The Instigator
FreedomBeforeEquality
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Apokiliptik
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Benevolent God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/23/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 441 times Debate No: 63831
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

FreedomBeforeEquality

Con

Please explain why you think an alpha/omega style god should be seen as only being or wanting good.
Apokiliptik

Pro

My counterpart seems to define the God we're talking about as essentially the same as the one described in the Bible. God as creator, possessing perfect knowledge, all powerful within the limits of His own nature and logic of course (i.e.. God can't create married bachelors or squared circles or a rock so big that He can't lift it.) He is eternal. I suspect that the question is: How would we know that God is good if we didn't have a book like the Bible to tell us as much or what if we didn't accept the Bibles testimony.

Let's define our terms first. Good in my opinion means: to use things or treat people in accordance with how their nature dictates they should be used or treated.
Evil is to not treat things and people in accordance with their nature. To do evil is simply to distort or pervert a thing or act in a distorted or perverted way against a person.

God cannot be said to meaningfully act in an evil way. He is the creator of all things. He is the creator of the nature of those things and so the nature of those things conforms with his will. In order for God to act against the nature of something he would have to act against his own will.

God created us. He gave us sight, hearing, taste, sensation, sex, happiness, laughter, tears, sleep, dreams, snow, rain, etc. He created all these rich and wonderful things for us to enjoy and a body capable of enjoying them in. Evil people are usually self interested. This great person God seems anything but. He certainly wants to make himself known but perhaps that is because He desires a relationship with his created beings. It seems clear He has gone to a great deal of trouble to care for us. This whole planet of ours is like a great green house and protected habitat.

The idea of right and wrong is universal. We don't always agree on what exactly is right or wrong; but we all agree that somethings are right and some are wrong and you should do those things which are right. Things don't come from nothing and out of no where. I think it's reasonable to see this as a reflection of the mind of our creator.

I think cumulatively this adds up to the reasonable conclusion that our Creator is good.
Debate Round No. 1
FreedomBeforeEquality

Con

In terms of how we see good and evil, we don't at all see eye to eye with our creator about the use of a great many things. We still see them as good. We value life more than him. We actually make up a place where we think he's taking those people and justify his actions through the idea that we can never truly know his mind. We don't know what he percieves our use is or how our nature dictates we should be used. If we are seen as tools of our creator to be used at his will and not ours ... I would argue that traditionally we have shown this idea to be evil. We call such acts slavery and barbarism to treat life as playthings.

He could be viewed as the creator of all things just as equally the destroyer of all things (as The Bible threatens). Damning anyone to a hell based on a want for a relationship with your created and them not wanting one with you seems evil by your definition. He has been know to distort or pervert many things. In fact, I'd go so far as to say any intervention we've read about in the bible is a perversion of nature and the nature of things. Basically what it comes down to is that he perverts all things we find good when he works through them irregularly and selectively (without a sense of fairness), while at the same time we are everything that is evil to him in the way we operate. How can we even say that our definition of good versus his aligns?

He is a strange force, possibly not even worth trying to understand, because in it we drive ourselves to actually try an reason with and create an aura around this thing that might have no intention at all. It's almost your definition of evil to even try to reviere such a force since there is no concievable way we can use it for its intended nature. And generating a personality for it and giving it human like qualities is a perversion of what it really is.

Perhaps he is merely a reasonable reflection of the mind of evil men? Ones that cant percieve a things use, but they can concieve it, so they try?
Apokiliptik

Pro

I'll be frank, and I'm not trying to be unkind, but my opponent's writing is quite difficult to understand. I'm not sure if he even addressed all of my points or fully addressed the points he did address. I'll do my best with a response.

I reject my opponents seeming desire to take up the role of determining what good and evil is as a subjective human instinct. That instinct has failed us a thousand times. The Killing Fields, Holodomor, Holocaust, Jihad, Chairman Mao's various foolish ventures, ad nauseum are all pristine examples of what happens when men make up their own rules.

God's morality is quite simple, seeing how my opponent wants to bring up the Bible, Matthew 22:38: "37 And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38"This is the great and foremost commandment. 39"The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." This is a partial quotation of a passage in the Old Testament Deuteronomy 6:4,5 "4"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." Philosophically the second part of Jesus' saying is extrapolated from the first part in this way: 1 John 4:20 "20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also." When God's rules are followed these horrible things don't happen.

God doesn't threaten anyone. He doesn't have to. He simply informs. God let humanity know that he intends to restore creation to it's original condition. People are welcome be a part of that. If they would like to participate they have to be restored in order to live there. Jesus came and died for sins and rose from the dead for eternal life to provide the free gift of eternal life for all who would sincerely receive Jesus by faith. God allows people the dignity of choosing to not participate. He puts those people off by themselves.

