Defining God



God has also been conceived as being incorporeal (immaterial), a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the "greatest conceivable existent".

These attributes were supported to varying degrees by the early Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologian philosophers. Many notable medieval philosophers and modern philosophers have developed arguments for and against the existence of God

Evidently defining any object or reality is only possible in terms of its properties.  A look into the arguments for and against the existence of God relies on this.  However properties arise on when there is a relationship between two objects.  In the all the above the definition of God is based on the relation with cosmos and beings.

Is it possible to use rigor and systematic way of science to define God? Is God the Ultimate cause of the Universe. Can Science ever find God?. If we define God as in the above equation, where Ci is the cause at the i-th level, it shows that Science will remain ignorant about absolute reality until it has reached the Ultimate cause level of understanding. http://www.mosman.com/DefiningGod/index.htm  


As the Christian biologist Scott C. Todd put it "Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." This argument limits the domain of science to the empirically observable and limits the domain of God to the unprovable.

The eternal principles discussed under ontology ( "What can be said to exist?", "Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?", "What are the meanings of being?", "What are the various modes of being of entities?) beginning with God or Isvara, the Ultimate Reality, cannot be established by the means of logic alone, and often require superior proof.


Nature of relevant proofs/arguments

Since God (of the kind to which the arguments relate) is neither an entity in the universe nor a mathematical object, it is not obvious what kinds of arguments/proofs are relevant to God's existence. Even if the concept of scientific proof were not problematic, the fact that there is no conclusive scientific proof of the existence, or non-existence, of God mainly demonstrates that the existence of God is not a scientific question. John Polkinghorne suggests that the nearest analogy to the existence of God in physics are the ideas of quantum mechanics which are seemingly paradoxical but make sense of a great deal of disparate data.

Theological Classification of the Names of God

- of essence,

- of attributes, and

- of acts.

The names referring to the God's essence define the reality of God and emphasize what differentiates God from all other things in the cosmos.   Thus, the names of essence indicate what God is not, rather than what God is.  In short, one cannot come to an understanding of the essence of God.   .

Thus to say "God is omnipotent" means that God is not powerless; to say "God is omniscient" means that God is not ignorant, and so on.  "Attributes of action," on the other hand, represent the self-revelation of God. These include the attributes of Creator, Redeemer, Source of life, etc. To say "God is Creator" is therefore known through the revelation of God's actions (namely, Scripture and creation itself

The second category contains the names of God's attributes.  While the first category specifies what God is not, the second defines what God is explained through his relation to the creation.

The third category contains the names of act - what God does with the creation.  While the names of essence and of attribute define God in God's self, the names of act define God in God's interaction with the creation. Most names of act have their opposites that are also divine names. Most of the Names and Titles of God are therefore descriptions of God's attributes of action.

Definition of anything would imply a systematic enunciation of the properties. 
Properties themselves are defined only through relationship between two. 
 In this case between God and other existing elements both sentients and non sentients - Person and Nature.  In Indian terms Purusha and Prakriti.

God is often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of humans and the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence.  We can never know God except through our relationship with him.  Thus God is known in a personal way other than through the revelations through the created universe. Defining God in His essence is impossible.  We can only define Him in His properties as experience by Me.

Here is a list of attributes collected from various web sites:

God's attributes 


Bible define God as

"God is love"

This basic definition extends over to several additional  attributes.  Love is expressed in relationship and would mean these in his relation with nations and people.

To this can be added some of the Omni attributes extending human attributes of ability of mind, logic and movement to their limit

Creeds and Confessions also define God with human relationship:

The Belgic Confession

Article 1

The Only God
We all believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths
that there is a single and simple spiritual being,
whom we call God—

eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty;

completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good.

Article 2

The Means by Which We Know God
We know him by two means:

First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe,
since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God:
his eternal power and his divinity,
as the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20.

All these things are enough to convict men and to leave them without excuse.

Second, he makes himself known to us more openly by his holy and divine Word, as much as we need in this life,
for his glory and for the salvation of his own.

From Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology we get:

Incommunicable Attributes (Chapter 11)
- Independence
- Unchangeableness
- Eternity
- Omnipresence
- Unity

Communicable Attributes (Chapter 12)
A. Attributes Describing God's Being:
- Spirituality
- Invisibility
B. Mental Attributes
- Knowledge (or Omniscience)
- Wisdom
- Truthfulness (and Faithfulness)
C. Moral Attributes
- Goodness
- Love
- Mercy (Grace, Patience)
- Holiness
- Peace (or Order)
- Righteousness (or Justice)
- Jealousy
- Wrath
D. Attributes of Purpose
- Will
- Freedom
- Omnipotence (or Power, and Sovereignty)
E. "Summary" Attributes
- Perfection
- Blessedness
- Beauty
- Glory

No type of theology will ever fully explain God and His ways because God is infinitely and eternally higher than we are.

God in His absolute existence do not have a name.  Name comes in only in terms of a Person outside of God.  So the names of God represent the character of God in relation to the experience of people.  All theistic religions there fore has a large number of names which constitute who God is.

There are many names for God, and different names are attached to different cultural ideas about who God is and what attributes he possesses.

In the Hebrew Bible "I Am that I Am," and the "Tetragrammaton" YHVH are used as names of God, while Yahweh, and Jehovah are sometimes used in Christianity as vocalizations of YHVH. Judaism it is common to refer to God by the titular names like Elohim or Adonai.

Elohim has been explained as a plural form of Eloah or as plural derivative of El.


If Elohim be regarded as derived from El, its original meaning would be "the strong one" according to Wellhausen's derivation of El, from ul (Skizzen, III, 169); or "the foremost one", according to Nöldeke's derivation of El from ul or il, "to be in front" (Sitzungsberichte der berlinischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1880, pp. 760 sqq.; 1882, pp. 1175 sqq.); or "the mighty one", according to Dillmann's derivation of El from alah or alay, "to be mighty" (On Genesis, I, 1); or, finally "He after whom one strives", "Who is the goal of all human aspiration and endeavour", "to whom one has recourse in distress or when one is in need of guidance", "to who one attaches oneself closely", coincidentibus interea bono et fine, according to the derivation of El from the preposition el, "to", advocated by La Place (cf. Lagarde, Uebersicht, etc., p. 167), Lagarde (op. cit., pp. 159 sqq.), Lagrange (Religions semitiques, pp. 79 sqq.), and others. A discussion of the arguments which militate for and against each of the foregoing derivations would lead us too far. ....

According to Renan (Histoire du peuple d'Israel, I, p. 30) the Semites believed that the world is surrounded, penetrated, and governed by the Elohim, myriads of active beings, analogous to the spirits of the savages, alive, but somehow inseparable from one another, not even distinguished by their proper names as the gods of the Aryans, so that they can be considered as a confused totality. Marti (Geschichte der israelitischen Religion, p. 26), too, finds in Elohim a trace of the original Semitic polydemonism; he maintains that the word signified the sum of the divine beings that inhabited any given place. Baethgen (op. cit., p. 287), F.C. Baur (Symbolik und Mythologie, I, 304), and Hellmuth-Zimmermann (Elohim, Berlin, 1900) make Elohim an expression of power, grandeur, and totality. Lagrange (op. cit., p. 78) urges against these views that even the Semitic races need distinct units before they have a sum, and distinct parts before that arrive at a totality. Moreover, the name El is prior to Elohim (op. cit., p. 77 sq.) and El is both a proper and a common name of God. Originally it was either a proper name and has become a common name, or it was a common name has become a proper name. In either case, El, and, therefore, also its derivative form Elohim, must have denoted the one true God..................




(1) Elohim: The plural form of EL, meaning “strong one.” It is used of false gods, but when used of the true God, it is a plural of majesty and intimates the trinity. It is especially used of God’s sovereignty, creative work, mighty work for Israel and in relation to His sovereignty (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 32:27; Gen. 1:1; Isa. 45:18; Deut. 5:23; 8:15; Ps. 68:7).
Compounds of El:

  • El Shaddai:“God Almighty.” The derivation is uncertain. Some think it stresses God’s loving supply and comfort; others His power as the Almighty one standing on a mountain and who corrects and chastens (Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; Ex. 6:1; Ps. 91:1, 2).
  • El Elyon: “The Most High God.” Stresses God’s strength, sovereignty, and supremacy (Gen. 14:19; Ps. 9:2; Dan. 7:18, 22, 25).
  • El Olam: “The Everlasting God.” Emphasizes God’s unchangeableness and is connected with His inexhaustibleness (Gen. 16:13).

(2) Yahweh (YHWH): Comes from a verb which means “to exist, be.” This, plus its usage, shows that this name stresses God as the independent and self-existent God of revelation and redemption (Gen. 4:3; Ex. 6:3 (cf. 3:14); 3:12).

