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April 15, 2013

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There is no Self, no Other, no Ontology, No Epistemology, no anything at all anywhere which is Love-Independent, Word-Independent.

I'm not sure I like this line of argument, J. I used to be onboard, but upon further reflection I'm not sure I buy it.

Does God love us truly? Of course. Does He have the capacity to do evil? No. So you see logically that the ability to NOT love does not discredit the value of the love itself. I don't think a choice is necessary for love to be real, otherwise God would be unable to truly love us since he has not the option to NOT be loving. It's His nature.

As a syllogism:

1. The capacity to choose otherwise is necessary for true love to exist.
2. God does not have the capacity to do otherwise.
3. Therefore, God does not truly love.

Since we must reject the conclusion, one of the premises must be flawed. Premise 2 seems obvious to me, since to be unloving violates God's nature. Therefore, your presumption of premise 1 seems flawed to me.

The capacity to do otherwise is not integral to the nature of love.

What does everyone else think?

I agree, Justin. I was going to say the same thing.

Justin and Sam,

I hear what you’re saying, but there is a problem. It has to do with the nature of God and the fact that we are not Him.

1. The capacity to choose otherwise is necessary for true love to exist.

2. God does not have the capacity to do otherwise.

3. Therefore, God does not truly love.

Here’s what I propose:

1. The capacity to choose otherwise is necessary for true love to exist for created beings

2. God is not a created being

3. Therefore, it is possible for God to truly love

God does have the capacity to do otherwise.

Omnipotence anyone?

The fact that at the same time God's Nature is such that He will never do anything unloving just shows that God, alone among all agents, has the capacity to go against nature.

Nature, after all, is not what it is independent of what God does. Instead, the nature of things is the result of God's creative activity.

God's Nature gives us confidence that He will never do something unloving. But it is not, in the final analysis a limit to His Omnipotence. It is an expression of His Omnipotence.

WisdomLover,

God has the capacity to do anything that corresponds with His own nature or God has the power to do anything that is grounded in His perfection.

I don't view His omnipotence as something separate from His nature so I don't even know how to articulate doing evil as it relates to His "creative activity".

God's Nature gives us confidence that He will never do something unloving. But it is not, in the final analysis a limit to His Omnipotence. It is an expression of His Omnipotence.

I agree that God’s nature gives us this confidence, but one that believes God doesn’t have the capacity to do evil doesn’t view this as a limitation on His omnipotence either. You mention that His nature ensures us that he will not do evil – and this is an expression of His omnipotence. I agree with this also – because I don’t see how Him having the capacity to do evil is necessary for His omnipotence. Unless I'm missing something, I don't see this even in the omnipotence that you’ve laid out here – which seems to be the Aquinian view.


Whether my view of Omnipotence is the Aquinian view I'm not sure. I think Aquinas is inconsistent on this, sometimes writing as if there were no real limitations on God's power (as he mostly does in the Summa Thologica) and sometimes writing as if the nature of things were something over and against God's will which He cannot overcome (but that's OK because no one can and it's not reasonable to expect it of anyone).

I prefer to say that my view matches that of the earlier thinker Peter Damian. He held that there is no limitation whatsoever on God's power. Even when we say "God cannot work a contradiction" we are not expressing a limitation in God's power, but a limitation in human language. It's not as though a contradiction represents something that even God cannot do. Instead, that's just where we have to stop talking.

More on Omnipotence and Nature later. Life presses.

One thing before I leave for a bit. I should have written "Summa Theologica". Sheesh!

Of course God has choices. In fact, He has Multiple Perfect Choices, that is to say, Multiple Perfect Distincts within Him amid the Triune which just is Love's I and You forever begetting that Third Distinct of the Singular-We. Such is Love. Such is God. Multiple. Perfect. Distincts. Pleural. One and Three. I-You. Singular-We. Such is Love. Such is God.


Multiple Perfect Distincts insults our own little boxed-in thinking of our own little uni-dimensional condition here within the Created for the Created can know but One-Perfect and that is the Great I-AM there within the Triune God.


It is a mistake to limit the Uncreated to the condition of the Created.


The fact that Evil, or Sin, is God-Less-Something, and not God-And, and, that Love is Other and not Self there within that peculiar Eternally Sacrificed Self, and, that the Created’s Sin, or what we call Evil, is hell’s Isolated-I there within the cry of Self and not Other, there in all these patterns we come closer to the truth of all things. That there is no such thing, anywhere, which is independent of the infinite reach of His Everlasting Triune Topography upon which All-Things are dependent, that there is no such thing as Love-independent.

God-Independent is impossible.

And how is it that God can, within Himself, cry “I AM!” and Sin-Not by such a Motion into Self yet should any Created Self so cry, so move into Self, it must taste Death? Well, that is easy. Death is not God-And. Death is instead God-Less-Two. There is no such thing as God-Independent. Sin, or Evil, is not God-And because it is impossible for anything anywhere to that, to be God-Independent.


As in: Where is the Uncreated Distinct there within the Triune which is In-Sufficient? Where is the Uncreated Distinct there within Love’s Triune of I and You and We which is not All-Sufficient necessarily within what is also the Great I-AM? Where is the Motion into Any-Distinct which will bring Death? There are no such things as bad moves there among the Triune’s Uncreated Community for whether it be “I” or whether it be “You” or whether it be “We”, all are but Life-Himself, the I-AM. One and Three. He can’t make a Life-Less Motion. He can’t make a Love-Less Motion. He cannot sin. Whatever is real is real because He has so motioned within Himself, so thought within Himself, so declared within Himself. There are no Un-True Motions of which Falsehood can ever be claimed within Him for all Motions land on Truth-Himself. All-Things are therein Word-Dependent. Multiple. Perfect. Distincts. Choices, as in, This but not That, or, That but not This, or, This and That. As in: Distincts.


That is the Uncreated. We are not that.

