Is God being itself? Part 2

I couldn’t be bothered to resurrect an old thread, so I started a second thread. (If any mod thinks the threads should be merged, please do so)

I have been reading Ed Feser’s ‘Five Proofs of The Existence of God’, and I found the second argument, the Neo-Platonic argument very interesting:

Premise 1 : The universe is formed of composite things.

Premise 2 : Composite things have prior causes, as they are made up of parts.

Conclusion : Therefore the ultimate cause of the universe must be simple and non-composite, or it itself would have to have been formed.

As for the qualities which this ‘Divine Simplicity’ must have (which I argue necessarily includes something equivalent to intellect), that is a topic for another day. The topic of my thread is the supposed eternity of the universe, and whether or not this poses a threat to the cosmological arguments, as well as the Biblical account of creation. I argue that it does not, for suppose that the universe was eternal, in this case, it would still need a ‘ground of being’ in order to exist, for it would still have to ‘be’. Therefore, I argue that the eternity of the universe gets you nowhere. Many classical Jewish and Christian thinkers such as Maimonides and Aquinas also thought that the eternity of the universe was a real possibility.

Premise 1: God is Trinity or Three and One.

Premise 2: God is Three and thus made up of parts and not simple.

Premise3: God is not the Creator of the universe because philosophers say that the Creator of the universe must be Simple.

Alternative View

Premise 1: God is Three, but God is also One.

Premise 2: God is not composite, but is also not Simple.

Conclusion: God is the Creator of the universe which is both Three (Complex) and One (Unified.). God is not Being which would be panentheism, that is God would have a Body, Being or the universe and a Head, the Spirit. In Pantheism the universe is Eternal because the universe is a part of God.

Following dogma instead of reason, or is there a logical argument for the trinity? I agree that the trinity is incompatible with divine simplicity.

Surely you agree God is the ground or source of being right? I prefer this to claiming God is being itself.

How? If God has three persons, he has parts, simple, and that means he must be ‘made up’ of those parts.

The argument is nonsense and causes people to make up nonsensical things about God as well. The net effect is to replace a faith in God with a faith in a bogus argument. This is horrible.

The universe is NOT formed of composite things. Assembly had absolutely no part in the origin and development of the universe. Temporally it begins with a singularity – a dimensionless point, which of all things can be said to be the most simple. Its mathematical laws are expressible in a single equation and this is another singular nature of the universe.

Now it is true that as the universe expanded and the vacuum decayed to produce energy, its quantum nature meant that its energy is at least perceived in a number of discrete quanta, otherwise know as particles, and it is the relationships between these quanta in space-time relationships which manifest as the many different things we observe. But despite this appearance of multiplicity, they are really all part of the same nature, all things having their existence only because they are part of the whole. Thus in a very real sense there is only one thing and it is not composite but only complex in the way we describe it. Indeed this is more a product of our analysis by which we use artificial categories to create this separateness between parts. And not only do we divide the physical measurable things into part by our analysis but we do the same thing to intangibles whether it be concepts like love and justice or beings like God. So… God is no different from the universe in this way and I reject idea of “divine simplicity” as artificial, contrived, and meaningless.

It does not follow from the fact that we analyse something into parts by our linguistic categories that the thing has any other prior cause but itself. Indeed there is a whopping premise here that something composite is therefore embedded in a temporal measure, and I see no reason to accept such a premise. Indeed we can take a number such a six and see it as having composite parts whether it be the additive parts of 2 and 4 or the multiplicative parts of 2 and 3. And yet clearly it does not follow that the number 6 is part of some temporal system where by it even can have a prior cause let alone that it must have.

And even if both of the premises were accepted despite the discussion above, the only thing that follows is that the universe has a prior cause and it does not follow that the cause must be simple or non-composite. For to say that this means the cause would itself have to have a prior cause does not mean that the cause is not composite. I suppose the idea is that this leads us to another cause, when in fact it may lead to more than one cause and none of them may be simple.

As I understand it, the universe has been given a time when it came into existence, by scientists, so I cannot understand your concern regarding an eternity. Perhaps you are concerned with theological matters, or perhaps your concern may be related to how science proposes an age to the universe. Can you clarify?

My concern is that even if the universe was eternal, it would still need a ‘ground of being’ in order to exist.

Perhaps a better argument would be to say that ‘things which are composite’ (i.e. not necessarily everything) have their grounding in something non-composite. I’d be willing to discuss the qualities which such a non-composite thing must have with you, but unfortunately this is not the purpose of the thread.

Theologically, the creation was made from nothing, and God transcends the creation, and sustains it. Eternity is difficult to discuss within science, while theologically God transcends time and space, so to discuss the creation as eternal requires a lot of speculation. Also, God is not a being amongst beings, and the creation is a gift.

