Thursday, December 6, 2012

One reason Catholics believe in a good God is...

...we all inherently know good from evil. 

Many folks today don’t like the idea of “good” and “bad”; they like the ideas of “holy” and “evil” even less. They say things are good or bad merely from your perspective. Soldiers on both sides of a war think they’re “good” and the enemy is “bad”. It’s all relative, they say.

This sounds very equitable and reasonable until one of these people has their car stolen and they go to the police. Don’t they see that having something stolen is only “bad” from their point of view but it is “good” from the thief’s point of view? Shouldn’t the police reply that the one whose car was stolen “needs some perspective” and realize that “there’s not absolute bad action”? Oh the sweet, sweet smell of hypocrisy.

Each of us is made with a conscience that tells us what is truly good or bad. We can drown it out or ignore it but we can’t get rid of it. Some people say the conscience is our own invention; that we impose it on ourselves but I know for a fact there are things I want to do but don’t because the nagging voice in my head says not to. If I made that voice then I could unmake it; but I cannot. Others say conscience comes from society; that we learn it from our parents but that nagging voice is still there even when no one is watching and I know I won’t get caught.

The only place this conscience could have come from then is outside of us. If it has authority over us (we can’t change it and can’t get rid of it) then it must’ve come from “above” us. On one hand this is yet another reason to believe in God (we have a conscience that we didn’t invent so where did it come from) and it’s a reason to believe that God is “good”.

By “good” I mean that he desires for us to be truly happy. At the end of the day, that’s where our conscience guides us. I bet some days God would get a good deal of pleasure out of beating us down with fire and brimstone but it wouldn’t bring Him happiness in the long run. In the same way our conscience bothers us when we pursue short-term pleasure at the expense of long-term happiness.

The fact that God created us hard-wired to know the difference between what is truly good for us and what is not is yet another reason that we believe that God is not only real and intelligent but also good.

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