Compounds of Yahweh: Strictly speaking, these compounds are designations or titles which reveal additional facts about God’s character.

  • Yahweh Jireh (Yireh): “The Lord will provide.” Stresses God’s provision for His people (Gen. 22:14).
  • Yahweh Nissi:“The Lord is my Banner.” Stresses that God is our rallying point and our means of victory; the one who fights for His people (Ex. 17:15).
  • Yahweh Shalom:“The Lord is Peace.” Points to the Lord as the means of our peace and rest (Jud. 6:24).
  • Yahweh Sabbaoth:“The Lord of Hosts.” A military figure portraying the Lord as the commander of the armies of heaven (1 Sam. 1:3; 17:45).
  • Yahweh Maccaddeshcem: “The Lord your Sanctifier.” Portrays the Lord as our means of sanctification or as the one who sets believers apart for His purposes (Ex. 31:13).
  • Yahweh Ro’i: “The Lord my Shepherd.” Portrays the Lord as the Shepherd who cares for His people as a shepherd cares for the sheep of his pasture (Ps. 23:1).
  • Yahweh Tsidkenu: “The Lord our Righteousness.” Portrays the Lord as the means of our righteousness (Jer. 23:6).
  • Yahweh Shammah: “The Lord is there.” Portrays the Lord’s personal presence in the millennial kingdom (Ezek. 48:35).
  • Yahweh Elohim Israel : “The Lord, the God of Israel .” Identifies Yahweh as the God of Israel in contrast to the false gods of the nations (Jud. 5:3.; Isa. 17:6).

(3) Adonai: Like Elohim, this too is a plural of majesty. The singular form means “master, owner.” Stresses man’s relationship to God as his master, authority, and provider (Gen. 18:2; 40:1; 1 Sam. 1:15; Ex. 21:1-6; Josh. 5:14).

(4) Theos: Greek word translated “God.” Primary name for God used in the New Testament. Its use teaches:
(1) He is the only true God (Matt. 23:9; Rom. 3:30);
(2) He is unique (1 Tim. 1:17; John 17:3; Rev. 15:4; 16:7);
(3) He is transcendent (Acts 17:24; Heb. 3:4; Rev. 10:6);
(4) He is the Savior (John 3:16; 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10). This name is used of Christ as God in John 1:1, 18; 20:28; 1 John 5:20; Tit. 2:13; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1.

(5) Kurios: Greek word translated “Lord.” Stresses authority and supremacy. While it can mean sir (John 4:11), owner (Luke 19:33), master (Col. 3:22), or even refer to idols (1 Cor. 8:5) or husbands (1 Pet. 3:6), it is used mostly as the equivalent of Yahweh of the Old Testament. It too is used of Jesus Christ meaning (1) Rabbi or Sir (Matt. 8:6); (2) God or Deity (John 20:28; Acts 2:36; Rom. 10:9; Phil. 2:11).

(6) Despotes: Greek word translated “Master.” Carries the idea of ownership while kurios stressed supreme authority (Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; Rev. 6:10; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jude 4).

(7) Father:A distinctive New Testament revelation is that through faith in Christ, God becomes our personal Father. Father is used of God in the Old Testament only 15 times while it is used of God 245 times in the New Testament. As a name of God, it stresses God’s loving care, provision, discipline, and the way we are to address God in prayer (Matt. 7:11; Jam. 1:17; Heb. 12:5-11; John 15:16; 16:23; Eph. 2:18; 3:15; 1 Thess. 3:11).

File:Kircher-Diagram of the names of God.png
This is God

A diagram of the names of God in Athanasius Kircher's Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652–54).
The style and form are typical of the mystical tradition, as early theologians began to fuse emerging pre-Enlightenment concepts of classification and organization with religion and alchemy, to shape an artful and perhaps more conceptual view of God.


The Names of Jesus

In Arabic, the name Allah ("the God") is used, and because of the predominance of Islam among Arab speakers, the name "Allah" has connotations with Islamic faith and culture. Muslims regard a multitude of titular names for God.  The 99 names of God mentioned in the hadith (sayings) of the Prophet of Islam are considerably well known   


These are usually classified in three groups

99 Names of God in Islam
Classified in three groups:  essence, attributes. relation


In Modern Hinduism, Brahman is often considered a monistic deity. Brahman has no names.  But each sect has a large number of deities representing specific characteristics.  The normal worship Bajans of any Hindu sect  include the "Namavali" - listing of names.  Since it varies with sects and cults here is one such example.


