Impassibility of God

If God is impassible(can’t get hurt), how can he demand justice( punish us). Justice is if someone is hurt or damaged in some way, and he demands reparation, and he gets it. If someone is not hurt or damaged then he cant demand justice, or show forgiveness.

He who lusts after a woman has committed adultery with her in his heart. She may not even know about it, but what about his evil thoughts? Where is the justice in failing to punish that evil?

I think I’d disagree with your definition of ‘justice’.

Justice, I’d say, is a ‘state of goodness or righteousness’. When we think of justice in a juridical way, what we’re asking for is a return to that state of goodness that was lost when an unjust act was committed.

When the unjust act occurs, it is often the case that someone or something suffers damage, and so, oftentimes, juridical justice attempts a restoration to that original state. Sometimes, that’s not possible, so sometimes the best that can be done is to assess a payment in reparation for the loss incurred.

On the other hand, ‘punishment’ is not ‘justice’. It does not restore anything to the aggrieved party, and it does not return us to the original state prior to the unjust act.

If someone is not hurt or damaged then he cant demand justice, or show forgiveness.

If I crash into your car, but you’re not in it, have I damaged something of yours? Wouldn’t you be reasonable in asking that the original condition be restored? Well, then… who or what is damaged when we sin? Isn’t God just in wanting the original situation to be restored?

(One last thought: it’s not the Catholic position that Jesus was punished (by God) to repay our debt – that’s called ‘penal substitution’, and it’s a theory that comes from Reformation (i.e., Protestant) theology. This theory asserts that God demanded punishment, and therefore, punished Jesus in the same quantity due to him from us. The Catholic position is known as ‘vicarious satisfaction’, and stresses that Jesus freely gave up his life for our benefit, and his sacrifice was so meritorious, that God saw that it more than made satisfaction for the sins of the world. So, even in this case, we don’t see God ‘punishing’ anyone – even Jesus.)

Where did you get this definition of justice from?

God’s Justice is more along the lines of giving someone their due.

Even though God may not be hurt (used loosely here), he can still demand justice.

Example: Someone insults me. Their intention was to hurt me in some manner. But it didn’t affect me at all in the way they intended. But in Justice, reparation needs to be made.

God can demand Justice even though he himself is not “hurt” by it. Lots of holes in that basic example, but I think the principal applies.

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