Sunday, February 25, 2007

Why Not?

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

Maybe not. What if God isn't benevolent? What if He is actually malevolent? Or just volent?

The question many people struggle with is why God would allow good people to suffer. I think the struggle with this issue of suffering comes with an assumption that God is nice; the disconnect is why a nice entity would permit bad things. But if God isn't nice, then there isn't a conflict. Suffering and malady is often explained away as an obstacle that God places in front of us so that we can grow spiritually. That is actually an integral part of Latter Day Saint theology, as I understand it. It seems like that perspective is a choice based on a desire for God to be good.

I don't desire God to be anything, but I find the opposite perspective interesting. There is plenty of evidence otherwise that God isn't nice. Take, for example, His chosen people, the Jews. There are other groups of people that have suffered, but I'm guessing not to the prolonged historical degree that they have. The Old Testament is one long record of their oppression and suffering.

This perspective then shifts everything else. If God is not good, and possibly even mean, all spiritual success is then solely incumbent on people. They succeed inspite of God. However, I think people, that spiritual success relies on, derive that success from a belief that God is good. I could be wrong though, maybe someone who thinks God is against them, would strive to acheive success to overcome that.

Lungile Sinandile

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At February 26, 2007 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a professor once who wrote on the board, "God is good." He then told us to define one of those words. I think we all chose "is". It was much easier.

Growing up, I always heard/was taught that the very definition of God was good, the devil was bad, and all forces related to that.

I'm not so sure I agree with that, now I'm more in the Eastern religion camp. I guess it all boils down to the meanings of good and evil. To me, good is when there is no bad, or less bad.

I really don't believe that a God really determines as much as people blame/give him credit for.

Karma, now that is a philosophy I can get behind.

At February 26, 2007 11:49 AM, Blogger bryant said...

The first paragraph of anonymous' comment is interesting to me. If we define good by the character of God and Its actions, than perhaps our understanding of good is incorrect. If "God is good all the time", than it follows that everything that happens is good.

Although I'm not willing to say that persecution of Jews is a good thing, perhaps a lot of things we consider bad are actually good.

Or maybe the very idea of good and bad are simply categories defined by humans to help us understand our own feelings and experiences, especially those we find disagreeable. As a hormone driven creature this seems like the most parsimonious explanation to me.


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