Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Can There Even Be A Perfect God?

I've talked before (heck, I talk a lot) about how I don't believe in the "traditional," Biblical image of God. Yoram Hozony, has written an article taking on that image of God in a different way.

First of all, what most people think of as the "Biblical God" isn't:
The second problem is that while this “theist” view of God is supposed to be a description of the God of the Bible, it’s hard to find any evidence that the prophets and scholars who wrote the Hebrew Bible (or “Old Testament”) thought of God in this way at all. The God of Hebrew Scripture is not depicted as immutable, but repeatedly changes his mind about things (for example, he regrets having made man). He is not all-knowing, since he’s repeatedly surprised by things (like the Israelites abandoning him for a statue of a cow). He is not perfectly powerful either, in that he famously cannot control Israel and get its people to do what he wants. And so on.
And, philosophically speaking, the very idea of a perfect God might be borderline nonsensical:
What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we’d say he’s made a fundamental mistake here: You can’t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.
The whole idea of there being some "being" who is "up there" hasn't really made sense to me for a long time. I agree with Hozony who seems to be saying that it's well past time for us to be thinking about God differently. As he says, would it be so bad to talk about a God who actually make sense?

No comments: