The idea that God is omnibenevloent is seen in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
God's love has no cause, it was not brought into being by something else but is part of God's nature from the start. Love as an attribute of God is closely linked to ideas about God's goodness and righteousness. God's love for the world is compared to that of a parent for a child.
He is good; his love endures for ever' 2 Chronicles 7:3
To Say God is Good Means:
- Medieval philosophers (influenced by the Greeks) believed God was simple rather than complex.
- To describe God was to describe a perfect being. Aquinas stated that 'the perfections of everything exist in God, he lacks no excellence of any sort' (Summa Theologica)
- Only a perfect being is worthy of worship. God's goodness and omnibenevolence are seen as part of God's perfection.
- God's goodness may include concepts such as love, holiness and justice.
- Swinburne drew comparisions between God and a parent. Therefore God's goodness may at times involve both rewarding and punishing their creation.
Issues Regarding God's Benevolence
The Euthyphro dilemma poses the question of the link between God and goodness. Is God the one who creates morality and the standards for good or bad, or do these standards exist regardless of God. Would murder have been good if God said so, or would it be wrong regardless of God's commandments. If God sets the standards the this could raise issues because ultimately anything could be seen as good, God might decide murder or **** is good. If morally good acts are moral because they are willed by God, then there is no reason to care about God's morality or worship God. On the other hand if these moral standards exist regardless of God then it suggests that God's power and goodness is limited, as God is subject to morality.
Can God do Evil?
One issue raised is whether God is capable of evil. Some thinkers have argued that God's goodness is of lesser value if God has to do good and is…