Can god be a person?


I have lifted this who passage from Atheism Explained by D.R. Steele, I would like to hear the response of those who conceive of god as a person to tell me how they deal with the objections raised here.

God cannot be destroyed. He can’t be injured against his will or made to suffer against his will, and he knows this. If this is true, then God can’t be afraid of anything. He has never known fear at first hand, though he may have known fear in his imagination, the way we know fear by watching a horror movie . But if God has never been fearful, then God has never been courageous . The virtue of courage consists in overcoming or disregarding or perhaps suppressing one’s fear or one’s inclination to fear. Bravery, then, is a virtue that God can never achieve .

The same applies to most o f the human virtues. Most virtues, like courage, involve self-control and therefore have no application to God, who experiences not the slightest flicker of appetites or impulses which might cause him to deviate from doing whatever he infallibly decides is best. God cannot be tempted, so he earns no points for resisting temptation. Nothing, to God, is an effort, so he can never become lazy or irresolute, and deserves no praise for being steadfast!
If God is all powerful and almighty, then God has never faced any onerous tasks, has never shouldered any burdens, has never had to give up one thing in order to get another ( except where the alternatives are logically incompatible ) , has never felt involuntary pain or even a twinge of discomfort or anxiety, has never had to make a difficult decision, has never solved an intellectual puzzle ( since he knows all the answers in advance ) . God has no curiosity, since he knows everything instantly, without making an effort to find out.

God has never had to work hard at anything, has never been surprised or disappointed. God has never had to make a choice, since that would presuppose at least a moment where he had not made up his mind. God can never be careful or considerate. God can never pay particular attention. God has never experienced, at first hand, the joy of understanding an elegant theorem or experiencing a great work of art. He has heard it all before.
Creation of anything by humans, for example creation of a song or a book, has its joys and its sorrows . But for God, the Creator of the universe, there could be no joy, or sorrow, or sense of accomplishment. He created the universe just by willing it and before he willed it, he knew how it was going to turn out. Aside from that, joy and sorrow are characteristics of evolved conscious beings with bodies, forever enmeshed in the struggle to survive and reproduce.
Such emotional flurries could have no place in the life of. an eternal, indestructible Supreme Being. Theists say that God is wholly good. This implies that he has never known at first hand malice, lust, greed, or envy. Furthermore, God, defined as God who is wholly good, is held to be necessary. If it’s necessary that God is wholly good, then God could never go even slightly bad, he could never start toying with a bit of shadiness here and there . So God can’t do anything even slightly evil . No credit is due to God for being good; he can’t help
himself.

Only a very few theists are prepared to say that God could choose to do evil, and it’s easy to see why. If God is free to do something evil, then he might, at any moment, do just that. Being all-good would then be revealed as not necessarily true of God : it must have been a mistake all along to think of it as necessarily true & a practical matter we could no longer depend on God to be good. How could we ever know that God had turned bad? What evidence might we find to give us an indication of any such turn of events? It does seem to be essential to the God concept that God is impotent to commit evil. Even mild naughtiness must be beyond his powers. We begin to wonder whether this entity can really be a person .

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

23 thoughts on “Can god be a person?

  1. aguywithoutboxers says:

    A very provocative thesis. This should cause some reaction from some peoples. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. john zande says:

    Wow, this is excellent! The most poignant sentence for me was: “God has never had to make a choice, since that would presuppose at least a moment where he had not made up his mind.” To me that destroys any and all notions of the “designer” god.

    Brilliant stuff!

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  3. You certainly get some excellent quotes.

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    • makagutu says:

      Boss, by sharing we increase the reasons for anyone interested in knowing why god belief is impossible to sustain unless one chooses credulity and then we can’t be of help

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  4. emmylgant says:

    I think what bothers me here is the dismissal of numerous passages of the bible (and I presume other “holy books”) in which very human traits were ascribed to god. For instance god felt “regret that he created man because the inclination of his heart was bad all the time” (before the flood). Now we can dismiss that statement as sheer poetry, since he should have seen it coming. None the less, the only way to even think the question “Can god be a person?” has to have its roots in the statement that he is. Just saying…

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    • makagutu says:

      Since there are theists who have given god anthropomorphic attributes, we then have to see how coherent they are and if found to be deficient to be dismissed out rightly and I think that is what Steele is showing in this thesis.

