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Impassibility (from Latin in-, "not", passibilis, "able to suffer, experience emotion") describes the theological doctrine that God does not experience pain or pleasure from the actions of another being. Some theologies often portray God as a being subject to many (or all) emotions: for example, in the Hebrew Bible Yahweh is portrayed as experiencing anger, jealousy, and disappointment. Indeed, early religious interpretation of the world considered thunderstorms and sunshine to be indicative of God's wrath and happiness, respectively.
In Greek myths Zeus is portrayed as experiencing lust. Ancient Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato challenged these ideas and introduced the concept of God as a perfect, omniscient, timeless, and unchanging being not subject to human emotion (which represents change and imperfection). The concept of impassibility was developed by medieval theologians like Anselm and continues to be in tension with more emotional concepts of God. But in Genesis it states:
- God said 'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness...' (1:26) NRSV
which suggests emotions are divine in origin.
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