| God Is Perfectly Good Because He Has A Morality Gene
Used by permission, from the Agnostic Review of Christianity website
Many Christians promote the theological position that any action God takes is always perfectly good and moral.
To support this speculation, which they often advertise to the world as a universal fact, Christians implant a type of "moral" genetic code inside their God.
This form of Christian reasoning rejects the idea that moral standards are an arbitrary function of God's power.
They also reject the idea that there is a Law higher or outside of God.
Instead, they maintain that there is an objective moral standard which exists, and it resides internally in God.
By inventing a "holy" gene for morality, Christians try to avoid the problem of God's moral code being a function of his "mind" or thought processes, and at the same time they try to avoid the problem of God being subject or bound to a supreme moral code that he didn't create.
In essence, this holy gene wasn't created by God nor does it represent a higher law than God.
Morality is based in the unchanging character of God, which is always perfectly good.
God doesn't create the objective moral standard with his thoughts or whims, he simply has it inside of him in the form of a holy genetic code.
The Christian God embodies all that is perfectly good because he has the holy morality gene.
God's actions and commands cannot be anything but perfectly holy and perfectly good at all times.
It's easy to see why theological concoctions like this are needed when one reads the Bible.
The moral behavior of the Bible "God" leaves such a long trail of blood, death, and punishment through the scriptures that the issue simply can't be avoided.
If God's questionable moral behavior can't be avoided, then it has to be sanitized and made "holy".
This spawns legions of professional apologists who assign their God the status of being so "holy" that whatever he does or commands is far above any human evaluation and cannot be measured by any type of human moral yardstick.
Anything that God does or commands can never be "evil" or immoral.
In this type of universe, anything from God which may appear "evil" is really unrecognized "good".
Not surprisingly, the basis for these apologetics can be found in the Bible.
God's ways and thoughts are proclaimed to be higher than any others.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my (God's) ways higher than your ways, and my (God's) thoughts than your thoughts.
The natural human power to reason is declared inept and "foolish" compared to God's standards.
1 Cor 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
While these assertions sound quite pious and lofty, they do not represent the ultimate objective moral standard which Christians say exists.
If this morality gene floating around inside God is actually valid, God then becomes a programmed "holy" being, subject to the code of an imagined holy gene that supersedes God's ability to change his mind or deviate from the standard.
The Christian God cannot simply be assumed to possess an objective moral standard.
An objective moral standard has the following elements:
1. It is free of bias: free of any bias or prejudice caused by personal feelings.
2. It is based on facts: based on facts rather than thoughts or opinions.
The holy morality gene that Christians place in their God is a function of their personal feelings and is based on the opinion that their version of God must be the one true God.
Any believer in any "God" can make exactly the same claims about their God, and the moral standard of one particular God may not agree with the moral standard of another.
One God may command his followers to pray only while sitting in a chair while another God may command that all prayer must be performed standing up.
Both commands are moral laws coming from an all powerful deity or "God".
Where is the "objective" moral standard here? There is none.
At best, the Christian God would possess a subjective moral standard.
A subjective moral standard would exhibit the following:
1. It is not impartial: based on somebody's opinions or feelings rather than on facts or evidence.
2. It exists by perception: existing only in the mind and not independently of it.
The Christian version of God cannot be said to encompass an objective moral standard because the existence of this standard is based on the "feelings"(i.e. speculations) of believers and cannot be confirmed outside of their mental projections and beliefs.
The Christian theological construct of an ultimate objective moral standard is an entirely subjective enterprise and results in a subjective product at the end.
The foundation of the Bible God's moral standard is also supposed to rooted in his "unchanging character".
This assertion is false if the Bible is to be taken seriously as the word of this God.
God declares that all his commandments (moral laws) represent truth and are eternal.
The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
Obeying God's moral standard produces righteousness and blessings.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Thou(God) hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
God's moral law is to be obeyed in detail.
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
However, these instructions are set aside when the Bible later declares that God's moral laws are no longer binding and have been replaced by faith in a human sacrifice.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
but now we are clear from the law, having died in that in which we were held, so that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter.
In God's perfect (Psa 19:7) and eternal (Psa 119:152,160) law, God issues his commandments on which foods may be eaten by his followers (Lev 11). For example, in God's moral code people are instructed to note the difference between clean and unclean food so they will not defile themselves by consuming unclean food.
The flesh of swine, or pork, is declared unclean and not to be eaten under any circumstance.
And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
However, the Bible God's moral code regarding unclean food is discarded later when, in a reversal of his earlier proclamation, God's word declares that nothing is unclean, any meat may be eaten, and it is a matter of personal preference regarding such matters.
I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
1 Cor 10:25-26
Whatever in the meat-market is sold eat ye, not inquiring, because of the conscience,
For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
Also according to God's revised instructions, no food entering a man can defile him.
And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
Although Christians advertise their God as having an unchanging character which contains an absolute standard for morality, God's moral law changed and the definition of sin was changed.
This type of system is moral relativism and represents ethics based on situation.
What was previously a sin and immoral, is now quite acceptable. Under this system, sin is not based on an absolute standard, but is based on one that changes with the times and depends on the situation.
God's whim also enters into this morality equation as he displays favoritism with his people.
The application of punishment for violation of God's moral code is selective.
For example, God's moral law states that doing any kind of work on the Sabbath is a sin (Exo 31:14-15), and when a man violated the law by gathering sticks on the Sabbath, he was ordered to be put to death by God (Num 15:32-36).
Adultery is also a sin which calls for the death penalty (Deut 22:22). However when King David, who was a personal favorite of God, violated the moral law on adultery he is given an exemption from the death penalty and the punishment is instead applied to his son, which is then struck by God with an illness and dies. (2 Sam 12:9-18). This killing of the son by God for the sin of the father is a violation of another moral law which states that each man will die for his own sin:
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
The Christian God circumvents his own moral law when it suits him to do so.
The ultimate irony is then displayed when the Bible, the alleged word of this God, states that God does not practice favoritism (Rom 2:11).
Contrary to the Christian assertion that the morality gene which their God possesses is not arbitrary or subject to his whims, the evidence shows that the exact opposite is true and God's moral standard is not fixed on any absolute definition of sinful behavior.
The Christian claim about their God embodying some sort of supreme holy moral standard, which is reflected by the perfectly good character of God, is basically theological gibberish designed to render the actions of their deity immune from moral examination and evaluation.