What is the nature of God?
Question: What is the nature of God? Is he purely good, purely evil or somewhere in between?
It is a question worth of philosophical consideration because the question is currently unanswered and being argued in the field of philosophy. The answer to this question is essential for answering many other significant philosophical questions such as “whether you should wager for the God?” Placing the nature of God in a reasonable position when investigating related questions can be helpful, just like controlling an independent variable. We do not hope to answer this question once for all, but our answer to the question may function as a sample and inspire other investigators to develop their own thoughts when answering a similar or related question.
Thesis Statement: God is neither purely evil nor purely good, he is somewhere in between. Happiness is good and unwanted suffering is evil. If God is purely good, he would make everyone happy. On the opposite, if God is purely evil, he would make everyone suffer. Based on our current knowledge of the world, not everyone is happy and yet not everyone suffers. And we have the conclusion that the God should be somewhere in between.
First, we need to address the some of the definitions we have. We are making an argument on God’s nature based on our current knowledge of the world, that is, we judge whether God is good or bad based on the opinion of mankind. We do not go beyond the human level since if we agree that the God is above this level, then we, as human, cannot judge God based on our knowledge; we think that the God is beyond the definition of good and evil, and the argument would be meaningless.
Premise 1: Happiness is good.
Premise 2: Unwanted suffering is Evil.
Premise 3: If God is purely good, he would make everyone happy, but not everyone is happy. Then God is not purely good.
Premise 4: If God is purely evil, he would make everyone suffer, but not everyone is suffering. Then God is not purely evil.
Premises 3 & 4 are the same kind of argument. These two premises each comes from one of premises 1 or 2. Since we defined components of good and evil in premises 1 and 2, we need to generalize the concept of good and evil with the components to rise the whole argument into a higher scope. In premises 3 and 4, the scope of mankind is taken to derive the concepts of purely good and purely evil.
Premises 3 argues that God is not purely good since not everyone is happy. A counter argument can be that God is not making everyone happy for the collective good. To address that, recall that we are making this argument on the human level; if we go to a higher level, it is meaningless to judge the nature of God since he is beyond good and evil. Now for the argument, we need to switch the point of view: consider a person who is suffering from disease, he is informed that he will die in weeks and is very afraid of his own death; if we ask him the question, there is a large possibility that this person will not think God has a good nature. This situation seems likely in our current world; for the person suffering, God is hardly good, and this is like a whole picture missing a single piece of puzzle. So we argue that even if only 1 person in the world that suffers situation like this, we cannot say that God is purely good.
Another counter argument says that the if God makes everyone happy, then people that has committed crimes are also happy. As a good God he shouldn’t make criminals happy. To address this counterargument, we need to go back to the definition of happiness. If we believe that God is purely good, he would regulate the world by eliminating source that could trigger crimes to happen. So, the existence of criminals actually is a proof that God is not purely good.
Premises 4 argues that God is not purely evil since not everyone is suffering.