By: Elias Ayala
(M.A.T & Mdiv)
This question is a strange one but was asked within the context of suggesting how I knew for sure that there was only One God. How do I know that God did not create other Gods and that polytheism isn’t true? The answer to this question allows us to emphasize the complete uniqueness of God in contradistinction to any other being. This uniqueness is not threatened when God creates other beings, especially those that share to some degree, various attributes and characteristics with Him. Take human beings for instance, the Bible says that we were created in “His image” (Genesis 1:26). That is to say, that while we are not equal with our creator, we bare His image in that we are like Him in many ways: God is a rational being, so are we. God can love, so can we. God is a spirit, in like manner, and in a limited senses, we are spirits (Body-soul composites). But what about beings who share in all the attributes of God? It is my contention that it is logically impossible for God to create a being or beings that share in all His divine attributes and perfections.
The last statement becomes even clearer when we understand God in terms of Anselm’s definition of God; namely, that God is the greatest conceivable being. I think this definition is a good one since it rightly highlights God’s supreme greatness over against everything else. On Christian theism, God has various properties and attributes that do not and cannot be surpassed by created things. It is in this truth that we see the logical impossibility of God creating another being equal to Himself in literally every way. If God is the “greatest” conceivable being, then how can God create a being who is also the “greatest” conceivable being? Furthermore, how can a created being share the same properties and attributes with its creator. In light of being created, there is already an inherent difference between the creator God and the created “god”. For on Christian theism, God has the attributes of necessity and eternity. As a necessary being, God’s non-existence is impossible. He exists of necessity. Furthermore, God’s necessity entails His eternity, since a necessary being who exists of necessity has always existed and will always exist. Thus, any being that is created, already lacks the attribute of necessity, and eternity (at least in the sense of always having existence) because said being did not always exist.
Further still, on Christian theism, God has the attribute of perfection. God is perfect in every way and each of His attributes are owned by God in perfection. Any created being who is similar to God, will not be able to share in His perfection in regards to each of those attributes. Again, this is because all of the attributes of the created being would be derivative and lesser in degree than the creator God. Thus, understanding God’s attributes and perfections allow us to see the uniqueness of God and His perfections. Such truths should cause us to resound in praise and adoration. For this and other reasons, I think it is reasonable to say, that God cannot create a being equal with Himself in literally every way.