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But what would be useful, I think (that would address what MadBunny is asking) is to at least begin a definitive list of what actually pleases/displease Yahweh.  Without such a list, as MadBunny says, it can become whatever you want it to be at any particular time.

How about Augustine's list:  "Love God, and do what you please."?

And no, it cannot become "whatever you want it to be at any particular time."  Rebellion against God in any form at any time in history never pleases God.  Self-exaltaion, selfishness, pride, arrogance, etc. never please God at any time.  Use your common sense please.

Unfortunately, I can't - or, at least, couldn't until that point, because you hadn't defined what actually pleased or displeased your god.  Now, at least, I have a partial list - but which still doesn't really help that much.  Take for example "pride".  I painted a model figure the other day.  It turned out well, and I felt proud of what I had done.  Now was that a sin, or was it not?  It feels trivial, but I don't know - possibly even that little bt of pride was a deep offence to god.

"Common sense", sadly, is of little use in this situation.  I could use my common sense to work out what most humans might think about my little figure, but god?  No, of course not.  He moves in myserious ways, he is beyond our understaning, he is a an ineffable secret mystery.....so no, of course my common sense cannot answer these questions.  You said it yourself:

God is so vastly transcendent that the things I don't understand are just that, things I don't understand, but that God has His reasons and a higher good that He does not reveal.

I - humanity - needs that definitive list, needs it spelled out in excruciating details where the borderlines are.  I repeat my point - if god wants us to do the right thing, he needs us to be a heck of a lot clearer and more specific as to what the "right thing" actually is, if the final judgement is to be made on what we have DONE, as opposed to what our intentions were.

For example:
I honestly believe that god wants me to kick puppies.  Doesn't matter how I got to that point, that is what I honestly and sincerely believe.  Please don't get hung up on the specifics of the act - the point is that there is a certain behaviour that I am convinced god wants, which (in reality) god hates.
I die, and face judgement.
Am I judged on what I DID, despite having the most sincere belief I was doing the right thing?
Or am I judged on my MOTIVES - that I tried my hardest throughout my life to do the things I truly believed were right?

If the former, then I maintain that a truly GOOD god would indeed be minutely specific and ridiculously clear about what he wants me to do - common sense would be irrelevant.
If the latter, then that seems like god would be good - but would mean that the sincere believers of Westboro would enter heaven along with the devout Hindus - and yes, even the fervent atheists who tried all through their lives to live up to what they believe was the right thing to do.

Can you see the quandry I am in here?
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Betelnut I like that distinction, motives vs actions. Good one January 02, 2014, 08:28:15 PM