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    Need help with my thinking on something...


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    Need help with my thinking on something... Empty Need help with my thinking on something...

    Post  AGoodReed July 10th 2021, 4:48 pm

    I've got an entry for my "Prime Panels" Tumblr that I've had saved for a while because I need to make sure I'm saying things right before I post it. Would someone mind reading this over and telling me if I'm thinking biblically here? I really don't want to be blasphemous or heretical! Here's the entry as I have it so far:

    Need help with my thinking on something... Tumblr13

    In this story, Lex Luthor has discovered a deep, disturbing truth about the universe. That's what Martian Manhunter's fears are related to. His confession here reminds me of something C.S. Lewis wrote (which I read about here):

    "An accusation always implies a standard. You call a man a bad golf player because you know what a bogey is. You call a boy’s answer to a sum wrong because you know the right answer. You call a man cruel or idle because you have in mind a standard of kindness or diligence. And while you are making the accusation you have to accept the standard as a valid one. If you begin to doubt the standard you automatically doubt the cogency of your accusation. … If a Brute and a Blackguard made the world, he also made that very standard in them whereby we judge him to be a Brute and Blackguard. And how can we trust a standard that comes from such a brutal and blackguardly source? If we reject him, we ought also reject all his works. But one of his works is this very moral standard by which we reject him. If we accept this standard then we are really implying that he is not a Brute and Blackguard. If we reject it, then we have thrown away the only instrument by which we can condemn him."

    What we know as objectively good is only that way because it reflects the nature of the Creator. There is nothing on any plain of existence that is higher than God, so he sets the moral standards. Thus, if we lived in a universe (or a multiverse) where the highest creator was "cruel," "dark," and "predatory," then it should follow that those things would be good as far as that universe was concerned. And if anyone valued things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, they would be the evil ones.  

    Now, you might say, "Love is the highest law no matter what, and I would fight for it even in the face of an cruel, omnipotent god." Well, we already know that there is nothing higher than an omnipotent, omnipresent, infinite god*, and no law can be given without a lawgiver. Who would be higher than the highest possible being to give any law that he would be subject to? So if you wanted to fight for love in a world created for cruelty, then not only would you die fighting, but you'd then be subject to whatever eternal punishment that cruel god had for you.  

    If Martian Manhunter's fears were true, Batman's desire to "justice harder" would be evil, and he would be condemned for eternity.  

    Thankfully, we don't have a god like that. The one true God of the one true universe is "merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation**" (Exodus 34:6-7). Some of the things he hates and calls evil are "haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers" (Proverbs 6:16-19).

    As Lex Luthor wanted to be remade in the image of his dark god, those who trust in the Lord God will be reborn in his image. Isn't that a lot better?  

    *For fear of blasphemy, I'm going to keep this made-up god's title in lowercase letters, but in theory, it would have the same position as the true God of the Bible.  

    **“To the third and fourth generation: a common Semitic idiom to express continuance.”

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    Need help with my thinking on something... Empty Re: Need help with my thinking on something...

    Post  mindspike July 10th 2021, 7:35 pm

    I don't have a problem with the theology here. Your descriptions of God and His desire for us to be recreated in His image are drawn directly from scripture.

    I do want to revisit the logical chain constructed about morality in regards to a creator. We can only know the creator is Good or Brutish if he reveals that about himself. The revelation of this standard therefore defines Good and Evil as either Like or Unlike the creator. Why should accepting a creator as Evil by his own standard invalidate that standard? This only affirms that existence contains that which is Like the creator and that which is Unlike the creator.

    By virtue of reason, a creator has absolute authority over his creation, including its final disposition regardless of what that creation does or does not do. That final disposition will therefore reflect the nature of the creator rather than the performance of the creation. That which is Like the creator will be retained in order to be enjoyed. That which is Unlike the creator will be removed from the creator's experience.

    Now to Batman and Martian Manhunter - I would say that Batman is correct. If the creator is Dark and Predatory, if creation must be cruel and selfish in order to reflect the desires and purpose of the creator, then that part of creation which is Good and Selfless, must do everything in its power to become as Unlike the creator as possible in order to be removed from the creator's presence as its final disposition. Though I absolutely detest the grammatical construction, and corresponding social acceptance of that structure, of the phrase, "We Justice harder."

    A more interesting question to me is, how could an Evil creator make a Good creation? The Bible affirms that a Good God cannot make an Evil creation. Evil comes from being imperfect and choosing to rebel against that which is Good. Can Good therefore come from being "imperfectly Evil" and choosing to rebel against that which is Evil? In point of fact, we have no framework in which to conceive of "doing Good" or "being Unselfish" for its own sake, as all of our behavior ultimately serves our own desires, even if that desire is simply to feel good for taking an "unselfish" action. Fromm's behavioral framework deals with human interaction in this way, bypassing the need for morality, because all actions ultimately serve the self and can therefore be neither moral nor immoral. Good cannot come from Evil, even by the rejection of Evil. The best we can achieve is the erasure of moral standards of Good and Evil in favor of "productive" and "non-productive" utilitarian standards.

    So go forth and Justice as hard as you can!

    -Winston Crutchfield

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