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"Rational Scientific Theories from Theism"

 

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Previous: 9.2 Selflessness and personal unselfishness Up: 9. God is Not Us Next: 9.4 The Argument from Love

9.3 God is good

The basis of declaring that God is good has been controversial within philosophical theology. It has often been simply declared as an attribute on the basis of the assumed benevolence of God. Many of us wonder, however, what sort of benevolence God could have, in view of all the difficulties which exist in the world. To declare the goodness of God, we have to understand God’s strategies in more detail and see whether we would call his strategies good in terms of the sense of our sense of ‘good’. This is not a trivial issue and will be continually debated in society.

On the basis of the postulates here in Part III we argue that God is a personal being who loves us unselfishly, in the sense of wanting the best for us. He wants us to be happy as much and as long as possible, even if that means less for him. In particular, he loves us all individually and intensely, whatever decisions we may make in our lives that take us away from or nearer to him. Whether, on this basis, we can accept that God is good is something that we have to decide individually, in the light of our knowledge of the world, of God’s ways, and of what good is. This judgement will depend on our understanding of the possibilities open to God in managing the world. That is a topic on which I say a great deal later. We will come back to the question of God’s goodness at the end of the book when discussing the problem of evil. In the meantime, I return to the implications of God loving us unselfishly.


Previous: 9.2 Selflessness and personal unselfishness Up: 9. God is Not Us Next: 9.4 The Argument from Love

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