Can God love?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Greatest I am
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Can God love?

Post by Greatest I am » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:42 pm

Can God love?

We are told that the mythical bible God is love or the epitome of love.

Archetypal Jesus said that we would know his people by the love, deeds and actions they showed others.

Jesus gave us examples of the deeds and works. Feed the poor, love all our neighbours, do not sin and many others.

Love then, seems to Jesus, to be something that must be shown by deeds, actions and works to be alive and true love. Love, like faith, without works is dead. Both St. James and Jesus agree on this.

It follows then that if God is not doing something to show this love then the love for man expressed in scriptures is wrong and God cannot love.

You are in the image of God. When you love someone you show them that love by works and deeds. This is how the recipient of that love knows it is there and that allows for reciprocity. You will agree that without reciprocity, true love cannot exist between two individuals. We must do things for each other for true love to exist.

Imagine what those you love would think if you never did anything to express your love. Imagine what you would think of the love of others towards you if they never did anything to show they loved you. See what I mean. Love always must have deeds to be real and true and reciprocity must be at play.

Love then has no choice but to be expressed if it is true love.

We are told that God loved his son so much that he planned to have him sacrificed even before the earth was created. This human sacrifice or any other human sacrifice, voluntary or not, is immoral and the notion that it is good to sacrifice an innocent victim to give the guilty believers a free ride into heaven is a completely self-gratifying notion and is completely immoral. One does not show love for someone by having them sacrificed for the sins of others when God himself stated that we are all responsible for our own salvation and cannot put that responsibility of the shoulders of a scapegoat Jesus.

Does love need deeds and works to be expressed?

Have you seen God express his love for us lately?

Regards
DL

These following speak to this issue if you wish to view them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMXoPhgT ... r_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcO4Tnrs ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP7SPJllNoc

ala1993
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Re: Can God love?

Post by ala1993 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:51 am

Does love need deeds and works to be expressed?
I think that this is the crucial question here, so I'll try to address it. Imagine two different married couples, living side by side (and I'm going to imagine that they are heterosexual couples but this doesn't mean that they must be). In the first couple, the husband regularly tells his wife that he loves her. He never listens to her. He never buys her presents. He is always either at work or at the pub. In the second couple, the husband never tells his wife that he loves her, but always listens to her and always tries to help her whenever she is having difficulties (no matter how large or small); he surprises her with gifts and never makes a fuss if there is something she wants to do that he would rather not.

Of these two husbands, which would you say 'loves' his wife? The first one tells her so, but never acts in such a way as to support this. The second never tells his wife, but acts in a way that more than suggests that he does.

I think that we have to dispense with the idea of 'love' in this situation, because we are instead talking about 'care' (in fact, I think that telling someone that we care about them should mean much much more than telling them that we love them because care is something that we can show - when we show someone that we love them we are doing it through caring activity). It might be more fruitful to ask whether a god can 'care' rather than 'love'.

With this in mind, I'd like to go back to the original example of the married couples. What if we imagine a third couple, in which the husband not only never tells his wife that he loves her (or cares about her) but never does anything to suggest that he might. In this situation, however, the wife might claim that he loves her and cares about her and interpret everything he does in light of her original claim. This, I think, is where the believer stands in relation to the (supposedly) caring divine entity. We do not know so are forced to interpret activity that is at best ambiguous and at worst utterly indecipherable. The only correct answer, in this instance, to the question of whether the supposedly existing god cares about us is 'maybe'.


All this being said, we talk about the supposed qualities of a god but in doing so we assume that it exists. This is something for which there is no evidence and so when we are asking the question of whether god 'cares' about us this is a hypothetical question (i.e. 'assuming that there is a divine entity, is it capable of caring and, if so, how might its care be expressed?'). The supposed 'truth' of The Bible has been established through its popularity but it has no independent source upon which it can ground this 'truth'. If half the world's population agreed that pigs can fly it doesn't follow from this that they can actually do so.

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Re: Can God love?

Post by The Voice of Time » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:18 pm

I'd take my answer from another discussion that God is a form of order of things seen from a perspective, and that the question of God's love can be answered by appeal to a positive view on life instead of one to damnation.

So the question of God's love is a question of whether you view the life (he has supposedly given you) in a positive outlook and ask the proper questions of it. It is a question of whether you love yourself with a positive care of those things called emotions, psyche, body, society etc. If you love yourself, I'm sure that God, being All-Encompassing, also encompasses the love you have for yourself ;) And so God loves you!

PS: I'm being scarily good at this...

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Re: Can God love?

