Author Archives: Maryann

About Maryann

Maryann Spikes is the past President of the Christian Apologetics Alliance and now coordinates the CAA Catechism. She blogs at Ichthus77, and loves apologetics and philosophy. In particular she loves to study all things Euthyphro Dilemma and Golden Rule. A para-educator (autism) for five years, she holds a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, an AA in Humanities via Modesto Junior College, and moonlights as a freelancer. You can follow her on Twitter @Ichthus77, connect with the Ichthus77 community on Facebook, or look her up on Google+.

Is God not free, therefore not morally perfect?

Summary of my position before posting the conversation below: Moral perfection requires the freedom to choose the good and always freely reject its privation (evil). That God always chooses the good and never chooses the evil (because he is necessarily, essentially good) does not mean the evil choice was never open to him. The evil choice is possible whether or not someone chooses or rejects it. Choosing it is not a sign of freedom and strength, but of slavery and weakness.

If god is essentially morally perfect, he isn’t morally free. If he isn’t morally free, he can’t ground the goodness of moral freedom. #POE

  1. @doubtcast ability to choose the contrary is not necessary to basic free will. All that is necessary is that one not be coerced by another.

  2. @thejasonwisdom I’m talking about libertarian free will – the kind appealed to as an answer to the Problem of evil etc.

  3. @doubtcast in a Christian worldview that applies to contingent beings. God need not possess libertarian freedom to be the standard of good.

  4. @doubtcast obviously, I know we disagree on that, but it is philosophically sound.

  5. .@thejasonwisdom that’s the point though. He can’t ground the goodness of lib free will unless his nature is lib free.

  6. @doubtcast I think that assertion needs support. It follows that any gift bestowed by a necessarily good being is, in essence, good.

  7. @doubtcast I understand the point and see its appeal but it fails if God (exists and) is necessarily good. I suppose thats the real snag.

  8. @thejasonwisdom according to your theory of grounding, it has none.

  9. @doubtcast Well, shoot me some articles and/or recommendations to help me understand. Thanks.

  10. Because God is morally perfect, he will always choose the good & reject evil (evil being a sign of weakness, not omnipotence). @doubtcast

  11. @Ichthus77 according to what standard? Presumably, god’s nature (the good) is good and it is logically incoherent to talk about a ‘choice.’ Continue reading

Is it unbiblical that God grounds moral goodness?

Before posting the discussion below, I want to summarize my position:
There are countless verses in Scripture which testify to the goodness and perfection of God (sample: 1 John 1:5, 4:8; Galatians 5:22-23; Matthew 7:12; John 1:45, 5:39; Matthew 5:17; 2:37, 39, 40). Truth is that which corresponds to reality. If there is true goodness, there must be a being that is defined by it; there must be a being described by true goodness. There is no other candidate in reality besides God who fits this description.

The notion that God’s nature is the grounding of all goodness has no obvious support in scripture.

  1. There r countless verses on the goodness of God. Does ur idea of Good correspond to the same nothing that begat the universe? 😉 @doubtcast

  2. @doubtcast the author of james would disagree. james 1:17

  3. .@Ichthus77 Read the tweet again and drop the sarcasm.

  4. @in2caffeine The author is talking about good gifts there – that they are given from God. Doesn’t suggest ontological grounding.

  5. @doubtcast IF a single, uncreated, personal, being exists; it follows necessarily that such a being grounds morality. It goes w/out saying.

  6. @doubtcast To what always good being in reality does your idea of good correspond?