• TheMadFool
    4k
    Consider God defined as omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent.

    Considering definitions list necessary and essential qualities it's understood that ALL 3 qualities (goodness + knowledge + power) are necessary for God to be God.

    I understand that power alone is inadequate to be God. It needs to be combined with goodness.

    I understand goodness alone is inadequate. A weak God wouldn't be able to do much.

    What I'm particularly concerned about is why both goodness and knowledge are necessary. Doesn't this mean that knowledge, even omniscience, can't find reasons to be good. If there are valid reasons to be good then omniscience alone would be enough to ensure that God is good. Omnibenevolence would naturally follow from omniscience and there would be no need to add it to God's definition.

    I guess I'm saying if there are actual reasons to be good then God's definition would've been simply Omniscient + Omnipotent. Omnibenevolence would be redundant. [Now that I think of it even omnipotence may follow from omniscience. Ignore that for the present discussion.]

    So, does this mean that hidden in the definition of God is a clue that morality actually has no justification? Even an omniscient being, God, can't find reasons to be good and therefore goodness is an additional requirement to make God good.

    Comments.
  • Noble Dust
    3.3k


    The God concept arrived at via reason is a dead god.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    I think people should be worrying A LOT LESS about god and A LOT MORE about life here on this celestial ball.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    Some people have been told to stop coming up with so many great discussion topics. Are they paying you to do it? I noticed you have become a regular font of fertile topics.
  • Pfhorrest
    159
    There is extensive philosophical debate about whether moral knowledge, if such is possible, is necessarily motivating, especially at that connects to weakness of will. If moral knowledge is necessarily motivating, then it would seem like there should be no such thing as weakness of will, because if you believe something to be the right thing then you can't help but do it. If weakness of will is possible, then God (if he exists) might know all the reasons to do something (if there are such things) but then find himself failing to do it anyway, because his will is weak; or possibly for other reasons, who knows. By specifying that God is omnibenevolent, you rule out any such complications, and say that his behavior is always good, some way or another, regardless of any complications like that.
  • PoeticUniverse
    723
    to make God goodTheMadFool

    God, alone in His Power, had no fun,
    So He made Sapiens out of His One,
    Our image reflecting His Love’s Knowing,
    As His mirror of Divine Perfection.

    Eden’s fresh market carried everything;
    The shiny red apples called from the Tree,
    “Touch me, take me, eat me”, and soon trouble
    Was at hand although it was crispy, sweet.

    Eden’s sinful Apple, causing our shit,
    Made for harsh apple cider, but when it
    Was heated with sulfurous brimstone it
    Soon turned smooth, the Hell taken out of it!

    I found the Garden in the Amazon’s heart,
    Wherein lie massive fields of Lady’s Slippers
    And all of the rare flowers of Paradise…
    And there I put the apple back on the tree.
  • TheMadFool
    4k
    The God concept arrived at via reason is a dead god.Noble Dust

    If we take God and creation to be true then reason is a gift from God. Surely we are meant to apply it.
  • hachit
    212


    When that say that is more like a description of God personally, it has more to tell us that He is good rather than He knows what is good.

    Other than that yeah.
  • TheMadFool
    4k
    Some people have been told to stop coming up with so many great discussion topics. Are they paying you to do it? I noticed you have become a regular font of fertile topics.Bitter Crank

    :smile: I'm just groping in the dark.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Considering definitions list necessary and essential qualities it's understood that ALL 3 qualities (goodness + knowledge + power) are necessary for God to be God.TheMadFool

    Understood by whom? For example, (the Christian) God as omnipotent has been a large problem for Christian belief for most of two thousand years, and whether it's resolved at all is more than I know. "Goodness"? What is that, especially for God? And knowledge? And thoughts of these ricochet off the notion of the perfection of these that God presumably has. And then there're all the non-Christian ideas of God.

    It seems to me, then, that the discussion - any discussion - of these or like topics must be about the ideas themselves as ideas, and how they mutate at their limits.. What does it look like, for example, to be all-powerful? & Etc.
  • Possibility
    599
    So, does this mean that hidden in the definition of God is a clue that morality actually has no justification? Even an omniscient being, God, can't find reasons to be good and therefore goodness is an additional requirement to make God good.TheMadFool

    This makes sense to me.

    Personally, though, I think the biggest error in understanding God is in the assumption that God is a being: an instance of existence. Beings exist in spacetime, but God has no defined spacetime location - it exists as an abstract concept.