108 names and titles from the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition

  1. Achala: Still Lord
  2. Achyuta: Infallible Lord
  3. Adbhutah: Wonderful God
  4. Adidev: The Lord Of The Lords
  5. Aditya: The Son Of Aditi
  6. Ajanma: One Who Is Limitless And Endless
  7. Ajaya: The Conqueror Of Life And Death
  8. Akshara: Indestructible Lord
  9. Amrit: Heavenly nectar or elixir
  10. Anandsagar: Compassionate Lord
  11. Ananta: The Endless Lord
  12. Anantajit: Ever Victorious Lord
  13. Anaya: One Who Has No Leader
  14. Aniruddha: One Who Cannot Be Obstructed
  15. Aparajeet: The Lord Who Cannot Be Defeated
  16. Avyukta: One Who Is As Clear As Crystal
  17. Balgopal: The Child Krishna , The All Attractive
  18. Balkrishna- The Child Krishna
  19. Chaturbhuj: Four-Armed Lord
  20. Danavendra: Granter Of Boons
  21. Dayalu: Repository Of Compassion
  22. Dayanidhi: The Compassionate Lord
  23. Devadidev: The God Of The Gods
  24. Devakinandan: Son Of Mother Devaki
  25. Devesh: Lord Of The Lords
  26. Dharmadhyaksha: The Lord OF Dharma
  27. Dravin: The one who has no Enemies
  28. Dwarkapati: Lord Of Dwarka
  29. Gopal: One Who Plays With The Cowherds, The Gopas
  30. Gopalpriya: Lover Of Cowherds
  31. Govinda: One Who Pleases The Cows, The Land And The Entire Nature
  32. Gyaneshwar: The Lord Of Knowledge
  33. Hari: The Lord Of Nature
  34. Hiranyagarbha: The All Powerful Creator
  35. Hrishikesh: The Lord Of All Senses
  36. Jagadguru: Preceptor Of The Universe
  37. Jagadisha: Protector Of All
  38. Jagannath: Lord Of The Universe
  39. Janardhana: One Who Bestows Boons On One And All
  40. Jayantah: Conqueror Of All Enemies
  41. Jyotiraaditya: The Resplendence Of The Sun
  42. Kamalnath: The Lord Of Goddess Lakshmi
  43. Kamalnayan: The Lord With Lotus Shaped Eyes
  44. Kamsantak: Slayer Of Kamsa
  45. Kanjalochana: The Lotus-Eyed God
  46. Keshava: One Who Has Long, Black Matted Locks
  47. Krishna : Dark-Complexioned Lord
  48. Lakshmikantam: The Lord Of Goddess Lakshmi
  49. Lokadhyaksha: Lord Of All The Three Lokas (Worlds)
  50. Madan: The Lord Of Love
  51. Madhava: Knowledge Filled God
  52. Madhusudan: Slayer Of Demon Madhu
  53. Mahendra: Lord Of Indra
  54. Manmohan: All Pleasing Lord
  55. Manohar: Beautiful Lord
  56. Mayur: The Lord Who Has A Peacock Feathered-Crest
  57. Mohan: All Attractive God
  58. Murali: The Flute Playing Lord
  59. Murlidhar: One Who Holds The Flute
  60. Murlimanohar: The Flute Playing God
  61. Nandakumara: Son of Nanda
  62. Nandgopala: The Son Of Nand
  63. Narayana: The Refuge Of Everyone
  64. Navaneethachora: makan (butter) chor
  65. Niranjana: The Unblemished Lord
  66. Nirguna: Without Any Properties
  67. Padmahasta: One Who Has Hands Like Lotus
  68. Padmanabha: The Lord Who Has A Lotus Shaped Navel
  69. Parabrahmana: The Supreme Absolute Truth
  70. Paramatma: Lord Of All Beings
  71. Parampurush: Supreme Personality
  72. Parthasarthi: Charioteer Of Partha (Arjuna)
  73. Prajapati: Lord Of All Creatures
  74. Punyah: Supremely Pure
  75. Purshottam: The Supreme Soul
  76. Ravilochana: One Whose Eye Is The Sun
  77. Sahasraakash: Thousand-Eyed Lord
  78. Sahasrajit: One Who Vanquishes Thousands
  79. Sakshi: All Witnessing Lord
  80. Sanatana: The Eternal Lord
  81. Sarvajana: Omniscient Lord
  82. Sarvapalaka: Protector Of All
  83. Sarveshwar: Lord Of All Gods
  84. Satyavachana: One Who Speaks Only The Truth
  85. Satyavrata: The Truth Dedicated Lord
  86. Shantah: Peaceful Lord
  87. Shreshta: The Most Glorious Lord
  88. Shrikanta: Beautiful Lord
  89. Shyam: Dark-Complexioned Lord
  90. Shyamsundara: Lord Of The Beautiful Evenings
  91. Sumedha: Intelligent Lord
  92. Suresham: Lord Of All Demi-Gods
  93. Swargapati: Lord Of Heavens
  94. Trivikrama: Conqueror Of All The Three Worlds
  95. Upendra: Brother Of Indra
  96. Vaikunthanatha: Lord Of Vaikuntha, The Heavenly Abode
  97. Vardhamaanah: The Formless Lord
  98. Vasudev: All Prevailing Lord
  99. Vishnu: All Prevailing Lord
  100. Vishwadakshinah: Skillful And Efficient Lord
  101. Vishwakarma: Creator Of The Universe
  102. Vishwamurti: Of The Form Of The Entire Universe
  103. Vishwarupa: One Who Displays The Universal Form
  104. Vishwatma: Soul Of The Universe
  105. Vrishaparvaa: Lord Of Dharma
  106. Yadavendra: King Of The Yadav Clan
  107. Yogi: The Supreme Master
  108. Yoginampati: Lord Of The Yogis

