Beyond Good and Evil

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 believers say that God is the ultimate being, then that God cannot be good. When we say that God is good, we are passing some judgment about God, we are saying that he is good. But by what standard of goodness we are judging him good? From where has it originated? As believers say that their God was the only being 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. This is 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 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 co-eternal with, but not originated from, God.

In none of the two cases above, God is the ultimate being that can be there. So believers cannot claim that their God is the ultimate being 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 Hinduism, Brahman (The Supreme Being) is said to be beyond good and evil. He is neither good, nor evil. But both good as well as evil has originated from him, who is neither good nor evil.

Part II 

Many Christian theists and apologists have time and again argued that evil is there because God wanted us to have free will. Free choice means one will have the freedom to choose between good and evil. So, if there is no evil, there is no freedom.

I think so far nobody has been able to properly tackle the problem of evil. If God is good, then why is there so much evil? The answer mostly given by the theists is just the one we read here. God wanted us to have free will. But having free will means having the freedom to choose between good and evil. But if there is no evil, then there is no more freedom of choice for us. Thus we are not actually free. Therefore evil must have to be there in order that we may have free will.

But the real story is something else. Evil is there not because God has given man free will, but because God is fully free. God is fully free means God has got full freedom to create. Similarly he has got full freedom not to create. But a good God can never have the freedom not to create, because in order to do justice to his own good nature a good God is always bound to create, and thus he is not fully free. How can a good God be called good if he cannot do any good to anybody? So, in order to do good to others a good God will always be bound to create others. So he can never have the freedom not to create.

Similarly it can be shown that neither can an evil God have the freedom not to create. An evil God cannot be properly called evil if he fails to do any evil to others. But if God wants to do evil to others, then first of all there will have to be others. So here also he is always bound to create others for doing justice to his evil nature. But for a God who is neither good nor evil there is no such binding that he will always have to create. Here he can freely decide whether he will create or not. Thus a really free God is neither good nor evil. Like Hindu’s Brahman he is beyond good and evil.

Now, if we accept that God is fully free, then we will have to admit that he is neither good nor evil. In a universe that has originated from a God who is neither good nor evil there will always be good as well as evil, as there will always be positive energy as well as negative energy in a universe that has originated from zero energy. Theists always say that their God is all-powerful. But actually they pretend as if they are more powerful than their all-powerful God. That is why by labeling their God as all-good they dare to curtail God’s own freedom, his freedom not to create.

Part III 

This is for those who are very much hurt by the idea that God is neither good nor evil, that he is beyond good and evil. Traditional God is described in this way: before creation there was only one God, and there was nothing else; no space, no time and no matter. Let us suppose that in this situation God asked himself this question: am I good? If in this situation it was possible for God to know with certainty that he is good, then of course he is good. But if this was not at all possible, then God cannot be called good. Those who will opt for the affirmative here should also explain by what process God could have come to the realization that he is good, because we all agree that at that time there was no one else, nothing else, other than God.

If I claim about myself that I am good, then I am also claiming that I am the negation of that which is not good. That, which is not good, is the other, and I am not the other. I am the negation of the other, and the other is my negation.

But if we claim about God that he is good, then where is the other of whom God is the negation? This is because before creation God was one, and there was no one else other than God. So for God to be good, he will have to be his own negation. For God to be good he will have to contain within himself his own other. This can be expressed in the following way: God is the principle that represents all that is good and at the same time he is the principle that represents all that is not good. God is the affirmation as well as the negation at the same time. So either we will have to say that God is both good and not good. Or we will have to say that God is neither good nor not good. But to say that God is good will be philosophically naive and immature.

Part IV

Many theists believe that God is good. If there is any evil on earth, then that is solely due to man’s disobedience to God, and not due to any shortcomings of him. He is perfectly good. In the statement “God is good” atheists have found a ready weapon with which they can easily defeat their opponents. Actually what procedure have they followed here? It is this: first they have seen what predictions can be made about the universe from the above statement without violating any rule of logic. Then they have checked whether these predictions are supported by evidence or not. As they have found that these are not so supported, so they have concluded that there is no God. In a universe created by a perfectly good God there cannot be so much evil and suffering that we find on this earth. So they cannot be fully blamed if they come to such a conclusion that God does not exist.

