Gods existence and morality

Discussions pertaining to scripture and theology from a philosophical approach.

Gods existence and morality

Postby Joe121589 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:21 pm

We have a couple of different ideologies about the theory about morality. In the Fundamentalist view, if you dont believe in their version of God or even God at all, you cannot know morality. Then others hold other beliefs of the like that God is the source of Morality, but does not necessitate that those who do not believe a particular way are evil, similar to the inclusivism that says Jesus is the only savior, but cannot confine salvation solely to professed Christians, similarly this theory states that there is a God who is the source of all morality, yet is not confined to professed theists.

However, there is also that clash between whether God is moral just because he is God, or because he has moral attributes. Like the Calvinist controversy, where God appears evil, if he creates certain people predestining them to hell, and good if he predestines everyone to heaven. Then there have been others who in the early Church, I think the Marcionites who tried to Eliminate the old Testament, claiming that the OT god was evil, and Jesus came to rescue us from this God. Even modern Catholic Philosophers like Peter Kreeft, C.S. Lewis and Chesterton have spoken about whether or not God is actually good or is in fact evil.

So the main paradox is over A) All things being relative to God, and B) The primacy of Good over evil.

With all things being relative to God, we know that God is the source of all truth, and therefore is the determining factor of all that is real, and what he decides goes. However, this sounds no different than saying that might makes right. If this were some earthly authority figure saying so, this would look like utter totalitarianism.

Then the primacy of Good over evil, we know that Good is superior to evil, and evil is undesirable, and we strive for good and avoid evil. Yet, one can easily be tempted by the good, and turn to self righteousness and judgmentalism. Plus, Good can be hard to understand what is truly good, leading to conflict. Such as the conflict between Happiness and Duty. Happiness does seem to be more benevolent, but more subject, while duty is cruel, but more objective. Then there is also the issue over how powerful Good actually is, of its own nature or a higher one.

In an earthly sense, this is akin to the Political controversy over whether something is good because someone in authority says so, or is authority a privilege for being good. I know that in modern society, we would say the latter is considered the most acceptable. But in an earthly sense, we cannot have both. Either the Government follows rule of law(Authority for being good) or rules however they see fit(Good because of being in authority).

So I do agree that we do have a paradox here. Is it resolvable? I dont think it is intellectually. I think that paradoxes as such are actually a gift of humility. As it keeps us out of the pride of thinking we understand everything.
Joe121589
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:16 pm

Re: Gods existence and morality

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:28 am

There are many responses to good and evil, both in theology and philosophy - particularly the branch called ethics.

If you look on God as the source of morality, then what about religions like Buddhism? They either don't believe in God or are agnostic on the possibility. Yet they do deal with ethics and the problem of evil.

The best response I've seen started on evil and the Christian response to it, came from the Journal of Christian Theology and Philosophy. It's called Eternal Selves and The Problem of Evil at http://is.gd/2uQGhB.

And sometimes you might not get an answer that you might understand. I know this Italian Roman Catholic priest, who has the gift of healing and hearing God speak. I like two stories of his:

    He heard God say, "Son, you are my number one." This is the first time he heard the voice. The voice said the same thing more than once. Then he realized something. All are God's number one.
    Once he was praying for the healing of a woman, who later died. He was upset by it and asked God why wasn't she healed. God reply was, "Son, have you ever known me to make a mistake?" Well, the priest had to answer no. But it didn't answer his question. He's probably as much in the dark as the biblical Job was. I'm reminded of Saint Paul and seeing through a glass darkly. And since I know that folks don't always get healed visiting someone with the gift of healing, I don't have much credence in TV healers like Benny Hinn.

Is the paradox reasonable? You can come up with arguments that appear to resolve it. But nothing has been universally agreed upon in either theology or the branch of philosophy called ethics. However, I think Eternal Selves and The Problem of Evil at http://is.gd/2uQGhB is a good starting point. You also might find the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner at http://is.gd/fL0MyT an interesting read.
Anglo-Orthodox; Holy Fool Theologian; Satirist; Pragmatist; Homeopath; Inclusivist / Postmortem Opportunist / Conditionalist;
Contemplation (i.e. Mindfulness, Walking the Red Road, Yoga); Ayurveda; Chinese Medicine; Prosperity (AKA Joel Osteen) / Full Gospel
User avatar
Holy-Fool-P-Zombie
 
Posts: 2043
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:30 pm
Location: Near Chicago or hanging out with Holy Fools, P-Zombies, Guardian Angels and Devil's Advocates


Return to Philosophical

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest