# Can All "rules" be seen as leading to and steming from Love

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How would knowing how something works make it illusory? And if it was, why couldn't an illusion be a source of all "rules?"

Would you still regard it as "love", in a positive sense, if it were entirely chemical? I mean that only as a personal enquiry, not a criticism, since you are of course free to regard it however you like.

You must admit, that is certainly not the usual view of love.

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SO according to the bible it is not love if it involves jelousy, insist on its own way is not resentful and bears and endures all things.   The bible states that God is jelsous (and also resentful)

If you failed to apply some principle of logic, then your hypothesis would be flawed from the start. When I say principles of logic, I don't mean that in the formal academic sense of the word, I real

Then you can say that your arguments are irrational and are not logical. But, as God gave us these abilities, then it would be a sin you have committed by not using them.   The "laws" of logic are n

I apologize for this if its unintelligible. I took an ambian an hour ago and its kickin in.

Emotion is certainly a component of many things. However the emotion is not necessarily the thing itself.

You say that, "Love is an emotion by all accounts I have ever heard". This is incorrect on two points. First "by all accounts I have ever heard" is now incorrect since you have heard from me and from St Paul that Love is not "emotion".

Secondly it would be more correct to say that Love has an emotional component, but that emotional component is not "Love" in itself. you yourself make this clear when you say that you "Love" your mother even if you feel "anger" toward her. One moment you "feel" (emotion) love and the next moment you "feel" (emotion) anger toward her. Yet regardless of how these feelings change, the underlying core of Love does not Change.

You still want the highest good for the object of your love (your mother).

You confuse emotion with feelings. They aren't the same thing. For a better understanding lets go through the theories of love. First, The main ways people think about the types of love are Eros(self disclosing passion), Ludus (uncommitted), and Storge (Friendship) OR Passionate Love(state of intesnse longing, also called Romantic Love) and Companionate Love (love we feel towards our lives are involved). These can come in any combination. That is the simplistic way to look at it. There is also the Triangular theory of love. Now lets say the difference in what you're saying feel is that You are feeling consumate love while we are feeling consumate love at our parents. But some how your's trumps ours? Or is yours and empty committed love? Either way Love is an emotion not a component. If anything Love has components.

As to the other matters surrounding God's existance, I can do little to help you in this matter. A wise man once said, "For those who believe, no proof is necessary, for those who do not believe no proof is possible."

He wasn't very wise considering the millions on converts. But we aren't talking about converting us.

My abilities of argumentation, of reason, of persuasion are insufficient to sway another from outright rejection to belief. The only one who can convince you of God's existance is the Holy Spirit and the only way He can do that is if you open you heart and mind to the possibility.

Never in any of my post have I said or even hinted at what I believe.

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I apologize for this if its unintelligible. I took an ambian an hour ago and its kickin in.

Then you won't remember any of this...

Emotion is certainly a component of many things. However the emotion is not necessarily the thing itself.

You say that, "Love is an emotion by all accounts I have ever heard". This is incorrect on two points. First "by all accounts I have ever heard" is now incorrect since you have heard from me and from St Paul that Love is not "emotion".

Secondly it would be more correct to say that Love has an emotional component, but that emotional component is not "Love" in itself. you yourself make this clear when you say that you "Love" your mother even if you feel "anger" toward her. One moment you "feel" (emotion) love and the next moment you "feel" (emotion) anger toward her. Yet regardless of how these feelings change, the underlying core of Love does not Change.

You still want the highest good for the object of your love (your mother).

As to the other matters surrounding God's existance, I can do little to help you in this matter. A wise man once said, "For those who believe, no proof is necessary, for those who do not believe no proof is possible."

My abilities of argumentation, of reason, of persuasion are insufficient to sway another from outright rejection to belief. The only one who can convince you of God's existance is the Holy Spirit and the only way He can do that is if you open you heart and mind to the possibility.

Is there any chance you will stop proselytizing and try to discuss god in a rational manner? You cannot explain anything by simply assuming god is the source of it, that is not an explanation, it's an excuse, an assumption due to lack of information. I think there is the possibility of god yet I see no holy anything in god. Your assertions of god are just your own personal beliefs nothing more, no better than any one elses...

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I apologize for this if its unintelligible. I took an ambian an hour ago and its kickin in.

You confuse emotion with feelings. They aren't the same thing. For a better understanding lets go through the theories of love. First, The main ways people think about the types of love are Eros(self disclosing passion), Ludus (uncommitted), and Storge (Friendship) OR Passionate Love(state of intesnse longing, also called Romantic Love) and Companionate Love (love we feel towards our lives are involved). These can come in any combination. That is the simplistic way to look at it. There is also the Triangular theory of love. Now lets say the difference in what you're saying feel is that You are feeling consumate love while we are feeling consumate love at our parents. But some how your's trumps ours? Or is yours and empty committed love? Either way Love is an emotion not a component. If anything Love has components.

You are right. It's unintelligible.

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Would you still regard it as "love", in a positive sense, if it were entirely chemical? I mean that only as a personal enquiry, not a criticism, since you are of course free to regard it however you like.

You must admit, that is certainly not the usual view of love.

Yes, I would regard it as love, in a positive sense. It's not the usual view of love, but I don't think it's contradictory either, since the usual view of love doesn't have much to say on how it actually "works." It's a difference between regarding the objective mechanism, and the subjective experience.

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Yes, I would regard it as love, in a positive sense. It's not the usual view of love, but I don't think it's contradictory either, since the usual view of love doesn't have much to say on how it actually "works." It's a difference between regarding the objective mechanism, and the subjective experience.

