Aseity


Aseity

Aseity is a theological term, referring to the characteristic of being un-derived (from Latin "a" "from" and "se" "self", plus "") in contrast to being derived from or dependent on another, hence (a priori) predicable only of God in classical theology. Ideally, this term means that God "necessarily" exists as opposed to "it happening to be the case" that God exists. Indeed, this is understood by its users to be the content of the term 'God'.

The term "aseity" is used to describe an assumed deity to which the description "ultimate being" is supposed to apply. This term originates in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The assumed deity is said to ‘possess’ aseity, since it is not supposed to have been created, but rather thought to have always existed, and be necessarily existent.

Whether or not this being should be described as God turns on whether the label 'Creator' is a rigid designator of God. Given that most theists understand all that is not God to be brought about by God, and that many (for example, Aquinas) argue from the non-aseity of the universe to the existence of God, this problem is somewhat theoretical.

Some claim that the universe should be described as having aseity.

Aseity has also been criticized as being logically incoherent with the concept of god as a being or god as existing [vid. Paul Tillich, "Systematic Theology"] . Furthermore, it can be argued that for the notion of aseity not to be logically circular or inconsistent, the supposed entity to which it applies would have to be identified with its properties, instead of instantiating, exemplifying or having its properties. This, however, seems to contradict the notion that god is a person or a causal agent, for what person or agent can also be a property (or complex of properties)? [vid. e.g. Richard M. Gale, "On the Nature and Existence of God"]

ee also

*Existence of God
*Ontology
*Martin Heidegger

References

*cite web |first=Jeffrey E. |last=Brower |authorlink= |title=Simplicity and Aseity (Forthcoming in "Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology") |url=http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~brower/Papers/Simplicity%20and%20Aseity.pdf |accessdate=2007-05-01


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  • Aseity — • The property by which a being exists of and from itself Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Aseity     Aseity     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • aseity — being by itself, 1690s, from M.L. aseitas state of being by itself, from L. a from + se oneself (see SUICIDE (Cf. suicide)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • aseity —    The word aseity comes from the phrase a se meaning from himself . The doctrine of God s aseity is the doctrine that God does not derive his existence or nature from any external source. Traditionally, it has been put somewhat more… …   Christian Philosophy

  • aseity — noun /əˈsiːɪti/ Being self derived, in contrast to being derived from or dependent on another; being self existent, having independent existence. He is Spiritual, for were He composed of physical parts, some other power would have to combine them …   Wiktionary

  • aseity — /euh see i tee, ay see /, n. Metaphys. existence originating from and having no source other than itself. [1685 95; < ML aseitas, equiv. to L a se from oneself + itas ITY] * * * …   Universalium

  • aseity — (Lat., by or of itself) The God like characteristic of being absolutely independent of other things. See perseity …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Aseity — A theological term for a being (i.e. God) which depended upon no other cause than itself. [< Lat. a = from + se = itself] …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • aseity — ase·i·ty …   English syllables

  • aseity —  Самодостаточность …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • aseity — /əˈseɪəti/ (say uh sayuhtee) noun Philosophy existence which derives from itself and from no other being. {Medieval Latin aseitas, from Latin ā from + sē oneself + ity} …   Australian English dictionary