Concept of God - Phil of Reli

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God as omniscient


  • God knows everything that is logically possible to know and which doesnt limit his power
  • If God is incorporeal (doesnt consit of matter) and transcendent - how can he engage with physical activity and know ?
  • What type of knowledge does God have - propositional?
  • Can God know something that is logically impossible? e.g. the area of a round square? - NO, because these are no true, not even God can know it.


  • Kretzmann (time and change)
  • Freewill
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God as omnipotent


a) God can do anything, but he cannot do things that are self contradictory

b) God can do anything that is logically possible - he cannot sin as this would be a contradiction to his perfection

c) God can do anyting which it is logically possible and doesn't limit his power


  • Paradox of the stone
  • Aquinas
  • Supreme goodness
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God as omnibenevolent


a) God's goodness and has a love for his creation. It is based on righteuousness but also has consequences for those who disobey him

b) Aquinas - God's goodness is a type of perfection. It is a single property that includes all those other essential characteristics that make God perfect

c) St Augustine - Gods goodness in a moral sense, is the source of all goodness. His goodness filters down through his creation. Goodness is at the origins of God


  • Euthyphro dialemma
  • Problem of Evil
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Is God eternal or everlasting?

Everlasting - within time:

  • existing in time
  • if he exists out of time, how can he communicate with us, therefore he lives alone side his creation (personal relationship)
  • Has and always will exist

Eternal - timeless:

  • must exist outside of the universe to create it, as it consits of time and space
  • exceeds yet contains time
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God as immutable - never and cannot change

  • God doesnt have a body and exists outside of time. He is not made up of parts and is perfect - cannot and doesnt need to change (as he would fall short of perfection)

But - there is something that God can do

God as immanent or transcendent

  • Immanent - interacting (deists - God is in the world and no more)
  • Transcendent - to create the universe (theists - God is an impersonal creator)

But - they would have to be a deist or theist

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Issues: Paradox of the Stone

"Can God create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it?"

  • If no - he cannot create the stone
  • If yes - then he cannot lift it

Mavrodes = it presupposes the possibility of something logically impossible (self contradition) therefore it decribes nothing. If we allow God to create the stone, then it is logic that God can lift the stone.

Savage = arguesd the paradox of the stone is highlighting the concept of onmipotence as faulty

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Issues: Omnipotence and supreme goodness

P1 - to commit evil is to fail to be supremely good

P2 - If God is supremely good, then god cannot commit evil

P3 - Therefore, if God is supremely good, there is someting he cannot do

C - Therefore, God cannot be both sumpremely good and omnipotent


  • Active and passive power? 
  • Aquinas: God cannot commit evil, he just argues evil is an absense of good. As God does not lack the power to do good, he cannot commit evil
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Aquinas' 3 objections and responses to whether God

1) If God is truly omnipotent, why is God immovable?

  • God is onmipotent and this is regardless to whether he is immovable. When we are talking abot God's power, it is about his active not passive power

2) Why is it impossible for God to sin if he is omnipotent?

  • Sinning is a contradiction to God's perfection and goodness as he would fall short of this

3) There are greater things than sparing and having mercy, if that is the greatest thing God can do, is he omnipotent?

  • The core to God is his power to forgive, this is something people cannot do
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Issues: Euthyphro Dilemma


"Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?"

Option 1: Morally good acts are good because they are willed by God e.g. what about Zeus...lying, murder!?

Option 2: Morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally gppd - therefore god is not omnipotent as he cannot decided what is good or bad

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