I agree that it is not contradictory. But it is a little surprising that you would still call it love. Most people who hold that view would simply say love doesn't exist but the appearance of love is mimicked by chemicals. (This is only a semantic difference of course, and maybe your view works better when having dinner with your girlfriend.)

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Science had actually determined that there are at least 3 emotions of love that we can feel. These can be paraphrased as: Short Term, Medium Term and Long term.

Short Term love is more what one can considder lust and it generally laasts for a few days to about a month. It is an emotion that brings two strangers together for reproductive purposes.

Medium Term love is an emotion that kicks in after about a month or so of knowing someone. This lasts for several years and helps keep a couple together for the purposes of child rearing.

Long Term love is an emotion that helps bind a couple together over sucessive children and keeps the group together to support each other (as we are a social species).

These have distinct behavioural and emotive (and even physiological - that is neural and chemical) responses. They are distinct emotions.

I don't understand why people try to treat Love as some quantifiable, finite commodity. Why do you think there needs to be a greater or lesser Love at work in Jesus?

Christ is of the same essence as The Father, when he obeyed the Father, he obeyed himself. Likewise, Christ's Love for us is necessarily identical to the Father's Love for us.

But we must recognize that this Love must be properly ordered to the highest Good. That is why we must put our Love of God first (in order not in quantity). Loving God and wishing to be obedient to Him in Love properly orders the Love that we then show to others. Christ says:

John 13:34-35 "34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
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I agree that it is not contradictory. But it is a little surprising that you would still call it love. Most people who hold that view would simply say love doesn't exist but the appearance of love is mimicked by chemicals. (This is only a semantic difference of course, and maybe your view works better when having dinner with your girlfriend.)

Ha, yes it does. But honestly, I find the view that it doesn't exist to be strange. It seems to mean holding the implicit view that something is only real if it is mysterious.

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I don't understand why people try to treat Love as some quantifiable, finite commodity.

If something is quatifiable, then why not treat it as such? You are making a claim that Love is non-quatifiable, but offer no evidence for it. However, direct scans of the human brain and analysis of the chemistry that goeson in it have yeilded evidence that there are qualtifiable states of love (which is evidence to support that love is quantifiable).

If you even spend a little bit of time looking at the behaviours of people you will see these states of love as distinct (and hence quatifiable). You would recognide lust when you saw it, you cna see the behaviour of people who love each other while raiseing a child is different from lust and is also different from the emotions and behaviours of people who are life long compainions.

Have a look at this:

http://people.howstuffworks.com/love6.htm

As an asside: Things don't need to be finite to be quantifiable. Integer numbers are quantifyable, but the range of integers is infinite. So they are infinite and also quantifiable.

Why do you think there needs to be a greater or lesser Love at work in Jesus?

Christ is of the same essence as The Father, when he obeyed the Father, he obeyed himself. Likewise, Christ's Love for us is necessarily identical to the Father's Love for us.

This is your claim not mine, so I don't need to provide evidence to support your claims. That is your job.

Actually, you have not provided any support for your claims, except by restating the claim again and again (remember the need for evidence is that it differentiates between claims, not just restates the claim - we are not deaf or stupid so you don't have to keep repeating yourslef all the time). Repeating a claim is not supporting the claim. It, in fact, ends up weakening your claim because it indicates that you can not support your claim at all.

So every time you just repeat your claim you are indicating you think we can not understand you (we can clearly understand you, we just disagree because we have evidence that supports out claim and at the same time disproves yours) and that you have no real substance to your claims (which again supports our claim that there is no evidence to support your position).

It is now time to stop sounding like a broken record and produce some evidence to support your claims.

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I must confess that I never understand what Christians are saying when they assert that 'I feel in my heart that Jesus/God loves me.' It seems to me that they simply carve off one part of their consciousness and label it 'the Divinity,' another part and label it 'me,' and then intuit a relation of 'loving' flowing from the former to the latter. I don't see how you can informatively say that you can test whether one mentally-constructed thing, your idea of God, is really related via love to another mentally-constituted thing, your sense of selfhood. Could you, in good Popperian fashion, imagine a test that would indicate that that love had ceased? If not, then I'm not sure how you can be sure it is continuing, or real in the first place.

Even the Bible says that the Devil may delude us and make us think he is himself the Divinity, so how do you independently test this loving moment in the continuum of your consciousness to ensure that it is really God and not just the Devil fooling you?

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If something is quatifiable, then why not treat it as such? You are making a claim that Love is non-quatifiable, but offer no evidence for it. However, direct scans of the human brain and analysis of the chemistry that goeson in it have yeilded evidence that there are qualtifiable states of love (which is evidence to support that love is quantifiable).

If you even spend a little bit of time looking at the behaviours of people you will see these states of love as distinct (and hence quatifiable). You would recognide lust when you saw it, you cna see the behaviour of people who love each other while raiseing a child is different from lust and is also different from the emotions and behaviours of people who are life long compainions.

Have a look at this:

http://people.howstuffworks.com/love6.htm

As an asside: Things don't need to be finite to be quantifiable. Integer numbers are quantifyable, but the range of integers is infinite. So they are infinite and also quantifiable.

This is your claim not mine, so I don't need to provide evidence to support your claims. That is your job.

Actually, you have not provided any support for your claims, except by restating the claim again and again (remember the need for evidence is that it differentiates between claims, not just restates the claim - we are not deaf or stupid so you don't have to keep repeating yourslef all the time). Repeating a claim is not supporting the claim. It, in fact, ends up weakening your claim because it indicates that you can not support your claim at all.

So every time you just repeat your claim you are indicating you think we can not understand you (we can clearly understand you, we just disagree because we have evidence that supports out claim and at the same time disproves yours) and that you have no real substance to your claims (which again supports our claim that there is no evidence to support your position).

