God is one or more parts?


I’ve listened to many of the Catholic apologists discuss how God is in fact, very simple, He is not complex, meaning, He is not made of parts, since if He was, it would mean that He could not have been the uncaused cause and something would have had to make Him. I’ve also been reading Edward Feser’s book, “The Last Superstition” and how He is explaining God through logic and reason and it got me thinking again.

Since God “Is”, or basically “I am”, meaning He is existence and His essence is simply being, how does one rectify that He is both Intellect and Will? Although these are spiritual, are those not two things, instead of one thing? Does that make His spirit “parts”? Or when the apologists talk about it, are they referring simply to material parts?



Uhhhh. lol. Totally clear now. :slight_smile:


You have named two qualities of simplicity. Consider:

  1. God is Spirit.
  2. God is love.

Does that somehow imply that He cannot be the uncaused cause?


No. Of course not. I believe He is. Just wondering how to best explain this since the will is separare from the intellect. They are different and distinct.


In man. I think there lies the difference.


God is very complex! We will never understand God because you would have to be God to understand God. God is not material. God has intellect and will. God is 3 persons in one God. God always was and always will be. God created all things with his word! Let there be light.


Aquinas argues that where there is intellect, there is naturally will, as well. And, since God’s intellect is His existence, likewise His will is His existence, too. So, no conflict there: God remains ‘simple’ (i.e., not made up of parts) and not ‘composite’.


In an angel or human person they are separate operations. But we commit a fallacy of accident when we think of God as therefore being the same way. In God, the Intellect and the Will are the same. They are identical to his power and goodness and love. They are identical to the essence.

There is just a way God’s nature can be likened to how we experience Intellect, and a way that God’s nature can be likened to how we experience will, and so on.


Intellect and will are not “parts”. They are faculties or powers.


Are you turning over a new leaf?! That video clip was actually germane to the conversation! And funny, too!




Everything I do enriches the conversation!


In God, intellect and will are the same thing. In God, love, mercy justice, knowledge, even mere existence are all the same. It turns out that if you have infinite perfect existence, it is intellect, will, love, knowledge, etc., etc.


The attributes of God are one in reality, but distinct only in the mind.


Essentially God’s essence is will and intellect?
Ah. God is immaterial form of pure actuality.


Human language, while one of God’s greatest creations, is still often inadequate for explaining the nature of God. We can verbally describe a thing or being as having several components or sides, but it does not mean that reflects the actual nature of the thing or being that is being described. The map is not the same thing as the actual landscape.


Not in God, they’re not. There is no distinction between any of God’s attributes and his essence. Where intellect and will are concerned, they are not merely of God, but they are God. God does not have intellect, he IS intellect. He does not have will, he IS his will.


See Question 19 Article 1 of the Summa.

Here’s a boiled down version of that question of the Summa. source


Romans 1:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Corruptible man = Shepherd, Son of God, “Like a man (four beasts around the throne in Revelation)”?
Birds = Dove as Spirit of God, Eagle in Revelation (Woe, woe…), “Like an eagle (four beasts)”?
Four-footed creatures = Lamb of God, Lion of Judah, “Like a lion (four beasts)”, “Like a calf (four beasts)”?

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