I having been having a discussion on my FB page about a Huffington Post article that says Rick Santorum is reading a different Bible than you and me. The Bible most people read is about loving your neighbor etc... I successfully argued so far with one individual who says that if you mandate helping the needy that this is the same as a a theocracy. BS, I know, right?
We have now come to the part of this debate where I asked, " Is what we consider morally good that way because God commands that which is morally good, or is whatever God commands morally good because he commands it?
His comment is as follows: If "good" is determined by people, then people are greater than God. If "good" exists outside of God, then "good" is greater than God. In neither of those cases can God really be God. "Good" is what God says is "good."
Any recommendation on how to respectfully shut that down in one brief answer?

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All of us live in two spheres: our own consciousness and in an outside world shared with others. We need some way to determine what is good because, as I pointed out with the child abuse example, if we don't then whatever someone does is ipso facto ethically correct simply because it's what they wanted to do.

RE: "whatever someone does is ipso facto ethically correct simply because it's what they wanted to do."

Which brings us back to the question I asked earlier that appears to have gone unanswered. in who's mind? Mine or theirs?

And you mentioned, "ethically correct" - do you see no  difference between ethics and morals? If so, please elaborate.

pax vobiscum,

"Good" is what God says is "good."

This justifies everything from the genocide of the Amalekites, the crusades, and the inquisition and so on. God's 'goodness' is nothing but sanctimonious certainty. 

And yet, if God does exist, HE is the decider of what is good and what is not.

Bill Clinton instituted "mandatory volunteering" and we all know how "good" he was.

   How's this for "one brief answer"?  People ARE greater than God.

Good answers. Posted.
The response to the fact that God condones slavery, genocide and rape is......

"God not only defines good, but he executes his wrath."

True, but that is your prerogative if you are God, right? If you are God, you exist in a moral vacuum. If God exists, it is not man's place to judge Him.

For example...

If you make a sand painting and dislike it and lay it waste, as its creator that is your prerogative. Were God to exist, and if everything that exists were to be His creation, it is his to do with as he wishes. We would exist at His pleasure.

RE: "Were God to exist, and if everything that exists were to be His creation...."

That's two "if's" too many --

pax vobiscum,


And yet, that is the landscape the Christian lives in.

He's right. If you want truly "objective" good. Good which is REALLY good and not because it's what we like, prefer, or  want, then it has to come from a source independent of man. Without God, it's what you might call "good by committee."

I think one of the burdens of atheism is to make the best of a situation where there is no real objective good.

We can kind of objective-ize it through legislative or quasi-legislative means, but there is no external and independent and eternal Good to refer to.

It's like Sartre, an atheist, said:

The existentialist... thinks it very distressing that God does not exist, because all possibility of finding values in a heaven of ideas disappears along with Him; there can no longer be an a priori Good, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. Nowhere is it written that the Good exists, that we must be honest, that we must not lie; because the fact is we are on a plane where there are only men.

But there you go, implying that there is something objective by which one can judge God. Where does THAT come from? From human whims, desires, fears, preferences. Is Good by Human Fiat all that better than Because God Says So? And by "better" I mean "more justified."


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