One of the first things I notice when the question of God's existence comes up is how very little is discussed as to what God actually IS. It seems to me that if we are to make progress in this debate, we have to take time to actually reconcile our perceptions of what God actually is in order to debate his existence in the first place. In this blog I will present what I believe the concept of God actually IS and why its important to "simplify" our perceptions of God in order to fully appreciate the topic.
What IS God?
How do you differentiate between objects that surround you? How can you tell the difference between a dog and a cat? Simply stated, because dogs and cats have a set of qualities that when "grouped together" allow us to identify them as dogs or cats. You might mention visual characteristics, auditory ones, tactile ones and conceptual ones. Cats are furry, soft and make purring noises among hundreds we could name.
Likewise, God itself must have a group of qualities that define God as well....God. It seems insufficient to simply say that God is "the creator" or "first cause" because those definitions in themselves are not sufficient for us to care about God. God MUST be sentient, he must have a purpose in order for the debate to have any significance to us.
There is ONE safe assumption we can begin with: God is the highest conceivable being to us.
This leads us to the qualities that "make" him the highest being conceivable, and are shared by the more popular monotheistic views of God:
1. God is omnipotent: All-powerful.
2. God is omniscient: All-knowing.
3. God is omnipresent: All-present. (yes, i know 2 and 3 are essentially the same)
4. God is omnibenevolent: All-good.
When grouped together, those 4 "god-like" qualities make up the most very basic concept of God, and thus, the most universal.
When you continue to add more qualities to the group, such as "merciful" or "judging", you end up with God concepts like Jehova and Allah. But, at the very minimum, the concepts must contain the 4 core qualities.
The problem with the ONE God concept is that it is self refuting. This is clearly demonstrated with the following wordplay some have heard before:
Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift?
If he can do either option, he is no longer God. By definition, there is nothing that God cannot do (omnipotent) and thus, God cannot un-God himself.
Eventually reason leads to the obvious: in the end, God is that which is unknowable.
God is unreasonable
And that is why this blog was unnecessary.
Scadilla brought up an interesting point that got me thinking. When we look at popular holy texts, most of them offer the concept of God being ONE. This can obviously be interpreted in many different ways but an omnipresent God suggests that he IS everything. Many faiths share the common theme that in the (our) beginning we were close to God and have become more and more detached from him as time has progressed; eventually reversing the trend and coming back TO him and become one again.
Something to think about. :)