Post by Greatest I am » Tue May 01, 2012 4:15 pm

ala1993 wrote:
Does love need deeds and works to be expressed?
I think that this is the crucial question here, so I'll try to address it. Imagine two different married couples, living side by side (and I'm going to imagine that they are heterosexual couples but this doesn't mean that they must be). In the first couple, the husband regularly tells his wife that he loves her. He never listens to her. He never buys her presents. He is always either at work or at the pub. In the second couple, the husband never tells his wife that he loves her, but always listens to her and always tries to help her whenever she is having difficulties (no matter how large or small); he surprises her with gifts and never makes a fuss if there is something she wants to do that he would rather not.

Of these two husbands, which would you say 'loves' his wife? The first one tells her so, but never acts in such a way as to support this. The second never tells his wife, but acts in a way that more than suggests that he does.

I think that we have to dispense with the idea of 'love' in this situation, because we are instead talking about 'care' (in fact, I think that telling someone that we care about them should mean much much more than telling them that we love them because care is something that we can show - when we show someone that we love them we are doing it through caring activity). It might be more fruitful to ask whether a god can 'care' rather than 'love'.

With this in mind, I'd like to go back to the original example of the married couples. What if we imagine a third couple, in which the husband not only never tells his wife that he loves her (or cares about her) but never does anything to suggest that he might. In this situation, however, the wife might claim that he loves her and cares about her and interpret everything he does in light of her original claim. This, I think, is where the believer stands in relation to the (supposedly) caring divine entity. We do not know so are forced to interpret activity that is at best ambiguous and at worst utterly indecipherable. The only correct answer, in this instance, to the question of whether the supposedly existing god cares about us is 'maybe'.


All this being said, we talk about the supposed qualities of a god but in doing so we assume that it exists. This is something for which there is no evidence and so when we are asking the question of whether god 'cares' about us this is a hypothetical question (i.e. 'assuming that there is a divine entity, is it capable of caring and, if so, how might its care be expressed?'). The supposed 'truth' of The Bible has been established through its popularity but it has no independent source upon which it can ground this 'truth'. If half the world's population agreed that pigs can fly it doesn't follow from this that they can actually do so.
Thanks for this.

I do not think we have an argument.

You have introduced lies from a husband to his wife into the scenario. That would negate any love in the relationship.

If the husband whose only deed is mouthing the I love you words is being truthful, then there can be true love there even as he does considerably less to show it than your other example.

Regards
DL

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Re: Can God love?

Post by Greatest I am » Tue May 01, 2012 4:19 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:I'd take my answer from another discussion that God is a form of order of things seen from a perspective, and that the question of God's love can be answered by appeal to a positive view on life instead of one to damnation.

So the question of God's love is a question of whether you view the life (he has supposedly given you) in a positive outlook and ask the proper questions of it. It is a question of whether you love yourself with a positive care of those things called emotions, psyche, body, society etc. If you love yourself, I'm sure that God, being All-Encompassing, also encompasses the love you have for yourself ;) And so God loves you!

PS: I'm being scarily good at this...
Hmm. What can I say?

Love is as love does.

When God does what this clip shows, is he showing love?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3LNL6wKhXA

Regards
DL

ala1993
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Re: Can God love?

Post by ala1993 » Wed May 02, 2012 2:16 am

Greatest I Am wrote:
If the husband whose only deed is mouthing the I love you words is being truthful, then there can be true love there even as he does considerably less to show it than your other example.
All he does is say he loves her. He does nothing else. Is this enough? My analogy was to illustrate that 'love' (if it is even a 'thing') is not something spoken but something carried out. The reason for this is to show that even where there is a concrete being that is the supposed source of these actions there remains ambiguity as to whether they constitute 'loving' (or, in my words, 'caring').

You have introduced lies from a husband to his wife into the scenario. That would negate any love in the relationship.
Here, you seem to understand my point. The actions of the husband are not consistent with what he is saying to his wife. When you say that 'we have no argument', if you mean as regards to love being an activity and not a promise (i.e. through actions rather than words) then yes, we are in agreement.

I want you to think about the third example in the analogy: the husband who not only never tells his wife that he loves her but, alongside this, never does anything to suggest that he might. Imagine if she occasionally found flowers on her bed or the washing-up done and put away. She never sees him doing these things but reasons that no-one else could have so, as a result, he must love her. This is where the believer stands in relation to the supposed 'loving god'. No evidence apart from that which we refuse to see otherwise, underpinned at all times by an inescapable ambiguity.

Taking all this into account, which of these situations is most preferable?

1/. Partner tells you they love you but never acts as if they do

2/. Partner never tells you they love you but often acts as if they do

3/. Partner never tells you they love you and never acts as if they do

4/. Partner never tells you they love you and although you occasionally interpret certain circumstances as being an indication of their love, you are never able to say for certain that they love you.

