I think that is an uncomfortable thought. Not only does that mean that
God DOES let bad things happen (they COULDNT happen, in fact, without
His allowing them to), it really does make a lot of other issues a lot
weirder, especially the question of the doctrine of election, better
known as predestination.
In a discussion on predestination, a question occurred to me. If
election isnt true, if God doesnt already know precisely who will or
wont be saved (which, Him knowing that means that it MUST happen, which
could be seen as choosing), if that isnt in His hands, then God is NOT
all-powerful and NOT all-knowing. We know that God is both of those
things, right? I'm not saying that I'm absolutely right, but the logic
is painfully and irritatingly obvious.
So what about free will? Simple answer is that I dont know. According
to Psalms, every step of our life was written out by God before our
birth. That means He knows every sin, every joy, every mistake, every
single thing that we will do before we even think a coherent thought.
Once He knows something, that is the way it is. There are no "what if"
games with what God knows, no room for Him "knowing where each of our
choices could lead." To be all-knowing, He MUST know every answer
already. By Him knowing it, it MUST happen that way. That means that
though we have free will, we have no choice at all and we dont even
As frustrating and ego bruising as that is, I find that I dont really
care that much. More than He cares for us, Yhwh desires His own glory.
If it is in His plan that He is glorified by my one path, then so be it.
Darned peculiar thought process. I'm reasonably certain I intended to
be in bed almost an hour ago. I dunno. I'm open to other thoughts or
people punching holes in mine. :-)
I responded with:
at 11:26pm on October 20th, 2006
problem is the Bible says different things about god...so no one really
knows what this supposed god is like...which is why i think hes most
likely made up...and if a god does exist we dont know shit about him-
obviously. Also, if he knows everything and is all powerful, that means
he made us sin...so he damned some of us to hell on purpose because he
put the tree there and knew what we would do if he did...messed up
stuff. but i take great comfort in knowing it probably isnt real.
|Subject:||Well . . . you're right on something.|
|Message:||"What if God,|
choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great
patience the objects of wrath - prepared for destruction?" Romans 9:22
yeah, I think that does state that some people are created that are
destined for destruction in the long run. It's not pretty, but a lot of
things arent. *shrug*
Is this what every Christian believes? I have definite problems with this and I would hope that others do as well. God cannot possibly be what Graham states and be loving/all good. It would basically go like this: God says, "Okay, I'm going to make some people. I am going to make a place called hell (or it already existed) and make some of the people burn in it. I will torture them forever. I will give them the illusion of choice between me and hell, but ultimately a lot of them will burn for all eternity because I say so." Now seriously people, that is far from good. And that is not love. That is like me saying that I will have children and give one all of my love, care, attention, and help them their whole life, and the others I will throw out on the street or keep in a closet with little food and water and beat occasionally. Tell me how that is NOT the same thing. And on top of that, God supposedly expects his Christians to be good, loving, and "turn the other cheek"=peaceful. Hypocrisy? Basically, the concept of god being concerned about his authority and his glory and thus electing some people to be with him cannot be reconciled with god being love and goodness. Tell me how it can be. It can't. And I can't believe anyone would want to worship a God like that.
It makes some VERY interesting points. Points that I never thought of as a Christian or an Atheist. It is worth reading the entire thing because it has a good message that is about more than just abortion. Please take the time to read it. And as the person below wrote when they posted it on their site, I would like your opinions ON THE ARTICLE- not on me like "your dumb" or "your logic is flawed". This isn't my logic. I just think this writer has a good point.
The Euthyphro Dilemma
What is Atheism?
by Douglas E. Krueger
How Can Atheists Have Morals?
p.26 - 30
1. The Euthyphro Dilemma is effective against the view that god is the source of morality.
The Euthyphro dilemma, named after some insightful points taken from
Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, shows the failing of the divine command
theory of ethics, which is the view that god is the source of morality.
In the dialogue, the character Socrates, speaking for Plato, meets the
character Euthyphro, who is on his way to court to prosecute his own
father for the murder of a field laborer. For the Greeks, loyalty to
one's relatives was a matter of great importance, so Socrates asks
Euthyphro whether he is certain this act will not be offensive to the
gods; i.e., whether it is immoral. Euthyphro assures Socrates that he
is an expert in matters pertaining to the wishes of the gods, and in
the course of the discussion Euthyphro attempts to defend the divine
theory of ethics. According to this view, we know what is good only
because god tells what is good. However, as Plato asked 2,000 years
ago, does god command what is good because god recognizes what is good,
or is it good because god commands it? That is the dilemma, and each of
the options turns out to be undesirable to the theist.
a. One horn of the dilemma is that what is good is defined by the fact that it's god's will.
