|Is morality based on God?|
|In the sections on Christianity, I describe why I do not believe that morality is described by the specific “revealed truths” of Christianity. Those ideas, if they are to be accepted, must be taken on faith. However, we could ask a more general question. “Is moral truth, even if not revealed, based on the will of a universal Supreme Being?”
Good by definition?
If we suppose that anything God wills is good by definition, then we are in the situation, where if God willed murder, that would be good, which seems kind of counter intuitive. On the other hand, if we do not accept that God’s will is good by definition, then there exists a definition of good, outside of God. If God could choose to do evil, but does not, what gives us the definition of good?
I would note here that this is less of a problem for the panentheistic idea of God. Since the panentheistic God is infinitely knowledgeable but not all-knowing, particularly about future events, we can have a definition of good outside of God. The good action would be one that one would take, if one possessed all knowledge, including perfect knowledge of future events. The panentheistic God may only be as good as is possible given that the panentheistic God is infinitely knowing, but not all-knowing.
We could also think of two separate pictures of God that could both be simultaneously true. A panentheistic God that did not know the future, and a classical God that was like a Platonic first principle, and was the very definition of good. Both could exist simaltaniously but with different views. The panentheistic God sees all current events in space, and has knowledge of all past events. The Platonic first principle would "see" all of infinite time and space at once.
Is there any evidence that God is good? Some would argue that the existance of natural evil proves that he either does not exist, is not good, or is not all-powerful. A theodicy is an argument that defends the idea of God's goodness.
The panentheistic view of God provides an interesting explanation for natural evil in the world. Human evil is often explained in terms of human freewill. We could also now speculate that the only way that complex creatures with freewill could exist, is if the universe they live in had simple uninformed free will. Natural evil, could be explained in the same terms human evil is. This leaves open the possibility that this God is well intentioned, but letting freewill run its course.
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