A person commenting on one of my previous post, rose this issue. For the purposes of this post, I will entertain as to whether it makes any sense to speak of “godliness” without having a “God.”
The question being posed (you can find the original comment on the post “Osho: Mystic or Moron”) was, “God is a noun. Godliness is a verb. Which is real?” In asking which one of these two is real, fist, the questioner lays down the premise that they cannot both be true. Second, the questioner posits a query based on truth, not of logic (the question, unless I am misinterpreting, is not whether it makes any sense to speak of God and/or Godliness, but whether God and/or Godliness is true).
My answer is that the term Godliness (as much in metaphysics as in the syntax of the word) is based on the term “God” in such manner that if “God” becomes non-existed, so would Godliness.
Why is this so? The principal reason for it is that an adjective, an accident of a thing, cannot exist without the object (i.e. the thing in itself). For example, you cannot have “red” in any proportion (if you are using an RGB monitor, for most colors there is a mixed proportion of red, green, and blue) without having something that is perfectly red. By the same logic, the only way in which you can have a spectrum in spiritual issues, is the acceptance that there must be something that is perfectly so. For example, if you say that the term “just” is appropriate for us to use and that it varies, i.e. that some people are more just than others, then you will have agree (in the philosophical dimension, even though very commonly this is disregarded in today’s world) that there is something that is perfectly and infinitely just. Otherwise, you will have a spectrum that has a definite end on one side (i.e. you cannot be more than [ ] just, which most people can see is silly). In addition, a thing that is perfectly just, necessarily has to exist, otherwise you are simply speculating.
That being said, in order to have a spectrum of Godliness, you have to have a being that is perfectly and infinitely Godly, which most theists would define as “God.” I say most, because, most notably, Plato would assign this property (which he would say is made up of more than one virtue) to the Forms, which, though eternal and perfect, are not alive in the same sense that you or I are.
Regardless of whether you take a personal, living, God as the end of your spectrum on Godliness or the Forms, you have to have something up there. This necessarily means that if Godliness is true, then you need an existing God, too. With that, a greater point about Osho. I would never assume to take up argument against a true Hindu or a true Buddhist, amongst other reasons because their religion argues for a break with the rational soul and for going above (they say) logic. To have a logical discussion with them is quite useless and, though spiritually enriching, pointless as far as logic is concerned. Nonetheless, I believe that is useful to argue against Osho’s premises, because he is not a Hindu or Buddhist mystic and sage, but simply (as I put it in my previous post about him) a moron who was out to get people’s money and who was convicted of tax evasion, so, in short, I bear him no love.