Yes, yet another contributor. Thanks much to Mr. “Samuel” Garcia
Mr. Garcia is a self-proclaimed indie-pendent Baptist/fundamentalist game designer, which is an oxymoron; there are only two known to exist in the world, but I could only find one. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Thomas Edison State College and a Master’s in Pastoral Theology at West Coast Baptist College. Samuel is a proponent of the Game Design Argument for Creationism, a heavily modified Intelligent Design argument. I’m sure he would tell you what that constitutes if you ask.
If he is not studying, working, preaching, or gaming, he chairs an international home school and Christian school student leadership society called the Valiant Defender’s Party. Samuel blogs about God, girls, and game design and everything else in his personal blog aptly titled “God, Girls, and Game Design” and showcases his games at the Neo Generation Games. His favorite game is the RTS Red Alert 2. So here’s Garcia’s first article for Theology Gaming!
Plato,the ancient Greek philosopher, postulated a dilemma affecting us even today when he asked Euthyphro (in the dialogue of the same name): “Is what is morally good (holy) commanded by a god because it is morally good (holy), or is it morally good because it is commanded by a god?”
Interestingly, the game Socrates Jones brought this to my attention. It features Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney-style adventure mechanics, but instead of a court case, you literally debate the meaning of morality for your life…because apparently you died since you didn’t buy deer repellent and now you find yourself in philosopher “heaven” (or more accurately, “purgatory”). At any rate, it’s not an afterlife in which you’d want to spend much more time.
You first debate against, who else, Euthyphro (Editor’s Note: Guess the SPOILER tag comes a little late here. given the picture above). In the game, he argues that mankind is flawed: true enough. He then argues that, because the gods are better than humanity, they determine what is good. But his premise fails because of his belief in polytheism, for the gods contradict each other. His counters by pointing out most gods (and religions) agree on what is good and what is bad. Which brings back the dilemma: do the gods agree because that thing is intrinsically good?
After a few pensive thoughts, my mind turned to Scripture, which, naturally, has the answer:
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts:the whole earth is full of his glory.
The passage equates God as thrice Holy (reflecting His Triune nature). It doesn’t say “God says what is holy” or “God knows what is holy”, it says He is the very essence of holiness and moral good. Nothing can seperate it from Him. His very nature is holiness and moral good! No God, no holiness. Euthryphro fails to acknowledge the thrice Holy God of the Bible. There are no other gods but Him. When you know the true state of affairs, Euthyphro’s dilemma disappears:
5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.
Note that the passage capitalizes the “G” in God on verse 5. While there are many small “g” gods, there is only one capital “G” God. Because the idols are beneath Him, whether the god be called Baal or Zeus or Thor, since He is the the God, they don’t even begin to compare. By comparison, at the very least it makes them ill fitting as standards of morality. It’s a favorite strategy of skeptics to equate the Christian God to Zeus, due to the fact they are both religious entities, but the similarities end there. The Christian God stands by Himself while Zeus and his pantheon merely resemble petty immortal humans with great powers (i.e. superheroes).
We return to a slightly altered question: “Is what is morally good (holy) commanded by God because it is morally good (holy), or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”
Answer: “God is holy and morally good, holiness and good morality is the nature of God. God commands what His holy nature is to be, and what His holy nature determines what is commanded by Him”.