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PostPosted: 07 May 2010, 10:50 
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Does God reward murder? Cain.

The O T seems to indicate that He does.

If you read the myth of Cain and Able, we see Cain is protected and rewarded by God as Cain is allowed to live and prosper after his murder of Able.
In fact, God says that a harsher penalty than an eye for an eye will be given to any that slay Cain.
Sevenfold as I recall.

Further in the O T as God leads armies against various tribes, He seems to reward those on His side and tells his followers to bash the heads of babies against rocks and to enslave other peoples women and girls after slaughtering the men. A nice bonus for barbaric acts.

I find this strange and seek to know why He would do so.

Instead of this strange advise, you would think that a miracle working God would just cure the minds of the enemy instead of murdering them. This would show the veneration for life that He wants man to have.
A much more civilized way of doing things to my mind.

This strategy of curing instead of killing could also have been applied to Sodom and in the days of the genocidal flood of Noah’s day.

What is with this God who would rather express His love for mankind by killing us instead of curing us?

After all, He has that power right?

Why not be know as the God that cures instead of the God that kills?

This would go quite far in converting non believers who see an immoral God in the Bible.

Why then would God don the epithet of genocidal maniac instead of great doctor and why does God seem to reward those that murder both in His name and as with cane those that do not kill in His name?

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DL


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PostPosted: 08 May 2010, 04:04 
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Breaks Gods own commandment about free will, curing minds. And the point is also if you freely chose to do evil or good, it makes the sanctity of free will all the more pre-eminent and untouchable. The whole OT is about punishment for the wicked, it's a theme that no doubt worked quite effectively on semi literate nomads and or small communities. Cain is punished by being forced to walk the Earth for all eternity and not die as a pariah and example of the punishment for the murderer, and he is marked with a mark of corruption so all know his evil. The story is probably more of a warning than meant to establish any sort of reward for those who commit sins of great magnitude.

God is good and all he does in unquestionably good, and sometimes ineffable unless you can see the bigger picture as God can, see the story of Job. Yeah I know its all very convenient but lets face it philosophical sophistication has never been a requirement of religion, just simple messages or complicated ones in simple to understand stories.

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May the wind be always
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May the sun shine warm
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May the rain fall soft
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And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


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PostPosted: 08 May 2010, 08:46 
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Quote:
The Dagda wrote:
Breaks Gods own commandment about free will, curing minds.


Does He not break Cain's free will by banishing him?
Yes it does.
God does not offer free will. He offers a threat of do it my way or burn forever.

And the point is also if you freely chose to do evil or good, it makes the sanctity of free will all the more pre-eminent and untouchable. The whole OT is about punishment for the wicked, it's a theme that no doubt worked quite effectively on semi literate nomads and or small communities. Cain is punished by being forced to walk the Earth for all eternity and not die as a pariah and example of the punishment for the murderer, and he is marked with a mark of corruption so all know his evil. The story is probably more of a warning than meant to establish any sort of reward for those who commit sins of great magnitude.

God is good and all he does in unquestionably good, and sometimes ineffable unless you can see the bigger picture as God can, see the story of Job. Yeah I know its all very convenient but lets face it philosophical sophistication has never been a requirement of religion, just simple messages or complicated ones in simple to understand stories.


Wow, Noah's flood was a good thing?
Genocide is good and so is Hitler.

Regards
DL


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PostPosted: 12 May 2010, 02:33 
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Quote:
The Dagda wrote:
Breaks Gods own commandment about free will, curing minds.


Does He not break Cain's free will by banishing him?
Yes it does.
God does not offer free will. He offers a threat of do it my way or burn forever.

And the point is also if you freely chose to do evil or good, it makes the sanctity of free will all the more pre-eminent and untouchable. The whole OT is about punishment for the wicked, it's a theme that no doubt worked quite effectively on semi literate nomads and or small communities. Cain is punished by being forced to walk the Earth for all eternity and not die as a pariah and example of the punishment for the murderer, and he is marked with a mark of corruption so all know his evil. The story is probably more of a warning than meant to establish any sort of reward for those who commit sins of great magnitude.