But in Part II of this article I have already shown that a good God is not fully free, because he is always bound to create others in order to do good to them. A God who cannot do any good to others cannot be called really good. Similarly it has been shown that neither is an evil God fully free. A God who is fully free is neither good nor evil; he is beyond good and evil. I think there will be found not a single theist on earth who will claim that his God is not fully free. Therefore one day he will also have to admit that a fully free God is neither good nor evil. A universe created by a God who is neither good nor evil will also bear the traits of its creator; it will also be neither good nor evil. I think this will solve the problem of evil on earth once and for all. From this we can make one more point: by simply showing that there is so much evil on earth, non-existence of God cannot be so easily established.

Here I have shown that God’s goodness conflicts with his freedom. If God is good, then he is not fully free. Again, if God is fully free, then he cannot be good. Similarly it can be shown that various other attributes assigned to him by theists do not go well with his oneness. One example may be cited here. Let us say that God is love. But if he is one, then before creation whom did he love? So if God is love, then that will imply that there is at least one being co-eternal with God, and in that case God’s oneness will be gone forever. God is one means there was no one else other than God at the beginning. Some Christian theologians claim that there will be no such problem in their case, because their God is one but Trinitarian in nature. So before creation there will be the reciprocal love of the Persons of the Trinity. So Father loved Son, Son in turn loved Holy Ghost and Holy Ghost in turn loved Father. But this does not solve all the problems, because God is not only love, he is merciful, just, etc. If God is merciful, then before creation to who was he merciful? Perhaps the reply will be that Father was merciful to Son, Son in turn was merciful to Holy Ghost, and Holy Ghost in turn was merciful to Father. But the question is: why will Father have to be merciful to Son? Was there any possibility for Son to commit any sin, and so, Father would have a provision for mercy also for his only begotten Son? Similarly it can be asked: why will Holy Ghost have to be merciful to Father? In this case, was there any possibility for Father to commit any sin? Thus we see that even the idea of a Trinitarian God cannot solve all the problems.

So, a God who is one and fully free cannot have any attributes. Like Hindu’s Brahman he will have no qualifier.


14 thoughts on “Beyond Good and Evil”

  1. You say: “So, a God who is one and fully free cannot have any attributes. Like Hindu’s Brahman he will have no qualifier.”

    But you do not know that.

    You have never met God. Any God. EVER.

    You are operating from faulty knowledge gained from a tenacious belief about Brahman and faith in an event that you refuse to disclose. An event that cannot be verified.

    Your 5 senses have never experienced Brahman.

    You are making this up and justifying the very last sentence of this 5 part rant about some other fallacious god to prove your God. This did not solve the problem of evil.

    This is not good philosophy or theology, it is your attempt to confirm that your God exists by a (very weak) attempt to disprove the problem of evil.

    I am sorry, but you invited me to your posts to convince me and all I see are empty words. No evidence and very weak logic. The logic that does work is borrowed from others. In some cases, you corrupt the meaning of what others have said for your own gain.

    It amounts to nonsensical whimsey.

    And then you insult those who post on this page, as if that will help you convince them about your God.


  2. Excellent article. Of course, you will know that Friedrich Nietzsche entitled one of his books, _Beyond Good and Evil_. I urge you also to take a look at two lectures from the 1980s by Dr. Edward Edinger, who was a second generation disciple of Dr. Carl Jung. They looked at these issues from a psychological point of view. One is here, in which Dr. Edinger explains that God fell out of Heaven in 1500 A.D. and into the psyche of man: Ecclesiasticus was written around 200 B.C. where Wisdom

    And in this lecture, Dr. Edinger describes encounters with the God-Image, including Arjuna’s encounter with Krishna, and Moses’s encounter with Al Khidr in the 18th Sura of the Quran.


    1. God would have to have made us robots to prevent the possibility of us committing evil. In that case He wouldn’t be able to freely love us as He would have taken away the ability to respond to His love for us.


