Concept of God 2.1.1 Philosophy of Religion


God can do anything.

  • too problematic - logical impossibilities

God can do anything that is logically possible

  • So God can sin?
  • God can limit His own power

God can do anything which is logically possible and doesn't limit His power.

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God knows everything.

  • If God is incorporeal/ transcendant how can He know how to ride a bike?
  • Does God know logical impossiblities?
  • If God is immutable how can He know change - KRETZMANN

1. God is immutable

2. God knows everything

3. He therefore knows everything within time (our changing world)

4. Knowing things in time subjects a being to change

5. God is Subject to change - contradictory to point 1.

God knows everything which it is logically possible for God to know and does not limit His knowledge.

  • Knowledge is only knowing what is true and logical impossibilities are not. (adds 0)
  • You can't know something now that will limit you later.
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Euthyphro Dilemma

Platos Dialogue -  Euthyphro.

Is something morally right because God says so OR because of an independant standard of morality????!!!!

First Horn:

  • Morality is arbitrarily decided by God. There is no moral standard. God can make torturing kittens great and giving to charity abhorent at any given moment and that would be good.
  • No meaning to them or God's goodness which becomes whatever God wants.

Independant Standard of Morality:

  • This is therefore greater than God. God is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality. There is morality without God.
  • Limits God's power
  • Moral standards are the supremely good ones.
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Paradox of the Stone

Can God create a rock so heavy that He can't lift it?


  • God is not omnipotent


  • God is not omnipotent
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Free Will Problem

Antony Kenny:

1. God knows everything we will do beforehand

2. Some actions of men are free

3. Paradox. Either God doesn't know what we'll do OR we are not free

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Solutions to the Paradox of the Stone

Mavrode - Editted definition of omnipotene solves the problem as it is illogical and limits God's                   power

             - God is not omnipotent


Imagine two beings x and y

x - can create infinitely heavy stones

y - can lift infinitely heavy stones

X cannot create something y cannot lift but that does not limit the power of x

If this is not contradictory with two beings it makes sense to combine x and y into one being and you have a God that can lift and create infinitely.

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Solutions to the Euthyphro Dilemma

Soren Kierkegaard - God works in mysterious ways - He has plans and purposes not for us to                                   understand so if something seems 'immoral' (against our moral intuitions)                                   we just don't get it.

Aquinas - God created the world according to Natural Moral Law. You can't just go around                          changing that because it's set but it ulitmately comes from His love.

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Solutions to the Free Will Problem

Aquinas: God is eternal (outside of space and time) so 'past', 'present' and 'future' all coexist to                 Him. He has no foreknowledge - He just knows it all at once.

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