Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Saturday, November 17, 2007

An Argument Why God Must Be Good

An Argument Why God Must Be Good
Will G

This is an interesting argument, applying Kant's ideas regarding morality to the concept of God. In my opinion, I think it may show that any God must be perfectly good, and so rules out Deism. The Deistic God is in fact, a God of perfect goodness.

An Argument As To Why Any God Must Be Perfectly Good

1. Rationality by itself has no desires, good or evil. For instance, if I create a robot as smart or smarter than I am, it won't desire anything unless I program it to desire something.
2. A purely rational will would be the same except it would will; i.e., it would not just be pure disembodied rationality, but a rational agent, although still with no desires apart from having a will.
3. From (1) and (2), a purely rational will would not desire anything evil regarding another rational being (i.e. a person.) For instance, you can create perfectly altruistic robots. Also, if it wasn't for our selfish genes, humans would not be selfish or desire selfish things.
4. A purely rational will would have some kind of 'way' or 'law' or 'system' of interacting with other persons if it had to interact with them, because it is an agent, not disembodied rationality. But it still has no desires apart from "willing."
5. From (3) and (4), a purely rational will, having no desires good or evil, could not conceive of any reason or desire to restrict the free will of another person.
6. From (4) and (5), a purely rational will shall, therefore, in its 'way' or 'system' of interacting with other rational persons, honour their free will in a perfect way.
7. If any person honours another persons free will in a perfect way, then that person is acting towards that person in a way that, in human terms, is perfectly loving and good. This is because that includes never restricting that persons' freedom to enjoy life and be happy, if such a concept is applicable, and also to help them achieve that, if applicable.
8. Therefore any purely rational being, in human terms, will approximate being perfectly good or loving, if a human was to be the same in its willing towards other persons.
9. Any rational being either has desires because a natural process, like evolution, has programmed desires into it, or because such desires are programmed into it by some agent.
10. God is not a product of natural processes, nor has anything programmed any desires into him.
11. God therefore has no desires, of good or evil.
12. However, God is a rational will, which means he has to come up with some way of interacting with other persons, whether they exist in actuality or as hypothetical beings.
13. From (12) and the conclusion of (8), God is perfectly good, if he exists.

Essentially what I'm saying here is that I think there's overwhelming evidence that all our selfish desires, our evil desires, are a product of evolution and us having selfish genes. If it wasn't for our ancestors being a little bit selfish, we wouldn't be here. Survival of the fittest etc etc. So what happens if you take that away but you still have a rational being? A rational being that cannot imagine doing anything other than honouring the free will of other rational beings? It would have a very limited imagination in terms of wanting to do stuff. So it would uphold our free will, and since our free will is to be happy, it would be perfectly good to us and any person.

As to why God created anything, maybe that's because God knew that other persons could exist. So God, knowing that other persons could exist apart from Him, must have some kind of attitude towards them, as potential beings. But God knows all about those people who don't exist, and knows they desire to exist, and want to have life and happiness. Therefore God will create us and the universe in order to honour the free will he knows we, as yet uncreated, have for happiness and life, as potentially existing beings.

Also, as an addendum, if we apply this to the Christian God, who is 'love', then one could say that in order to assist its rational upholding of other persons' free will, then the rational will would, if it could, create in itself feelings of perfect love towards all creatures which is as strong as it can possibly be. There is no necessity for this, but if God is indeed love, then maybe such rational beings would do that, explaining not only God having a perfectly loving will towards us, but also being perfectly loving.



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