God is good and all he does in unquestionably good, and sometimes ineffable unless you can see the bigger picture as God can, see the story of Job. Yeah I know its all very convenient but lets face it philosophical sophistication has never been a requirement of religion, just simple messages or complicated ones in simple to understand stories.


Wow, Noah's flood was a good thing?
Genocide is good and so is Hitler.

Regards
DL


I don't even know where I remotely implied anything like that. Fact is those who transgress Gods laws always get their comeuppance. God gives man 100 years to change his ways, and when he doesn't do as God bids he cleanses the Earth with a great flood. How that means genocide is good and so is Hitler I don't know, Hitler is not omniscient, nor is he the supposed source of all creation. I admit the Bible stories aren't philosophically sophisticated, but then you are looking at them from a 21st century perspective.

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May the wind be always
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May the sun shine warm
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May the rain fall soft
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And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


"I apologise... For nothing!"


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PostPosted: 12 May 2010, 06:28 
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The Dagda

100 years of warning???

How does that work with children, babies and animals?
Could you also explain just what sin those I just named did to deserve death?

Did they all do evil and deserve a comeuppance?

You remotely implied that genocide is good by your words.
You approve the genocide of man as a cure. That is near crazy.
You might want to rethink instead of just accepting dogma that is insane.

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DL


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PostPosted: 13 May 2010, 06:24 
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The Dagda

100 years of warning???

How does that work with children, babies and animals?
Could you also explain just what sin those I just named did to deserve death?

Did they all do evil and deserve a comeuppance?

You remotely implied that genocide is good by your words.
You approve the genocide of man as a cure. That is near crazy.
You might want to rethink instead of just accepting dogma that is insane.

Regards
DL


The killing of women and children in Gods name is good, everything God does is good end of story even if you can't understand it. I really think if you want answers to those questions you should read the Bible. God is omnibenevolent, no matter what he wills it is ultimately good even if we can't see why. However what man does in Gods name is not always Gods will because he has free will, when it is exactly in line with what God willed then it is good. I'm not an apologist for religion, but from its own logical constraints it is consistent. If say you were perfect and you created the Universe, and are thus omniscient and omnibenevolent and omnipotent then that implies that you always do what is right no matter how it seems at first; it is that which is most good, given what God wills is good. it's only when you start questioning things like how man can have free will and yet God know what he will do without error that it becomes a bit dubious. Hence compatibilism and incompatibilism. Questions like is God good are meaningless, the real question should be can God be omniscient about the Universe from the beginning to the end and we be free at all? that impacts on morality as a whole, but it does not suggest Gods morality is questionable, only that it is good regardless. If you make all the rules of the universe and are perfect and omnibenevolent, then you have every right to decide when in the best interest of the game its best to throw the Monopoly board in the air and force the game to end or start again.

I don't have to rethink anything I think the whole religion thing is a crock of shit. I am merely giving you the answers that pertain to logical theories about Gods will. You can pick up such views by searching the interweb for yourself.

why does God have to be omnibenevolent, ask a Theologian?

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Omnibenevolence
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is sometimes held to be impossible for a deity to exhibit this property along with both omniscience and omnipotence, because of the problem of evil. It is a technical term used in the academic literature on the philosophy of religion, often in the context of the problem of evil and in theodical responses, and even in such context, the phrases "perfect goodness" or "moral perfection" are often preferred.
Contents
[hide]

* 1 Etymology
* 2 Philosophical perspectives
* 3 Religious perspectives
* 4 Notes
* 5 See also
* 6 Further reading
* 7 External links

[edit] Etymology

Omnibenevolence appears has a very casual usage among some Protestant Christian commentators. The earliest record for its use in English, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is in 1679. The Catholic Church does not appear to use the term omnibenevolent in the liturgy or Catechism.

