God without givens

In his book God and Necessity, Brian Leftow stipulates as a principle of perfect-being theology that “God is (directly or indirectly) the Source of All that is ‘outside’ Him” (20). As Leftow formulates the principles:

GSA. for all x, if x is not God, a part, aspect or attribute of God or an event, God makes the creating-ex-nihilo sort of causal contribution to x’s existence as long as x exists.

Leftow goes on to claim that this principle is equivalent to the denial that there are any givens for God, or:

NG. (x) (if x is not God or a part etc., and is not an event x is not a ‘given’ for God) (21)

A “given” for God, as Leftow helpfully explains, would be “something God finds rather than helps account for, and must either accept or work around.” For Leftow, a God who is perfect and the “Source of All” must be a God without givens.


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