Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


Are You Good Without God?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Starting this morning adds begin appearing in New York City subways which tell us that for millions of people, the answer is ‘yes’. Following past campaigns in Dallas, Chicago and other locations around the nation this advertising campaign for Greg Epstein‘s book of the same name, is clearly meant to provoke, not educate. That may be good for book sales, but renders this initiative far less interesting than it otherwise might be. In fact, it looks and sounds remarkably similar to the kinds of pro-God campaigns which annoy those who sponsored this one!
The add campaign is mounted by the “New York City Coalition for Reason“, whose name alone is problematic. It suggests, in precisely the way that pro-God groups with names like “union for decency” and “coalition for American values” suggest that atheists are amoral, un-American, or indecent, that atheists are reasonable and theists are not.
What do you think? Can be people be good without God? I ask in two senses and eagerly await the discussion that follows. First, can people be good, in the moral and ethical sense, without being grounded in some kind of faith in some kind of being greater than themselves? Second, can people be truly happy, as in “I’m good with that”, without believing in something they call God?
It’s clear to me that the answer is ‘no’ to the first question, but that in which someone believes may be far different from the standard personal “Guy-In-The-Sky” which many people think of when talking about God. As to the second, I am really not sure. I think it depends upon the circumstances of one’s life and how seriously they take the concept of gratitude. Ultimately, it is gratitude which is the key to happiness and although I feel deeply grateful to God, I think the gratitude part is more connected to my being happy than the being to whom it is directed.
Your turn….



  • MH

    To answer the “Good without God” question you need to define good and possibly God. A religious person and an atheist would likely define then differently.
    I would define a good person purely in terms of observable behavior. Basically a good person pursues their self interest without harming others, and shows some degree of self-sacrifice to aid others in need. I think it is certainly possible to be good without God in this sense. A religious person might ask what is the atheists’ motivation to be good. I would simply say that humans are mutually dependant upon each other and evolved instincts to cooperate in this manner. We also evolved instincts to be jerks to one another too, so conversely people can be evil without God as well.
    The area that is challenging for the non-religious is dealing with the inevitable losses and disappointments that occur in life. Basically without God you view suffering as basically meaningless. So being good without God in this sense requires some degree of good luck coupled with resiliency when the s hits the fan.

  • FrankBD

    Q: “First, can people be good, in the moral and ethical sense, without being grounded in some kind of faith in some kind of being greater than themselves?”
    Yes, the just need to believe in a PRINCIPLE greater than themselves. Like the Golden Rule, or the dignity of all people, or the univserality of our common experience, or even rational selfishness.
    Life is good because most of us don’t use it to take advantage of other people. Whatever my neighbor’s reasons are, they’re not bothering me.

  • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Norwegian Shooter

    “[W]ithout being grounded in some kind of faith in some kind of being greater than themselves” is another wishy-washy phrase that only remains coherent for an audience of supernatural believers. As with scriptures, it can mean so many different things, that it doesn’t mean much at all. But to provide some discussion from an atheist perspective, is our shared humanity some kind of being?
    Why is it clear to you the first answer is no?
    Of course people can be happy without supernatural belief. How could you possibly argue otherwise? Google “Unitarian gratitude” for plenty of examples of natural-based gratitude.
    “I think the gratitude part is more connected to my being happy than the being to whom it is directed.” Amen, Rabbi. In fact, how does a supernatural being have anything to do with gratitude directed at another person? Isn’t giving and receiving gratitude between people strictly secular?

  • Ray

    Conventional religion-based morality is not true morality, just selfishness. If you need the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell to keep you in line, you are not a truly moral person. I would say you can’t be good (in a deeper sense) WITH God constantly breathing down your neck. Goodness is about doing something to help your fellow creatures with no thought of selfish reward.
    Also, if you define “good” as “that which God commands”, you quickly run into the horns of the Euthyphro Dilemma. If God commanded you to commit child rape, incest, genocide etc, would that make it moral? Any decent person would say no, which shows that morality is independent of God. (This is not a hypothetical situation, it occurs with depressing regularity in the old testament.)

