Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"What is God's Morality?"




As part of the comment thread to
Requiem for a Nightmare, Chuck Ross asked me: "What is God's morality? Where is it found?"

Give Chuck credit; he doesn't focus on trivialities.

This is what I wrote in response...

This is a question to which some context is necessary before providing an answer.

First, I think there is wisdom in John 1:1, which is usually translated as, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."


Actually, what we moderns call “Word” is better translated as “Logos.”

“Logos” is the Greek word for "wisdom" or "reason" (see the Wikipedia entry).


Thus, “God is the ‘Reason.’ And the ‘Reason’ is ‘God.’”


You asked, “What is God’s morality? Where is it found?”


Dare I answer: To know God is to know ‘The Reason.’


To quote Ayn Rand: “Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil.”


On another occasion, she wrote: “Life or death is man’s only fundamental alternative. To live is his basic act of choice. If he chooses to live, a rational ethics will tell him what principles of action are required to implement his choice.”


In stating that Life requires “rational ethics,” Rand was revitalizing the vision of Aristotle (a vision affirmed by Christianity, but sadly, rarely practiced).

To quote Aristotle: “The human function is activity of the soul in accord with reason…Virtue ('arete') then is a settled disposition of the mind determining the choice of actions and emotions, consisting essentially in the observance of the mean relative to us, this being determined by principle, that is, as the prudent man would determine it.”


So again: “Where is God’s morality?” It’s both inside us (Reason) and outside us (Logos). And “what IS God’s morality?” There are no moral commandments (as Rand said, a “moral commandment is a contradiction in terms"). Rather, there is only the strong recommendation that one use his rational power at all times to secure the Good: The Good being his own Life. And every goal and value that affirms his life.



4 comments:

Chuck said...

Todd:

with all due respect, that didn't come close to answering my question. and it in no way addresses the absolute nature of the matter.

Todd White said...

Fine. Then can you please clarify your questions?

Anonymous said...

You should read up on Ms. Rand and her "reason" -->

Without A Prayer: Ayn Rand and the Close of Her System by John W. Robbins

http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/without_a_prayer.htm

http://www.trinitylectures.org/MP3/The_Philosophy_of_Ayn_Rand_Refuted.mp3

Todd White said...

I'm not sure if this is the same "Anonymous" I just responded to, but if not, I just bookmarked that essay, and will read it soon. I'll post my comments here...

http://mustardseednovel.blogspot.com/2009/09/comment-thread-to-christian-nation.html