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Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion Volume 8$
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Jonathan L. Kvanvig

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806967.001.0001

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The All-Powerful, Perfectly Good, and Free God

The All-Powerful, Perfectly Good, and Free God

(p.16) 2 The All-Powerful, Perfectly Good, and Free God
Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion Volume 8

T. Ryan Byerly

Oxford University Press

This paper argues that to be omnipotent is to possess all the powers. This view accommodates the demands and insights of the literature on omnipotence quite well while overcoming difficulties faced by alternative accounts of omnipotence. At the same time, the account makes available equally attractive resolutions of two puzzles: one concerning the compatibility of omnipotence and perfect goodness and a second concerning the compatibility of perfect goodness and divine freedom. In the course of articulating solutions to these puzzles, novel suggestions are proposed about divine self-control and about how best to understand the principle of alternative possibilities, while engaging with relevant literature on topics such as the truth conditions of counterpossible conditionals, the neo-Aristotelian view of powers and dispositions, and the interpretation of so-called “Luther cases.”

Keywords:   omnipotence, powers, perfect goodness, divine freedom, principle of alternative possibilities

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