  • Steve Marx

    The comments preceding mine are fascinating, and all over the board. Especially remarkable to me was the one saying that serving God or being good because God has directed us to be good is, in fact, selfish! My God (the one I know and understand, the one revealed in the Hebrew bible) is not asking me to do these things for a personal reward, but simply because they are right.
    I will not comment on whether one needs God in order to be happy. But I’d like to comment on whether one needs God in order to be good. My answer is a very clear Yes and No. No… because I know many truly good people (using your definition, Rabbi) who practice no religion and acknowledge no God. But my answer is Yes… because those atheists or agnostics who are truly good received their definition of goodness and their resolve to be good and do good from God, even though they do not acknowledge God. The concept of good (along with the concept of evil) is not man-made, but God-made. Atheists may not acknowledge, or even be aware of, the source of goodness, but it is nevertheless the source of goodness. They have it indirectly, perhaps through their parents. I am blessed to have it indirectly – and directly.

  • Ray

    Steve Marx – do you define good as that which God commands? If so, how do you respond to the following commandment? (Numbers 31:17-18)
    “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
    But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” (ie. as sex slaves)
    Personally I consider myself “blessed” that my concept of good is based on reason and empathy for my fellow creatures rather than the ignorance and brutality of a bronze-age screed.

  • Steve Marx

    Ray, I believe that God has defined good and has commanded us to choose good, to be good, and to do good. If good does not comes from God, then it must come from man, which is much scarier to me than any passage found in the bible. If man defines good, then everything is relative and there is no true good. Under such a notion, Hitler could define good, and Pol Pot, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
    I don’t necessarily believe that God is infallible. The ancients argued with God, and sometimes they won! Further, not every order given by God pertains to good and evil. I don’t know the context of the passage above (and before anyone else says it, yes I’m too lazy to look it up), so I cannot comment on it. Obviously I don’t agree with it.
    I’m sure this answer will not satisfy you, as it appears you are focused on “the ignorance and brutality” of what you believe is a “bronze-age screed.” Now I have a question for you: Why do you read Rabbi Brad’s daily postings? He believes in God and torah and you do not… so why bother spending time here?

  • Ray

    To answer your question, I am not a regular reader here – I just happened to find this article via Google News. I am very interested in the question of whether human beings can be good without a god – unfortunately I don’t see the possibility being discussed here, just piously rejected out of hand.
    Have a nice day.

  • Steve Marx

    Actually, Ray, I agreed (in my first posting above) with your theory that people can be good without believing in God (and similarly, that many who profess belief in God are not, in fact, good). That’s why I gave a “Yes and No” answer to Rabbi’s question. I know many atheists and agnostics who are good. They learned it somewhere. My point is that, if you trace the learning back, you eventually come to a person who got the notion of good and evil from God.

  • MH

    Steve Marx, I’d argue that the claim good is defined either by God or man is a false dilemma. That good and evil could be like math and an outcome of the way the universe works which man discovers. So people working independently would uncover the same moral laws much like they would uncover the same mathematical ones.
    A theist could claim that way the universe work is an outcome of God, but as an agnostic I’d want to see some evidence before I’d accept that.
    As a non-believer I read beliefnet and this blog for a couple of reasons. First, I am curious about how people who don’t believe what I believe think. Second, my spouse of twelve years was raised Jewish, but doesn’t practice as an adult. Interestingly people who stop believing a religion still maintain a residual world view based upon that religion. So I read this blog specifically to better understand a Jewish point of view.

  • http://www.increasinglearning.com Bill Fortenberry

    I have personally submitted a response to this ad to more than fifty of the members of the Big Apple CoR. It can be viewed online at my website: http://increasinglearning.com/Documents/There%20Is%20None%20Good%20but%20God.pdf

  • Dennisis

    Can people be “bad” without Satan??