  3. Just read your article and it’s interesting but painfully flawed.
    1- Great point about someone’s subjective view on good by using hitler exterminating Jews, I thought that was good. But in that same breath it seems that you haven’t questioned your own perspective of goodness and how it matches up to God’s.
    2- If God is beyond good and evil, then he is beyond our comprehension of what is good and what is evil, e.g. if you had a 100% accurate crystal ball to see the future of a bunch of babies in a hospital and one of the babies grows up to be hitler.5, some people would view killing the baby as good, others would say it’s evil. God is the MEASURE of good itself and is therefore outside of our subjective view of what is “good”
    3- From what I understand in your article, you’re stating that in order for God to be good, He has to create beings to be good to, and by the fact that he “has to”, or is bound, he is therefore not free. You’re missing out a huge part of this, which is His GRACE. Grace is a level of divine kindness and mercy that we cannot comprehend, so He created us out of love, to share in His glory and to show His grace.
    4- On the topic of freedom, again, our perception of freedom is subjective and so is guaranteed to be different to what God’s is. My idea of freedom might be to choose what dinner I want to have, what school I want to go to, who I want to marry. Another’s idea of freedom might be their ability to speak in public, elect a government, to be able to walk. God’s level of freedom will be on a level we can’t quite understand, however in the sense that He is bound, well I agree- He is bound by His word, by the fact that He IS good, so to us in our human understanding, He is bound to His word, but someone else’s interpretation is that he loved us so much that He even gave us a set of promises in the first place. After all, he is the measure of all goodness, so if He decided it was ‘good’ to lie and to not hold to promises, He could have done that, and therefore the world would be shaped by the understanding that it is GOOD to lie, which would result in chaos.
    5- In regards to the Trinitarian argument, yes, Jesus, Holy spirit and God the Father lived in perfect relationship, none were created, they have always existed, but again, you’re saying that in order for them to be ‘good’ and ‘merciful’, that there needed to have been an action taken place for the concept of mercy to be attributed to God, i.e. there needs to have been a freezer in order for the water to have turned into ice. I believe this is false, as God is inherently good and merciful, mercy as we understand it to be in our human language was attributed to God BY us after we have seen a demonstration of what mercy from God looks like. What if we didn’t see a demonstration of mercy from Him in the Bible? Would we still call Him merciful? Maybe not but having a deep relationship with Him would reveal these things.

    Overall, I think you have an interesting perspective, but I think you are quite misinformed. I think the reason why we will all keep running into these problems is because we constantly limit God to our own understanding because we’re pretty arrogant to think we think on God’s level. Literally we can’t understand Him through logic alone, but through revelation after getting close with Him through Jesus.

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    1. A Refutation of “Beyond Good and Evil”

      An Introduction:
      I am presenting this refutation for the simple reason that your article, “Beyond Good and Evil” appeared as a hyperlinked comment posted to my video entitled “The Problem of Evil”. Having read your article I find myself compelled to respond under the admonishment of 1 Peter 3:15 which says,
      “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
      The reason I find this necessary is that your article frankly contains numerous faulty assumptions and logical fallacies which I intend to show you. For the present, let’s start with your introduction of yourself. You state, speaking of yourself,
      “I have mystical experience several times in my life. So I personally know that there is a God. The purpose of this blog is to show that there is a God with the help of logic, reason and the findings of modern science.”
      Let me ask you, how does anyone claiming to have a mystical experience qualify them for anything? The answer is that is doesn’t! Mystical experiences are at best helpful to those individuals who have them and no one else. By definition, they are exercises in circular reasoning. When we attempt to use them as currency to “prove” the validity of something the dialogue which follows inevitably goes something like this:
      How do you know “X” is true?
      I know “X” is true because I had a mystical experience.
      How do you know that the mystical experience you had was valid?
      Because, I had a mystical experience?
      More importantly, for every person who has a mystical experience about “X” being true, I can usually find several people who claim to have had a mystical experience which demonstrates that “X” is false. In the end what we learn is that mystical experiences are subjective in and of themselves and require some benchmark source of authority by which to judge them.
      Next, your goal “to show that there is a God with the help of logic, reason and the findings of modern science”, is admirable. However I would ask, whose logic, whose reason? Further, before we grandfather the “findings of modern science” as evidence for God, I would ask what assumptions and priori biases, if any, do those “findings” of “modern science” use?

