Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why Love?

In order for love to be absolutely meaningful, it seems it must be intrinsic to reality. If one claims a personal God must be believed for love to have meaning, then it does not seem intrinsic to reality. If this is true, love is only arbitrarily meaningful so long as it is believed God exists in a personal way. But if love is only arbitrarily meaningful, it can not be absolutely meaningful.

Do not assume I am claiming God does or does not exist. I am simply pointing out the fact that if love is absolutely meaningful, a personal God need not be believed to give love meaning. This can explain why atheists and non-believers routinely experience genuine love relationships even if a personal God does in fact exist. If a believer expresses puzzlement that an atheist would “love” his wife and children, or anybody else for that matter, what does this imply? That the believer's love is merely arbitrary contingent upon his belief in a personal God. If at some point he abandons belief in God, his love for his wife and children and everybody else would be rendered meaningless because he no longer believes God exists.

Suffice it to say, I don't think this happens upon abandoning belief. Reason being, love is meaningful apart from belief in a personal God. What is strange about this reflection is it seems to support the philosophy that even if a personal God does in fact exist, it would be best for us not to believe in Him because only through our disbelief can we be certain we are experiencing love and other similar ideals in an absolutely and intrinsically meaningful manner.

On the other hand, if one supposes an impersonal God exists, what would the implications of this be with respect to absolute and intrinsic love? Semantically speaking, an impersonal God could be equated to no God at all because if He is impersonal, how is this different than being nonexistent? Therefore, supposing an impersonal God exists would have the same effect as believing no God exists.

So it seems love can only have absolute and intrinsic meaning without belief in a personal God or with belief in, at most, an impersonal One. In this way, love is ostensibly embraced for love's sake, not for God's.

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