There's a new philosophy of religion blog up called Prosblogion. It appears quite good with some very good topics to start things out. Even though Mormon theology is quite different from most Protestant theology, there is a lot worth reading here. The first topic is how to reconcile God's freedom in Leibniz' conception. The possibility raised is to distinguish between metaphysical necessity and logical necessity. This is a useful distinction, since Mormons have a rather explicitly stated form of this problem in the Book of Mormon in places like Alma 42. There we have arguments about what is necessary lest God cease to be God.
Now I suspect that the language in the Book of Mormon is more a rhetorical artifact based upon what Alma felt the necessary qualities of God are like. What is interesting though is how the appeal is to the nature of God. So too is the argument about freedom in the Prosblogion discussion. God is free to act in an ungodly like fashion. However he won't because of his nature.
Now this clearly is a compatibilist like distinction. Many who argue for ontological free will would say that if they were truly free that they can't have a nature of this sort. It's an interesting debate. If we choose because of our nature, is it really a free choice? The usual rejoinder is that if we choose because of our nature that we shouldn't be considered responsible for our choices. Now I'm quite sympathetic to the Calvinist overtones that the folks at both Prosblogion and Parablemania hold. While I don't think God determines our future, it is largely because I don't think God determines our nature. However I recognize that I'm definitely in the minority on this matter among Mormons. Most of the ones I've discussed the topic with are strong proponents of there not being a fixed nature and ontological free will being fundamental.
The question then rises, can we have a nature if our essential nature is freedom?
As I understand Mormon theology, isn't the post about perfect beings relevant also? I know Protestants misrepresent LDS teaching frequently, so correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that you believe God is a perfect being, and God isn't the only god. People have the potential to become gods, and this is what happened with Jesus, right? Is Jesus, then, also a perfect being? David Efird's post on that topic would then be helpful for defending LDS teaching against the charge that there can't be more than one perfect being.
That's a really good point. I think the Mormon concept of perfection hasn't really been adequately thought through. I think it must be quite different than what we typically find in the mainstream Christian tradition - if only because we don't think of perfections as static perfections. (Or at least most don't)
I think there are two schools of thought on this. One would say that Jesus, prior to his birth was perfect because he was already fully God. Others would say that Jesus was perfected in the full sense of the term only upon his resurrection.
My own tentative view is that perfection is participatory. Thus Christ was perfect because he was one with God. This then flows naturally into the sense that the at-one-ment can make us one with God and therefore perfect, even if we overall have yet to progress in certain areas. This is more in keeping with mainstream Christian and Mormon views of justification.
With regards to "not the only god" it really is a terminology issue. I suspect that if Mormons were to say "isn't the only person in God" that there would be far less conflict on this matter between non-Mormon Christians and Mormons. I think that for Mormons to be God is to be in the oneness of God. In that sense there is but one God. We say "gods" with a little g more to mean persons. In the historical tradition within Christianity that isn't really allowed, as we see in the Apostles Creed among other places. However I tend to find Richard Cartwright's complaint about the Trinity well made on this point. If we remove that complaint about referring to the persons as gods then I think the distance between the Mormon position and the Trinitarian position isn't that great. (Other than perhaps how we interpret deification)