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Featured Did God determine his own nature?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Everybodyknows, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Something else

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  1. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    Most would agree that God's nature is eternal and unchanging. Did God choose his nature or is it determined by some factor outside himself?
     
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  2. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

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    The first sentence answers the second.
     
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  3. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    So if his nature is eternally unchanging he can't have chosen it?
     
  4. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

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    Correct.
     
  5. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    Then there must be some factor external to God that determined his existence and nature. What is it?
     
  6. Neal of Zebulun

    Neal of Zebulun Active Member

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    Huh. Never thought of it like that before.

    Did He make time too? Or is time eternal as well?
     
  7. Neal of Zebulun

    Neal of Zebulun Active Member

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    I think the idea is that He never had to choose it, because He's always been who He is.
     
  8. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    Opinions vary. Most hold the view of God being outside of time, time being a property of the created universe.
     
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  9. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

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    There is nothing external to God that was not created by God. God is His attributes, eternally.
     
  10. Neal of Zebulun

    Neal of Zebulun Active Member

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    I think that's probably true.

    I bring it up because it occurs to me that we as 3D entities can see the entirety of a 2D object at once, but we have to use time to see the entirety of a 3D object.

    So theoretically, a 2D entity can see the entirety of a 1D object at once but it would take time to see the whole of a 2D object.

    From a 2D entity's perspective, a 3D entity like us would be perceived as out of time. No amount of time spent would allow them to see a 3D object as it really is. It's infinite.

    So theoretically, a 4D entity can see the entirety of a 3D object at once, without time.

    Yahweh already knows everything about us, every thought we have, every step we take, even before we're born He knows everything we will do.

    But it would still take time for a 4D entity to see a 4D object.

    So maybe He's more than 4D, maybe like ∞D, truly timeless. The only way He would choose something is if he stepped into time, like say as a 3D entity.

    Like Yahushua Christ.
     
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  11. Silmarien

    Silmarien Rogue Platonist

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    Go down that route and you'll just get an eternal regression.

    Eternity is beyond comprehension no matter which way you look at it.
     
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  12. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    God is not an expression of a nature; God is His nature. God could be no other way than what He is, because there is nothing better, greater, or higher either in reality or in potential than what God is. If there were a factor outside of God, greater than God, then God is no longer God and that "something else" is God. As such "God is that than which nothing greater can exist" (St. Anselm), those qualities of God are unchanging, immutable, not from a source apart from God, but are innate to God's own eternal, unsourced, uncaused, immutable Being and Self. Uncaused, unmoved, without beginning, without end, God qua God.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  13. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    Do we have a way to deal with eternal regression other than just to throw our hands in the air and say it's beyond comprehension?
     
  14. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    I guess you're saying that the reasons for God's nature and existence are entirely internal to himself? If God exists necessarily then the reason for that necessity is contained within God himself and is not some external law or force. Aquinas says something along the lines of "God wills his own goodness and being necessarily". Does this mean that God wills himself to exist? It seems rather circular, but perhaps that is the only viable alternative to infinite regress.
     
  15. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    Is there a reason for his attributes and existence or does he exist without reason. It's said that God exists necessarily, which to me implies some reason that he must exist.
     
  16. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

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    God's existence is necessary because, if something exists now, then something would have to have always existed. You can't get something from nothing, so, because there is something now, there never was a time when there was nothing.

    As far the reason for His attributes, there could be no "reason" because for there to be a reason would imply a contingency, and nothing about God is contingent because He is self existent and immutable.
     
  17. Douglas Hendrickson

    Douglas Hendrickson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Choice and determination is outside eternity.
    Something like that.
    REAL APATAIVER
    There was nothing to choose - EVER.


    BTW, eternal regression simply means eternity
    AND WHO HATH EVER BEEN ERE?
     
  18. YouAreAwesome

    YouAreAwesome ☝✌

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    Wow... difficult question...

    If "Yes", then what does that even mean? How is it possible that He can determine Himself when He has always existed? Was there ever a time in history when He wasn't Who He is? If He's always been as He is, then it seems impossible that He could determine His own nature.

    If "No", then He just "is". This seems to be the biblical approach..."I AM Who I AM"...but does that mean it is determined by some factor outside of Himself? I'm not sure. Perhaps He can be eternally existing as He is today without requiring determination. If there was never a time that He came into existence then there need not be any determining factor right? The trouble here I guess is, why is He as He is? Did we just get lucky that He is good? If He doesn't choose to be good, then He becomes somewhat impersonal...

    I've not answered the quiz just yet...
     
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  19. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    So his existence is necessary but his nature is not?
     
  20. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

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    Now, this is an interesting question. :)

    I assume what you are asking is whether all of God's attributes are necessary, right?

    I had to think about this one for a little while and, as I was reviewing a list of God's attributes, I came to the conclusion that all of the attributes that are "of the essence" of God, are necessary. This would include His being immutable, eternal, omniscience, omnipotent, and so forth. These are the attributes that make God, God. But, there are those attributes of God which are not "of the essence", which may not be necessary. One example of these non-essentials is the three persons of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost). Now, I do believe that the Trinity is eternal, but it is not necessary to God's essence (nature).

    I think that His being merciful could also be a nonessential attribute. There could be more. :scratch:
     
  21. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    Aquinas held that God wills his own goodness necessarily. Not that he ever choose to be good, but rather that the reason he must be good is within himself. I find this to be circular reasoning but perhaps I don't understand.

    And that is the the million dollar question. Is there a reason why he must be the way he is or is he who he is just randomly (for want of a better term). Could he conceivably have a different nature and still be God.
     
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