The Omnibenevolence of God

God is Omnibenevolent! Simply put, God is perfectly good and all-loving. Not only does the Bible make this clear (Psalm 100:5; Psalm 145:17; John 3:16), but logicians have also deductively concluded this apart from the Bible through the Moral Argument and the Ontological Argument.

Now, if God were simply omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing), but not perfectly good and all-loving, then we would have reason to be frightened. In fact, this is how Muslims view Allah. According to Islam, God is not all-loving, and whatever Allah does is simply called “good,” even if it is really hateful. As a result, Muslims have no assurance of salvation (unless they die in Jihad).

Omnibenevolence God

The Original Sin?

Some Christians fall into a similar trap and incorrectly think of God this way. Indeed, the church has been infected with a low view of God for ages. A.W. Tozer, in his book The Knowledge of the Holy, says, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” In the preface of this same book Tozer writes:

The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men. . . The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us.

This low view of God has infected the minds of most Christians today, but I believe its roots can be found in the very beginning. The original sin was not eating of a forbidden fruit, but rather, doubting the omnibenevolence of God. This was the trap Satan lured Eve into in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3):

“Did God really say…?”

Satan convinces Eve to consider the idea that God is not really interested in her ultimate flourishing. The fact of the matter, however, is that God does desire the ultimate flourishing for each and every human being. This is supported by scripture such as John 3:16, 1 Tim 2:4, 1 Tim 4:10, and 2 Peter 3:9. It is also supported in the first book of the Bible. Consider this counterfactual:

IF Adam and Eve would have kept God’s commands (and all of their offspring followed suit), then every single human WOULD experience ultimate flourishing and not experience any suffering.

Thus, God created a world in which it was logically possible for all people to flourish. However, Eve doubted that God was omnibenevolent and desired the best for her. This doubt led to the fall of man and terrible suffering has followed in its wake.

Many people continue to doubt the perfect goodness and love of God. Some Calvinistic theologians (like Arthur Pink) actually teach that God does not love all people or desire the best for all people! This is a horrible mistake — a sin — that leads to weak faith.

Additionally, some Christians hold to a view called “Divine Determinism” and think that God controls all thoughts and beliefs. If this is the case, then God forces most people to believe lies. If God forces some to believe truth and others to believe lies, then how can you be certain that God is not forcing you to believe false things too (including your view of divine determinism)? This low view of God ultimately leads to many in the church doubting their salvation just as Muslims do (both views of God are wrong).

Indeed, this low view of God influenced the Canons and Dogmatic Decrees of the Council of Trent. A.D. 1563. They incorrectly affirm that one should doubt their salvation in Chapter XII:

No one, moreover, so long as he is in this mortal life, ought so far to presume as regards the secret mystery of divine predestination, as to determine for certain that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; as if it were true, that he that is justified, either can not sin any more, or, if he do sin, that he ought to promise himself an assured repentance; for except by special revelation, it can not be known whom God hath chosen unto himself.

When one doubts or rejects the fact that God is omnibenevolent then major problems arise. The primary problem is that their presupposition of God — a low view of God — was incorrect in the first place. They follow in the footsteps of Adam and Eve.

A Maximally Great God

Consider the perfect goodness of God: Because God is perfectly good He is perfectly holy. When humans freely choose to do good things, then we approximate to the perfect standard of God, and we do holy things! Worshipping God is holy. Loving your neighbor is holy. Loving your enemy is holy!

We are not perfectly holy, but we should make every effort to approximate to the One who is! The Bible says this:

“And the Lord said, you shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus19:1-2).

God is the standard of goodness and therefore, we can always trust the commands he has given to be perfectly good. Moreover, since God is perfectly intelligent, then His commands are always the most intelligent thing to do. Therefore, it is just plain stupid and wrong not to obey the commands of God!

How do we know God’s commands? Through Jesus’ declarations validated by His resurrection! Consider Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39:

1- Love God first!
2- Everybody love everybody (from your neighbors to your enemies)!

Christians ought to be the most loving people on the face of the planet!

Next, consider God’s perfect love and what it means to be all-loving which is part of omnibenevolence. The Bible makes it clear: “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

So, if God is love, then God’s very nature is loving. As William Lane Craig wrote in his children’s book, God is ALL-Loving:

“He is loving as He is holy. And God’s love is a very special kind of love; He doesn’t love you because you’re good. His love is unconditional!”