      Part 1
      With all due respect what you are struggling with is the reality of God’s sovereignty. Your arguments fall apart because you fail to recognize that there are ultimately only two ways to look at things:
      1. Man is the ultimate measure and source of authority for meaning, morals, truth, beauty, justice, mercy, significance, beauty.
      2. God is the ultimate measure and source of authority for meaning, morals, truth, beauty, justice, mercy, significance, beauty.
      In part 1 of your article you asked, “But by what standard of goodness we are judging him good? From where has it originated?” The answer depends on where we each stand in relation to God. You see there are two possibilities, two conditions which are the fate of all mankind.
      1. The unregenerate man, who is apart from God.
      2. The new man, who is reconciled to God.
      As to the second part of the question, “From where has it originated?”. The answer is that God is the creator of all things. God is eternal! There was nothing before God. There is nothing after God. There is none beside God. John 1:3 says it this way,
      “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”

      So at the outset, God created everything that is from nothing. God created mankind in His image, according to His perfect pleasure. God is creator, man is the creation. But even though mankind is created in the image of God, mankind is NOT God. Man is not becoming God. Mankind is less than God is perfect in all of His attributes, while mankind is “good”, but not perfectly God. For example: God is omniscient, omni-powerful, omni-present and immutable, while mankind is NOT.
      Next, Genesis, the creation account, reveals that God had to instruct Adam and Eve (mankind). God had to reveal Himself and His nature to them. Thus Adam and Eve had to learn who God was and what their relationship was to them. But even here, where it was said that Adam and Eve were “very good”, that judgment is given by God as commentary as to His creation and NOT Adam and Eve as to their creator. Even in their “very good” status, Adam and Eve are incapable of knowing God in all His nature and attributes since they were finite beings, while God is infinite. Thus Adam and Eve were in no position to give accurate judgment about God.
      From Genesis 3 onward the problem for mankind only compounds itself. This is because from Genesis 3 forward mankind is thwarted by sin. Our sin creates separation from God, whereby we now have a complete inability to think and know God on a personal level. This is true for me, for you, for Bertrand Russell and for every human being who stands separated from God by our sinful nature. As a result, it’s like trying to give an accurate description of God as seen through muddy waters.
      In your article you state that “we are judging God good by his own standard of goodness”. You go to state that this is dangerous because we as humans can likewise judge ourselves by our own standards. The logical conclusion is that people like Hitler can kill millions of people and justify it as good, because Hitler, just like any other man has the authority to establish what is good and bad according to our own authority. Your rationale is that because man is created in God’s image, man has the same sovereignty as does God. But this is precisely your fundamental error.
      Firstly, as stated before, being created in God’s image does NOT equate to man, any man, being God. No man is God, any more than any man’s reflection in a mirror is in fact the man himself. Man, like the reflection (i.e. an image) is inferior to the man who creates the image, just as man is inferior to God who creates mankind in His image.
      Secondly, as also stated earlier, mankind is currently beset by the constant limitations of sin and its effects. So whatever the “image” was that we held prior to the fall, it is now even worse than ever. Thus, mankind who is fallen, unholy, imperfect, rebellious, stubborn and wicked cannot by definition hope to fully understand, much less judge God’s nature, character, justice, etc.
      In considering all of this, you deduce that because there are people like Hitler who do obviously bad things, that the “standard by which we judge God good has not originated from him, but from some other source”. You claim that this is true because people like Hitler were created in the image of God. Since, in your thinking being created in the image of God means being equal to God, then the existence of people who do evil also proves that God can be evil. Therefore, you reason that the authority which creates and sustains the basis for good and evil, justice and mercy, morals and ethics was either prior to, or equal to, but independent of God.
