Paper on Is there a God

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Is there a God

All religions advise people to do-good deeds and refrain from doing evil. But what is the
benefit of doing good? What is the value of morality? We often say "Good deeds bring
about good rewards, and evil deeds hard retributions. What role does the concept of good
and evil play in the Western traditions? Western traditions believe that God is the
creator and sustainer of all things. We would not even be self aware, let alone aware of
right and wrong, if God had not created within us His image, and therefore the ability to
make moral distinctions. The truth is we have no reference point for all this discussion
about morality except as God reveals it. For us to argue with the source of morality is
for the clay to argue with the potter. Some philosophers say that for God to define what
is right or wrong is arbitrary. God is not arbitrary; He is the source of all life and
therefore the source of all truth. We have no basis to even understand the concept of
being arbitrary except in reference to an unchanging God. If we recognize the nature of
man, which is if man were not fallen, i.e., not corrupted by sin, we would have limitless
potential to create from within ourselves a universal moral code. But, we are a fallen
lot, every last one of us, and therefore incapable of fully knowing what is good (Rom.
3:23). We are even incapable of carrying out what we do know to be good (Rom. 7:18-21).
So the question of right or wrong has everything to do with the origin of our belief, not
just the substance of it. No matter how sincerely I believe I am right about some moral
decision, the true test is in the origin of that belief. And God is the only universal
and absolute origin to all morality (Casey, 1997).

The role of Maya in the Eastern traditions is God's technology that he employed in
creation. Maya is the veil that prevents us from Self-realization. God gives this veil
to us. He thus puts us under the lower prakriti. Because of maya, we do not see us all
delivered from the One God, united in Him, but see ourselves in the resulting multiplicity
as rootless individuals. It is similar to original sin. As everything is based on Dharma
which means all events and things in this world. All phenomena that we know in this world
is not absolute. This may be explained in two ways: all things, from human beings to the
earth that we live on are in constant change, they are not permanent and not ultimate.
Everything in the world is relative. When there is good there will be bad; when there is
birth there will be death; when there is a rise there will be a fall; when there is this,
there will be that; when there is this family, there will be that family. This is how the
world stands. It is relative and full of contradictions. Hence the phenomena in this
world cannot be considered absolute. Since everything in this world is relative and
changing, human existence cannot be regarded as ultimate either. Great deal of emphasis
is placed on the Law of Cause and Effect. Thus, one must believe in the existence of pure
causes and effects: i.e.: cause and effect that are free from defilement, free from the
attachments of ego. Pure causes will produce pure effects. Thus one's ideal goal would
to have pure causes and their corresponding effects (Madigan, 1997).

The classic problem of evil is an issue only certain monotheistic religions like Judaism
and Christianity which assumes the existence of a perfectly good, all powerful
(omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient) creator God. If God is all-powerful, all knowing,
and every where (omnipresent), why is there evil in the world? In religions where God is
not necessarily perfectly good, or all-powerful, or all knowing, the problem does not
arise. In early Judaism, for instance God is sometimes said to cause evil (hardening
Pharaoh's heart, tempting David to conduct a sinful census), and even repent (the flood).
But Judaism eventually evolved to insist on a perfectly good God. The Judeo-Christian
concept of God as Omniscient needs to be defined more clearly. In Webster's dictionary,
omniscient is listed as "having total knowledge; knowing everything" (Shick, 1997).

There is a better way of understands God's omniscience: supporting both the understanding
of God as being all knowing, and at the same time affirming human free will. Consider an
illustration. I walk out of the house in the morning to go to work. There are many
choices for me to make: time to leave, direction to go, speed at which I will drive, what
I will listen to on the radio, how I will respond to traffic jams, etc. God does not plan
out my day for me, but rather knows every possible choice (I repeat: God knows every
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