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NATURE OF GOD by Mind Map: NATURE OF GOD

1. ETERNITY

1.1. 1. Exists outside of time. Know past, present & future events simultaneously. This is view of God as perfect & unchanging

1.2. 2. Time is bound up in creation & created things don’t affect God. Synonymous w/ Plato’s idea of necessary & contingent

1.3. 3. CALVIN – retains idea of omniscience & argues that free will is illusion

1.4. 4. For God to be non-spatial (not in space) then it would seem that he would also need to be non-temporal (not in time)

1.5. 5. Time not applying to God contradicts Bible talking of promising & remembering. How could God have created the universe if he existed in time?

1.6. 6. Idea of God being personal & active contradictory (relates to logical omnipotence) yet makes trad concept of immutability easier to affirm

2. EVERLASTING

2.1. 1. Moves through passage of time w/ us & always has & always will exist. Can’t know about future actions because we are free to choose them

2.2. 2. SWINBURNE - rejects idea of eternal God. He exists at all points in time but doesn’t exist out of time

2.3. 3. How can God be in time and not affected by creating & hence change?

2.4. 4. Can we make sense of God as temporal w/o being spatial?

2.5. 5. Despite difficulties, argue only alternative that allows us to preserve omnipotence & action + more beneficial for believers

2.6. God moves through time w/ creation but IS affected by interaction limiting omnipotence. Allows omniscience & free will. For God, the past is determined but future only partly as we make our own choices

2.7. D.Z. PHILIPS – He cannot be comprehended & arguing he is eternal is attempt to convey this

3. OMNIPOTENCE

3.1. PARADOX OF THE STONE: Can God make a stone so heavy that he is unable to lift it? Can God tell a lie? If he can’t, then his power is limited, if he can then he defies logic and other attributes – how can we possibly hope to understand him?

3.2. God Can Do Anything

3.2.1. 1. No limitation is placed on his capability inc. logically impossible, supported by Descartes

3.2.2. 2. Logical issues – C.S. LEWIS- something doesn’t acquire meaning w/ prefix of ‘God can'

3.2.3. 3. Theological issues - If God can defy logic, then how can we possibly hope to understand him? Traditional God thought of as rational e.g. God as just + can’t sin or lie

3.3. God Can Do Anything Logically Possible

3.3.1. 1. PLATINGA – omnipotence not necessary quality. May choose to limit powers in circumstances to preserve free will + beliefs in God don’t require logical justification, can be limited & still omnipotent

3.3.2. 2. Solves philosophical paradoxes of ultimate power but does limit him

3.3.3. 3. logic is only human bound, when we talk about God he goes beyond logic

3.3.4. 4. JC conflict - can God tell a lie? Could God cause suffering for fun? Could God learn something new? – these are logically possible but conflict w/ other qualities of God

3.3.5. 5. Response is he can but chooses not to – ability to do so is still conflict

3.4. God Has The Power To Do What Is Logically Possible For A Perfect God To Do

3.4.1. 1. Slightly tautological

3.4.2. 2. Allows for omnibenevolence not to contradict, however, limits him so does remove omnipotence

3.4.3. 3. Assumes he is perfect

4. OMNISCIENCE

4.1. Knowledge And Our Senses

4.1.1. 1. We gain knowledge through senses, how can God have knowledge of tastes etc. w/o a body?

4.1.2. 2. If you separate knowledge from sensation – he has knowledge but not the accompanying sensation

4.2. Future Knowledge

4.2.1. 1. Bible makes it clear God has knowledge of the future ‘All the as ordained for me were written your book before one them came to be’ – Psalm

4.2.2. 2. Can it be knowledge if it hasn’t happened yet? – God’s knowledge may be different to ours

4.2.3. 3. FLEW – given God could have foreseen consequences of creation ought to have been possible to create free creatures who always do the right thing

4.3. Free Will

4.3.1. Premise 1: If God knows the outcome of every future decision I will make, then I am not truly free

4.3.1.1. Just because God knows what I will decide doesn’t mean that I was not free to make the decision (neuroscience link)

4.3.1.2. Wrong definition of freedom (Hume definition link). Rather than defining freedom as ‘I could have done otherwise’ maybe we should say that we are free if we were not under any external constraint and were amongst the causes of our actions

4.3.1.3. God knows but you are causer (he is prime causer) he is eternal – knows but doesn’t cause

4.3.2. Premise 2: God has knowledge of everything, including future events

4.3.2.1. Our definition of God’s omniscience is wrong

4.3.2.2. Rather than saying God has knowledge of everything, we should say God has knowledge of everything expect the future

4.3.2.3. Does this limit God’s omnipotence and omniscience? – Our notion of God as eternal is wrong as it’s logically impossible to know about the future

4.3.3. Conclusion: I am not truly free

5. SIMPLICITY

5.1. Traditional view of God being unchanging and having no characteristics

5.2. God doesn't consist of parts or characteristics

5.2.1. AUGUSTINE- God unchangeable & cannot lose or gain any characteristics

5.2.2. AQUINAS- God simple as he represents "being/existing"

5.3. God Is God

5.3.1. Cannot be broken down into parts. AQUINAS- God's nature and existence is same thing, because we talk of God existing. BRIAN DAVIES- suggests God isn't a thing like a human being, but God is a "thing" in sense of like the human race

5.4. God Is Unchanging

5.4.1. Change involves movement from one being to another. Because God is perfect, God lacks nothing & isn't capable of of changing into something else & remaining perfect. Only something unchanging can logically be cause of changing universe

5.4.2. BRIAN DAVIES- if something changeable accounted for there being a world in which change occurs, would be part of such a world & could not account for it

5.5. If God is immaterial God doesn't have a body which has characteristics. God is simply God.