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God, Personhood, and Infinity: Against a Hickian Argument

Mohammad Saleh Zarepour

Abstract

Criticizing Richard Swinburne’s conception of God, John Hick argues that God cannot be personal because infinity and personhood are mutually incompatible. An essential characteristic of a person, Hick claims, is having a boundary which distinguishes that person from other persons. But having a boundary is incompatible with being infinite. Infinite beings are unbounded. Hence God cannot be thought of as an infinite person. In this paper, I argue that the Hickian argument is flawed because boundedness is an equivocal notion: in one sense it is not essential to personhood, and in another sense—which is essential to personhood—it is compatible with being infinite.

Keywords

Personal Conception of God, Personhood, Infinity, John Hick

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