Hey, if I’m wrong, then I’m wrong, and I’ll gladly entertain arguments to the contrary.
But as an example, even if the universe is infinite, the universe and I still have certain commonalities. It’s more a matter of scale than of nature in this case. And we can each be described relative to those commonalities.
Aquinas’ Fourth Way implies that God and I have commonalities as well. In fact, every attribute that I possess can be described relative to God. So while it’s true that as with an infinite universe, I lack God’s scale, Aquinas’ Fourth Way implies that my attributes are relative to God’s.
Ain’t this great!! We get to think, and discuss, and everything, like normal intelligent people.
I feel you are agreeing with me while thinking you are disagreeing. What you say is precisely my understanding. Claims have been made, even on this thread, that everything can be described by Mathematics, including God himself. It’s this I’m rejecting, for the very reasons you site.
It is true we are all made “in God’s image” and from this can know, in a very limited sense, a little something about God. But I’m still confused about you saying it’s only a matter of scale and not nature: Because God’s attributes are his very own nature which is exactly one and distinct from ours by being unconditioned; so I would say there really is more than just scale between us and God… God is not just “more” of us. That’s why St. Thomas says we can comprehend THAT he is; not WHAT he is.
I don’t mean to imply that it’s ONLY a matter of scale. I can’t possibly know that. Just as with myself and the universe, it’s not just a matter of scale. I’m a conscious, self-aware entity, can the universe say the same?
But the universe and I do share commonalities, and according to Aquinas, God and I share commonalities as well, and these commonalities can…if true…tell me something about God. It doesn’t necessarily tell me everything, but it does tell me something. If it didn’t then Aquinas never could have produced his Five Ways.
I’m sorry, I really do not mean to be difficult and you’re such a good discussant (which I appreciate). Let me try to explain what I mean a little better.
Let’s give an example of these likenesses with God you call “commonalities”. For example: being, goodness, or beauty.
I still say there is a difference in nature, and not just scale with regards to them where we and God are concerned. Why? Because God is an absolute simplicity.
We are good. He is not. Rather, he is goodness. We are not goodness. Similarly, our existence is radically different from his: Ours is contingent. His is not. I.e. We exist; but he is existence. We are not existence. Nor beauty. Etc.
Moreover, in God, beauty and goodness are the same thing as existence/being, i.e. God.
So, given that, it is still inaccurate, IMO, to claim that our “likeness” to God refers to things that are of the same nature but different only in scale. It literally is not the same kind/nature either. That’s what I mean.
I’m with you on this, in fact, let me see if I can express this, if not better, then at least differently.
There’s the thing, and then there’s the refection of the thing. And God is the thing, and we’re the reflection. If you take away God, then you take away the reflection, but you can take away the reflection without taking away God.
I guess what I’ve been getting at, is that the reflection does tell you something about the thing that it’s a reflection of.
Personally, I think that STT is absolutely correct. Mathematics can’t be created. Because creation implies a conscious, coherent creator. And a conscious, coherent creator must be describable mathematically.
Consciousness requires coherence, and coherence requires order, and order is a property of mathematics.
Therefore mathematics must be a pre-existing property of any creator. and can’t be created by them.
They cannot even describe LIFE (Mathematicians) and here you are suggesting that a Mathematical description of Absolute being, something no creature even comprehends, is possible.
Claiming you can describe God mathematically implies laws that God is constrained by, naturally, so you can perfectly describe or know them through logic. The only thing that “constrains” God is God. For God is the unconditioned. There are no God-transcending laws anywhere that Math can discover. So the closest to a mathematical description you can get of God is the basic Math formula which is still not a description of God. It’s a description of coherence or the law of non-contradiction. A=A. It’s just a way of saying, mathematically, God is himself. Or everything is itself. But it cannot say what “God” is. i.e. what “A” is. Only THAT he is himself.
I am willing to say flatly that claiming that God is mathematically describable must be a grave heresy of some kind. Probably we don’t have such a one, by a particular name, because no one has thought to deny the basic truth of God’s absolute incomprehensibility (i.e. indescribability!) to anything that is not God.
Do you know who can comprehend and describe God? We call him God the Word, the Logos. Or God, the Son. That’s why we believe in a thing called ‘revelation’.
“No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.”
St. John, 6:46.
Notice there are no Mathematicians, Logicians or Philosophers named anywhere there. Only the divine procession.
So that God is not a becoming, as in some pantheistic systems, nor a being whose infinite potentiality is gradually unfolded or evolved. But He possesses at once all perfections. He is simultaneously all that He can be, infinitely real and infinitely perfect. What we conceive as His attributes or His operations, are really identical with His essence, and His essence includes essentially His existence. For all intelligences except His own,Godis incomprehensible and indefinable. The nearest approach we can make to a definition is to call Him the Actus Purus . It is the nameGodgives to Himself: “I am who am”, i.e., I am the fullness of being and of perfection.