Logical Gal and defining God

14 Apr

First things first

In any argument, where we are defending a propositional truth, we must begin with clarifying terms.

I was reminded of the power of  this initial step while reading a way of thinking about the God hypothesis.  The book explored how to think through the question:  – does God exist?  and if so, what kind of God(s)?

The author took pains first to work through the idea that a transcendent, supernatural force was a better explanation than pure material happenstance for the existence of the universe.  What helped my thinking was the distinction he further made between a personal supreme being and an impersonal force.

Some thinkers have settled into deism – the belief that a supernatural being did create the universe and then left it to run on its own.  This being or ‘god’ is impersonal.

What the author did, then, was to cause his readers to think about what it means to be ‘god’. Here is what I retained from his discussion in my simple logical gal words.  The concept of ‘god’ refers to a being which is perfect in every aspect.  By perfect, I mean the ultimate, the most, the highest form of a quality.

By juxtaposing specific traits and seeing which form of god would be MORE perfect, one can arrive at a fuller sense of the concept.

Perfect God

For instance, which is better?

  • a personal god or an impersonal god? (think impersonal computer-type creator)
  • a god who communicates with his creation or one who just sets it in motion and leaves it on its own
  • a god who knows the outcome of every event or one who ‘learns’ as time unfolds
  • an all-powerful god or one who is limited by the self-determination of its creation

In other words, whatever you think of as the best in any category, THAT is what God is like.  If there is something better than how you have defined god, then that ‘whatever’ is god.

Philosophers call the nature or essence of something its ontology, its being-ness.  So even before one starts to argue for the existence of God, our minds natural GO there, to what is ultimate love and goodness and justness and mercy and kindness and truth and intelligence and power – all in one.

I’ll leave you with one thought and a question in this cursory exploration of the nature of God.  I maintain that the very fact that we even have an idea of what ‘perfect’ is, represents proof in itself that a perfect god exists.

Question:  How else would we have a sense of this attribute AND the degree which is ultimate?





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