God Can

God Can Because He Wills; His Will is His Power

For his faith in God

Jean Jacques-Rousseau (1712-1778) – philosopher-moralist, creator of modern deism

  1. In his treatise “Emile” (1762), Rousseau wrote: “Whether matter is eternal or created, whether it is originally passive or active, one thing is certain, namely, that the universe is a single whole, which proves the existence of a unique Intelligence. I see that every single thing is an integral part of the whole ordered system, and that every single thing contributes to the general purpose, and that is the preservation of the established order in the system. This Being who expresses His will and can carry it out, this Almighty Being who moves the universe and orders all creation, I call God. To His name I add the ideas of intelligence, power, and will, which I see joined together, and also the idea of goodness, which is a necessary consequence of the first three.” (JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, “Emile”, London, J. M. Dent and Sons, 1911, Book IV).
  1. “God is intelligent, but in what sense? Man, for example, is intelligent because he can reason, but the Supreme Intelligence does not need reasoning; neither logical premises, nor conclusions, nor even judgments are necessary for God. The Supreme Intelligence is entirely intuitive. It simply sees both the present and the future; for God all truths come together in one whole, just as all spaces come together in one point and all times – in one moment. Human power needs means and intermediaries, but God’s power is absolutely self-sufficient. God can because He wills; His will is His power.” (ROUSSEAU 1911, Book IV).
  1. “I could not believe that passive and dead matter could give birth to living and sentient beings; I do not believe that blind chance can produce intelligent beings, and that dead matter, which is incapable of thinking, can produce thinking creatures. Therefore I believe that the world is ruled by a wise and all-powerful Will.” (ROUSSEAU 1911, Book IV).
  1. “All things made by God are good, but human intervention sometimes corrupts them. It is man who plants the fertile soil with unfruitful seeds and prevents the trees from bearing their fruit. It is man who brings turmoil and upsets time, space and natural conditions.” (ROUSSEAU 1911, Book I).
  1. “How trifling are the books of the philosophers, with all their vanity, compared with the Gospels!” (RUSSO cited in Draper 1992, no. 659).
  1. “O conscience, conscience, Divine instinct, immortal voice from heaven! You are the true guide of men who are mere mortals and ignorant, yet wise and free. You are the infallible judge of good and evil, and you help man to be like God. In you are embodied the perfections of human nature and the truthfulness of human deeds. Apart from you, I find nothing in myself to raise me above animals—nothing but the sad privilege of wandering from one error to another, thanks to my unbridled mind, which knows no principles.” (ROUSSEAU 1911, Book IV; see also Hampson 1969, 34).

 From the anthology “50 Nobel laureates and other great scientists for their faith in God”