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motirattan

Who defines Morality?

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Hello brothers and sisters in Christ. I haven't been active here. But these days, I'm having questions regarding faith so I wanted to come back and ask.

My question is , if God defines what good and evil is, then he must be beyond good and evil and if that is so, then what makes God a personal God? My mind thinks if God is morally good, then there should be someone who can define what good and evil is and if God defines good and evil, then is he amoral if not immoral. It's not making sense to me. I hope I'll find some scriptural and credible answers of my questions here.

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Hello brothers and sisters in Christ. I haven't been active here. But these days, I'm having questions regarding faith so I wanted to come back and ask.

My question is , if God defines what good and evil is, then he must be beyond good and evil and if that is so, then what makes God a personal God? My mind thinks if God is morally good, then there should be someone who can define what good and evil is and if God defines good and evil, then is he amoral if not immoral. It's not making sense to me. I hope I'll find some scriptural and credible answers of my questions here.

 

Nice to hear from you again Motirattan,

 

God is the standard bearer for all that is good. He is not beyond good, but his very existence is the standard of goodness.

 

One of the most important approaches to the problem of evil is that set forth originally by Augustine and then later by Aquinas, in which they argued that evil has no independent being. Evil cannot be defined as a thing or as a substance or as some kind of being. Rather, evil is always defined as an action, an action that fails to meet a standard of goodness. In this regard, evil has been defined in terms of its being either a negation (negatio) of the good, or a privation (privatio) of the good. In both cases, the very definition of evil depends upon a prior understanding of the good. In this regard, as Augustine argued, evil is parasitic — that is, it depends upon the good for its very definition. We think of sin as something that is unrighteous, involving disobedience, immorality, and the like. All of these definitions depend upon the positive substance of the good for their very definition. Augustine argues that though Christians face the difficulty of explaining the presence of evil in the universe, the pagan has a problem that is twice as difficult. Before one can even have a problem of evil, one must first have an antecedent existence of the good. Those who complain about the problem of evil now also have the problem of defining the existence of the good. Without God there is no ultimate standard for the good.

 

In contemporary days, this problem has been resolved by simply denying both evil and good. Such a problem, however, faces enormous difficulties, particularly when one suffers at the hands of someone who inflicts evil upon them. It is easy for us to deny the existence of evil until we ourselves are victims of someone’s wicked action.

 

However, though we end our quest to answer the origin of evil, one thing is certain: since God is both omnipotent and good, we must conclude that in His omnipotence and goodness there must be a place for the existence of evil. We know that God Himself never does that which is evil. Nevertheless, He also ordains whatsoever comes to pass. Though He does not do evil and does not create evil, He does ordain that evil exists. If it does exist, and if God is sovereign, then obviously He must have been able to prevent its existence. If He allowed evil to enter into this universe, it could only be by His sovereign decision. Since His sovereign decisions always follow the perfection of His being, we must conclude that His decision to allow evil to exist is a good decision.

 

Again, we must be careful here. We must never say that evil is good, or that good is evil. But that is not the same thing as saying, “It is good that there is evil.” Again, I repeat, it is good that there is evil, else evil could not exist. Even this theodicy does not explain the “how” of the entrance of evil into the world. It only reflects upon the “why” of the reality of evil. One thing we know for sure is that evil does exist. It exists, if nowhere else, in us and in our behavior. We know that the force of evil is extraordinary and brings great pain and suffering into the world. We also know that God is sovereign over it and in His sovereignty will not allow evil to have the last word. Evil always and ever serves the ultimate best interest of God Himself. It is God in His goodness and in His sovereignty who has ordained the final conquest over evil and its riddance from His universe. In this redemption we find our rest and our joy — and until that time, we live in a fallen world. - Source: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articl...tery-iniquity/

 

Regarding an impersonal God. From the beginning to end, God demonstrates that He is a personal God. In the Garden of Eden after Adam sinned, God asked where art thou? God came down to the level of Adam and Eve. He acted personally. Adam and Eve were a creature made from the dust of the earth that defied a Holy God. Yet God acted personally and with grace. He clothed them in their nakedness. And He provided a way of redemption promising that the seed of the woman shall redeem them.