  • Cully

    “Can be people be good without God?” What is “god”, or rather, what is “god” to who? And then, what is “good”?
    “First, can people be good, in the moral and ethical sense, without being grounded in some kind of faith in some kind of being greater than themselves?” Of course they can… why not? People who are very active in their churches/religions, people who are members of their religion’s hierarchy, and people who have put themselves in positions of some faith-based group leadership have acted very badly.
    “Second, can people be truly happy, as in “I’m good with that”, without believing in something they call God?” Absolutely!! Just look at all the people expecting “god” to make their life better, make them rich, physically fit, sexually desirable, happily married, professionally successful, etc etc; and at the same time take no personal responsibility. These people are miserable and angry, and though they may attend services every week and say all the appropriate things they are resentful of others who have what these people covet.

  • Harry Flag

    Of course you can be good without a belief in God. Good and evil are behavioral choices, some people finding a religious belief framework helpful in directing those choices (both positively and negatively), some people not. The same with happiness, it’s up to you.
    I do agree, to find happiness you have to give of yourself to others, through such expressions of love, forgiveness and toleration. However, please don’t say these are religious gifts. There have been many examples of ancient indigenous peoples from from around the world who have none of a Abrahamic God’s morality tales who are some of the gentlest, kindness happiest people you could meet.And some less nice ones as well!

  • Anony

    I think the answer is Yes, however, the reality of the matter is is that without a belief in G-d it is easier to go down the wrong path towards selfishness and destructive behavior. If you don’t believe in G-d, I think that it’s easier to think, well who cares if I do this behavior, or say this thing that hurts another person if I don’t experience personal consequences? What’s to stop me? Whereas a person of faith would be fearful of G-d, so even if they don’t experience personal consequences, they may be less likely to act immorally.
    However, this question evades the true issue, which is whether or not G-d exists… for a person of faith, it doesn’t matter whether having a belief in G-d effects one’s personal behaviors. What matters is, G-d exists, hence I will live a life of faith, regardless of whether atheists are capable of being good people or not… essentially you are asking whether there is a practical reason/logic for believing in G-d. Atheists/agnostics are of course always going to assume its possible to be a good person without G-d– there’s no way to go around this issue. For those of faith, that question doesn’t apply because we already believe in G-d

  • Raanan Geberer

    Yes, I believe someone can be “good without God,” but it’s harder to REMAIN good if you don’t believe that someday you won’t appear before a celestial court for the final judgment.

  • Charles Cohn

    As an atheist, I am as good as I need to be. I have stayed clean & sober and out of jail for all of my 78 years, and have stayed happily married to the same woman for 33 years. Expecting more from me is expecting too much.

  • Michael Wall

    Bill:
    1) Your letter mentions anger, and the life without sin that Jesus led. How does that jive with Matthew 21:12-13?
    2) So as a Jew who lives a life according to Torah, studies Torah, etc, I’m still not good unless I accept Jesus as my savior? See, that’s another thing I love about my faith. To Jews, if you believe something else, good for you. Go and be well, and try your best to be good. There is no attempt to get others to be Jews.