It is now time to stop sounding like a broken record and produce some evidence to support your claims.

I am sorry that I am not up to the task of answering your questions to your satisfaction. Perhaps another, with greater wisdom than I can provide the answers you seek.

You seek your understanding in science - in proofs, and evidence, and brain scans and defining one kind of love from another and other scientific methodology. I fear you will find such pursuit to be ultimately frustrating and futile.

I would suggest a different line of study for you. Study those who have been honored for their great love. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, St Therese of Liseaux, St Francis of Assisi, and others....

Study on the lives of these people and you will begin to get the answers you seek.

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I am sorry that I am not up to the task of answering your questions to your satisfaction. Perhaps another, with greater wisdom than I can provide the answers you seek.

What I have been doing is not so much asking question for you to answer, but asking questions for you to examine the questions you are asking and the assumptions you have made.

The only way to advance understanding and knowledge is to question the assumptions you have made. If you neve question your own assumptions, then you will never know if those assumptions are wrong (and thus any conclusions you make from them are also likely to be incorrect).

In your opening post for this discussion, you asked some questions with some underlying assumptions. All I have endevored to do was to herlp you understand the answers to your questions was in examining your underlying assumptions.

If there is a failure of wisdom, it is only the failure to see the wisdom of examining what underlying assumptions you have made (and we all have them).

You seek your understanding in science - in proofs, and evidence, and brain scans and defining one kind of love from another and other scientific methodology. I fear you will find such pursuit to be ultimately frustrating and futile.

I have found it far more fullfilling than religion (and remember I have been exposed to these beliefs so I have the ability to directly compare the advantages.disadvantages of both). For me, religion seemed to say that it had all the answers, but when I looked at them they were nothing more than somone saying that they had the answers, they never seemed to answer the questions I had.

What Science and Atheism have done for me is to show that the underlying assumptios I had that generated these questions were actually false. This ment that the question I had changed, and these questions were able to be answered.

IF the underlying assumption is that a partcular question is meaningful, but that underlying assumption is wrong, then you can knot yourself up trying to answer a question that is, in the end, meaningless.

I would suggest a different line of study for you. Study those who have been honored for their great love. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, St Therese of Liseaux, St Francis of Assisi, and others....

Study on the lives of these people and you will begin to get the answers you seek.

Where I live, we have a philosophy group that meets once a moth to discuss all variety of philosophy, including religions (of all sorts). We have talked about such people (I have even personally met the Dali Lama), so I have had my fair share of "study" (if you want to call it that) of this subject matter.

It is from these experiences that I have found that the best answer you can get is to first question the underlying assumptions that the question is based on.

If you get nothing more from me in the discussion we have had here: This is probably the most important thing you can get.

Question the Question.

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What I have been doing is not so much asking question for you to answer, but asking questions for you to examine the questions you are asking and the assumptions you have made.

The only way to advance understanding and knowledge is to question the assumptions you have made. If you neve question your own assumptions, then you will never know if those assumptions are wrong (and thus any conclusions you make from them are also likely to be incorrect).

In your opening post for this discussion, you asked some questions with some underlying assumptions. All I have endevored to do was to herlp you understand the answers to your questions was in examining your underlying assumptions.

If there is a failure of wisdom, it is only the failure to see the wisdom of examining what underlying assumptions you have made (and we all have them).

I have found it far more fullfilling than religion (and remember I have been exposed to these beliefs so I have the ability to directly compare the advantages.disadvantages of both). For me, religion seemed to say that it had all the answers, but when I looked at them they were nothing more than somone saying that they had the answers, they never seemed to answer the questions I had.

What Science and Atheism have done for me is to show that the underlying assumptios I had that generated these questions were actually false. This ment that the question I had changed, and these questions were able to be answered.

IF the underlying assumption is that a partcular question is meaningful, but that underlying assumption is wrong, then you can knot yourself up trying to answer a question that is, in the end, meaningless.

Where I live, we have a philosophy group that meets once a moth to discuss all variety of philosophy, including religions (of all sorts). We have talked about such people (I have even personally met the Dali Lama), so I have had my fair share of "study" (if you want to call it that) of this subject matter.

It is from these experiences that I have found that the best answer you can get is to first question the underlying assumptions that the question is based on.

If you get nothing more from me in the discussion we have had here: This is probably the most important thing you can get.

Question the Question.

I believe that I see a hint of the underlying problem here.

You say above that Science gives you greater fulfillment than Religion because of science's ability to answer your questions where religion is not. So in reality what we are talking about is what your world view is. or in oother words where you place your faith.

You prefer science because of it's ability to demonstrate some truth. No "faith" is required. The premise is testable. The reults are able to be sensed etc. That sort of thing.

"Religion", does not present as clean and demonstrable result and that those you have questioned in this regard have been unable to answer you (to your satisfaction). Because of this, you seem to feel that this somehow makes the faith based less "true".

But I think that if you continue to follow you own advice, and "question the question", you will find that all science can do is answer the "how's" of things but not the "why's". It can define various types of Love, and generate reams and reams of documents on the emotional interactions of human beings; it can create an entire set of terms and language to explain all of this - - - and it will never come as close or as clean or as perfect as the simple statement of Christ in my opening post.

You say that you have been exposed to some of the writings of the great saints. If that includes St Therese of Liseiux, you may recall that she was talking to another, older, sister about how she found it difficult to speak about what was going on in her soul, even to her superiors. The older nun responded, "[it is] because your soul is extremely simple, but when you will be perfect, you will be even more simple, the closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes." (Story of a Soul, ch VII para 21-23)

So where you insist on "Questioning the Question", I answer that it is better to "Simplify the Simple"....

