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Author Topic:   Love is Greater than God
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 1 of 38 (599294)
01-06-2011 12:00 PM


I can understand how Love can exist without God.
My wife and I decided to cultivate a relationship together, and we love each other very much. There is no God within our relationship.
A half-arguement (one with no evidential basis) coud be put forth that God created us and therefore is present in our lives. But God did not create our relationship. My wife and I created our relationship, and it is the relationship where Love exists and God does not.

Is there an area where God can exist without Love?
If God ever exists without Love... is He even still God? Is it worth calling an all-powerful being that has no Love "God", as far as any Abrahamic-related religion is concerned? (I am trying to have the word "God" refer to the being generally identified in a Western religious environment, not any general supernatural-being).

If Love can exist without God, yet God cannot exist without Love. Doesn't that make Love greater than God?

If we can have Love... understand Love and base our lives around Love... without God. Why do we need God?

Isn't it better to focus our lives and efforts on Love rather than on God? That is, wouldn't any attention upon God be taking away attention from Love? If we are focusing on Love, isn't that what God's message is about anyway? Therefore, isn't God an additional factor that can be ignored in order to promote Love as a good guide for life?

I would guess that Faith and Belief would be the best place for this topic.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Taz, posted 01-09-2011 2:07 PM Stile has replied
 Message 4 by iano, posted 01-10-2011 10:48 AM Stile has replied
 Message 7 by Iblis, posted 01-10-2011 11:22 AM Stile has replied
 Message 19 by purpledawn, posted 01-14-2011 9:07 AM Stile has replied
 Message 26 by Phat, posted 09-18-2011 8:29 PM Stile has replied

  
AdminPD
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Message 2 of 38 (599601)
01-09-2011 6:02 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Love is Greater than God thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 2523 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 3 of 38 (599629)
01-09-2011 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
01-06-2011 12:00 PM


Stile writes:

My wife and I decided to cultivate a relationship together, and we love each other very much.


I'll throw this out there because eventually someone will.

What you and your wife (as well as my wife and I) have is lust, not love. Without god, there is only lust. Love is only possible if god is involve. Proof? Whose name does your wife scream out in bed?

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.


(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 01-06-2011 12:00 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Stile, posted 01-10-2011 10:54 AM Taz has taken no action

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1172 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 4 of 38 (599732)
01-10-2011 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
01-06-2011 12:00 PM


Stile writes:

I can understand how Love can exist without God. My wife and I decided to cultivate a relationship together, and we love each other very much. There is no God within our relationship. A half-argument (one with no evidential basis) could be put forth that God created us and therefore is present in our lives. But God did not create our relationship. My wife and I created our relationship, and it is the relationship where Love exists and God does not.

If you are designed by God then his first involvement is unavoidable. You have been made with the capabilities of yearning for and wanting to give .. love. This doesn't mean you would necessarily create a relationship nor does it mean that the only relationship you could create is with your wife. But it wouldn't happen without God.

Then there would be his potential involvement in influencing circumstances that brought you two together. This wouldn't mean you would necessarily decide to create a relationship or that that relationship would last without your inputting effort. But is would nevertheless be a power-assist. You doing the steering but unable to manage it on your own.

-

Is there an area where God can exist without Love?

If God ever exists without Love... is He even still God?

Can an up exist without a down, a heads without tails? I can't imagine things existing without their antithesis. If you love children for example, then you must, of necessity, hate the actions of a paedophile. It would appear then that there is a place for God's wrath - a hatred of that which is unholy.

But that wrath can said to be a product of love. The tough side of love perhaps. But since it's arguably good that the actions of a paedophile are hated, both the 'fluffy n' warm' and the 'horrendous to behold' sides of love can be called good.

-

Is it worth calling an all-powerful being that has no Love "God", as far as any Abrahamic-related religion is concerned? (I am trying to have the word "God" refer to the being generally identified in a Western religious environment, not any general supernatural-being).

The Abrahamic God appears abounding in love (in both fluffy/horrendous senses)

-

If Love can exist without God, yet God cannot exist without Love. Doesn't that make Love greater than God? If we can have Love... understand Love and base our lives around Love... without God. Why do we need God?

Because you're going to die one day and the love you have will be ruptured for all eternity? Because the love you have for your wife, which operates part-according to his plans for love and part-contra his plans for love would be better if God were fully included?

It would make sense (in all areas of life) to have the author of the manual for life consulted.

