I’m thinking about whether it is possible that Swampman exists, where Swampman is a creature that is created by lightning which hits a swamp and the atoms just happen to arrange in to the exact arrangement of the atoms which constitute Donald Davidson (or some human). I’m also thinking about whether it is possible that Theodore exist, where Theodore is the accidental byproduct of a clumsy angel’s trying to create something else (like a statue).
Plantinga gives the following (he calls ‘inconclusive’) argument:
But if there is such a person as God, it is unlikely that it is possible that a being capable of belief and moral agency should just pop into existence, unintended and undesigned by God. According to the Christian tradition, only God can create beings capable of belief and moral agency; I am inclined to think this is right. But even if it isn’t, even if it is possible that God should delegate the task of creating such beings to some of his creatures, it still wouldn’t be possible that such a creature pop into existence unintended by God. (1995, PPR 55:2, p. 460)
I have a few questions. First, where in the Christian tradition does it say this?
Secondly, is it possible that a creature that is capable of belief and agency come into existence, and it is not intended by God?
Thirdly, is it possible that a creature that is capable of belief and agency come into existence, and it is not designed by God?
I take it that to design something takes a little more than intending its existence. The owners of Honda could intend for there to be the creation of more cars, but the engineers of Honda might have to design those cars. I also take it that some facts are unintended by God. I am a certain distance from an atom on your left cheek – it’s not obvious (and probably not the case) that God intended this fact to be the case. This is probably an unintended byproduct of other things God intended. Both of these points can be disputed.