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  5. Real real me says:

    You read a lot books. I believe there is a religious explanation for every “argument” the book has claimed. I am not that much into religion, but I believe in One God consisted of three persons (as the church teaches).

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    • john zande says:

      Why would you believe that? Because its in the bible? So are unicorns (Isaiah 34:7)… do you also believe in unicorns?

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      • Real real me says:

        No, I don’t believe in unicorns, I just think the word there has a metaphorical meaning. Personally, life has much more sense with God, you should try it. 🙂

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        • john zande says:

          So, let me get this straight… you choose not to believe in unicorns despite the bible saying they’re real, but you choose to believe in a three-headed deity, which is in the bible? Interesting. So, you just pick the bits you like and ignore the other bits, huh? I guess that means you don’t “want” to believe in talking donkeys, although the bible says they’re real (Numbers 22:30). Do you believe in talking donkeys?

          You didn’t answer my question. Which god are you talking about?

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    • makagutu says:

      Yes I read many books.
      I also know there is a religious explanation for everything. That is the duty of theologians and theology that branch of study of nothing.
      As the church teaches one god three persons, one is spirit, one is father and one is son. Question is how is father different from spirit if you also say god is a spirit and is the son also formless or human? Does he grow old and to be son it must there was a time when god was without a son. So is this son always existing or how do you reconcile this?
      Ok, you say the unicorn has a metaphorical meaning. Is talking snake metaphorical, is Lot sleeping with his daughters metaphorical, is Cain saying there are those who want to kill him metaphorical? Where does the metaphor begin and end or is the whole bible metaphor?
      So your god speaks through donkeys and snakes and gets fish to carry men in their stomach for three days. I love magic!

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      • Real real me says:

        Wow, I don’t really have attitudes for all of this, for me it is more important to find sense in our life with God than searching for religious inconsistencies. Like I said I’m not that much into religion (to be able to answer you the questions as a priest would).
        Basically, you’re asking me about the secret of the Holy Trinity that people aren’t supposed to know, but I do believe Jesus existed before His coming to Earth.
        I don’t believe the snake had a metaphorical meaning as the devil aka fallen angel had power to transform in a talking snake in order to tempt Adam and Eve.
        Lot was intoxicated to do so.
        I can’t say where the metaphor begins and ends, having in mind that The Holy Bible is a book with a lot of artistic values, plus each of Its writers didn’t have the same style.
        God is all-mighty, there are miracles happening today, not only in the past.
        By the way, off the topic, I almost forgot, how did the elections go?

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        • makagutu says:

          We have a new president and we are not fighting.

          If you are not much into religion, then I would advice you my friend to read well first or you may end up committing mistakes theologians have been committing all through.

          How is school and how are you doing?

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          • Real real me says:

            Actually, my life has much more sense with the belief in religion. I’m young and I have recently started to explore the religion, that’s why I don’t have a very big knowledge about it, but I’m interested in it. Personally, I feel much better and much more secure knowing that there is a god to take care of me, instead of I caring or trying to control everything that happens around me or worse make my self a god as some other do, which is like being lost. I admit the material and the temporarily perks of this life without believing in an afterlife are quite tempting, but I’m saving myself for eternity which is related to your question about my life – I’m not in school anymore, but on faculty (college) and honestly some of my colleagues are accepting me, but some some are kind of refusing me as I act different from them, but I’m hiding the secret it’s because of the religion, so some of them think I’m crazy, however I’m preparing a surprise for them in the future when I’ll reveal I’m writing a diary (and posting it online)!!! 🙂 (Note: Maybe I’m an amateur when it comes to the history about Christianity, but I do live a religious life.)

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