Nature of God Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1321 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Religious Philosophy

THE NATURE OF GOD

Belief in a Supreme Being is ubiquitous among virtually all human cultures throughout the world. Western religious traditions rely on the concepts of a single, judgmental, punitive (but also benevolent) God. Judeo-Christian philosophies, in particular, emphasize the notions of God's beneficence and of our personal relationships with God.

Very generally, Christian religions require unquestioned loyalty to an eternal, loving, and just God, who is fundamentally of Good "character." The Christian God rewards good behavior and also punishes for sinful human conduct. God rewards

(and punishes) both in life as well as in the afterlife. Many believe that God appreciates (indeed, demands) our personal allegiance even more than our good conduct toward our human contemporaries, and that, unlike the former, our shortcomings with respect to the latter are unforgivable. According to Christian religious beliefs, God forgives all earthly sins of those who believe in him and rewards them with eternal life in Heaven after death. Conversely, no good deed on earth is sufficient to avoid eternal damnation in Hell for those who do not accept God,

Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

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To merely entertain the question of whether or not the Christian God really exists (or in precisely what form) is a sin, in and of itself, and (presumably) even where the questioner's conclusion is in the affirmative. Faith that is both absolute and blind is (generally) an essential component of Western religious teachings. Still, much thought has been devoted to the question of God's nature and goodness, as well as to the relationship between God and morality in human conduct.

Term Paper on Nature of God Assignment

Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out that to believe absolutely, but without ever having (first) doubted God's existence does not qualify as true faith. According to Nietzsche, for any conclusion to constitute a belief, its converse must first have been considered and rejected. With respect to the issue of human morality, Nietzsche rejected the idea that human morality is un-definable without an a-priori belief in God. Rather, that awareness that God does not exist opens the human mind to deduce and define objectively meaningful moral principles intellectually. (Nietzsche, 1886)

David Hume (and many others) have suggested that even if one believes that a Creator is necessarily responsible for our existence, nothing at all requires that God be good, and that an unconcerned, morally ambiguous Creator is no less plausible than benevolent or concerned God. (Hume, 1779) More recently, Albert Einstein,

Bertrand Russell, and many other post-relativity scientific philosophers like Stephen

Hawking have reduced the definition of Creator to nothing more than a formula capable of expression in the language of advanced mathematics. Einstein, in particular, absolutely rejected the notion of any concerned God, Divine reward and punishment, the afterlife, and any meaningful difference between the significance of human life and other so-called "lower" biological life forms. Like Nietzsche, Einstein specifically opposed the belief that God is necessary for the derivation of human values, ethics, and morals:

"[I have] no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and punishes his creatures is inconceivable to [me] for the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it undergoes. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education and social ties, and needs. No religious basis is necessary."

(Einstein, 1930)

Possibly the most fundamental difficulty with the God defined by Western religions is the belief that God is omnipotent and omniscient and, simultaneously, good and loving. The problem of Evil arises because, on every level of observation, life in this world entails substantial suffering, pain, and injustice, which any all- powerful Creator could immediately rectify (or, more likely, prevent in the first place), were he both omnipotent and good. John Hick attempts to resolve this classic contradiction with his modern version… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nature-god/5491.