Why does God hate the poor? Does God know He hates the poor and does He think about it? As we contemplate the issue of God’s hate for the poor, you must continually remember and keep in mind what our concept is of God. It is the God of the ontological proof: God is the answer to the question of why there is something instead of nothing.
As shown by Descartes, other than the knowledge of our own existence while conscious of it and the ontological existence of God, we have no rational knowledge we can call truth as that word is classically and usually defined: knowledge about the world that is indisputable in all possible worlds. All rational truths are pragmatic and the word “true” is merely a “syncategorematic term” as called by the Scholastics as the philosopher Hilary Putnam sarcastically calls it. For example, saying “it is true the car is green” does nothing to the sentence “the car is green” other than allowing us to transition from talking about green cars to talking about sentences about green cars. Twentieth Century philosophy has successfully shown that the old distinction between synthetic and analytic truths in reason is no longer valid nor sound. All rational knowledge is ultimately synthetic. That is, its initial foundation is in our consciousness and perception plus our sense experience interaction with the world and our intentional synthesis of the struggle between these two forces.
This is even true of mathematics that used to be considered an example of undisputed analytical truth that is true in all possible worlds. Despite the protests of rationalists and idealists and of philosophers and most mathematicians who say they discover mathematical truth independently of the world, the reality is that no one discovers or has discovered mathematical truth a priori or simply by thinking about it without sense experience interaction with the world as a foundation for that discovery. Geometry came into being as a result of the need for ancient Egypt, Samaria, and other ancient cultures’ need to measure and describe land for tax and sale purposes. Algebra came into existence based on a need for traders on the spice routes to keep track of their accounts. Reason is a tool for solving perceived problems. Once this tool develops basic rules for solving problems, through induction and deduction or other logic, it can derive an infinite number of variations and inferences from those premise rules to become analytic knowledge or tautologies that are true in all possible worlds once the initial premises are accepted. But such does not change the initial synthetic nature of that knowledge that can change if the assumed premises are changed.
Reason is the mind’s tool for solving problems. Truth and knowledge only exist pragmatically. If a statement works to solve a problem, it is true until it stops working, at that point it becomes false. Scientific statements can only be proven false but never true. That is why they are scientific statements instead of statements in practically any other field that are never proven either true or false.
However, reason is not the only possible source for knowledge. We know it is not because reason contradicts itself when it makes a statement as I just have that it is absolutely true that all truth is relative. By stating such a conclusion, reason states there is absolute truth and contradicts itself. Reason, unless dealing with pragmatic truth, always winds up contradicting itself and therefore proves it cannot achieve knowledge of any truths other than pragmatic truths. We exist, therefore we think. Once we know we exist, then through the ontological nature of such existence we know God exists: a reason for there being something instead of nothing. What about God? Does He know things in the same way we do, purely by interaction with the world and the need to solve problems caused by that interaction? Does She exist, therefore She thinks? Does She reason to solve problems while thinking of Herself and while perceiving reality?
We cannot ontologically apply the meaning of the word consciousness to God in the same way that we apply it to ourselves or to the animal world or to any life. We are not a necessary being that is the reason for there being something instead of nothing. He is. God is. We exist, therefore we think, because we may not have existed before and we may not exist later. It is possible that we think while not conscious of existing. For example, we know there exists something we call subconscious thought that we cannot talk about. Is a misnomer to call it “subconscious thought”. Since we cannot talk about it, it is not really thought. Thought and language are the same thing. “When I think in words, I don’t have ‘meanings’ in my mind in addition to the verbal expressions, language itself is the vehicle of thought.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein. It is simply one of those things “whereof one cannot speak, one must be silent” of Wittgenstein. However, we never are silent and always try to talk about it anyway because it is so important in life. Without talk, we know it by action. It is often pragmatically better and faster than conscious thought, such as when athletes go into the zone and become the ball or whatever they are doing or when mathematicians come up with intuitive creative proofs out of apparent nothingness.
However, for us to know we exist, we must first exist. This is not the state of affairs of God. His existence and knowledge of His existence cannot be separated. Otherwise, He would be in the same position or in the same state of affairs as us and will need a reason for existing instead of not existing — which would be God. So for humans, the knowledge or absolute truth we have is that if we exist then we think, that is, the logical statement if a then b. For God, knowledge is simply the principle of identity. Existence equals thought, a = a. Unlike for us, in which all knowledge is synthetic, God’s knowledge and thought are all analytic.
The best way to view this problem is to go back to our earlier poker game example. Reality is a poker game in which God created the cards, bets, ante, game rules, and thus all the probabilities and created the players and then let things play out. In substance, He is not the game and does not control the outcome, though in essence He is the game because He can do or He can think all the probabilities and knows how the players will play and thus the winners and losers and the eventual outcome. The players are desperately trying to figure out what hands will be played but never can figure it all out. That is why life is a gamble. The players are in the game therefore they think synthetically. They induce and deduce to try to win as they are destined to try to do. Meanwhile, from the first ante, God standing outside the game knows every hand and outcome because He can analytically figure them out. He knows it all while simultaneously the entire time the players are ignorant of the outcome.
This concept is beautifully expressed in the prologue to the Gospel of John. “In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God.” Logos is the word from which we derive our word logic. In some translations, Logos is written down as “Word”, “Word” is used for Logos. Either way, whether you use Logos or Word, this prologue is consistent with our ontological proof for the existence of God and is a beautiful shorthand expression of it.
So does God know He hates the poor? Yes. Does God think about hating the poor? Yes, in the sense that He knows about everything. Knowledge and thought are the same with God, always analytic and tautological in the mind of God.
The next question is the Will of God, the Will of God is something that religion is always talking about. Does God will His hate for the poor?