Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Nature of the Creator

In an earlier blog I wrote about why a creator makes more sense for the origin of the universe, at least to me, than any of the alternatives.  I did not go into any details there concerning the nature of a universe creator, but would like to do that here.  I have read a number of books and articles that covered this same ground, some of which I agreed with and some not.  But I want to provide my own take on this.

Powerful

In my way of thinking, power is required to produce something.  And the bigger and grander the product, the more power is required to produce it.  As humans we think of ourselves as pretty powerful, and yet producing something the size of the moon is well beyond our ability to execute.  I cannot imagine the amount of power that would be required to produce a universe.  Even a universe that unrolls from a singularity would require an amazing amount of power to start it, and keep it unrolling.

I have no idea about what lies beyond the universe we inhabit, nor what limits there might be on a universe creator in that realm.  But within the context of the creation, I think it is safe to identify the creator as all-powerful, omnipotent; without equal in power and ability; able to do whatever he chooses.

Intelligent

The more complex and elegant the design, the more intelligence is required to produce it.  And can you think of anything that is more complex or elegant than the universe, apart from its creator?  Is there anything about the creation that its creator would not know?

Transcendent

A creator would be distinct from his creation, independent of it and not limited by it.  Space and time are two limitations that we are very familiar with.  Everything in this universe, that I know about, is limited to being in a single location at any one moment in time.  And everything that I am aware of experiences the passage of time in a forward only manner, although I am aware that there is some thought that in the quantum world that forward only direction may not be completely applicable.  This lack of limitation has some interesting application to a creator.

Not being bound by space means that the creator can be multiple places at any one instance of time, or even in every place within the universe.  This means that the creator could be omnipresent, everywhere at once.  While I am able to be multiple places at once, limited by the size of my body, the creator could be everywhere in his creation, since unlike me, he is not limited by space.

Even more interesting is that the creator would not be bound by time, meaning that he could move both forward and backward in time; be in multiple time periods simultaneously; or even be concurrently present at all points of time.  That is admittedly hard to visualize, but if, as scientists claim, time is just another dimension, then it is really little different than being in multiple places at one time, which is something that even I can do in a limited fashion.

If the creator is intelligent enough to create our universe, is able to be everywhere within it, both in space and in time, then he could know everything that has happened, is happening, or will happen.  He would be omniscient.

Miracles

A miracle is generally defined as something that has a supernatural origin, an act of a deity.  Much of the argument against miracles assumes that there is no creator.  But there are those who will argue that even an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator would be unable to produce a miracle.  But that does not really make sense, since creation itself is an act of the creator, a miracle.  I can find no rational argument for supposing that a creator would be unable to interact with his creation, i.e. perform miracles.

I am able to manipulate the creation in some limited extent to accomplish my own goals.  Why could not the creator be able to do the same thing?  While I am not able to manipulate the laws of physics to accomplish my goals, is there any reason to suppose that a creator could not?  I was a software developer for many years, the creator of little software worlds.  Most users of those applications were limited by the user interface in what they could do.  But I was able to tweak the underlying data in ways that they could not, allowing me to accomplish things that the average user could not.  That is really no different that the creator manipulating the underlying laws and constants that drive our universe to accomplish something that I would be unable to.

Miracles are impossible if there is no creator.  But if there is a creator, then miracles should not be a surprise, even miracles that we do not recognize as such; rather they should be expected.

Purposeful

While it is by no means certain to me, it does seem like a creator would have a purpose in his creation.  In other words, he had a reason for producing a life friendly universe.  Other than for the production of some form of life, it is hard to determine what his purpose might have been, assuming all we had to go on was creation itself.

But if he had a purpose in creation, and especially if that purpose included intelligent life, it would seem reasonable to assume that he would be active in his creation, at least enough to make sure his purpose was fulfilled.  It would also seem likely that he might want any life that developed to have some concept of him and his purpose.

Other Attributes

There may be other attributes for a creator that could be derived from there being a creation, but these are the ones that seem clear to me.  And of course there are many other attributes that specific religions give to their creator, or god.  But without the creator himself providing some glimpse of his nature or purpose, I am not sure how one would go about deriving those attributes.

I will look later at the God of Christianity, seeing how well he fits the above, as well as any other attributes of his nature that he has revealed to us.

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