 

On another note, but related, other religions require works. One must by their works obtain nirvana or pull themselves up by their boot straps to heaven. Salvation is dependent on the person in question. In Christianity, we failed to live up to God's Holy Standard. All our works are as filthy rags before our Holy God. And according to Scripture not one of us is righteous. Our God came down from heaven to His people for they failed to live up to the standard of God's holiness and goodness. It cannot get more personal than that. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed to the Father to take this cup from Him. Jesus knew that once He drank from the cup He would become sin for us in our stead and the full wrath of the Father would be poured out upon Christ in our place. Not a drop was spilled, but the full wrath of God was taken from our place and put upon His own beloved Son. How can it not get more personal than this?

 

Hope this helps, and God bless,

William

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Thank you William. It helped a lot. Again, I have one more question, do God have free will to choose good or evil as we humans in God's image have the ability to choose evil.

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Thank you William. It helped a lot. Again, I have one more question, do God have free will to choose good or evil as we humans in God's image have the ability to choose evil.

 

Lemme refer you here. I think your question can lead to many philosophical implications: https://www.christforums.org/forum/christian-community/apologetics-and-theology/303-can-god-create-a-stone-too-heavy-for-him-to-lift

 

Here's a clip: "One is to claim God can bring about any of these states of affairs, but because of God’s essential goodness, God does not do so. On this view, God is still omnipotent in the sense of being able to bring any state of affairs. A second reply is to question an assumption behind the objection. Why think of divine omnipotence exclusively in terms of the bare scope of power? An important classical Christian tradition (Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas) holds that God’s power is also supremely good. Is the ‘power’ to do evil for its own sake a worthy, good power? Arguably, God’s excellent power is the power to do good, not evil. A further exploration of this concept of divine power leads us away from the apparent word game of the stone paradox and focuses the mind on the nature of God’s excellence, the object worthy of worship."

 

Hope this helps, and God bless,

William

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We use logic to define God. So what is logic and how is it different from God or same? Sorry, I know my questions are quite absurd.

Is God under logic or logic under God. Are things like morals,logic,etc have their origin in God rather than creation by God. Like if God is the standard of goodness, is it just arbitrary that that thing is in God, and something isn't .

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Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God..... created the heavens and the earth." Later in the chapter 1 and 2 -- He created man and then woman and allowed then to have children together.

 

John 1:1 "in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word Was God." vs 3 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made."

 

Isn't 'logic' a concept created by people? Intellectualism wants to put "God" on our level. But God is Almighty God. King of Kings, Lord of Lords // "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" Revelation 22: 13.

 

God's Word defines good / evil. Whatever we do in word or deed, do to the glory of God. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of God.

 

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By logic, I solely mean the Laws of Coherence, Law of Non Contradiction,etc. That's why I wasn't able to arrange how God was subject to it.

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For morals, I wasn't asking the nature of the morals, but the origin of them, is God subject to morals or morals subject to God? How do logic have it's origin in all this.

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By logic, I solely mean the Laws of Coherence, Law of Non Contradiction,etc. That's why I wasn't able to arrange how God was subject to it.

 

I was just looking that up -- European humanistic philosophy. Humanism is putting people before God. Or not even recognizing God.

 

God isn't subject To the laws of...... He is the Giver / originator Of any laws we have. We are responsible To God -- He is to be our sole authority. Society is Not our authority. "Society" is made up of People. People are Fallable. God is Infallable.

 

For some people "intellectualism" is their 'god'. God has given us a wonderful brain -- he's also given us freedom of choice. He would Like people to use the brains He's given us to bring glory to Him.

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By logic, I solely mean the Laws of Coherence, Law of Non Contradiction,etc. That's why I wasn't able to arrange how God was subject to it.

 

Here's a nice resource: https://www.christforums.org/forum/christian-community/christianity-science/237-what-are-the-three-laws-of-logic

 

God bless,

William

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Very interesting questions. I never really understood what the word "good" meant, either. I do know that good is a variation on God. So when we speak of something good it is in the character of God. One source defined good as functional. But I think that is a poor definition. When God finished his creation he proclaimed that it was good. This is before the fall of mankind, so good also relates to perfection, which means needs no other attribute, that is, utterly complete.

 

Common understanding of morality refers to what the majority believe to be right, whereas ethics seems to be related to ethnic which implies the morality of a family line. God is the king of his creation. The English word, "king", comes from "cane" which is a yardstick for measurement. Thus as the king goes so go the people. God's own character is the standard for all goodness, morality and ethics.

 

The Greek word "logos", is the root of the word logic. In John, logos is translated as "word", of which Jesus is called. So logic comes from the character of the second member of the Godhead,known as the Word, or Logos. The logic in creation comes from the logic of the Logos.

