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Le Me Explain Neoplatonism

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Posted by Harvey on September 20, 2002 03:19:11 UTC

Hi Aaron,

I'll give you a primer on my view:

I believe God exists outside of time. That means that with God there is no change (e.g., Jas. 1:17). God does not 'think', rather his thoughts exist as static truths that are 'out there'. Together, these truths or thoughts comprise the Mind of God. The consequence of there being thoughts 'out there' is that other things are true as a result of them being true.

For example, if Socrates is a man, and all men are mortal, then we can conclude that Socrates is mortal, right? This is an example of logical consequence. Similarly, if God has a thought that says "it is good for a material universe to exist", then as a logical consequence of that thought, the universe exists.

***If God was just a series of formulas or one grand one, then how could he think?***

I don't think God is a series of formulas or even a grand one. The formulas and grand ones exist as a consequence of God's being. God, himself, exists beyond comprehension and is even beyond Thought itself. The Logos draws its existence from this incomprehensible existence that I call God.

***Where would he get his infinite power?***

The infinite power comes from his infinite and incomprehensible existence. Everything finite (including the material universe) is just a material approximation of God's being.

***Wouldn't other formulas be able to think though at a lower level?***

Yeah, that's what I think. The 'trinkle down' effect would seem to be implication. The logical consequences would become simpler and simpler and become simple thoughts (like laws of physics). However, they would still 'obey' the will of God.

This view, by the way, is called neo-Platonism. This view has a long Christian heritage.

Warm regards, Harv

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