Do Christians really love God?
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30-07-2013, 02:22 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
There's a difference between "an imaginary someone" and someone one hasn't met who has left them benefit in a will or foundation. I am an admirer of Lincoln, Ghandi and Ronald Reagan, though I haven't met them. My wife, who was adopted, loves and admires her birth mother who had the courage to carry her to term rather than abort her. I'm sure you wouldn't presume to belittle her for loving a woman she hasn't met. I love Jesus.
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30-07-2013, 04:25 PM (This post was last modified: 31-07-2013 06:28 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Do Christians really love God?
(30-07-2013 02:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  There's a difference between "an imaginary someone" and someone one hasn't met who has left them benefit in a will or foundation. I am an admirer of Lincoln, Ghandi and Ronald Reagan, though I haven't met them. My wife, who was adopted, loves and admires her birth mother who had the courage to carry her to term rather than abort her. I'm sure you wouldn't presume to belittle her for loving a woman she hasn't met. I love Jesus.

Awwwwwwww. Poor Pleasy. Nice grab at attention/sympathy for a false analogy, and attempt at making us feel gulity. Are you always this dishonest and manipulative ? You did this once before about a special needs person, claiming him as a relative, which was a lie, so I have no reason to actually believe a word you say about an adopted wife. Too bad, Little-Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf.
You tell yourself (you "name" *something*). You name that "something" as "love for Jebus". In fact what your emotional attachment is, is to something your brain refers to (accesses in a memory file), as "Jebus", which is comprised of a number of (warm and fuzzy) things. It's not REALLY Jesus, as you have never seen or met him, and you never will. You "love" your "idea" of Jebus. Your memory access process/reflex produces a response.

However to equate your invisible friend who will never be seen either by you or anyone, one who has not a shred of evidence for his (continued) existence with someone's mother, who HAS evidence for her existence, is the fallacy of the false analogy.

Honestly, Pleasy. Arguing with you is like taking candy from a baby.

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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30-07-2013, 06:28 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
(29-07-2013 01:25 AM)IgniteThought Wrote:  Hi there!

So, this is a question that occurred to me while I was listening to the podcast Clash from the Past. Christians say all the time that they LOVE god, but aren't they just repeating what everyone else is saying? Aren't they trying to convince themselves by repeating over and over they love God? In other words, is it even possible for a sane person to love something imaginary (as we believe god to be) the same way as a family member, a partner, or a friend? I know they believe god is real, but he behaves in the exact same way an imaginary being would, and Christians interact with him in much the same way you would with an imaginary being; by talking to yourself.

Think about the people or pets you love and why you love them. Is it not because of the time you've been together, what you've been through together, the experiences and other things you've shared? How can you have that with an imaginary being? With someone whose voice you've never heard, face you've never seen, skin you've never touched or mind you've never gotten to know? Someone who's supposedly 'there', but not 'there' as are all other physical beings we've evolved to love and relate with?

There are crazy people out there who come up with imaginary friends and communicate with them as if they were real. If you were able to create imaginary beings and convince yourself they are real, you could convince yourself you are talking to them, sharing experiences with them and creating memories with them. You could then love them as if they were real...but you would be BAT-SHIT CRAZY!

Which leads me to the conclusion that, yes, SOME Christians can actually feel LOVE for god (and by love I mean the same love you would feel for an actual person) but that this is actually a symptom of some degree of mental instability, because no mentally stable person would be able to convince him/herself with such deep conviction that they are actually communicating or sharing experiences with someone who they can't see, hear or touch to the point where they would actually feel LOVE for that someone. Otherwise, it wont be enough to inspire love.

I was a Christian throughout the majority of my life (raised evangelical christian, deconverted when I turned 18, I'm 23 now), I can say without a doubt I NEVER felt actual love for god. I was just repeating what everyone else was saying until it became a habit. This leads me to think the majority of Christians don't actually love god, they just say it because it's what they are supposed to feel and it is what everyone says.

They don't really LOVE god, let alone love him above all things, unless they are batshit crazy, which some of them are.

What do you think? Is it possible? and if you were once religious, did you feel actual LOVE for god?
Yes, I think this is definitely possible. However, this is not a common kind of love or liking, it is a mysticism. It is the pure experience of love, abstract or focused on some symbol. It's not falling in love or personal relationship, it's actually very impersonal. Maybe it's the same thing that Buddhists have when they meditate on compassion, but I'm not sure about that.