This is a perfect Daddy, right? I am not a perfect dad by any means and do not require my son, Ethan, to be perfect either. I know he will make mistakes, he will sin, he will disappoint me, and he will be anything other than perfect. But even though I know these things about Ethan, it does not mean that I do not love him with all of my heart. I am still willing to die for my imperfect son! If that is how imperfect dads are, imagine a perfectly good, intelligent, and loving Heavenly Father! God does not love you based on your actions – He just loves you and desires you to love Him in return. But He will not force you into a relationship with Him; you must make the choice to enter that love relationship or not.

That is what a saving relationship is: when a human freely chooses to love God in return, then a true love marriage occurs – a saving relationship with God. Because God first loved us, when we respond to His love and freely choose to love God back, we are saved! This is demonstrated by Jesus when he tells the Parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32.  Jesus is telling this fictional story of a dad – a great dad – who is loving his son the way God loves all humans (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus is telling this story of a great and loving father so that those listening to this story will begin to understand the way God loves all humans.

You see, the father’s love was always available to his son. The father’s love never went anywhere. The dad never stopped loving his son with all of his heart. However, the son made some choices – free choices – which separated him from the love of his father. It was not until the son made the choice – the free choice – to come back to his father’s love and to love his father in return, that their relationship was restored.

If the son would have never made the free choice to return to his father, then their relationship would have never been restored.

This is representative of God’s love for YOU. God loves you unconditionally, just as the father in the parable, and His love is always there for you. With that said, however, you and I are responsible for our own decisions, and we can make horrible choices that separate us from God’s perfect love.

Eternal Divorce

Some people freely choose to separate from God for eternity (this is called hell)! Since it is logically impossible for God to force a person to freely choose to love Him (that is on the same incoherent level as married bachelors or triangles with four corners), then some will freely choose to divorce themselves from God forever — but it does not have to be this way!

Jesus did all the work for you, but now the ball is in your court. You have a real choice to make and are now responsible for your eternity!

Do you want perfect love with your Creator? It is available through the atoning power of Jesus Christ. You have a perfect Father – a Daddy – who loves you with his entire essence! You are worth more than the entire universe to Him! He desires an eternal true love relationship with everyone — including YOU.

Conclusion

You might feel like the prodigal son. You might be in a place right now that you know you are not supposed to be. The prodigal son had to make a choice – a free choice – and swallow his pride and come back to his father. If you are in a place that is far from God right now, then I encourage you to make the same choice – swallow your pride and come back to your Daddy. He is a perfect Father and His love is waiting for you!

Stay reasonable (Philippians 4:5),

Tim Stratton


Notes

A special thank you to Shannon Eugene Byrd for finding the Council of Trent quote!

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2n2J1l1


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46 replies
  1. TGM says:

    How did you decide that your god is good? Wouldn’t an omnipotent and omniscient deity be able to fool you about his omnibenevolence, wrongly convincing you that he is the standard of goodness? The Moral and Ontological arguments aren’t going to get you out of this one, I’m afraid.

    Reply
    • Josef Kauzlarich says:

      Sure. That is a possibility. One can skeptic their way out of any certain belief (even belief in something like science), but that doesn’t prove Christians are irrational to trust God’s definition of goodness as presented in scripture. You have to do much more work for that. Christianity doesn’t fall on skeptical questions. It is a systematic worldview and one must undermine its foundations to prove it irrational, not just throw out skepticism. It’s easy to ask unmerited questions. But questions don’t disprove anything. You need arguments (and you could skeptic this point as well!). So even if you are correct (assuming you believe what you just wrote which you likely don’t) you have no evidence. So the Christian is more rational in their view than you in this case (if you really believe such a hypothesis).

      Epistemology is a fascinating subject.

      Reply
      • Ed Vaessen says:

        Josef Kauzlarich says:
        “Christianity doesn’t fall on skeptical questions.”

        I agree. It even accepts silly virgin births and raises no eyebrow when a lot of zombies walk around Jerusalem when Jesus dies, together with an impressive earthquake and a playful solar eclipse, all to impress the uneducated minds for whom Steven Sieplberg could have written a gospel.