So discussing the ground of being may require more detail within science and/or theology. Causality has been discussed by, for eg., Thomas.

This is an illogical statement that is not supported by any Biblical passage. The creation came from God, whom any scientist would define as a singularity. The material world came from God’s energy => conservation of energy - not from nothingness. When the “world ends”, the material energy/matter will be reabsorbed by God. Theology lost this logic long, long ago. It’s time to relearn it.

I do not know where you have obtained such views.

Hebrews 11:3 (KJV) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

The doctrine has been discussed for over a thousand years - God created the heavens and the earth through the power of His Word.

For all I know the number 6 would not exist were it not for the lesser numbers. Were it not for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, speaking of 6 would make no sense

It is quite simple where this knowledge came from. It was when logic, reason and faith were still in harmony, before the pagan Roman’s took control of Christianity, started declaring that God can do anything, without logic or reason. Study the Apocatastasis to see where this logic came from.

Through faith we understand that the worlds (Heaven and Earth) were framed (created) by the word of God (His only begotten Son), so that things which are seen (physical material) were not made of things which do appear (physical material), but made of things invisible to man.

What scientist today could say that the Big Bang came from a void? How can a reasonable e person, especially a Christian believe that God is magician? Creating something from nothing?

They can say that in the big bang the universe came from nothing. They would not use the word “void” because that implies empty space-time when they know that space-time itself came from the big bang.

These are not the same thing. Science dissolves the difference between thing and action and the scientist routinely creates matter from motion. Therefore there is no reason to think that God cannot create the universe from nothing more than the very action of creating it.

The phrase “were it not for 1,2,3,4, and 5” has no meaning. It certainly does not follow that the number 6 cannot be described and explained without a reference to these other numbers. I think it can and you can say that the opposite is true that the concept of the numbers 1,2,3,4, and 5 logically follow from the explanation of the number 6. Regardless there is no temporal ordering involved here and thus no “prior cause.”

6 is a descriptor applied to sets or collections such as {a, e, i, o, u, y} and [ . . . . . . ] to describe the commonality they have so that the members or contents of each can be assigned a corresponding unique member or content of another.

Motion is energy, so this satisfies the conservation of energy. That is why I use the distinct description: void - no energy, no matter.

The big bang is a creation of matter and energy where there were no such things before. Of course it is silly to say that God created the universe from a state where there was nothing at all before not even God or to say that God created the universe without even the action of creating it. That is nonsensical. The point I am making is that the action of creating the universe is sufficient and nothing but the action and the creator is logically required. This is all that creation ex-nihilo has ever meant or could logically ever mean and attaching any other meaning is not logically coherent.

Dear Mitchell,
When you understand God as the early Christians did as infinite light (energy) then is tis quite easy scientifically to see that God took some His light (energy) and created the material universe - a material world that did not exist previous sprang from His energy. Yes, it was His “mere action” of creation, but mere for God is still infinite. God cannot do anything without Him being connected to infinite light. What is never logically understood is how this infinite light could possibly incarnate as a human. Yes, the trinity destroys logic.

The number 6 is composed of other numbers, I really don’t get the point your trying to make

It depends what you mean by logical. The Trinity is not based on pure logic, but on facts. It is based on the Bible, which is based on God as revealed through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the History of Israel. Therefore theology is more like science than philosophy, which is not fact based, but speculation based. Philosophy is based on dogma, that is the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, and Co.

The Trinity is the basis of Christianity. If God is Simple than Christianity is false, or if the Simple God created the universe, then some other God created the universe.

No I do not agree that God is the Ground or Source of being… That has so basis in science or theology. God did not create being and then use being to create the universe. The Big Bang did not come from being. The Big Bang came out of nothing or God.

God does not have Three Persons, God is Three Persons, but God has no parts, because God is One. God is Complex, but God is not a composite.

To say that God must submit to human logic is false. That is why we have science, which is not based on logic, but facts. It is not logical to say that the universe has a Beginning, but the evidence indicates that it does, the Big Bang when the universe was created out of nothing.

So logically we understand that the universe is eternal and fundamentally simple (being,) or the universe has a Beginning which is based on the facts science and theology and is both unified and complex…

Sure I can insist that 6 is “composed of” 2 and 4 additively. Likewise someone else can insist that 6 is composed of 2 and 3 muliplicatively. But likewise someone can insist that justice is composed of punishment and mercy, just like someone can insist that God is composed of love and justice, etc… etc… But that doesn’t mean they are assembled from parts or that this is anything but the operation of our minds in the attempt to understand these things. Just because we analyse a thing in terms of part doesn’t mean the thing derives its existence from these parts.

And I am not a Christian

The big bang still requires being in order to exist. Also, no basis science? This is not a scientific question. No basis in theology? Simply false, Christians and Jews have been arguing for this for thousands of years.