The Infinity of God and the Finiteness of Creatures

That God is infinite and creatures are finite can be demonstrated both in reason and supported by the Bible.

Anything that has a beginning is finite, for there was a time when it was not, yet now it is. This is the definition of a creature, e.g., a created thing. Thus anything with a beginning point was created by a prior cause and is limited by time. Further, all things created were moved from potential to actual at the point of creation. All things with potential are limited by that potential, since they have the potential to not be created, and the potential to be created with other limitations or perfections, such as size or weight, depending on the act of the agent causing the created being. Further, created beings have the power to change, which is evident by our universal observation of all created things changing. Anything that changes is not infinite, since the change is a gain or loss of form or accident. An infinite being cannot gain or lose, since an infinite cannot be greater or fewer. Therefore anything created is finite, limited by potentiality, and is changing.

God, being uncreated, does not have a time when He was not. God was not caused to come into being by another, and therefore must be the first cause, or there would be an infinite regress, which is absurd. God also does not change in His being, for there would have to be an agent causing this change, which would also result in an infinite regress, which is absurd. Further, God is not made of matter, since all matter is limited by form and individuality, and anything limited is not finite.

Therefore God is uncreated, without beginning, not made of matter, and is the first cause. God is also distinct from all created things, for created things are finite, as demonstrated above. Since there is an infinite difference between the finite and infinite, God cannot be confused with any created thing.

This demonstration is supported by the Bible, which tells us that God is timeless (He is the one who was, and is, and is to come, Rev. 1:8; from everlasting to everlasting Ps.90:2;  uncreated (the self-existing one, Ex. 3:14; He created all things that are created, Gen. 1:1, Jer. 32:17; Col. 1:16-17); all powerful and all knowing (His understanding has no limit, Ps. 147:5; Is. 40:28;), and unchanging (Num. 23:19).

Creatures, however, are evil (there is none righteous, not even one, Rom. 3:10-18; none are holy like God, 1 Sam. 2:2;), created (Gen. 1:1;) changing (Luke 3:5;); and subject to corruption (Gen.3:17-18; Rom. 3:23).

Thus God is infinite and all created things are finite, and there is an infinite difference between them.

About these ads

About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
This entry was posted in Bible, Philosophy, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The Infinity of God and the Finiteness of Creatures

  1. rosross says:

    God is all and all is God. How sad to teach that some things are evil when it is impossible for them to be anything other than God. Men invented the concept of evil along with religion. No God would ever invent anything so unfair, irrational, unkind and well, evil. Evil being the opposite of live or life.

  2. Jess Reid says:

    The ‘First Cause’ argument is based on a massive misapprenhension of what we now know about physics, time, and space.

    To the commenter above, that ‘God’ (an evidently and historically provable man made concept) could be unfair, irrational, unkind and evil, I might direct you to the Old Testament and much of the New Testament.

    • humblesmith says:

      The misrepresentation is of how God is presented in the Bible, both Old Testament and New. Perhaps you’d like to view this post, which deals with the question:

      http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/does-the-old-testament-present-a-different-view-of-god-than-the-new-testament/

      As to first cause, the law of causality governs all things, and we can know no science without it. Today, people don’t answer questions, they “quantum” them, giving answers that misrepresent quamtum physics. Quantum only applies to sub-atomic particles, and nothing larger than a molecule, and even at the sub atomic level do not say that things have no cause, but rather some things cannot be determined accurately.

    • rosross says:

      My point was God can’t be some things and not all things but unfair, irrational, unkind and evil are not God concepts they are human concepts and when they appear it is clear, it is not God talking but humans, generally men seeking to control and dominate through fear.

      • Jess Reid says:

        They’re only human concepts insofar as the stories written in the Bible were written by humans. If you’re to believe what these ‘messengers of God’ wrote in the Old Testament then you’d have to concede that God was a barbaric, murderous tyrant who actively encouraged slavery, eugenics, rape and mutilation of those who were considered ‘heretics’.