        For my amusement I am now going to look at the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with Indiana Jones. At least that movie has a disclaimer that clearly states that it is entertaining fantasy that does not keep your mind to busy with thinking.

        Reply
      • TGM says:

        That’s a really strange non-answer Josef. I never said anyone was irrational. I never asserted any sort of skepticism. And I did not dispute the foundations of Christianity. All I did was ask two questions. So I have to ask another question: what point are you trying to make?

        “But questions don’t disprove anything.”
        No, they certainly do not. But your tangential response demonstrates evasion and defensiveness. You would have done better by not responding at all.

        “So even if you are correct (assuming you believe what you just wrote which you likely don’t) you have no evidence.”
        What evidence must one bring to the table when making an inquiry? If my query contained bad assumptions, you could simply point this out in a response that addresses the actual questions.

        Reply
        • Josef Kauzlarich says:

          I did answer. I said, “it is a possibility.” It is also a possibility that we all were created five minutes ago. I am saying your question isn’t very helpful for getting at truth. Now if someone provided some evidence that indicated God was really just a big liar, then it might be worth time addressing it. But for now, the Christian is rational to trust in God (assuming He exists…which in the Christian worldview He does). I am saying that question shouldn’t other you. It certainly doesn’t bother me.

          Reply
          • TGM says:

            “It’s a possibility” only answers my second question, and sounds like a “yes”. So if it’s possible that you are being deceived how do you tell the difference? Under what basis is it rational to trust a Being when your whole foundation of epistemology is in question? All you’ve done is demonstrated blind faith, which is… irrational.

            Oh, and you ignored the first question entirely. “How did you decide that your god is good?” Care to try again?

          • Josef Kauzlarich says:

            Forgive my passing over of the first question. It was such an obvious answer it was hard to notice. Obviously the author decided God is good because scripture told him so. He also cited the moral and ontological arguments which I don’t think was necessary for his point. He is a Christian and therefore arguing from that worldview which incldes the Bible. It tells him that God is good. If you don’t like that answer, then find a forum for disputing Christian trust in the Bible.

            I still think you miss my point on your second question. First, even of God was just a master deceiver, it matters little. He will still do what He wants. Second, I think there is evidence God is good, but as it rests upon the life of Jesus based on the Bible, just as with my answer to your first question, you will reject it, so why bother presenting it? Third, you can skeptic yourself out of any belief. Think of anything you hold to be true. You can come up with any number of irrational questions related to it. Take the belief that the sun rises in the morning. How do we know with certainty gravity is a real force and not just some imaginary thing put in my brain by a mad scientist? Is the sun real or is there a mass conspiracy caused by powerful beings that really just use it as a spaceship that will one day consume our planet at their whim? How can we be certain that our perceptual sensations are reliable? Maybe my hands and eyes don’t even exist! I view your second question in the same category as one of these. It is like the brain in a vat problem in epistemology. Perhaps I should have just stated, “we have no reasons or evidence that God is a deceiver so we are justified in the belief that He is good on the authority of scripture.

          • Josef Kauzlarich says:

            I sense you also may have missed that the audience for this post was Christians (ot appears to me christians that wandered from the faith). He was presenting a faulty Christian belief based on our theological system. He used many bible verses to support his claims, a source that non-christians don’t usually accept. Therefore, all my responses have assumed a Christian worldview as context. So when I say he believes God is good on the basis of scripture, that is perfectly acceptable given the context. There are philosophical evidences of God’s goodness, but I don’t think they are appropriate here given the context.

  2. TGM says:

    I do not think that word “unconditional” means what you and Dr. Craig think it means. Why don’t you just admit that this love is predicated on acceptance of a savior?

    Reply
    • Josef Kauzlarich says:

      The love isn’t predicated on acceptance of salvation. God loves unbelievers just as much as Christians. I think you are confusing choosing a mutual relationship with His love for mankind. It’s hard for a loving father to hug his kid who is living 2000 miles away from him and has no interest in restoring relationship.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        In this analogy it is the father who created that distance. If the kid has never seen the father then we don’t don’t blame the kid, who doesn’t even know for sure who his dad is, we blame the dead beat dad.

