Did good & evil exist before God?


#1
  1. Did good & evil exist before God?
  2. If God created good & evil does that mean that He could’ve created morality in different ways?
  3. If good & evil existed apart from Him, does it imply that even He answers to a Higher Power?
  4. How did He decide what was good & what was evil?
  5. Did He decide everything?
  6. Where did He learn it from?

Questions 5 & 6 to me are that He didn’t learn it. It is Who He is. He is God, therefore He does what is good & right.

I’m not the most philosophical person to answer these questions, but my daughter, who’s LDS, posed them to me, & I wasn’t sure how to answer. I told her honestly I’m not very philosophical…

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.


#2

God always existed, so nothing existed before God. Since Evil is an absence of good, not a presence, it was not created. I’ll leave it to other, more qualified posters to answer the rest.


#3

God is Good, so it has always existed.

Furthermore, as @INP said, evil is nothing but the absense of good. It only “exists” in acts of free will that are not God oriented.


#4

This is one of those things that I think will always be a bit inscrutable – we will never completely understand it – but essentially, good and bad, properly understood, are properly defined in reference to God’s will. In a human sense, I would say that a hammer is good if it helps me pound nails in effectively. The fact that it can’t saw worth a darn is completely irrelevant; it is a good hammer to the extent that it fulfills the purpose for which it was created. On the ultimate level, good and bad are defined in reference to the extent to which things conform to God’s will.

This is central to Christianity, because while the world might redefine good and evil according to current objectives, what is truly good is not defined by the world, but by our unchanging God.


#5

There was no “before God”. He always was, always is and always will be. I know it blows my mind, I don’t fully understand it but I fully believe it.


#6

So, from what I understand: LDS don’t believe God the Father created the universe, but that he merely created our world. They believe he was a person like you and I, who was born mortal (had a beginnig) and who became a god (is now immortal). They don’t believe he is the source of all wisdom but became wise.

If you want to ask her questions, you could ask:

• who existed before time began?
• who created the entire universe?
• who is the source of all wisdom?
• who is the creator and sustainer of all life in the universe?

To each question, she might answer, “We don’t know,” or “maybe the god of the Father.” In response you can say, this God is my God, who always existed, created the universe, is the source of all wisdom, who is the creator and sustainer of all life, and who is the God of all gods, including yours - if your god does exist.


#7

Fun. I’ll take a shot.


#8

If this forum had a best answer rating, I’d vote for your reply! Well said! :slight_smile:


#9

Thank you for your responses. It is my daughter, so I want to try to keep the discussion as respectful as possible.

Matters of faith can be a touchy subject with us, & we already know we disagree on things, but I also want to try to address questions she may have.

St. Monica, pray for her…Please…Amen.


#10

She just added more…

She says that the replies sound too similar to people who claim God couldn’t have created the Earth because “it’s just always existed.” Those people who say our world is just an eternal, everlasting thing. It doesn’t satisfy.

She says, "Wouldn’t it be greater evidence of his power if he really did create good and evil? To show He has all power even over such grand things?


#11

It truly is the one thing I don’t really understand about “IT” all. In my little narrow limited mind everything has to have a beginning and an end. But I KNOW 100% God didn’t—He always was, is and will be. Don’t understand it but I do believe it.


#12

No, it wouldn’t, because if God was not the Source and Summit of all Goodness, Wisdom, Truth, and Love, then He would not be the Highest Power. He is the unchanging God, and nothing exists apart from Him. In HIM, we move and live and have our being.

The Earth is not eternal. We do not worship Mother Earth and it did not create itself. The universe had a beginning and was created from nothing, by God. God alone is from eternity…He created everything else and this shows His Power and Will.

This shows that God has the ultimate power…He is the Creator to whom the whole universe owes its being.

He did not have to create good and evil as if these are two impersonal forces working in the world. He is Goodness and anything apart from Him is evil. Evil itself is not a Force…it’s simply someone working against God’s Divine Will. Anyone can actively choose to reject God and commit evil acts.

Evil is not personified in Satan, either. Satan is not the opposite of God…he is just a fallen angel in rebellion. God has no peer, no opposite, and no equal.


#13

Answer to question 1: God has existed for all eternity so there’s no 'before God". That makes all the rest of the questions irrelevant.


#14

Ask her why being blind is a “bad” thing.
This should lead her to the fact that evil is not a thing that God created, evil is a deprivation, or a “blindness” to the good, to incorporate the analogy.

Blindness is a bad thing only because sight is the good it refers to.


#15

[quote=“kainosktisis, post:1, topic:503964, full:true”]

  1. Did good & evil exist before God?
  2. If God created good & evil does that mean that He could’ve created morality in different ways?
  3. If good & evil existed apart from Him, does it imply that even He answers to a Higher Power?
  4. How did He decide what was good & what was evil?
  5. Did He decide everything?
  6. Where did He learn it from?

Questions 5 & 6 to me are that He didn’t learn it. It is Who He is. He is God, therefore He does what is good & right.

I’m not the most philosophical person to answer these questions, but my daughter, who’s LDS, posed them to me, & I wasn’t sure how to answer. I told her honestly I’m not very philosophical…

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.[/quote]

God is the perfect Good; anything else, anything created, is less perfect, therefore less good. Evil is nothing more than a detraction from or lessening of good. So creation is good but less good than infinite perfection relatively speaking. And that inherent inferiority can manifest and express itself when creation actually has a brain and freewill, as we do.

So God didn’t directly create or cause evil acts and yet, by giving the gift of free will, He created the potential for those acts, obviously deeming it worthwhile nonetheless, knowing the beginning from the end. He’s in control of everything, yet allows evil to have its way for now for His purposes, intending somehow to bring an even greater good out if it all in the end. And He knows what is good because He’s goodness itself.


#16

You beat me to it CJ. When I read the title of the thread, my first thought was, "there was no ‘before God’. Good answer.

Edited to say: this was already said I think, but because God has always existed, good has always existed. Evil, that’s another story.


#17

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