What is Good?

In the discussion about Christian’s wielding power over others through the means of democratic government, the question comes up of what is good.

The crux of the question is: Is forcing people to behave in a particular way, so that people’s lives are easier, more comfortable, ‘nicer’, etc., “good”?

I can see that for most people a “good” thing is something that makes life ‘better’ for people. On the other hand we see that ultimately ‘good’ is having a relationship with God, which makes ‘evil’ the state of not having a relationship with God. ‘Good acts’ are therefore the things that we do that come out of our relationship with God and ‘evil acts’ are those things that we do separate from God’s influence. These two views of what ‘good’ is are virtually opposed to each other – the first claiming that good is independent of God, the second that it is dependent on God.

There is nothing wrong with having a subjective definition of ‘good’, it’s quite useful to be able to say “hey that’s good”. However, if we are trying to do good and we believe in God then the idea that we can do good apart from God is actually rather a distraction and can take us away from the good that God wants us to do. In fact, we can end up behaving in ways that oppose God in order to do what we feel is good. Take the simple statement “love your enemy” – we can suddenly turn that on it’s head if we believe that we can do ‘good’ by killing our enemy and stopping them doing the evil things that they were going to do. 🙁 (as if somehow ‘good’ can fill the gap left by the evil things that weren’t committed by our enemy)

This relates to my previous post ‘Freedom The Four Feathers on dvd

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls rip

Adaptation. divx Alive or Dead full ‘, where I ponder whether freedom is a prerequisite for good and whether anything that is forced cannot be good.

1 thought on “What is Good?

  1. what i think is even more interesting is that God believes we’re good. he even says it in the beginning of our creation. in fact, he goes one step further and says “very good”. the word good in hebrew means beautiful. another way to say it was that God was in awe of us, his jaw dropped. let that permeate your soul. the whole process of jesus choosing disciples was also a reversal to the rabbinic setup, and in a sense was saying He believes we have what it takes. So, can people without God do and be good without him? I think it’s an interesting question. I think it is possible. Only because all of creation has the divine spark. so everything has the potential for good. and if God created things as good, I wonder if any of us are in such a place to decide whether it is not? Westernized Christianity tends to adopt the Roman Worldview which says things go from bad to worse. Whereas the Hebrew worldview says things go from good to very good…and sometimes God depends on us to separate the difference by how we choose to live our lives…

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