By Charles Hartshorne
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Extra info for Aquinas to Whitehead: seven centuries of metaphysics of religion
Very literally we exist to enhance, not simply to admire or enjoy, the divine glory. Ultimately we are contributors to the ever-growing divine treasury of values. We serve God, God is not finally means to our ends. Our final and inclusive end is to contribute to the divine life. If this view seems to make God lacking in generosity, I suggest that the all-knowing and all-loving cannot give happiness to others without fully participating in and possessing this happiness just because it is Page 44 realized by the others.
As process theologians hold about God that he is both necessary and contingent, both mutable and immutable, so one may, with Whitehead and Aristotle, hold about the world that it is both necessary and contingent. , that God might have refrained from creating, or might have had no effects. It Page 17 is one thing for an agent to have freedom to do this or to do that instead; it is another for the agent to have freedom to do nothing. What is the value of the alleged freedom not to act? Is not any world better than none?
Here the sole genuine relation is in the known. It seems to follow that "God knows the world" is but an inverted and possibly misleading way of saying that the world is known by God. I have argued against this view in many places. What I want to do here is to stress the following: Aristotle and Thomas are in my opinion splendidly right against much modern thought on two pointsthere are one-way relations of dependency, and ordinary forms of knowing furnish instances. One can know something because there is that something: when we know a thing we do not thereby bring it into existence; rather, the existence of the thing is a condition of our enjoying this knowledge.