We are this: Can we find any Created Self who can claim All-Sufficiency within It-Self should it ever stand alone within the shout of an Isolated-I? And can we find any Created Self who is not necessarily In-Sufficient everlastingly? Should any Created Self so insist on It-Self and therein cry I! how will it, thus void of the Uncreated-Other, void of You, and thus void of We, and thus stand solely as the Isolated-I within the Pure-Self that is Hell’s Isolation, how on earth can it know Life? Life is but Life-Himself and should any Created Self make that Motion into Self it can know nothing but Life-Less, Love-Less, for all Created Selves are Dependent on Life-Himself, Love Himself for, well, for Life, for Love. There is no such thing as a Love-Independent something.


Evil is but Love-Less-Two, that fierce imprisonment within the Self, void of the “You”, of the “Other”, and thus of the embrace of Love that just is the “Singular We”. Thus Evil is but the Pure-Self and for the Created Self this is a Self dissected off of You, that is to say, off of God, that is to say, off of Life, that is to say, off of Love and it finds itself thus God-Less, Life-Less, Love-Less. This is Hell. And we find now that that very same entity which is the Pure-Self, which for us is Evil, or Sin, is not a thing or condition that is God-And, but simply God (I-You-We) Less-Two. There is no such thing which is God-Independent, not even “sin”. That Pure-Self which is for us sin is within the Uncreated but more Life, more God, more Love among the Triune God’s Multiple Perfect Distincts within the Great-I-AM.


That shout of I! is necessarily Life within God and necessarily Life-Less in any Created Self and the open-door to such a shout is necessarily present in Man for it is necessarily found within the God Who Is-Love there within His Singular Triune Topography.


And thus the Motion into Self and into Other are necessarily part of Love’s Triune (they are found uncreated there within Him), and thus necessarily part of Man. It cannot be otherwise. Well, to clarify: It need not be so in Man, that is to say, those Two Doors, those Two Trees, those open doors to Self/Other (Love) need not be so in Man necessarily, but, once Power Himself has so thought within Himself, so motioned within Himself to declare, “Let Us make Man in Our Image” we can then say no other statement, for He cannot “lie” for all motions within Him land on but more Life, and we must therefore say that Eden’s Two Doors are not only necessarily present but also necessarily real. For Man, for any Created Self it will be that Door to Self and thus Death, or, it will be that Door to Other (I am the Door) and thus Life (by Me you have Life).


That Eternal Cry of “Other and not Self!” just is the Created Self’s Path to Life; in fact it is the only possible Way for it to taste Life ever for it cannot ever stand alone and know Life for what Created Self is God-Independent? The Eternally Sacrificed Self high on that Hill shouts Other and not Self! as He pours Himself out and shows us the Way to Life and we hear Him thus shout, “I am the Way! No one can come to Life but by Me!” And He speaks therein not a statement of vanity or deceit but merely the beautiful Truth of Love’s eternal Motions.


If it be Love, we find the Triune Topography of I and You and We. If it be Ontology, we find but the I and the You which forever regresses to that embrace which forever births the Singular-We. If it be Epistemology, we find but the Context of the In-Here that just is Self, and, the Context of the Out-There that just is Other, and, the Context of the In-Out that just is the All-Context. The Triune Vectors of the Uncreated pierce just All-Things whatsoever from the skies above our heads to the fabric of consciousness and knowing itself for there just is no such thing as Love-Independent, Word-Independent.


Of course God has within Himself This-But-Not-That’s and That-But-Not-This’s which are both Distinct and Perfect. Of course Perfection itself is Triune. Of course both Doors in Eden were Perfect and Good. Of course all His thoughts, whichever He chooses, comprise The-Real; there is no such thing as Mind-Independent. Of courser all of Ontology, all of Epistemology, all of Love regress to His Triune Topography for there just is no such thing as Word-Independent.


When Love Himself spreads His arms wide high on that Hill and pours Himself out for His Beloved Other, He is showing us only Way any Created Self can ever know Life. The Self that is created cannot know Life in Isolation. But God, and God alone, can, and does, and so on forever. It must be Man-God, God-Man, or, just God. All of these are Life. But just “Man”? That is Life-Less, God-Less, and thus Love-Less.


Come to the One True God, Whose very Name is Love.


I'm still a bit up in the air here, but I think I agree with WL for a number of reasons.

Saying that God, like us, is capable of choosing not to love, is a reflection of Theistic Personalism which is pervasive in Protestantism these days. The reason is because it (at least through word choice if not actual intention) posits God as just one person among many who happens to be infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, etc. The Classic Theist, on the other hand, would not speak of God in this way. He isn't just a person like us with infinite intelligence, love, etc-- rather, He is Love itself, Intelligence itself, etc. And since his existence and his essence are the same thing (this is what it means to be God in a Classical sense), to be God just is to be Love, Intelligence, etc.

Basically, it is impossible for God not to be loving, because God is Love-- not in a post-modern, anything-we-call-love-is-god, kind of way, but in the deepest metaphysical way. Since God is a necessary being, and his essence and his being are the same thing, if his essence is Love, then he is necessarily loving.

Woops... meant to say I agree with KWM, not WL.

Austin,

Who said God is free not to love? He is free to dive into Self, or, into Other. As are we. In Him both Motions, whether He chooses Self or Other, and all such Motions there within the Triune, land on Life-Himself. He cannot make a bad move. Whether it is "I" or "You" or "We", all are God-Himself.

We are not like that.

Yet we still have Love's Doors into and out of Self and into and out of Other. As does He within His Triune.

But the Created Self cannot land on Life should it insist on Self and not Other for where is the Created Self who can stand God-Independent?


Now, for any Created Self, the choice of "Self over Other" means Death for in that Motion it dissects itself off of God (The-Other).

The choice to embrace Self or Other is found uncreated in Love's Interior and thus in Man.

I wonder, what is Evil in your opinion? God-And?

