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Offline Vladimir

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Qualities of God
« on: September 22, 2010, 12:32:57 AM »
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  • God is the First Cause.

    But from whence do we know that God is pure actuality?



    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #1 on: September 22, 2010, 12:50:57 AM »
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  • Here's a passage from Apologetics by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Glenn:

    Quote
    God is necessary being ; He cannot not-be ; He must exist : existence belongs to His very essence. We conclude perforce that God is Self-Existent Being. Obviously, God is not self-caused ; the term is a contradiction : it really means that a thing exists first and then gives itself existence--an obvious absurdity. God is not caused at all. He exists, not from Himself, but of Himself. He is Subsistent Being Itslef. Now, since God is wholly uncaused, and since there is no causality at all which is not rooted in Himself, there is nothing in God that is subject to the action of any cause. There is, in other words, nothing potential in God which the action of due cause could render actual ; nor is there anything in God which can be reduced from actuality to potentiality through the operation of adequate cause. For the "due cause" and "adequate cause" of which we speak do not exist, nor is there anything in God that could be subject to their action if they did. In a word, there is nothing potential about God at all ; He is Pure Actuality; he is the Pure Actuality of Existence.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.


    Offline trad123

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    Qualities of God
    « Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010, 01:10:49 AM »
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  • If I may add my own observation, to see if I understand this myself.

    God is Infinite Perfection. Imperfection is the only change possible from perfection, but it's impossible that God be imperfect, therefore God cannot change. Therefore there can be no potentiality in God, only actuality.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline Lybus

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    « Reply #3 on: September 22, 2010, 01:21:06 AM »
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  • I have difficulty at times referring to God as "Infinite", or, an absence of boundary.

    This makes me think of God as an endless blob of...something.

    I think it is better to refer to God as Perfection itself, Goodness itself, Knowledge itself, etc. This doesn't put a limit on God, but simply says that if your eye vision is perfect, or you have something that is good and perfect, or you have knowledge about something, it's God's, not yours.


    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 01:21:44 AM »
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  • Also, it seems apparent that if God could change, then it would also be possible for Him to not-be, but God must necessarily exist. The only reason that it's not possible for us, humans, to not-be is because God preserves us. If He so willed it, He could annihilate us, body and soul, back to non-existence.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.


    Offline Lybus

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    « Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 01:23:31 AM »
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  • I believe you're right trad123

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 01:45:53 AM »
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  • I suppose I shouldn't say "God is Infinite Perfection", but "God is Infinitely Perfect". I'm not sure if the difference in description is necessary.

    Quote from: Lybus
    I have difficulty at times referring to God as "Infinite", or, an absence of boundary.

    This makes me think of God as an endless blob of...something.


    I think it's OK to think of God as an endless perfect spirit, at least with the understanding that He exists outside of the bounds of creation, if I recall correctly what St. Augustine said in his Confessions.

    From the same book and author (from first post, in thread):

    Quote
    What is God? we say : God is Self-Existent Being ; God is Subsistent Being Itself (the metaphysical essence of God, expressed in metaphysical definitions) ; or God is Infinite Spirit ; God is a Spirit Infinitely Perfect (the physical essence of God, expressed in physical definitions).


    Quote from: Lybus
    I think it is better to refer to God as Perfection itself, Goodness itself, Knowledge itself, etc. This doesn't put a limit on God, but simply says that if your eye vision is perfect, or you have something that is good and perfect, or you have knowledge about something, it's God's, not yours.


    I think this next passage might clear things up:

    Quote
    Attributes, then are perfections possessed by a thing precisely because it is the kind of thing that it is. Now, we have seen that God is simple, and so God does not possess or have perfections distinct from Himself. God is one and indivisible, and all His perfections are of His essence : all that God has, God is. Properly speaking, therefore, God has no attributes. Still, it is impossible for the limited human mind to take a direct and all-embracing view of the unlimited God. Our study must follow a plan that seems to sever the divine perfections one from another and from the divine essence. In a somewhat similar manner, we are forced by our human limitations to study any great or majestic object in a fashion that may be called piecemeal. Thus we may look upon the stately Jungfrau ; we may view it from many angles ; each angle will give new impressions, new vistas of background, new shapes and contours : yet the mountain is a single peak. Surely, if we cannot behold even a bodily object on all sides in a single view ; if we cannot have an understanding of any intellectual principle in all its actual and possible applications by one simple unstudied grasp of mind ; then our unstudied view of the infinite God cannot be single all embracing vision or understanding. But let us keep clearly in mind, as we study the various attributes of God, that these are really not distinct from God, but are one with His undivided essence. God, in His very essence, is all that is perfect in limitless degree ; for God is simple and infinite.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 01:53:49 AM »
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  • Quote from: trad123
    with the understanding that He exists outside of the bounds of creation, if I recall correctly what St. Augustine said in his Confessions.