-

sn't it better to focus our lives and efforts on Love rather than on God? That is, wouldn't any attention upon God be taking away attention from Love? If we are focusing on Love, isn't that what God's message is about anyway? Therefore, isn't God an additional factor that can be ignored in order to promote Love as a good guide for life?

The argument would be that most-perfect-love (which is utterly sacrificial) can only be achieved by his transforming you in ways that you are unable to do by yourself. The tendency for sin within is to encourage you to be selfish minded - you'll no doubt see this at times in your own relationship with your wife (which is not to say you don't have a very loving relationship). You can struggle with this on your own if you like but you won't overcome it in the way made possible by him

Whilst the struggle itself is laudible, you won't struggle all the time and it's those times of failing that detract from the degree of love you have for your partner.

Which is more selfish: going it alone in your struggle to love or taking the assistance offered - even though that means a capitulation on your part?

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 01-06-2011 12:00 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Stile, posted 01-10-2011 11:05 AM iano has replied

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 5 of 38 (599734)
01-10-2011 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Taz
01-09-2011 2:07 PM


Does God-less Love exist?
I see, so calling it "Lust" instead of "Love" allows them to delude themselves into thinking the relationship between me and my spouse is "lesser" than the relationship between them and their spouse. Supposedly because they would include God, and I would not.

So, what is it then that the inclusion of God adds to a relationship and increases it's value?

Is it the same thing that God adds to a Christian Life that increases it's value over an atheistic life?
The same thing that cannot ever be described or substantiated in anyway?
The same thing that cannot be differentiated from "no difference at all"?

It appears that this discussion may hinge on the existance (or lack?) of a difference between God-ful Love and God-less Love.
My claim would be that there is no difference, and therefore God-less Love is exactly the same as God-ful Love... it's all just "Love".

Does anyone think they can actually define or substantiate an actual difference between the two?

It's easy to say that one relationship includes God and the other doesn't. But how would anyone know that actually to be true? Is it possible to differentiate a God-ful Love from a God-less Love where the people involved just believe it is God-ful?

For some possibly relevant background, those interested may want to peruse the following thread where different meanings of Spirituality... even atheistic spirituality... is discussed:
Message 1


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Taz, posted 01-09-2011 2:07 PM Taz has taken no action

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 6 of 38 (599737)
01-10-2011 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by iano
01-10-2011 10:48 AM


What's "better"?
iano writes:

Because the love you have for your wife, which operates part-according to his plans for love and part-contra his plans for love would be better if God were fully included?

Are you asking me or telling me?
How would the love I have for my wife be better if God were fully included? What would be different?

The argument would be that most-perfect-love (which is utterly sacrificial) can only be achieved by his transforming you in ways that you are unable to do by yourself. The tendency for sin within is to encourage you to be selfish minded - you'll no doubt see this at times in your own relationship with your wife (which is not to say you don't have a very loving relationship). You can struggle with this on your own if you like but you won't overcome it in the way made possible by him

Haven't seen any selfish-minded struggles yet. What if this trend continues? What if I never have any selfish-minded struggles in my relationship with my wife? Does that mean God actually approves of my relationship that does not conciously include Him in any way? Does it mean that God is actually helping me, even though I'm conciously ignorant of Him?

If God allows my relationship to continue without any negatives at all and also allows me to receive all the positives while I keep Him out of the relationship... does this mean believing in God is non-consequential?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by iano, posted 01-10-2011 10:48 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by iano, posted 01-10-2011 11:23 AM Stile has replied
 Message 28 by Phat, posted 03-09-2014 3:42 AM Stile has replied

  
Iblis
Member (Idle past 3127 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 7 of 38 (599743)
01-10-2011 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
01-06-2011 12:00 PM


"greater than"
I think the best argument that something is greater than something else is which controls what. If my sense of duty to my country is greater than my love of self, than I will dive on that grenade. Something that motivates me, in other words, something that controls me, is categorically "greater than" me. Yeah?

So the claim at least, is that god does a great many things, wonderful and terrible things, for love. If god is working for love, love is his boss. No?

The usual theological cop-out here is to say that god is love. In this case, of course, even getting nailed up for us becomes a purely selfish act.

It's all pin-dancing though. The Great Cthulhu is "greater than" the Flying Spaghetti Monster; but the FSM is "more flying".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 01-06-2011 12:00 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Stile, posted 01-10-2011 4:06 PM Iblis has taken no action

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1172 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 8 of 38 (599744)
01-10-2011 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Stile
01-10-2011 11:05 AM


Re: What's "better"?
Stile writes:

Are you asking me or telling me?

Neither. I'm pointing out a logical conclusion attaching to Gods existance. I know you don't believe he does, but his doing so would have all sorts of consequences, including in this arena.

