By William L. Rowe
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Extra resources for Can God Be Free?
For, assuming that God necessarily exists, every possible world includes an infinite amount of good by virtue of including the infinite goodness of God. How then can we say that one world is better than another when each contains an infinite amount of good? Could a world contain an amount of good that exceeds an infinite amount of good? And, in addition, one might well ask what sense it makes to speak of God’s creating a world. For on the conception of a world as a maximal state of affairs, if God necessarily exists, then every world includes God’s existing.
Aquinas also allows that adding more parts may lead to a better world. For since there is an infinite distance between any creature and God, a world may be improved by adding more parts (species) between God and the highest presently existing creatures. 5 6 A Particular Problem of Creation’, 230. Summa Theologica, Ia. q. 25. a. 6. ad a. 3 (part I, question 25, article 6, reply to objection 3). Aquinas on the Infinity of Worlds 39 Reflecting on the above ways in which God could have made a better world, it seems that there simply is no end to increasingly better worlds that God could have created.
Since any world that includes God’s existence thereby contains an infinite amount of goodness, what 10 This does not mean that there is no way in which necessary facts such as the number 4’s being larger than the number 2 depend on God. It only means that God doesn’t create them. 11 God’s necessarily existing is a constituent of every possible world provided God’s necessarily existing is a possible state of affairs. 12 Suppose God creates living creatures who in turn create some works of art. There being such works of art is a contingent state of affairs not directly created (made actual) by God.