Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
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28-05-2011, 05:44 PM
Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
If I author a book that says "Buddy Christ has a massive wang and can beat Sylvester Stallone in a truck stop arm wrestling competition," that isn't proof that it's true and should be given credibility. Likewise, the only reason people attribute their gods to be the pinnacle of the "greatest good that can be conceived" is because their texts claim it boldly. Actually... now that I think about it, does God ever claim to be morally just in the Old Testament? He "sees that things are good" but that's just good in relevance to God, as in "the desired effect has been achieved." He destroys and punishes those who have "sinned against god" but that doesn't mean that they acted immoral. For instance, He certainly kills lots of people for worshiping other deities or for their sexual preference of sodomy, but are either of these things immoral?

I realize there's a lot of loose jargon and subjectivity when approaching what is "good" or "moral" but given that our world can agree upon "morality" up to the point of "killing, suffering, and taking someone's stuff" can be called bad, we can aptly judge the actions of the Judeo-Christian god for ourselves. And from all I've observed from the stories, God certainly delights in killing entire populations, torturing people with plagues and leprosy, and demanding that they give all their stuff to Him.

And looking at Jesus, does healing a few lepers, providing fish and bread for a few hungry people, and telling people to be nice to each other really justify the malicious acts of God or of His creations? The only reason people have to think that God is a goodly being is because it's constantly chanted like a mantra by His followers.

Of course, this leads into the bigger debate of "The Problem of Evil" that has been addressed by many thinkers. The "why does evil exist" in an existence created by an omnibenevolent deity question. Some have argued that it isn't "evil" it's simply a lack of good. This seems like word games to me. A fetus being cut from the stomach of a mother and hoisted up on the end of a sword for being of "mixed blood" (true story) is not a "lack of good," it's outright immoral and unjustifiably evil.

Or such delightful adages as "the fire that gives pleasure in its warmth burns if you get too close" or "you can't have a hill to walk down without someone else having to climb up it (something like that)." The maxim that you can't have light without dark, good with out evil, etc.

-I just noticed that another thread has popped up about the "good of religion" but let's keep this one focused on the moral nature of monotheistic gods.

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28-05-2011, 11:09 PM
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
I think it came from something like "keeping up with the jones's"

"My god is so powerful that he...."
"Yeah, well my god is infinitely powerful, and just, and good, and he knows everything..."

Although I doubt it played out quite like that...

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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29-05-2011, 03:55 AM
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
The whole benevolence is like a Santa concept. I have to be good so I get presents from a good guy with a white beard. It's more than emotionally comforting to know that something embodies all that you hold fair , just and honest and that entity is looking out for you and enforcing your morals , but it's nothing more than a pipe dream.

Also , forgive me in advance , but Epicurus's quote is just too damn beautiful :

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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31-05-2011, 11:09 AM
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
(29-05-2011 03:55 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
God created beings with free will and some of them chose to use their will to disobey God. God allows this because he intends to ultimately bring about good from the evil that exists.

God's invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
Romans 1:20 ESV

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31-05-2011, 02:41 PM
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
(31-05-2011 11:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(29-05-2011 03:55 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
God created beings with free will and some of them chose to use their will to disobey God. God allows this because he intends to ultimately bring about good from the evil that exists.
my first responce would be to quote the wise Gaglamesh
(29-05-2011 03:55 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
My second response however...

I could be wrong...
What do you base your explanation on Theophilius?

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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31-05-2011, 03:40 PM
 
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
You might give this a thought.

"Part of the idea of “omnibenevolence” in modern evangelicalism comes from humanistic psychology (one of the handmaidens of Semi-Pelagian and Pelagian soteriology). Carl Rodgers and others expressed the concept of “unconditional acceptance” and this became translated into “unconditional love” by well meaning but misguided professing Christians. For the few professing Christians that have thought about the theology of this concept, they usually go back to man as he is in Adam (made in the image of God and therefore “unconditionally loved” by God) as opposed to fallen man and the special love that God has for His elect out of that fallen race. (Soli Deo Gloria, Bill Isley)" *Source = Addressing Omnibenevolence Part II: How the Bible Speaks of the Love of God
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01-06-2011, 10:53 AM
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
(31-05-2011 02:41 PM)The_observer Wrote:  
(31-05-2011 11:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(29-05-2011 03:55 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
God created beings with free will and some of them chose to use their will to disobey God. God allows this because he intends to ultimately bring about good from the evil that exists.
What do you base your explanation on Theophilius?
There are places in the Bible where someone did something evil and God used it to bring about good. For instance, the last part of Genesis tells how Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery and he wound up being the second highest ruler in Egypt. He had the opportunity to warn Pharaoh of a coming famine so that he could prepare for it and save people from starvation.
Quote:But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."
Genesis 50:19,20 ESV

God's invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
Romans 1:20 ESV

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01-06-2011, 12:26 PM
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
@ Theophilius

I see...
I'm having a hard time extrapolating that to children dying a slow and painful death of cancer though. But I understand that that would be an argument of ignorance. Confused

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01-06-2011, 12:54 PM
 
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
(31-05-2011 11:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(29-05-2011 03:55 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
God created beings with free will and some of them chose to use their will to disobey God. God allows this because he intends to ultimately bring about good from the evil that exists.

Every time I hear that argument, I want to ask exactly what good people expect to come from the murder and dismemberment of disabled 10 year old Zahra Baker, or little toddler Caylee Anthony's brutal murder. Oh, and exactly what good came out of the christian god drowning thousands of infants and children during the great flood? They did nothing wrong and only Noah and his family were left to learn any "lessons" and allegedly, they were already good people.
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02-06-2011, 10:56 PM
RE: Where does this whole "God is omnibenevolent" postulation come from?
I reckon the concept of omnibenevolence is as old as humanity.
I see two issues with the concept. The first is that it narrows the concept of deity to a single attribute and many have pointed out that this is a complicated world. Second it assumes that our idea of benevolence is congruent to the deity's.
The Torah, presents a much more complex picture.
From Exodus 34:
And the LORD passed by before him[Moses], and proclaimed: 'The LORD, the LORD, God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and unto the fourth generation.'

He was part of my dream, of course--but then I was part of his dream, too!
--Alice
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