I believe that the reason people suffer there is because they take the ingredients of their suffering with them from this life. Their own evil, malice, arrogance, and selfishness is what makes Hell, Hell. God removes his own goodness, love, and restraining influence from that place and people will just do what comes naturally to them. I realize that's speculation. Let's put it this way; I think Hell is allot like the evil cave on Dagobah in the Empire Strikes Back. Luke comes across a spot in the jungle where there's a cave and it feels evil and cold. He asks Yoda about it and Yoda says "That place is full of the Dark Side; a domain of evil it is; and in you must go." Luke says to Yoda "What's in there?" Yoda says to Luke "Only what you take with you." I think that's what Hell is like. What's in Hell? Only what you take with you. Let's not blame the Creator for that which we do to ourselves.

As for my opponents accusation that God perverts things by intervening that's not true. God created all things. He made their nature and if he intervenes He can do it without it being a perversion or distortion. He is the one who determines what the nature of the thing is in the first place. God destroying things is in no way evil. It is only wrong to destroy what doesn't belong to you. All things are God's and are from Him and held together by Him. He has every right to stop holding something together or to destroy it if he is the one who causes it to exist in the first place. There is nothing evil about it. Unpleasant maybe but not evil.
Debate Round No. 2
FreedomBeforeEquality

Con

FreedomBeforeEquality forfeited this round.
Apokiliptik

Pro

Apokiliptik forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
FreedomBeforeEquality

Con

Where it has failed us a thousand times it has succeeded at least once in that you are here today to debate on anything. That isn't gods doing. You have been at the mercy of your fellow man since you were born on this earth. Your existence is tolerated by them and they keep you in light of the free will they possess. For every death you label a failure of this system, there are multitudes of successes walking around as we speak.

Those very failures you speak of were brought down by that same subjective human instinct, not any god. And they did it through sin even! You make it sound as though the failures of man were brought about by gods rules, but we succeeded in eliminating those threats by going against his rules. That we were justified by him to break the rules to end those uprisings. He goes against his own definition of evils many times in the old testament. Many contradictions, but none of them are evil because he is the one doing them?

Eternal life was a great thing to use to convince people of this rhetoric. But, I implore you to consider that man had the capacity for giving their lives in the name of a cause greater than themselves. If eternal life is all he has to offer and it doesn't align with everyones idea of the highest honor, then eternal life sounds a lot more like a blanket scare tactic aimed at the majority of men. His lust for your love is unfathomable. It boarders on what measures a demon would go to to own your soul. Lies, threats, and human rationale to convince you to worship and live by his law.

What of free will? how can you say he is performing good by gifting you with choice and then submitting you to a world where you are doomed to failure? what of all the unsaved that came before Jesus' time? Every life spent on this earth outside his influence was an evil he committed. He set them up for failure with no hope of redemption.

I believe we revere an even higher level of honor and sacrifice than the bible could ever envision. 1 life for all sins and the opportunity for eternal life? Eternal life is a fate worse than death.

He covets when he loves. He has broken the barriers of his gift to us to just to manipulate us further. He is a contradiction. He absolutely must contain both good and evil to be a '1 true god', an alpha and omega with a consciousness.

If the world is void of 'gods love' the same characteristics of man that prevailed before will still prevail. It doesn't go with him. It is of us. The only thing that will go with him is the idea that he deserves our respect and not ourselves.
Apokiliptik

Pro

Apokiliptik forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Stealyogirl-osaurus 2 years ago
Stealyogirl-osaurus
I wish I was debating this. I think we can agree that evil is present in this world and if it is then why has God not prevented it. To quote Epicurus, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" Meaning and interpretation of "good" vary from person to person. I suggest you read Nietzsche. Also, if God created this world as a trophy and a sacred place then why does he let the people who deny climate change, which greatly harms this earth, that openly identify as religious continue to deny what is harming his creation. Also, you can not argue that God exists based on first cause, which only creates a paradox out of a paradox. Perhaps the reason religious people need to argue the first cause point is because the human imagination cannot comprehend the fact that maybe there was no beginning to time. You also deviate from the definition that you are using of the Christian God from the bible, and start to blend that god with Spinoza's god.
Posted by Apokiliptik 2 years ago
Apokiliptik
This is your opponent here. I want to give you an opportunity to define a bit more clearly what you mean by God. With what you've got so far I could say that you mean the God of the Bible and go from there. That seems like it would be a bit of a disadvantage to you though.
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