Utilitarianism is argued to be that principle of behaviors or actions that is concerned with ultimate ends: the greatest good for the greatest number.
God is a Utilitarian: God has set the world so that in the end the the greatest number of people will receive the greatest good.
1) Knowledge, 2) Power, and 3) Free Will are required to achieve ultimate ends or Functional Utilitarianism; FU.
1) Knowledge of ultimate ends is required for an FU set of actions: “A” must know what “B” wants or needs and how those wants or needs will affect and achieve ultimate ends (A’s and B’s greatest good).
2) Power to implement that set of actions: “A” must have the resources and ability to supply “B” with the necessary want or need.
3) Free Will to act. “A” must have the desire and will (good will) to act in behalf of “B’s” wants or needs. Also, “A” can act against the free will of “B” if it is achieves ultimate ends (this may be the weak link in my argument for God’s Utilitarianism because Utilitarianism itself argues -- do what ever takes, the means justify the ends-- but that is against the nature of God, or is it?).
God meets all the criteria for FU. God is Omniscient: God knows all. God is Omnipotent: God has unlimited power and freedom. God is Omnibenevolent: God’s will is free and desires the best for creation. Therefore, only God can know what is the best and ultimate end for the creation. Only God has the power to achieve ultimate ends according to knowledge. Only God has the good will to implement that which is best for the creation.
But how do these premises relate to what we assume to know of God, mankind, and the problem of evil; the reality of planet earth: death, despair, disaster, and disease?
In other words, If God is good and wants the best for the human race and knows the end from the beginning and has the power to change the way things are, have been or will be, then why is there “evil”?
The Free Will of Man, is the cause of evil; all evil. (I will not take up the debate here of whether man has or has not free will. For the sake of this argument, he does.)
How can Man be to blame for the evil in the world? What about viruses and other diseases, poisonings, accidents, and Acts of God in Nature?
(I will cover one of these here, the others I will argue some other time.
Viruses. I argue that -- God said do not eat creeping things. The HIV is a naturally occurring and necessary virus in a certain African snail. Other viruses are also naturaly occuring in other animals, just as certain bacteria which are toxic to man are natrualy occuring and necessary for the digestion in certain animals. [Man also has bacteria in his GI that are nessasary for digestion and they are probly toxic to other animals.] God said don’t eat certain animals, but we did and do.)
According to most if not all religious mythology, God created the world in perfection, then Man sinned and “fell”, the world “fell” with him and now things are the way they are.
For the sake of this argument the fall of man is that point in history where the consciousness of man superseded the instinct of his basic nature; man went against his instinct and did what his mind decided, not what God had programmed him to do. Free Will entered the world and Choice became an option beside or above instinct.
Again, according to religious mythology, what God advises Man to choose is what determines sin; go against what God suggests (commands) and the result is sin (Greek - to miss the mark; [the mark on the target in archery, which also implys that there is room for improvement.]) Things will be fine if you have faith in God and obey the rules.
It is apparent that Mankind (as a species) has no faith in God. Man doesn’t tend to do the right thing even if he thinks he knows what the right thing is to do. And only God can truly know what is good and right.
If God is good then God must be just. What to do with the sinner?
Death is the result and consequence of sin.
How does Death achieve FU?
So, what about Justice, Sin and Death?
The answer will probably piss off some people because it so simple and easy to hear or read but hard to accept, but this is only an essay.
God knew what Man was going to do with his free will. God also knew what a mess we were going to make of things. But God created Man any way becasue God also knew the provision God would supply for Man through His Son , Jesus Christ, by dying for the sins of mankind. This takes care of Justice-- the just dying for the unjust -- and Death -- believe in Jesus Christ and you will have Life and, though you die, you will live. Those that believe, live, those that don’t believe are already dead, they just dont know it.
How does this achive FU? The greatest good, for the greatest number. It is only God that can Know what is the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number and how to provide it.
You need only to have faith in God.