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It seems to me that the problem there is that the assertion

"but when you will be perfect, you will be even more simple, the closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes"

is both an unsupported assertion (and therefore unreliable) and also apparently nonsense.

Any God must be, intrinsically complicated in order to do (or even to wish to do) complicated things like build a universe.

Why do you think God; notoriously difficult to explain, is simple?

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I believe that I see a hint of the underlying problem here.

You say above that Science gives you greater fulfillment than Religion because of science's ability to answer your questions where religion is not. So in reality what we are talking about is what your world view is. or in oother words where you place your faith.

You prefer science because of it's ability to demonstrate some truth. No "faith" is required. The premise is testable. The reults are able to be sensed etc. That sort of thing.

"Religion", does not present as clean and demonstrable result and that those you have questioned in this regard have been unable to answer you (to your satisfaction). Because of this, you seem to feel that this somehow makes the faith based less "true".

This is what I ment when I talked about how underlying assuptions can lead you to questions that are meaningless. The assumption is that there has to be a Why. As the endless series of Whys that come from assuming that there is a why, this renders any answer imposible and even if there was an answer it would be meaningless (because an infinite amount of anything to a finite entity is meaningless, just as a finite thing is meaningless to an infinte entity).

Also, I siad that it was Science and Atheism, not just science alone. Sure, science can answer the How's quite easily, but with Atheism I am forced to examine what you would considder the "Why's'". Of course, as part of Atheism I do question the question and have to examine the underlying assumptions I use, but this is not (necesarily) science. I use logic and reason, sure, but not necesarily the scientific method to answer the questions that science can't (and is not intented to) answer.

Science doesn't deal with ethics or morality, but logic and reason (and the information obtained from science's answer to the How's) can show that morality and ethics do not need a higher power to impose them on us, just the necesity of living within a social group imposes a set of rules that give an optimal set of behaviours (and this is what we lable as morality).

If I was to say I have the answer to one of your questions, but then when it came time to provide an answer to that question, all I ever did was to pose more questions and then present that I didn't actually have an answer as the answer. You would start to question my ability to tell the truth. I bet you would.

This has been my experience of religion. I asked the questions and they dodged around the fact that they had no answers (and then tried to pass that off as being somehow better than having the answers). This is why I question the truths behind religions, not because it is some how cleaner (or not), but because they lied about having the answers in the first place.

If someone lies to you, you tend not to think of them as overly truthful.

But I think that if you continue to follow you own advice, and "question the question", you will find that all science can do is answer the "how's" of things but not the "why's". It can define various types of Love, and generate reams and reams of documents on the emotional interactions of human beings; it can create an entire set of terms and language to explain all of this - - - and it will never come as close or as clean or as perfect as the simple statement of Christ in my opening post.

You say that you have been exposed to some of the writings of the great saints. If that includes St Therese of Liseiux, you may recall that she was talking to another, older, sister about how she found it difficult to speak about what was going on in her soul, even to her superiors. The older nun responded, "[it is] because your soul is extremely simple, but when you will be perfect, you will be even more simple, the closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes." (Story of a Soul, ch VII para 21-23)

So where you insist on "Questioning the Question", I answer that it is better to "Simplify the Simple"....

It is fine to simplfy the simple, but you can simplify too much and loose the actual substance. If you simplfy the questions too much, then you loose the substance of the question and then any answer becomes meaningless. There is a saying: Make things as simple as they can be, but no simpler.

Statements can be simple, poetic and even sound like they havae truths in them. This, of course, still does not mean they are true (they could be, but that would have yet to be established).

As an example of something that sounds true is the old one of: We use only 10% of our brains.

This sounds true as most people think they could push themselves a bit more. It makes it sound like they ahve more potential than they have (they probably do, but it is not about how much of their brain they use). Actually we use pretty much 100% of our brain, just not all at the same time. But over the course of an hour or a day, we pretty much use it all.

So the statemnt sounds like it might be true, and for a long time people believed it. When we were abel to measure the amount of brain we do use, we found this statement to be utterly un-true, but it still doesn't stop people from believing it is true. It means you can't just take statements at face value or accept something as true because it sounds like it might be true, or fits with your preconcieved beliefs (this is why you have to question the question and also your assumptions).

As for the anecdote about St Therese, the assumption one has to question are:

1) The existance of the soul

2) That the soul is simple

3) That one becomes simpler the more perfect one becomes

4) That God exists

5) That a simpler one becomes the simpler one aproaches God.

Here is my analysis of these assumption:

1) There is nothing that actually establishes the existance of the soul, it is assumed. All I have ever heard is that the soul is something you experience, but how can I, from that know what it is to experience a soul. If I never had a soul, how could I know what it is like to have one, and could I not mistake some other experiential phenomina as the soul. One can claim that they can feel their soul, so it must exist, but people with phantom limb pain can still feel their limbs, but their limb dosn't actually exist, so just feeling it exists is no reason to assum it does (incidentially, there is an illusion called the rubber hand illusion where you can actually feel the existance of something being a part of you that is not).

2) To me, the soul, being an infinite entity is far more complex (infinitely so) than any finite entity, so this assumption seems not to make any sense. If I had a soul, then it would, by necesity, be more complex than I (as a finite human entity) could ever be.

3) In some sense "perfect" could be taken as simple, but perfect by no means only means simple. Now this could just be an expression of an established fact, but again there is no evidence of this so we can no assume that this is true (remember the 10% brain useage was though of as true until we learned to look at how much of the barin is actually being used).

