Attributes of G-d/Nature of G-d

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Aquinas 

  • We cannot judge the seemingly unjust world around us, because we do not know God's 'master plan'.
  • Events may seem to cause suffering, but there may be a greater outcome. (Similar to the belief of Vardy)
  • G-d understands our suffering and can empathise with us; this links to the idea of G-d being everlasting
  • Knowledge is immaterial and not physical therefore G-d can know all, as he is not the same as us.

God as Omnipotent

  • God is omnipotent in relation to creating and maintaining the Earth. This was a single timeless action. (Adopted from Aristotle)
  • Beyond this, he is wholly simple, and cannot act.
  • God is a 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.
  • God cannot do ‘pseudo-tasks’ e.g. create a square circle

God as Timeless

  • Time is an aspect of the created world \ God is not affected by time.
  • God is not affected by space either. He is immutable.
  • Aquinas, who argued for a timeless God, agreed that God is also impassible; God cannot be changed by any external factors, so he cannot experience pain or pleasure. If he were affected by such factors, he would no longer be perfect.
  • This means, surely, that God cannot be impassible and omnibenevolent. 

Middle Knoweledge 

  • Middle knowledge is that knowledge of G-d dealing with what individuals will do in a given set of circumstances. G-d has an infinite set of potential circumstances that could exist and knows all actual choices that would be made by individuals in each set.
  • Middle knowledge – consists of knowledge of what would happen if certain choices were made. Does ‘exist’ in quantum physics and multiverse

Impersonal God

·         God is more like a force than a person

·         No human characteristics

·         God is an absolute being.

Problems:

  • How can people have a meaningful relationship with a 'force' or 'impersonal spirit'


Omnipotence – Descartes and Aquinas

DESCARTES - 

·         He believed that the term ‘omnipotence’ means that he can do absolutely everything. Even if the act is logically impossible, changing the fundamental laws of physics. God is the source of logic therefore, he is able to suspend logic or replace it.

·         However, scholars dislike this theory. It means that God can do everything without consequences, thus cannot be relied upon.

·         If he can do absolutely everything then he must have the capability to be evil; if this is the case God cannot be omnibenevolent.

·         It could be that God is outside Human Comprehension but this is considered avoiding the question.

·         If God has the ability to do everything, and is omnibenevolent as well, why is there still suffering in the world?  Christians argue that God does what he does, without depriving free will. God is loving, therefore allowed

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