Is God a hindrance to ethics?

Dear cybertruthseekers,

                        A deed is more praiseworthy if it is spontaneous, that is, if there is no authority who ordered it. So, is God, thought of as a lawgiver, a hindrance to ethics?

First, the obvious question: “A deed is more praiseworthy if it is spontaneous, that is, if there is no authority who ordered it”

Why is this necessarily so?

Hi Sam,

Your question contains some assumptions that run counter to prevailing western cosmological constructs.

In a causal universe there is creator>created. In such a universe the creator is all-knowing, all-seeing, and has created everything - including any possible concept we might have of ethical awareness. For those who adhere to this understanding, God IS ethics. The idea of genuine spontaneous acting out of inner nature is denied in such understanding. All simply perform the ‘will of God’. Of course, man is allowed to make choices whether to perform good (God) or evil (satan) and the decisions as to which is which spawns religion after religion.

In a processual universe, sponteneity and novelty are the ‘stuff’ of life, with no ‘big boss’ ordering the who, what, and how. All life is “self-so”. We can allow mind to abstract us away from our inner nature, and thus create a need for the artificiality of ethics. Life lived genuinely has no need for such a concept.

To speak of ethics, one must first decide which cosmology to address. Causality tacitly implies discovering those ethical guidelines that are the ‘word of God’, while a processual cosmology suggests simply acting out of one’s true nature with no need for ethical definitions.


does processual cosmology evade cause and effect?

It seems to me that if you act, no matter what system you are under you are still under the rules of cause and effect.

Those who get their morals from God view him as providing the laws that one abides by in order to be ethical or moral. Without His laws, people would (under such a view) not know how to act. He shows the way, but people with free will (an important part of Judeo-Christian ethics) can choose to follow it or not. While they have been given orders, they are on their own as far as following them or not.

Kant answers that question fairly well, I think. I’ll get back to you when I can find it.

Unless one considers whether one is acting in accordance with one’s true nature or not to be an ethical matter. Maybe acting in a way contrary to one’s true nature would be unethical by such a standard. Does such an ethic exist?

define “true nature”

animal ethics at their finest…


I’m merely suggesting the possibility that there may be an objective way that man should live, a way that could be said to be his “true” way to live. Maybe this is a discoverable ethic. Acting falsely, then, is not something I could see being worthy of praise, as Sâmkhya has suggested.

of course there is only one way to live…

do exactly as I… er the priest… er god… er the law… er the communal method… er the transcendent eternal truth… er willing the overman… er the societal perfection… mmmmm…only one way to live and everyone must follow it…


I would never say there’s one way for everyone to live.

I would say there might be one way for each of us to live.

“Inside each and every one of us is our one true, authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that is ours and ours alone. Something that can’t be learned … something that got to be remembered.” --Bagger Vance

(Hey, that might make for a good signature…)

ethical egoism at its finest… :slight_smile:


Now you’re gettin’ it!

Hi Sâmkhya

I don’t see how. If a person follows the golden rule does it matter if he thinks of God or not as it concerns an ethical reality? Ethics tell you what you should do. What you can or desire to do in the moment is often something different.

Now for a person’s well being I would say that to react from either fear or from wanting praise doesn’t indicate any inner psychological understanding the development of which is the purpose of the teaching.

Jesus was forever trying to point this out to the Pharisees but to no avail since their concern was for appearance or to be considered praiseworthy in relation to the Law.

A spontaneous deed can either kill or cure so spontaneity itself just reflects man’s inner chaotic nature and can quickly change from compassion to greed.

Because we are so chaotic, I don’t see how a perception of God’s law makes much of a difference. We will end up doing in the long run what is normal for our “being.”

Hey MB,

A processual universe is as you find it, including cause-effect relationships. The difference is that in a causal universe (first cause) the emphasis is on who or what ‘caused’ the beginning, and our relationship to that cause. A processual universe sees the universe AS process, and accepts the ‘mystery’ as unknowable. There are other differences such as how time is viewed, but goes beyond the scope of this thread.

Hi Jerry,

It is indeed hard to wrap ourselves around the concept of acting out of our spontaneous ‘true nature’. I’ll probably say this badly, but…

Our true nature isn’t just reacting emotionally with no thought involved. It isn’t the superficial gloss of hippy-dippy mindless feel good crap that seems popular today. Acting out of our true nature involves seeing with both heart and mind. It is emotion parsed by mind, and then acted upon as that which is appropriate to the moment, giving full consideration to the consequences. Rather than some mindlesss state of bliss, it is the exact opposite: it is total awareness. Can ethics be involved? Yes. But in its’ best form and function, there are no ethical or moral judgements, other than what is best for all in the moment.

There is much more to be understood in the performance of acting out of our true nature than I have alluded to here, hopefully this wasn’t too obscure.


Is it worthy of man to choose to abide by the laws of a being he does not know for sure?

I think the puzzle is starting to slide into something more discernable.

I think that for some, defining the mystery the “beginning” if you will is a necessity. Because of that we need to delve into the possibility that instead of calling it free will in a “processual universe”, we are “free to cause” in a “causal universe”. I did start a thread on that, and am curious about your POV on that issue. I’d also be interested in pursuing the view of time and space in the “processual universe” as an integration of the causal and the processual may be possible.