4) Again, this has not been established, and there is qute good reasoning to assum that God doesn't exist (at least as far as the christian God does). IF God (as in the christian God) exists as claimed, then He is infinitely powerful, which means ther eis nothing He can not do. He could eliminate all suffering in the world, and yet sill leave the world completely unchanged. He has not, so He the conclusion is that He wishes us to suffer only for the sake of suffering. This is not the act of love, this is not a being that is infinitly Good, and as these are necesary attribute of the christian God, the onyl conclusions are that ewither God is not as described by the christians, or God does not exist. Either way, in the context of this the reasoning comes down against the existance of God.

5) God, as described by the christains is infinitely powerful and infinitly knowledgeable, neither oif these are simple, so becoming simple would not bring you closer to Him, but further away form Him. Also, God is described as quite a complex entity with strange needs (why the various forms of worship?). So rationally, this assumption can not stand either.

It seems that all the assumptions in that anecdote are either falseified, or are not established as being true (let along real). This this much uncertainty over the truth of this claim, it is either a hollow platitude to silence question that might lead to rejection of the religion, or it is not a useful anecdote.

So lets use your: "Simplfiy the simple" and get rid of anything that is not simple.

What we end up with is a woman with doubts that she can't verbalise because of her uncertainties.She is uncertain about her soul, but because she has already assumed the existance of a soul, the uncertainties make no sense to her.

Question the assumptions.

If she had questioned her assumptions (mainly that her soul existed), then she would have been able to reach a conclusion that her souls didn't exist, as there is no evidence for its exisaance (remember evidence is use to differentiate between claims and therefore must do so). If she used her reasoning (as she would believed that God gave her) correctly, then she would ahve to come to the conclusion that the existance of the soul is in doubt, so one must first establish that her soul exists to have trouble with it.

So she was a woman with dubts, and those doubts were brushed asside by a Thought Terminating Cliche (wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought-terminating_clich%C3%A9#Thought-terminating_clich.C3.A9 ).

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It seems to me that the problem there is that the assertion

"but when you will be perfect, you will be even more simple, the closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes"

is both an unsupported assertion (and therefore unreliable) and also apparently nonsense.

Any God must be, intrinsically complicated in order to do (or even to wish to do) complicated things like build a universe.

Why do you think God; notoriously difficult to explain, is simple?

Then one can ask, why do you think that the universe is complicated??? The only thing compliated about the universe is the small and finite uman mind trying to comprehend it in intellectual human terms.

If you believe in evolution and that higher forms developed fro lower forms then humans were "built" by the simplest of single celled creatures.

The very computers and internet that we are communicating on rely on the simplest of things for their entire design and development - The on/off switch.

What is wise to God is foolishness to man so says St Paul in the Bible.

You find wisdom in complexities where God is found in simplicity.

You who make the assertion that God MUST be "intrinsically complicated" yet you have no more support for your "faith" view than you claim that I have for mine.

Love is a simple concept in God's terms. Yet many volumes are written by humans trying to explain Love in "human terms". Who is simple and who is complicated? Who has the greater understanding of Love, an infant and mother who cling instinctively to each other, or the psychiatrist who writes thousands upon thousands of words trying to define it?

It is fine to simplfy the simple, but you can simplify too much and loose the actual substance. If you simplfy the questions too much, then you loose the substance of the question and then any answer becomes meaningless. There is a saying: Make things as simple as they can be, but no simpler.

So if you question the saying about using 10% of the brain, why don't you questions the old saying you use here??

Perhaps the problem you find with simplification is that, when it reaches a certian point (like all rules deriving from love) you begin to loose your intellectual "control". To make it simpler begins to get into things mystical. Sort of like when someone who deals with common physics begins to look at quantum physics and the things they have been trained to accept don't work anymore....

As for the anecdote about St Therese, the assumption one has to question are:

1) The existance of the soul

2) That the soul is simple

3) That one becomes simpler the more perfect one becomes

4) That God exists

5) That a simpler one becomes the simpler one aproaches God.

Here is my analysis of these assumption:

1) There is nothing that actually establishes the existance of the soul, it is assumed. All I have ever heard is that the soul is something you experience, but how can I, from that know what it is to experience a soul. If I never had a soul, how could I know what it is like to have one, and could I not mistake some other experiential phenomina as the soul. One can claim that they can feel their soul, so it must exist, but people with phantom limb pain can still feel their limbs, but their limb dosn't actually exist, so just feeling it exists is no reason to assum it does (incidentially, there is an illusion called the rubber hand illusion where you can actually feel the existance of something being a part of you that is not).

2) To me, the soul, being an infinite entity is far more complex (infinitely so) than any finite entity, so this assumption seems not to make any sense. If I had a soul, then it would, by necesity, be more complex than I (as a finite human entity) could ever be.

3) In some sense "perfect" could be taken as simple, but perfect by no means only means simple. Now this could just be an expression of an established fact, but again there is no evidence of this so we can no assume that this is true (remember the 10% brain useage was though of as true until we learned to look at how much of the barin is actually being used).

4) Again, this has not been established, and there is qute good reasoning to assum that God doesn't exist (at least as far as the christian God does). IF God (as in the christian God) exists as claimed, then He is infinitely powerful, which means ther eis nothing He can not do. He could eliminate all suffering in the world, and yet sill leave the world completely unchanged. He has not, so He the conclusion is that He wishes us to suffer only for the sake of suffering. This is not the act of love, this is not a being that is infinitly Good, and as these are necesary attribute of the christian God, the onyl conclusions are that ewither God is not as described by the christians, or God does not exist. Either way, in the context of this the reasoning comes down against the existance of God.

5) God, as described by the christains is infinitely powerful and infinitly knowledgeable, neither oif these are simple, so becoming simple would not bring you closer to Him, but further away form Him. Also, God is described as quite a complex entity with strange needs (why the various forms of worship?). So rationally, this assumption can not stand either.

