CLOSURE Ibn Sina starts with the fact that God is absolutely necessary, independent, and uncaused. These facts entail that God is absolutely simple -- that there is no composition, no putting-together of distinct things, in God's being. Consequently, there can be only one God, since there would be nothing that could differentiate two absolutely simple beings. Since God is absolutely necessary and uncaused, He can have no accidents, no aspect of potentiality. This entails that He is immutable. Finally, ibn Sina concludes that God is absolute Perfection, since He is the cause of all things, and no effect can exceed its cause. That is, there can be no excellence in the cause that is not present (in some way) in the cause. The God of al-Farabi and ibn Sina is radically Other than ourselves. It seems that this conception of God belies Karl Barth's worry that natural theology necessarily leads to a blurring of the difference between God and us. It is hard to imagine a conception of God that involves a more
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