32 Names of Durga Ma 
Durga Dvatrinsh Naammala






The Reliever of Difficulties



Who puts difficulties at peace



Dispeller of difficult adversities



Who cuts down difficulty



The performer of Discipline to expel difficulties



The Destroyer of Difficulty



Who holds the whip of difficulties



Who sends difficulties to Ruin



Who measures difficulties



Who makes difficulties unconscious



Who destroys the world of difficult thoughts



The mother of difficulties



The perception of difficulties



The Intrinsic Nature of the soul of difficulties



Who searches through the difficulties



The knowledge of difficulties



The Extrication from difficulties



The continued existence of difficulties



Whose meditation remains brilliant when in difficulties



Who deludes difficulties



Who resolves difficulties



Who is the intrinsic nature of the object of difficulties



The annihilator of the egotism of difficulties



Bearer of the weapon against difficulties



The refinery of difficulties



Who is beyond difficulties



This present difficulty



The empress of difficulties



Who is terrible to difficulties



The lady to difficulties



The illuminator of difficulties



Who cuts off difficulties

Other religions like Bahai  and Sikhism, and  Zoroastrianism has similar lists.

God and Nature as seen by different Groups

Etymology and Usage of the Word God

The earliest written form of the Germanic word God (always, in this usage, capitalized) comes from the 6th century Christian Codex Argenteus.



The English word itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic* ǥuđan.

Proto-Indo-European form * ǵhu-tó-m was based on the root * ǵhau(ə)-, which meant either "to call" or "to invoke".  

The Germanic words for God were originally neuter—applying to both genders—but during the process of the Christianization of the Germanic peoples from their indigenous Germanic paganism, the word became a masculine syntactic form

There is no clear consensus on the nature of God. 

The Abrahamic conceptions of God include the monotheistic definition of God in Judaism and Islam and the trinitarian view of Christians. The Eastern religions differ in their view of the divine:

The  concept of  God in Hinduism vary.  Vedic religion had no concept of an ulitimate Godhead.  They worshipped gods who had greater power than man in order to gain benefits.  However they themselves were subject to decay and death as all the rest of the cosmos. They existed just as humans existed on earth except they are in  different dimensions some of which are shared by humans.  

There were also atheistic religions.  Early Buddhism and Jainism were atheistic religion who considered any such musings as waste of time.   Higher dimensional beings  were recognized by Buddha.  In a sense Buddhism and Jainism were early scientific attempt to find the laws of nature.  Later after the coming of the Christians the concept of God varied from monotheistic to polytheistic to atheistic.  Conceptions of God in the latter developments of the Mahayana tradition included divine beings which are akin to Christian monism and angelic beings.  


