Does God define "right and wrong" or is there an intrinsic 'good' ?

by Simon 35 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • starScream
    Therefore he cannot also make up rules that should be followed.

    sorry, cannot should be can

  • MegaDude

    This is an interesting topic.

    Where I am at is there is no such thing as good or evil if there is no God. If there is a good or there is evil, who sets the standard? Who says what is good, what is bad, what is right, what is wrong? Is there such a thing as a conscience? Or is it something we just acquired for survival of the species?

  • blackout

    Well to me its just natural that its something we learned.

    For instance not sleeping with your friends wife. To me that is an innate concept learned when we lived in tribes, it would have created too much conflict, the same with murder, or stealing. Without these basic good and bad rules, we would not survive as a species, it is totally survival of the fittest and tribes that didn't have these rules would have died out, due to infighting etc.

    It has become innate because our ancestors needed these 'morals' to survive .

  • kat_newmas

    not right and wrong... more like cruel and loving. harsh and mild. The dweller of the heavens is much the same as the world he created. There is a cycle of life in wich everything is a part of. What is Good? What is Bad? Everything has an equal opposite. The universe is divided by masculine and feminine, light and dark, seen and unseen. Morality... is entirely a human concept. Mostly used to control others.

  • expatbrit

    Oh Hobbes, where art thou?


  • funkyderek
    It seems that there are some rules God must follow simply because his very nature precludes it and not because he simply decided it was so, although I'm sure he would conciously agree.

    StarScream, are you saying that God doesn't have free will?

  • hornetsnest

    LOL, Simon!!

    Would you also like that answer in 25 words or less?

    There's quite a bit of difference between the question in the title and the questions in the post itself. I just wish I had more time. In my own heart, I have no problem with your questions or those of the others on this thread. That's probably because I've wondered about much of this most of my life, and then went to a great deal of study to reconcile them. What I've come up with makes sense, at least to me.

    For the question in the title, I think both are true, but only if we view it from a different viewpoint, i.e. that we aren't considering why Jehovah classifies something as right or wrong. Most of us have the impression that he does so arbitrarily. I would question our fairness to him in that assumption.

    Let's illustrate: General Motors builds a car. We'll say it is a Cadillac. You buy the car. It is now yours and you can do with it what you please. However, GM also puts forth a users manual that tells us the proper way to maintain our Cadillac. In others words, in a very real sense they are telling us what to do. If we lube it and change the oil regularly, we are doing right. If we use it to go mud bogging or skid logs out of the woods with it, we are doing wrong. They cannot force us to do or not do these things, as indeed, it is our car. However, if we do go skid logs with it and end up ruining it, they are not going to replace that car. We have voided the warranty with our stupidity.

    Now, most of us won't go skid logs with it, as we have the common sense to know that that is not what it was designed for. We will care for it inasmuch as we appreciate the things that it can do. Even if we have no maintenance manual at all, we will probably figure out some of the things that are needed, and do them.

    Now, to apply this. Replace GM with Jehovah, the maintenance manual with the Bible, and the Cadillac with our bodies (or lives). The same general principles apply. He's designed us and knows what will be beneficial and/or harmful to our lives and happiness, and has written a "maintenance manual" so that we can know what they are. If we want to be bull-headed and do other things, he's not going to stop us, as then we wouldn't have free will. If we disregard the "maintenance manual" we will suffer the consequences, and he won't have to do anything, as the results are the natural consequences of what we did. Also, all "warranties" are off because we didn't follow the instructions.

    Similarly, for those who don't have the "maintenance manual", they can see from simple observance and common sense that there are things that need to be done and others to be refrained from. (Is this not the way that most people form that sense of "intrinsic good" within them?) Therefore we will find a surprising co-relationship with the things that most people do and what the "maintenance manual" recommends, even when they are unaware that it exists. This is why such things as robbery, murder, and incest are almost universally taboo.

    Long before the Magna Carta, Genghis Khan formulated a body of law that is amazingly similar to that of the Bible's, in spite of the fact that he had never heard of the Bible, Christianity or Jews, lived in tents (okay, yurts) and his people had no written language. (After he'd gained his power, some of these things did become available to him.)

    I think that this could explain much of your question, and illustrates how the concepts of God's defining of right and wrong, and our having an "intrinsic good" within us, can peacefully co-exist.

    Sorry, I don't have time for more. Maybe later. I've wanted for a long time to take on Farkel's concepts (peacefully, yu ol' varmit!), but have yet to have the time.


  • freeman

    I would hope that it is not the god of the bible that defines the standard of what is good or bad because the examples of the god of love set forth in this book are quite malevolent to say the least.

    You know the god of the bible, the god of love, don’t you?

    He is the one who orders the annihilation of people wholesale including young children and infants and gets very pissed when some are spared. He is the one who declares his servant righteous when he proceeds to hand his own daughters over to a crowd to be gang-raped.

    Is it not amazing that the average godless atheist holds to a much higher standard of conduct then the so-called god of love himself? Is it not amazing?


  • JH

    Jesus talked about "faith", which is to believe without seeing or questioning.

    It seems that to please God, we must not question anything. We have to obey without intelligence.

    In the bible, right and wrong is defined to a certain extent, written in laws and commandments. The rest takes good judgement.

    Yes God defiines right and wrong. But he can break his own rules, because he is God. For example God says not to kill, but he can kill.

  • Brummie

    Very interesting thread!


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