Modern appearances of the term include George H. Smith, in June 1980, in his book Atheism: The Case Against God,[1] where he argued that divine qualities are inconsistent. However, the term is also used by authors who defend the coherence of divine attributes, including but not limited to, Jonathan Kvanvig in The Problem of Hell,[2] and Hoffman and Rosenkrantz in The Divine Attributes.[3]
[edit] Philosophical perspectives

The term is patterned on, and often accompanied by, the terms "omniscience" and "omnipotence", typically to refer to conceptions of an "all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful" deity. Philosophers and theologians more commonly use phrases like "perfectly good",[4] or simply the term "benevolence". The word "omnibenevolence" may be interpreted to mean perfectly just, all-loving, fully merciful, or any number of other qualities, depending on precisely how "good" is understood. As such, there is little agreement over how an "omnibenevolent" being would behave.

The notion of an omnibenevolent, infinitely compassionate deity, has raised certain atheistic objections, such as the problem of evil and the problem of hell. Responses to such problems are called theodicies and can be general, by arguing for the coherence of the divine such as Swinburne's Providence and the Problem of Evil, or they can address a specific problem, such as Charles Seymour's A Theodicy of Hell.
[edit] Religious perspectives

The acknowledgement of God's omnibenevolence is an essential foundation in traditional Christianity, and can be seen in Scriptures such as Psalms 18:30, "As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him," and Ps.19:7, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." This understanding is evident in the following statement by the First Vatican Council:

The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church believes and acknowledges that there is one true and living God, Creator and Lord of Heaven and earth, almighty, eternal, immeasurable, incomprehensible, infinite in will, understanding and every perfection. Since He is one, singular, completely simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, He must be declared to be in reality and in essence, distinct from the world, supremely happy in Himself and from Himself, and inexpressibly loftier than anything besides Himself which either exists or can be imagined.[5]

The philosophical justification stems from God's aseity: the non-contingent, independence and self-sustained mode of existence that theologians ascribe to God. For if He was not morally perfect, that is, if God was merely a great being but nevertheless of finite benevolence, then his existence would involve an element of contingency, because one could always conceive of a being of greater benevolence.[6]

In Islam, the second of the 99 Names of Allah is Al-Rahman, meaning "(all-) Merciful" or "Compassionate." This is not necessarily a precise equivalent to benevolence, however, as it is a fundamentally relational concept hinging on the relationship between the powerful God, who could harm his weak creatures, but, out of His mercy, does not do so, In and of itself, it does not carry with it any moral or normative ontological implications, (e.g. an external "Good" which God would desire for his creatures) but is simply descriptive of God's position within a value-neutral power relationship.

Theologians in the Wesleyan Christian tradition (see Thomas Jay Oord) argue that omnibenevolence is God's primary attribute. As such, God's other attributes should be understood in light of omnibenevolence.


From the perspective of a flood, god can see all outcomes of all actions eternally, thus because he is compassionate he offers man a chance to redeem himself. We must assume that because God cannot act in a way that is not benevolent therefore, the cleansing of the Earth is that outcome which creates the most good and is most beneficial for man kind. At least given the constraint of Gods perfection. Note that 100 years is a time by which all children born will have lived their lives have proven themselves worthy or not and died. I presume that's why the Jews decided upon that time frame. Although obviously the Patriarchs such as Adam and Enoch were supposedly extremely long lived but the majority of mans' lot was three score and ten.

_________________
May the road rise up
To meet you
May the wind be always
At your back
May the sun shine warm
upon your face
May the rain fall soft
upon your field,
And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


"I apologise... For nothing!"


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PostPosted: 13 May 2010, 12:23 
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The Dagda

Quite confusing. You are arguing both sides of the issue against yourself.

Are you a believer or not?

Perhaps if we start there I will know how to respond.

Regards
DL


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PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 06:08 
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The Dagda

Quite confusing. You are arguing both sides of the issue against yourself.

Are you a believer or not?

Perhaps if we start there I will know how to respond.

Regards
DL


What does my being a believer have to do with anything? The logic of a doctrine doesn't alter depending on whether I believe or not.

I'm not arguing both sides of the issue, free will and omniscience have bearing on whether god's will is good, but it's a side issue. God can still be perfectly benevolent, if you accept as an axiom that he is, then it is logically untouchable. I am perfectly capable of explaining what the dogma of religions are without actually believing it. Frankly I find the axioms to be rather based on faith, but then that is religion.