    Knowledge, goodness and power applied in an absolute sense to the concept of God doesn’t appear to encounter the same problem. If the conceptual source of all knowledge, goodness and power existed outside of spacetime, then surely it would be up to us as beings to draw from that source, rather than expect some all-powerful being to act?
  • uncanni
    235
    it exists as an abstract concept.Possibility

    exactly. Because it is a delightfully abstract concept that contains everything within it, and we really don't have a clue as to what everything is...

    But I have concluded that it contains evil as well. I'm pondering what that means to me.
  • Possibility
    599
    exactly. Because it is a delightfully abstract concept that contains everything within it, and we really don't have a clue as to what everything is...

    But I have concluded that it contains evil as well. I'm pondering what that means to me.
    uncanni

    I don’t think God contains everything at all. That implies ‘being’ something apart from what it contains, and also implies an actual location in spacetime - albeit a very large one. The potential for what we refer to as ‘evil’ is certainly perceivable, but in my view this ‘evil’ isn’t part of the concept of God, but a conceptual passive resistance to it in its potentiality, at various levels of awareness.

    It’s a rather simplified expression, but I think we resist the recognition of knowledge to avoid pain, resist the acknowledgement of power to avoid humility, and resist the awareness of goodness to avoid loss - and all of this contributes to ignorance, anger, hatred, oppression and violence. That this resistance also occurs with all matter in the universe requires a much more in-depth explanation. But to call it ‘evil’ is to deny our contribution to it by our ‘natural’ resistance and fear.

    And we do have clues...
  • Bartricks
    1.1k
    Let's just start with omnipotence.

    A being who is all powerful gets whatever he wants.

    So, by virtue of being all powerful an omnipotent being will have whatever character he wants to have. In other words, he'll never be any other way than he wants to be.

    Furthermore, a being who is all powerful is not beholden to any laws. A being who is all-powerful makes the laws that bind others, but is not bound by any himself.

    That includes moral laws and values. So. an omnipotent beig, by virtue of being all powerful, is the source of moral values and the issuer of moral prescriptions (and all other prescriptions of reason - an all powerful being would therefore have to be Reason). An omnipotent being must therefore be Reason, for if and only if the omnipotent being is Reason will he not be subordinate to anything.

    So we now know, just by reflecting on the nature of omnipotence, that a being who possesses it will be Reason and will be the source of moral values and prescriptions. He is not bound by them, because he is their source.

    Nevertheless, because an all powerful being will never be any way he does not want to be, that being will always be morally good. Why? Because if the being is the source of moral value, then 'being morally valuable' is just to be a way that the omnipotent being, Reason, approves of. And we know now that because the being is omnipotent he is always what he wants to be. Thus, an omnipotent being will be morally perfect. Not, note, because he will have this or that particular character. But rather because whatever character he has, it is a character he approves of himself having, and 'being morally good' and 'being approved of by the omnipotent being" are one and the same property.

    We can see now, then, that an omnipotent being will also be morally perfect. That is, an omnipotent being will also be omnibenevolent.

    What about omniscience? Well, as seen above an omnipotent being must be Reason, for then and only then would he be bound by nothing. Now to 'know' something is for one's belief to be one endorsed by Reason, for that is just what it is for a belief to be justified, and 'knowledge' involves having a justified true belief whatever else it involves. Well, if knowledge essentially involves having a belief that Reason endorses, then Reason himself is the arbiter of knowledge and can thus be deemed omniscient.

    Thus, an omnipotent being will not only be omnibenevolent, but omniscient also.

    In this way, then, it seems clear that these features - omnipotence, omnibenevolence, and omniscience - form a unity. Possession of omnipotence, entails possession of the other two, and others besides.
  • Banno
    6k
    Omnibenevolence would naturally follow from omniscience and there would be no need to add it to God's definition.TheMadFool

    Could an omniscient being do nothing?

    If so, then there must be something more to benevolence than just knowing what is happening.

    If not, then why not?
  • Banno
    6k
    It seems to me, then, that the discussion - any discussion - of these or like topics must be about the ideas themselves as ideas,tim wood

    All these natural theology threads are no more than crossword puzzles.
  • Banno
    6k
    Personally, though, I think the biggest error in understanding God is in the assumption that God is a being: an instance of existence. Beings exist in spacetime, but God has no defined spacetime location - it exists as an abstract concept.Possibility

    All these natural theology threads are no more than crossword puzzles.Banno

    See? Mere play with being, exist, spacetime...
  • Banno
    6k
    it exists as an abstract concept.
    — Possibility

    exactly.
    uncanni

    :lol:

    As if "it exists as an abstract concept" said anything.
  • Banno
    6k
    I don’t think God contains everything at all. That implies ‘being’ something apart from what it contains,Possibility

    :joke:

    Oh, so funny! My mirth is more than I can contain!
  • Banno
    6k
    A being who is all powerful gets whatever he wants.Bartricks

    God as essentially selfish.
  • Banno
    6k
    So, by virtue of being all powerful an omnipotent being will have whatever character he wants to have.Bartricks

    But of course a truly omnipotent god could be something he does not want to be...

