G-ds Nature

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  • Nature of G-d
    • G-d as OMNIPOTENT
      • Descartes
        • God created all things, including logic + can change logic to fit his actions  thus He can do things we regard as logically impossible, by changing logic.
        • Human minds cannot comprehend the omnipotence of God, so cannot understand what limits him
      • Anslem
      • Aquinas
        • He = omnipotent in relation to creating and maintaining the Earth. This was a single timeless action. (Note: adopted from Aristotle.) Beyond this he is wholly simple, and cannot act.
        • God = non-physical being, he is incorporeal \ cannot swimming (answers can he create a rock so heavy he can’t lift it e.g. he can’t lift is as not physical)
        • Also God is perfectly good, so cannot commit evil.
        • He cannot do ‘pseudo-tasks’ e.g. create a square circle
      • Vardy
        • God = much more limited than Christians believe
        • God = self-limiting, as if he were to act in the Universe is would throw the Universe out of balance.
        • God created the Universe in balance, to exist on its own
      • Macquarrie
        • The Power of God is different to our own, so we can only talk of it using analogy
        • Aspects of God nature will always remain unknown
        • God is not limited by logic/physicality/time, as they are human concepts
        • by his love of Humanity (which he imposed himself)
    • G-d as OMNISCIENCE
      • Schleiermacher
        • God’s knowledge of our actions similar to knowledge of a friend, but more accurate + His omniscience = eternal 
      • Swinburne
        • God = everlasting thus he knows us so well he can predict our actions
      • Augustine
        • God is outside of time therefore sees all of time at once - has no concept of past/future
      • Boethius
        • If God knows all our actions and is always right he can’t judge us God knows but doesn’t cause
    • G-d as EVERLASTING
      • Moltmann
        • If God is timeless, he cannot change thus cannot love, as relationships require change
      • Swinburne
        • God interacts with people in the Bible “I have heard your prayers and seen your tears.” Isaiah 38:5
        • However Augustine disagrees, “God is not a man…that he may change his mind.” Numbers 23:19
        • Note: If God is impassable and timeless, how can he answer prayers and cause miracles?
          • Untitled
    • G-d as TIMELESS
      • Augustine
        • Uses the Bible to support God as timeless (against Swinburne)
        • If God moves through time, what did he do before he created the earth?
        • God transcends the idea of ‘before’ and ‘after’
      • Aquinas
        • God is not affected by space either. He is immutable.
        • Time is an aspect of the created world thus God is not affected by time
      • Boethius
        • God cannot be everlasting and omniscient at the same time, as he would have to wait to see the outcome
        • better to think of God as sitting on top of a mountain, watching an entire road, rather that travelling along the road.
      • Schleiermacher
        • wholly simple and timeless
        • Universe must have always existed, because cannot have acted to create it

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