Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Goodness Derives From God

I would like to address the matter of humanities knowledge of good and evil from the Christian worldview. At this point, I am going to deal with the topic in a foundational philosophical manner that would be agreed upon by all theists. While theism is broader than Christianity, Christianity has the foundational adherence to the position I am herein presenting. Therefore I am not delving into Scripture nor Christian doctrine to address this topic at this point. In future posts, I will develop it out and provide a more detailed response as prompted by questions this post will undoubtedly produce.


As far as I have deduced, my audience accepts that there are good actions and behaviors as well as bad ones and that humans for the most part know the difference between the two. Further, I think all cultures no matter how remote have a system of right and wrong even if their standard of moral judgment is different than the next culture. So where does that idea come from? How did we gain a moral construct of right and wrong? Is it mere social conditioning? Is it merely instinctual impulses of survival? Is something wrong because society says it’s wrong? Can one culture condemn the actions of another as wrong? If so, by what standard?


Theists maintain that we have knowledge of the difference between good and evil (even if we disagree sometimes on specifics) because there is a standard of good outside of nature because a good God exists. When we break from that standard we have the conscious to know something doesn’t line up with the way we are created to live. We know when something is foreign to goodness.


From what has been presented to me thus far, atheists maintain that because they know right from wrong without believing in or fearing God that is proof that moral knowledge is not something related to knowing God. However, Christians maintain that we have a moral compass even if we are not brought up in Christianity or in religion. A person in the most remote village of Africa with no contact to the outside world would have a moral compass even if some of his actions were barbaric to the civilized world. His village would still have a system of right and wrong because they are humans living in reality. Thus, atheists will have just as much knowledge of the existence of good and evil and the desire to be moral people as anyone else.


Atheists, from my rudimentary observations, maintain that Christians believe morality is connected to a system of punishment and rewards of a demanding judgmental invisible God. They believe, therefore, that Christianity is a manmade system of controlling people into an outdated conservative system of morality by manipulation and the promulgation of the fear of hell.


I can understand why it may look like this is a fair description of Christianity. If the only Christians I had ever met were the ones I encountered this summer at the beach holding signs listing sins God was going to judge people for and shouting about hell into a crowd of teenagers--I would run the other way too and declare it a barbaric brainless religion. I cannot say strongly enough that people like that are not representing true Christianity and are decidedly giving Jesus a bad name by their shameful actions. My husband, a pastor, spoke with these people when we came across them and asked that they cease antagonizing the crowd of angry youth. We emphatically urged the crowd to disperse, to no avail. They were having too much fun heckling the beach preachers. I don’t blame the young people for their responses. My husband and I were greatly disturbed by this misrepresentation of the heart of God towards people.


I would asks that people look past the extremist and religious nut cases to the real nature of truth and examine the truth claims themselves despite some of the misleading representations often depicted in the media and sometimes observed in real life. Please don’t let the attitude and actions of some keep you away from really examining the truth claims of the Christian worldview.


To touch briefly on a more specific Christian view of morality: it isn’t about adhering to rules out of fear of divine retribution or hope of divine rewards. For some, granted, it is thus. However, for many others it is simply this: that man is separated from God because of our sinful nature and consequently fails to live up to even his own standard of right and wrong perfectly. However, because Jesus paid the price of sin in our place we are freed from the bondage of sin and empowered by Christ to love and know God and love and live with our fellow humans the way we were created to do so.


What God asks from man, is not blind obedience, but a real tangible relationship that starts with accepting the free gift of salvation from sin and death offered through Jesus. Thus we become reconciled back to God, ensconced in His love, and we begin life anew learning from God how to be all he created us to be. The work Jesus did on the cross is not simply to redeem mankind, but to redeem all of creation back to its full glory.


21 comments:

DB said...

I am pondering a question in my head that you or others may be able to answer regarding the premise of this post. If goodness derives from your god, how do we explain the moral zeitgeist that is ever changing? What we deemed "good" in the past, which was accepted by many Christian in that time, would be reprehensible by today's standards of "good" including by Christians. If goodness is a derivative of your god's "teachings", then it would seem that societies definition of "good" would never change, but it is quite easy to argue that it has.

Then the obvious question I would ask is why I, an atheist, am good? Sure, many apologetics argue that atheists have no reason to be good, but the facts remain that they still are good, despite reason. Perhaps goodness is simply part of our nature.

Daniel Wesley said...

