Friday, June 06, 2008

Why Worship God

Richard Brown asks

I want to know why we are morally required to worship God, given that we believe there is one... his power to punish us, is not a reason of the sort that I am after.... After all unjust tyrants can force me to worship them via fear of punishment, but that doesn’t mean that I should worship them…

At first I thought this would just come down to accepting that god cannot be infinitely good by our standards (as the bible says he is a 'jealous god'). But this is philosophy afterall so I should see if htere is a more thoughtful way out of the dilemma - here are 3 possible (although somewhat question begging) arguments.

1) god is ultimate good - so we should contemplate him and that the proper approach to contemplating ultimate good is worshiping
2) You should worship/thank him IF you are grateful for existing
3) God has a perfect plan (which flows from being all loving and omniscient), any change you make to it no matter how well thought out will detract from that plan - part of that plan is that you worship him (actually I have a theory there).

and here is a fourth one that I expect most people, and particular individualist will think verges on evil but as a collectivist I find defendable.

4) the holy spirit is at stake.
to explain a bit further - the Holy spirit takes on the role of a super human, but one that is created by our actions and one that we owe an obligation to in the same way that you might say you organs owe an obligation to you. God/the holy spirit both want to create the holy spirit because it has intrinsic value similar to but much greater than you or I, and worshiping regarding the same thing is the sort of mindset that creates this.

Don't think that I am committed to any of them! They are pretty speculative arguments with hardly any foundation - I just thought I would throw them out there.


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