Categories
Uncategorized

What is God’s ultimate goal for us?

God’s ultimate goal for your life is to make you happy and healthy.

So if you are ever unhappy and/or unhealthy, you can blame God for it because it’s his job to give you the tools necessary to achieve his goals. But we know everyone isn’t happy or healthy. There’s depression, cancer, AIDS and a myriad of other things that can make living a pretty miserable experience.

There must not be a God then because he’s obviously sucking at being a god.

I’ve been thinking about this lately. This whole line of thinking is probably one of the biggest roadblocks for people believing in God. How can a loving God allow suffering, disease and “evil” to exist in the world?

That line of thought only works if we assume health, happiness and goodness are God’s ultimate goal for everyone.

If that’s what God set out to do when he created us, then we can “fault God” because he definitely screwed up somewhere along the way.

It’s got me thinking.

What is God’s ultimate goal for us?

And how would knowing it “frame our thinking.” How would it change our perspective on the way the world has been setup? What would we learn from the issues we face in life?

5 replies on “What is God’s ultimate goal for us?”

“Thanks for the outside references. Those will be some good reads.”

Sure.
“Christian Hedonism” is still very much a new area of inquiry for me.

———————————-

” …what if eradicating evil isn’t the critical issue for God?”

It probably never occurs to many (of us) Bible believers that it is appropriate to ask that question!

I’m almost certain that God didn’t create the universe merely for the pleasure of eventually eradicating the sin and evil that He expected to come about within it, (although He would have remained morally praiseworthy if that had been the case). If God’s ultimate goal were merely to have a creation of which He could expunge evil, He could have chosen one that had less (or more, for more eradication pleasure perhaps?) sin and evil in it than our present one. God is omniscient. So the exact amount of sin and evil that presently exists in His creation cannot be an unintended “coincidence” for Him. Such delicate precision in “regulating” the amount of sin and evil that He allows to exist, suggest (to me) further intentions on God’s part for His present creation beyond the mere eradication of the sin and evil in it.

However, having said that, I would also like to add that, for God (whose omnibenevolence is ontologically necessary), all of His intentions for His creation will ultimately result in the eradication of sin and evil, even if that were not His primary intention for His creation. In any case, God’s ultimate goal for His creation will be the one that will result in the satisfaction of the maximum number of His desires, and will thus be the one of greatest value (since, for God, “desire” equals “value”).

Thanks for the outside references. Those will be some good reads.

The argument you quoted about the “Logical problem of evil” is exactly the type of argument my initial post was against.

People discount God because there is evil. But as far fetched as it sounds, what if eradicating evil isn’t the critical issue for God?

Once we begin to entertain that thought, then I hope the existence of God and evil will be more digestible.

Hi again Alex!
Thank you for responding to my comments.

I will reply to each of your four responses to my comments in their respective order.

1. Again, thank you. My earlier comments were made before I had taken the time to review the archives on your website and learn more about your beliefs. At that time, I didn’t know that your website is Christian and biblically based. As you can probably surmise, I am more accustomed to communicating with nonbelievers, and I apologize for the use of vague terminology in discussing God.

2. My previous comments on this point were primarily directed against the following types of argumentation (excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil)

Logical problem of evil

1. God exists. (premise)
2. God is omnipotent and omniscient. (premise — or true by definition of the word “God”)
3. God is all-benevolent. (premise — or true by definition)
4. All-benevolent beings are opposed to all evil. (premise — or true by definition)
5. All-benevolent beings who can eliminate evil will do so immediately when they become aware of it. (premise)
6. God is opposed to all evil. (conclusion from 3 and 4)
7. God can eliminate evil completely and immediately. (conclusion from 2)

7.1 Whatever the end result of suffering is, God can bring it about by ways that do not include suffering. (conclusion from 2)
7.2 God has no reason not to eliminate evil. (conclusion from 7.1)
7.3 God has no reason not to act immediately. (conclusion from 5)

8. God will eliminate evil completely and immediately. (conclusion from 6, 7.2 and 7.3)
9. Evil exists, has existed, and probably will always exist. (premise)
10. Items 8 and 9 are contradictory; therefore, one or more of the premises is false: either God does not exist, evil does not exist, or God is not simultaneously omnipotent, omniscient, and all-benevolent (i.e. God is omnipotent and omniscient but not all-benevolent, omnipotent and all-benevolent but not omniscient, or omniscient and all-benevolent but not omnipotent).

