Conceiving versus imagining

[W]e have to be especially careful not to fall into the trap of trying to imagine God’s attributes – in this case, to try to imagine “what it’s like” to be God. There’s nothing it’s “like” to be God if we mean by that a certain kind of stream of thoughts and conscious experiences, like ours but (say) more vivid and encompassing a perceptual awareness of every part of the world at once. That’s a completely wrongheaded way of conceptualizing the divine, because it at least implicitly involves attributing changeability to God (such as the transition from one thought or experience to another). Here as elsewhere we cannot properly understand metaphysical ideas unless we stop trying to visualize the realities to which they refer. To grasp the divine intellect (to the extent that we can grasp it) we have to use our intellects, not our senses or our imaginations.

Edward Feser, “The Divine Intellect”

Advertisements

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