How would the love I have for my wife be better if God were fully included? What would be different?

Probably primarily, you'd have someone assisting you in dealing with your sin. Your sin can't but have an effect on your relationship.

-

Haven't seen any selfish-minded struggles yet.

You haven't even been irritated, angry or frustrated with your wife? You've never had a lustful thought for another woman run through your head? You've never put your own interests first?

How long are you married?

What if this trend continues? What if I never have any selfish-minded struggles in my relationship with my wife? Does that mean God actually approves of my relationship that does not conciously include Him in any way? Does it mean that God is actually helping me, even though I'm conciously ignorant of Him?

can we first examine whether yours is a marriage in a million first?

If God allows my relationship to continue without any negatives at all and also allows me to receive all the positives while I keep Him out of the relationship... does this mean believing in God is non-consequential?

I don't see why God's general providence can't mean you live a fulfilled married life (I don't get this unbelievers-only-lust gig at all atall). Or a contented life in general. This isn't to say that there is no qualititive difference between a life lived with God and without.

Life with God brings with it a purpose that can't be generated by man on his own (which you would logically conclude to be the case in the case of God's existance). The marriage arena is but a subset of that overarching principle - which is again not to say a godless marriage can't be satisfying. Or that a godly one won't have it's trouble.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Stile, posted 01-10-2011 11:05 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Stile, posted 01-10-2011 11:35 AM iano has replied

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 9 of 38 (599745)
01-10-2011 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by iano
01-10-2011 11:23 AM


The Purpose is Better?... What's the Purpose?
Probably primarily, you'd have someone assisting you in dealing with your sin. Your sin can't but have an effect on your relationship.

How would someone assisting me in dealing with my sin improve my relationship with my wife?
I take it you have someone (God) assisting you with your sin? And this has improved your relationship with your wife?
How did your relationship improve?
What is included in your relationship that is not included in mine?

iano writes:

Stile writes:

Haven't seen any selfish-minded struggles yet.


You haven't even been irritated, angry or frustrated with your wife? You've never had a lustful thought for another woman run through your head? You've never put your own interests first?

Not for any significant amount of time, no. If what I do experience is called a "struggle", than the struggle is over within micro-seconds. Does this mean God is already helping me deal with my issues even though I'm not conciously acknowledging His presence in the relationship?
If these "struggles" are not a problem in any sense, does that mean my relationship is already "better" without God?

can we first examine whether yours is a marriage in a million first?

I certainly like to think it is
Don't we all?
Or are you striving for an every-day, average marriage?

This isn't to say that there is no qualititive difference between a life lived with God and without.

Are you able to voice any of these qualitative differences? Or must they remain obscure and secretive?

Life with God brings with it a purpose that can't be generated by man on his own (which you would logically conclude to be the case in the case of God's existance). The marriage arena is but a subset of that overarching principle - which is again not to say a godless marriage can't be satisfying. Or that a godly one won't have it's trouble.

Okay.
So I don't have the purpose from God.
How would getting the purpose from God make my relationship different/better?
Can you tell me what this purpose is?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by iano, posted 01-10-2011 11:23 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 01-11-2011 5:25 AM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 10 of 38 (599794)
01-10-2011 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Iblis
01-10-2011 11:22 AM


Re: "greater than"
Iblis writes:

If god is working for love, love is his boss. No?

Yes.
That certainly makes sense to me.

The usual theological cop-out here is to say that god is love.

Agreed.
Which is why I attempted to make the distinction that love can exist without God... therefore, God is not love, and therefore (as we stated before) Love is greater than God.

It's all pin-dancing though.

Absolutely.
It is interesting, however, to learn about how others qualify love and relationships. Perhaps we will change our minds upon finding a real tidbit of reliable information. Or maybe not. But, at the least, it gives us perspective to judge our current standards.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Iblis, posted 01-10-2011 11:22 AM Iblis has taken no action

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1172 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 11 of 38 (599841)
01-11-2011 5:25 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Stile
01-10-2011 11:35 AM


Re: The Purpose is Better?... What's the Purpose?
Stile writes:

How would someone assisting me in dealing with my sin improve my relationship with my wife?

Sin is self-centred. Love is other centred. As sin > 0, love > flourishing.

-

I take it you have someone (God) assisting you with your sin? And this has improved your relationship with your wife? How did your relationship improve?

I haven't got a me-without-God marriage running alongside this one to compare with. I'd merely point to the above as the operating principle.

-

What is included in your relationship that is not included in mine?

