Attributes of God
God as Simple
God is Simple because...
- He is unchangeable and cannot gain or lose characteristics (St. Augustine)
- Aquinas implied that "simple" means "being/existing" (link to Aquinas' 3rd Causes = cause, purpose and necessity)
- He is perfect, lacks nothing and is not capable of change
- Influence from Aristotle and the Prime Mover - He cannot move, but can only move things through attraction - emphasising that God cannot change as there is no Unmoved Mover for him
- Brain Davies - something that changes is part of this world and God is distinct from our world, so must be unchangeable and simple
- He is is immaterial (Aquinas), so He has no body, as bodies have characteristics
God is simply God.
Challenges to God's Simplicity
1. God changes = God does not change, instead He is the source of change
2. How can a simply God love His people? = He loves us in a non-human way, and love concerns what God wills for humans - not a reference of empathy of people.
3. God has no freedom = This is a misunderstanding of God's nature
4. God is not described as simple in the Bible = The Bible isn't literal and God is unchanging
5. Simple God is trascendent and thus knowable = He can be known through revalation.
God as Eternal
God is eternal because...
- Both Aquinas and Anselm state that God exists outside of time.
- To say God is timeless is to say that He is outside of time and sees all events in an eternal present.
- It is the belief that God stands outside of time and it is all equally present to Him.
- Plato and the Timeless God = Plato taught that time was a moving image of eternity and the forms were eternal and unchanging
- Both Aquinas and Anselm saw God as outside time because of His cause, purpose and that He is unable to change.
- Aquinas also believed that God is the ultimate cause of why things exist and why there is change in the universe.
- God is contingent and necessary
- For Beothius, God's life is different to human life because it is impossible for God to change and He does not exist in time.
- Aquinas - God is timeless, therefore out of time and transcendent, so it is hard for humans to understand His nature
- We must talk about God simultaneously because He is a mystery
- Aquinas - must see God as eternally the Creator and He sustains creation in existence and all of His creation is His work.