Is good "good" because God is good?

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For_Narniaaa
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Is good "good" because God is good?

#1

Post by For_Narniaaa » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:43 am

I hope I can say this without is sounding like jibberish.

So, we all know the saying, "God is good." I've accepted it for years with no problem; it made sense. But lately, after some "deep thinking", I've been confused.

Do we think of "good" things (love, joy, peace, etc) as good only because they are attributes of God? In that case, did God place that desire inside of us, or is it just a truth that everything desires God (and His attributes) because He created them? For instance, if God were evil (which He's not), would evil appeal to us, and good make us unhappy?

The reason Hell is such a place of torment is that it's separation from God. Therefore, you're separated from peace, joy, love, and life. Thus, you get despair, agony, hatred, and death. Why are those things so undesirable? Is it because we have a natural desire for God, and anything opposite repulses us? If so, did God give us that desire, or is it just natural to desire the good things of God as good, because He is the center of everything?

Ugh. So confusing. I hope someone can make sense of my existential rambling...
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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#2

Post by jerry » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:28 am

THE EUTHYPHRO DILEMMA
Jerry D. McDonald

Plato's dialogue Euthyphro has Socrates asking Euthyphro: “Is the pious loved by
the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?
” The
so-called dilemma has Socrates asking Euthyphro if the gods love the pious because
it is pious or is it pious because it is loved by the gods. The dilemma dictates that if
the pious is loved by the gods because it is pious then the gods love is what makes
the pious worth loving. However, if the pious is pious because it is loved by the
gods then whatever the gods decide to love becomes pious.

Now you are probably asking what this has to do with anything other than Plato's
dialogue. Actually the atheistic community has made a very big deal out of this
question. Only they don't deal specifically with love. Their argument goes like this: “
Does God say a thing is good because it is good, or is it good because God says
it is good?” The dilemma is that if God says a thing is good because it is good this
supposedly puts something higher than God. Now if something is good because
God says it is good then whatever God says can be good. If God says that murder
is good (according to this so-called dilemma) then murder becomes good.

Atheists use this in their attempts to confuse people about God and the Bible. This is
like saying “Does God say the Bible is authoritative because it is authoritative,
or is it authoritative because God says it is?” Again, this supposedly puts forth
the same dilemma. If God says that the Bible is authoritative because it is
authoritative, then there is an authority above God. And if it is authoritative because
God says that it is, then whatever God says is authoritative.

Those who argue these things to show that the Bible is not the inspired, inerrant and
authoritative word of God do not realize that God, himself, is the highest level of
authority that there is. Whether it be in the realm of love, or goodness or whatever,
he is the highest level of authority.

Paul wrote: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man
which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God
”
(1 Cor. 2:11). Paul's reference to “the things of God” here is to his mind. No one
can know what a person has on his mind except the spirit of that person, and no one
can know what God has on his mind except the spirit of God. God has chosen to
reveal his word to us and put it in printed form that we may learn “Now all these
things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition,
upon whom the ends of the world are come
” (1 Cor. 10:11). God has put his “mind”
in printed form that we may know what he has on his mind for us. The paper that it
is printed on is not sacred. The ink that the words are written in is not sacred, but
the words make up the mind of God, and they are sacred.

Therefore, whatever is written in the Bible constitute the mind of God on those
things. His mind is not above him, nor is it below him, and as such the words of
God are not above him, nor are they below him. They are part of him, they reflect
what is in his mind for us. Therefore whatever he tells us to do comes from his
mind.

Now, is a thing good because it is good, or is it good because God says it is good?
The ethical values that we find recorded in the Bible reflect the mind of God on those
issues. Now when you look at the fact that there is no higher level of authority,
whether it be moral or religious, then whatever ethical values we find recorded in
God's word come from God's mind. The things in his mind come from his nature.
He is not above his nature, neither is beneath his nature. He cannot arbitrarily change
his nature. Therefore a thing is good because God says it is good, but God says it is
good because the goodness comes from his nature; something he cannot just change
on a whim. Paul wrote: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”
(Heb. 13:8). John tells us that Jesus Christ is part of the Godhead:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and
without him was not any thing made that was made
” (Jno. 1:1-3).