I don't know yours to be able to answer this. For all I know you could have a better, more fulfilling relationship with your wife than I do with mine. The question isn't whether your's has more than mine, the question is whether yours or mine would be better with than without God in it.

Again, in dealing with the general thrust of your OP, it would appear to make sense that directions & assistance from the designer of both you and marriage would add to your marriage.

-

Not for any significant amount of time, no. If what I do experience is called a "struggle", than the struggle is over within micro-seconds. Does this mean God is already helping me deal with my issues even though I'm not conciously acknowledging His presence in the relationship?

By way of general providence, in all likelyhood. And by way of being made in the image of him as I say.

-

If these "struggles" are not a problem in any sense, does that mean my relationship is already "better" without God?

Experienced couples I've talked to have, to a man, talked of the fact that marriage brings trials and tribulation as well as great joy. Which reminds me: you never said how long you've been married for - but if it's been a decent stretch and you've never had a struggle of note: no sickness, no loss, no sex/financial/in-law trouble, no core differences of opinion .. then I'd be at a bit of a loss on how to comment on your situation.

Your's would indeed sound like a marriage in a million. It could be improved on by God only by the removal of those mirco-second moments of sins-effect.

-

Are you able to voice any of these qualitative differences? Or must they remain obscure and secretive?

How would getting the purpose from God make my relationship different/better?

It would make it better because you would be functioning as you have been created to function. Because it's not possible to describe the godly life to someone who hasn't god - other than in general terms, the best that can be done is to point to like-example.

If you're familiar with border collies (sheepdogs) you'll know that they are at their very happiest when they are kept as working dogs - their greatest joy coming from being out with their master doing the work set them. If well looked after as house pets in surburbia you can avoid their becoming neurotic and distressed. But they don't flourish in the same way as they do when acting according to the purpose for which they've been bred. Their eyes don't have that same fire burning in them.

The same applies to you (logic would instruct). If operating according to your masters purpose then you'd be happier, more content, more at peace. The fact that you might have the contentment of a well-looked after collie in surburia now doesn't alter that. There is possible a fire which burns hotter than that.

Can you tell me what this purpose is?

Woof!

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Stile, posted 01-10-2011 11:35 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Stile, posted 01-11-2011 11:33 AM iano has replied

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 12 of 38 (599872)
01-11-2011 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by iano
01-11-2011 5:25 AM


Like looking to the heavens for an answer on the other side of the world
Let me take a stab at this...

You know that God is awesome. So you're saying that no matter where my relationship is at, it would be better if God was involved.
Upon requests of specifics, you're unable to give any because you're not exactly sure how it may get better, but you are sure that it would get better. Presumably because this is context/situationally dependant, and possibly because only God may know.

If you're familiar with border collies (sheepdogs) you'll know that they are at their very happiest when they are kept as working dogs - their greatest joy coming from being out with their master doing the work set them. If well looked after as house pets in surburbia you can avoid their becoming neurotic and distressed. But they don't flourish in the same way as they do when acting according to the purpose for which they've been bred. Their eyes don't have that same fire burning in them.

I am not familiar with border collies. But I will take your word for it that this is true. I understand the concept you're attempting to convey, in any case.

So, to summarize:

-you don't personally know the difference between a God-less marriage and a God-ful marriage within the context of your own relationship
-you have no idea how my marriage may improve if I turned it from a God-less marriage into a God-ful marriage
-and yet you continually, adamantly claim to "know" that a God-ful marriage is better than a God-less marriage, in all cases
-you claim that there is a certain fire I am missing. However, I may not even be able to recognize that I'm missing the fire
-I cannot identify if I have the fire or not by looking at other relationships because it's a very personal subject, so the only thing that even indicates that I am missing a fire is because my relationship is God-less
-even if I attempted to make my relationship God-ful, I would have to really work at it in order to see this fire. That is, it may (or may not) happen in a day, a week, a month...
-in fact, it may be a life-long trial of living with God in order to see this fire I'm missing

This vague-ness isn't exactly instilling confidence.

You keep asking about how long we've been married. I don't really see the relevance, but we've been together for 8 years, and married for 5 years now (living together for 6).

I see the fire-less drag that so many people go through as they make their way through their current relationships (regardless of how long they have been going on for). Most tend to be in relationships just because they feel they should be... maybe because of social conditioning, family pressures, religious standards, or maybe even because of the situation they find themselves in.
I don't see anyone with the fire for their wife as I have for mine.

I suppose it's possible that my relationship could be better in a way that I am not yet aware of. But isn't this the same for everyone?