5/. You live alone. Things occasionally happen that make you happy or make your life slightly easier but you can find no evidence of anyone having done this specifically 'for you'.


If we want to talk about love we must talk about the activities in which it is manifest. We can speculate about circumstances which seem ambiguous. However, when there is no conceivable material agent that could have carried out a task, we must be silent as regards to whether any event occurs out of 'love'.

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Re: Can God love?

Post by artisticsolution » Wed May 02, 2012 3:37 am

ala1993 wrote:
Does love need deeds and works to be expressed?
I think that this is the crucial question here, so I'll try to address it. Imagine two different married couples, living side by side (and I'm going to imagine that they are heterosexual couples but this doesn't mean that they must be). In the first couple, the husband regularly tells his wife that he loves her. He never listens to her. He never buys her presents. He is always either at work or at the pub. In the second couple, the husband never tells his wife that he loves her, but always listens to her and always tries to help her whenever she is having difficulties (no matter how large or small); he surprises her with gifts and never makes a fuss if there is something she wants to do that he would rather not.

Of these two husbands, which would you say 'loves' his wife? The first one tells her so, but never acts in such a way as to support this. The second never tells his wife, but acts in a way that more than suggests that he does.

I think that we have to dispense with the idea of 'love' in this situation, because we are instead talking about 'care' (in fact, I think that telling someone that we care about them should mean much much more than telling them that we love them because care is something that we can show - when we show someone that we love them we are doing it through caring activity). It might be more fruitful to ask whether a god can 'care' rather than 'love'.

With this in mind, I'd like to go back to the original example of the married couples. What if we imagine a third couple, in which the husband not only never tells his wife that he loves her (or cares about her) but never does anything to suggest that he might. In this situation, however, the wife might claim that he loves her and cares about her and interpret everything he does in light of her original claim. This, I think, is where the believer stands in relation to the (supposedly) caring divine entity. We do not know so are forced to interpret activity that is at best ambiguous and at worst utterly indecipherable. The only correct answer, in this instance, to the question of whether the supposedly existing god cares about us is 'maybe'.


All this being said, we talk about the supposed qualities of a god but in doing so we assume that it exists. This is something for which there is no evidence and so when we are asking the question of whether god 'cares' about us this is a hypothetical question (i.e. 'assuming that there is a divine entity, is it capable of caring and, if so, how might its care be expressed?'). The supposed 'truth' of The Bible has been established through its popularity but it has no independent source upon which it can ground this 'truth'. If half the world's population agreed that pigs can fly it doesn't follow from this that they can actually do so.
Very nice post ala. I am not so sure this is the way to look at love. I am hesitant to look at love as a thing someone does to you or for you. My mom always scrutinized love this way...she would "weigh the love" i.e. what did he do for me lately. She has been divorced several times because of it...and when she became old...and didn't want love or couldn't find it...she turned to trying to break up other marriages....by asking "what has he done for you lately?" This works well on my sister...but not so well on me...because I see love in a whole different light.

All I can liken it to is how one would view ones parents when one is young and doesn't understand that the parental bond is breakable. You just see your parents as your family...you don't see them as lovers...you don't even really know what that is...they are just your parents....end of story. There is no divorcing your mom or dad...(well I guess there is for some...but I am just giving a imaginary scenario in order to explain my way of seeing love). A child divorcing the people who they love and who love them as a unit is simple not in a child's thoughts.

To me this is what love is....it's not about how much one loves you...it's not about how much you love another...it is about family...there is a bond...a unit...that is unbreakable.

It is being who you are and knowing that nothing is ever going to break your bond but death. Yes...there will be fights...and isolation...especially with the man you describe above as telling his wife but not ever showing her. But that is who is and who he feels comfortable being. A woman can love a man like this with all her heart if she thinks of him as her "family" and vs versa.

As for a loving God...I don't know there is such a thing...but I do know there is such a thing as people who love God unconditionally. They don't care if he doesn't "do" one thing for them ever...they will continue loving the idea of him like he is family.

Isn't the idea of love enough?

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Re: Can God love?

Post by ala1993 » Wed May 02, 2012 6:07 am

I am not so sure this is the way to look at love. I am hesitant to look at love as a thing someone does to you or for you
Perhaps you are hesitant, but it doesn't follow that looking at 'love' in this way is mistaken. I'm not talking about reciprocity of action here (the view that we do something for someone and they, in turn, do things for us). This is one of the reasons why I prefer to talk about 'caring' rather than love (the latter being something whose existence we assume based on the mere fact of the word). We can care about someone, through our actions, in such a way as to facilitate their comfort, their happiness, their ease or their knowledge; this does not have to be carried out as if it is a favour to be returned.

