Qualitative Difference

The Unity of Divine Wills thesis might suffice to justify Affective Monotheism but we need more to avoid the charge of Tritheism. We need what I call Qualitative Difference, which is one of the ways Swinburne moderates Social Trinitarianism. This states that there is a difference between the Trinity and a pantheon of gods, even if the gods necessarily agree. I would suggest that Qualitative Difference is satisfied because the relations which distinguish the three divine persons are precisely those which make them the constituents of God. By contrast, in a pantheon of gods, either every god is independent of the others and so a substance in the sense of 'ousia', or else they are arranged in a hierarchy of dependence. So Qualitative Difference would not be satisfied on a

II I am indebted to Phillip Pettit for pointing out that not all coordination problems can be overcome by unselfishness.

version of the Trinity in which the First Person caused the other persons to exist in a way which was neither ontologically nor metaphysically necessary.

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