Attributes of God 2

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  • Attributes of God
    • Eternity: With an eternal God we have 2 options :
      • Timeless
        • (God is outside of time,he is not subject to it)
        • Anselm: God is TTWNGCBC (that than which nothing greater can be conceived) and part of that existence requires necessary existence.God cannot not exist & so much exist timelessly in order to be the greatest possible being. (4D)
        • Boethius: Past, present and future exist for God as a “simultaneous present”. He sees all at the same time. (your birth, 18th,21st, wedding…. All at once).God knows all your future actions but does not intervene in this in any way.He sees but does not cause.God sees time like a man at the top of a hill. He watches the people below but does not cause them to act.
        • Aquinas: God is without form & so is not subject to the same problems as we are. In order for God to remain perfect and loving he must be timeless.God is timeless because he cannot change. For Aquinas, it does not even make sense to ask things like“how old is God?” as God is so different to us, he must exist separately.
      • Eternal
        • (God moves within time- he is on our timeline)
        • Kenny:The notion of simultaneous presence( timeless) is incoherent. So we must accept another option.We know that with time, it is impossible for events to be happening at the same time. So they must happen one after the other. Therefore God must exist in an everlasting way!
        • Swinburne: For an eternal God to be compatible with Christianity he must exist in an everlasting way. Time must pass for God like us.For God to be truly loving he must exist in this way. He must interact and change with us!(Swinburne has somewhat changed God’s nature & removed his immutability)
        • Hartshorne: God can feel pain & this makes him loving.He coined ‘process theology’ and argued that God is completely personal. God does not know the future so we can have free will.He is also powerful but not omnipotent.Therefore God is loving as he is moving through our timeline with us.
        • Strength
          • Weakness
            • - What about prayer?
            • - Incompatiblewith Bible
            • - How can God knowwhat time it is?
            • - How can this God be loving?
          • + Augustine supports & argues that“thy years neither come nor go” for God.
          • + God is now completely powerful
          • + Can to some degree solve the problem of evil
        • Strength
          • + Compatible with the traditionalview of God
          • + makes prayer meaningful
          • + Compatible with Bible
          • +God seems more loving
        • Weakness
          • - Causes problems for the otherfeatures of God
          • - if God is with us, why doesn’t he stop evil?
      • D.Z. Phillips: God is a completely different being that cannot be comprehended.
    • Free will & God?
      • Boethius
        • Anselm argues that God sees our actions as if he is a man on a hill(analogy). He sees, but does not cause. The man walking is not affected by the man on the hill.He refers to simple and conditional necessity.Simple refers to things that cannot be changed e.g. he is mortal, sun shining, temp.
        • Conditional isbased on choicee.g. he is walkingright at thatmoment. Thedifference is thecondition.Conditional doesnot have tohappen.God sees in asimultaneouspresent.He is alsocompared to aspectator at achariot race.
      • Anselm
        • God is & like the man on the hill.He literally sees everything at once.Gods knowledge of the future is unchanged. But for us it can change via choice.We experience in presentist way. We cannot experience PPF at once.
        • We cannot comprehend Gods timelessness as we are limited by the present.The eternal present is a fourth dimension. For God, the PPF exist in the same way the present exists for us. God is not limited by time and space.Our imagination not limit God.
      • Swinburne
        • God has to exist within time in order for him to love us. God changes based on his on going relationship with us.
        • God responds to prayer and moves along time with us.Swinburne refers to the story of Hezekiah who has his life extended after praying to God.For Swinburne, this proves that God is moving along with us and lovingly respondst o us.He hates the timeless view and suggests this is more to do with Plato than the JCGod.
      • Are Boethius and Anselm more successful than Swinburne?
        • Yes
          • May solve the problem of evil
          • God is 100% unlimited.
          • Boethius’ are only based onanalogies. Anselm’s ismarginally better.Boethius’ are only based onanalogies. Anselm’s ismarginally better.
          • Seems to preserve other features
          • Explains why God does not intervene
          • Seems consistent with our experiences
        • No
          • Can’t explain miracles
            • Can’t explain responses to prayer
          • Can he be loving?
          • Not really the JC God but more of a Plato and Aristotle God
          • Doesn’t know what time it is!
          • Kenny: notion of simultaneous presence does not make sense
        • Aquinas & Augustine also support


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