God's Awareness of Himself


#1

I am grappling with a paradox.

Is God’s knowledge of Himself complete or is it infinite?

  • If his knowledge of Himself is complete then He is finite and cannot learn more about Himself than He already knows. He is outside of time.

  • If his knowledge of himself is infinite then He is subject to time. His knowledge of Himself changes with time.

How can this be?

I suppose I am asking is God’s Awareness of Himself immutable or is it limitless?

Thank you


#2

Yes it is.


#3

DeaconJeff,

Is His Knowldege of Himself immutable or is it infinite? Which one? Not sure I understand your reply to my post.


#4

With God ALL things are possible.


#5

This is the problem. Your premises are flawed and are to be rejected. Infinity does not imply subject to time. In fact, infinity must by definition exclude time and necessarily include eternity because if one is subject to time, he is by definition finite (because he only occupies exactly only one point in time). An infinite being must by definition transcend time. Such a being must also by definition be immutable.

God’s knowledge of himself is therefore both eternal and infinite, and immutable. In fact, God’s knowledge of himself is what makes him form an image or idea of himself, and because this Image/idea is immutable, eternal and infinite (because God cannot form an inadequate image of himself), and there can be only one immutable, eternal and infinite (by definition, there cannot be two infinites, this Image/Idea must by definition be God.

This eternal, immutable, adequate (or, as you say, complete), and infinite Image/Idea of God is the Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity.


#6

@porthos11
Thank you very much for your illuminating reply.


#7

I have read it explained (by Frank Sheed, in “Theology and Sanity” and/or “Theology for Beginners”) that the love shared between theses 2 Persons must be equally eternal, immutable, adequate, and infinite, and is the 3rd Person of the Blessed Trinity (the Holy Spirit).


#8

Yes, because it is also impossible for God to love with an less than infinite love. Anything less than infinite is an inadequate love, and it is impossible to have anything inadequate with God. Therefore, this Love between Father and Son must by definition be perfect and Infinite, and since there is only one Perfect and Infinite, this too must be God, and yet distinct from the Father and the Son.


#9

God’s knowledge of himself is both immutable and infinite as well as eternal. God’s being is infinite, limitless and the principle object of his knowledge is his own infinite being which he understands and comprehends perfectly. For if God didn’t comprehend his infinite being perfectly, he wouldn’t be perfect or have perfect knowledge or be all knowing. He would be a in a state of constant learning so to speak which involves time and succession but God is eternal and he also would be in potentiality to more knowledge but God is pure act without composition or admixture of potentiality.

I think the difficulty you are grappling with is that you are assuming that the infinite cannot be comprehended all at once. Though God’s being is infinite and limitless, he comprehends himself all at once in one eternal act of his intellect and so since the measure of God’s being is the measure of his knowledge, he has infinite knowledge. This is actually a great meditation on God’s greatness or immensity and impossible for us to fathom being finite creatures but not impossible to God for the infinite can comprehend the infinite. By one eternal act of his intellect or understanding, God comprehends his infinite and limitless being all at once and not by successive acts of his intellect which would involve time and other imperfections I mentioned above in the first paragraph which are inapplicable to God. Simply stated, God comprehends all at once his eternal - without beginning or end - and infinite or boundless being.


#10

His awareness is infinite and complete. You want to know how this isn’t a paradox? Because human words can’t fully describe who God is.


#11

No, only logically possible things.


#12

God is not bound by our puny logic.


#13

How about this: Gd’s awareness of Himself is infinitely complete. Now we can work on that paradox!


#14

I like to refer to Jesus when I face a question like this. He is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He is God. So let’s see what would His story tell us. When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, He had not been sure yet if He, eventually, would take the cup or not. He prayed: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42). His knowledge about His fate was incomplete.

I don’t think God has or should have any knowledge of Himself. He is identical with His creation, He is present in everything. So why should he build up a separate knowledge base in His mind apart from creation? Our concept of knowledge is anthropomorphic to the extreme. We fathom a central command of information like a brain. Even by information we assume digitalizable data bases that can be processed by human mind. God does not need any of these!

God’d knowledge is the world. He operates through divine sparkles scattered all around the universe. Our souls are carrying the divine sparkles. Our knowledge of God is coming from divine sparkles shining in human beings. What we learned about Jesus came from Himself. We profess what He told us when He was incarnate as man and dwelled among us. Even our knowledge of the creation came from human minds who hammered out the concept of creation led by divine sparkles in their souls.

The consciousness of God consists of the sparkles of the souls of human beings, dead or alive, shining on the mind of God.


#15

Of course he is. He cannot make a square circle.


#16

“You are thinking as man does, not as God.”


#17

The usual belief about the Omnipotence of God is that he can do anything “that is logically possible”. Not sure what you are talking about.


#19

No joke at all and your reference to scripture as a mere “syllogism” is more than a little insulting.
Aquinas used the word "logical’ to define the limit of God’s power but I find that to be lacking. Miracles arguably do not comply with the laws of logic. It may merely be semantics, but I believe Descartes’ use of the term “within His nature” as a limit on His power, to be a better description, i.e. God cannot do that which is not within His nature.


#20

I don’t think miracles defy logic. What miracles defy is not logic, but earthly science that is based on observation of and experimentation in the natural world. That is why they are called supernatural miracles. Miracles are not about logic but about our knowledge of the natural world.


#21

Time is a Dimension same as the 3 Dimension that you are accostumed to move about. You also move in time except that you have no choice about it.
If you had enough energy it has been theorized that you could perhaps move through time.
GOD is outside time, and HIS knowledge is infinite. HE knows everything there is to know. Also GOD is an intelligent being. And you are also an intelligent being.
I believe that you are aware of yourself? Although perhaps do not possess full knowledge since you have yet to complete the course of your time. When that ends perhaps your knowledge about yourself will have matured.
Since GOD existence is infinite so is HIS knowledge of Himself.


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