_________________
May the road rise up
To meet you
May the wind be always
At your back
May the sun shine warm
upon your face
May the rain fall soft
upon your field,
And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


"I apologise... For nothing!"


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PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 09:25 
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The Dagda wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:
The Dagda

Quite confusing. You are arguing both sides of the issue against yourself.

Are you a believer or not?

Perhaps if we start there I will know how to respond.

Regards
DL


What does my being a believer have to do with anything? The logic of a doctrine doesn't alter depending on whether I believe or not.

I'm not arguing both sides of the issue, free will and omniscience have bearing on whether god's will is good, but it's a side issue. God can still be perfectly benevolent, if you accept as an axiom that he is, then it is logically untouchable. I am perfectly capable of explaining what the dogma of religions are without actually believing it. Frankly I find the axioms to be rather based on faith, but then that is religion.


Ok.

Would a benevolent God ever put Himself in a position where He had to punish?

Is His love unconditional as befits a benevolent God, or is His love conditional.

Regards
DL


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PostPosted: 15 May 2010, 04:13 
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Greatest I am wrote:
The Dagda wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:
The Dagda

Quite confusing. You are arguing both sides of the issue against yourself.

Are you a believer or not?

Perhaps if we start there I will know how to respond.

Regards
DL


What does my being a believer have to do with anything? The logic of a doctrine doesn't alter depending on whether I believe or not.

I'm not arguing both sides of the issue, free will and omniscience have bearing on whether god's will is good, but it's a side issue. God can still be perfectly benevolent, if you accept as an axiom that he is, then it is logically untouchable. I am perfectly capable of explaining what the dogma of religions are without actually believing it. Frankly I find the axioms to be rather based on faith, but then that is religion.


Ok.

Would a benevolent God ever put Himself in a position where He had to punish?

Is His love unconditional as befits a benevolent God, or is His love conditional.

Regards
DL


His love is both perfect and conditional. Hence sin, hence free will, you have to be given a choice not to sin or not, or it is meaningless. He however is not subject to conditions, he is the conditions, what God says and does is good by definition, god is as much existence as he is beyond it. god is bigger than the infinite we call Universe, he is the alpha and the omega.

I'm sure you can think of flaws in this, many people have already. However from the point of view of a believer, who accepts it axiomatically, it is untouchable. Atheists have always begged to differ, as have theists such as Liebniz (who you may know from inventing calculus simultaneously with Newton).

You may want to look up divine command theory and the Euthyphro dilemma.

Quote:
Criticisms of divine command theory

The following are some of the standard objections to divine command theory:

* It implies that morality is arbitrary. If divine command theory is true, morality is based merely upon God's whim. Divine Command Theory, this objection runs, entails that if it is morally obligatory to do x then this is in virtue of God's commanding that we do x. Thus, if God had commanded that we be cruel and dishonest, and that we not be merciful and charitable then it would have been morally obligatory to do certain harmful (cruel and dishonest) things, and morally impermissible to do certain beneficial (merciful and eleemosynary) things. One reply to this objection denies that God would have commanded such things because, being essentially omnibenevolent, he necessarily does not command evil. Critics of divine command theory suggest that this response is a peritrope; it assumes that God knows that, say, cruelty is evil before he gives the command that, according to divine command theory, makes cruelty bad.

* It implies that calling God good makes no sense — or, at best, that one is simply saying that God is consistent: "God does whatever he commands."

* It commits the naturalistic fallacy. Proponents of this criticism argue that while ethics can and should specify the non-moral properties that make things good, it is always a mistake to use non-moral terms in giving the meaning of the word 'good'. If I ask why I shouldn't commit murder, the divine command answer is: "because God commands you not to", but I can then ask why I should do what God commands. If the answer is that God created me, I can ask why I should obey my creator, and so on. This is not a matter of motivation, but of the explanation of the normativity of morality.

