|Explain what is meant by 'the goodness of God'
Author: Like-In-My-Dream PM
PHILOSOPHY -- EXPLANATION question -- Explain what is meant by 'the goodness of God' in the Bible -- An Essay that i wrote for my A-Level Ethics class -- I received an A for this piece.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,317 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 01-27-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2627669
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I figure that everyone wants help with their school work sometimes, as do I, so I decided to post some of my essays that I have written in the past for my philosophy and ethics course that I got full marks on.
PLEASE DO NOT copy this word for word as that would be plagerism, but I have found that looking back over these past essays and summarising the main points was very useful when it came to revision of all the arguments.
The essay question you are working on will most likely not be this exact question so copying it exactly will not help in the slightest except to make you look like an idiot.
Hope this is useful to all you aspiring philosophers out there :)
Explain what is meant by 'the goodness of god'in the bible
The goodness of God is vital to the bible and the structure of the Christian faith, without defining what they mean by 'the goodness of God', Christians would find it very difficult to deal with questions such as the Euthyphro dilemma. Christians fall back on the bible as their ultimate way of interoperating God's will and defining what is 'good' and 'bad' based on God's own goodness.
Christians believe God reveals his goodness through his actions. One of which would be through his creation: God wills that there should be something besides himself, and he creates the world out of himself:
" 31God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. "
The 'goodness' of God is prominent in the opening chapters of the Bible. Repeatedly, God pronounced everything which He created "good". In Genesis 2, God saw that it was "not good" for Adam to be alone, and so He created a wife for him, this shows God's love for his creation and his will to make it as good as possible.
Christians believe that God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12 is a clear indication of his love for Human kind:
" 1The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you." "
God not only provides a new land for the people that follow him, but also, like a father, promises to protect them through Abraham. This shows the goodness of God by showing the love he has for his creation like a father would love his children. This is a very constant theme throughout the bible – God's image as a loving father is especially obvious in Hosea 11:
" 1"When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more Icalled Israel,
the further they went from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images. "
One of Christian's most important practices is prayer. God's response to prayer is vital to show his goodness to human kind. The bible shows this in 1 Samuel when Hannah prays for a child because she can not have children. God listens to her plea and shows pity on her and grants her wish for a son. Pity and generosity are held very highly in the Christian culture because they are seen to be holy (god-like) qualities and therefore good. God listens to prayers and responds to them very often in the bible – many similar situations to Hannah's are addressed by God in the bible – Jesus' own cousin, John the Baptist was conceived because of God hearing a priest's plea (Luke 1) and responding with love and compassion:
" 13 But the angel said to him, "Stop being afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to name him John." "
God's anger at sin and injustice is important to the way that Christians interpret God's goodness, so that they know that God's does not just let them do anything and is happy for them to do whatever they wish, even if it is against his will. The fact that God upholds his laws shows that he is non-contradictory and constant – therefore good. Again, the way that he acts can be likened to the way that a father may act with his misbehaving children – he will teach them to uphold the law and treat others fairly, but will scold them when they act against his will. God's dislike of injustice is mentioned at the beginning of Amos 8 when god promises that he will never forget your unjust actions. God's rage against the disobedience of his people when they do not follow his laws is shown in the New Testament when Jesus sees the temple of God being used as a market place:
" 13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" "
Many people may interpret this action as sinful because he is destroying people's possessions and giving into rage which is one of the 7 deadly sins, however, because his actions were to defend one of the most important commandments 'love thy god' (which these people are not doing because they are using his sacred temple as a common market) Jesus' actions are justified. Exodus 33 addresses the problem of God's actions sometimes being contradictory: e.g. God says 'Anger is bad' but then gets angry at the Jews in the desert when they worship idols.
" 19The goodness of God comprehends all His attributes. All the acts of God are nothing else but the effulgence of His goodness "
What this means is that God's actions and 'emotions' all stem from an ultimate good inside of himself which makes the actions and emotions good.
" 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. "
This passage from John 3 encapsulates the belief that all Christians hold – because God provided his only son, they may be able, when they die, to reach paradise. This shows God's kindness and unselfish nature and his total love for his creation. Many Christians believe that for God to lower himself to human form showed how good he really was, because not only did God send his son, but he also sent himself because God and Jesus are the same – Jesus is God and God is Jesus.
In conclusion, there are many aspects of god's 'goodness', but all of his actions, even if they seem cruel or are not accepted by the standards of his own laws e.g. asking Abraham to kill his only son, all have a basis and a purpose that is good because God is perfect and all knowing. God is good, he does not adhere to an external good therefore God's actions can not possible be bad even though they may seem that way because of our limited understanding of God's purpose for us.