        Reply
        • Josef Kauzlarich says:

          Are we talking Christian theology here or philosophical evidence for God’s existence? Need to stick to one topic please. Under Christianity, God has fully revealed Himself to His creation so this is a non-issue. Under Christianity, God is anything but a “dead beat dad.” Please provide evidence that the Bible teaches otherwise.

          Previously you asserted that there was some logical inconsistency with the Christian belief that God’s love is unconditional representing salvation as a condition for His love. I said that isn’t true. Christianity teaches that God loves all. I can provide evidence of this if requested. But you made the initial claim so please provide evidence of this logical inconsistency.

          Reply
          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Josef Kauzlarich says:
            “God has fully revealed Himself to His creation”

            Clearly not. That is why Hindu’s do not think Jesus is God.
            That is why atheists exist.
            God is not clear.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            By Tim Stratton

            “Not only does the Bible make this clear (Psalm 100:5; Psalm 145:17; John 3:16), but logicians have also deductively concluded this apart from the Bible through the Moral Argument and the Ontological Argument.”

            Utter bullshit, mr. Stratton. Both arguments have been refuted over and over again.
            You are using the methods of Nazi Goebbels by repeating lies.

        • Andy Ryan says:

          “Previously you asserted that there was some logical inconsistency with the Christian belief that God’s love is unconditional representing salvation as a condition for His love.”

          Not me.

          “God has fully revealed Himself to His creation”

          Not to me. Not just not ‘fully’, but not revealed at all. And not to the several billion or so people who worship other Gods. Presumably you don’t think that Allah has revealed himself to you. If a Muslims claimed he had, you would deny it, right? If a God exists then he’s created a world indistinguishable from one that gets by without any God at all and operates on purely natural causes.So yes, dead beat dad in this analogy.

          Reply
          • Josef Kauzlarich says:

            Ah yes. It was TGM. Nice of you to come to his aid. My apologies.

            My point is you are bringing in irrelevant objections. If you are going to argue Christian Theology, you have to do it within the confines of the Christian worldview. TGM made a clear claim that the theology is somehow inconsistent. That is all I care to discuss.

      • Ed Vaessen says:

        Josef Kauzlarich says:
        “The love isn’t predicated on acceptance of salvation. God loves unbelievers just as much as Christians. I think you are confusing choosing a mutual relationship with His love for mankind. It’s hard for a loving father to hug his kid who is living 2000 miles away from him and has no interest in restoring relationship.”

        Then the loving father should make clear to the kid that he is his father. Why doesn’t he reach the Hindu kid with that message?

        Reply
        • Josef Kauzlarich says:

          Can you demonstrate that Christianity teaches that God doesn’t make it clear to His creation that He is their creator? I’m refuting TGM’s claim that there is a logical consistency within Christianity. I don’t have to give evidence of God’s existence to do that. It is irrelevant because God’s existence and revelation are assumed in a Christian worldview. If you want to discuss those topics, there are plenty of topical forums on this site related to that.

          Reply
          • Ed Vaessen says:

            It is clear that the Hindu kid does not get the message of Jesus. So far it is clear that God doesn’t teach him that message, while it would be very easy for God to do so.
            Or do you have an alternative explanation?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Where it would be very easy for God to do so…
            Not while.
            Sorry. English is not my native language.

          • Josef Kauzlarich says:

            Yes. There are three big theories for the question of the unevangelized in Christianity. But again, that isn’t what we are talking about. All I have to do is show you this verse because we are discussing in the context of Christian belief.

            “They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
            ‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬
            http://bible.com/116/rom.1.19-20.nlt

            Now I am not saying you aren’t asking a valid question of Christianity. We should provide an answer. I am saying that to refute TGM’s claim of what Christianity teaches about God’s love, I don’t need to.

      • TGM says:

        “The love isn’t predicated on acceptance of salvation.”

        Isn’t it? Then you and I have a serious difference of opinion on what constitutes “love”. For someone I love, there is no circumstance under which I would abandon that person for eternity, without hope of reconciliation, even if they desperately sought nothing but abandonment. Heck, I would not even do that to some I merely “liked”. Clearly there are strings attached.

        Reply
        • Josef Kauzlarich says:

          Christianity teaches that God would welcome them back any time. But it also teaches that some will never come to Him. Ever. Even if they had all eternity to choose it.