* There is the epistemological question of how one comes to know the will of God. Most religions point to their scriptures for answers, but it is still possible to question whether these really state the will of God. Furthermore, few if any religions claim to have texts detailing their deity's will concerning every possible situation. These gaps often concern situations that the writers of ancient religious scriptures couldn't have foreseen, such as those involving advanced technologies, especially biological and medical ones. Because of these problems, critics claim that one can never be sure if a person, including oneself, who claims to know God's will actually does know, or is lying, mistaken, or mad (or indeed if God has subsequently changed his mind, though this possibility is ruled out by many notions of God).

* It implies that humans are morally blind and have no direct knowledge of good and evil, so have to rely solely upon God's knowledge and guidance on such matters. But Genesis 3 specifically says that humans have acquired such knowledge. In Genesis 3:22 God even admits to his fellow deities that they have "become like one of us, knowing good and evil", thereby confirming what the Serpent knew when he said in Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like the elohim (gods), knowing good and evil.”

* Finally, there is the famous Karamazov Objection, which is a hypothetical continuation of the DCT argument. It states that "If God does not exist, there are no moral truths. God does not exist. Therefore there are no moral truths." This is by no means a proof against DCT; rather, it is a concession that those who believe in DCT must accept. If one learns that God does not exist and believes in DCT, everything must be morally permissible; few, if any, would take that stance.


And.

Quote:
Problems

This horn of the dilemma faces several problems:

* Sovereignty: If there are moral standards independent of God's will, then "[t]here is something over which God is not sovereign. God is bound by the laws of morality instead of being their establisher. Moreover, God depends for his goodness on the extent to which he conforms to an independent moral standard. Thus, God is not absolutely independent."[13] 18th-century philosopher Richard Price, who takes the first horn and thus sees morality as "necessary and immutable", sets out the objection as follows: "It may seem that this is setting up something distinct from God, which is independent of him, and equally eternal and necessary."[14]

* Omnipotence: These moral standards would limit God's power: not even God could oppose them by commanding what is evil and thereby making it good. As Richard Swinburne puts the point, this horn "seems to place a restriction on God's power if he cannot make any action which he chooses obligatory... [and also] it seems to limit what God can command us to do. God, if he is to be God, cannot command us to do what, independently of his will, is wrong."[15] This point was very influential in Islamic theology: "In relation to God, objective values appeared as a limiting factor to His power to do as He wills... Ash'ari got rid of the whole embarrassing problem by denying the existence of objective values which might act as a standard for God’s action."[16] Similar concerns drove the medieval voluntarists Scotus and Ockham.[17]

* Freedom of the will: Moreover, these moral standards would limit God's freedom of will: God could not command anything opposed to them, and perhaps would have no choice but to command in accordance with them.[18] As Mark Murphy puts the point, "if moral requirements existed prior to God's willing them, requirements that an impeccable God could not violate, God's liberty would be compromised."[19]

* Morality without God: If there are moral standards independent of God, then morality would retain its authority even if God did not exist. This conclusion was explicitly (and notoriously) drawn by early modern political theorist Hugo Grotius: "What we have been saying [about the natural law] would have a degree of validity even if we should concede that which cannot be conceded without the utmost wickedness, that there is no God, or that the affairs of men are of no concern to him"[20] On such a view, God is no longer a "law-giver" but at most a "law-transmitter" who plays no vital role in the foundations of morality.[21] Nontheists have capitalized on this point, largely as a way of disarming moral arguments for God's existence: if morality does not depend on God in the first place, such arguments stumble at the starting gate.[22]...[]

[]...Restricted divine command theory

One common response to the Euthyphro dilemma centers on a distinction between value and obligation. Obligation, which concerns rightness and wrongness (or what is required or forbidden or permissible), is given a voluntarist treatment. But value, which concerns goodness and badness, is treated as independent of divine commands. The result is a restricted divine command theory that applies only to a specific region of morality: the deontic region of obligation. This response is found in Francisco Suárez's discussion of natural law and voluntarism in De legibus,[70] and has been very prominent in contemporary philosophy of religion, appearing in the work of Robert M. Adams,[71] Philip L. Quinn,[72] and William P. Alston.[73]

