I'd like to know about different theological theories of what it might mean for God to pay attention to something. Thanks.

  • "God, in this sense, may be understood to be, among many other things, pure conscious energy, so conscious that it loves and forgives and judges in one instantaneous, infinite act. Everywhere through the endless space of the universe there exists, shall we say, this Divine Attention which everything obeys without question." Needleman, What is God?
    – Conifold
    Jun 24 at 8:08
  • According to Spinoza's God which has the perfect attribute of thought and a perfect thought must have its focused intentionality, thus his God by definition pays attention to all perfect thoughts, some of which perhaps transcend our cognitive limitations... Jun 24 at 17:56
  • @DoubleKnot Thanks. I suppose I'm interested in the idea that attention seems inherently selective (it doesn't seem to make sense to think that you can pay attention to something without ignoring other things). While the Spinoza idea is interesting, it doesn't seem to really engage with the question of what it would mean for God to pay attention to something, given the exclusionary nature of attention. Jun 24 at 20:20
  • If the God is monotheistic, omniscient and omnipresent, then the human idea of exclusionary attention would not apply and the term can be used, as usual, only metaphorically. However, a distinction is made between general and particular providence, the latter signifying special interventions that guide/help individuals, answer prayers, etc., as opposed to general stewardship of the creation, which we would normally associate with "paying attention", see e.g. Abraham, Particular Providence and Divine Actions.
    – Conifold
    Jun 24 at 21:18
  • 1
    so your clearly perceived attention is just a mode of God's attention, in fact per Spinoza almost all attributes we perceive and conceive are only modes (approximations) of God's true attributes which philosophers call empirical or impure. This actually reminds me many students complain they did something wrong during exam or homework because of not paying attention, I was always perplexed and would complain in return that if one's fully mastered the subject like arithmetic calculation, even in a raucous party could still get it right (paying attention sounds like a common easy excuse).. Jun 25 at 0:03


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