DB, I would argue that it's not so much the content of 'goodness' but rather that goodness exists at all. Whether or not humans rightly divine what is good, good does indeed exist and that is a problem for the naturalist.

Karla said...

DB, good questions, I do agree with Daniel Wesley's response below your comment that it's not about whether we all agree on what is good, but that we all know there is good. Atheist cannot account for how there is a good to know.

Again atheist understand ethics and right and wrong because they are human. They just have a belief system that does not provide an adequate answer as to how they or anyone knows there is a good.

Craig said...

We are made in the image of God. Isn't that good? God declared creation good. The mere fact that we (including atheist) have a conscience is proof of God.

In my opinion this whole topic derives from man in his state of nature. If you look at any credited philosopher the first issue they begin with is man's state of nature. Some argue that man is naturally good. Unlike the Christian view of man being sinful.

The underlying issue is by what standards. If you measure up to God's standards of the Bible there is none righteous. The reason Christians try to do good is because they have been justified and sanctified through Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

There's lots to comment on, so forgive me if I don't get to it all.

"How did we gain a moral construct of right and wrong? Is it mere social conditioning?"

There is certainly a societal aspect to it, especially as we have evolved to be social animals. It does not take a superior mind to realize, however, that as a species we tend to thrive when we work together. We've been doing it for a lot longer than we've had gods. So, why would we not recognize actions that help the collective vs. actions that don't? It would be surprising for us not to recognize such actions, and there's no reason to look to a god to provide them.

"Theists maintain that we have knowledge of the difference between good and evil (even if we disagree sometimes on specifics) because there is a standard of good outside of nature because a good God exists."

But, how do you know that that standard exists, or what that standard is? The Bible is hardly a reliable source for determining that standard, especially since god does not act in moral ways in that book.

"When we break from that standard we have the conscious to know something doesn’t line up with the way we are created to live."

Or the way that we were conditioned to live by our culture and upbringing. In some parts of the world, killing women who bring dishonor to a family is not thought of as immoral, but if we have an objective moral compass provided by god, why would this be the case?

"A person in the most remote village of Africa with no contact to the outside world would have a moral compass even if some of his actions were barbaric to the civilized world. His village would still have a system of right and wrong because they are humans living in reality."

But, it's not enough to simply point to disparate humans and say, "See, they all have a concept of right and wrong, so therefore god exists." The reason is that they don't have the same concept of right and wrong. If you wish to make the argument that god imbues us all with the same moral compass, then you have to show why they are all so different. Why would the Xian god or any god implant a compass in one group of people that tells them that sacrificing women is OK, while another group's compass finds the practice revolting?

"Atheists, from my rudimentary observations, maintain that Christians believe morality is connected to a system of punishment and rewards of a demanding judgmental invisible God. They believe, therefore, that Christianity is a manmade system of controlling people into an outdated conservative system of morality by manipulation and the promulgation of the fear of hell."

I happen to agree with this sentiment, not because of anything to do with Xians themselves, but because of the structure of the religion and the Bible. Whether you wish to do good in order to curry favor with god or not, the structure is set up with god holding a gun to all of our heads and saying, "Obey me - not do good, but obey - or you will suffer eternal torment in hell."

"However, for many others it is simply this: that man is separated from God because of our sinful nature and consequently fails to live up to even his own standard of right and wrong perfectly."

I find this to be an immoral idea; that we are inherently sinful. Why would a good god create inherently sinful people and then torture them in hell? Why do we believe that belief in our inherent badness/depravity/etc. is somehow a moral position? It is not. It is actually a rather hateful position to take. I am not inherently bad/defective, nor are you.

"However, because Jesus paid the price of sin in our place we are freed from the bondage of sin and empowered by Christ to love and know God and love and live with our fellow humans the way we were created to do so."

How does Jesus dying a horrible death somehow absolve us of our "sins"? Why does a good god demand a sacrifice in order to appease himself? If god wanted to forgive us, why did he find it necessary to go through a whole rigmarole process of birthing himself then allowing himself to die, only to rise up again in order to convince himself that he can forgive us for tresspasses that he himself placed upon us? The story is a convoluted mess and really makes no sense.

"What God asks from man, is not blind obedience, but a real tangible relationship that starts with accepting the free gift of salvation from sin and death offered through Jesus."