A significant attraction of such a view is that, since it allows for a non-voluntarist treatment of goodness and badness, and therefore of God's own moral attributes, some of the aforementioned problems for voluntarism can perhaps be answered. God's commands are not arbitrary: there are reasons which guide his commands based ultimately on this goodness and badness.[74] God could not issue horrible commands: God's own essential goodness[75] or loving character[76] would keep him from issuing any unsuitable commands. Our obligation to obey God's commands does not bottom out in a circle: it might be based on a gratitude whose appropriateness is itself independent of divine commands.[77] These proposed solutions are controversial,[78] and some steer the view back into problems associated with the first horn.[79] But by freeing up a realm of value independent of God's will, this view might have the resources needed for a satisfactory form of divine command theory.

One problem remains for such views: if God's own essential goodness doesn't depend on divine commands, then what does it depend on? Something other than God? Here the restricted divine command theory is commonly combined with a view reminiscent of Plato: God is identical to the ultimate standard for goodness.[80] Alston offers the analogy of the standard meter bar in France. Something is a meter long inasmuch as it is the same length as the standard meter bar, and likewise, something is good inasmuch as it approximates God. If one asks why God is identified as the ultimate standard for goodness, Alston replies that this is "the end of the line", with no further explanation available, but adds that this is no more arbitrary than a view which invokes some fundamental moral standard.[81] On this view, then, even though goodness is independent of God's will, it still depends on God: thus God's sovereignty remains intact. This solution has been criticized by Wes Morriston. If we identify the ultimate standard for goodness with God's nature, then it seems we are identifying it with certain of God's properties (e.g., being loving, being just). If so, then the dilemma resurfaces: is God good because he has those properties, or are those properties good because God has them?[82]


Makes you feel quite dim sometimes philosophy. But then they do do thinking for a living. :)

Having read about this subject in books about ethics. I have come to the conclusion that it rests only in your belief in God or not, the arguments are therefore fundamentally insoluble, and hence perfect grounds for philosophy.

"Would a benevolent God ever put Himself in a position where He had to punish?"

This question is flawed, God is omniscient exactly what position is he putting himself in and how? It assumes he does not already know what will happen and his will, omniscience and omnibenevolence has not already accounted for it. Better questions deal with the fundamentals of what morality actually means, and absolutes and wherein such value systems can ultimately have meaning given either God or mankind.

God is Laplace's Demon. Whether such a demon could exist is a moot point, but God is omniscient so he knows everything that could be eternally.

It may surprise you to know that with the advent of Quantum theory in the early 1900s, this topic once again became hotly debated.

It seems to me that it is no accident that champions of causal determinism and champions of non determinism have been behind the discussion from the start. It's perhaps a little odd that science impacts directly on theology though.

See also:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/

Determinism and free will are compatible. Usually although not always a theistic position given God, for example Daniel Dennett an atheist philosopher is a compatibilist. I wouldn't be surprised if Dawkins wasn't also a compatibilist as they are good friends.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/incom ... arguments/

Determinism is not compatible with free will, often a "scientific" or atheist position.

Ie if God is not omniscient and he cannot know everything, then how can he be omnibenevolent also? If it is not possible to know everything that will happen given the starting conditions even for God, then what of God? If I push a glass of a table for example it is currently believed even if we ran back the arrow of time, what would reassemble would not be identical to the glass in the other time trouser leg. This tends to further muddy the argument. I've seen 1,000 page threads on this, and I can only tell you that the whole subject is much more involved than you could ever imagine, and much less easy to answer other than with belief or lack of it.

Where does morality come in here? Well if all our actions are completely presupposed by ultimately random events then obviously there is no basis for morality, it is just what it is there is no rhyme and ultimate reason to it, in that sense we are free but are we moral agents? If we are completely programmed (by our genes or by God's foresight) there is no free will and hence no morality, good and evil are pretty much arbitrary constructs. A solution? Good luck.

_________________
May the road rise up
To meet you
May the wind be always
At your back
May the sun shine warm
upon your face
May the rain fall soft
upon your field,
And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


"I apologise... For nothing!"


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PostPosted: 16 May 2010, 08:36 
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Much to ponder. Thanks for this.

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DL


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