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Taking the Nature of God Seriously

Maxwell, N; (2012) Taking the Nature of God Seriously. In: Diller, J and Kasher, A, (eds.) Models of God and Other Ultimate Realities. Springer: Dordrecht, Netherlands. (In press).

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Abstract

Once it is appreciated that it is not possible for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God to exist, the important question arises: What does exist that is closest to, and captures the best of what is in, the traditional conception of God? In this paper I set out to answer that question. The first step that needs to be taken is to sever the God-of-cosmic-power from the God-of-cosmic-value. The first is Einstein’s God, the underlying dynamic unity in the physical universe which physics seeks to depict by means of a true, unified, physical “theory of everything”. Science has already achieved some theoretical knowledge of this God-of-cosmic-power. The second is what is of most value in our human world, and in the world of sentient life more generally. Having cut God in half in this way, our fundamental problem, intellectual and practical, becomes: How can the God-of-cosmic-value (as it is represented on earth at least) exist and best flourish within the God-of-cosmic-power? Or, in other words: How can what is of value associated with human life – and sentient life more generally – exist and best flourish within the physical universe? Clearly acknowledging that this is our fundamental problem, in academic inquiry, and in all that we do, might help what is of value in life to flourish rather better than it does at present.

Type:Book chapter
Title:Taking the Nature of God Seriously
ISBN-13:978-94-007-5218-4
Publisher version:http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/religious+studies/book/978-94-007-5218-4
Language:English
Keywords:physical universe, human world, God, problem of evil, value
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Science and Technology Studies

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