Have you ever read 1 Samuel? In it, god specifically states that he wants blind obedience. And, is the gift really free? No, of course not. We have to believe in Jesus, something that god doesn't make easy for people to do because he shrouds the myth in issues that don't line up, and he gives scant evidence for it or himself. This isn't a gift freely given, nor is it much of a gift. Why do I have to believe in order to obtain god's forgiveness for sins that he placed upon me? How is that just or good that I'm held responsible for things outside of my control? What is it about my physical act of believing or not believing that is moral or makes me worthy of heaven or hell?

And, I have to note that I find the answers to db's questions to fall short of compelling. He's got a good question, one which I've asked many times myself. If morality is derived from god, why does our conception of it change/evolve? Simply saying (erroneously) that atheists can't account for good doesn't answer the question. The implicit assumption behind that is that god does answer the question, but it clearly doesn't. Why is god's morality shifting?

OMGF

Anonymous said...

"We are made in the image of God. Isn't that good? God declared creation good. The mere fact that we (including atheist) have a conscience is proof of God."

No Craig, it is evidence that humans are a social species that has evolved this social aspect. I fail to see how having a conscience necessitates there being a god. It, quite frankly, does not.

OMGF

Karla said...

Awesome questions. I hope you'll stick around for my answers, because it's going to take some time to give full responses. Let me hit one of the issues here with regard to morality. There are a variety of human standards of right and wrong, because we are fallen and we are disconnected from God's goodness because of our sinful nature. So we elevate evil over good at times and we have different standards in different communities and belief systems. But we all know there is a good. We all wrestle with issues of ethics and morals.

You say it is not surprising that we developed ideas of what is beneficial for society and what is not. That is is far as that argument can go. It is impossible to take it to the next level that what is best for society determines what is good. Slavery worked well for the American economy of the South. But it wasn't good. Many argued it was beneficial to society. But it wasn't good. We can't take beneficial to the next step of what "ought" to be and what is "good". Many things can be beneficial and not "good".

You say we have had knowledge of right and wrong before gods existed? God, to be God, has always existed. So there was no "before God existed."

I'll start there. I have more to say, but will need to come back when I have more time.

Craig said...

Anonymous,

This will be my last post on this matter so you need not respond. I say this because your attitude indicates that I will not convince you nor you convince me. Your arguements have no evidence and are strictly opinions. You may say the same about me, but I do believe the Bible is the inerrant written word of God and abide by it. The biblical view is consistant and infallible.

Therefore, you will notice at the end of Acts 17 Paul notices a sign that says "to an unkown god." People's conscience tells them at the sight of creation and living in a teleological universe that there must be a supreme being that created the universe.

Romans 2:15 "who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them"

Anonymous said...

"There are a variety of human standards of right and wrong, because we are fallen and we are disconnected from God's goodness because of our sinful nature."

This sounds like post-hoc rationalization. What reason is there for an omni-benevolent god to allow us to lose our moral compass? Why, if we are all sinful, do we have such disparate concepts of right and wrong? Why do those concepts happen to match our culture - with a god it would make more sense that they match some sort of over-riding god-ness. Why have we seen an evolution in terms of morality? What evidence do you have for any of this conjecture?

"But we all know there is a good. We all wrestle with issues of ethics and morals."

Actually, I don't know that there is a good beyond what we humans define as good. The word good is just a name for a concept that we have defined ourselves to describe phenomena in our world. That we have this concept is no more surprising than that all humans seem to have a concept for other natural phenomena - it comes from our shared evolutionary history.

"You say it is not surprising that we developed ideas of what is beneficial for society and what is not. That is is far as that argument can go. It is impossible to take it to the next level that what is best for society determines what is good."

Why? We do it as humans all the time by how we define the term "good."

"Slavery worked well for the American economy of the South. But it wasn't good."

Many thought it was good at the time. We look back on it now with our moral system and realize that the usurpation of rights of a whole group of people is unethical/immoral. It causes pain to others and is not something we would wish upon us. (Before you talk about Jesus and the golden rule, be warned that he didn't invent it - it was around long before him.)

BTW, it was freethinkers that led the anti-slavery movement that dragged most Xians kicking and screaming in with them. I suggest reading Susan Jacoby's book, Freethinkers (I think that's the title) to get a historical perspective on this.

"You say we have had knowledge of right and wrong before gods existed? God, to be God, has always existed. So there was no "before God existed.""

If god existed, then yes. Before we had any conception of god, however, we had ideas of right and wrong, and certainly long before the Xian god came on the scene.

OMGF

Anonymous said...

