Introduction: Two Working Assumptions
The author assumes that God (if He exists) is a being - a single individual possessing negative as well as positive attributes. Some contemporary theologians such as, e.g., Paul Tillich and Bishop James Robinson, have urged that God is not to be conceived of as a being, that is, as a single individual bearing qualities. God's attributes are exemplary versions of the attributes possessed by finite things. A study of 'good' in non-theological contexts reveals at least the minimum implications of the corresponding predication statements about God. This is to say that while Socrates is good, God is perfectly good. If we could find reasons sufficient for rejecting the claim that a given thing is good as 'good' is used in discourse about finite agents, these same reasons would be sufficient for rejecting the claim that the thing in question is good as 'good' is used in discourse about the nature of God.