IEP on Hartshorne and Unchangeableness

A selection from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s article Charles Hartshorne: Dipolar Theism. I’m a fan of process philosophy/theology. It’s been a years-long journey to fully understand what exactly is being proposed by Hartshorne, but I’m confident now in both my understanding and the value of process theology.

…some forms of value—aesthetic qualities in particular—do not admit of a maximum. Just as it is impossible to speak of a greatest possible positive integer, so it may be impossible to speak of a greatest possible beauty. The fact that Mozart’s music achieved a new level of beauty does not mean that there was nothing left for Beethoven to do. Another analogy is interpersonal relationships. It is a good thing to be flexible in one’s responses to others. The ideal is not unchangeableness; it is, rather, adequate response to the needs of others. It is true that stability and reliability of character are desirable. But this means, in part, that the person can be relied upon to respond in ways appropriate to each situation, and responsiveness is a kind of change. The analogy is particularly appropriate in the divine case since there are always new creatures to which God must respond and hence there is no upper limit to the values associated with these relationships, for each is as unique as the individuals with whom God is related.