  • Sheka

    It brings me to a time where Pastor Montgomery was teaching on the difference between the providential side and the moral side of God’s nature. It also depends on your definition of good. Let’s take a look of the definitions of the word good.
    1. morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
    2. satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree: a good teacher; good health.
    3. of high quality; excellent.
    4. right; proper; fit: It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
    5. well-behaved: a good child.
    6. kind, beneficent, or friendly: to do a good deed.
    7. honorable or worthy; in good standing: a good name.
    8. educated and refined: She has a good background.
    9. financially sound or safe: His credit is good.
    10. genuine; not counterfeit: a good quarter.
    11. sound or valid: good judgment; good reasons.
    12. reliable; dependable; responsible: good advice.
    13. healthful; beneficial: Fresh fruit is good for you.
    14. in excellent condition; healthy: good teeth.
    15. not spoiled or tainted; edible; palatable: The meat was still good after three months in the freezer.
    16. favorable; propitious: good news.
    17. cheerful; optimistic; amiable: in good spirits.
    18. free of distress or pain; comfortable: to feel good after surgery.
    19. agreeable; pleasant: Have a good time.
    20. attractive; handsome: She has a good figure.
    21. (of the complexion) smooth; free from blemish.
    22. close or intimate; warm: She’s a good friend of mine.
    23. sufficient or ample: a good supply.
    24. advantageous; satisfactory for the purpose: a good day for fishing.
    25. competent or skillful; clever: a good manager; good at arithmetic.
    26. skillfully or expertly done: a really good job; a good play.
    27. conforming to rules of grammar, usage, etc.; correct: good English.
    28. socially proper: good manners.
    29. remaining available to one: Don’t throw good money after bad.
    30. comparatively new or of relatively fine quality: Don’t play in the mud in your good clothes.
    31. best or most dressy: He wore his good suit to the office today.
    32. full: a good day’s journey away.
    33. fairly large or great: a good amount.
    34. free from precipitation or cloudiness: good weather.
    35. Medicine/Medical. (of a patient’s condition) having stable and normal vital signs, being conscious and comfortable, and having excellent appetite, mobility, etc.
    36. fertile; rich: good soil.
    37. loyal: a good Democrat.
    38. (of a return or service in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) landing within the limits of a court or section of a court.
    39. Horse Racing. (of the surface of a track) drying after a rain so as to be still slightly sticky: This horse runs best on a good track.
    40. (of meat, esp. beef) noting or pertaining to the specific grade below “choice,” containing more lean muscle and less edible fat than “prime” or “choice.”
    41. favorably regarded (used as an epithet for a ship, town, etc.): the good ship Syrena.
    –noun
    42. profit or advantage; worth; benefit: What good will that do? We shall work for the common good.
    43. excellence or merit; kindness: to do good.
    44. moral righteousness; virtue: to be a power for good.
    45. (esp. in the grading of U.S. beef) an official grade below that of “choice.”
    46. goods,
    a. possessions, esp. movable effects or personal property.
    b. articles of trade; wares; merchandise: canned goods.
    c. Informal. what has been promised or is expected: to deliver the goods.
    d. Informal. the genuine article.
    e. Informal. evidence of guilt, as stolen articles: to catch someone with the goods.
    f. cloth or textile material: top-quality linen goods.
    g. Chiefly British. merchandise sent by land, rather than by water or air.
    47. the good,
    a. the ideal of goodness or morality.
    b. good things or persons collectively.
    –interjection
    48. (used as an expression of approval or satisfaction): Good! Now we can all go home.
    –adverb
    49. Informal. well.
    —Idioms
    50. as good as. as 1 (def. 22).
    51. come to no good, to end in failure or as a failure: Her jealous relatives said that she would come to no good.
    52. for good, finally and permanently; forever: to leave the country for good. Also, for good and all.
    53. good and, Informal. very; completely; exceedingly: This soup is good and hot.
    54. good for,
    a. certain to repay (money owed) because of integrity, financial stability, etc.
    b. the equivalent in value of: Two thousand stamps are good for one coffeepot.
    c. able to survive or continue functioning for (the length of time or the distance indicated): These tires are good for another 10,000 miles.
    d. valid or in effect for (the length of time indicated): a license good for one year.
    e. (used as an expression of approval): Good for you!
    55. good full, Nautical. (of a sail or sails) well filled, esp. when sailing close to the wind; clean full; rap full.
    56. make good,
    a. to make recompense for; repay.
    b. to implement an agreement; fulfill.
    c. to be successful.
    d. to substantiate; verify.
    e. to carry out; accomplish; execute: The convicts made good their getaway.
    57. no good, without value or merit; worthless; contemptible: The check was no good.
    58. to the good,
    a. generally advantageous: That’s all to the good, but what do I get out of it?
    b. richer in profit or gain: When he withdrew from the partnership, he was several thousand dollars to the good.
    If you take a look at definitions 2-17, when you hear the word good you think of these common definitions. On God’s providential side of his nature you will fine that most people believe that they are good without God because they possess these qualities. In Genesis 2:7- And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Therefore man have the “good” qualities and all of the emotions that God possess. But most people fail to look at the first definition of good – morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
    In Genesis 1:26 – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. This first definition speaks about the moral side of God’s nature. We have to become morally “good” as we as humanitarians. And if this is the case, then we cannot be “good” without God.

  • Your Name

    There is none that does good save one that is God . Matthew 19 verse 17 The only one who can answer that question correctly is God.The Earth is the Lord’s and it’s fullness ,and all that dwell therein even thoes that do not acknowledge him, and his Power .when he comes to Judge the earth with righteousness and the people with equity .

  • Dana

    I don’t think you have to have God to be good. I think it takes unselfishness and caring to be good, and that is all you really need. Personally, I believe in God, but do not practice any religion, because I find problems with religion and most (but not all) religious people.

  • wiseclam

    From the opinion piece: “First, can people be good, in the moral and ethical sense, without being grounded in some kind of faith in some kind of being greater than themselves? … It’s clear to me that the answer is ‘no’ to the first question”
    How absolutely offensive. How totally ignorant. Such a conclusion requires a person to willfully ignore reality – to purposefully overlook real examples of especially good human beings who have no “faith in some kind of being greater than themselves”. Frustrating and sad all at once.

  • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Norwegian Shooter

    Wiseclam, I completely agree, but thought I’d try to engage rather than shame on my first comment. The Rabbi’s posts are much more closed doors than open windows. How he can claim to wield 3,000 years of Jewish wisdom is beyond me.

  • AJ French

    People are incapable of doing good without God, but not without knowing God.
    Sounds confusing doesn’t it. When Christ died on the cross and rose again, he returned to meet with His diciples one last time. And there He said that He would pour out His Spirit upon the WHOLE World.
    Therefore, we ALL live with God’s Spirit within us. If we are obedient to that spirit of goodness then our prize is eternity with Him in heaven.
    If we reject His Spirit and sin against His will, then there is no more forgiveness for us except if we ask for forgiveness from Him for our shortfalls. He left His spirit with us as He promised. That’s why the Bible says that no one needs to be taught by another and it is not necessary to meet at a specific time or place. Albeit He does say it is good for us to meet for spiritual uplifting.
    We know what is good but sometimes we ignore the impulse to do the right thing. It is at these times that we are in violation of God’s laws which are written on our hearts. But then our impulse is to apologize. If we do we can be forgiven. That is why Christ said, what is bound on earth is bound in heaven and what is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven.
    Unfortunately, an apology is the most resisted character trait these days. We must all remember the validity of the apology and reinstate it into our being lest we are cast into hell for not giving or receiving forgiveness.

  • http://www.increasinglearning.com Bill Fortenberry

    The advertisement did not state that one million New Yorkers DO good things without God. It claimed that one million New Yorkers ARE good without God. Someone cannot BE good if they have DONE something bad.
    When an apple develops a bad spot, one can no longer say that the apple is good. A bruised apple can be said to be somewhat good or even mostly good; but once tainted with bad, the apple is no longer good as a whole.
    People are the same way. Once someone is tainted with sin, they can no longer claim to be good. All such claims are, in reality, merely comparisons of one’s own wickedness against that of another. The murderer claims that he is good because he is not as bad as the serial killer in the next cell. The shoplifter claims that he is good because he is not as bad as the jewelry thief. The one cheating on his taxes claims that he is good because he is not as bad as the embezzler. The one who tells an occasional “white” lie claims that he is good because he is not as bad as the chronic liar. All human claims of goodness are of this sort. There is no one who is intrinsically good.

