Ideas of Moses Maimonides, by Theme

[Spanish, 1135 - 1204, Born at Cordova, in Spain. Jewish. Died in Egypt.]

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28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
We can approach knowledge of God by negative attributes
     Full Idea: You will come nearer to the knowledge and comprehension of God by the negative attributes.
     From: Moses Maimonides (The Guide of the Perplexed [1190], p.86), quoted by Brian Davies - Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion 2 'Negation'
     A reaction: Illustrated by grasping what a ship is by eliminating other categories it might belong to. The assumption is that you have a known and finite list - something like Aristotle's categories. Maimonides fears we know too little for positive attributes.
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 4. God Reflects Humanity
Thinking of God as resembling humans results from a bad translation of Genesis 1:26
     Full Idea: Mistranslation of 'image' has been the cause of a crass anthropomorphism because of the verse 'Let us make man in Our image after Our likeness' (Gen.1:26). They think God has the shape and outline of man, ..with face and hands like themselves.
     From: Moses Maimonides (The Guide of the Perplexed [1190], I.1)
     A reaction: It's interesting that Michelangelo still visualises God as an old man. The idea won't go away, presumably because God is understood as a 'person', in Locke's sense, though of a very special kind.