But how can somthing be God-And? The-Self in isolation is in Him but more All-Sufficiency, whereas, The-Self in isolation is in Man a place of In-Sufficiency: Death.

The-Pure-Self is Good. That is, in God. And it is in Man too so long as it is Man-God, or, God-Man. But in the Cry of I! I! I! it becomes that Death which we call Evil, or which we call Sin, for no Created Self can so insist on Self over Other (God) and stand Sufficient.

That abandonment of the Self into Him is that necessary path to Life. The technical term for this abandonment is Trust.

Such is the Inverse of Pride, which is our Fall. And Lucifer's Fall as well.

We can Love Self, for Self is Good, but, it must be but part of the everlasting Motion into and out of The-Other for should we insist on Self void of The-Other we will discover that we have made a fatal move, a move which is inside the Triune but Life, but for us Death. He alone is All-Sufficient in all His Distincts. Man by defintion can never be Sufficient in Isoltion.

Austin,

Sorry. My thought should have started with, "Who ever said God is free to NOT love...." and so on.

Hi Scblhrm,

Your post seems to be full of idiosyncratic terminology which I am unable to follow. Please try to clean up your language so our conversation can be fruitful-- less random capitalized and hyphenated words would be a good start.

Austin,

By Love I mean nothing more than that delight which we all taste as we embrace those we love, and, also, that exercise of our Will to prefer another as well as sometimes it is but sheer Will should a presently felt delight be absent.

Now, I am "The Self".

My wife, however, would be, "The Other".

So love thus far has two distincts: Self and Other.

But Love is not done yet:


My wife and I are One within what is yet a third distinct: the Singular-We.

I. You. We.

Self. Other. And the joyful embrace of these two distincts that births yet a third distinct: the "We" of the Singular Self-Other.

Love is One. Love is Three.


Such is Love's Triune.

Such is God's Interior.

Now, in that context of love's inner nuances, my other two thoughts will have to stand as written. You will have to forgive me. Part of this I do not to witness or teach or present an arguement so much as simply for the odd fun of it. In fact, I think I have very nearly nothing at all to offer when it comes to teaching or arguementation.

However, from the likes of you and WL and so many others on this blog, I am often the student incognito.

Austin,

It occurred to me that this may be misread as a sacrcastic insult, "However, from the likes of you and WL and so many others on this blog, I am often the student incognito"


--- I meant simply that so many of the writers here, even our atheist and agnostic visitors, but especially our Christian writers such as yourself, are for me a source of yet some new vector by which to spy into God's nuances and His Word and as such I find myself often playing the role, even if in secrete, of a student.

We find that in this odd Hebrew God who is One and yet who shouts “Let Us make Man in Our Image!” the Actual Actuality which is at bottom Love’s Triune. An odd sort of Choice of Motion amid Distincts is found therein Uncreated for Will thus embraces within I-You-We. And we find Ontology too fatally regresses to the Triune as it reveals such a Topography within Being's singular and pleural amid the I and the You and the singular I-You for Being itself regresses to Love's embrace among the Distinct which is I and the Distinct which is You thus embrace and are in actuality One within that third Distinct where the Singular-We streams uncreated. And we find that Epistemology too fatally regresses to Actual Actuality’s Triune Topography too for what Consciousness knows it knows but by the Context of the In-Here that just is Self, and, what Consciousness knows it knows but by the Context of the Out-There that just is Other, and, what Consciousness knows it knows but by the Context of the In-Out that just is the All-Context of the Singular-We.

And what is Actual Actuality but Word and what can any Being said to made in Word’s Image be but Word Made Flesh ultimately? Such cannot be otherwise, that is, ultimately. Such must be but God-In-Man, Man-In-God, Word-Made-Flesh for Word precedes Corporeal and should Corporeal know Life, know Joy, it must be so amalgamated and we thus find that such a Merger, such a Ransom of sorts for Corporeal never could have otherwise. And how can Reality regress to any other entity but this Word which is the Final Regress of All-Things, of All-Contexts? Love is, that is to say, God is, that is to say, Actuality just Is some Flavor and Nuance of Word, be it Proposition, be it Presupposition, be it Premise, be it Law, be it Property of Thought, or be it Content of Thought, and so on, as such is forever our Final Regress, our End of Ad Infinitum.

There just is no such thing, no Consciousness, no Knowing, no Actuality, no Anything Anywhere which is Word Independent. The Christian is quite happy to allow either the Materialist or the Immaterialist to borrow from him for such is the testimony of the truth of Scripture as all Vectors converge within that flavor and nuance which just is Word. Yet should either the Materialist or the Immaterialist retreat from such claims as being claims on Actual Actuality itself and therein pull back to "just our perception" then each is left with some ill defined precursor of a vague sort of Energy as the thing upon which their thesis must stand and therein the infinite regress becomes their fatality. If one commits to those varied vectors and assorted avenues and diverse doors within Word then, well, welcome to the Truth of All Things as made plain to Consciousness ages ago via Word as Know-Ing could never be found in Consciousness alone but is found only by Word thus poured into Consciousness for it is not enough that Word be Consciousness but Word must also be with Consciousness as it is Word and Word alone which is the Final Regress, the End of Ad Infinitum . Perhaps the atheist and agnostic are beginning to catch up with the Hebrew and the Christian as we are hearing rumors and echoes and flavors of 'Law' and of 'Word' emanating from the hallowed corridors of academia's ivory towers. Word is Actual-Actuality. Word is with Actual-Actuality. Such is the Contextual Milieu within the One Triune God where all of Know-Ing, all of Consciousness, all of Mind, all of Love, all of Being, all of Precursor, all of Subtext, all of Context, all of all Vectors whatsoever converge within Word and Word Alone as the Final Regress. Love is One. Love is Three. Of course God-Is-Love is more plausible, for any other thing is just impossible.

"scbrownlhrm", your posts are dreadfully unreadable. Just FYI.


I'm still not convinced that God has the capacity to choose to not be loving. That would violate His nature, so it is not a possibility. Those who tried to refute my argument are missing that point.

