May 3, 2013

Does God make Non-Moral Evaluative Judgments?

Filed under: Philosophical Theology,Philosophy of Religion — camcintosh @ 12:01 pm

People make non-moral evaluative judgments all the time. That car is ugly. What she did was ridiculous. This painting is beautiful. That was a really foolish thing to say. That was a funny joke. That cat is behaving cutely.

Does God make non-moral evaluative judgments?

judgmentA first reaction might be to say no, because God’s judgments must be objectively true, and it seems wrong to say non-moral evaluative judgments can be objectively true. I’m not sold on either assumption of this thought. If God has his own knowledge de se (not to speak of creaturely knowledge de se)—and surely he must—plausibly, not all God’s judgments are truth-apt. Second, nothing seems wrong in saying that some non-moral evaluative judgments are truth-apt. For example, I think—along with a good deal of other philosophers—that aesthetic judgments can be objectively true.

So I don’t see why God couldn’t make non-moral evaluative judgements, at least if these are the only reasons to think not. In fact, maybe the truth of certain non-moral evaluative judgements are grounded in God’s evaluations.

There is a certain ambiguity in the term “judgment” here. What does it mean, in non-moral evaluative contexts, to judge that p?


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