  • http://www.vitabits.de/chinesische-kraeuter heilpflanzen

    One does not have to believe that there is some vain, vindictive, vengeful god creature standing behind you holding over your head the hammer of eternal damnation, in-order to be, and do, good. There are ethical concerns that far outweigh the coerced behavior modification believers seem to need because they are incapable of coming to an independently arrived rationale for treating their fellow Human beings with dignity. It has been amply illustrated throughout history, that some of the most heinous abuses of our fellow beings have been carried out in the name of one god, or another, and by religions that are still doing it in their need to enforce “their truth”, whatever that may be

  • Frydaze1

    “First, can people be good, in the moral and ethical sense, without being grounded in some kind of faith in some kind of being greater than themselves?”
    If you define “good” as prayer, then obviously not. If you define it as being altruistic, honest, respectful, thoughtful, helpful – then clearly many people can and do behave that way without any belief in a higher power of any kind. It does not require a holy book to tell us that stealing is bad. It does not require a fear of hell to tell us that helping those less fortunate is good. It does not require a hope of heaven to tell us that we should be kind and loving.
    I’m sorry that you feel that only theists are capable of being good. If you find that someone has done something you think is good, and then you discover that they’re an atheist, do you change your mind about their actions? Have you actually survived as many decades as you have without ever seeing examples of atheists being moral and ethical? Or have you redefined their actions after discovering their lack of belief?

  • Your Name

    First of all, I really like the subject; Can people be good without God (interesting). I’ve known alot of people and have come across alot of decent people who are afraid of religion, but are decent people, basically through right upbringing by decent parents. I have a high respect for judiasm because that is where a divine Creator emerges. I don’t think that you have to be a part a a religion to worship God, but when people can come together to worship the Creator in praise it connects us to that higher divine that exists in us. We didn’t make ourselves and thats where God comes into place with people. I don’t like quoting scriptures alot, but in the scriptures God says alot that he desires right and just acts above sacrafice and mere lip service. That alone says alot. It isn’t about religion it is about God (some people will not grasp that). Alot of religious people be only about promoting their religion, but not God and thats where the line is drawn. God help us all to be better and learn that we all connected and created by him and that we all do have a divine obligation to do right by one another, and there is where we do right by him. We can all be good yeah in our own way, and not be able to really help people that really suffer because we lack the divine connection that connects us all. Hope all be and stay right and well

  • Marcus M

    I wrote the previous and just wanted to add after reviewing my own posting that I am not bashing religions, but that people have to really examine what and who God really is. Is God is Jew, a muslim, a christian, or etc., or is he just the Creator of us all; whether we care enough to understand the Creator or believe in a big bang theory. It isn’t about Christ, Muhummad, Budda, or etc., its about the Creator.

  • Mr. Incredible

    What’s “good”?
    What’s “good enough”?
    What’s a passing grade? Does God grade on a curve?
    Those who are not born again remain under the Law cuz, they say, the Law will save them.
    Under the Law, no one can stray, break the Law even in one point. So, the passing grade, under the Law, is 100%; there is no room for error. It is not so under Grace.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Marcus M
    November 1, 2009 10:13 PM
    … people have to really examine what and who God really is.
    ———————————————————–
    How we do that?
    Marcus M
    November 1, 2009 10:13 PM
    … is he just the Creator of us all…
    ———————————————————–
    Which creation? When He created Adam and Eve in His Image? When Man re-created himself in his own image? Or when God re-creates us in His Image upon being born again?
    No doubt about the original creation in His Image.
    No doubt about the re-creation of Man in his own image.
    However, not everybody receives Christ, and, thus, they are not re-created/regenerated in His Image.
    So, originally, God created Man. Man voided that creation; that’s why we must be born again. Not everybody is born again, and, so, not everybody is born of/re-created by God.
    Marcus M
    November 1, 2009 10:13 PM
    It isn’t about Christ…
    ———————————————————–
    God begs to differ.
    Marcus M
    November 1, 2009 10:13 PM
    … Muhummad, Budda, or etc….
    ———————————————————–
    It’s true that it’s not about Mohammed, nor Buddha.
    Marcus M
    November 1, 2009 10:13 PM
    … its [sic] about the Creator.
    ———————————————————–
    Through Christ. God makes that clear.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    We didn’t make ourselves…
    ———————————————————–
    Not true.
    After the original Creation of Man, Man created himself in his own image. That’s why we must be born again. Those who are not born again are children of Adam; those who are born again are children of God through Christ. The re-creation in His Image is the result of being born again.
    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    I don’t like quoting scriptures alot…
    ———————————————————–
    The Devil, hoping to stymie the spread of the Word of God, hopes to continue to hinder yourself from spreading the Word.
    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    … God help us all to be better…
    ———————————————————–
    What’s “better”?
    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    … and learn that we all connected…
    ———————————————————–
    By what?
    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    … and created by him…
    ———————————————————–
    Did God create Man in Man’s own image? No.
    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    … and that we all do have a divine obligation to do right by one another…
    ———————————————————–
    What’s “right”?
    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    … and there is where we do right by him.
    ———————————————————–
    Again, what’s “right”?
    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    We can all be good yeah in our own way…
    ———————————————————–
    Not scriptural. Terrible doctrine.
    Your Name
    November 1, 2009 9:32 PM
    … and not be able to really help people that really suffer because we lack the divine connection that connects us all.
    ———————————————————–
    What’s this “divine connection” you’re talking about?