To cite "omnipotence" is to misunderstand the definition of it. Someone said that God is the only being who has the power to violate His nature. That's nonsensical! It would not be His nature if it were able to violate it. It's simply illogical to suggest.

I'm not trying to suggest that God doesn't love. I'm trying to point out that the necessity of alternate choice is not imperative for love to exist. We need a more robust definition.

God truly loves, and He does not have the ontological choice to not love, it seems to me. So what role does choice play in love?

I suppose one could always say that God plays by different philosophical rules. I think that's an arbitrary ad hoc cop-out though. Not sure why I should buy that.

Justin,

You’re correct about God’s nature. (I don’t see anything in scblhrm’s posts that say otherwise).

However, created beings are different from God in many ways. A big distinction is the nature of our love vs. His love. It is necessary that created beings have the choice to not love just as it is necessary for God not to in His total perfection.

No problems. Very tidy. Very logical. Very Biblical.

Were I to say "God cannot violate natural law", or "God is subject to natural law" I suspect that there would be a hue and cry about placing limits on God's power, sovereignty etc.

What I don't quite get is why the same goes not go for the claim that God cannot act against His own Nature.

But isn't the claim that God cannot act against His own Nature the same as the claim that there is a natural law God is subject to?

I don’t place any limits on God’s power, sovereignty, etc.

I wouldn’t use the phrase “subject to” anything. I’m saying that God’s inability to do evil isn’t subjection at all and there’s no reason to think otherwise.

Again, there is no separation between His nature and His omnipotence.

I can do evil. God can’t.

I also don’t think God can do anything stupid.

Omnipotence fully intact.

Austin,

" the necessity of alternate choice is not imperative"

But it is necessary simply because in the Triune we have Multiple Perfect Distincts. Just as I cannot shatter His One-Ness, you also ought not shatter His Three-Ness. There is a certain I-You within Love and within God. And within Marriage, which He points us towards as a key to seeeing into this.

"Distinct" does not imply imperfect. How can any Imperfect anything be found in Him?

A is Perfect, and so is B, and C, and neither is wholly the other, nor wholly seperate from any other, and all are One as I and my wife truly are one.


He has within Himself Mutliple Distincts (the Triune) and each is Perfect. But it is the Distinct-Ness which our Uni-Dimensional thinking is so insulted by.

This is why the Trinity is really of no use to most folk's theology. We tend to avoid actually employing it in our formulas of Love and of God.


KWM-

I take it that you believe that God cannot go against His Nature. At the same time, you do not believe that God is subject to any law.

If so, which of these to you disagree with?

1. "God cannot go against His Nature" means the same as "There is a natural law (about God) that God cannot go against."

2. If God cannot go against a law, then God is subject to that law.

WisdomLover,

If one wants to describe God’s nature as if it’s some sort of law that he’s placed on himself, I guess I’m fine with it. ‘Subject to’ defined as conditional or reliant on - fine - so I’d disagree with neither. We hear the “oohs and aahs” saying God is subject to anything, but in this case, this particular type of subject to doesn’t infringe upon Biblical omnipotence. Moreover, it’s necessary.

Yes, I wrote:

I’m saying that God’s inability to do evil isn’t subjugation at all and there’s no reason to think otherwise.

Grant me poetic license. I have a problem with the terminology. I just don’t describe it that way. The definition of the word is crude. That’s my problem.

Earlier you mentioned that, God does indeed, have the capacity to do evil. I know you believe we have good reason to believe he would never do evil, but you believe he does have the capacity.

My questions:

If God were to do evil, what would it look like? Would it look like garden-variety evil? The type of evil that we’ve perfected?

The problem with this is a big one. This is a limitation on His perfection.

When you say that God's Nature is like a law He has made for Himself, doesn't that just raise the question of whether He could have made a different law?

I know you believe we have good reason to believe he would never do evil.
Yes, but it's more than that, I think it is de re impossible for Him to do evil. It's just that I also believe that His omnipotence is so great that He can do the de re impossible. It's worth noting that doing the de re impssible almost defies description, so this request
If God were to do evil, what would it look like?
is really impossible to answer...it would look like something de re impossible happening.

Justin,

Somehow, forgive me, I entered "Austin". Apologies.

I also agree with your "We need a more robust definition"

In the Triune God we have the fullest possible expression of what Love is and also what God is, for God just is love.


When you say that God's Nature is like a law He has made for Himself, doesn't that just raise the question of whether He could have made a different law?

I don’t say that, but that was my interpretation of #1 in your earlier post. If that’s the interpretation then the answer to your question is, No.

I think it is de re impossible for Him to do evil.

Do you agree with the following: de re impossible = possible

doing the de re impossible almost defies description, so this request ‘is really impossible to answer

There’s good reason for this.

Let's say God did the "de re impossible" and performed an evil act (whatever that looks like). Would this compromise his Goodness, Holiness, Perfection, Righteousness, etc?

Do you think it’s possible for God to do something foolish?

KWM-

Do you agree with the following: de re impossible = possible
A thing can be impossible in one sense, but possible in another.

That's why most people balk at the idea of God being subject to natural law. A thing can be naturally impossible that is logically possible. They do not want to limit God's power to just the naturally possible. (Though perhaps they do not recognize that as the reason that they balk at the idea of God being subject to natural law.)

What I agree with is this: "de re impossible" does not imply "impossible in every sense"

And in particular: "de re impossible" does not imply "de dicto impossible"

Though the reverse implication, I think, does go: "de dicto impossible" does imply "de re impossible"

If a proposition is such that it cannot even consistently be expressed, then no things can make it true.