Evidential problem of evil

As argued by Paul Draper in a seminal article in Noûs (1989), the evidental problem of evil goes as follows:

1. Gratuitous evils exist.
2. The hypothesis of indifference (HI), i.e., that if there are supernatural beings they are indifferent to gratuitous evils, is a better explanation for (1) than theism.
3. Therefore, evidence prefers that no god, as commonly understood by theists, exists.

In a past discussion with an atheist on the IIDB (http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/index.php), (I’m much too busy now to be a regular contributor of comments in that forum, as I once was), I was told that God is a “monster” who allows “horrific” and “outrageous” things to happen to innocent people. Therefore, it is ridiculous to believe in a God that is ultimately interested in the good of His creatures. But when I asked this atheist how he himself coped with the whole issue of seemingly gratuitous evils in the world, he simply shrugged it off as a “mere pragmatic problem” that, with further scientific and technical investigation, can be solved! I was shocked into silence by that response, but I never forgot it.

My point is that, if an atheist can view all of the so-called “gratuitous evils” as “mere problems to be solved by further inquiry”, then why can’t I equally, as a bible believer, view the “problem” as having a human origin (that God is allowing to remain in existence for educational purposes)?

3. Precisely!
But I used the term “principles” because the World-View according to which any inquiry proceeds, is of fundamental importance.

4. I am learning a lot about “Christian Hedonism” from two websites:

Sam Storms’ at,
http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/what-is-christian-hedonism

and

John Piper’s at,
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/2006/1797_We_Want_You_to_Be_a_Christian_Hedonist/

I think that God is probably more ultimately interested in making us “holy” than happy, but also that God’s Holiness includes happiness (as part of its “package”). However, I am certainly open to hearing some opposing views on this issue. After all, that’s what rational inquiry is supposed to be all about.

Heya John!

Thanks for your comments.

In response to . . .

1. I agree wholeheartedly to everything. Every last word. You hit the nail on the head. ;)

2. Not sure I follow you on this one.

3. I think it is the case that God has created the world in a way that people can find health, happiness and value in it.

Look around, there’s the ocean, the sound of babies laughing, the satisfaction of a good days work . . .

All that brings about an enjoyment from life, but really only when you truly appreciate God’s design for things and not just see everything as a “consumable” good.

4. Yup. I’m glad you you’re thinking what I’m thinking.

I just want people to take a step back before they start blaming God for things.

If we try and understand God’s perspective on things instead of assuming ours are right, we just might be a little happier when things start making more sense. ;)

First, the task of determining the motives of a Creator (“God” or whatever) is made extremely difficult by narrowly focusing on the ultimate desires and aspirations of mere humans. More information about the “character” or “nature” of the “God” in question would appear to be a prerequisite for arriving at answers to your questions.

Secondly, how does one move logically from creatures that are capable of rational inquiry (into the moral motives of their Creator) to creatures that can possess no moral responsibility of their own on the assumption that their Creator exists?

Third, why (pray tell) could it not be the case that the universe has already been created (or “blessed”, perhaps?) in such a way that “principles” can readily be found (by sapient creatures like humans) that would enable us to create and sustain our own health, happiness, and “value”?

And finally, while (long term) “happiness” for humans might be an aspect (or part) of a Creator’s ultimate goal for humans, it need not be that Creator’s own personal (ultimate) goal for Its own creation. It is the Creator’s goal rather than the (varied and possibly conflicting) goal(s) of the creatures that is the ultimately important consideration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *