The relationship between a theistic God (considering there is one) and morality cannot be explained in simply a few sentences. One may immediately come to the conclusion that God decides what is moral and immoral. This is known as Divine Command Theory which says that morality is dependent on God’s commands. However, this gives rise to the other side that says an action is moral because God approves of it. This is known as the Autonomy thesis which says that morality is not dependent on God’s commands.
If we are talking about a Christian view of God as omnibenevolant then He always does what is good but this does not detract from the fact that the source of good is independent of Him. The other, more provocative statement that something is good because God commands it indicates that God is the ground of morality and whatever He commands is the morally good thing to do. However, this causes a number of problems, mainly that if He were to command rape or genocide, these actions would become morally good and the right thing to do. As the more debatable statement, I will discuss the latter statement in more detail. Many, if not most, Christians would argue that they believe the second statement and that morality depends entirely on God as he is omnipotent and omnibenevolant and so is the source of goodness.
However since we already have an idea of God as this perfect and infinite being, he must exist. Furthermore, since the natural light clears deception as an imperfection as well as not existing, God is a non-deceiver, he exist and is perfect. After the cogito argument and natural light examination of the deceptive God, Descartes discards the hypothesis that God is a deceiver. Since God is all-good, he would not deceive us. For that reason, Descartes introduces the evil demon/genius instead.
Free will means that God does not have any set destiny for us. If God were to create free agents that could only choose good, that would mean that God laid out a destiny of good for all agents. Even though God is omniscient, free will is still possible because while God may know the choices we are going to make, he is not the cause of them. Since God does not choose or cause our destiny, we still have free will. In response to the option in which God creates a world with free agents and no evil, a world with no evil would mean a world with no good, so it would be impossible for God to create a free agents that only choose good, since evil does not exist.
The issue that arises most commonly comes when all three of God’s characteristics are observed. As an omnibenevolent being, God, in theory, would not allow evil to plague the earth. One might assume God’s omnipotent nature would discount the existence of evil because he is able to stop it. Along with these, God’s omniscient powers would allow him to know of all of the evil. Therefore, believing God to encompass all of these traits would leave anyone in their right mind wondering how anything bad could ever happen in the world.
These issues arise due to the question; if God is all knowing and all loving, should He not then stop suffering from happening? The subject of evil and suffering provides an inconsistency with the traditional image of God and His attributes. Someone whom acknowledged and illustrated this inconsistency is Hume, in the form of Hume’s inconsistent triad. With this Hume viewed God’s attributes; omnipotence and omni-benevolence, and that evil exists. Hume concluded that the three points are inconsistent.
It also allows human beings to get their minds around the fact that Gods knowledge and being is beyond anything our human minds can comprehend, let alone try to describe with ‘positive’ words. It is easy for us as human beings to believe in a God and portray God to be like us (anthropomorphism), but truthfully we do not know how he would appear, and this theory helps to convey the mysteriousness of God. Negative descriptions of God or divine Powers are literal fact and so are easily understood across cultures and time, because they never change and always remain fact, there is no confusion, however
Which Aquinas believed reflects the Eternal Law. The Natural Law refers to the moral law of God which has been built into each human nature; however it can be seen by everyone as it does not depend on belief in God as long as you use you reason when faced with a situation then you have done the
Thus, he believes there is no reason why should you live a moral life rather than for one's self. Fidley asks Seltzer one last question, “what motivation for adopting the moral point of view can you possibly offer without a belief in God and immorality?” which leads us to this quote, “When religion tells us that there is nothing more we can say about morality than that we can’t see the reasons for it, but do it if you know what’s good for you, then I do condemn it. We can do better than that. We can become moral grown-ups. And if there were a God, surely he would approve”.
We cannot judge God, nor his actions because he is a non cognitive being. Only God knows the future, and therefore when it is appropriate to intervene. Therefore, through miracles he is not favouring some of his creation over others, but the good of the whole creation itself. Furthermore, our free will stops God from intervening in every situation, because according to Swinburne, if we do not have the capacity to damn ourselves, we are not truly free agents. However this does not necessarily overcome the problem of God favouring his creation because by having the ability to intervene, but not at every moment he can prevent evil from happening to some but not too others.