In any event, I think God is capable of rendering true any consistent proposition. The only thing impossible to Him is the de dicto impossible.


doing the de re impossible almost defies description, so this request ‘is really impossible to answer

There’s good reason for this.
Indeed there is...it is about the de re impossible. God may be able to bring such impossibilities about. He is, after all, the Master of existence. But I cannot. It is so far above me that I can't even get started in saying what it would be like. That does not preclude me from inferring that God's power is even beyond that.
Let's say God did the "de re impossible" and performed an evil act (whatever that looks like). Would this compromise his Goodness, Holiness, Perfection, Righteousness, etc?
Of course it would, since all those things are essential to God. But remember that's all premised on the assumption that God does the de re impossible. The if-then you've presented me with isn't just a counterfactual conditional it is a counterpossible conditional.

A thing can be impossible in one sense, but possible in another.

Sure it can. But we are talking about the act of doing evil. If, as you say, we’re talking about a different sense of doing evil, I don’t follow. I have an understanding of what doing evil is.

Earlier you wrote on the capacity for evil:

I also believe that His omnipotence is so great that…

As it relates to necessarily tying the capacity for doing evil to His power - I’m curious as to your Biblical evidence for this definition of omnipotence.

Forgive me, but I’d still like to ask if you think it’s possible for God do something foolish.

It is de re impossible for God to do something foolish. All the things that the Bible says that God cannot do are de re impossible. For God to do any of them would contradict the essence of things that He Himself has established and maintains.

WisdomLover,

Interesting you choose to answer my question:

It is de re impossible for God to do something foolish.

Instead of,"Yes, I believe it’s possible for God to do something foolish because he’s just that powerful”.

WisdomLover,

For God to do any of them would contradict the essence of things that He Himself has established and maintains.

You’d qualify this by saying that under the right (whatever right would mean) circumstances (or as He sees fit), God could in fact be evil or foolish, therefore terminating or suspending “the essence of things that He Himself has established and maintains”.

The difference, as far as I can tell, is that these impossibilities are impossible in every sense in my view. It is perfect impossibility. It is unchanging impossibility. These things were always and will always be impossible.


Since God is unchanging so are all the natures, or essences, which He established and maintains.

The point is that the fixity of de re necessity comes from God's power and has no power over Him. It is not to say that one day, Shazam! God might haul off and do something evil or foolish.

The only thing impossible to Him is the de dicto impossible.

Can you give any examples of de dicto impossibilities?

A de dicto impossibility:

A round square.
A de re impossibility:
Me without thought.

So in your view:

God doing evil or being foolish ≠ round square

And in your view

Good God ≠ Round circle

As we've been discussing things so far, yes.

But there is one more wrinkle regarding the phrase, "God does evil", which looks for all the world like "This Square is Round". That is, I recognize that it looks like a contradiction in terms.

We have been using the term "God" in our discussion so far as if it were a name.

But "God" is not a name. It is a title-term, like "President of the United States" or "Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins". The important thing about these terms is that they have definitions (aka qualifications and requirements) that constrain who can legitimately hold these titles.

This is different from names. Sure, names have meanings. But an individual can fail to live up to the meaning of his name and that doesn't make it any less his name.

"WisdomLover" is a name of sorts. It's my handle in this blog's comment section. It also clearly has a meaning. I've been told many times by participants here that I am no lover of wisdom. That may well be so. I am certainly not wise. Perhaps even my desire for and admiration of wisdom is a pretense that has hoodwinked me if no one else. It would not be the only such pretense that afflicts me. As true as all of that is, my handle here is still "WisdomLover".

It's different with "President". No individual, for example, can hold the title of "President" without being over 35. It's part of the definition of the title "President" that its bearer be over 35. Even if a 34 year old were to win the election, live in the White House and so forth, he would not really be President. It's a de dicto impossibility for an individual to hold the title of President and be 34.

In the same way, it is part of the definition of the term "God" that whoever holds that title cannot be foolish or wicked. As such, it's a de dicto impossibility for an individual to hold the title of God and be foolish or wicked.

These things are de dicto impossible in the same way that "Round Square" is: they're impossible just in light of the meanings of the words involved.

There's the separate question, which I've mostly been dealing with here about whether the individual can be foolish or evil. To put it another way, can YHWH be foolish or evil? Now, the name "YHWH" has a meaning. And it may just so happen that meaning, if true of YHWH, would imply that YHWH is not foolish or wicked (I think a strong case for that could really be made). But that fact would not allow us to infer that YHWH is not foolish or wicked any more than the handle "WidsomLover" should allow you to infer that I really do love wisdom. Someone named "YHWH" might not, after all, live up to His name.

Look at it this way, someone could actually rip the second commandment to shreds and name their child "YHWH". That child could then grow up to be a mass murderer who knowingly carried out his murderous act on live TV, but still hoped not to get caught. That individual's name would not allow us to infer that he is neither wicked nor foolish. That's just not how names work.

However, it is true of YHWH (the holder of the title of God, not the putative mass-murderer) that His essence is such that He never behaves foolishly or wickedly. It is de re necessary that YHWH never behaves foolishly or wickedly. Indeed, I think that the definition of "God" that the Bible implies requires that whoever holds that title must have such an essence.

"YHWH behaves wickedly or foolishly" is impossible, but in a decidedly different way than it is impossible for something to be both square and round.