        • rosross says:

          That’s why I don’t believe these stories were written by messengers of God. There is nothing of God in them. They were written by barbaric, murderous tyrants who actively encouraged slavery, eugenics, rape and mutilation of those who were considered heretics. Any God, even one active millenia ago, has to be far more than the primitive actions and ramblings of the people who ‘wrote’ the Bible …. and other religious texts whether Judaic, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist or Christian.
          Having studied spiritual and religious writings for a very long time it is pretty clear where ‘men’ are able to pass on something they have intuited or perceived from a spiritual source and where they have not and unfortunately most of that recorded in religious texts is not from this source – although one sees shreds of it – but is the propaganda of men in power at the times.

          • humblesmith says:

            By your statements, I cannot believe you’ve actually read the Bible. There are vast sections of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, that speak to God’s longsuffering, mercy, love, wisdom, guidance of the lost, taking care of the poor, and on and on. Large sections of the Bible speak of God’s sorrow at the injustices given by mankind.

            Part of the problem is that us humans, because of our flawed nature, do not understand holiness or purety. If we did, then we would have an idea of what justice means, and why God does what he does.

            But you continue to make statements that tell me you’ve not really read books like Joel.

          • humblesmith says:

            In this series of comments alone, you’ve said that god is all and all is god, denied that some things are evil, then complained about barbaric, murderous tyrants.
            This is confusion.
            I encourage you to instead read the Bible as you would a newspaper or any other eyewitness account.

          • rosross says:

            No confusion. I stick with God and have little time for religion beyond the smatterings of spiritual and mythic one can find in the writings. And since the Bible is not an eyewitness account, nor a newspaper, why would I read it as one? As a journalist I know for a fact that the Bible and all other religious books are compilations of oral histories, written down centuries after the events supposedly happened and heavily propagandised and edited for the times. However, as metaphor and mythic image, these religious writings are interesting indeed. The problem comes when people seek to literalise the metaphorical and the symbolic. But that is the impact of our patriarchal, materialistic mindset world and no doubt meant to happen and a part of the process and in time, all religions will come to see the error of their ways and know that like the ‘blind men’ holding a ‘part of the elephant’ they know very little and cannot see the whole picture.

          • humblesmith says:

            You said, “since the Bible is not an eyewitness account, nor a newspaper, why would I read it as one? As a journalist I know for a fact that the Bible and all other religious books are compilations of oral histories, written down centuries after the events supposedly happened and heavily propagandised and edited for the times.”

            I again urge you to take a moment and think about the evidence that is in favor of the Bible. It is indeed an eyewitness account, as Luke claims (Luke 1:1-4) and Peter claims (1 Peter 1:16 ). The physical documents prove that what we have now are written down within just a very few years of the events (see here: http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/evidence-against-myth-legend-copy-errors-the-john-ryland-fragment/, and here: http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/earliest-new-testament-document-discovered/)

            We also know they were not heavily propagandized, for the gospel accounts often have the disciples making mistakes and sinning, hardly what one would do to propagandize. In fact, they are just the opposite: they read like real history, written by eyewitnesses.

            I again urge you to think about what would be the consequences if you are wrong. If you are a journalist, then you would know how to view corroborating accounts. Well, in the New Testament, we have nine people who claim to be eyewitnesses. Won’t you consider reading the Bible again?

          • rosross says:

            The operative word is ‘claims.’ Eyewitness means the individual doing the writing was actually there. They themselves literally witnessed the event. Given that the Bible writings were oral until centuries after the supposed death of Christ, these are not eyewitness accounts. They may well be oral and then written recordings of eyewitness accounts but such things are prone to editing, mistranslation, misrepeating and misrepresentation.

            Given that there is no contemporary corroboration of the existence of Jesus anyway, these ‘accounts’ are questionable. As to new ‘evidence’ – here still it was supposedly ‘written down’ a few years after and that is not an eyewitness account. Studies of brain function and psychology show how easily we all ‘err’ in what we remember and what we believe we have seen.