    I was thinking of this:

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/110101.htm

    Quote
    Chapter 3. Everywhere God Wholly Fills All Things, But Neither Heaven Nor Earth Contains Him.

    3. Since, then, You fill heaven and earth, do they contain You? Or, as they contain You not, do You fill them, and yet there remains something over? And where do You pour forth that which remains of You when the heaven and earth are filled? Or, indeed, is there no need that You who contains all things should be contained of any, since those things which You fill You fill by containing them? For the vessels which You fill do not sustain You, since should they even be broken You will not be poured forth. And when You are poured forth on us, Acts 2:18 You are not cast down, but we are uplifted; nor are You dissipated, but we are drawn together. But, as You fill all things, fill them with Your whole self, or, as even all things cannot altogether contain You, do they contain a part, and do all at once contain the same part? Or has each its own proper part— the greater more, the smaller less? Is, then, one part of You greater, another less? Or is it that You are wholly everywhere while nothing altogether contains You?
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.


    Offline Lybus

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    « Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010, 09:45:48 AM »
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  • I agree that God is infinite. I just don't like using what seems to be a negation as a description for God, or an absence (absence of a boundary)

    To think of God as perfection itself, or goodness itself, already seems to imply infinity.
    For instance, if you take everything that is perfect in this world and lump it together, that doesn't necessarily mean that "perfection" has been used up, or has reached its limit. You could imagine adding another perfect cherry to the lump, and you would call it perfect. And this could go on to infinity, and "Perfect" ness would never be used up.

    Likewise, if perfection itself is God, it is already implied that it can never be used up, and is infinite. The distinction I"m trying to make is that saying that God is infinitely perfect seems to be adding attributes to Him, whereas if you say he is Perfection itself, it immediately implies that it is indeed his essence and not just an attribute.
    We are agreeing with each other pretty much one hundred percent. I just don't think that referring to God as something without boundary doesn't seem like it's an adequate description of God, that is, to say he is without something (a boundary).


    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline Trinity

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    « Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 10:02:15 AM »
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  • How do you explain "not God"?
    +RIP
    Please pray for the repose of her soul.

    Offline Lybus

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    « Reply #10 on: September 23, 2010, 10:21:17 AM »
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  • I would say total absence of existence.

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon


    Offline gladius_veritatis

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    « Reply #11 on: September 23, 2010, 10:46:35 AM »
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  • Lybus,

    You exist, yet you are not God.
    + Vincit veritas +

    Offline Lybus

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    « Reply #12 on: September 23, 2010, 01:40:21 PM »
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  • Alright, someone correct me if I am wrong. I've been pondering this actually, for quite a while.

    Everything I am comes from God.
    What I mean is that I am in some sense an image of God; it is not in my nature to exist since I can't exist on my own.
    I commit sins because I lack a few of the perfection of God. Whatever I lack is because I wasn't given it, either through some choice i made or some defect at birth.

    I might be saying this loosely or using bad theology, but although I'm distinct from God, I borrow existence from Him. That is why I say that to be not God is to mean not to exist, since he has to be existence itself.

    This is all based on St.Thomas's idea that God is perfectly simple. That Existence, happiness, joy, peace, security, truth, justice, all the "attributes" of God, are really the same thing, just seen from a different angle. Somehow God is able to give all this to us in a way that makes them seem different from each other.
    Tell me if I am looking at this incorrectly.

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline gladius_veritatis

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    « Reply #13 on: September 23, 2010, 01:56:22 PM »
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  • You are, like all of us, a contingent being.  There is only ONE Being who, by His very nature, subsists on His own -- that is why His name is...I AM.

    FWIW, this is a rather deep matter, so ask for God's light and enjoy the process of trying to drink it all in as deeply as you can -- always realizing that you cannot exhaust this fountain :)
    + Vincit veritas +

    Offline Lybus

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    « Reply #14 on: September 23, 2010, 05:47:10 PM »
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  • Quote from: gladius_veritatis
    You are, like all of us, a contingent being.  There is only ONE Being who, by His very nature, subsists on His own -- that is why His name is...I AM.

    FWIW, this is a rather deep matter, so ask for God's light and enjoy the process of trying to drink it all in as deeply as you can -- always realizing that you cannot exhaust this fountain :)


    alright, thanks!


    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

     

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