Universal sovereignty on trial
God always intended to let us have sovereignty of our own destiny and rule ourselves, just like any normal parent wants their children to mature and be independent adults with sovereignty over their own lives. It was only a matter of time. If we were incapable of ruling ourselves and needed God to always rule over us, then we wouldn't be in God's image. Humankind would be like an intellectually disabled child that always needed its fathers basic help.
Satan merely brought the whole programme forward and successfully argued that humankind must learn morality the hard way, through it's own brutal experience. Jehovah knew this from the start and acceded.
This is why God is aloof and will never intervene. We are on its image and will achieve moral maturity eventually, albeit through the school of hard knocks.
nicolaou, and cofty
Nicolaou, You said “Which is just how the Universe would appear if there were no god in it.”
That is exactly my point is—God gives opportunity for everyone to make his own conclusion. When I first heard there are over 7500 variety of apple, I drew the conclusion that it is all because there is Father Figure that takes care of more than just the sustenance, and my faith in Him has only been reinforced further and further as the time passed. Yet the same knowledge may give different conclusion to another person.
Forget about apple. Let us take the case of vast sky towards which all are drawn, a common meeting place so to say, and people seem to look up instinctively either in thanksgiving or in trouble. Ironically enough, it is also a place where scientific search and religious faith seem to coalesce naturally.
In trying to comprehend the vastness of the universe, we would realize that it is our heart (not ego) that we need to expand like the sky—something mythologist Joseph Campbell intelligently grasped. This is what God wants—each one should make his own conclusion, and Joseph Campbell got it correctly. If he got it, it means everyone else also can get it if they want to.
If God defines what is good, then on what grounds can we judge him? If for example he says obedience or worship are the ultimate good.
It's called the
Does moral goodness exist outside of God? Then God is not omnipotent and something greater than God exists that even He is subject too.
Does moral goodness derive from God? Then morality does not really exist apart from what God dictates. Morality is capricious, a product of Gods whim. Which creates the Euthyphro dilemma.
Genuine objective morality is only possible by first omitting gods from the discussion.
Theology has no moral or ethical system, only a collection of arbitrary and capricious diktats.
This is what God wants—each one should make his own conclusion
And, the ability to choose comes at a great price, both to man and to God.
All the logic in the world is totally untrue if the underlying premise or assumption is wrong.
False Premise: We are God's Children.
True premise: We are God's enemies.
God adopts certain individuals based on their faith, or belief in him. When Adam fell, all future copies of him that were in him fell as well. None of them could legally claim God as their father except through some additional contractual arrangement like adoption.
So, God had no legal obligation to man other than the fulfillment of his own prophecy in Genesis 3: 15. Because of that ultimate future defeat of Satan (not by God, no that would be too easy - but by a man), God purposed a people, a lineage and a King. God has and still does intervene in human affairs to allow for this purpose during the dispensation of the Millennium Reign. It cannot be undone...it's going to happen.
BUT, love has its own rationale too, just like the legal side does. Love doesn't require a moral imperative to express itself.
The Old Testament offered a National Contract to Israel for it's continued existence. It was not conditioned upon belief, obedience, or anything else in order to be ratified. The largely modern secular state of Israel is mighty testimony to God's faithfulness, and to the one-sidedness of that agreement mediated by Moses.. All humans on earth will serve an Israeli King one day.
But, Individual salvation (adoption by God) has always been achieved by faith. "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness".
God's ultimate goal is Love. The reciprocal nature of Loves' expression between two parties requires belief in one another to some extent. At least belief in the potential future growth, appreciation and positive effects of the love's expression between the parties. God IS Love.
When we were all JW's we had a maladaptive relationship with a thing, not a Person. Sure, we convinced ourselves that we loved God, but our choices (works) proved that we loved our organization more. We were never children of God as JW's. God gave us what we wanted. He always does.
So how does a person have a relationship with someone who knows everything, and also knows everything that will ever be known? The only proper response to that reality, is to believe him.
If you believe in God, then he believes in you as a person, as his child. God writes the endings of the stories of his children.
There is no dilemma here. Dilemma was created because of anthropomorphic concepts of God for which God is not responsible.
Father would not accept worship from His children, and true children would not feel the need of giving worship to their father. Children would simply love others as themselves because it is natural.
All confusions were created by religions who used their "lying" as their main instrument, as Jeremiah rightly testified. (8:8)
All you are saying is the religious theories which religious leaders "lyingingly" formulated for their own benefit, not for people's benefit. (Jeremiah 7:22, 31; 8:8)
Jesus rejected such theories when he said we can become "perfect" by simply practicing unconditional love. (Mathew 5:44-48)