God is good, but does he need to appeal to our moral sensibilities?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #1

Like any believer not in the Westboro Baptist Church, I believe God is good, his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:1). But I don’t think the presence of evil necessarily challenges this, or even could do such. I believe Anything God wills is good, and that ‘good’ is anything ordered by God. This means that we should not be challenged by God’s existence when we see things which ‘appear’ evil. God does not have to appeal to our sensibilities, rather the opposite. And that is my problem with the philosophical problem of evil. What do you think?

(Randy) #2

What is your definition of evil? It seems to me that we either evolved with or were given an adaptive feeling of repugnance. Injustice seems evil. Numbers 31 seems evil to me. Thanks for the good question as there are indeed horrid natural realities too. I am not just certain that God on purpose wills each HNR.
At what point does one day that a natural disaster is not God given? Your query is very appropriate in the setting of EC, which takes all nature into account. You have put it better than I have considered it thus far.

(Randy) #3

Numbers 31 prescribes the murder of all men, women and children with the exception of those girls who are virgins (who are forcibly paired and married/raped to all the Israelite tribesmen), allegedly because some women had tried to seduce Israelite men from God. I do not believe God commanded this. https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/the-bible-depicts-god-commanding-moral-atrocities-should-we-believe-it/
Such a Deity appears hard to differentiate from a devil. I suspect that the writer interpreted from his context. That is why I believe that His word, such as that reported by Hillel and written on our hearts, takes precedence. Otherwise how do we argue with someone with another Book that says something equally egregious?

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #4

@Randy, why do you use the word “allegedly” when the narrative says that is just what happened. See Numbers 23. I do not think that you or anyone else is in the position to say that there was not a conspiracy among the Midianite women to seduce Hebrew men and turn them against God.

Assuming that this is true, that there was a conspiracy against God and God’s People by the Midianites, then it was appropriate to assign divine punishment. You and I might disagree with the form and extent of it, but not that God has to right to impose it.

(Randy) #5

I think that may have been the wrong word to use. Thanks. However,. I think the train of thought was that God would not actually have approved of such a thing. Therefore, the reasoning was that of Moses or whoever wrote down the account, not God.

(Randy) #6

However, I apologize. I think I was going in the wrong direction from what the original poster wanted. I misunderstood. I think the original question was how we deal with natural phenomena from God.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #7

I think the issue is that we must deal with things that we do not like. Storms are not evil. They are the results of natural phenomena. We need to learn to deal with them, not to curse them as evil, which is why God gave us a brain.

Sin is evil and humans are responsible for it and we must learn to deal with it also, which Is why God gave us a brain and a heart. Non-believers seem to think that we are just observers and not participants in this world. They want answers that do not provide responsibility.