Craig,
The problem is that you are offering opinion, and backing it up with unsupported Bible quotes, while all I'm doing is saying that your opinion is unsupported. What you say about conscience doesn't necessarily lead to your conclusions, it only leads to the observation that I made, that it exists. Simply because the Bible says that god created us or that we have a conscience because of god doesn't make it so. You may believe that it does, but believe is not always the same as reality. Simply because you wish to believe something is true doesn't mean that it is.

"I say this because your attitude indicates that I will not convince you nor you convince me."

This is the saddest part. If someone had evidence for god, I would accept it - I have no reason not to. If it were the god of the Bible, as he is described, I would seriously dislike this god as I see him to be a genocidal maniac, but I would not disbelieve. You, on the other hand seem to be saying that no matter what, your faith can not be shaken. This is a sad thing to say, that you are not open to examine your faith, that you hold it above the bounds of reason, rationality, evidence, etc.

OMGF

Karla said...

Craig, my blogspot is a place of open exchange of ideas and anonymous is welcome to ask any questions desired. Please do not speak forcefully toward anyone responding in these comments. You are just as welcome to respond, comment, and question, but please do so in a welcoming manner to everyone else regardless of their worldview. Also, please don't expect people who don't believe in God to accept Scripture quotations as truth.

Karla said...

God allowed us to reject Him because He loves us. He did not create robots forced to love Him. He created people with free will to love Him or not to love Him. To have relationship with Him or to reject that offer and live as they please. Sin entered the human condition when man chose the later. God did not leave us to our demise though. Even though sin parted us from His Holiness, He in His love provided a way back to Him through Jesus. How can we say God is not good because He didn't make us all be good? Evil exist because men rejected God. It exist in all of us and in nature. But God's plan of restoration will not only bring about the restoration of all men who accept Him, but also of all creation. So how did we loose our moral compass? Because humans choose to reject God and that is our moral condition as a result. But our compass is restored when we have relationship with Him and He becomes our source of Holiness, Righteousness and Eternal Life.

(I was going to explain that all in a blog, but here it is. I can write a longer piece on it if need be).

Anonymous said...

"Craig, my blogspot is a place of open exchange of ideas and anonymous is welcome to ask any questions desired. Please do not speak forcefully toward anyone responding in these comments."

I didn't take any offense to Craig's comments, as I hope Craig doesn't take offense to mine. I'm not trying to attack anyone, although my attacks on religion can, at times, be rather passionate.

"God allowed us to reject Him because He loves us. He did not create robots forced to love Him. -snipped for brevity-"

There's a lot I could say about this. To start, with an omni-max god, there is no such thing as free will and nothing can happen without it being part of god's will and plan. Therefore, any rebellion by us was planned and executed by god at the moment of the creation of the universe. This leaves god as the instigator of all that has happened. When people go to hell, it is because god destined them for hell when he foresaw they would go there and then created the universe knowing full well he would send them there.

Second, what was the "rebellion" from god, but disobeying him. It was not lack of belief, but disobedience. How does this square with your statement that god does not simply want obedience?

Third, when you say that our moral compass is restored when we have a relationship with god, does this correlate with empirical facts? I'm a moral person according to my society, yet I have no relationship with a god. Many Xians do claim to have relationships with god and some of them are not moral people, or at least as moral as other non-Xians. IOW, reality does not correlate with your statement.

Fourth, why did god wait so long to provide Jesus as the way back? How many people had to die and go to hell without Jesus before god decided it was time? What about all the people killed in Noah's flood or the genocides commanded by god?

Fifth, if god is the source of all morality, then why is god decided immoral?

Sixth, did Adam and Eve really "choose" to disobey god? They had no knowledge of good and evil before eating the fruit, so how could they have known that their actions were evil? This puts god in the position of severly punishing an infant that has no moral conception for being immoral. And, why was it justified for god to propagate the punishment down throughout all the generations? Do I have a choice not to be sinful? According to the Xian tradition, I don't. So, how is this really a case of my free will?

What evidence is there for any of this?

There are more questions I could ask, but I don't want to inundate your blog anymore than I already have.

OMGF

Craig said...

My apologies if I was perceived as forceful. My intention was to not continue arguing with someone that is set in their ways as anonymous has shown by his quick blasphemous rebuttals . The discussion is going nowhere. Anonymous is offering nothing new that I haven't heard. I hear the same arguments daily at the university I attend. I have no problems discussing sincere questions such as DB's, but a discussion like this would not be fruitful.