We know that the word was Christ because in verse 14 John said: “And the Word
was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth
.” The only one that was the
begotten of the Father was Jesus Christ. Hence if Jesus Christ is God, and he is,
and if Jesus Christ cannot change, and he cannot, then God cannot change. He
cannot change his mind on moral issues. He cannot even change his mind on
religious issues.

Some might argue with this by trying to show that the three dispensations of time
and the worship in each shows that God did change his mind. However, he did not
change his mind because these three dispensations of time were in his mind, they
were all part of his plan to bring Christ into the world to save the lost. In each
dispensation of time there were different things involved in worship to God, but
these were not changes, but they were all apart of God's plan.

One might argue that Paul said:

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the
law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which
no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of
Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood
” (Heb. 7:12-14).

And yes, we would have to say that this was a change, but it was not a change as
though a mistake had been made, but rather it was a fulfillment of what God had
already intended. So God did not change his mind on these things at all, he merely
fulfilled each one and moved on to the next step.

Some think that God can do anything, but the truth of the matter is that God can
only do those things which are possible, good and in keeping with his nature and his
eternal plan. God cannot sin because sinning is evil and it is not within the nature of
God to sin “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on
iniquity
” (Hab. 1:13).

So is a thing good because God says it is good, or is it good because it is good. It is
both, it is good because God says it is good, but God cannot arbitrarily change his
mind and suddenly say that something that he formerly said was bad was some how
good. It is good because it comes from his nature, his mind. He is the highest level
of authority that there is, and whatever comes from his mind is the highest level of
authority that there is.

Do the atheists have an argument? No, they do not. They simply haven't looked at
the third alternative.

http://bellecoc.com/theeuthyphrodilemma.html

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#3

Post by For_Narniaaa » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:38 am

Thanks for the reply. It's slowly making sense. :ewink:
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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#4

Post by qqMOARpewpew » Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:58 pm

I feel like good is considered good because it is in contrast to the bad. Nothing can be good without having something bad to compare it to. This is just how I feel of course. As I don't believe in god I don't see God being the cause or the reason for us perceiving goodness in the world.

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#5

Post by jlay » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:16 pm

Without realizing it, you just made an argument for objective morality.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#6

Post by qqMOARpewpew » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:20 pm

Who me?

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#7

Post by jlay » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:51 am

Yes you. We have a thread going on it now.

http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... =3&t=33793
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#8

Post by seraulu1 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:37 am

jlay wrote:Yes you. We have a thread going on it now.

http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... =3&t=33793


Thanks for the suggestion you give,that's very helpful!!!!!!

[Mod: Removed spam link.]

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#9

Post by Christian7 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:34 pm

For_Narniaaa wrote:I hope I can say this without is sounding like jibberish.

So, we all know the saying, "God is good." I've accepted it for years with no problem; it made sense. But lately, after some "deep thinking", I've been confused.

Do we think of "good" things (love, joy, peace, etc) as good only because they are attributes of God? In that case, did God place that desire inside of us, or is it just a truth that everything desires God (and His attributes) because He created them? For instance, if God were evil (which He's not), would evil appeal to us, and good make us unhappy?

The reason Hell is such a place of torment is that it's separation from God. Therefore, you're separated from peace, joy, love, and life. Thus, you get despair, agony, hatred, and death. Why are those things so undesirable? Is it because we have a natural desire for God, and anything opposite repulses us? If so, did God give us that desire, or is it just natural to desire the good things of God as good, because He is the center of everything?

Ugh. So confusing. I hope someone can make sense of my existential rambling...
After carefully examining your thought progression, I can see in my mind how it all panned out. It all started with the notion based on the belief that God has an opposite. The things like Peace, Joy, Love and other "good" things are but representations of what really exists behind the veil. In our land of opposites, they happen to take positions of opposition wih another seeming force, an opposite, but this belief can stop here when one accepts the belief that evil is but lack of good, and not a stand alone force. There was no notion of evil ever thought of until the fall of Lucifer, and there was no notion raised about opposites until the fall of man, or the Son of God.

