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R H
  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States

TEDCRED 30+

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How is it possible that God is 'Love'?

Everything in the natural world, or even the known universe, is competitive. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. Human's most successful means of progress is competition. Win or lose. Succeed or get left behind. Do or die. Even stars and planets are created by violent fusion. Only the strong and competent - in any system - survive. Yet, we 'believe' that God is 'Love'. But where in the natural world is 'love'? Where in the universe is this love? Since we cannot 'see' it or identify it outside of human experience, and if it exists, where is it? Surely if God is Love, then His/Her creation should reflect it, shouldn't it? But all I see is violence. The wolf kills the deer. The bear kills the fish. The croc eats the human. The virus attacks the cell. The star explodes. Why have all of the major religions concluded that God is love? It seems obvious that God is not love, but God is 'Survival', or God is 'Violence', or God is 'Victory'. Because if God were love, then everything would be lovers, and the animals would commune, and the planets would 'birth', and our human problems would be centered around getting something done and getting out of bed because we'd be too busy loving each other - not killing each other. So, how is it possible that God is 'Love'?

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    Oct 11 2013: Hi RH.
    If you mean the god of the bible, then the answer is fairly straightforward.

    God made a perfect universe and a perfect man & woman to live in it.

    He gave them one rule to obey, with the threat that if they broke it they would die.

    They broke it & died. Not only that, but the whole universe started to die as well. That is why we see decay all around. Second Law & all that.

    God came to earth as a man & died in order to reverse things. Because He loves us.

    He will shortly dissolve this universe & make another perfect one. This time He will staff it with volunteers, who have chosen to obey, & gladly subject themselves to His authority, because He loves them.

    This lifetime we have is for us to choose; either in, or out. It's up to us.

    God is, was, & always will be LOVE, that is obvious to all who know Him.

    :-)
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      Oct 12 2013: Peter,
      "He gave them one rule to obey, with the threat that if they broke it they would die.
      They broke it & died. "

      Haven't you ever puzzled over the fact that God put Adam and Eve to a moral test before they had tasted of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? They were not created with that sense (they were obviously not "perfect"), and without knowledge of good and evil they could not know whether the order by the old man in the garden should trump the seemingly sensible advice of the serpent. God was manifestly unfair, not to mention that he knew that they would fail - so the whole thing was a charade, apparently for the purpose of bringing on a pained, unhappy, warring and doomed future for his creations.

      Pretty bizarre, perhaps pathological, though I can't say much about what passes for normal psychology among gods. Perhaps the old saying that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" is apt here.
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        Oct 12 2013: Hi Paul.
        You've got me. Never thought of that before. They didn't have the knowledge of evil, so thought it would be ok to disobey God ? Interesting concept; would really need to know if they had a functioning conscience. Why would god give an instruction if He hadn't told them how to obey? I'll think on that one....
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      R H 30+

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      Oct 12 2013: Hello Peter, and thanks for responding. I didn't mention 'the Bible' because many religions don't reference it as they have their own texts, but I am familiar with its contents as I have read it on multiple occasions. Your summation is excellent but is not the explanation I am looking for as it is too subjective and depends on 'faith' in its precepts. The idea that 'God made a perfect universe' does not address the violence between the inhabitants of that universe that depend on mutual destruction for survival. I cannot reconcile the concept of 'God is Love' with that violence - and by violence I mean the killing that is necessary to eat and succeed in living. Where is the 'love' there?
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        Oct 12 2013: Hi RH,
        Initially all creatures were vegetarian, & will be again in the new universe. The present carnage was initiated by our disobedience. Currently mankind has been given free will by God & uses that free will to destroy the planet & everything in it. If he hadn't given us free will we would have called him unloving as well; He can't win with us lot.
        All we get is a snapshot in time. Looking back, all will become clear.

        :-)
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      Oct 12 2013: Hello Peter,
      You state "If you mean the god of the bible, then the answer is fairly straightforward."
      Interpretation of the bible by claimants who state that it is/was all a "fairly straightforward" process has landed us with over 150 different christian denominations and a history of fighting and infighting, splits, factions and tragedies.
      That's why I am a great fan of the Taizé community in France.
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        Oct 12 2013: Hi Joshua.
        There are more than 150 football teams; that doesn't mean that football doesn't exist.
        Christians are Christians, denominations are just man made smoke screens, I have Christian friends in lots of them, there is no real difference.

        :-)
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          Oct 12 2013: Hello Peter,
          Fair point. I agree that in the end "there is no real difference", for truth is truth, and false is false. My point was that the various perceived differences have been enough to instigate less-than-holy bickering and fighting, and that such perceived "differences" tend to become more entrenched the more people claim that they have the 'fairly straightforward' way of interpreting a holy text.
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        Oct 13 2013: Hi Joshua.
        Bickering is something that humans are particularly good at. Religion is just one of an endless list of subjects that fuels our desire to bicker. Jesus tells us to love & care for one another; if we interpret that as having a go at one another, that is hardly his responsibility.

        :-)

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