Divine simplicity

This will probably bore most people, but I want to write it down somewhere.

On the scheme of divine simplicity, God is identical with all of his properties (or less controversially, he is identical with all of his essential properties); on the scheme of non-simplicity, God’s properties inhere in his substance.

I think it is fair to say that it is simpler to say God is identical with his existence: otherwise one would have to posit that God (and it can’t be anything else, since apart from creation only God exists) somehow eternally and necessarily causes his existence to inhere in his substance. But to be able to cause such a thing presupposes that God exists. Thus it seems simpler (in the sense of an explanation) to say, at least, that God is identical with his existence.

If we can affirm that God’s existence and substance are identical, do we have reason to deny it about God’s other essential properties?

Setting aside criticisms that simplicity is incoherent (it isn’t, but I’m not going down that road unless someone really wants to fight about it), and unbiblical (it only is if one denies that the Bible speaks of God analogously, rather than univocally), which explanation is simpler (it almost seems silly to ask the question)?

Ockham’s razor would seem to require that we not postualte the existence of needless entities; but posulating that God’s power somehow causes a second attribute to inhere in God postulates two more properties than divine simplicity does. Further, it raises the question: what connects God’s being with God’s power? If they are not identical, it seems to require saying that God’s power connects itself to God’s being, which seems silly: as if God’s power somehow exists apart from God on the most fundamental causal level.

This would apply for all of God’s eternal/essential attributes, as far as I can tell. It’s a further question of whether God in fact has any non-eternal/essentrial attributes, but I don’t want to get into that.

And this connects with Richard Dawkins’ criticism of the God-hypothesis as an explanation for design: God is in fact simpler than the universe, infinitely more so. God exists, and exists the way he does, because He simply is his existence; it is not actually possible for God to not exist, or to exist in a way separate from his properties. And certainly God is not somehow materially complex, as if he were a material being at all.

So once again Richard Dawkins doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he talks theology.