      The problem is that both possibilities as you call them are errors drawn from the unfounded assumption that being created in the image of God qualifies man as being the same, or equal to God. Once we dispose of this misnomer we can correctly move forward. In order to do so, we need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that we as humans have the ability to judge God. Let me explain. You cite Bertrand Russell who you claim has shown that God cannot be good when he reasons that, “that if God is good, then there is a standard of goodness which is independent of God’s will.” Your own analysis of Bertrand is that, “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. ”
      However, here you and Russell both labor under intellectual sophistry and logical naiveté. If God is indeed sovereign, if God is God; then no amount of opinion by that which God has created has any effect on the status of God. If God is sovereign then the fact that you, I, Russell, or anyone else forms an opinion that God is good, or bad, changes the reality of who and what God is. In fact, even if every human who ever lived somehow concluded that God was “X”, would do nothing to change the reality of who God is, if in fact God is sovereign.
      The terms “good”, “bad”, “evil”, etc. are all subjective labels which have no meaning without an absolute moral law and an absolute moral law giver. Without God, all these terms are vacuous concepts which ebb and flow from person to person based upon opinion, consensus, percentage, culture, environment, mood, time and convenience. Essentially, it is the sum total of secular humanism which culminates in every man doing what is right in his own eyes and calling it good. The only baseline for such position is to justify such a position as “good” given that the current populace percentage will also agree that it is “good”. Therefore, if we can somehow, by any means legislate, or lobby something as being “good” by even 51 percent, then the majority rules.
      However, in a Biblical world view, that is reality, truth, meaning, morals, etc. revealed by God in His word, man has a progressive, propositional declaration by God of what is good versus what is evil. This provides the basis by which we can then look around us and declare by agreement what is good and what is evil. Mind you from God’s perspective and from the standpoint of God’s ultimate authority, our declarations and opinions do NOT create reality. At best, our opinions, such as the opinion that God is good simply acquiesce to the fact that God is good. If we say that God is bad, or God is evil, then we demonstrate the folly that we do not know God at all.
      Saying, or believing that God is evil, or God is bad would require that we know more than God does. However, if we know more than God, then we would be God and God would for all purposes be null and void since we are God. The fact that we have had 6000 years, or a billion if you want to be an evolutionist, should demonstrate that man is not God since man’s history is a litany of one bad thing after the other. Correctly understood, saying that God is bad, or evil, is simply another way of saying that God has not done what we believe that God should have done in any given situation. Since God did not choose to what we believe He should have done in some situation, we assume that God has instead done whatever He has done because He is bad, He is evil, or He doesn’t exist. Yet, such arrogant proclamations are always made from our finite perspective. We have a finite understanding of the past. We have a finite understanding of the present and we have only an educated guess about the future. Yet, if God is God, then God has an infinite understanding of past, present and future. Therefore, by definition, it is impossible to say with certitude what is, or is not good given our finite limitations.
      So in conclusion to part one, as opposed to the idea that God cannot be good, we have the revelation by God of the reality that it is man who is not good. As stated in Romans 3:10 –
      “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
      We contrast this to many revelations by God in scripture such as:
      Romans 8:28
      “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
      John 3:16
      “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
      Psalms 34:8
      “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