When someone attempts to measure care they usually end up in difficult situations. They ask questions such as: "why should I help you when you never help me?" Such a person has an idea of care that is rooted in a dynamic of exchange (so there is a profit motive at work), care viewed through the lens of business. Even those who profess to have a love for a deity demonstrate this through their activity. We cannot claim to 'love' someone, to 'care' about them, if we do nothing other than merely say the words (although, admittedly, it might be enough to say those words from time to time as simply hearing them might be beneficial).

Put simply, I am talking about 'care'. We use the word 'love' but I want to avoid it as we all have our own desires regarding what we would like the word to mean (I use it in my life but I still prefer 'care' - I would much rather hear my girlfriend or my parents tell me that they care about me than that they love me, although I am probably not in the majority as far as this preference is concerned).

So, what is care if it is not done to or for us? It remains entirely abstract, spoken of as if it were an actual 'thing' yet prevented from having any earthly form.
it is about family...there is a bond...a unit...that is unbreakable.
This is all very well and good, but we know that this 'bond' is both fragile and - in many instances - entirely fictional. The group that cares about itself cares about each and every one of its members and it does this in activity, not abstraction. Families, societies, populations; none are exempt from the demand that care be actively shown or assumed to be non-existent. We should also recognise that the particular group that has come to be termed 'the family' is not a universal, ahistorical unit. By stressing its importance we create, maintain and reinforce great suffering on the part of those who - for whatever reasons - do not fit into the ideal.
I do know there is such a thing as people who love God unconditionally.
How do you know this? Because they have told you so? Do you see it in their actions? They may have reverence for an idea (in this case, an idea shared by many) but is this tantamount to 'love'?
Isn't the idea of love enough?
My idea of love involves caring (which, again, is why I prefer to talk about care rather than love); this caring is demonstrated through activity. For me, for now, this idea is enough. However, if by 'the idea of love' you mean just 'believing in love' (or words to that effect) then no, this is not nearly enough.

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Re: Can God love?

Post by artisticsolution » Wed May 02, 2012 1:40 pm

ala1993 wrote:
My idea of love involves caring (which, again, is why I prefer to talk about care rather than love); this caring is demonstrated through activity. For me, for now, this idea is enough. However, if by 'the idea of love' you mean just 'believing in love' (or words to that effect) then no, this is not nearly enough.
I am talking about caring too. It is very caring to allow your loved one to love you in their own way. This is what I am talking about...not just expecting to BE cared about...but caring about the other person as you do yourself...which means allowing them to love you in the way that is natural for them and not expecting them to love you like your fantasy...or how you want to be loved.

That is the selflessness of love...the place of contentment in just being. In some ways I can see why one can loves God and think he loves them in an unconditional way...because it's just easy...there is no work involved in order to "deserve" love. It just is.

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Re: Can God love?

Post by Greatest I am » Wed May 02, 2012 3:18 pm

Ala

"All he does is say he loves her. He does nothing else. Is this enough?"

She would have to answer that. If true, that may be all she needs to fell that the need of reciprocity has been assuaged.

The same would apply to the other scenarios you wrote.

As to deeds whose benefactor is unknown to the recipient, these are wasted because no one would know where to return the love.

Those who do loving acts want the recipient to know of them.
All altruistic acts have some self-serving aspects to them.

Love touches on morals. Reciprocity, may be the second higest form of morality and speaks to love.

http://blog.ted.com/2008/09/17/the_real_differ/

Regards
DL

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Re: Can God love?

Post by The Voice of Time » Thu May 03, 2012 1:14 pm

Greatest I am wrote:
Hmm. What can I say?

Love is as love does.

When God does what this clip shows, is he showing love?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3LNL6wKhXA

Regards
DL
As far as I know God also gave you reason ;) And some philosopher's argue it was for our best and probably our means to transcend ignorance of wisdom!

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Re: Can God love?

Post by Greatest I am » Thu May 03, 2012 8:51 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:
Hmm. What can I say?

Love is as love does.

When God does what this clip shows, is he showing love?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3LNL6wKhXA

Regards
DL
As compared to Christianity.


“Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding.”

“Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has.”
Martin Luther

Regards
DL

As far as I know God also gave you reason ;) And some philosopher's argue it was for our best and probably our means to transcend ignorance of wisdom!

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Re: Can God love?

Post by bobevenson » Thu May 03, 2012 10:12 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:As far as I know God also gave you reason.
What are you all talking about, love, reason or anything else? We are simply the result of billions of years of evolution. Nothing has any meaning, my friends, we are simply the result of a large number of biological variations leading to the survival of the fittest, and I doubt that we're the final answer.

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