Tuesday, January 02, 2007

God's Love

For God so loved the world? Absurd! A thing loved is a thing desired, and a thing desired is a thing not possessed. But God cannot desire that which is not good, and thus if he desires a thing, there is some good that he lacks. A god that lacks some good? Such a being cannot be God!

3 comments:

C Grace said...

"A thing loved is a thing desired"

Here you entirely misunderstand the nature of divine love. Love has a dual flow. In a love relationship we give and we receive. Our surrender of our own self-centered willing is the giving of ourselves to God and our acceptance of ourselves and our situation is the receiving of what God has given us. These two movements are what constitute our consent, our love relationship with Christ.

Desire is a condition of the physical passions, spiritual love is entirely non-possessive.

You have probably heard this:
"If you love something let it go, if it comes back it is yours. If it does not it never was."

Franklin Mason said...

Desire need not concern the physical passions. Instead it is present wherever there is something one wishes to bring about. Nor need it be possessive, if my this is meant that desire is always to secure something for the self. Rather there is self-directed and other-directed desire.

I content that, where there is will, there too is desire. Indeed I think these one and the same thing, for where there is the will to do a thing, there too is the desire for it.

My point is that, if a being desires something, it believes it good. But if one desires a thing, it is a good that one lacks. Thus a being that desires lacks something that it believes good. This seems impossible in the case of God, and so too love seems impossible for Him, for love is desire (albeit other-directed and, in pure form, nonsensual) of a kind.

I wanted to get at a possible point of inconsistency in current conceptions of God. God, if absolutely perfect, lacks nothing good. But if God loves us, he lacks something good.

An historical aside: the point about love - that it is desire for that which one does not have - I take from Plato. It is at work in his Symposium.

C Grace said...

"I contend that, where there is will, there too is desire. Indeed I think these one and the same thing, for where there is the will to do a thing, there too is the desire for it."

Say I am at the store and decide to buy a gift for my husband. I may intend to buy the gift out of a desire to please my husband or I my intention may simply arise out of my love for him completely detached from any desire toward him.

Obviously in buying the gift I will consider what pleases him as part of my choice of gift but the original intention was simply a decision to express love, not a desire

What is love? This I have not yet figured out. No definition I have heard captures the essence of it. If I were to give it a try I would say that love is a totally other oriented act of the will that contains within itself its own purpose, meaning and reason for existence.