  • Mr. Incredible

    “Divine connection” is not scriptural, unless you’re talking about Christ being the only Mediator between God and Man.
    The Pharisees thought that the Law is the mediator between God and Man. Those who reject God’s offer of Reconciliation through Christ believe that they can be saved by the Law. Of course, they can’t vary from the Law in even one point; it’s 100%, or nothing. That’s God’s deal. This ain’t “Let’s Make a Deal.”

  • Mr. Incredible

    ^^Are You Good Without God?^^
    No. Adam and Eve saw to that.

  • Michaeletta

    The issue here, is not about what makes you happy, but rather;”Are
    you good without God?” By God’s standards, “no one is good.” If we
    could be good without God, there would be not need for a savior!
    His Own Word, The Torah, The Prophets, The espistles,etc (The WHOLE
    Bible will confirm this point. Due to the initial fall of Adam and Eve, all men thereafter are born with a sin nature and must be born
    again spiritually, by repenting of their sins, and placing their
    faith in Yeshua/Jesus. Then we receive HIS rightiousness. No one
    is saved by good works, but one’s faith in God must be backed by
    good works; otherwise it is a vain faith.

  • Your Name

    Its is all about God, who created life, who will continue to create life when ever, where ever, and how ever he wishes. It isn’t about religion, but religion does serves its purpose that God does EXIST. Christ, and etc. would agree with me about that. I am not christian and I’m not about spreading religious doctrine, I am about spreading the right truths about God. Hope you get it. I believe in the God, the one who revealed himself only to Moses face to face. He spoke to other prophets as well in dreams and visions, but he revealed himself to Moses face to face, and thats the God that I believe in and follow. I lean more towards Judaism not christianity, so I don’t put christ or anyone above God. It is more than chistians reading this by the way, so be AWARE. Any one with common sense knows what I mean, and any one that against it; just don’t get it thats it. God will exist, will continue to exist, and will always exist. Don’t kid yourself; just really look at life from your own perspective sometimes and not indoctrinations. If you follow Christ, do it rightfully, if thats what you follow. He was loving, meek, and very compassionate. Which is good, and followers should not undermind that. It is all about God. Always

  • Your Name

    Thats was for mr. incredible

  • Your Name

    Its takes realistic inner work to be right with God, yes we all can be decent people, but to be connected with life one needs to really know GOD. I am not talking about Adam and Eve, or etc. I’m talking about God and only God.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Your Name
    November 8, 2009 10:54 AM
    I am not talking about Adam and Eve…
    ———————————————————–
    Unfortunately, Adam and Eve is why we must be born again. You must talk about them in order to understand why we must be born again.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Your Name
    November 8, 2009 10:43 AM
    I believe in the God, the one who revealed himself only to Moses face to face…he revealed himself to Moses face to face…
    ———————————————————–
    Exodus 33:23 — God did not reveal His face to Moses.
    Your Name
    November 8, 2009 10:43 AM
    …I don’t put christ or anyone above God.
    ———————————————————–
    John 1:1 [KJV]
    Your Name
    November 8, 2009 10:43 AM
    If you follow Christ, do it rightfully…
    ———————————————————–
    What does it “rightfully” mean?
    Your Name
    November 8, 2009 10:43 AM
    … He was loving, meek, and very compassionate.
    ———————————————————–
    In biblical terms, what does “loving,” “meek” and “very compassionate” mean?