It seems that all the assumptions in that anecdote are either falseified, or are not established as being true (let along real). This this much uncertainty over the truth of this claim, it is either a hollow platitude to silence question that might lead to rejection of the religion, or it is not a useful anecdote.

Going through the above, I find that much of it is based on "assumptions" that can no more be proved than any other "assumption".

However, you have established for yourself certain assumptions that are attractive or satisfying to you and you build your other assumptions upon these.

Since you choose to use the sceintific-atheistic model for your asumption there is nothing that I can say that would be accepted unless it fits your assumed model.

So lets use your: "Simplfiy the simple" and get rid of anything that is not simple.

What we end up with is a woman with doubts that she can't verbalise because of her uncertainties.She is uncertain about her soul, but because she has already assumed the existance of a soul, the uncertainties make no sense to her.

Why do you assume she is uncertain??

f she had questioned her assumptions (mainly that her soul existed), then she would have been able to reach a conclusion that her souls didn't exist, as there is no evidence for its exisaance (remember evidence is use to differentiate between claims and therefore must do so). If she used her reasoning (as she would believed that God gave her) correctly, then she would ahve to come to the conclusion that the existance of the soul is in doubt, so one must first establish that her soul exists to have trouble with it.

So she was a woman with dubts, and those doubts were brushed asside by a Thought Terminating Cliche (wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought...ng_clich.C3.A9 )

Everything you write here demonstrate that you have never read "A Story of a Soul", or if you did you understood none of it.

Edited by needimprovement
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I believe that I see a hint of the underlying problem here.

You say above that Science gives you greater fulfillment than Religion because of science's ability to answer your questions where religion is not. So in reality what we are talking about is what your world view is. or in oother words where you place your faith.

You prefer science because of it's ability to demonstrate some truth. No "faith" is required. The premise is testable. The reults are able to be sensed etc. That sort of thing.

"Religion", does not present as clean and demonstrable result and that those you have questioned in this regard have been unable to answer you (to your satisfaction). Because of this, you seem to feel that this somehow makes the faith based less "true".

Religions tend to be either false, or probably false and definitely useless for anything other than self-delusion. Self-delusion is useful though.

But I think that if you continue to follow you own advice, and "question the question", you will find that all science can do is answer the "how's" of things but not the "why's". It can define various types of Love, and generate reams and reams of documents on the emotional interactions of human beings; it can create an entire set of terms and language to explain all of this - - - and it will never come as close or as clean or as perfect as the simple statement of Christ in my opening post.

Science answers the "how". Religion tells a nice story that some people think answer the "who what where when how why". There's no evidence that it actually answers any of those questions, including the "why".

What is wise to God is foolishness to man so says St Paul in the Bible.

Correct. Religion looks foolish from an intellectual standpoint.

You who make the assertion that God MUST be "intrinsically complicated" yet you have no more support for your "faith" view than you claim that I have for mine.

If your theory presupposes a god you need to show how complicated or simple the god you presuppose is. Simply saying your presuppositions are simple and likely doesn't make them so nor does it switch the responsibility to others to prove otherwise.

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Christ tells us that the two greatest commandments are based on Love and that everything else stems from it.

Mt 22:36-40 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And He said to him, " YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' 40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

So - My question is, can we, as Catholics and as Christians, trace every rule back to this "rule of Love"?

Can you think of any rule that is not traceable to the "Law of Love"?

I think the very premise of this question is not only flawed but is disingenuous as well. Love stems from God? and all rules stem from this love? This is simply a lie meant to cover up what religion is the real source of, hatred, cruelty, arrogance, dominance and control. Religion, especially the monotheistic Christian, Islamic, Jewish tradition is a fount of these things, this fountain of hate is directed both inwardly and externally. Inward toward anyone who does not worship the correct way within the religion and outwardly toward any other religious tradition.

These religious traditions are full hate for people who are different, whole cultures have been killed at the direction of god, women are often the brunt of this hatred, any woman who does not submit is often labeled a whore or prostitute and the bible asserts they should be stoned to death, as are homosexuals, pagans, or pretty much anyone who does not submit totally to the fear mongers of these religious traditions. Then you have internally driven hatred, often shown as arrogance of "I'm going to heaven because i speak in tongues or fall on the floor and twitch or handle snakes or drink poison and you are going to burn in hell because you don't.

Many sects within the from work of various denominations have this idea of superiority due to specific differences in the way they worship, even Catholics have divisions with their ranks of various groups that feel this arrogance toward each other.

The really sad thing is that no religion has any reason to hate or to destroy, kill or suppress other cultures other than this message of superiority. From Catholics to Muslims to Protestants, to Mormons to no religion has any proof of their own superiority except for their own assertions of correctness. All of them owe their own success as religions to being willing to suppress the other people who do not worship correctly, often in terrible ways including death and torture.

Then they sit back on their smug behinds and try to assert that other less successful religions are nothing but superstitions, the beliefs of silly gullible people who don't know any better. old timey beliefs that are outdated by the truth of the big three monotheistic religions.

Being the biggest bastard on the street does not make you correct, it just makes you the biggest bastard on the block, respect is earned not taken and the idea that the any of the big three are more deserving than the Celtic beliefs, Nordic beliefs, Pagan beliefs, Hindus or any other religious beliefs is just more dominance posturing, nothing more...

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Also, with respect to your points, Moontanman, it would have been so easy for an omniscient God, who would have anticipated all these terrible effects his book as written has inspired in the world, to have put various warnings in his book to forestall these developments -- but somehow, he forgot! This suggests a limit to his omniscience, which is inconsistent with the hypothesis, so his existence as the ultimate author of that book is disproved.