Of course it does not work for every Christian, surely they have all kinds of feelings about god, including none, personal, or childish affection. But at the core of Christianity is mysticism and this is what some pastors and youth leaders are trying to explain in their crude language. Not every Christian is a mystic and not every mystic is a Christian. I am not a Christian and yet I can understand and experience this love. I just do not see any bearded carpenter with hand piercing behind it. It is a universal human phenomenon. Maybe Jesus or whoever was just one of many who tried to explain this to people. That this is not something from the outside, but this is the I, the SELF, a part of ourselves. But people just looked at the guy and assumed he means himself, that he is the thing. They couldn't imagine this abstract mystical experience just like that, without a face. As Buddha said, look at the moon, not at the finger pointing at the moon.
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30-07-2013, 07:05 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
This all seems like ignorant speculation. No-one can know the mind of another. However, I can speak for myself. When I was a believer I felt love for god at times. Of course feelings fluctuate. I think the best kind of love is an active devotion that persists despite one's changing feelings. That is how I love my wife and children and how I loved god when I thought he existed and loved me.
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30-07-2013, 07:39 PM (This post was last modified: 31-07-2013 11:57 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Actually Neuro-science knows a lot about how brains work with regard to emotion, brain location, chemistry, and neuro-biology.
http://www.gizmag.com/emotional-intellig...ped/25980/

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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31-07-2013, 03:52 AM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
(30-07-2013 07:05 PM)sandman Wrote:  This all seems like ignorant speculation. No-one can know the mind of another.
Why not? Besides mirror neurons we have poetry, symbolism, empathy...


(30-07-2013 07:05 PM)sandman Wrote:  However, I can speak for myself. When I was a believer I felt love for god at times. Of course feelings fluctuate. I think the best kind of love is an active devotion that persists despite one's changing feelings. That is how I love my wife and children and how I loved god when I thought he existed and loved me.
Yep, devotion, that's about right, you know it came from you. It is something you felt and you know that. I'd know that too.

Mysticism is something different. At first, it was like some foreign presence in my mind loved me. Still a non-Christian, mind you. Then it somehow shifted so that it was I who loved, but just loved. No object, everything and nothing in particular. Just a state of love, not focused on any person or symbol. No devotion to anything.

I'd like neuroscience to look at this. It's probably still an unknown phenomenon, because it's so rare. It's not something that people can reproduce at will. They can stimulate brain centers with a big magnetic helmet to provide the feelings. But what magnet stimulates the brain in such a way when the helmet is not there? Who or what pulls the neurologic bells and whistles, if there's no big fucking electrified helmet on a mystic's head?
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31-07-2013, 03:58 AM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Do they love someone who has the power to condemn them to eternal damnation if they don't love them? Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but if I believed in God I'd sure as hell try to pretend I did.
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31-07-2013, 06:09 AM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Actually he/they wants you to *say* you do, (even if you really don't).
They have a REALLY dumb god. They think he won't notice. As long as you *say* you do, that's all that matters. Weeping

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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31-07-2013, 11:32 AM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Thank you for your replies. I've learned a lot during the course of this discussion, so thank you all.

I think the one thing I can compare a love for god is a love for a fictional character or a book. For example,some people cried when they found out Dumbledore died. I guess when you get to know a character through the stories about him told in a book, you can generate a strong emotion like love. The god of the bible is not necessarily the most sympathetic character, so I'm not sure how it works in that case.
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31-07-2013, 12:20 PM
RE: Do Christians really love God?
Quote:Actually Neuro-science knows a lot about how brains work with regard to emotion, brain location, chemistry, and neuro-biology.

You use this canard and don't see the irony of saying that I and not you try to deflect arguments?

Not only does it deride love and all love is to say its purely deterministic and caused by brain chemicals, but you're woefully incorrect here. It's not that neuroscience knows "a lot" about emotion and the body, it knows tremendous, titanic amounts. There are thousands of research papers and books, and tens of thousands of experiements performed. Yet we know only a tiny, infinitesimal amount about the brain and its many functions, intelligence--and love.

I know this--if Atheists knew what love is or how to define it, they'd love Jesus Christ.

Likewise, BB, I demonstrate love and concern for you, and you, scorn for me. Way to show the world how much Atheists care for their fellow man...
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