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The creation–conservation dilemma and presentist four-dimensionalism

  • WILLIAM F. VALLICELLA (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0034412502005991
  • Published online: 01 June 2002
Abstract

On traditional theism, God is not only a creator but also a conserver. The doctrine of conservation, however, appears to face a dilemma. Either conservation is continuous re-creation with consequences inimical to diachronic identity, or conservation is an operation upon a pre-existent entity, which, because it is pre-existent, is in no clear need of conservation. This article first makes a case for the dilemma, and then proposes a way between its horns. Safe passage is possible if we adopt presentist four-dimensionalism, i.e. the conjunction of presentism, according to which temporally present items alone exist, and four-dimensionalism, the doctrine that individuals are not continuants but wholes of temporal parts.

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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