          Reply
          • TGM says:

            So after I pass away and discover I was mistaken about the existence of god. I’ll be forgiven my unbelief, permitted to apologize, and be able to leave Hell? Cool, thanks.

          • Josef Kauzlarich says:

            No. You will get there and still not want God. It you don’t accept God’s revelation here, then you won’t accept it there. This is what Christianity teaches. God isn’t the problem in the relationship. We are. God doesn’t keep us away. We run from him or to him. The invitation is open right now to you.

            Personal question for you out of mere interest:
            I see you post in many places across this site…sheesh for like what a couple years now? Certainly as long as I have engaged with it. I can’t understand why you feel such a strong desire to spend hours of your time disproving something you are so certain is false. Why do you care so much? If you think its false and we are deluded, then why not just leave us to our delusions? I can only conclude you want to see Christianity come to an end because perhaps you feel we are spreading lies, or you are afraid we might actually be right. Which is it? Or is there a third option? Why are you here? Perhaps you need to ask yourself this question? What does it matter to you if christians have the wrong idea about things? This isn’t to discourage you from discussion. I am sincerely interested in what motivates you to do this?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Josef Kauzlarich says:
            “No. You will get there and still not want God. It you don’t accept God’s revelation here, then you won’t accept it there. ”

            And what about the Hindu who cannot know the revelation and after death finds out Christianity is true?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Josef Kauzlarich says:
            “I can only conclude you want to see Christianity come to an end because perhaps you feel we are spreading lies, or you are afraid we might actually be right.”

            Of course you are spreading lies. But you are not a bad man for that. It is only that you don’t realize you are doing it. You are unable to confront certain facts. Three times already I mentioned the ‘Hindu problem’ to you and you are clearly able to read and understand. So we must conclude that at the moment your eyes go over my text with the simple and unbearable truth, you immediately forget that is was written.

            This problem I noticed more than once here with other Christian writers.
            What makes it sad is that they themselves never wrote the texts in the Bible. The punishment of a human being for honestly believing something else than Christianity is a concept that was once invented by a religious fanatic and sadly enough now Christians are forced to believe that this immorality is morally justified.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “I can’t understand why you feel such a strong desire to spend hours of your time disproving something you are so certain is false”

            Virtually all the blogs on this site are bashing atheism or Islam or saying gays should have the same rights as non-gays. It’s been going for sheesh what like over a decade now. Why not ask them their motivations.

            My motivation is that I believe truth is important. I know that’s unfashionable these days, with so many people backing the groper-in-chief in the White House right now, but facts are important. Evidence is important. Good arguments are important. Bad arguments need to be argued against.

          • Josef Kauzlarich says:

            Thanks Andy. I really was just curious to understand. Perhaps TGM holds similar sentiments of wanting to discover/share truth.

          • Josef Kauzlarich says:

            Ed, I’m not addressing the “hindu” problem otherwise known as the problem of the unevangelized because I don’t have to. I’ve said it many times, it is irrelevant. Don’t pretend I am afraid of this question. Presenting the three major theories that satisfy this inquiry takes pages and pages…far more than would be appropriate for a blog forum. Please see Paul Copan’s work, “True for You, But Not for Me.” Part five of this book contains an excellent presentation of all three major theories. He is fair to present each position and their critiques. I personally hold to an Accessibilist/Middle Knowledge View because I think it is the most coherent view.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Josef Kauzlarich says:
            “I can only conclude you want to see Christianity come to an end because perhaps you feel we are spreading lies, or you are afraid we might actually be right.”

            The last part of the sentence is a typical case of projection. Some texts of the Bible were clearly written by a fanatic, which is someone who by his very nature criminalizes people who have a different opinion. The sad thing, I repeat, is that he managed to make you adopt his prejudices.
            There is a parallel with all those Christians who firmly believe that evolution theory was invented for the sole purpose to explain God away.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Josef Kauzlarich says:
            “No. You will get there and still not want God. It you don’t accept God’s revelation here, then you won’t accept it there. ”

            This too is projection.

          • TGM says:

            If there is an afterlife and if I remain the same person, i will likely have new evidence to consider. Why can’t I change my mind in light of new information? Would your god forbid me from reassessing based on more data?