There can be but One Actuality and this is that Perfect 1 which is but Uncaused Love, that Great I AM atop of which there is no Reality for all that is Real, all that can be Real is beneath, within, out of and unto Actuality Himself, this One Who in Perfect Grace eternally offends Justice and Who in Perfect Justice eternally offends Grace. He is to us ugly and distorted, Poured Out, and we ask –Tis this perfect Mercy and all victims of the dark left pillaged, plundered or –Tis this perfect Justice and all victims rebuilt, repaired. We ask amiss for out of Him, unto Him we find these and this not in isolation one from the other but joined forever in but One. Perfect Mercy, Perfect Justice atop that Hill where Perfect Wrath pours out, where Perfect Love drinks in. Of Love we ask –Tis He Three or –Tis He One. We ask amiss for out of Him and unto Him we find these and this not in isolation one from the other but joined forever in but One. He is but Love’s Embrace there within what is I-You and by these two we find our sight insulted yet again for within those Two we find the One forever pouring out-of and we find the Other forever receiving into as that peculiar eternally sacrificed self is thus poured out, and this forever, and therein thus restored, raised, and this forever, and by this these Two eternally beget that Perfect One where in delight we find our Third for by Embrace Love has His We which is to us our One and is to Him His Three. Such is Love for such is God Who in the I forever empties out-of, Who in the You forever drinks in, is forever filled-up. In this embrace which is I-You we find now that Third for by these Two we have the We which is but One, which is not I and is not You but is instead Love’s Third, which is His Us and is His Our, which is but One and yet is We. This is God, and this is Love, that Perfect One. Should we ask –Tis He Three or –Tis He One, we would ask amiss for Love is Three Who by embrace can be but One.


Multiple Perfect Distincts insults our own boxed-in thinking of our own uni-dimensional condition here within the Created for the Created can know but One-Perfect and that is the Great I-AM there within the Triune God.


It is a mistake to limit the Uncreated to the condition of the Created. Impossible is a funny word, for while we frown, He yet laughs.

It's pretty simple.

God cannot NOT love. Yet we couldn't say that God doesn't love simply in virtue of his lack of alternative choice.

Therefore true love does not necessarily include an alternate choice.

He (love) has choice between Self/Other there within Him. That is not a abscent. Thus it is necessary.

"God cannot not love"

What exactly does this mean?

Does it mean that it is logically impossible for someone to be God and unloving at the same time?

If so, that's quite true, but consistent with it being within the power of the individual who is God to be unloving.

Do you mean that the individual who is God does not have it within their power to be unloving?

If so, doesn't that mean that there is a consistently describable state of affairs, e.g. Essau being unloved, that that individual lacks the power to bring about? And if so, doesn't that mean that that individual is less than Omnipotent?

Wisdomlover:

I think you are correct. Of course Love can Hate. Love hates evil. And evil is but [less of God] in isolation. Well....and so on...

By “Love” and by “choice” we do not mean the fickle ebb and flow of serotonin and dopamine within fallen emotions there in our neuronal synapses.


That is not what we mean by “love” or by “choice”. Such “things” are made, according to scripture, of the dust of the earth. Stuff. Sodium. Potassium. Etc. But Love and the Motion therein between a sort of I-You-We are found before such dust, and will be found still after such dust is no more. Mutable is not the sort of thing we refer to. Immutable is.

What then is Love’s Choice there among Multiple Perfects?


In Him we find a certain Us which is Singular there within Love’s Singular-We and this Perfect-Distinct, this We which is One, is forever birthed by that embrace of Pleurality within Unity. And this is not “I” and it is not “You” and yet is that certain I-You we find within Him by yet another Perfect-Distinct which is a certain I, and yet another Perfect-Distinct which is a certain You. Love is One. Love is Three. And thus God. Or, if we don’t’ like that, we can change it to this: God is One. God is Three. And thus Love.


Ontologically speaking we find within this Pleurality within Unity all, or many of, the substrates of Person there within what is Agency and Intent and Will and even the heat of passion as in His Delight In Other for the Father delights in…. and back and forth, and so on. And too there is that business of Volition which determined automatons just cannot have. Now, whatever ours is in relation to His, it will be that and less, whereas His will be to us ours and more though the degree and breadth and width of such is, well, who knows but God. We find nowhere in scripture the Passionless, Intention-less, Delighting-less sort of Determined Automaton who cannot do otherwise. And this confuses us only because we hold to the Triune’s Multiple Perfect Distinct-s in name only and simply do not allow such a Fabric as His to take us wherever it shall lead. We claim it in name, but we do not employ its implications in our formulas of Love and of God for the Uncreated Topography of Multiple Perfects insults our own Created Condition within our own lesser uni-dimensional by which we mean to measure all of reality. We ought to measure all of reality by His Condition and not our own.

When we say “Love” and “Choice” and so on we do not mean the pathetic little “feel good” fickle ebb and flow of I like you and now I hate you and now I want you and now I reject you. That is a product of the Fall, which is Sin, which is Evil, and this is a whole other discussion. When we say “Evil” we mean by that word merely the Privatized-Self, the Pure-Self, the Isolated-I which is Hell’s Isolation. Love is not that, but is what we find within the God Who is Love. The choice to so love Self is a good choice to have, and it exists in God and in Man and in Angels apparently. Jesus says, “Love Other as you Love Self”. Love Self. Love Other. Be One. Be We. You. I. Us. We are One. I You We within Love’s embrace.


Now, all of those motions are Good Motions and are found to possess volition there within God. How then is it possible for God to Love Self and shout, “Mine and not Thine!” within His Multiple Perfects and not “sin” when that shout by any Man to the face of God counts as “Sin” or “Evil” and thus death?


Well that is simple as briefly described in my incomprehensible and pathetic post of April 15, 2013 at 06:42 PM. Whatever Choice He makes there within that Pleurality within Unity is a Choice into and unto the Great-I-AM. There are no bad choices He can make. He cannot make a choice which lands Him on some other Being, in some other condition other than All-Sufficient. Further, the Uncreated has this, which our logic hates: Each Distinct there within the Triune is Fully God and thus Fully Perfect and we hate that because now perfection itself is no longer uni-dimensional but Three Simultaneous Perfects existing all at once and in harmony, and thus each Distinct is Fully Self-Sufficient. We don’t like that. Three lines or coordinates or vectors equally perfect? Impossible! we shout from within our created topography. Well, One-Perfect is there, the Great-I-AM, and for us such is the ceiling within creation, but that is not His ceiling within Him.


Fully Self Sufficient? Yes. And this oddity can only be found in the Uncreated and necessarily so. Whereas, the term “Self Sufficient” being applied to any created agency is an impossibility for what Created Any-Thing can stand Sufficient within Itself apart from the Uncreated? None.

