Saturday, May 7, 2011

Can God Be Neutral?

So over on one of Heather's posts someone asserted that God is not good. That He is neutral. Which I don't agree with, and I've had some time to think of *why*.

If God were neutral, why would He create in the first place? Neutrality implies non-involvement. Non-movement. Why create?

If God were neutral, would He speak with Adam and Eve in the Garden? Would He bother to warn them not to eat from the tree?

If God were neutral, would He have a Chosen People?

Would He give us revelations in order to lead us to Him? If He were truly neutral, He could not interfere at all, at any point. Which means, assuming God is neutral, all of our religious texts are man made, and we can ignore them because they mean nothing.

If we view God as a neutral character, then He is the unmoved mover of Aristotle, and there is nothing to worship. He means nothing to us.

If God is not good, then our moral laws, based on what He has presumably told us is good and evil, may be flawed. If God is not good, if He is capable of deception, then nothing He has ever said holds any weight. All promises are suspect. He could chance His mind at any second and destroy us all, or unmake all of reality because He would be just as capricious as the pagan gods of old, only more powerful, since everything rests with him.


  1. Interesting post. I've got to go back and read the new comments on some of my entries from this past week to get caught up.

  2. Yeah! What on earth *have* you been doing with your time? lol

  3. Good post! I was surprised to read her comment about God being neutral and basically ok with deception. I guess I've been taught so long that Satan is the "father of lies" that I never would have attributed that characteristic to the Almighty. Oh, there is that whole "God who cannot lie" thing from the Bible as well.

    Agreed! If God were capable of lying, how could I trust Him to not change His mind? How could i have faith in *anything* He says or does? He might be planning a big ol' PSYCH! on us and damn us all to hell. I've actually thought of this before. What if God DOES change His mind. But then am reassured that lying is not in His character.

    Unless of course you believe how that lady believes. And it's fine if she wants to think like that. It just scares me to think God might be playing some big cosmic joke on all us helpless critters!

    Yeah, and God is so not neutral. If He were, He wouldn't bother sending people to hell or heaven,would He? Maybe I need to reread what she wrote as I've read much sense then and might have lost the context in which she stated that. I'd just never heard it before.

    OK, enough from me. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. LOL! I've been working, sweating, dodging dust storms, and trying to come up with more debate-producing blog entries. *grin* What have YOU been doing? :D

  5. Susanne,

    Sarah(2), as I call her, has some interesting and different opinions. I've heard the neutral divinity theory before, but not usually from one of the Abrahamic traditions.

    To be fair, if God were neutral, he wouldn't be able to act enough one way or the other to matter. So he wouldn't destroy the world because he couldn't, or he wouldn't be neutral. Then again, neither could he do anything to aid humanity. So again, all revelation is crap.

    The whole destruction of humanity thing would only work if God were not good, meaning that he wasn't neutral at all, and capable of lying.

  6. Heather,

    I have been...

    1) Making peace treaties with alien species.

    2) Slaying dragons and stealing their hoarded gold.

    3) Writing porn.

    As you can see, very busy. :)

  7. God is not good (Part II)
    The main problem is that most of the believers are irrational people. They attribute to God many properties that cannot be attributed to Him legitimately. A God who is one cannot love, cannot hate, cannot be cruel, cannot be merciful, cannot be benevolent, cannot be all-loving, cannot be just, etc. If we say God is love, then before creation whom did He love? So if we say that God is love, then it can only be self-love. If we say that God is cruel, then we will have to admit that He is cruel to Himself. If we say that God is all-loving, then we will have to admit that this all is coeternal with God, and that therefore He has not created us at all. So we should not revere Him, for the simple reason that he is not our creator! Perhaps due to their fear of eternal hell-fire after death some people try to appease God by repeatedly saying that He is Good, whereas in reality He is not good. But does that mean that God is evil? No, not at all. Einstein has said just the right thing here: Subtle is His way, but He is not malicious!
    In one sense it can be said that the creation of the universe was God’s greatest wrongdoing. It was His biggest blunder. Because with this creation came hunger, misery, death, suffering, sorrow, slavery, murder, rape, treason, torture, and what not! Now we cannot undo what God has already done, because it is not in our power to destroy the entire universe. But we can at least destroy the earth; science has given us that much power. So it is up to us to decide what we should do. But if we do not destroy the earth, then in a sense we also become responsible for all the future evils on earth. We do not destroy the earth because we love life, thus allowing evil to run its course as before.
    The principle that God is to be judged good by His own standard of goodness is intrinsically a bad principle. Because in that case we are giving unlimited license to God to decide what is good for Him. And He can arbitrarily choose any act as good for Him that is abhorrent to others. Here believers will say that God is of such a nature He can never act badly. By saying so believers are admitting that God’s acts are good not because those are God’s acts, but because God always acts conforming to some moral code. So Russell is correct in saying that there is a standard of goodness that is independent of God’s will.
    Another reason can be given as to why God cannot be good. If God is good then the question “who created God?” cannot be answered properly and there will be an infinite regression. Believers are very clever people indeed. When this question is raised, knowing very well that they have no answer to this, they cunningly place their God outside the causal space-time universe, and then claim that causal rule does not apply there. But when the question comes as to whether God is good or evil, they blissfully forget that they themselves have placed their God outside the causal universe where not only the causal chain, but also none of the other categories of the created world would apply: goodness/badness, love/hate, justice/injustice, beauty/ugliness, compassion/cruelty, benevolence/malevolence, big/small, high/low, etc. & etc. And they will take no time to declare that their God is pure goodness itself, thus showing their utter inability to think consistently.

  8. God is not good (Part I)

    There is a general misconception about God that He is good, but actually He is not. God is neither good nor evil, He is beyond good and evil. If God is the ultimate being, then that God cannot be good. When we are saying that God is good, we are passing some judgment on God, we are saying that He is good. But by what standard of goodness are we judging him good? From where has it originated? As believers say that their God is the all-thing and everything that was there, therefore this standard of goodness could have originated from God only, and not from any other source, because except that God there was no other source from which it could have originated. So we are judging God good by His own standard of goodness. But this is a dangerous principle. Because if this principle is being followed in other cases also, then there will be complete chaos. Then everybody will start claiming that he should be judged for his action by his own standard only, and not by the standard of other people, society, or state. And he can legitimately claim this, because he will say that God has made man in His own image. So the principle that is followed in case of God should also be followed in case of each and every single human being. Why should there be any deviation from that principle in case of man? Is he not created in God’s own image? So, after killing six million Jews Hitler will claim that he is innocent, because he thought it absolutely necessary to efface their race from the surface of earth, in order to save mankind from future disasters. Therefore by his own standard of goodness and badness he has done nothing wrong.
    Therefore the above principle will have to be abandoned and we will have to seek for some other principle. In that case if we say that God is good, then we will have to admit that the standard by means of which we judge God good has not originated from Him, but from some other source. Here there are two possibilities:
    1) This standard is prior to God,
    2) It is coeternal with, but not originated from, God.
    In none of the two cases above, God is the all-thing and everything that can be there. So believers cannot claim that their God is the all-thing and everything that is there, and at the same time claim that He is good.
    Bertrand Russell, although an atheist, has already shown that God cannot be good, for the simple reason that if God is good, then there is a standard of goodness which is independent of God’s will. Here Russell is also admitting that if God is to be judged good at all, then He will have to be so judged by a standard that should not, and must not, have originated from God. In Hindu mythology, Brahma (Supreme Being) is said to be beyond good and evil. He is neither good, nor evil. But both good as well as evil have originated from Him, who is neither good nor evil.


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