• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Goodness of God

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Goodness of God b) Explain what is meant in the Bible by the phrase 'God is good'. Christians see the goodness of God as one of his main attributes. God is thought to have a character, much like humans and Christians describe God in many different ways, for example as a father, a just judge or a warrior etc. However the most important label to be applied to God, especially in the Old Testament is his omnibenevolence. Firstly, God's goodness in the respect that he demonstrated his love in creating humanity; Secondly his readiness to forgive, but also punish man justly throughout time and lastly the fact that God's laws (the ten commandments) were designed for man's benefit. Of course we must first distinguish between the two types of good. First there is moral good, where a person or thing is good because it does moral acts - it leads a moral life. For example Mother Theresa was a moral person. Then there is goodness as a quality. For example Cristiano Ronaldo is a good football player, but this does not necessarily make him a good person morally. The goodness of God is first shown in his actions as a creator; In Genesis 1-3 God created order out of chaos by ten commands. ...read more.

Middle

Socrates once said, "Consider this question: is what is pious loved by the gods because it is pious or is it pious because it is loved?" Christians adopted this to become, "It is good loved by God because it is good or is it good because it is loved?" Basically this is what is good, good because God commands it or does God command it because it is good? The Divine Command theory states that things are good because God commands them; so the Ten Commandments are good because they are what God commands. So in response to the Euthyphro dilemma, in the Hebrew Scriptures what the Jews understand to be good is good because it is loved or commanded by God - not for any other reason. God is seen as the ultimate source of moral authority and should be obeyed unquestioningly. This means that God may use fear to compel obedience in order to prevent the chaos that can occur when moral order is broken. "For God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you don't sin." All these examples show that God is seen to be morally good and skilfully good, a God who is ready to combine goodness with justice through punishment in order to keep moral disorder at bay. ...read more.

Conclusion

How can a hurricane or tsunami be affected by human behaviour? The free-will argument provides a counter to the above argument. The free-will argument denies that, 'by saying that while God abhors evil he allows it'. The free-will argument asserts that God's purposes for humankind cannot be achieved without allowing humans free will. God could not allow human free will without allowing for the possibility that they would choose to do evil. It goes on from there to say that 'His will is that they should freely choose...good' and that 'he is in no way responsible for the evil that there is.' The second type of theodicy is those which claim that God is not all-powerful or perhaps not all-loving. For example Process Theology states that the universe existed before God moulded it and therefore he can only control matter that exists inside himself. Evil is a process within matter and therefore God cannot control it. Eventually he will be able to overcome evil and control matter but until then he can only help humans as much as he can. Many object that such a God would be too limited to worship properly. So, to conclude, there are many examples of God's goodness throughout the Bible but it is difficult to believe in a God who is perfectly good because there are so many objections such as evil and severe punishment to the rules. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Plato and Nietzsche on Authority

    If a leader doesn't care for pleasures of this world, then surely they cannot truly understand the pleasures of this world - whether they are philosophers or not. If the authority was supposed to be similar to a Christian God, then it would be omnipotent, and therefore know and understand everything a priori.

  2. Conscience is the voice of God - discuss

    If the latter is not taught by the Church then it is ignorance yes, but not necessarily invincible. Despite these apparent issues with this form of ethical conduct, the Roman Catholic Magisterium has rejected Augustine's view in favour of Aquinas'.

  1. problem of evil

    Augustine's views on evil being a product of freewill have also been upheld. Despite it's strengths, Augustine's theodicy has many holes in it to be addressed, it contains logical, scientific, and moral difficulties. Augustine's concept of Hell comes under scrutiny; Hell is part of God's design of the universe, so

  2. Pamela Michael's The Gift Of Rivers and Dan Millman's mini-series, Way Of The Peaceful ...

    When people are young everything is "...sensed directly, without the interference of thought" (p.165). By sensing directly it immediately proves things to be real. It's like a child that views things for the first time, or touches something for the first time.

  1. The world appears designed, so God exists - Discuss

    Another argument from analogy was put forward by philosopher William Paley. He imagines himself walking across a field and coming across a stone and a watch. He ponders the same question about both objects; ?how did that object come to be here?? In the case of the stone for all Paley knows, it could have simply been lying there forever.

  2. Evaluate the claim that the existence of natural evil in the world makes it ...

    Everything God made was good and fulfils its purpose; many natural evils are necessary. If there were no earthquakes then the world would, at some point, explode. Therefore, God is being all loving in saving the world and saving us, hence it is not impossible for him to exist alongside natural evil.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work