Essential Properties of God: Freedom, Goodness and Necessity

To wrap up notes on T. J. Mawson’s Philosophy of Religion lecutes, here are the final three essential properties of God.  On these three, I feel most Mormons will be in pretty good agreement.  So here is my take.

Freedom

God must be free to bring about anything that He desires.  With his omnipotence (having ultimate power within logical possibility) and omniscience (knowing anything knowable) he would have complete freedom.  About the only provision we might add is that God is subject to moral law.

Goodness

God is perfectly good.  Mawson’s explanation is that God’s goodness is such that He will do the best action whenever there is a best action.  I am good with this and I believe all Latter-day Saints will be good with this as well.

Necessity

This is to say that God has always existed, and that He could not not exist.  He is not contingent on any other being for His existence.  In fact, He is not contingent on anything for His existence.  Mormons will certainly not have a problem with this, and will in fact extend it to all mankind.  There is something about all of us that was not created nor made, and thus, at some level all  mankind are necessary beings.

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