      Part 2
      In part 2, you have again confused the concepts of “good and evil” with God’s sovereignty. Where is it said that “God must create”? You assume that He “must” create, because He choose to do so according to His own perfect pleasure. But had He chosen not to, He could have done so and no one would be around to feign an opinion as to God’s disposition. Case in point: God declares in Genesis that He created from nothing. Prior to God’s creative act we are told that darkness was upon the face of the deep. Yet prior to this God existed from eternity and He was still good and perfect in all His attributes without the commentary from anyone who was arrogant enough to attempt to do so. Prior to the creation God was not evil and then became good when He got His mind right and decided to the right thing by creating man who could then re-affirm God.
      Likewise, during the 6 days of creation God was good and it was He who was declaring what He created as good. From the creation, including the fall, until final restoration of God’s creation, God was and remains good in all His nature and attributes. Not because I say so, or you, or Russell, but because that is His revelation of Himself to us through His word. This is the crux of the matter.
      Additionally, we have the revelation in scripture that there will be a time in history when God is finished reconciling His chosen to Himself and He judges all mankind. Death, sickness, sin, Satan, Satan’s demons, and those who have rejected Jesus Christ as Lord will be cast into everlasting fire and torment. At this point there will be no more creating by God. Yet, despite an end of creating, God is God and God remains good and just.
      So evil exists as a logical result of man acting on his own apart from God. God did not create evil, man creates evil as a result of his rebellion against God. At the outset, this did require free will on the part of Adam and Eve. The free will of Adam and Eve was a necessary commodity to make love, obedience and trust meaningful to God. So when Adam and Eve choose to disobey God, the logical result was that their separation from God would foster greater increasing rebellion against God. We need to understand that this choice was one of axiomatic, polarized opposites. One the one hand, we have God who is the author, nature, character and sustainer of His perfect will and good. I we abide in a covering relationship with God then we are covered by His good and seen as “very good”. The moment we turn from that covering relationship with God, we are fallen. Sin is born and with sin increasing rebellion and evil. Thus, evil is a result of man, not God.
      In conclusion your statement in part 2 saying, “But if there is no evil, then there is no more freedom of choice for us”, is an error born out of false equivocation. Adam and Eve’s free will choice can be meaningful with nothing more than the simple choice to freely obey and trust God and His all sufficiency, or to supplant it. Evil is then the inevitable symptom born of the free will choice to distrust, or rebel against God.

      Part 3
      Here continuing the fruit of the poisoned tree continues. You continue with that which is truly naïve and immature in your imagination that any man can apply labels such as “good”, or “bad” to God. In the first place, you proceed from the sophomoric pretense that God was at some time, now, or then, asking Himself the question of whether, or not He is good, or not and on what basis. Again, God is sovereign in everything, so whatever He does is according to His perfect will, nature and character. It is ONLY when mankind, the creation, whose senses are impaired due to sin, deigns in his arrogance to evaluate and second guess God, that we now apply labels of “good” and “bad” based upon our own opinions.
      The difference is that the philosophy of humanism and materialism would lead the natural mind to the delusion that God is wheeling Himself in a wheelchair, down the roads of His creation, desperately, begging and pleading for His creation to approve of Him. Here, God would tearfully and hopefully ask with baited breath waiting for His creation to give Him a thumbs-up and say He is “good”. In the event that we are confused, or in disagreement, then humanism would require that the majority of mankind would approve of God and that if necessary God would be required to get His mind right and start doing things our way so we will apply the label good so God can sleep at night.
      You also are laboring under the idea that because mankind has a consciousness which progressively becomes self-aware, accumulates experience and information that God does likewise. This is proof that your concept of God projects finite man, to a finite God. But God is infinite, not finite. God does not learn, evolve, become self-aware, or progress. Therefore, when you say, “Those who will opt for the affirmative here should also explain by what process God could have come to the realization that he is good…”, you have unwittingly bought into a categorical fallacy which project anthropomorphic qualities such as self-realization onto God. God always knew eternity from the beginning. God is not coming to a realization about anything. God’s existence, knowledge, power and other attributes are not involved in a “process”. God does not need to learn, be told, or realize anything. When God speaks and acts, that which was nothing, becomes reality and His sovereign will and perfect pleasure are the ultimate basis and authority for meaning, morals, ethics, good, justice, beauty, significance and truth.