  • Mr. Incredible

    Your Name
    November 8, 2009 10:43 AM
    I believe in the God, the one who revealed himself only to Moses face to face…he revealed himself to Moses face to face…
    ———————————————————–
    Christ, however, is the One who reveals God to us. He is the Revealer:
    (Mat 11:27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
    (Luk 10:22) All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
    (Gal 1:16) To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
    (Php 3:15) Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

  • Your Name

    Your thoughts are typical christian thoughts. I want to know your own personal thoughts about God. I don’t want you quoting anything from the scriptures, I just want to know where you stand with God, not you religious label.

  • Cliff Wells

    If you believe in free will, then you must believe that people can be good without God. If you don’t believe in free will, then I guess you don’t need to worry about it.
    Personally I doubt that religious belief creates any detectable pattern of behavior in people. Individuals seem to vary in behavior independently of whatever belief system they subscribe to. The exact way they justify their behavior might become more predictable but the behavior itself doesn’t change.

  • Your Name

    with free will comes boundaries, or reckless behaviour if there isn’t right upbringing. People would say careless things and the tongue is a mighty healer or trap for some, but right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of what religion we follow. Freewill; we do have (given to us by God), but how do we use that freewill? Cynicism (foolishness) or rightful acts and behaviour.

  • Your Name

    Can we be good with God? Yes in a moral sense, but not in a spiritual sense, if we don’t seek, and learn of God.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Your Name
    November 12, 2009 8:10 PM
    Your thoughts are typical christian thoughts.
    ———————————————————–
    God says that’s good.
    Your Name
    November 12, 2009 8:10 PM
    I want to know your own personal thoughts about God.
    ———————————————————–
    Like what?
    Your Name
    November 12, 2009 8:10 PM
    I don’t want you quoting anything from the scriptures…
    ———————————————————–
    Nobody tells me what to bring to the table. I don’t tell anybody else what evidence to bring, and nobody else tells me what evidence to bring.
    Your Name
    November 12, 2009 8:10 PM
    … I just want to know where you stand with God…
    ———————————————————–
    I stand rightly.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Cliff Wells
    November 24, 2009 4:12 PM
    If you believe in free will, then you must believe that people can be good without God.
    ———————————————————–
    According to standard?
    Cliff Wells
    November 24, 2009 4:12 PM
    Personally I doubt that religious belief creates any detectable pattern of behavior in people.
    ———————————————————–
    How should it be detectable, and by whom?
    Cliff Wells
    November 24, 2009 4:12 PM
    Individuals seem to vary in behavior independently of whatever belief system they subscribe to.
    ———————————————————–
    Yes, the murderer and I think very differently, and, thus, our conduct is very different.
    Cliff Wells
    November 24, 2009 4:12 PM
    The exact way they justify their behavior might become more predictable but the behavior itself doesn’t change.
    ———————————————————–
    According to whose standard?

  • Mr. Incredible

    According to standard? — — > According to whose standard?

  • Cliff Wells

    Mr Incredible: I apologize if my prose is a little too dense. It’s clear you did not understand my comment at all. What I was attempting to convey is that given two people, it’s not possible to predict in any meaningful way their behavior based solely upon their religious persuasion.
    Since you mention murderers, I’ll point out that prisons are full of murderers of all religious persuasions (not all of them converted after the fact). Does that make my point clearer?

  • Jeanette

    God is Love, If we comfess our sins, he is faithful and just forgive us our sins. to cleans us from all unrighteousness. God’s plan is for us to live righteous lives and He will guide us, While we live, good loving christians, christ Gods only son, will love us and help us. God sent he only son, for as to live free, as good christians people. to read he word is to no he. he word are to guide as in are live.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lore’

    Yes, Mr. Hirschfield, people CA

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