Signs of a Purely Good God

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Secret Alias
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Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:15 am

Philo said that there were two powers one of justice, the other of mercy or goodness. But where are there signs of this division in the Pentateuch? Also Marcion said there was a good god. Was Jesus the good god? Or was it his father? Since the Father is not displayed in the gospel - apparently he is up in heaven - does that mean that the good god of the Pentateuch (according to Philo's conception) was similarly out of sight in that document? Who was Jesus if the Father was the good god?
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Giuseppe
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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:31 am

if you assume that Jesus was the creator in need of a redemption in the eyes of a presumed good Father, then you are moved ipso facto to assume that some hated the creator (as an evil deity) already in the time of Philo. Since only the sinners need redemption.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:38 am

But that doesn't answer the original fucking question. I don't want your 'assumptions' because I don't think you're that smart. I don't think most people at this forum are authoritative enough to have their 'assumptions' assumed to be worth much. I want evidence. Where is this in the Pentateuch? Where is this in gospel? Where does a Jewish source says 'this is an example of mercy' - where does a Christian source say that 'this is an example of goodness.' Interestingly because of Marcion or the threat of Marcion Christians in fact NEVER state the obvious - i.e. that this or that is an example of mercy or goodness. Apparently because someone was famous for doing so at the very beginning. This helps provide contextualization for the ENTIRE efforts of the Church Fathers. They typically argue on behalf of the minor position - against the plain reading of the text. This is a strong argument in favor of the gospel being written and read in ANOTHER WAY (a heretical way) from the very beginning - i.e. the way Church Fathers after Irenaeus read the text goes against the plain reading AND SO efforts have to be marshaled TO FORCE people to read and interpret the text in ways that don't seem obvious.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:46 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:38 am
where does a Christian source say that 'this is an example of goodness.'

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs.

(Mark 5:10-12)

If this is not an example of goodness, then really I can't answer your question.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:01 am

But I am not sure that's the right way to read the passage. In fact I think Tertullian (from memory) accuses Jesus of NOT BEING GOOD because he let's the pigs drown. Of course that brings its own circular logic. Is Tertullian denying that Jesus is good because the Marcionites said he was good?

The Marcionite problem is commonly approached that way - i.e. with the enemy of my enemy is my friend logic. In other words if Tertullian is negating it that must mean Marcion affirmed it. But there is little or no evidence that Marcion read the text this way. The argument that makes its way into Tertullian's Against Marcion might have an entirely different origin.

I think there is strong evidence that Tertullian is borrowing from an earlier source and never saw anything actually written by Marcion. I think that Tertullian is copying out something edited by Marcion to look like a treatise against Marcion but which was originally written by Justin. I think Justin's original text might have simply been a commentary on 'the gospel' and had a different order (an example is Jesus passing through the crowd and the Jews going tumbling down the precipice). There is another section in Book 4 that seems to continue the thought here later in the text.

In other words could the original author have simply said that Jesus wasn't the good god because the Father was the good god? And this argument got twisted up into the argument that THERE WAS ONLY ONE GOD and Marcion (who claims two) was a fraud.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:07 am

Could Justin have originally been arguing with a Jew about god? i.e. that's the origin of the material that makes its way into Against Marcion 4. There are some arguments in Book 5 (and maybe Book 4 I forget) which are clearly lifted from Justin's Dialogue.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:12 am

But getting back to the OP we have to assume (I think - but who knows) that characters like Jesus in the gospel had a definite 'character' or 'identity' right? So he must have been 'the good god' or the 'just god' or 'the bad god.' My problem is that he seems a little like all of them. From a purely artistic perspective could you write a compelling piece of literature with a 'stock character'? I mean that sincerely. When you try and write a book you have to have characters with contradictory characteristics. I think this is what makes the Pentateuch and the gospel work so well. If it was strictly 'I am the good god, I am going good things' and then 'I am the just god, here I judge' people would have thrown this book in the fucking trash. I think Nietzsche once said that if you want to be profound be ambiguous. But it's also what LaRochefoucauld is always writing about - it's all vanity, even our virtue is vain. We want a god that is like us - that is human, that has human faults. No one wants a perfect god. A religion with a perfect god wouldn't sell. It's not enough to simply say that the gospel is a myth or fiction. Even fiction has rules and conventions. I can't begin to figure out who Jesus really is - i.e. a good guy, a just guy, a bad guy. Was it ever so obvious that Jesus became a bloody caricature? How compelling would that be?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:15 am

I find the angry god of Mark closer to the man-god of the Pentateuch. I think that was original. It had to be for the gospel to function as a compelling narrative work. We're so hopelessly vain as LaRochefoucauld would say that we need God to be like us. If there was a good god he was behind the curtain of this little stage play - or up in the clouds. This leaves the question - who was Jesus if he wasn't the good god. My money is on the just god like you say with some sense of remorse and repentance. That means however that Tertullian is right. Where does that leave the argument against Marcion when Tertullian is saying the truth IN A SENSE throughout Against Marcion 4? Is he really disagreeing with Marcion or is something else going on? Is it like all the kabbalists who pretended not to be kabbalists in the Rabbinic tradition or like Clement of Alexandria denying but not completely denying the mysteries of his tradition. Or is he beating a straw man?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:21 am

Is Yahweh Jesus? Or better put - is Jesus a (repentant) Yahweh? And wouldn't the idea of a penitent Yahweh be more blasphemous - so much so it couldn't be even uttered - than anything said about Marcion? Yahweh begging for forgiveness is like the President of the United States subverted by the President of Russia.

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“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Signs of a Purely Good God

Post by DCHindley » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:49 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:15 am
Philo said that there were two powers one of justice, the other of mercy or goodness. But where are there signs of this division in the Pentateuch? Also Marcion said there was a good god. Was Jesus the good god? Or was it his father? Since the Father is not displayed in the gospel - apparently he is up in heaven - does that mean that the good god of the Pentateuch (according to Philo's conception) was similarly out of sight in that document? Who was Jesus if the Father was the good god?
SA,

How aboot the "prodigal son?" I'm serious. A father is confronted by a rebellious son, who wants nothing of the family business. Father unstingily gives the boy his share of the family business in cash money, and stands back as the son squander his resources until he is destitute, and when his rebellious spirit is finally broken, Father takes him back and has a party, to the amazement of the prodigal son's fellow brothers.

The good father = the Good god/power
The son = Jesus
The family business = the realm of Goodness (Heaven)
The World = the playground for the son's debauchery

*The World does not seem to be part of the family business then. To whom does the World belong?
A Righteous god who created the World?
*The son has brothers, meaning God has more than one son. If the father is God, does that imply that Jesus was one of several especially elevated angels of God?
*If the good father has a realm *in tandem* with a realm operated by *another,* could this mean that the Good father co-exists with another entity, the Righteous creator?

Of course reasoning-wise I just served up a heaping helping of spaghetti reasoning, similar to spaghetti code in programming. Since in time all systems end up being, through the splicing and dicing necessary to repair inadequacies or to add features, riddled with faults that under the right set of conditions will undo its integrity and crash it.

So I could see many many ways to interpret the basic set of characters in such a fictional drama that might match some features of Platonic, Philonic, SA-ian, Giuseppe-ian, and other miscellaneous manners of looking at things.

Unfortunately we could end up constructing an airplane from what we might find in a junkyard. Who's going to want to ride in that airplane?

Where is Socrates' method when we need it?

DCH

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