Deriving Good

Truth is simply existence in reality.
Lies are non-existence in reality.

Life is existence in reality.
Death is no longer existing in reality.

Love is imagining futures with.
Hate is imagining futures without.

What you’ll notice is there are essentially two groups of things. The question obviously is, how do we determine which is which? One group is clearly a presence. The other is an absence. One group is independent. One group is dependent.

We call the independent group ‘good.’ Not arbitrarily, the dependent group would not exist without the independent group. For instance, without truth there are no lies. Hate would not exist without love. Death would not exist without life. You would never know a bad apple without a good one to compare it to. There would be no darkness without light. Therefore,  the dependent group is called ‘bad.’

In Christianity, God is the maker of all things. God is love. God is true. God gives life. Therefore, God is good. 

Satan’s Fall

Prerequisites: Animals Don’t Kill themselves, Rethinking Eden

The Fall in Eden was not the first sin. It was the first human sin. 

Before humanity, there was a rebellion in heaven. And that was lead by Satan. Before the rebellion, all was well. The question is, what changed? In a perfect world, what could change? Where did Satan get his first desire for sin?

Here’s how I think it happened. 

First, in heaven there are some initial conditions. So let’s go through those first.

  • Time exists.
  • The angels in heaven are free in mind, body, heart, and soul. So while there is no sin, it is still possible.
  • Free beings have the ability to think for themselves using the concept of ‘if.’ I call it comparing future realities. To think about to possible outcomes and decide what do next based on that preferred future.

The problem is what Satan did with this ability. The preferred future reality was one where he was greater than God. Therefore, God was in the way of his preferred future reality. He wanted to be God, and thus hated God, and the current state of heaven. The hypothetical what if I was God, created a new possible universe where Satan ruled, and he preferred that universe.

You said in your heart,

I will ascend to heaven;

above the stars of God

I will set my throne on high;

Isaiah 14:13

Once this hypothetical world was preferred to heaven, Satan could begin to think about and act out a plan to overthrow God. But it all started with a hypothetical, and a desire to be better.

Think about adultery. A man has a perfect life with a perfect wife and family. He sees a woman and prefers her to his wife. He sees a reality with her as better than a reality with his own wife. So the standard changed. His perfect life is no longer perfect because his standard was no longer what he had, but this new unattained reality. He wanted.

Satan’s issue was similar. He had beauty, wisdom, and position in heaven,  but he imagined a reality where God was not in charge. Where he was king. And he preferred that reality to his current one. This created the want. The standard changed. And the rebellion was born.



You can’t be good without God

If free will doesn’t exist, and we live in a deterministic world, our choices are arbitrary. If they are choices at all. Any decision considered ‘good’ is simply what was going to happen anyways.

If free will does exist, we have the ability to make meaningful decisions. But for there to be good or bad, there needs to be a standard. If there is no standard, the morality of the decisions is subjective. And therefore, is arbitrary.

If free will does exist, and there is an objective moral standard outside of God, we still need a reason to act a certain way. Why is someone who acts with the well-being of others in mind better than someone who prefers that others suffer?

If you only do good things to be perceived as good, are the things good? The intent matters. So to do it because it feels good is no better position. It’s like telling your kids that they shouldn’t do something because you said so.

Essentially, in morality 2+2=4. Some people say there are no numbers. Some people say that it can equal whatever you want. Some people say that it does equal four. But those people cannot reproduce the method. It’s right because it’s right. And you should do it because it is right.

So if intent matters in an act, and if objective good needs a standard, you can’t be good without God.

Proving a personal God

Recommended Preliminary Reading: Defining Love and Applying Love

  1. The mind exists apart from matter.
  2. A God that exists in the mind is greater than one that does not.
  3. A God that exists in the mind is a personal God.
  4. God can exist in the mind.
  5. A personal God exists.

Consider the immaterial mind, the fact that God can exist as an idea in the mind does more than just suggest the possibility of his existence. If God can exist in my mind, he is greater than a God that cannot exist in my mind. And if he can exist in my mind, and yours, that would be greater than the former. So the more minds that God exists in, the greater God is.

But also, the mind exists in the dimension of time. So that God’s existence in the mind is greater the more realities he exists in. 

What does this say about Deism? A God that simply winds the clock is a lesser God than one that exists with us. And died for us on the cross. 

What about Islam? If we are measuring the potential greatness of God, God would simply be greater if more people believed in him. So that the God of Christianity’s greatness and love would be greater because of the call for mercy and grace instead of murder. 

Unfalsifiability Argument

I run into this argument constantly online. Because God is unfalsifiable, it’s senseless to believe in him. Many Christian apologists argue against this, saying there are certain facets of our religion that you can validate historically, archeologically, etc. But I’m more lenient than that. Let’s just say that God is unfalsifiable. 

If God is unfalsifiable, there is at least on possible world where God exists. If this number was zero, the concept of God would be falsifiable. Or even falsified.

So from there, let’s look at Pascal’s Wager. Basically, you don’t know if God exists. There is a non-zero chance of an infinite reward or of infinite punishment. Heaven or hell.

So because the chances are not zero, Pascal’s Wager tells us that we must explore the possibility of God. Whether it is to get into heaven or stay out of hell. The fact that God is unfalsifiable paired with the wager mean that the concept of God is one that must be explored further.

