Evil isn't the absence of good

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Kurieuo
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Re: Evil isn't the absence of good

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:03 am

patrick wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Let me now draw upon an analogy that compares God’s relationship to time with God’s relationship to goodness. God is the source of time, right? In relation to goodness, I’ve also argued that God is also the source of goodness. God who possesses time eternal, also possess goodness eternal. To be perfectly clear, God possesses attributes NOT like “things” that God takes to Himself (which would suggest God is incomplete in and of Himself), rather combined together they simply represent God who is one i.e., Simple.


Okay, so it sounds like you're saying just as timefulness isn't something that God has, but rather is something that must have been to cause a propagation of time, so too goodness must have been to cause good and evil. And moreover just as we wouldn't say God is timelessness/timefulness or even has this quality as a thing does but rather possesses timefulness in the sense of being able to be described as in such a state, so too we could say the same of God's relationship with goodness.

Sorry, I know I've introduced a lot of thought. Also I did lose sight of explaining the analogy and was going to go back, but figure I'd wait and correct. So what I was trying to do was introduce Craig's thoughts on God's relationship to time -- so I had an analogy to work with.

Some argue against Craig's idea that God was timeless and then entered into time, that such is absurd because it means there is now a time where God existed before time itself = contradiction. Yet, Craig argues that this is an illusion if you will, created by time having come into existence. Why? First, to say time could really create itself to have existed prior to when it did is just illogical nonsense, nothing can create itself to exist before it existed. Second, there is nothing illogical with thinking God has a changeless state of existence (timelessness) and then God willing a change (creation) whereby He freely gave up His timeless state and entered into time.

Now, the analogy I wanted to draw out: Like it is illusory to talk of God being in "time" prior to creation, it is illusory to talk of God possessing "goodness" prior to creation. Both are properties we see exhibited in God's creative act and creation itself. So post-creation, we can NOW talk sensibly of time existing, even a time before time perhaps, because we’ve experienced it (cause and effect) in creation. Similarly, we can NOW talk sensibly of God possessing "goodness", because we see good (and as such evil) in the created world.

In actuality though, God doesn’t possess “time” and neither does God possess “goodness”. These are not “things” God takes to Himself or are found within God. Rather God’s nature is just God, and then these extend out from God as He acts.

You just liked a post of mine here, and the essence of what I’m trying to say was maybe better said there without any analogy. y#-o My thoughts are consistent there with what I’ve been attempting to articulate here. So if you understand the following, perhaps forget about the analogy if its not making sense. Analogies are meant to help clarify, but I'm feeling it may be a poor one.
Kurieuo wrote:Let me propose that foundationally we aren't talking "properties" at all, or even "attributes" -- such language would get Divine Simplicity into immediate trouble since within God there are no dividable parts. There isn't some active property, like Goodness, or Righteousness, or Omniscience, or Being, rather there is simply just God Himself. THEN, we in our relationship to a context of our creation, being found in a finite world, temporality, seeing God withdrawn and evil in our world, such then provides us a language that we overlay upon this divine simple God. Right? And we start identifying attributes in God based upon the privations we see in our world. So for example, when we see evil and bad in our world, we then see and acknowledge that God is good. When we see us as humans struggling to understand the world, then the attribute of omniscience takes on meaning.

Given this, I think Craig is in a way right to identify such attributes as symbolic and metaphor-like, but wrong to leave matters there and walk away (or perhaps he just hasn't developed his thinking further as yet). Similar, DS are wrong to even call God "Goodness" and "Righteousness" and "Being" -- yes, God is all those things but there can only be one word to capture them all and that is just "God". God is God, and God is righteous not because He is Righteousness (while God is such based upon the privation of evil in our world that we see) BUT foundationally God is righteousness because God is simply God. And Scripturally, we all know how God describes Himself to Moses, not in terms of His attributes but rather simply as "I Am Who I Am".
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Kurieuo
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Re: Evil isn't the absence of good

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:12 am

patrick wrote:I otherwise think I'm understanding the purpose of distinguishing God as the source of goodness rather goodness itself though, and I at this point feel I've internalized a position based on your posts here that's stronger than (and at odds with) my opening post. I guess the way I currently understand it, since God is perfection (e.g. Jesus as God means Jesus is a perfect human) and since calling something good/bad is a measure of its perfection (with good being the end that approaches perfection) then that's sufficient to say that God is omnibenevolent. Conversely, since perfection is a standard that allows the measuring of good and evil, evil doesn't have a "perfect" standard in any sense and is better understood as the degree of absence of good, in its teleological sense.

The above in bold is a good take away, if you're understanding that God is simply the source of goodness.
Jac's "goodness" being described in terms of perfection and fulfillment of function (telos), that's a good take away too.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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