On the one hand, if something god commands is to be defined as good on
the grounds that it is god's will, then the divine command theorist
must admit that anything can be considered good as long as god commands
it. It would make no sense to ask whether god's commands are good. God
could command someone to bash infants to death, to commit genocide, to
stone people to death (and other atrocities such as we find in the
bible), and such things would by definition be good acts, since god
Would a Christian want to commit to such as system of ethics where anything goes? The philosopher Bertrand Russell notes:
If the only basis of morality is God's decrees, it follows that they
might just as well have been the opposite of what they are; no reason
except caprice could have prevented the omission of all the "nots" from
In other words, the ten commandments (the Decalogue) could have been
just the opposite of what they are and they would, on this view, still
be good because they would still be the will of god and that is the
definition of good. Theists who take this horn of the Euthyphro dilemma
must admit that they really don't have a standard of ethics. What they
have is a standard of obedience -- they will do whatever god commands.
Slavery, however, is not ethics.
It would also make no sense to say that god is good if god is the
standard of goodness. After all, if god is good, in the sense that god
is identical with standard of goodness, then to say "God is good" is
merely to say "God is god," which is an uninformative statement. A
devil worshiper could say the same thing about the being he or she
worships -- "Satan is what he is." The subject and the predicate are
the same object, so the sentence is uninformative. The relationship
between goodness and god loses its meaning if god is the standard of
goodness, so "god is good" would say nothing.
Further, if one would like to know whether a given being is god, there
would be no set of standards with which one could compare that being in
order to identify it as god. For example, if one wants to know how to
recognize a generous person, one could have a list of actions which one
might expect a generous person to perform. The list could include such
things as giving a certain percentage of one's income to the poor,
handing out money when approached by beggars, volunteering at a local
food bank, and other such activities. Similarly, the list could exclude
activities such as obsessively hoarding money, refusing to share any
part of an inheritance with one's siblings, and so on. The list of
criteria is compiled using the concept of generosity. If the person
measures up to the standard, then we can declare that person generous.
In the case of god, however, there can be no such moral standard for
theists who insist who insist that god is the standard. There can be no
list of criteria to identify whether a being is the good god. If god
can can perform or command any act because he sets the standard, what
kinds of acts could possibly be put on an identification list? One
could never say, "An evil being might command this, but god never
would." No action could be required or ruled out with regard to god
since that being could always decide to perform or command the opposite
of any given criterion. After all, god sets the standard, doesn't he?
Without an independent standard of moral or immoral acts against which
to measure god, god could never be identified by his moral standing.
Thus, morally speaking, there would be no way to distinguish being a
slave to an evil demon as opposed to being a slave to god. In both
cases the one doing the commanding could command anything whatsoever
and carrying out that command would be, by definition, a good act. No
act would be considered immoral in and of itself, or good in and of
itself, apart from the issue of whether it has been commanded or
forbidden. Anything from rape to murder would be considered good if it
were commanded by the being who serves as the standard.
No act could be taboo for the being giving commands because that being
who defines goodness would not have any independent standard of
morality by which it could be limited to a certain set of acts. The
being could not be bound by any moral code.
The only immoral act, on this view, is disobedience. The follower would
be committed to a system of blind obedience to a being who cannot be
meaningfully called good. Clearly, this option is undesirable for the
b. The other horn of dilemma is that god recognizes what is good and then wills what is good.
On the other hand, if the theist chooses the other horn of the dilemma,
that god commands that which god recognizes as good, then the theist is
admitting that there is a standard of goodness independent of god, and
is, in fact, admitting that god is not the source of morality. In other
words, if the view is that god in some way "sees" what is good and then
tells us what to do on the basis of that, then god is not the source of
morality, since the act god commands was observed to be good by god,
not made good by god. God becomes, at best, merely an intermediary or a
reporter about ethics, but he is not the source. This option, too, is
undesirable for the theist, since it admits that god is not the source
of ethics, and if god is not the source of ethics then there is nothing
in principle which could show that the atheist cannot have an ethical
Thus, the theist must choose between admitting that he or she has no
standard of ethics but merely a principle of slavery, or admitting that
god is not the source of morality. Neither option allows for the
possibility that god is the source of a system of ethics. The Euthyphro
dilemma has been conclusive in showing that the divine command theory
of ethics cannot work, and no theist has ever been able to overcome
this strong objection to the view that god is the source of ethics.
1 Samuel 15:1-3 (NIV) - "Samuel said to Saul, "I am
the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so
listen now to the message from the LORD.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for
what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from
Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men
and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'
Isaiah 13:13-16 (NIV) - "Therefore I will make the heavens tremble;
and the earth will shake from its place
at the wrath of the LORD Almighty,
in the day of his burning anger.
14 Like a hunted gazelle,
like sheep without a shepherd,
each will return to his own people,
each will flee to his native land.
15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through;
all who are caught will fall by the sword.
16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;
their houses will be looted and their wives ravished."
Isaiah 13:18 (NIV) - 18 Their bows will strike down the young men; nor will they look with compassion on children. They will have no mercy on infants.
Hosea 13:16 (New Living Translation) - "The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords."
Hosea 13:16 (King James) "Samaria will bear her guilt because she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open."