Monotheists hold that there is only one god, and may claim that the one true god is worshiped in different religions under different names. The view that all theists actually worship the same god, whether they know it or not, is especially emphasized in Hinduism  and Sikhism.

Islam's most fundamental concept is tawhīd (meaning "oneness" or "uniqueness"). God is described in the Qur'an as:

He is God, the One and Only;
God, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him."
Qur'an, Sura 112 (Al-Ikhlas), ayat 1-4

 Muslims repudiate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus, comparing it to polytheism. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension or equal and does not resemble any of his creations in any way. Thus, Muslims are not iconodules, and are forbidden to visualize God.   The only permitted visualization is through the word.

 According to Vincent J. Cornall, the Qur'an also provides a monist image of God by describing the reality as a unified whole, with God being a single concept that would describe or ascribe all existing things:"He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things."(Sura 57:3)"   However some Muslims object to this  interpretations as it  lead to a  blurring the distinction between the creator and the creature.  In Islam the created is totally outside of the creator and shares none of his essence or attributes.   The Qu'ran asserts the existence of a single and absolute truth that transcends the world; a unique, independent and indivisible being, who is independent of the entire creation.

Indivisibility of God's sovereignty - internal conflict of interest.

 The Qur'an argues that there can be no multiple sources of divine sovereignty since as opposed to the Trinity concept of Christianity.   

The reason for this single monadic argument is "behold, each god would have taken away what [each] had created, And some would have Lorded it over others!"  It evidently assumes a fallen nature not only to the creation but also for God.  Thus only a monarchic absolute dictatorial God is necessary to avoid the schism.  Even if there are a galaxy of gods, it would then eventually arrive at this situation as has happened over and over again in human history.  It happens even today in the Islamic world order.

The Qur'an in verse 21:22 states: "If there were numerous gods instead of one, [the heavens and the earth] would be in a sorry state".

Later Muslim theologians elaborated on this verse saying that the existence of at least two gods would inevitably arise between them, at one time or another, a conflict of wills. Since two contrary wills could not possibly be realized at the same time, one of them must admit himself powerless in that particular instance. On the other hand, a powerless being can not by definition be a god. Therefore the possibility of having more than one god is ruled out.


Henotheism is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities.


Theism generally holds that God exists realistically, objectively, and independently of human thought; that God created and sustains everything; that God is omnipotent and eternal; personal and interacting with the universe through for example religious experience and the prayers of humans. It holds that God is both transcendent and immanent; thus, God is simultaneously infinite and in some way present in the affairs of the world. Not all theists subscribe to all the above propositions, but usually a fair number of them, c.f., family resemblance. Catholic theology holds that God is infinitely simple and is not involuntarily subject to time. Most theists hold that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent, although this belief raises questions about God's responsibility for evil and suffering in the world. Some theists ascribe to God a self-conscious or purposeful limiting of omnipotence, omniscience, or benevolence. Open Theism, by contrast, asserts that, due to the nature of time, God's omniscience does not mean the deity can predict the future. "Theism" is sometimes used to refer in general to any belief in a god or gods, i.e., monotheism or polytheism.



God who abandoned his Creation
"God Exists, and there it lies". Thomas Paine

Deism holds that God is wholly transcendent: God exists, but does not intervene in the world beyond what was necessary to create it.   In this view, God is not anthropomorphic, and does not literally answer prayers or cause miracles to occur. Common in Deism is a belief that God has no interest in humanity and may not even be aware of humanity. Pandeism and Panendeism, respectively, combine Deism with the Pantheistic or Panentheistic beliefs discussed below.

Pantheism holds that God is the universe and the universe is God. Webster defines a pantheist as "one who equates God with the forces and laws of the universe." Pantheists believe that the universe itself is divine and do not believe in personal or creator gods.

Levine, Michael, "Pantheism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2012/entries/pantheism/>. gives the following definitions and explananation:
"Broadly defined it is the view that
(1) “God is everything and everything is God … the world is either identical with God or in some way a self-expression of his nature” (Owen 1971: 74).
Similarly, it is the view that
(2) everything that exists constitutes a “unity” and this all-inclusive unity is in some sense divine (MacIntyre 1967: 34).
A slightly more specific definition is given by Owen (1971: 65) who says
(3) “‘Pantheism’ … signifies the belief that every existing entity is, only one Being; and that all other forms of reality are either modes (or appearances) of it or identical with it.”