    Else there be something he could not do, cancelling out his own preeminence!
  • Banno
    6k
    A being who is all-powerful makes the laws that bind others, but is not bound by any himself.Bartricks

    And of course, he cannot be bound even by this law...
  • Bartricks
    1.1k
    He has the ability to be any way he wants to be. So that includes having the ability to be ways he doesn't want to be. I don't want a coffee, which is why I am not currently drinking one. But I still have the ability to get myself a coffee.

    So, he has the ability to be any way he wants to be, including ways he currently doesn't want to be.
  • Bartricks
    1.1k
    Yes, he is not bound by any law. Including any law that says that an omnipotent being is not bound by any law.

    I think it clearly is a truth of reason that an omnipotent being is not bound by any law. But an omnipotent being is not bound by that truth, given that he is the one who made it true and so could unmake it just as easily.

    So when I say that an omnipotent being will 'never' this, or 'never' that, I am not dictating to the omnipotent being - the omnipotent being can be whatever he wants to be - I am just describing what Reason, the omnipotent being, says about himself.
  • Bartricks
    1.1k
    God as essentially selfish.Banno

    No, I don't see how you've arrived at that conclusion.
  • Valentinus
    558
    So, does this mean that hidden in the definition of God is a clue that morality actually has no justification?TheMadFool

    This question confuses me from the point of view of having to choose from the limited menu offered. Creatures are not in a great place to start interrogating the Creator.

    I am with Spinoza in seeing a proportion of power attributed to the Divine as a move away from the intention of the maker. If you are going to have a relationship with something closer than is suggested by absolute properties, then the Creator has problems too. And how a person would relate to such a set of problems is another set of problems.

    Belief in a fallible god is more difficult than trusting in the idea of a being who always gets it right.
  • Banno
    6k
    So, he has the ability to be any way he wants to be, including ways he currently doesn't want to be.Bartricks

    Yeah - he's just saying that. I bet he can't really be what he doesn't want to be.
  • Banno
    6k
    I think it clearly is a truth of reason that an omnipotent being is not bound by any law. But an omnipotent being is not bound by that truth, given that he is the one who made it true and so could unmake it just as easily.Bartricks

    Half a bee must, ipso facto, half not-bee.

    Anyone else recognise Eric?

    You see, Batricks, what you are writing here is nonsense...
  • alcontali
    702
    So, does this mean that hidden in the definition of God is a clue that morality actually has no justification?TheMadFool

    Without a complete set of extensive system-wide premises, which will then generate a system, i.e. a theory with its conclusions/theorems, this kind of questions will attract mostly arbitrary answers; the reason being that the system is not only insufficiently specified and constrained, but also insufficiently equipped with generating principles. There will not be enough commitments specified to successfully allow reasoning within that system.

    It is like in number theory.

    You need to axiomatize a sufficiently complete set of basic principles before it makes sense to do arithmetic and draw conclusions about such system. For example, you can look at what happens with a system of arithmetic without the axiom schema of induction, such as in Robinson arithmetic. However, if you take away too many construction rules, the arithmetic will either produce no results at all, or else, produce rather weak, arbitrary theorems.

    So, pick more system-wide premises as to obtain a truly viable system. For example, pick the Torah or the Quran as a system, and then ask the question again. It is harder to do that because in that case you will have to learn more about the details in such system but it is also worthwhile because you will get much more meaningful results.

    Reasoning outside system-wide premises may be quite typical in metaphysics, but it also explains why metaphysics (almost?) never achieves anything meaningful.
  • Bartricks
    1.1k
    To be omnipotent is to be able to do anything. Anything. So, can he be something he does not want to be? Yes, obviously.

    That does not mean that he is, in fact, something he does not want to be. I can drink a cup of coffee, but I am not doing.

    In fact, he is exactly what he wants to be.

    Any riddle you try and generate you will be generating by appealing to laws that he is not subject to.
  • Banno
    6k
    A being who is all powerful gets whatever he wants. — Bartricks

    God as essentially selfish. — me

    I don't see how you've arrived at that conclusion.Bartricks

    Hence getting whatever you want is not essentially selfish...

    Yep, I can see how that might work.
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