God Is All-Loving

    When I speak of love, I refer to unconditional giving of self to another. This love is not romantic in nature, nor is it aesthetic pleasure such as you feel when you eat a good meal or see a beautiful painting. I am also not referring to the natural bond between persons who share common desires, interests, or familial associations. In the Greek Bible, the unconditional giving of self to another is referred to as agape. Throughout this book, when I say love, I mean agape. Because love (agape) exists in the universe(s), God's love must be greater.

    We should ask the question, "What exactly does God love?" Let us imagine the time when only God existed. This means that the only thing for God to love would be God's own self, since otherwise God would love nothing, and would not love.

    Now move forward to when God created the universe. God created the universe in an act of will and love. Because God created the universe, and God loves God, God must love the universe, and everything in it (including us).

    God is perfect in the absolute sense of the term. It is not possible to make God better (who could do this?), nor is it possible to create a being that is better than God (again, who could do this?). In this sense (the ontological sense) God is good. To be ontologically good means to be "true to your nature," or to be the best that you can be. God is the best God that can be, so the term is appropriate.

    God also has absolute moral goodness. To have moral goodness means to want what is best and to act for what is best. God must be more good than the moral good that exists in the universe(s).

    At this point, deism must be eliminated as a possibility because it denies, implicitly or explicitly, an all-loving God. We have arrived at a theistic understanding of God. Of the major religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all consistent with everything we have said so far. To further delve into a Christian understanding of God, we will need to learn from scripture. Before then, we will learn about what it means to be human, using philosophy.

Objection 1:

    I am basing my knowledge of God's loves on our loves. Are not our loves just a product of evolution? Does not our concept of good and evil come from evolution as well?


    Perhaps evolution had a hand in determining what we see as good, and what we love. After all, ants typically exhibit quite "moral" behavior. However, this does not change that God is the first cause. If evolution is true, then God caused it, which causes us to understand good, evil, and love. God is the first cause, not evolution.

Objection 2:

    For that matter, none of these things really exist. Given inputs (environment) our program (genetics) determines what we will do (outputs). We have no choices in the matter. Ascribing morality to a non-free agent is an exercise in futility.


    We have free will.

Objection 3:

    Love is a weakness. To give of yourself unconditionally means to get less than you give. If God loves, God is less than God's creation. Therefore, God does not love.


    God cannot run out of love. Just as we have already seen with God being the first cause, change inducer, and existence source, God does not need to get something before giving it away. It is hard to imagine a greater strength. Similarly, a key attribute of a saint is the ability to love without compensation. A saint, however, cannot do this without the assistance of another. This other is God.

This page was last changed on 2011/08/28