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Superior Beings

If They Exist, How Would We Know?

Authors: Brams, Steven J.

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About this book

The central question I pose in this book is: If there existed a supe­ rior being who possessed the supernatural qualities of omni­ science, omnipotence, immortality, and incomprehensibility, how would he/she act differently from us, and would these differences be knowable? (ßecause God, the superior being in the Judeo­ Christian tradition, is generally described as a male, I shall hence­ forth use the masculine pronoun form for convenience, but I intend no invidious gender distinctions, whether applied to super­ natural or natural beings.l Theologians, philosophers of religion, and erudite scholars in other disciplines have addressed this and related questions before, but their answers, generally speaking, have not been informed by any systematic or rigorous theory. I believe the mathematical theory of games, which has little to do with the frivolity and playfulness we normally associate with games, provides a powerful tool for clarifying the key theo­ logical concepts in my central question and drawing out their implications in games played between human and superior beings. I am fully aware that not everybody will agree that omni­ science, omnipotence, immortality, and incomprehensibility are what I say they are, but I invite them to propose their own defi- Preface viii nitions and derive their own conclusions with the aid of the theory. By endowing these protean concepts with unambiguous meanings, I will try to show how game theory can breathe life into questions that have been dismissed too quickly simply because they are metaphysical-outside the world of experience.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Brams, Steven J.

    Pages 1-11

  • The Rationality of Belief in a Superior Being

    Brams, Steven J.

    Pages 13-40

  • Omniscience and Partial Omniscience

    Brams, Steven J.

    Pages 41-65

  • The Paradox of Omniscience and the Theory of Moves

    Brams, Steven J.

    Pages 67-90

  • Omnipotence: Moving and Staying Power

    Brams, Steven J.

    Pages 91-121

Buy this book

eBook $74.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4757-1807-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $99.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4757-1809-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Hardcover $99.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-387-91223-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Currently out of stock.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Superior Beings
Book Subtitle
If They Exist, How Would We Know?
Authors
Copyright
1983
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4757-1807-2
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4757-1807-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4757-1809-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-91223-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 202
Topics