So while the atheist’s strange non-position as a ‘lack of belief’ may shift the burden of proof to the theist, this argument should help show the atheist that the argument is for their benefit, not yours. And once they realize that you are on the same team, they may be more open to hearing the truth.   

Kids with Cancer

Here is one huge objection that you see of theism. That seemingly some kids die early, God must not exist. 

If God exists, he wouldn’t create kids with cancer.

First off, we assume God exists. But if God exists, heaven exists. So that this life is only a pathway to the next life. It’s entirely possible that the kids with cancer go straight to heaven. Cancer then, would not be a curse but a blessing.

The second issue is the assumption that God created the kids with cancer. Of course, God created life. But he didn’t introduce death. That happened in Eden.

If we are promised a future where there is ‘no more death or mourning or crying or pain,’ where ‘God’s will is done,’ there is no cancer in heaven. There is only God’s will. And if there is only God’s will in heaven and no cancer, I think it’s fair to assume that cancer was not part of God’s will.

So why is there cancer then? How about we just cure cancer? Everybody still dies. The problem is not cancer, but death. And suffering.

So instead of asking why God caused cancer, I think it’s more important to be grateful for the time that you have. Because if it wasn’t cancer, it would be something else. And remember, your faith may protect your children

The Magic of Forgiveness

If love is where life happens and where God is, forgiveness is our way to change our hate into dislike, and bring people and events from the darkness into the light.

For instance, if someone wronged you in some terrible way, you may hate them. They have moved a portion of your reality into darkness. If you can manage to separate the wrong from the soul, and forgive it, you can make meaningful progress in moving into a reality where you can love God better.

For a traumatic event, you may hate someone or a portion of yourself. You may hate the portion of you that allowed it to happen, or the portion of them that committed the crime. Learning to forgive myself has been a huge challenge. And if I have done the wrong, I am the one that has ventured out of the light into the darkness. The only way back in is self-forgiveness.

The difference between a grudge and forgiveness is the difference between hate and dislike.

The only difference between hate and dislike is tolerance. If you dislike something, you accept that you will have to endure it. When you hate it, you are actively looking for ways to avoid it. Forgiveness is the magic that helps us move things from hate to dislike.

But we need reasons to forgive. If your believe system doesn’t provide these, you need to keep looking. In Christianity, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So we forgive.

It’s also important for our mental health. Imagine, for instance, that you hate firearms. Realities with firearms scare you. Therefore, to avoid all future realities with firearms in them, you have to really think ahead. But no matter how much planning you do, you’ll likely have another encounter with a firearm, and you’ll hate it. So maybe you seclude yourself. If you never exit your home, you’ll never have to encounter another firearm, or the fear that you’ve associated with it. But you see, your freedom from fear has become a freedom from freedom. 

Obviously you can’t forgive a gun. The next step would be determine the real source. Maybe it was military,  the death of a loved one, or any number of other things. Whatever it was, it can be identified. You don’t hate guns. You hate what someone did with one. If you can piece apart the person and object from the crime, you can begin to forgive, and start moving forward. 

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. – Colossians 3:13


Loving God Better

In a world of love, you literally choose to accept the contents of reality without imagining anyone being removed from that set.

In the set of love, one can use the like/dislike system to establish personal preferences, and eventually personality. And as you know God is love. This establishes character in a stable set.

Life happens in the set of love. 

If a personality is not built in the set of love, it is not stable. If it is built on hate, even on conditional hate, it is built on the ability to remove something from reality. Basically imagining things not existing. So it would be basing personal preferences on something that is unstable, or that does not exist.

For instance, when you say I hate photographers, you’re really thinking I prefer reality without photographers. But it’s not realistic. Photographers exist. So next time you’re around a photographer, you’ll hate it. And be probably miserable. Because you will exist outside the set of love.

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Grudges are a great example of how hate can make unstable realities. If you have a grudge against someone, and are at a party together. All is well until you run into that person. And things get awkward. You were fine until this hate entered your realty. Now you wish either they weren’t here or you weren’t here, but you’re stuck. And instead of enjoying yourself, you’re thinking about how either you want them to leave or you want to leave yourself.

If you hate the way you feel, you are distancing yourself from God. It seems trivial, and I’m not saying you need to like the way you feel. But dislike is not hate. When you got married, you promised in sickness and in health. God wants the same thing.

So if we live inside the set of love, and develop logic and personalities around our identity in this set, we can love God in more realities, and thus imagine more realities with God, and thus love Him better.



Defining Love

Preliminary Reading (optional): Time is like a tree, Reality, Truth, and Faith, Expecting Unhappiness, I am an Addict

Love is when you can’t imagine a future reality without someone or something. When all your future realities involve this someone, you love them.

 …for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part… 

This involves a range of potential future scenarios. But it’s a really wide range. Essentially, no matter the situation, we are together.

By default, you love yourself, because all of your future realities include you. If you don’t love yourself, you need to learn to, because there is literally no escaping it. Love is different than expectations, because love is something that you can take with you everywhere. So while you may be addicted to it, the fact that it is optional makes it a choice. And a habit rather than a chore.

And God is love. If God is love, God is literally not imagining a future reality without us. The fact that God is love is literally a promise to be with us. And Immanuel, is fulfillment of that promise.

Hate is the opposite of love. The ability to imagine a reality without someone or something. And loving that reality. So if God is love, the absence of God is hate.