Do Christians really love God?
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29-07-2013, 11:14 AM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
I think this goes well along with the idea that "Perception is Reality."

For instance, our eyes along with other stimuli interpret how we see the world. But the eyes of a fly (for a dramatic example) or a dog, see it entirely different. How do we know black is, black? Green is green? Rough is rough? We don't. We associate the things we feel with whatever jargon, diction, philosophy, etc that our society has establisehed.

In that same mindframe, you have people who percieve that a diety is real (example, the Judeo-Christian God). It's not real. What they feel is something else, be it their subconscience, their will power, random electrical synapses, emotions, conflicting thoughts, whatever. But they percieve it to be God's presence when they have their "personal relationships" or what have you. While perception isn't the actual reality (in theory) it is certainly percieved to be so. That's right, I'm saying that perception of reality is in and of itself... percieved. Might have gone in an awkward loop with that but hell, it all comes back to it being in a person's head. Doesn't mean they are unstable per say, but it possibly means they are just behind, or underdeveloped.

I agree with Starcrash's last sentenct about it being a human problem.

And yet another interesting topic I am not interested in.
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29-07-2013, 11:44 AM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Love comes completely from within and, as such, a physically real entity is not necessary to apply that love to. Having a physically real entity certainly helps to develop the feelings of love in the first place, but I think it is possible to develop those feelings with an imagined being too.

In fact, even with a real being, people often imagine traits of that being that don't really exist, but nonetheless influence their feelings of love. How often do we see a person's "world" come crashing down when they find out the person that they love and whom they thought loved them in return, actually doesn't...?

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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29-07-2013, 12:11 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Nope.
Its probably a complex picture, but since there is "no *there* (actually) there", they tell themselves they have an emotional attachment to *something*. So what IS that *something* ? It's probably as varied as there are believers. Many, I suspect, have this vague sentimental idea of a Caucasian, not bad looking, kindly, white guy, (if they think of Jebus), or a daddy figure in a white beard. That Jebus guy, someone told them, or they saw in a Hollywood movie, went around healing people , doing miracle shit, and he even died for them. So who wouldn't appreciate that ? Trouble is it's not real. At all. It's the spin. So I have no doubt their brains actually produce a learned emotional Pavlovian response they label as "love" when they concurrently pull up their mental "god file" image, but since there is no corresponding external reality to go with that sentimental mental image, the answer is "no". They have an attachment to the image in their heads. Unfortunately, that's the only place that "god" exists. Their emotional response to their mental image is very real. A corresponding external reality is totally bogus.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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29-07-2013, 01:01 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Thank you all for your replies! You've certainly given me different perspectives that could, to some extent, answer the question. Im gonna comment on a few of those perspectives.

StarCrash said:

Quote:Is it possible to love someone that you can't regularly spend time with? Of course! I was also a former Christian, and I undoubtedly put God's will before mine on most occasions because of that love, even when it required personal sacrifice.

First, I'd like to ask you; are you sure the reason why you put god's will before your own was because you genuinely loved him or because it is what was expected of you? or to avoid punishment or receive a reward? Could you say you felt the same as you would if you had done the same thing for your wife or a dear friend? Christians are often told if you do God's will you will be blessed in the end, even if at first it seems you're sacrificing more than what you are receiving. It is sort of an act of faith. When you do it for a person you love, there is no guarantee you'll be rewarded and, in fact, sometimes you might feel unwilling to receive something in return. Could you say you felt this way when you sacrificed something to fulfill what you thought was God's will?

Quote:I also loved my daughter long before she was born, and I felt love for a young Brazillian girl that I was supporting "for less than the cost of a coffee per day" back when I could afford to do so. Love isn't *only* built from proximity and interaction... those things just make it stronger.

I don't think is necessarily proximity, but definitely interaction, and proximity obviously provides more opportunities for interaction. Through interaction is how we get to know the traits we come to love of a person. I'm not sure if you had any interaction with that Brazilian girl, but most of those programs send you letters and photos. Isn't this enough tangible and real interaction to inspire some degree or love? Also, she's human, she's the same as you are, she could even be your daughter, you can have some empathy and sympathy for her.

At first I thought, well, it is natural for a parent to feel love for a child on the way, it is even an evolutionary trait. You also hold some idea of what babies are like and can have realistic expectations of what it might be like to hold it in your arms. In the case of a baby, you also have something real and tangible to point your love to. It also happens to be inside the most important person in your life.

I think in the end both examples you provided are not comparable to God or an imaginary being, because since these recipients of love are actually real, you can have at least SOME degree of actual, tangible interaction that could stimulate your brain enough to start pumping the love juices. I guess you answered a different question than the one I asked, which was: could a sane person convince him/herself with enough conviction that he/she is in fact interacting with an imaginary being to such a degree that he/she actually LOVES said being the same as a real person or, as the Christian faith demands, MORE than a real person?
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29-07-2013, 02:17 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
I don't think most really do -- or maybe their concept of 'love' places love as important as...well...nothing.

I think the word love is devalued by many religious types. For example I've had Christian types tell me they love me as much as rhey love their children.

I call bullshit -- they don't know anything about me. I would certainly hope they love their children a good deal more than a total stranger they just met.

It devalues the word and renders it inert.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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29-07-2013, 02:27 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
I think AmishLatinJew, Bucky Ball and Impulse answers could explain how a sane person could love an imaginary being the same as an actual person. Perception is reality, that is true. What Christians 'feel' when they are in church (which is often NOT the same for everyone) can be perceived as God's presence and you can find said feeling pleasant and sometimes addicting. If you then add BuckyBall's answer of how Christians create this image of god for themselves, pulling data for different sources in order to construct a projection of what god could look like, you got something human you can relate to and perhaps love. There's also, of course, the Christian IDEA OF GOD; an all-loving being who's always watching over you, keeps you healthy, safe and puts food on your table.

However, is all of this enough to love god the same as you would an actual person? Aren't we as humans more receptive to love beings we can tangibly interact with?


Ugh, I'm getting a headache. xD
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29-07-2013, 02:29 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Is love through fear really love? I think not.

When pushed they'll all play the hell card as a reason to love and worship their god.

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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29-07-2013, 02:45 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
It's not love that christians are experiencing, it's a reaction to something that they perceive to be more powerful, more loving, more of everything that they are not. This imagined being created in their minds also creates awe when they think about IT.

It's mental masturbation at it's core and as good as masturbation is, it's not the stuff that love is made of.
We can love the feelings that we get from it as christians love the feelings that their mind gives them as they focus on this imagined being.

The love I have for my son, my grandson, my ex (when I was deeply in love) can't compare to the imagined masturbatory feelings that christians experience.

The love I have for them is returned

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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29-07-2013, 02:58 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
(29-07-2013 02:29 PM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  Is love through fear really love? I think not.

When pushed they'll all play the hell card as a reason to love and worship their god.

I think it is a lot fear. Like when they say spare the rod and spoil the child, as justification for making their kids comply and be complacent. They truly think their kids respect them...no they're afraid of screwing up again.

Fear is a powerful motivator.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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30-07-2013, 02:03 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Love can be placed on anything. Is it healthy to do so? That's debatable I guess, but nonetheless you can love a video game the same way you love your dog. You can love an imaginary being as much as one loves their kid(s). It might be insulting to say so, and may even lead us to say it't not actually love for a number of reasons. But that is what they feel, or percieve to feel.

And yet another interesting topic I am not interested in.
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