It seems that goodness compared abstract timeless possible world W in God’s mind and W willed into solid reality and concluded that the latter state of affairs was superior to the former.

Now suppose the actual world is the best possible one. What about the next-best possible one, NW? Isn’t an actually existing NW superior to a merely abstract such world? Why not create it, too?

Goodness then seems to be driven forever to be devouring nothingness, populating it with good things. It’s always creating. Googols of worlds are already out there, and googols more are in the making. Seems a little grotesque, doesn’t it?

The solution involves paying attention to the mode of the First Cause or rather out complete ignorance about this mode.

We know of 1st-level physical causation: billiard balls striking each other, etc.; 2nd-level teleological causation: human actions that have reasons for them and that satisfy desires; but the 3rd-level self-diffusion of goodness is an impenetrable mystery.

God did not have to create according to physical causation: He would have remained God if He had failed to create. Nor according to teleological causation: there was nothing missing in God’s life, no dissatisfaction that could be remedied by a “divine action.” The causation was 3rd-level, and we must leave it at that.

But this immediately puts the problem in a new light. God is not “bound” to fill nothingness with worlds, as though He were a horn of plenty vomiting out “good” things. If 3rd-level causality is beyond comprehension, then perhaps this one world was enough for goodness.

Categories: What Is God?

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