            As for why I’m here. It’s mostly because the beliefs of others directly affect my life and those I care about. Thus, I’d like people to have good reasons for whatever they believe. I can’t be everywhere. So I chose this site. Call me a Frank Turek fan.

          • KR says:

            TGM wrote: “Why can’t I change my mind in light of new information? Would your god forbid me from reassessing based on more data?”

            I think it’s the faith thing. Your belief has no value if it’s based on data. I guess that would actually make it knowledge, not belief. No brownie points for you for accepting what’s right in front of you. Of course, when we conclude from this that faith is belief without evidence, the Christians immediately cry foul. Go figure.

            I’ve always had a problem with this emphasis of belief over knowledge. It looks too much like a very useful tactic for making people believe in something that doesn’t exist. Why does God think it’s more important for us to believe in Him rather than know Him? If He really wants us to know Him, why is He hiding and playing these games of “nuh-uh, you have to believe in me first”? I believe I’ll just stick with the null hypothesis.

          • TGM says:

            Very salient points KR.Were I to shoulder the burden of proof and argue against the Christian god, I think that is where I’d strike. Divine Hiddenness simply makes no sense in light of everything Christians tell me. Tell me again why I need to be an expert in both cosmology and ancient Greek to believe this…?

        • Ed Vaessen says:

          Josef Kauzlarich says:
          “Ed, I’m not addressing the “hindu” problem otherwise known as the problem of the unevangelized because I don’t have to. I’ve said it many times, it is irrelevant. Don’t pretend I am afraid of this question. Presenting the three major theories that satisfy this inquiry takes pages and pages…far more than would be appropriate for a blog forum. Please see Paul Copan’s work, “True for You, But Not for Me.” Part five of this book contains an excellent presentation of all three major theories. He is fair to present each position and their critiques. I personally hold to an Accessibilist/Middle Knowledge View because I think it is the most coherent view.”

          Please don’t hide behind a book to evade your moral duty to answer a simple question. One might think you have no answer.

          Reply
          • Josef Kauzlarich says:

            Ed, It isn’t a matter of knowing the answer. It is irrelevant to the conversation. It’s like asking me to explain the properties of a chocolate bar. TGM claimed God’s love from a Christian worldview is dependent on salvation. This sounds like a theological assertion so we should go to scripture to clarify it. In other words, I assumed it a challenge to Christian internal logic because he listed salvation as the problem. I came back by saying Christianity teaches God loves everyone unconditionally regardless of salvation in Christianity, but we choose not to love Him back, so there is no inconsistency. Then a couple people pointed to the problem of the unevangelized. Now this question does deserve a good answer, and those answers exist. But it isn’t needed to demonstrate that Christian scripture teaches God loves everyone, regardless of their salvation. I believe you are ignoring the Christian context of the original statement made by TGM. Perhaps I misunderstood TGM’s statement. But it is an odd statement if it isn’t challenging Christian internal logic, because it is questioning the cohesion of two Christian beliefs: God’s love and salvation.

          • TGM says:

            Maybe I can clarify without trampling your conversation. I don’t know if my original comment has any theological implications. Nor do I care. My comment specifically objected to the usages of “unconditional” and subsequently “love” in a manner wholly dissimilar to any common usage. There is no sense in which “unconditional love” could be used to describe the concept of eternal damnation, regardless of whether you consider hell to be torture or simply abandonment.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Josef Kauzlarich says:
            “I came back by saying Christianity teaches God loves everyone unconditionally regardless of salvation in Christianity, but we choose not to love Him back, so there is no inconsistency.”

            It is unbelievable. You are still projecting. You keep on doing that as a braindead machine.
            How do you know that an atheist, former christian, is rejecting God and that he is not rejecting the obscene picture that you, Christian, painted of God? It is the Christian (and also the Islamic) religion that makes God look filthy. The atheist doesn’t do that. The atheist maintains a far higher standard of what God should be, where you only degrade God to the ugly imagination of a fanatic mind, possibly your mind.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            TGM says:
            “Maybe I can clarify without trampling your conversation. I don’t know if my original comment has any theological implications. Nor do I care. My comment specifically objected to the usages of “unconditional” and subsequently “love” in a manner wholly dissimilar to any common usage. There is no sense in which “unconditional love” could be used to describe the concept of eternal damnation, regardless of whether you consider hell to be torture or simply abandonment.”

