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Is a theist obliged to believe that at least half of all events in the universe are the work of God?

I think that, supposing they don't have any insight into God's personality (or benevolence even), they would be left obliged to do so.

Not saying that's at all interesting or paradoxical, just unusual.

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    God is the Creator of the universe and has complete sovereignty over it. We also have quite a bit of knowledge about God's personality because He has revealed it to us in various manners. Jesus said to Philip when he wanted to see God the Father, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" – user3017 Nov 26 '17 at 15:06
  • Semantics. It all depends on how the theist defines "god" (as @GeoffreyThomas pretty much says in his answer) – barrycarter Nov 26 '17 at 15:11
  • @barrycarter not sure that it's meaningfully just a question about "semantics". go on? – user29495 Nov 26 '17 at 15:17
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    I'm not sure it's worth an answer, but if you define God as "the universe I perceive", that clearly exists. If you define God as someone who creates all man and inspires unquestionable faith in all man, that clearly doesn't exist. You have to ask what God is, what his limitations are (he could be the most powerful being in the universe, but still not be all-powerful), what his goals are, and so on. – barrycarter Nov 26 '17 at 15:26
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    Why a half? Why not a third or three quarters? And how does one even delineate "events" to make any sense of such "estimations"? Supposing we do not have any insight into "God" we wouldn't be able to use the word in sentences, and even using generic dictionary idea "the work of God" is still so open to interpretation that one can take everything as involving it, or very little. In short, it is unclear what you are asking. – Conifold Nov 26 '17 at 22:30
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This is an interesting if somewhat baffling question. A theist believes that there is a God. If a theist has no insight whatever into the personality of God, on what basis can s/he assume that God is responsible for all, any, half or none of the events in the universe ? God might be totally inactive - like the gods of Epicurus - and so (except by non-action) not responsible for any events let alone at least half of them. (Question : how does one individuate an event, so as to count events?)

Not sure that a theist can coherently have (or believe that they have) absolutely no insight into God's personality. If they can then God = X, an unknown. I think a theist must believe that God has some attribute - whether it's perfection, unchangeableness, omnipotence, all-goodness, omniscience. Something, surely, must be believed about the nature of God if God has any meaningful role in our language. Only on this ground can the degree or level of God's responsibility for events be assessed, let alone calculated.

I use the term 'responsible' but I'm not rephrasing your meaning. For purposes of this answer, if God is responsible for X then X is the work of God.

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    I like the fact that you did not equate God the the abrahamic God we supposedly know so much about. If you had backed this answer up with some sources, I'd have given you a +1 immediately. – Philip Klöcking Nov 26 '17 at 13:45
  • @PhilipKlöcking i liked it too. can't recall now the pseudo reasons (rationale?) i had for the question, but i hope you found it reasonable to ask – user29495 Nov 26 '17 at 13:48
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    @Philip Klöcking. I don't have any sources directly. I spent years teaching philosophy to university students and just think questions through with whatever ideas and arguments I find in my head. The question of how to individuate events comes from Donald Davidson. The indifference of the Epicurean gods is expounded in Lucretius' De rerum natura ('On the Nature of Things') and in A.J. Fustiere's 'Epicurus and his Gods'. The idea that the use of 'God' is linked with some notion of God's attributes goes back to Kripke's discussion of proper names and descriptions in 'Naming and Necessity'. – Geoffrey Thomas Nov 26 '17 at 14:35
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    @user3293056. It was a good question - set me thinking. Appreciated. – Geoffrey Thomas Nov 26 '17 at 14:36
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As a counter example, there was a Gnostic dualist tradition where the creator, known as the Demiurge, was a different entity from the god that was worshipped.

The latter was a supra-material being that had the interesting property that a part of it (called the nous) was in each person. So to connect with god one had to connect with your internal nous. The Demiurge was a sort of blind, mad chaotic being that wasn't really good or evil.

As such, the Gnostics that followed this tradition, were definitely theist but did not believe that their god was involved in creation at all.

Interestingly, this led to traditions that had extreme relations to the world. Either ascetic i.e. trying not to interact with creation as far as possible or libertine i.e. do whatever you want as it doesn't make any difference.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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God is not an entity. God is a matter of realisation. It is the concept of the entire universe. A normal person, in his lifetime, can only get to know only small part of the great mechanism of this universe......Just think...Atomic theory is such a vast thing....Medical science is such a vast thing.....Astronomy has great aspects ......and so on.......So, is it not possible to have conception of the entirity....of everything????? Here comes the matter of GOD and spirituality...God realisation is also referred to as self-realization as it is actually building in ourselves the conception of everything in this universe and beyond. There is nothing to believe or disbelieve in God. Can you say you do not believe in Atomic theory..NO....As it is a concept. Same thing is GOD...It is a concept of everything....And this can be achieved by spirituality.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • Welcome to Philosophy StackExchange. Your answer here (and future answers) could be improved through the application of a few simple rules; First, write in paragraphs and in a structured manner. This is so others can follow when one thought ends and another starts. Make a point, back it up with your reasoning. (one to each paragraph) Second, be specific. Atomic theory may be a 'vast thing', but in reality, what is it about nuclear physics that helps make your case? Finally, try to avoid ??? and !!! and ... as this distracts from the message in your answer. Hope this helps. – Tim B II Nov 27 '17 at 0:34
  • Traditionally, the concept of everything is either World or Universe. Your answer hints at a Spinozian concept of God (he was considered a heretic, btw). Do you have anything to back your points up with references? Also: What @TimB said. – Philip Klöcking Nov 28 '17 at 13:49

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