There is no such thing as God-Independent.

Thus we find this: The choice to Love-Self is Good, and Jesus commands we do so. And so also with the choice to Love-Other. And by this Self-Other embrace we come to that Unity within which we find Pleurality which is our fated Image for Genesis’ “Let Us create man in Our Image” fast-forwards to John Seventeen’s Prayer of Jesus’ back and forth between terms of pleurality and singularity, which then fast-forwards to Revelations and our final Cannot Be Otherwise Pleurality within Unity as we dive finally and forever into the Triune God.


But the choice to Love-Self is necessarily present simply because we are in His Image and so this open door into “The Self”, or into Hell’s Man-Alone in Isolation cannot be otherwise, that is, until we choose God-Man and thus this available choice (which is a good choice in the uncreated) brings with it a problem for any created agent necessarily but which the Uncreated necessarily can never face and that is the issue of Self-Sufficiency. We saw that in Love Himself all Perfect Distincts are Fully Self Sufficient and thus there is no move to Insufficiency or Lack or Want or Need or God-Less-Some-Thing, whereas, the Created by definition is Insufficient in Isolation and thus the Door to [God-Less-Some-Thing] stands open and so should it, the created, ever make the move which both Lucifer and the First Adam make and shout to God’s Face, “I and not You! Self and not Other!” it can only taste its necessary Insufficiency and this is the Door into what we call “Evil” or “Sin”. If one believes that the Pure-Self is “God-And” then one is mistaken, for Evil is but that which is found within God, which is “I!” and such is Good in Isolation in Him for such is but Fully God. But this Pure-Self can only mean “Me-Minus-God” or Self-Minus-Other for any Created Agent and this is by definition Death, which brings in Evil or Sin and so forth. And so Evil is but God-Minus-Two, or, “I-You-We” minus the You and thus by default minus the Unity of what is “We”, which is Hell’s Privation or Isolation, or, simply put: Evil is Less-Of-God.


The Door-Out of Evil is simply the reverse Choice which is Christ’s Move, the Last-Adam, who shouts to the face of God, “Thy will and not My Will! Other and not Self! You and not I!” That Eternally Sacrificed Self of Christ indeed shows us the only path back to All-Sufficiency and this is to choose, not “Man in Isolation”, not “I, I, I”, but “Man-Joined-To-God” and thus what cannot be otherwise is God-In-Man, Man-In-God, Word-Made-Flesh, the God-Man, the Man-God. Now, once the created so dives into Other we come to Revelation’s final Amalgamation wherein we find what seems to be an Immutable All-Sufficiency, though we guess at immutable, but such immutability cannot come by the Created-Standing-Alone, for it must be God-Man, Man-God, and so Christianity’s story of “incarnation”, of God-In-Man, of Man-In-God, is the only possible mechanism by which the Created could ever know Life. Nothing else makes sense. It must be “We” and not “I” for any Created Agency. We find that should we choose Self we will have our eternal desire fulfilled forever within the Isolation and Privation of the Isolated-I within Hell’s Pure-Self, and should we choose instead that Uncreated Other we will have our eternal desire fulfilled forever within the Community of the I-You-We of Heaven’s Pure Love wherein all moves are moves into Perfect Life. Either way, we will have our heart’s desire and thus Culpability stands intact.

This Motion Among and Between I and You and We is what we mean by Love. We do not mean the fickle ebb and flow of fallen emotions. It has to do with Volition and with Will and with Agency and with Intent and with Self and with Other and with that Embrace of I-You, and it does not have anything to do with serotonin and dopamine reuptake receptors within neuronal junctions.


Volition in and by and among and within Self and Other is necessary only because it is found within uncreated within God. Not the choice to have a rush of serotonin. We mean something radically different when we speak of “choice” and of “love” there within the Uncreated Triune’s Multiple Perfect Distinct-s. Self is Good. God has given such to us. And He in fact has given His Own Self to us, poured out in delight for His Beloved. The path to Life is to in like manner spread our arms wide, and on that Hill so high, the only one of its kind, find Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self thus poured out, poured into I the Created, and thus I in my Insufficiency by drinking in His All-Sufficiency shall find alive within me that All-Sufficient One, and I thus in Him shall be Alive in Unity and not Dead in Isolation. And Culpability will be swallowed up whole by Ransom as Perfect Justice is there swallowed down whole by the Uncreated Ransom’s Self and Perfect Mercy is there swallowed down whole by we the Created for Justice, to our astonishment, is unto Him and Mercy is, to our astonishment, unto us.

WisdomLover,

"YHWH behaves wickedly or foolishly" is impossible, but in a decidedly different way than it is impossible for something to be both square and round.

Making or defining categories of impossibilities doesn’t really tell us anything about the nature of impossibility itself. No delineation of categories gets us to degrees of impossibleness.

But that's really not the issue. In sum, you see a conflict with omnipotence and certain impossibilities (namely doing evil and foolish things), while I do not.

You expressed your view of this conflict this way:

God does have the capacity to do otherwise [evil]. Omnipotence anyone?

You associate “omnipotence” with a perceived ability to do the opposite of what God does with regard to His nature or perfection. I just don’t see how this is true. Aquinas would call doing evil or foolish things failure, in action. I can fail. God cannot. Saying nothing about why God cannot fail, this doesn't compromise Biblical omnipotence. However, simply possessing this capacity to do evil or be foolish (i.e.failure) would be in conflict with God’s perfect nature.

You later wrote:

It is not to say that one day, Shazam! God might haul off and do something evil or foolish.

But this is precisely the problem. The “Shazam” cannot be ruled out under your view. The potential "Shazam" = "the capacity to do otherwise," because everything in this thread reads: De re impossible = possible.

We’ve already made clear God doing evil is impossible to describe (much like a round square) and we’ve already made clear that evil contradicts perfection, holiness, righteousness, etc. (also much like a round square). But I’m not trying to prove that God doing evil or foolish things is necessarily like a round square, just that they are impossible, absolutely - in every sense.