Some pantheistic philosophers include,  Spinoza,  some of the Presocratics; Plato; Lao Tzu; Plotinus; Schelling; Hegel; Bruno, Eriugena and Tillich, and  also   Emerson, Walt Whitman, D.H. Lawrence, and Robinson Jeffers. Beethoven (Crabbe 1982) and Martha Graham (Kisselgoff 1987)   It is also the view of the Liberal Catholic Church, Theosophy, some views of Hinduism except Vaishnavism (which believes in panentheism), Sikhism, some divisions of Neopaganism and Taoism, along with many varying denominations and individuals within denominations. Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, paints a pantheistic/panentheistic view of God — which has wide acceptance in Hasidic Judaism, particularly from their founder The Baal Shem Tov — but only as an addition to the Jewish view of a personal god, not in the original pantheistic sense that denies or limits persona to God.

Panpsychism: Nature as a whole is imbued with a consciousness.

Theomonistic Pantheism: Only God exists and the independent existence of nature is denied - also referred to as acosmism (a-cos-mism, or "no-world")

Physiomonistic Pantheism: Only nature or the universe exist, but they are referred to with the term "God" - thus, God is denied having independent existence.


Panentheism holds that God contains, but is not identical to, the Universe; the distinctions between the two are subtle. Pan-en-theos means "all-in-God,".  God is the universe but is also greater than the universe. Often panentheists also believe that this God has a mind, created the universe, and cares about each of us personally.


Dystheism, which is related to theodicy is a form of theism which holds that God is either not wholly good or is fully malevolent as a consequence of the problem of evil. One such example comes from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, in which Ivan Karamazov rejects God on the grounds that he allows children to suffer.  Another example would be Theistic Satanism.


Nontheism holds that the universe can be explained without any reference to the supernatural, or to a supernatural being. Some non-theists avoid the concept of God, whilst accepting that it is significant to many; other non-theists understand God as a symbol of human values and aspirations. Others such as Richard Dawkins see the idea of God as entirely pernicious.

In modern times, some more abstract concepts have been developed, such as process theology and open theism. The contemporaneous French philosopher Michel Henry has however proposed a phenomenological approach and definition of God as phenomenological essence of Life.

God has also been conceived as being incorporeal (immaterial), a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the "greatest conceivable existent".  These attributes were all supported to varying degrees by the early Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologian philosophers, including Maimonides,  Augustine of Hippo,and Al-Ghazali,  respectively.

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow state in their book, The Grand Design, that it is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view it is accepted that some entity exists that needs no creator, and that entity is called God. This is known as the first-cause argument for the existence of God. Both authors claim however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings.

There are many philosophical issues concerning the existence of God. Some definitions of God are sometimes nonspecific, while other definitions can be self-contradictory. Arguments for the existence of God typically include metaphysical, empirical, inductive, and subjective types, while others revolve around perceived holes in evolutionary theory and order and complexity in the world.

Arguments against the existence of God typically include empirical, deductive, and inductive types. Conclusions reached include: the view that "God does not exist" (strong atheism); the view that "God almost certainly does not exist"(de facto atheism  ); the view that "no one knows whether God exists" (agnosticism  ) the view that "God exists, but this cannot be proven or disproven" (weak theism); and the view that "God exists and this can be proven" (strong theism). There are numerous variations on these positions.


Pascal Boyer argues that while there is a wide array of supernatural concepts found around the world, in general, supernatural beings tend to behave much like people. The construction of gods and spirits like persons is one of the best known traits of religion. He cites examples from Greek mythology, which is, in his opinion, more like a modern soap opera than other religious systems. 


Bertrand du Castel and Timothy Jurgensen demonstrate through formalization that Boyer's explanatory model matches physics' epistemology in positing not directly observable entities as intermediaries.


Anthropologist Stewart Guthrie contends that people project human features onto non-human aspects of the world because it makes those aspects more familiar.


Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) also suggested that god concepts are projections of one's father.

"The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind.”


Likewise, Émile Durkheim was one of the earliest to suggest that gods represent an extension of human social life to include supernatural beings. In line with this reasoning, psychologist Matt Rossano contends that when humans began living in larger groups, they may have created gods as a means of enforcing morality. In small groups, morality can be enforced by social forces such as gossip or reputation. However, it is much harder to enforce morality using social forces in much larger groups. Rossano indicates that by including ever-watchful gods and spirits, humans discovered an effective strategy for restraining selfishness and building more cooperative groups.