Is it dangerous to say that God operates on a different level of morality and ethics than humans?
"First we must be very careful that we do not assess God by our own sense of morality, justice, righteousness, etc. The God of the Bible is the reference point by which all standards are assessed. Thus, we must assess God Himself within the framework of His own Being and Character."
An interesting thought I've heard from a particular Christian is that we cannot use human standards of love and morality to apply to God. He said that God operates completely on a different level of morality and love than humans. But, IF that is true, then saying God "loves" us and is "good" is entirely meaningless, as we are using a human understanding of those concepts to describe something whose attributes don't have the same meaning. I think that it's dangerous to think that way, because God could commit the worst atrocities and the worse hate to human beings, by our standards, but since God operates on another level of morality and emotion, under this viewpoint of "God operates on a higher order of good and love", people would still call him "loving" and "good".
Inspired by this user's response to my question:
Dr. Bob - I hesitate to accept that, because that would mean the human sense of morality is meaningless. My idea of "love" and "moral" actually is different from God's ideas. And since you say that God is of a higher degree, this must mean that in order to become more moral, then I should abandon my own moral sense, and embrace God's. I'm not quite sure what to make of the implications of what would happen if I did that.
Dr. Bob, I would also like to add, that I'm not sure how I would begin to deduce and have knowledge of what God's morality is, since all texts that describe God was written by humans.
- Anonymous9 years agoBest Answer
IF that is true, then saying God "loves" us and is "good" is entirely meaningless."
No, the person is not saying that God does not hold to a basic meaning of love or good, but supersedes those meanings. It's a matter of an eternal perspective. In the temporal a particular event may be seen as bad or evil, but in the eternal the good that is caused is seen.
It is also a case of defining the terms of love and good. Without an absolute in which these terms can be founded, namely God, then these terms do become subjective and thus meaningless.
- WukongLv 79 years ago
I wonder who it would be dangerous to. Perhaps to those who do not have the skill to understand?
Isn't that why we have priests, scientists and experts - to interpret for us?
Yes, all texts about God were written by humans, in attempt to describe something that is beyond our ability to describe (or describe it in such a way as to gain control over us)
Example - Scientists are telling us that the Universe is multi dimensional. The current trend is for 7 dimensions. We are 3 dimensional. We are not capable of conceiving or knowing or seeing anything beyond this. So they attempt to explain the unexplainable in terms that we can grasp. And, if we met a 7 dimensional being, we would not know it, only being able to see the first 3 dimensions.
Thus, it is argued, we can only see the will of God in terms that we ourselves can understand
The Jewish Quaballa has the tree of life (Sephir Sephiroth). This attempts to be a map/graph of the hierarchy of all things. The highest planes are above the physical universe in the sense that they show the position of Angels and stuff.
Above this "tree" or map are 3 higher planes (heaven) that are beyond our ability to understand. The Ain, then the Ain Soph, and then the Ain Soph Aur. They place God above this - 3 levels higher than knowledge can ever reach.
- 9 years ago
Yeah, you're off base here. You're confusing a relative standard with an absolute one.
If God exists -- and I'm convinced that he does -- then he's the absolute standard of goodness, by necessity. He makes the rules, after all.
Whatever is created can't have greater abilities than what can be imagined by its creator. God can't give us a sense of morality that's greater than God's sense of right and wrong. It's not possible.
So whatever you think might be right and wrong is nebulous. You already know that human standards of morality change. God's standards don't, by definition. His is the absolute. Yours is relative.
And so yours is always a subset of God's idea of morality. It can only be lesser or (in theory) equal to. It can't exceed its source.
I appreciate your updated comments. Let me clarify.
Set aside the question of whether or not the God of the Bible exists. Let's say that we're all the product of a giant, green, bodiless pig (a la "Angry Birds"). The argument above still holds true: our morality cannot be greater than that which created us.
That we all have a sense of morality is a given. What's more, our morality is wonderfully consistent, even though everything else about humanity is not: cultures differ, religions differ, upbringing differs, gender and age roles differ, parentage differs, etc., etc. Yet we still have this uncanny sense that we should behave in the same way.
And yet somehow we seem incapable of behaving the way that we think we should! We have a sense of how to act, but we can't consistently maintain our own standard!
I would argue that the standard we hold is objective, external to ourselves. I think the data supports that conclusion. If you disagree, then you're suddenly in the spot of having to argue that there are times when rape and child abuse are acceptable and appropriate. If you can do that, well, then this discussion is pointless because the rest of us would argue that you do not have morals.
So we have this objective, externally sourced standard of absolute morality. Where can that possibly come from?
As we've already discussed, it can't be cultural. But it can't be due to evolutionary means, either. Just when it's most advantageous for us to preserve ourselves, we make a conscious choice to run into a burning building or dive on a hand grenade, or run into traffic to save a child. In those times, we experience fear, but we don't run from the danger, we run to it.
Now, that thing within us that decides between two reactions cannot be one of those reactions. If that were so, then we'd react to the fear and run away. Instead, we put down the fear reaction and encourage the heroic action. There's a sense within us that's separate from evolutionary and cultural processes, one which is objective.
- Anonymous9 years ago
No, it is simply illogical.
God existed before any Creation. Morality cannot apply to One that has no Other in all the universe.
And you certainly can't say that when the Other was created then God grew/adopted/took on morality. The whole idea is childish in the extreme.
But the quote doesn't say that anyway, having reread the thing. Your morality must come from God, where else can it come from ? But that does not mean that God is like you. Both things are true.
You think only murdering someone is bad but God says that murdering them can be accomplished by words too.
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- BibsLv 79 years ago
The texts in the bible were written by humans, but inspired by God. He is the potter we are the clay. We are not capable of understanding God, except in part. Can an amoeba attached to your shoe, understand you?
- CCLv 79 years ago
Yes, it is very dangerous and nonsensical. Imagine if someone claimed they behaved badly but was justified by their god's different morality and ethics, as they were only carrying out their god's orders.
It is nonsensical because these same god-believers claim that without their god's words, we would not be moral or have ethics. Why would a god be a hypocrite by giving us one set of morals and does not believe that he should operate from the same?
Why worship a hypocritical god?Source(s): An atheist perspective.
- L'nyaLv 69 years ago
can a child fully understand everything an adult can? Jehovah created us in His image to display love justice wisdom and power just as He does.He is a reasonable God and does not give us more than we can take on.He knows our limitations but is willing to give us any spiritual help thru His holy spirit as He promised He would.We as humans have to humble ourselves to realize that we need to rely on Him to gain knowledge wisdom and understanding of His will.We will never fully know all His outworkings because we are flesh and blood but we can have everlasting life in the near future to learn all we can for an eternity if we are obedient to his word the bible and survive the destruction of this wicked human society.(ps. 37:10,11,28-29)
- Anonymous9 years ago
The Christian god is a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of god. It exists in a world of double standards.
- Anonymous9 years ago
Christians : The only people on the planet who believe a baby murderer (egypt's first born) is worthy of love and worship.
- A is for AtheistLv 69 years ago
And what level would that be, and who would be the one to determine that level I wonder.....
If no one has ever seen heard or spoken to this god, then no one has the right to say anything about his nature.