I don't know what you are trying to accomplish here Karla, but you allow people to defame God, but scold others who use scripture to support their stance.

Respectfully,

Craig

Anonymous said...

"Theists maintain that we have knowledge of the difference between good and evil (even if we disagree sometimes on specifics) because there is a standard of good outside of nature because a good God exists."

Sorry, last questions for today:

1. How do you know that morality/goodness derives from god? It seems as if the scope of the argument is to say that it must come from god, therefore it does. OK, but why is this necessary? If you can show that it can't come from any other source, so be it, but that's a tall order considering it's impossible to eliminate all sources.

2. How do you know god is good? Is god good in the Bible? I say that god is not good according to his actions and deeds in the Bible, so what evidence do you use to say that god is good? Even if god is good to you, does that necessarily translate to him being a good deity?

3. Are you familiar with Euthyphro's Dilemma? If not, I suggest you look it up - it's easily found on wikipedia. How would you answer that?

OMGF

Apologist said...

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Karla said...

Craig, I see no blasphemy. Anonymous doesn't share our worldview. We can't be offended when people believe differently especially when most Christians they encounter don't take the time or have the knowledge to answer tough questions about what we believe. I don't think Jesus is offended by Anonymous questions. Like I said, you are welcome to my page, but please be relaxed and respectful toward other view points even when they are opposite to beliefs we hold dear. Value the person over their beliefs. You may have heard all these questions and arguments before, but that doesn't mean I have or that I am not willing to listen to them again with new people. Each person is valuable to me and I will take the time to converse about any questions they have about Christianity respectfully--taking each and every question as valid and deserving of an answer.

Karla said...

Anonymous, How do you know there can be no free will? I have been painting a picture of the Christian worldview. Are you saying that if God existed we, by default, could not have free will to reject God? And that if we did have free will a good God would protect us from the consequences of living outside of His created order?

Would a good earthly father protect his son from the consquences of disobeying him? Or would he let the son endure consequences for his good even if those consequences are painful for a time?

And for why didn't God send Jesus earlier? God was preparing mankind for the coming Redeemer with all the Old Testament law and prophets and events. The people before Christ came were not doomed--they find redemption in Christ also. They were looking forward to the promised Messiah and so by Jesus they were still redeemed. They looked forward to the cross, and we look back to the cross. God didn't forsake those who lived before Christ, they had the same opportunity as we do today.

Adam and Eve were instructed by God not to eat from that tree of good and evil and they were told that doing so would bring death upon them. God's call for obedience to His ways, is not akin to a mean father bent on having his kids do his bidding for his cruel demanding pleasure, but instead it is a good father who ask obedience of his children for their good and protection. If you can imagine the most ideal earthly father and magnify that by a million you would still fall short of the goodness of God's fatherly nature.

You want to judge God as not being good with no standard of goodness left to judge Him by. The God you speak of, the one you describe, and judge as not good is not the Christian God. Time and again, I am hearing people being against a God that is not the Christian God. I'm not sure where this concept of God derives from that is being levied upon the Christians as the God we serve when in reality what you describe is not God.

If you want to reject the Christian God, that's your free will to do so. But you may want to know more about what it is you are rejecting because He isn't what you describe. He isn't what Dawkins or Sam Harris describe.

I know this isn't "proof" but if I may speak for a moment from experience. I have encountered God and I have had real tangible experiences with Him. I've felt His presence wash over me in peaceful sweetness. I've experienced an instant miraculous healing of a severe sinus and upper respitory infection. I've had a number of other experiences that have confirmed to my heart that I have a relationship with the holy God of creation. I also have studied constantly for over ten years all about why the Christian God must be and is Truth.

I know I didn't hit all your questions. Please repeat any that I may have missed or answered insuffienciently.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, How do you know there can be no free will?"

It's tough to sufficiently answer this in the space of a comment, but here goes. The proviso to this is that free will is impossible with an omni-max god, which is (and correct me if I'm wrong) what you as a Xian believe. An omni-max god, however, would be fully aware of what creation would entail at the exact moment that this god decided to create. All the thoughts and actions that I have had, am having, or ever will have were fully known to this god before creation was done, correct? Therefore, when creation happened, this god had already determined the course of the universe, including all of my "free choices." IOW, the universe is necessarily deterministic. If god had created things slightly differently, I may be a Xian or a Muslim, or a Jew, or a Jain or whatever. But, when god set the universe in motion, he knew I would be an atheist and it was determined at that time. Otherwise, god is not omniscient.