            You said: We also know they were not heavily propagandized, for the gospel accounts often have the disciples making mistakes and sinning, hardly what one would do to propagandize. In fact, they are just the opposite: they read like real history, written by eyewitnesses.

            I think you need to read a bit more propaganda. One of the ploys of propaganda is to make it believable. And of course they made mistakes – they were human.

            You said: I again urge you to think about what would be the consequences if you are wrong.
            There are no mistakes, merely different paths. It is very simple, I would fall about laughing were I to leave this world for the next and find a God who instructed me that the Bible was meant to be taken literally.

            In truth, if there is a God, and I happen to believe there is, then there are no mistakes. We are all accepted for what and who we are on the long journey we take as souls, appearing momentarily in material form in this world, perhaps once, perhaps many times, as we learn and grow. I do not believe we are judged, except by ourselves; I do not believe we are punished except in terms of feeling all that we have done to or been for others; I do not believe there are any mistakes – merely different turns on the path and I don’t happen to believe God gives a toss about whether we believe the Bible or not – what God wants is for us to walk our own path in truth, finding our way to compassion, love, enlightenment and wisdom.

            If I am wrong about there being a God it is all utterly irrelevant because there would be no consciousness – oblivion.

            I do plan to read the Bible again and I plan to do so seeing it in purely metaphorical and symbolic terms. I think that will be interesting. Ditto for the Hindu, Islamic, Judaic and other religious writings.

          • humblesmith says:

            I have provided hard physical evidence, the John Rylands fragment, that proves that the New Testament documents were written within a very few years of the originals. There are more, of course (Bodmer papyri, etc), which are readily available in the research. There are thousands of copies of the NT documents within a few years of the originals. Yet you continue to state that there were centuries of oral tradition. It is simply not the case, and you hold your position without regard to the evidence.

            Further, there are also plenty of contemporary accounts outside of the Bible from the same period that the bible was written. Gary Habermas documents about 40 of them in his book The Historical Jesus. Again, this has been presented to you, and you hold your position without regard to the evidence.

            Still further, you have repeately said that all is god and all will be accepted, then complained about how some are evil and reject this. I have pointed this out, and you have not given any logical explanation for this contradiction and confusion.

            I have provided you ample opportunity to state your case, and this has happened repeatedly, therefore we will shut this off here.

          • rosross says:

            p.s. I would also add my assessment of the Bible comes after extensive reading of Judaism, Hinduism,Jainism, Islam, Buddhism, Shamanism, Paganism (really the Great Mother religion), Calvinism, Mormonism, Catholicism, Lutheran, Cathar, Hugeunot, Baptist; Animism and a great deal of psychology, spirituality, symbolism, fairy tales and mythology and that is why I am convinced that the Bible, like all other religious books, is not meant to be read literally but is metaphorical and symbolic.

  3. rosross says:

    I have read the Bible which is why it is irrational and illogical to me that it be taken literally. Clearly it is metaphor and symbol … and in that sense, fascinating. As literal reading it is often ridiculous, unkind, unwise, ignorant and unenlightened. And I simply do not have that experience of God…. only of humanity. And yes, the smatterings of insight and enlightenment are encouraging but they do not make up for the wrongs inherent in most of it. As an editor, it is clear that the Bible did not come from one mind but many. As someone who has a good relationship with what I call God it is also clear that most of it had nothing to do with God and a great deal to do with the small minds of human beings – mainly men.

  4. rosross says:

    But honestly, I only returned to comment here because I received a post from Jess. You and I see the world different Humblesmith and that is fine by me. I am perfectly happy with my view of it and have no doubt you are with yours. Let’s agree to disagree.

  5. rosross says:

    Just to clarify since I did not leave a space:
    You said: I again urge you to think about what would be the consequences if you are wrong.

    I said: There are no mistakes, merely different paths. It is very simple, I would fall about laughing were I to leave this world for the next and find a God who instructed me that the Bible was meant to be taken literally.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s