Goodness of God

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Chantal
  • Created on: 24-04-13 10:57

Goodness of God

  • Evidence of God’s Goodness (Psalms, Bible, World)
  • God as Lawgiver and Judge (Decalogue, Righteous Indignation, Faith not Reason)
  • Problems
  • Euthyphro Dilemma
  • How the goodness of Judaeo Christian God differs from Greek
1 of 9

Evidence of God's goodness

  • Psalms-
    • Psalm 145- ‘The lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love’
    • Psalm 100- ‘For the lord is good and his love endures forever’
  • Bible:
    • Decalogue (10 commandments)
    • Creation and sustaining of the world:
    • Everything God makes is ‘very good’
    • Chooses and forms different creatures and gives them things to eat and drink
    • Genesis 3- God provides animal skins for Adam and eve (cares) expels them from the garden of evil
  • World:
    • Beauty of nature
    • Ways in which the earth seems to be designed for the benefit of the people
    • Provides for the needs of his creation giving the seasons and harvest
2 of 9

God as Lawgiver and Judge

  •  God’s Goodness is unlike human goodness therefore he is seen as lawgiver and judge.  God’s goodness in incomprehensible for humans (analogical)
  • God is concerned that humanity should make right choices and aim to be good
  • Soon as humanity is created God gives them moral rules to follow:
    • Take responsibility for the planet as its stewards (genesis 2)
    • Not to   eat from the forbidden tree
  • 10 Commandments (Decalogue):
    • Follow with faith not reason
    • Sets standards for people to follow
    • Watches how people react
  • Main characteristic of God’s relationship with his people is faith not reason (Abraham/Isaac and Job- God tells Abraham to kill his son, Abraham agrees and God stops him at the last minute)
  • When God becomes angry with people it is because of their failure to perform moral behaviour
3 of 9

God as Lawgiver and Judge Continued

  •  Righteous Indignation:
    • God does not remain implacable and unaffected (how he acted in Genesis 2)
    • Becomes angered at injustice
    • Calls prophets to make people aware they are failing him (old testament)
    • Desire that people should treat one another fairly as creations of God
    • Shown to have particular concern for the poor and weak (later shown in Jesus)
  • Punishment always seen in the context of goodness and love
  • Punishes because he wants his people to learn, much like a parent (illustrated in Hosea)
  • Also goodness is shown in forgiveness and compassion, he does take pity (Hannah/Samuel)
  • Jews believe they are part of God’s special covenant and therefore are judged more
4 of 9

Euphythro Dilemma

  • In Plato’s Euthyphro Socrates says:
    • ‘Consider the question: Is what is pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved?’
  • Plato is asking ‘Is X good because God loves it or does God love X because X is good?’
  • Plato presents us with us with two possible visions of the universe:
    • God created everything and what he loves is good. God, a set of immutable absolute moral rules and the human race. God commands humans to follow the moral rules because they are absolutely true in themselves, separate from God. God agrees with them and wants humans to follow them
    • God created ex material because it is already good. Only exists God and the human race. God commands humans to do certain things and they are good things because God has commanded them
5 of 9

Divine Command

  • View that things are good by being commanded by God
  • If you decide moral rules are good or bad because they are commanded or forbidden by God then if they weren’t they wouldn’t be good or bad and if God said opposite good would be bad and vice versa
  • Makes moral codes seem arbitrary (Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system)
  • In Genesis 1 everything God commands is ‘very good’
  • Adam and Eve story supports this view as God commanded Eve not to eat the fruit
  • Bible does not support the view that there is an external standard of goodness against which God can be judged
  • Thomas Aquinas- not a real problem for Christianity because both parts can be accepted without contradiction
  • Emil Brunner (1947)- ‘The good consists in always doing what God wills at any particular moment’
  • Leibiniz- If God chose his rules arbitrary why worship him
6 of 9

Judeao Christian God differs form Greek

  • Provides interactive sort of goodness, makes demands of humanity
  • Not merely an ideal to follow, he is affected and cares
  • More than a concept: exists as a personality reacting and caring
  • Takes an interest unlike a scale which only measure the quality of goodness
  • Watches how people respond to guidance and laws they are given
7 of 9

Philosophical Problems

  • Idea of a personal, interactive God and perfect God:
    • A God who can have relationships must be capable if change and response but perfection is unchanging
    • Impossible to hold that God is both perfectly good and at the same time capable of having relationship with his creation
    • Can God suffer or be affected?
  • Goodness of God and Jesus:
    • How, if at all, could God have been in human form? Part of his nature is he does not have a body?
    • How does time work for God, is he outside time and space, if so how could he come into the world at a fixed point and grow
    • When God was in the world was he in heaven at the same time?
  • God of the old testament seen as angry and jealous
8 of 9



9 of 9


No comments have yet been made

Similar Philosophy resources:

See all Philosophy resources »See all Ideas of gods resources »