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#10

Post by rajanpunj » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:06 am

there is nothing good or bad persay.goodness and badness are relative and keep changing there sides as per needs of individuals and situations. killing is bad, but if a soldier while defending kills enemy soldier is doing good.i think any act which helps in propagation and harmonious relationship in human race is termed good and has always been fed to us as good. as the fear of unknown has always been successful in keeping the humans away from fighting each other,relating acts which are helpful for human race to god has made god appering good to us and good as god to us.

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#11

Post by MarcusOfLycia » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:02 am

rajanpunj wrote:there is nothing good or bad persay.goodness and badness are relative and keep changing there sides as per needs of individuals and situations. killing is bad, but if a soldier while defending kills enemy soldier is doing good.i think any act which helps in propagation and harmonious relationship in human race is termed good and has always been fed to us as good. as the fear of unknown has always been successful in keeping the humans away from fighting each other,relating acts which are helpful for human race to god has made god appering good to us and good as god to us.
Some people think what is good is what helps themselves. Some people think what is good is what helps the state. Some people think what is good is what is most difficult. How in the world do you determine whose version of 'good' you want to go by?

It isn't fear of the unknown that keeps people fighting (although, admittedly, if my only source for information on world history came from movies, I'd have to agree). The thing that has kept people fighting is greed, lust for power, and hatred. It isn't ignorance; it is lust after worldly things.

Did Alexander conquer the ancient world out of ignorance? How about Xerxes before him? Or the Romans after them? Was it fear that made people slaves for thousands of years? Or was it cheap labor? If cheap labor helped create a society, how could you (without an objective moral standard) call that bad? Because some people were harmed? If some people were harmed for the greater good of other people, then how can that be worse than the lack of the greater good?

If your standard for goodness is yourself, you'll find that discussions about good and evil really boil down to matters of opinion. If there is, however, a definite objective moral standard (as you allude to and deny nearly simultaneously), then our goal would be to discover what that is. By I would suggest that such a thing really only makes sense in a world that God has created. The same goes for meaning, love, hope, peace, mercy, forgiveness, freedom, etc.
-- Josh

“When you see a man with a great deal of religion displayed in his shop window, you may depend upon it, he keeps a very small stock of it within” C.H. Spurgeon

1st Corinthians 1:17- "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel””not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power"

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#12

Post by August » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:19 pm

rajanpunj wrote:there is nothing good or bad persay.goodness and badness are relative and keep changing there sides as per needs of individuals and situations.
Nonsense. There are some things that are always wrong, in all situations, everywhere, and at all times.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#13

Post by rajanpunj » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:36 am

August wrote:
rajanpunj wrote:there is nothing good or bad persay.goodness and badness are relative and keep changing there sides as per needs of individuals and situations.
Nonsense. There are some things that are always wrong, in all situations, everywhere, and at all times.
as god is all creator, has he not done bad by creating evil. if evil is not created by god who created evil? there must be some entity who created both to balance each other.rejecting an idea can never give you wisdom , you have to go atleast half way to understand what others are saying. only stubborns and egoistics have fixed ideas.

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#14

Post by August » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:15 am

rajanpunj wrote:as god is all creator, has he not done bad by creating evil. if evil is not created by god who created evil? there must be some entity who created both to balance each other.
Your response here has nothing to do with your original statement, and my answer.
rejecting an idea can never give you wisdom
Of course your assumption here is that I have not evaluated your ideas, and found them lacking. Accepting all ideas as valid and true is foolishness of the highest degree, as then everything can be equally untrue. Truth is mutually exclusive.
only stubborns and egoistics have fixed ideas.
So only stubborn people believe in true statements? And is your idea "only stubborns and egoistics have fixed ideas." fixed or not?
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

//www.omnipotentgrace.org
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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Re: Is good "good" because God is good?

#15

Post by NatalieSmith01 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:21 am

August wrote:
rajanpunj wrote:there is nothing good or bad persay.goodness and badness are relative and keep changing there sides as per needs of individuals and situations.
Nonsense. There are some things that are always wrong, in all situations, everywhere, and at all times.
Evil is always evil.
It doesn't change with time as your conscience will give you the same answer each time.
So fully agree with you.

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