      Part 4
      The problem is that you have a finite god. All of God’s attributes and character are perfect and true. But none of God’s attributes are God in exclusion by themselves. So, “Yes!”, God is good, but God is also just, righteous, true, merciful, loving, pure, etc. The problem is that as finite humans, beset with sin, none of us can, or will agree on the definition of these terms apart from God. The logic which you claim as a rule cannot be applied in isolation, or denial of the remaining rules of logic. You cannot say God is “good” without also saying that God is “just”. Likewise with all of God’s attributes.
      More importantly, even the most ardent atheist would hopefully admit that one cannot judge any observation without having come to the end of a test. It’s no different than pouring several chemicals together for the first time and walking out of the room, where no observations of any kind may be made. If, any seeker of fact and truth did this and proclaimed the test result as definitive without actual final observation, they would be labeled as disingenuous, or dishonest. Yet, this is the very case in point. The atheist assumes that today is the final result and that nothing which might, or could happen in the future has an impact on what is going on today. This is the very revelation given by God from the outset. God makes and decrees His sovereign will for His creation, including man, based upon His perfect pleasure from eternity. God is taking into account tomorrow and forever, not just the moment. God sees, knows and exists around the corner, in the future where no atheist can see.
      So when the atheist says, “In a universe created by a perfectly good God there cannot be so much evil and suffering that we find on this earth”, they make a number of unfounded assumptions.
      First – They assume that since evil and suffering exist that God must have created evil and suffering which either means God is evil, or God does not exist. The truth is that evil and suffering are first of all subjective terms, but more importantly, if and where evil and suffering exist, they exist as a logical symptom of man’s disobedience and rebellion against God.
      Second – They assume the theory of evolution and survival of the fittest while protesting against a God that they disavow at the outset if honest. The real problem which the atheist fails to come to terms with is this: Blaming God for evil and suffering is a red-herring argument designed to have as many as possible deny, or disavow God and opt for atheism. The motive for the atheist is vested in the idea that if they can get as many as possible to disavow God as possible they have a better consensus for which to comfort themselves in doing what is right in their own eyes without the constant reminders from Christians that the end for those who do so is death according to God. Unfortunately, even if atheists were able to achieve their goal of ridding the world of those who believe, they would still be stuck with evil and suffering. The only difference is that they would now have to once and for all blame themselves and sin for its existence.
      Third – Because we have the revelation that God exists and is ultimately sovereignly in control of all things including evil and suffering, we may not understand why things happen now, but we do have assurance that there is a purpose for said evil and suffering. What the atheist cannot ever provide according to evolution is a guiding purpose for evil and suffering. In the end it is meaningless. It is random chance and survival of the fittest. But with God there is dignity and purpose to everything.
      In this part you state, “A universe created by a God who is neither good nor evil will also bear the traits of its creator;” True! However, what we see will depend on where we look with God’s Spirit of discernment. Prior to the fall, we have the revelation that everything was, “very good”. After God creates all things new and does away with sin, death, hell and the grave, everything is restored to perfection. In between, we have the revelation that all creation is fallen because of man’s rebellion. However, we should not make the mistake to look at the present, the experiment if you will which is not complete, and make extrapolations of supposed fact for which there has been no conclusion.
      In your conclusion you state, “God’s goodness conflicts with his freedom. If God is good, then he is not fully free.” Once again, you are wrong! God is sovereign. God does what is according to His perfect council, will and pleasure. God is not consulting with a higher authority. God does whatever He pleases to do to whom and what He sees fit. It is only after God does whatever He does, that mankind applies labels to what man perceives God has, is, or will do, as being “good’, or “bad”, according to our secondary finite opinion. The only “conflict” which exists is between man who is finite and cannot comprehend what God is doing according to our understanding and what God is doing which is according to His perfect infinite sovereign knowledge and wisdom. But at any point on the spectrum God is only constrained by His own sovereign will and pleasure which He himself knows.
      Case in point, your example of “God is love” where you then proceed to ask “Whom did God love before creation”. In addition you add mercy and other attributes and suggest that God was somehow forced or constrained to actively demonstrate each and all of these attributes to someone, or something in order to prove Himself. Again all of this ultimately implies that God was driven by some unseen force to do something, or to prove something to Himself, or someone else. Once again, you are projecting human qualities and characteristics with their finite strengths, weaknesses and limitations onto an infinite God. The fact that God chooses to reveal certain characteristics and attributes to mankind in His word, does not by necessity imply that these characterizes rule God. This is the constant attempt by man throughout time from creation to force God into a box for which various men have limited to certain dimensions of their choosing. But the truth is that we do not have a box which can contain God. The various words we are using such as love, mercy, good, bad, evil, etc. are shallow indicators, with limited dimensions, none of which, all of which cannot together describe, or hold God. But because our definitions fall short and inadequate, we should not conclude that God does not, or cannot have attributes. To the contrary, God has all of these attributes and infinite others. The difference is that God is higher and greater than these labels and their definitions can ever portray. They are the tip of the iceberg, which gives us pause to wonder in awe at the depth we cannot fathom. It is not that God has no qualifiers, or attributes. It is simply that our finite minds beset with sin cannot comprehend all that is God.
      In the end this is the God which we should expect to find, as any God we can comprehend with our finite minds and finite expressions is no god at all.