            Josef Kauzlarich (and he is not the only one here or in the world) has been taught (brainwashed is a better word) that there exist people who, while having access to all relevant information and therefor know of the existence of God and the role of Jesus, willfully reject God/Jesus. He really thinks these people exist. For his peace of mind, he must, because if he could not blame them, he would have to blame God for withholding vital information.

  3. Andy Ryan says:

    “God is not all-loving, and whatever Allah does is simply called “good,” even if it is really hateful.”

    Sounds like the Christian view point too. If God is the standard of ‘good’ then whatever God does is by definition good. By that argument then hatefulness would by definition be ‘good’. What makes benevolence inherently ‘good’ if you’re getting the standard of ‘good’ from God? By that argument, if God is benevolent then benevolence is good, but if it turns out God is hateful then one has to call ‘hatefulness’ good rather than benevolence.

    Unless you’re saying that benevolence is inherently good, apart from God, and therefore benevolence is a necessary trait of an ‘all-good’ God. But that would mean God has these traits because he is good, and their goodness stands apart from his possession of them – they’d be good irrespective even of God’s existence.

    So it seems again that that ‘zombie argument’ Euthryphro you dismissed isn’t actually so dead after all.

    Reply
    • Josef Kauzlarich says:

      You are right but I don’t think that is his point. I am no theologian but if God is the standard of good, then I believe anything God does must be good and whatever He defines as good is good. Evil is simply a corruption or departure from what is good. I don’t know in Islam’s case, but in Christianity “good” is well outlined in scripture thematically, with debate by theologians over certain points and some modern issues. One would have to demonstrate that there is some sort of inconsistency with how the Bible defines things as good or that there is some inconsistency with what God does and then says is good to create a problem for Christianity’s view. While books are written on these scenarios so it isn’t some simple matter to be handled here in blog comments.

      I take the author’s point to mean that Islam doesn’t have these clear definitions of “good,” which I admit Muslims would likely disagree on this point.

      Reply
      • Ed Vaessen says:

        Josef Kauzlarich says:
        “I don’t know in Islam’s case, but in Christianity “good” is well outlined in scripture thematically, with debate by theologians over certain points and some modern issues. ”

        The ‘good’ in Christianity is the deed of a God who kills innocent, firstborn sons of Egyptians.

        Reply
  4. Anthony says:

    I think Richard Dawkins has dealt pretty well with the notion that God is an objective source of moral good. The numerous genocidal acts in the Old Testament either carried out directly by God, or else sanctioned by him, not to mention the many murderous acts carried out by Christians throughout the ages, rather tells against the idea that Christians or theists have some kind of hot line to goodness.

    Reply
    • Julian says:

      This is the same Richard Dawkins who says that there is no such thing as “morality” and then says that it is “immoral” to let a child with Down’s Syndrome live.

      This is the same Richard Dawkins who says that anyone who believes in a god should be barred from higher education and public service.

      Both judgments treat some people as having value whilst treating others as having no value yet he faults God for allegedly doing the same.

      No, neither you nor Richard Dawkins dealt with any notion of the biblical God, only the straw god you make when you take bite-sized morsels of Scripture out of context and form your own narrative around it. You’re shadowboxing, hitting nothing.

      The other logical fallacy you made is cherry-picking: I can do anything “in the name of” anyone but that doesn’t mean I am acting on behalf of that namesake. God made it clear that many do ungodly things in his name and that he hates that, as anyone would.

      Morality, by its very nature, is absolute. “Morality is relative” is a self-refuting statement and therefore cannot be true.

      The only explanation for the moral state of humanity is that we all are not morally perfect (we have all gone against our own conscience even) and we’re just morally imperfect in different ways at different times and in spite of this, we all fundamentally have the same moral compass. This indicates that morality is objective and has to come from outside of humanity.

      Reply
      • Ed Vaessen says:

        “The only explanation for the moral state of humanity is that we all are not morally perfect (we have all gone against our own conscience even) and we’re just morally imperfect in different ways at different times and in spite of this, we all fundamentally have the same moral compass. This indicates that morality is objective and has to come from outside of humanity.”

        That does not follow.

        Reply

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