“... what motivates God to choose not the world consisting solely of himself, the absolutely perfect being, but, instead, a world consisting of the absolutely perfect being accompanied by a universe swarming with countless other beings, none of which — not even any that is perfect of its kind — is or could be absolutely perfect?”* 
I’m trying to do some work on Genesis 1-3, and find myself constantly drawn to what I now discover is a position known as ‘necessitarianism’, which apparently Thomas Aquinas denied, but which the author of the question above says actually his logic ought to have affirmed.
Thus I find myself agreeing with the following (in fact it was quite a relief to find someone else taking this line):
Goodness does require something other than itself as a manifestation of itself. God therefore necessarily (though with the freedom associated with with counterfactual choice) wills the being of something other than himself. [...] God’s will is necessitated as regards whether to create, but fully free as regards what to create. 
And what that has to do with women bishops, I’ll explain later.
By the way, I discovered this brilliant quote about the author on Wikipedia. It is referenced, so I trust it is true!
When his friends and colleagues wept because they knew he was dying, he consoled them by saying, "You are not a philosopher or a Christian if you are not ready to welcome death." When a colleague commented that he was treating his illness very philosophically, he replied "of course - I have a PhD in that subject."
3 November 2010
3 November 2010
* Norman Kretzmann, The Metaphysics of Theism: Aquinas’s Natural Theology in SUMMA CONTRA GENTILES (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1997)Anonymous users wishing to paste in the comments box need first to select 'preview', then close the preview box. When posting your comments please give a full name and location. Comments without this information may be deleted.