  4. Out of curiosity, do you believe Brahman is so free he could have created an extremely evil universe? Like maybe one where an infinite number of innocent children are tortured in really horrific ways for an eternity? I think God is free, but His choices are always consistent with His goodness. If Brahman is amoral, could he do such a thing? Or, maybe he even has made such a universe that we don’t know about?


  5. Also, do you believe Brahman is free? I ask because you said Brahman doesn’t have any attributes, but isn’t being free an attribute?


  6. Thanks so much for commenting on my YouTube video (! I wasn’t sure if you could see my response, so I’m posting it here. I’m pretty sure I’ve adequately addressed your concerns, but please respond! I’ve taken the time to take your arguments seriously, please extend me the same courtesy.


    1. Your first argument is that we can’t say God is good because this would be measuring Him by His own standard, which is circular. However, this isn’t what we’re doing when we call God good. Instead, we are identifying Him as the standard of good by which all other things are measured. Here’s an analogy. Let’s say I define a meter as anything that, when compared to a certain stick that I have, is the same length as that stick (I realize this isn’t how we define a meter nowadays, but the point is just heuristic). So, every time I compare that stick with other things, I say those other things are a meter if they are the same length as my stick. I would also call my stick a meter, but not because I compared it to itself (that would be impossible), but because it is the standard by which I measure all other meters. In the same way, I’m not calling God good because I am comparing Him with anything; I’m calling Him good because, as the creator of all other things, He is the standard by which we measure them as good or not.


      1. Your second argument is that God would always have to be creating in order to be good because He would need someone to be good to. However, this assumes we need to be actively doing good to be good. It seems much more plausible to say that we are good so long as we would do good to others if they were around. For example, if a person were stranded on an island with no one else around, that person could still be good even though she had no one to be good to. She is good so long as, were another person to join her, she would do good things to that person. In the same way, God need not create in order to do good to others, He only needs to be the kind of being that would do good to His creatures if He were to create them.
        However, I do think this argument is a problem for the idea of a god that is beyond good and evil, such as Brahman. If Brahman is neither good nor evil, then he has no reason to create at all. How, then, do we exist? Maybe he has the freedom to create (although having freedom is a characteristic and you denied he has any characteristics), but without any motivation to create, he wouldn’t use that freedom. Worse, let’s say somehow he did eventually create; there is no moral character that restrains him from creating an incredibly evil universe, such as one where an infinite number of babies are tortured for eternity for no purpose at all. I believe God allows suffering, but since He’s good, that suffering has an ultimate purpose. Brahman is not good or evil, so he would need no purpose for suffering at all.


      2. Your final argument seems to be that if God is all there is before creation, and if He is all-good, then He couldn’t know what evil is because evil is the negation of good, but nothing evil exists. I assume you mean to say that the theistic God is all-knowing, so there couldn’t be anything He doesn’t know, including evil. Here, I think there are several false assumptions. First, something doesn’t need to exist in order for God to know what it is (unicorns don’t exist, but I know what they are). Second, if evil is–as you say–a negation of good, we don’t know negations by them existing because negations are non-existent. For example, in order to know someone, I don’t need to also know ‘no one.’ ‘No one’ isn’t a thing that exists. That term just means ‘not someone.’ In the same way if evil is just ‘not good,’ I only need to know what good is and then note the absence of it. Finally, to claim that in order to know what a thing is we need to know what it is not entails that to know what one thing is we need to know what everything is. A ball is not a dinosaur, but I don’t need to know what a dinosaur is in order to know what a ball is. In the same way, good is not evil, but I don’t need to know what evil is to know what good is.
        Again, please let me know how you respond to these points. Thanks!!!


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