All theists will agree that it is good to worship God. But why, asks the atheist? What and who is it good for? Is it good for God? Then He must be a very imperfect deity that His self-esteem needs such elaborate reinforcement. “No, no!” we say. “God is the plenitude of being (and, in the Trinity, the plenitude of love); He certainly has no need for our worship.” Well then, if He is just as well off without it, why not just sleep in on Sunday? One answer suggests itself, and has become quite popular: “Worshiping God is good for us! It’s what we were made to do, and what we find our completion in.” And this is quite true. On the other hand, it’s the secondary thing, not the primary thing. No one who gives himself in adoration to God is thinking of a benefit to himself. Not that wanting benefits from God is wrong–Christ Himself taught us to petition God. Still, glorifying God is something different; one’s eyes are not on oneself. It is what von Hildebrand called a “value response”. We worship God because that is the proper response to His goodness. It is good for us, but above all, it is good period, that is, it is just. It is the correct and just relationship between creature and Creator. Not every “good” has to mean “good for…”
Proph is one of the few people I’ve seen to get this exactly right. Here he is critiquing an atheist internet video:
He declares there are “many problematic qualities” we’re asked to accept about this God that proves its falseness, but then provides perhaps the stupidest sample of what those “problematic qualities” are: “No being can be regarded as perfect,” he says, “if it needs to be worshipped.”
Agreed! Such would be a contradiction in terms. God, being perfect, has no imperfections in need of realization and therefore no “needs.” So we should not presume to worship God because we think He needs to be worshipped. We should worship Him because he deserves to be worshipped, and moreover, because it is good — that is, consistent with our natures as created beings who owe their creator a debt of gratitude and obedience — to worship Him. The argument as expressed by QS is stupid and he is right to call it such. But he is wrong to call it a “problem” for theism because no one, to my knowledge, has aksed anyone to accept that argument.
Of course, for rational creatures, there is a tight congruence between “good for us” and “good period” (i.e. just), since the telos of our rationality is to make appropriate judgments, above all value judgments about the highest things.