 

Despite popular opinion, God can not do anything. He is bound by his own nature and character. For example, He can not lie because He is Truth. He can not die because He is LIfe. He can not change because He is Immutable. He is our standard in all things. We do not create morality, we can only mutilate it with our own desires. We are born perverse, but His blood and life through His Son, straightens us out. Simply put, He saves us from ourselves.

Edited by ADofTX
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It is a bit difficul to respond with a short reply because so much is involved and at stake.

LOOSE CONDUCT and IMMORALITY are closely associated in scripture.
These are acts that reflect a brazen attitude, an attitude betraying disrespect, even contempt for law and authority. The Hebrew word zim·mahʹ is rendered “loose conduct” and “loose morals.” (Le 18:17; 19:29) The Greek term a·selʹgei·a (loose conduct) may also be rendered “licentiousness; wantonness; shameless conduct; lewdness of conduct.” (Ga 5:19, ftn; 2Pe 2:7, ftn) Neither term is restricted to sexual immorality. The Scriptures classify as loose conduct such things as gang rape (Jg 19:25; 20:6), prostitution (Jer 13:27; Eze 23:44), and bloodshed (Ps 26:9, 10; Eze 22:9; Hos 6:9). “The unprincipled man” is the one who is said to scheme loose conduct, and those to whom such conduct is “like sport” are classed as stupid, or morally worthless.—Isa 32:7; Pr 10:23.
“Out of the Heart.” Jesus points out that loose conduct reflects what a person is inside. He says: “From inside, out of the heart of men, injurious reasonings issue forth: fornications, . . . adulteries, . . . loose conduct . . . All these wicked things issue forth from within and defile a man.” (Mr 7:20-23) Loose conduct is one of “the works of the flesh,” one of the fleshly desires that “carry on a conflict against the soul.” “Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom,” says God’s Word.—Ga 5:19, 21; 1Pe 2:11.
Christians loving the light of truth are told: “As in the daytime let us walk decently, not in revelries and drunken bouts, not in illicit intercourse and loose conduct.” (Ro 13:13; Joh 3:19-21) The apostle Peter argues: “For the time that has passed by [before becoming servants of God] is sufficient for you to have worked out the will of the nations when you proceeded in deeds of loose conduct.” (1Pe 4:3) The apostle Paul likewise admonishes Christians, describing the course of worldly nations with whom they formerly associated as “in darkness mentally, and alienated from the life that belongs to God . . . Having come to be past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness.”—Eph 4:17-19.
Nevertheless, some claiming to be servants of God and Christ turn from the way of light and display a brazen, defiant attitude toward divine law and authority. Paul was grieved by those in the Corinthian congregation who had not repented of the “uncleanness and fornication and loose conduct that they [had] practiced,” in spite of admonition to the contrary. (2Co 12:21) Peter warned the early Christians that false teachers would come from among their own ranks and that many would follow their acts of loose conduct, bringing reproach upon the way of truth. (2Pe 2:1, 2) Jesus’ words to the congregations in Pergamum and Thyatira, written down by the apostle John about 96 C.E., indicate that Peter’s prophecy was to some extent having fulfillment at that time. (Re 2:12, 14, 18, 20) Both Peter and Jude express the judgment coming on practicers of loose conduct.—2Pe 2:17-22; Jude 7.
The argument of some practicers of loose conduct in their attempt to entice and deceive others in the Christian congregation is that God’s undeserved kindness is great and that he will overlook their sins, since he recognizes their imperfections and fleshly weakness. But Jesus’ half brother Jude spoke of such as being “ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4) Such ones’ profession of Christianity is meaningless. Their service is unacceptable to God; it is as the wise writer of Israel said: “The sacrifice of the wicked ones is something detestable. How much more so when one brings it along with loose conduct.”—Pr 21:27.
Under the Law, the same viewpoint was expressed against loose conduct. God has not changed on this matter. Loose conduct was legislated against, and the penalty was death. (Le 18:17; 20:14) David appealed to God not to take his life away with “bloodguilty men, in whose hands there is loose conduct.”—Ps 26:9, 10.
Through his prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Jehovah warned Israel of his judgments against them for loose conduct practiced both in a physical and a spiritual way.—Jer 13:26, 27; Eze 16:27, 43, 58; 22:9; 23:21-49; 24:13.

 

Though this is a bit lengthy I do hope it helps to answer your question.

 

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