Is good a power or a principle or both?

Religion argues that there is no goodness or morality unless there is a God of perfectly good character.

The logical error in that is that good is thought to need to be a thing to be real or to be really good. That is nonsense. Those Christian intellectuals who dish out that rubbish do so for they hope that their audience will not think too much about it and see through it.

To call good a power when it is not is simply to say if it is a principle then it is no good or to say that it is more important for it to be real in the way your breakfast is real than for it to be a principle. That is in fact to oppose goodness and the truth about it and to invent a goodness to take its place.

If there were nothing at all it would be good that there are no people around to suffer. It would be good in principle. But there would be no such thing as any power or anything.

1 and 1 are 2 even if there is nothing at all. Mathematics does not depend on things existing. Neither does the fact that it is better to be happy than depressed. That was true before any creatures appeared in the universe and it is still true now.

Religion insists that as God is perfect he has not made evil for evil is not "real" but merely good in the wrong place and time. As there is no evil power literally speaking, God cannot be accused of creating evil.

It is odd to argue as it does that good is a power and to say that evil is not. If there were nothing at all it would be good that there are no people around to suffer. It would be good in principle. But there would be no such thing as any power or anything.

Good is a principle so how can one say that good is real and evil is not? If you refuse to see evil as real in the way good is real then you don't really believe in evil. If good is a good standard/value and evil is a bad standard/value then one is as "real" as the other.

It is true that evil falls short of good but it is wrong to say that that is all it is and does. Good falls short of evil too. It is a real thing just as good is the absence of evil and is real. If there is a God and we suffer and do evil then God must think there is no good without evil but this cannot be the case if evil does not exist and is just a falling short of the mark.

Good and evil and mathematics are not real but they are true. It is the truth that matters.




St Augustine’s reasoning was something like “Good must be a thing or power or not a thing. In other words, it must be a positive or a negative. And evil too must be a positive or a negative.” He then jumped to the bizarre conclusion that good is a thing or power and evil is neither a thing or a power but just a lack or absence of good.  Good is a positive and evil is a negative.

Suppose he is right that good could be a thing while evil then would not be a thing.

But why can’t both good and evil be things?

Why can’t good/evil be a thing one way and not a thing in another or a mixture? If you answer yes then you might say, "Depression is a lack of happiness but also a power."


In that case, evil could be a thing or partly a thing and be trying to deceive you by appearing not to be.  Remember the doctrine that evil is just a form of good is meant to make us feel it will burn itself out and defeat itself.  If that is wrong then it will get worse for it will have free rein.


Surely it is better to be a non-believer in God and fear evil as a power than to risk empowering it by failing to recognise its true nature?  It is too dangerous a thing in principle and practice to get wrong.  Many look around them and say we are all getting it wrong!

Anyway for Christians like Augustine good is a power.  It is good to be real and a power and a thing. Religion says that "Satan has the goodness of existence but he abuses it but the fact that he exists is still good.  So good would be good in that sense as well.  It is good in what it wants and good in what it is.  Or in other words it is good for just being real and a thing and good for what it does."  But the error is that it does not need to be an actual thing to be real.  It is good for being a fact and for what it does.

The truth is that if good is a thing and evil is not then evil is not the opposite of good but a form of good itself.

Good is not a thing and it is evil to say it is.  It leads us to watering down evil and maybe only caring about its "good" side.  Moreover, good is not a power or a thing.  There would be good or bad if there were nothing at all.  Even if there was nothing it would still be true that it is bad to die or suffer.  Good is real but it is an abstraction but not a thing.  Good does not need to be redefined as a power in order to matter.  That is like thinking good is not good enough so it has to be turned into a power or thing.  It is even turned into a God by those who say that goodness and God are different words for the same person.  Good is not a person and cannot be.  It is not to be degraded like a pagan idol.


Seeing good as a thing and not as what it is, an abstract value, is adoring the wrong good!  It is making a good copy for you don't like good as it really is.


If we call good a thing and evil a thing what do we mean? We treat happiness as a power and unhappiness as a power too.  We mean that which lets us be happy and that which does not.  It is that simple but Christians cannot leave it alone.

Religion reasons that evil is merely the absence of something that is needed and called for.  But if I need an operation God does not need it so why is God stuck in the middle of all that?   The argument shows that God is irrelevant.




There is something more to fame and fortune and even family love and God. It is principle – principles give you the core you seek. There can be no other core and there is not.  It is said that good and evil are human attitudes to the universe/world/human race not features of the universe/world itself.  But the human race is part of the universe so good and evil pertain to its flourishing!


Good is not a power.  It is better than that.  It is a principle so abstract that nothing can threaten it not even a God.  The idea that the moral law is or even part of God’s nature or what God being God is all about claims that what is right and wrong is there prior to anything God does or says or thinks. So it has nothing to do with God being personal or his consent.  Morality is there regardless of choice or personhood or even God.  So what if we decide that God’s nature is NOT to command and NOT to be an authority? Would God be good if he just attracted us to good but did not use authority to ask us to be good? Yes. It is better to inspire goodness than to command it.  Commanding is a sign that God is bad at inspiring and if he is that useless he is only a bully for commanding us.

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