Why is the Christian God good?
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30-06-2017, 09:14 PM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
(30-06-2017 02:44 PM)BluePixels Wrote:  Sorry if my logic is hard to follow or understand, and I might just be a complete idiot for asking this, but why is the Christian God good? When we look at the universe as a whole, nothing is inherently 'good' or 'evil'. So, if the universe was created with without having good or evil in mind, why would God be different? In fact, why would God even go out of his way to create life when he knows that it will just bring suffering and pain and misery, like the fear of death? It sounds a lot to me like humans gained morality through learning that there are consequences to their actions, and finding that being good to other people is better than being bad, so that's what they decided their God to be. Or maybe God was just lonely so he decided to make a universe in which there are animals that worship him.

in addition, here's my favourite quotation:
"Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work worthy of the interposition of a deity" - Speech 'Man in his arrogance' By Carl Sagan

You're right. But if you're trying to understand a Christian perspective, I've run into I can try to relate it to you as best I understand it.

First, you have the idea of Divine Command Theory, in which right and wrong are DEFINED by God's instructions. Good and evil are defined by obedience to or opposition to God's will. Since God is not opposed to his own will, he must be good.

You have a similar idea that God defines good by his very nature. Things that are God-like are good things. Emulating Jesus or God (whatever difference any given denomination thinks there might be between them) makes you good. In this, God can't do evil because it's against his nature.

In a third view, objective morality exists in a sense of Platonic Idealism, a feature of the universe much like the way that gravity is a feature of the universe. Since God created the universe, he also created morality with it. As God is above the physical rules of the universe, so too is he above morality.

But more generally, it seems to me that most Christians first accept their God as being an exemplar of moral goodness, fortify that belief with faith, and then try to rationalize the evil away ad-hoc so as to maintain that belief. They only begin to question God's goodness when their faith falters, or some event or evidence shakes their faith. They just like the idea of a wonderful being looking out for them, loving them, and offering spiritual support and guidance in their times of trouble. There must have been SOME reason that we, with our limited perspectives, do not understand. Maybe the victims of Joshua's genocide were inherently wicked or demon-possessed. Maybe the Haitian earthquake was a just punishment for devil-worship by the Haitian's ancestors. Maybe these hard times are to teach us hard lessons that we need to learn. Maybe, maybe, maybe there is SOME reason, and just believing that there is some reason, without knowing what, is enough. There isn't much logical coherence to this... but so what? Logic isn't the point. Deriving emotional comfort from fantastical beliefs is the point.

My view is that the Abrahamic God got imported from local polytheistic religions and was not originally meant to be the stipulator of, nor an example of, moral behavior, any more than Ares was in Greek mythology. The original Yahweh was depicted as a powerful being, but a flawed and petty one. As Yahweh-worshiping fanatics took over and revised the religion, he was reinterpreted as being the height of perfection, even if the previous stories of his actions didn't match with the new narrative.
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30-06-2017, 09:20 PM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
(30-06-2017 02:44 PM)BluePixels Wrote:  Sorry if my logic is hard to follow or understand, and I might just be a complete idiot for asking this, but why is the Christian God good?..

The theists' gods don't exist, other than as imaginary, mythical entities, so they could be neither good nor bad.

Antaeus was a "bad" Greek god, while the Abrahamic god is (purportedly) a "good" god. But they're both fictional figures, therefore their imagined ethical values are neither here nor there in the real world.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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30-06-2017, 09:33 PM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
BluePixels Wrote:Sorry if my logic is hard to follow or understand, and I might just be a complete idiot for asking this, but why is the Christian God good
Because He wants to have fullness of joy. Only those who are good and do good can have it.

BluePixels Wrote:In fact, why would God even go out of his way to create life when he knows that it will just bring suffering and pain and misery, like the fear of death?
So, mortal men can become good like Him.

English is my second language.
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30-06-2017, 09:38 PM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
It's an interesting question.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma

"Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God ?"

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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30-06-2017, 09:44 PM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
BuckyBall Wrote:or is it morally good because it is commanded by God
God's standard is good because it is the way(the only way) to eternal progression and fullness of joy. There are no other reasons why it is good.

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30-06-2017, 10:36 PM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
(30-06-2017 09:44 PM)Alla Wrote:  
BuckyBall Wrote:or is it morally good because it is commanded by God
God's standard is good because it is the way(the only way) to eternal progression and fullness of joy. There are no other reasons why it is good.

> So, when God sanctioned the murders of Job's family and servants, and the wanton destruction of Job's property, that was a good thing?

> So, when God sanctioned the murders of thousands of innocent Egyptian boys, that was a good thing?

> So, when God sanctioned the practice of slavery, that was a good thing?

> So, when God sanctioned wars of conquest in his name, that was a good thing?
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30-06-2017, 11:40 PM (This post was last modified: 30-06-2017 11:45 PM by Robvalue.)
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
The only way you can logically defend such a position is with circular definitions, or by putting arbitrary limitations on "God". Religion has been really good at warping peoples' morality into blind obedience and acceptance.

A lot of religious people think this life is a test, which throws a spanner in the works.




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01-07-2017, 06:13 AM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
(30-06-2017 11:40 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  A lot of religious people think this life is a test, which throws a spanner in the works.

Life tests us in all sorts of ways, but not because anyone is keeping score.

The idea of God watching over us to see what we do without intervening when we need help (as some weird rationalization for unnecessary suffering) still demonstrates a god who isn't worthy of worship, just as you say. Plus a voyeur God is just creepy.
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01-07-2017, 07:09 AM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
Early on as a child I thought most people must be secretly evil and only acted good in public because they all worshipped this evil god that was in the bible.

None of it made any sense to me.
I couldn't understand why so many would worship an evil god.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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01-07-2017, 11:32 AM
RE: Why is the Christian God good?
(30-06-2017 11:40 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  A lot of religious people think this life is a test, which throws a spanner in the works.

.... someone explain to me why an omniscient god would choose to inflict suffering upon us as a test, when being omniscient that god would already know the outcome of the test ahead of time?
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