Is God Good

“Can humans decide to blow up a dam they built?” Why not? “Can an artist destroy a painting after he’s sold it?” No, not after he’s sold it. But God never sold humanity, so that is not a good analogy. An artist is certainly welcome to make a work of art and then destroy it, provided it still belongs to him. “If a scientist created the DNA for a human from scratch and brought it to life, would the scientist have the right to kill the created person?” I would argue that the scientist does not have the right to kill the creation, but this is also a different scenario. A better one might be, if a scientist engineers a bacterium from scratch (as much as I don’t like comparing myself to a bacterium, compared to God I probably am one), does that scientist have the right to destroy that bacterium? There, I think, the answer is yes. (And, yes I realize that God is supposed to love us more than we would love a bacterium. Still, on a comparative scale, I feel like we hardly rank equivalent with God in the way a scientist creating a human being would rank equivalent with his creation.)

Why couldn’t humans decide to blow up a dam they built? Because the people downstream might not want to be flooded.

You say that the analogy of the artist is not a good one because God never sold humanity. It’s okay for you to reason in this way, but you seem to be implying that God — in a sense — owns humanity. I would argue that if God truly gives people free will, then He has transferred ownership of humanity to us. If I do not own myself, I am not free.

I disagree with your example of a scientist creating a bacterium, because bacteria are not moral agents. What if a scientist created something in his image, but that was really stupid and comparatively weak — a baby that was engineered never to grow past the physical and mental age of one, for example. Would it be okay for the scientist to kill this “baby” if he was displeased with its behavior or just felt like it?

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Defining god

2 Responses

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  1. Written by jake manchester
    on September 22, 2009 at 6:58 am
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    When I read atheistic tracts like this one, I find that what you really don’t believe in is the western Christian perception of god. I suggest you take time to understand the way the Eastern Orthodox Christians perceive and understand God in his true nature. St. Paul, states in one passage that now we see god “as in a mirror, darkly,” but in the future we will see God face to face and therefore will understand the greatness of God. Paul’s reference here is to the shined metal mirrors of that time, which provided a dim reflection of one’s face. Even with today’s technology a mirror, even a ’3 way’ one cannot give us a complete view of ourselves. That is the truth about our understanding of god. We see a limited aspect of god, we know a limited aspect of the divine entity. This isn’t an anti-intellectual effort by the Orthodox Christians. I refer you to Gregory Palamas’ works on defending the heisychists for further explanation.

    • Written by ideclare
      on September 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm
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      This tract was, as you note, about the western Christian God. I understand that there are other concepts of God, but my lack of belief in God has nothing to do with rejecting a specific characterization of God, and everything to do with not seeing compelling evidence that any deities exist.

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