More later.

OMGF

Anonymous said...

"Would a good earthly father protect his son from the consquences of disobeying him? Or would he let the son endure consequences for his good even if those consequences are painful for a time?"

That's a good question and one that often is difficult to answer. The problem, however, is that the consequences of disobedience were formed by god himself. It's not like the consequences had to be undertaken, except that god chose to have the consequences that resulted.

Even granting that this is for our own good, was it? Should god have allowed us to be disobedient? If the consequence was that people would go to hell for eternal torment, then the answer is a resounding NO. Even one soul in hell for eternity is infinitely unjust, and god should have prevented that from happening. I don't see any other ethical/moral way to approach this.

"Adam and Eve were instructed by God not to eat from that tree of good and evil and they were told that doing so would bring death upon them. God's call for obedience to His ways, is not akin to a mean father bent on having his kids do his bidding for his cruel demanding pleasure, but instead it is a good father who ask obedience of his children for their good and protection."

I don't think this addresses the point I made about Adam and Eve not having knowledge of good and evil until after they ate of the fruit. How could they have known that disobeying god was evil if they had no knowledge of what evil is?

Also, to the point of god telling them not to eat of the fruit in order to protect them, I find this too falls a little short. It's a nice sentiment, but anyone who has little children or knows anyone who has little children knows that you can't simply tell a young child (read morally/intellectually undeveloped) not to eat rat poison and then simply leave it out. You have to lock things away, because there's a good chance the child will not heed your commands. Further, god knew they would eat of the fruit from the beginning and did nothing to prevent it from happening, which makes god responsible to at least some degree for what transpired.

"And for why didn't God send Jesus earlier? God was preparing mankind for the coming Redeemer with all the Old Testament law and prophets and events. The people before Christ came were not doomed--they find redemption in Christ also. They were looking forward to the promised Messiah and so by Jesus they were still redeemed. They looked forward to the cross, and we look back to the cross. God didn't forsake those who lived before Christ, they had the same opportunity as we do today."

I don't understand. What "preparation" was necessary? How do people who lived before Jesus get saved by Jesus? Isn't a big component of Xian belief that one must accept Jesus as one's savior? How do people that preceded Jesus do that?

"You want to judge God as not being good with no standard of goodness left to judge Him by."

I don't think that's true at all, in fact it seems logically fallacious. Only if I agree with you that goodness only exists with god would this be true. Using the standards that we humans have developed, I can surely read the Bible and look at god's actions and judge those actions. Heck, even looking at parts of the Bible where god lays down rules, I can look at god's actions and judge how well he keeps to his own rules. Also, this runs head-long into Euthyphro's Dilemma - have you had a chance to look that up yet?

"The God you speak of, the one you describe, and judge as not good is not the Christian God."

The source material that I use to describe the Xian god is the Bible. Perhaps my interpretation is wrong, but I'm having trouble figuring out how a god that commits and/or orders multiple genocides and sends people to hell can be considered good.

So, to ask again, how do you know that god is good? I know you describe personal experiences, but those have a couple of problems. One is that they may be victim to confirmation bias. IOW, it's possible you don't know that god exists, but you sense his presence because you want to, same with his goodness. Another is that your personal experiences don't encompass the entirety of god. IOW, granting that god does exist and is good to you, that doesn't mean that he is good to everyone or generally good. So, how do you know what you think you know?

"He isn't what Dawkins or Sam Harris describe."

That's yet to be seen, but it matters not. The description that I make of god comes from more sources than Harris and Dawkins. It comes from other theologians and the Bible itself (purported to be the word of god).

"I know I didn't hit all your questions. Please repeat any that I may have missed or answered insuffienciently."

Apart from the ones I touched on above (in the last 2 comments) here's a quick (and probably incomplete) list:

How do you know good is derived from god?

What evidence do you have for your positions?

Do I have the free will not to be sinful (if we do indeed have free will)?

Why is god justified in punishing all of us for the actions of Adam and Eve?

How do you answer the empirical fact that some Xians are not as moral as non-Xians?

How do you answer the question of god wanting obedience instead of morality? Also, how is belief a question of morality?

Why does our morality evolve?

I'm sure there are more, and I have more to ask, but not now.

OMGF

Karla said...

I just made a new post on my blog. See if that helps with those questions. I think it hits most of them.