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I think the very premise of this question is not only flawed but is disingenuous as well. Love stems from God? and all rules stem from this love? This is simply a lie meant to cover up what religion is the real source of, hatred, cruelty, arrogance, dominance and control. Religion, especially the monotheistic Christian, Islamic, Jewish tradition is a fount of these things, this fountain of hate is directed both inwardly and externally. Inward toward anyone who does not worship the correct way within the religion and outwardly toward any other religious tradition.

These religious traditions are full hate for people who are different, whole cultures have been killed at the direction of god, women are often the brunt of this hatred, any woman who does not submit is often labeled a whore or prostitute and the bible asserts they should be stoned to death, as are homosexuals, pagans, or pretty much anyone who does not submit totally to the fear mongers of these religious traditions. Then you have internally driven hatred, often shown as arrogance of "I'm going to heaven because i speak in tongues or fall on the floor and twitch or handle snakes or drink poison and you are going to burn in hell because you don't.

Many sects within the from work of various denominations have this idea of superiority due to specific differences in the way they worship, even Catholics have divisions with their ranks of various groups that feel this arrogance toward each other.

The really sad thing is that no religion has any reason to hate or to destroy, kill or suppress other cultures other than this message of superiority. From Catholics to Muslims to Protestants, to Mormons to no religion has any proof of their own superiority except for their own assertions of correctness. All of them owe their own success as religions to being willing to suppress the other people who do not worship correctly, often in terrible ways including death and torture.

Then they sit back on their smug behinds and try to assert that other less successful religions are nothing but superstitions, the beliefs of silly gullible people who don't know any better. old timey beliefs that are outdated by the truth of the big three monotheistic religions.

Being the biggest bastard on the street does not make you correct, it just makes you the biggest bastard on the block, respect is earned not taken and the idea that the any of the big three are more deserving than the Celtic beliefs, Nordic beliefs, Pagan beliefs, Hindus or any other religious beliefs is just more dominance posturing, nothing more...

I sense some frustration in the above post.

Moontanman,

Perhaps the sourse of your frustration, and the reason that you think the OP is, how'd you say, "disingenuous" is because the OP was directed toward Catholics and Christians in general. I make that clear in my OP where I say:

So - My question is, can we, as catholics and as christians, trace every rule back to this "rule of Love"?

You are obviously neither Catholic or Christian and therefore are unable to properly grasp the context of the question. Hence your frustration.....and your tantrum.....

May God,in His mercy, send you an angel wiser than I who can guide you and soften your heart.

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Are his objections somehow invalid because he belongs to the wrong religion?

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I sense some frustration in the above post.

Moontanman,

Perhaps the sourse of your frustration, and the reason that you think the OP is, how'd you say, "disingenuous" is because the OP was directed toward Catholics and Christians in general. I make that clear in my OP where I say:

So - My question is, can we, as catholics and as christians, trace every rule back to this "rule of Love"?

You are obviously neither Catholic or Christian and therefore are unable to properly grasp the context of the question. Hence your frustration.....and your tantrum.....

May God,in His mercy, send you an angel wiser than I who can guide you and soften your heart.

May the Moon Goddess forgive your misogynist religious claims and allow you to see the truth one day, maybe she will send one of her Faeries to heal your obviously wounded mind....

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Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." -Deuteronomy 13:13-19

Needimprovement, you use Biblical quotes for many of your arguments. Please reconcile this Biblical passage, dictating a rule from "God", with your hypothesis that "all rules stem from love".

In the realm of things that matter:

How can you say that the rule of not dividing by zero is derived from love? How about conservation of lepton number? I think a quick thought about some of the rules of science and mathematics, which is the focus of this forum, will lead you to the conclusion that your assertion makes just enough sense to actually be a question, but not enough to be evaluated in any formal or emperical way.

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In the realm of things that matter:

How can you say that the rule of not dividing by zero is derived from love? How about conservation of lepton number? I think a quick thought about some of the rules of science and mathematics, which is the focus of this forum, will lead you to the conclusion that your assertion makes just enough sense to actually be a question, but not enough to be evaluated in any formal or emperical way.

In my OP, I was referring to rules pertaining to faith, and more specifically rules we live by today (such as weekly mass attendance etc.). Obviously I was not clear on this. My apologies.

As for your statement, "of the rules of science and mathematics, (being) the focus of this forum. Although I do understand this is a science forums, but the sub-forum is called, "Religion" contained in the Forum "Philosophy".

Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." -Deuteronomy 13:13-19

Needimprovement, you use Biblical quotes for many of your arguments. Please reconcile this Biblical passage, dictating a rule from "God", with your hypothesis that "all rules stem from love".

I shall attempt to do so, but I fear that our difference in world views may preclude effective communication. Please bear with me and keep an open mind.

First of all, let me be clear about who's hypothesis this is. It is not mine but Christ our Lord whom I quoted in my opening post. It is He who tells us that all the Law and all the Prophets are based on the two great commandments - Love of God, and Love of neighbor.

Such passages as above are difficult to understand as we look back on the world of 3000 years ago. They are also difficult to understand and reconcile if we do not see them within the context of a spiritual growth and journey. If one looks at the OT in the light of the journey from the fall of man in the Garden up through the redemption of man on the cross, one sees God placing tighter and tighter controls on us. Leading us back from the evils of the fall into the light of redemption. The Laws of Deuteronomy are examples of setting such limits that had not existed before. God is lovingly teaching and raising his children just as any loving parent would, in keeping with their capacity to understand and learn.

Therefore it is necessary to look at such things as the Laws of Deuteronomy within the context of the times and not try to impose our modern understandings onto them.