If you want to rule out “Shazam” then take my position: Impossible = Impossible

God does not have the capacity to do evil or foolish things. Or if one prefers, God does not possess the flaws needed to do evil or foolish things.

I wonder if by doing otherwise, do we ever mean to talk of anything besides doing evil? Such as in creating a bird with yellow rather than red color; can God choose which? Or is He a Determined Automaton who cannot choose which nuances to pattern into His own creative acts?

And so forth. Doing otherwise, even if we get rid of "evil" and "sin" (Etc) has yet far more layers and dimensions to it yet to be considered.

Clearly God has the capacity to so choose, even if He should call His Father's angels and they come and alter the current path of His Plan by that call of His, which He can work to its Finish by a myriad of avenues, although there is a small handful of Christians who seem to assert that God cannot create a bird with yellow rather than red color, as "perfection" somehow gets in the way of Delight, and just every other substrate of God, or it trumps delight and just every other substrate of God, or it magically swallows up delight and all His other substrates and just everything else too there in Him and so He has no choice on what nuances to pattern into this or that bird and has no such element of choice in Him at all on any level. As if delight and that whole world of other substrates were not themselves part of that very perfection as without such substrates that very “perfection” would not be perfection. But of course Perfection void of that whole world of substrates just is not Perfection at all, but merely something less. Fortunately we do not serve a Determined Automaton Who cannot do otherwise, but rather the living God within Whom there is a [This] which is Perfect and yet is not [That] and this [That] is also Perfect and yet is not [This] and both, being All-Sufficient, are yet not [This And That], which is yet in itself also All-Sufficient. Multiple Distint-s, pleural, within Perfection-s, pleural, gives to us that Triune God wherein Pleurality within Unity rescues us from such a choice-less and love-less version of something which can only be some lesser god. Thankfully, God is love.

I wonder if by doing otherwise, do we ever mean to talk of anything besides doing evil? Such as in creating a bird with yellow rather than red color; can God choose which?

God is not a determined automation - agreed.

But I don't believe that de re impossible = possible. And I never said that I did. I would never say that.

I wouldn't even say that de re impossible = impossible. That is because the second "impossible" is not qualified as to the type of impossibility.

There certainly are cases where something de re impossible is de dicto possible.

The proposition "WL is unthinking" is, I think ;-), de re impossible. However, it is clearly de dicto possible, since it is not a contradiction in terms. I think the same goes for "YHWH is foolish", but not for "God is foolish"..."God is foolish" is a contradiction in terms (taking "God" as a title term) just like "Married Bachelor" is.

WisdomLover,


I’ll go out on a limb here and ever so slightly edge toward your side of the fence here on what God can do. I don’t mean to intrude, only to add my own amateur sightline. If by “foolish” we mean, well, what? If such is defined by me and you (Mankind) then, well, “foolishness” would be but part of an Archetype called This-World which He Himself has crafted and as such any “high” or “low” are but dependent on His prior commitment to thus sustain. Now, prior to such a commitment on His end, what possible definition for foolish can ever be charged against Him by our end? Could He build a race who love to no end the buzz derived by the bite of a snake and He Himself then command a certain person here or there to so be bitten? Well, this is foolishness, even if Jesus does it, in This-World but perhaps in another World such a bite is but a door to some other place (well, and etc). Of course Jesus would, does, inhabit all possible worlds, and as such “foolish Jesus” becomes an oxymoron at worst and a statement of pride in us at best.


I’m not sure what “foolish” really means in any language at all when applied to God. If He declares that up is down, well, up will be down in that world and we don’t have to know what that means because He will. Can a world in which we fall up and climb down exist? Well, I can almost imagine it and that is scary because if I can come even vaguely close to imagining it then what can He Imagine?

Now, as to round squares, we sort of run into the same problem. What if He creates a world with seven dimensions and a circle is round in three and square in the other four? Is it impossible to exist in seven dimensions all at once as we do in three? The one dimensional line will say of the cube in its three, “Impossible!”. And so again this all comes back to His prior commitments.



It seems you are right about some odd and peculiar, even spooky, backdrop which casts its shadow upon all of this and everything else too: there is no such thing as God-Independent. Can God create a round square? Well, the answer is not yes or no but rather, It depends. Depends on what? Well, on the same thing everything is dependent on: God. God can create a round square if and only if He so commits to some seven dimensions (or whatever). Can He create a round square in my world? Well, what are His prior commitments to “my” world? Based on His commitments perhaps we can say “No” but does that mean that He “cannot create round squares”? Well, no, it does not seem to. Just ask the straight line in its one what it reasons and thinks about the cube in its three. “Impossible!” Yet, give man an eyeball which sees in those seven dimensions (or whatever) and….well…. look out.

The only commitment I see by God in this world is that Man will be, eventually it seems, made in His, Love’s, Image. The rest of the fixed laws of nature (fixed by His commitments) seem but a house of sorts for that to live in for what He seems to call, somewhere in the New Testament, a gestation. Where Love is concerned we find Power Himself making those prior commitments which, once again, make other worlds, W2, W3, and so on ad infinitum, which can contain Man In Love’s Image just impossible. If God is Love, and if God is to make Man in His Image, thin W1, this world, is the only possible world exactly because God has, Power has, Love Himself has thus committed and this prior to all worlds thus touched by “His Image”.

On “evil” I will upset many by including even that in its dependence on God for it, evil, is but the Privation and Isolation of the Self, which exists (the Self does) within God among His Triune Self / Other / We which just is His pleurality within unity. And so I take your God-Independent and warp it (forgive me) to this: there is no such thing as God-And. There is but One Actual Actuality, and it is God and God alone. There is no God-And.



Forgive me for not committing more than or beyond what is an ever so slight edging over the bare tip of the fence toward your spooky description of things, even as I keep one hand still on it………….

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