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A theology question you may never have thought of: Is God an android?

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Smartphone / mobile phone ringing or vibrating flat icon for apps and websites From theologian Norman Geisler at Jonh Ankerberg Show:

Persons have mind, will, and feelings. Androids have only mind and will, but no feelings. Open theists and others sometimes object to the classical view of God by claiming that if God is impassible then He cannot experience feelings like love and joy. In short, it makes God into an android, or more properly, a theandroid. However, classical theists, including Thomas Aquinas, do not believe that God is without feeling but only that He has no changing passions (feelings). God is a simple and unchanging Being and, as such, He experiences no changing passions. Hence, in his comments on Ephesians 4:30 (”Grieve not the Holy Spirit…”) Aquinas says, this phrase could be called a “metaphorical expression” because “The Holy Spirit is God in whom there can be no emotion or sorrow” (Commentary on Ephesians, 191). For God cannot be “provoked to wrath” (ibid.).

However, this is not to say that God cannot have unchanging feelings. This is clear from Aquinas’ comments on whether God has love. He rejects the objection that because love is a passion that God cannot have love by affirming that “We must need assert that in God there is love” (Summa Contra Gentiles, I.90). More.

Not clear why Dr. Geisler thinks androids have free will. In any event, open theism inherits both the problems of theism and those of naturalism, with no clear way to decide between them. In the current culture, over time, I suspect that the open theist drifts comfortably toward naturalism, with no clear line to cross. (O’Leary for News)

See also: “We are effectively androids, though made out of carbon”?

Silicon Valley religion: “The final end of science is the revelation of the absurd”

Dan Brown: AI Collective consciousness will replace God

and

Math prof asks Rob Sheldon: But how do we know that it isn’t a conscious machine?

3 Replies to “A theology question you may never have thought of: Is God an android?

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    … or does God run on the Android platform?

  2. 2
    EDTA says:

    I doubt that our concepts of feeling, will, passion, etc., have much to do with what God is or experiences. Any attempts on our part to reason about God’s nature using earthly concepts is bound to hit difficulties soon after we begin.

    (I’m fine with inquiring and exploring, but we shouldn’t get dogmatic about whatever it is we think we’ve uncovered…)

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    Why do people get paid for new variations on “It’s turtles all the way down?”

    Paraphrasing Twain, this is the luminous intellectual fog that passes for thought among paid philosophers.

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