Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Defining God

One philosophical definition of God could go like this:

You could say that everything we interact with is finite because you can place a limit on it. So your computer screen is finite because it has a limited width, height, number of atoms in the screen, etc. Same for everything else we interact with, of course. Even our imagination is like this. Everything we imagine is limited in at least one way. For example, when I imagine infinity I imagine an object that goes on forever, but that object looks a certain way and thus expresses a limit in the 'drawing' of it.

But what about an 'unlimited' reality where something like e.g. width/height can't exist because width/height expresses a limit? And so on for size, colour, location, dimensions, time, cause-effect, etc?

God is described as without limits in some places of the Bible, and so maybe that idea has something to do with a philosophical definition of God:

Psalm 90:2: Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 147:5: Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.

1 Timothy 1:17: Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Bible, after all, does say that God is 'the invisible God' (Col 1:15) and there's only two ways something can't possibly be represented: it's either a metaphor or about a reality where, for example, you can't represent size because size involves a world that deals in limits (hence you can't draw God with an accurate size!) You can't accurately represent something with no limits when you think about our drawing tools.

The problem with this view is that it doesn't convey God's loving personal nature or hardly anything else about God. It's a very abstract and 'irrelevant' God that is described, but at least it talks about God's infinite nature in a way that our reason can grasp at in some way.

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