Understanding the above, Lets look at some of the specifics of the passage. First, It applies to towns "given by God" to His people. These are not towns outside of the juresdcition of Isreal. Second, the issue is not with outsiders believing differently but with insiders becoming corrupted, and corrupting others. Third it requires a careful examination of facts and proofs, Then, and ONLY then is the prescribed punishment carried out.

Thus we can see from the opening portion that this is not a blind rush of hate, but a carefully examined circumstance that is to be dealt with in a carefully prescribed way.

Such Laws would only be necessary if they are designed to carefully codify and control behavior that had previously been "out of control".

Certainly by todays standards the punishment seems harsh, but by "today's standards" punishments common a hundred years ago are seen as harsh. It is impossible for us to judge whether this punishment prescribed was too harsh or not. We are not immersed in the cultures of that time.

About the best comparison we can makein this case is to cancer in the body. If one finds they have cancer, often the treatment is to cut out the diseased tissue, and even some ot the healthy surrounding tissue in order to assure that all of the disease is removed. The sacrifice of this tissue is seen by the body as a whole as good and healthy for it preserves the life of the whole. Often times we are left with a scar to remind us of our brush with death.

In the case of the town, it is removed, like a cancer, and the scar, the unrebuilt town left as a reminder. Harsh? To our eyes yes. Loving? Yes in that such action preserved the health of the nation of Isreal from which our ultimate salvation was to come through Christ Our Lord.

This then is my explanation, woefully indaquate I'm afraid, but that fault lies with me and not with God.

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So if you question the saying about using 10% of the brain, why don't you questions the old saying you use here??

I have and it has stood up to questioning.

If you make something simpler than it needs to be, that means you have left out things that are needed by it. The conclujsion is that what you have no longer works.

Think of it in terms of a watch: There are probably things you could take out of most watches (manufactures logos and such) and it will still work. But if you keep taking out things, eventually you will take out something that is needed to allow the wathc to work and the watch won't work anymore.

This also applies to religions too: In any religion there are things that are necessary and things that are not necessary. SOme things that are not necessary are the dress codes of the cleregy. If you took them out, the religion would still exist. But if you took out the belief in God (or what other supernatural beliefs are part fo the religion) then the religion breaks down and no longer works.

So this really does apply, even to religions.

Perhaps the problem you find with simplification is that, when it reaches a certian point (like all rules deriving from love) you begin to loose your intellectual "control". To make it simpler begins to get into things mystical. Sort of like when someone who deals with common physics begins to look at quantum physics and the things they have been trained to accept don't work anymore....

Conrtol is not important, whether the thing works or not is what is important.

What I have found is that the simpler you make thing, the less room there is for anything mystical. For example: When you look at the way Neurons behave, there is no need to even have the concept of love at all, and the behaviour of these neurons can be directly linked to the feelings of love. So Love it seems is derived from neural functions, and if all rules are derived from Love, then what about the rules that govern the behaviours of neurons (as Love is dependent on them)?

Going through the above, I find that much of it is based on "assumptions" that can no more be proved than any other "assumption".

No, they are questiniong your assumptions. The purpose was to provide an equally valid explaination, that needs evidence to sort out what was really going on. As there are at least 2 valid explainations (based on different assumptions)< you have to provide evidence to support your assumptions and that disprove the other assuptions.

If you are unable to provide evidecne against the other assumptions, if you are ratioanl, you have to accept that there is an equally valid explaination for the events. These other explainations might not fit your bias, but even just intelectually you have to accept that they are a valid explaination or provide evidence against them and that supports your own position.

Just repeating "I believe" such and such does not provide evidence as the bible states that even the Devil will pretend Divinity. If you believe in what the devil says, it does not make him God. If you belive in God and the Devil, then you accept the risk of believing in the Devil will get you damned for eternity. So if you hold the beliefs you say you do, then it would explain why God gave us rational thought and logic: It provides us a way to check reality. And, as the Devil will lie (ie what he says is not reality) this would be a necessary skill that God would have given us.

However, you have established for yourself certain assumptions that are attractive or satisfying to you and you build your other assumptions upon these.

Exactly why you have to question all assumptions.

Since you choose to use the sceintific-atheistic model for your asumption there is nothing that I can say that would be accepted unless it fits your assumed model.

These are not my assumptions. These are the processes that I use.

And before you ask the obvious question: Yes, I do even question these (but have found them to work).

The only real assuption I have is: Reality trups all else.

That is: if it is not real, then it is not real.

Why do you assume she is uncertain??

She is having trouble with what see feels is going on in her soul. She is uncertain how to express these feelings or what they mean. So yes, she is uncertain.

Everything you write here demonstrate that you have never read "A Story of a Soul", or if you did you understood none of it.

I ahve not specifically read that work, but I have read others. It has been so long since I read them, and they didn't really speak to me (they seemed devoid of any real answers), I have forgotten most of what was in them.

It might be that I never expereinced the "Teenage Angst", so I have never had the type of uncertainties that these exploit (and yes I do use that term specifically), that might be why they never did anyhting for me. To me, all these kinds of works sound angsty, and I just have never felt that way.

So - My question is, can we, as catholics and as christians, trace every rule back to this "rule of Love"?

The answer to this is very simple: No.

What, because ther are rules that can not be traced back to Love.

Whether God exists or not, ther are rules that can be directly traced back to Hate (even Gods hate), or Jelousy (and God is a jelous God - it says so in the bible).

So no, you can not trace all rules back to Love, and that is just going off what is written in the bible.

If you had read the bible you would ahve known that. this leads me to believe that you haven't actually read the bible, but are jsut echoing what people have told you about it, or thqat you have read it, but dismissed the bits that make you unconfortable with your faith.

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