Here I feel the need to whip out another
Definition. A thing or concept is good if, and only if, its origin is to be found in God.
Innumerable are the corollaries to this definition, if it’s to be taken at face value. But why could, or should, it not be? Take a minute to think about how we tend to use the word “good.” If the thing the word is describing really is good, then it must have come from God. Suppose you opened the door for a little old lady the other day. Presumably, that was a good deed. Where did you get the idea, and furthermore the strength, to perform the deed? From God, I say.
A: Not really. I didn’t necessarily have the “idea” to do the good deed. I just did it pretty much out of reflex.
B: Because you’ve done it, or something similar, many times before. Perhaps you were taught by your parents, or some other person, to do such things. And how did they have the knowledge to teach you to do that in the first place? Because they either had the idea directly from God themselves, or they were taught by somebody else. If you were able to trace the idea back to its origin, you’d find that it was originally of God. Details
The reason I bring up this definition at this time is to connect it with the happiness that God has. Remember, I indicated that God finds His happiness in the love He has for all of us. The connection I’m after is in the fact that God gives us good things because He wants us to be happy. What kind of happy? The kind of happy that God is, which He experiences not only in the things He has, but in the being He is. Therefore, all things that God gives us, are good (by the definition above), and bring us closer to Him, both in having and being.
A: Huh. Well that’s…dashed…interesting. Anyway…what’s the big deal about it? I mean, why the need to mention that all good comes from God?
B: Because to say that something is “good,” or “right,” etc., one has to have that Ultimate Standard of Good. Every so often somebody mentions the word “should.” What meaning could that word have if there is no standard of good?
Quick example: you might have seen mentioned on the sports page something like, “if somebody wants to be a good basketball player, he should practice playing basketball,” which sounds like something Captain Obvious would say. You’ll notice that the “should” refers to some standard of “good,” in this case a standard of good basketball playing. This standard should be kept separate from the standard of good that God has (even though I’m sure God would be a plenty fine basketball player). I mean, what if what was printed was simply, “(one) should practice playing basketball,” without any mention of any qualifier? What could the reader take that to mean, except that the writer means it’s one’s moral obligation to practice playing basketball?
Likewise, if one hears mention of things like “you should pay taxes,” “you should be honest,” or “you should recycle,” there must be reference to some corresponding standard of good, such as (respectively) staying within the good graces of the law, wanting to be a reputable citizen, or wanting to “preserve the environment.” Otherwise, one could only assume that what is meant is moral obligation. These “shoulds” go so often without reference to the underlying standards of “good” that a large number of people forget about them altogether and begin to associate them instead with the more general kind of moral duty. Worse yet, people assume that such standards of so-called good are consistent with God’s good, even though the respective fundamental gospels may have no claim of any association whatsoever with God, let alone of being inspired of Him.