Attributes of God

What does it mean to call God simple?
God has no characteristics, is unchangeable.
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What did Aquinas say about God's simplicity?
. God is immaterial/bodiless - his nature = existence
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What did Brian Davies say about God's simplicity?
God is a bigger entity than an indiv. (more like human race than indiv. human)
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What does Augustine say about God's simplicity?
God is unchangeable as change involves movement - if he was changeable and made changeable world, he'd be within it. Can't gain new characteristics
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What problems arise from the idea of God's simplicity?
A transcdent God can'tbe involved in the world, simple God = unknowable
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What does the Bible say about God's eternity?
God will exist forever - Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega.."
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What does Boethius say about God's eternity?
God exists outside of time. All of time = one moment, exists in pat/pres/future simultanously
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What is simple neccessity?
Something happens as part of that thing's nature - e.g sun out on sunny street
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What is conditional neccessity?
Element of choice - e.g man walking down that street
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Why has Boethius' idea about God's eternity accepted by Christians?
Biblical scripture, God creates the universe - time feature of it - God can't be subj. to time
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How did Aquinas develop Boethian ideas?
1. Everything existing in time has past/future 2. God N/A past/future (timeless) 3. God = unchanging
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What problems exist with Boethius' idea of God's eternity?
God can't be involved with creation, goes against Bible teachings (God changes and so is temporal)
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What did Anthony Kenny and Richard Swinburne argue about Boethian eternity>
God seeing time as one --> everything happening at once. Incoherent idea!
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What does it mean to call God everlasting?
Exists on our timeline, but has no beginning/end.
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Why does Swinburne agree with the idea of God as everlasting?
It fits with scripture
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Why does Wolterstorff agree withthe idea of God as everlasting?
Bible shows him responding freely to human actions (acting w/i time) - this means he must be subj. to time
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What are some philosophical problems with the idea of God as everlasting?
How can God be in time and not subj. to change? Is a God w/i time limited and therefore not omnipotent?Can God be temporal without being spatial?
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What would it mean to say God is spatial?
Related to and within space
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What does process theology say about God?
He moves through time with his creation, is affected by interaction (limited omnipotence). Involved in creation, can feel pain)
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What is a strength of process theology's view of God's eternity?
Preserves God's omnipotence and actions
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Give some criticisms of process theology's view of God's eternity.
Opposite of scripture, God's perfection --> no change. How can God be in time and create universe (implies a beginning)
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What are the three different ways of seeing God's omnipotence?
1. Ability to do logically imposs. (Descartes, Anselm) 2. Ability to do what is logically imposs. for perfect God (Aq.) 3. Word describing God's power (Kenny, Geach)
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How did Mackie criticise the first defintion of God's omnipotence?
Doesn't describe anything; God able to do logical imposs. --> everything poss. (paradox)
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How can the first way of seeing God's omnipotence be criticised?
God doing logically imposs. --> inacessible. Laws of nature able to change --> no understanding of them.
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How can the second way of seeing God's omnipotence be criticised?
Against theistic God - can he be evil, lie etc? --> less understanding if he acts outisde his nature
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What did Aquinas say about God being eternal?
Can't question using logical impossiblity - e.g God can't climb a tree due to no physical body, God's infinite power --> eternal, God can't change past events (if God changes, we wouldn't be able to know it happened)
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How does Mackie criticise God's omnipotence in light of the Problem of Evil?
Inconsistent Triad
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What does Vardy say about God's omnipotence?
Ending it not w/i God's power - power exaggerated in scripture.
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How does Peter Geach criticise the popular definition of omnipotence?
Relies too much on God's perfection
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What does Geach suggest instead?
Omnipotence = God having power OVER anything, not the power to do anything
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What is the Euthypro dilemma?
Does God command something because it is good, or is something good becasue God commands it?
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Philosophical problems with omnipotence
Why doesn't he create world w/ genuine free will? God powerful - can make choices - can change?
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What does Augustine say about God's omniscience?
God = atemporal, outside time + able to see everything
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How does Aquinas view God's omniscience?
Able to view history as a whole - e.g having bird's eye view of road
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What does evolution say about God's omnscience?
Suggests he did not know "fittest" creatures - why not create just these?
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How can evolution be seen as part of God's omnscient nature?
Evolution essential - need for unfit prey,
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What does Boethius say about reward and punishment?
God has a right to do this as everyone is respons. for actions
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What does Swinburne compar God to in terms of reward and punishment?
Loving parent - rewards/punishes to aid spiritual growth
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How does Anthony Kenny criticise omniscience?
Reductio ad absurdum - how can a God outside of time relate to or judge us?
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How can the view that God punishes out of omnibenevolence be criticised?
Punishing Israel in the Bible could be sen as overeaction
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How can the Psalms view of God's steadfast love be criticised?
Doesn't fit with more destructive love in other Bible areas
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How did Aquinas argue for God's omnipotence and omnibenevolence?
He can do what is logically impossible - so he can answer prayer even when knowing the future
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What problems exist with omnibenevolence?
Goodness of lesser value if God has to do good, immorality (e.g Abraham and Isaac)
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What did Aquinas say about God's simplicity?

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. God is immaterial/bodiless - his nature = existence

Card 3

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What did Brian Davies say about God's simplicity?

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Card 4

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What does Augustine say about God's simplicity?

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Card 5

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What problems arise from the idea of God's simplicity?

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