- Just Be Nice
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- You hear it all the time, " I am not religious, ...I feel that
God just wants us to be nice to others,...as long as you are a good
person, that's all that God wants."
- One who makes such a statement has evidently not come aware of the
Torah, and seems to be justifying their life choices. Where did God
say "All I want is for man to be good?" God didn't say this.
They are making up this statement. Why did God command 613 commands if
simply being good is "all He wants"?
- One is seeking a simplified life, where their laziness has taken
hold of them. Exertion, change, abandoning wrong philosophies are what
these individuals fear. Therefore, they hide behind this statement
which on the surface seems admirable, but in reality is a
justification for their weakness to investigate and accept the
provable conclusion that God really wants one to fulfill the Torah, be
engaged in study, and in performance of His commands. They are also in
an inherent contradiction, as they say "God only wants,...",
meaning, they accept God, but they don't accept His 613 commands.
- Other problems with such a statement is that they hold of the
opinion that God wants you to live for others, not for yourself. Not
so. One is to be living for themselves. Also, if God wants us to
simply be good, what is the need for our intelligence?
- Very problematic is how do we know what "good" is, or what
being "nice" means? Where is the objectivity if 10 people
have 10 definitions of what good is? Just as people cannot define what
life is and when it begins, meaning, is it 2 days after conception, or
weeks? When does the egg and sperm take on spiritual existence? Only
God knows this, and only God knows how to define what being good is.
It cannot be left up to man's subjectivity. God created good, so only
He can define it properly. Once he does, then man can adhere to that
action which is defined Divinely as good. Yes, we can perceive what
"good" is, but we cannot come up with a true definition
without God's definition. Therefore, one cannot "just be good and
nice to others" if he or she has not learned what God means by
the term "good".
- Truthfully, once one indulges in learning, and takes a chance to see
what enjoyment there is in the discovery of ideas, they will not have
the laziness, but will enjoy study as an activity which surpasses all
others, and they will be filled with energy to pursue further.