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Developmental TheismFrom Pure Will to Unbounded Love$
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Peter Forrest

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214587

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214587.001.0001

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Theism, Simplicity, and Properly Anthropocentric Metaphysics

Theism, Simplicity, and Properly Anthropocentric Metaphysics

(p.35) 2 Theism, Simplicity, and Properly Anthropocentric Metaphysics
Developmental Theism

Peter Forrest (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Neoclassical theism is a simple theistic hypothesis; that is, it is easy to describe, but classical theism is also fairly simple. The God of classical theism is a simple being — that is, lacking parts — and so is the Primordial God. Simplicity in both senses is desirable. Following Swinburne, one of the fundamental ways of understanding is in terms of an agent who has the power to bring about a situation of a certain kind, who has a motive to do so, and so does it. We should ascribe agency and consciousness as widely as we need to in order to understand. This is properly anthropocentric metaphysics, to be distinguished from improper anthropomorphism. Hence, there is an intellectual niche for the hypothesis of a Primordial God. That is, even before we consider in detail what theism explains, this hypothesis does not have too low a probability to be seriously entertained.

Keywords:   agency, improper anthropomorphism, intellectual niche, probability, properly anthropocentric metaphysics, simple being, simple theistic hypothesis

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