above reasoning is unsound, then no Anselmian social trinitarian argument is sound.
  9. Either way, no Anselmian social trinitarian argument is sound.

I think Tuggy’s on sold ground with regards to the GPB, and I suspect those sympathetic to the social trinity will object to #2. In any case, you should leave your comments over at Trinities.

Comments:
  • If some of these properties are infinitely increasable, then the concept of a Greatest Possible Being (GPB) is in fact the concept of an impossible being
    There are several reasons why this doesn’t follow. Here’s one reason. Let P be an infinitely increaseable property, so for every Pn there is a Pn+1 that is some degree greater. Let S instantiate Pn. Does it follow that S is not the greatest possible being? No, it doesn’t. For all we know, there is no other being that instantiates Pn+1. For all we know, it is S that instantiates Pn+1, Pn+2 . . .Poo, in each world wn+1, wn+2 . . .woo. If that’s true then, though it is true that S instantiates Pn, there is no other possible being greater than S that instantiates Pn+1. Any being you might point to as being greater than S (on the basis of it’s possession of some greater P) is identical to S.

    March 3, 2008 — 17:19
  • Christian

    If it does, then the property “loving another” isn’t a great-making property (it isn’t intrinsic).
    So only intrinisic properties are great-making? What’s the motivation? Take all of the worse-making properties and call them the P’s. God’s not having the P’s is extrinsic, but it’s great-making.
    Suppose God created everything. The property of creating all of the x’s is extrinsic, but it’s great-making.
    Suppose God is deserving of love from some x’s. That’s extrinsic, but it’s great-making.

    March 4, 2008 — 1:33
  • I logged in to say that 6 was obviously false, but see that Mike already argued it well.
    Dale and I’ve been round and round on social trinitarianism.
    Here are two links:
    http://prosblogion.ektopos.com/archives/2006/05/of-course-trini.html
    http://prosblogion.ektopos.com/archives/2007/05/who-is-gods-god.html

    March 4, 2008 — 16:40
  • Obviously false? I don’t think so. I’ve replied to Mike’s objection in the comments of the post in question @ http://trinities.org/blog/archives/267
    Still waitin’ to hear back.
    Trent, I’d be interested to hear your take on my recent posts. It doesn’t at all rehash our previous discussions.

    March 5, 2008 — 13:35
  • Still waitin’ to hear back
    Sorry to keep you waiting. My comment is in (7) on your blog. I reproduce it here. There is much more to say, part of which I say over at PHILREL.
    You say,
    If some of these properties are infinitely increasable, then the concept of a Greatest Possible Being (GPB) is in fact the concept of an impossible being (in other words, there couldn’t be a GPB
    I was responding to what you say here, just above. Your modified/clarified view is this, I think, with GB for greatest being and GPB for greatest possible being.
    G. (Vx)(Vy)(Vw)((x is GPB in w -> (y is GB in w’ & (w’ is not w) -> (x > y))).
    In English, if x is GPB in w, then x is greater than the greatest being in any other world.
    Since you’d be happy to get another reason why (6) is mistaken, even given (G), I’d be happy to offer one. To be fair, let me use your example. You say suppose that greatness supervenes . . . on some infinitely increasable property e.g. having made X number of happy creatures.. Good enough. For each infinite set of creatable happy beings there is some world w in which they are created. Let w0 be the world containing aleph-0 happy beings, let w1 be the world aleph-1 happy beings . . .and so on upward. Let God actualize every world in that sequence. In this case we have every world wn corresponding to a spatiotemporally isolated universe (i.e. an island universe) Un in a single cosmoi or multiverse M. Every createable happy creature has been created. And since we have stipulated that God’s greatness supervenes on the infinitely increasable property of having made X number of happy creatures, God is GPB by the principle (G) above.

    March 6, 2008 — 13:43