That is, isn't it also possible that your God-ful relationship could be better if you turned it into a God-less relationship? Better in some way you're just unable to fathom right now because your mind is so focused on God and unable to see what's right in front of you?

I can certainly claim all the things that you are advising towards me:

-I can claim that my relaitionship with my wife has never been God-ful, so I don't personally know what the difference may be.
-I can claim that I'm unable to specify exactly how your relationship would improve... just that it would... if you removed God
-I can claim that, like border collies in suburbia, you are not living in such a manner as to fully flourish in your relationship. You may be happy and content, but there is a much more complete fire that you're missing.
-I can claim that you cannot rely on judging your relationship against others you see, because it's not about being better than others, it's about increasing your own relationship's value from wherever it is
-I can claim that wherever you think you are with your relationship, it actually would be *better* if it were a God-less relationship
-I can claim that simply trying this for a day or week or month likely isn't going to give you the desired result, but it may... because it has worked quickly for some
-I can claim that this may end up being a life-long trial to attempt to remove God from your relationship before you see the fire you are unable to currently obtain.

So, which of us is right?
How can your claims for a God-ful relationship being "the best" be differentiated by my claims for a God-less relationship being "the best"?

I am not attempting to pit my claims against yours.
I am making the same claims as you do in order to show you how vague and useless and car-salesman-like your claims actually are.

If the claims and pleas and advice cannot ever be tested... they appear exactly the same as any and all other claims and pleas and advice from those who have no idea of what they're actually speaking about.

Maybe they don't know because they are simply naive, like the followers of cults. Or perhaps they know that they don't know... and yet persist, like scam artists.

Regardless of why they don't know. It is apparent that they really don't what they're talking about and they have absolutely no basis to be claiming what they're actually claiming.

Doesn't it bother you even slightly that your claims fall into this category precisely and exactly?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 01-11-2011 5:25 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by iano, posted 01-12-2011 8:20 AM Stile has replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1172 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 13 of 38 (600056)
01-12-2011 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Stile
01-11-2011 11:33 AM


Re: Like looking to the heavens for an answer on the other side of the world
Stile writes:

You know that God is awesome. So you're saying that no matter where my relationship is at, it would be better if God was involved.
Upon requests of specifics, you're unable to give any because you're not exactly sure how it may get better, but you are sure that it would get better. Presumably because this is context/situationally dependant, and possibly because only God may know.

I've given you a general principle involving two elements:

- sin tends towards selfishness and love towards selflessness.

- God-in-your-life = an agency who works at reducing your sin > 0

Without having to know a single thing about your marriage I can say that your marriage would be better with God in it. He would be dealing with yours and hers sin. I take it you would agree that a marriage with less selfishness would be an improved marriage?

The only counter to this would be your claim that you/she aren't in any way selfish within your marriage. That you/she have selfishness compressed down to being resolved in "micro-seconds". I don't believe that for one micro-second myself, but if that's your position...

Are you agreed that I have given you the specific of 'selfishness > 0'?

-

I am not familiar with border collies. But I will take your word for it that this is true. I understand the concept you're attempting to convey, in any case.

Good. Because that's the second principle invoked which doesn't require me to go into the specifics of your marriage.

If something is designed for optimal operation when applied to a specific function - especially something as complex as a human being + marriage - then it appears self-evident that operation will be less than optimal when that something is applied to a different function. That the something operates to a degree is neither here nor there - the issue is optimal function.

-

Since most of what comes below can be answered by applying the 2 principles above I'll just skim through them. If you feel any need deeper addressing then pull them out.

So, to summarize: -you don't personally know the difference between a God-less marriage and a God-ful marriage within the context of your own relationship

I said I wasn't in a postion to directly compare my marriage without God with the one I have now - for want of a parallel, godless marraige to compare it to. I can however apply the 1st principle above and draw conclusions from that.

-you have no idea how my marriage may improve if I turned it from a God-less marriage into a God-ful marriage

Both principles apply here. The first is specific (but it does rely on you exhibiting selfishness for longer than a micro-second )

-and yet you continually, adamantly claim to "know" that a God-ful marriage is better than a God-less marriage, in all cases

Principles 1 and 2. The 1st is broad but specific, the 2nd arrived at logically.

-you claim that there is a certain fire I am missing. However, I may not even be able to recognize that I'm missing the fire

There are all kinds of things in life that you don't realise you are missing out on for want of knowing they exist and are available to you. Does this mean they cannot be talked of?

-I cannot identify if I have the fire or not by looking at other relationships because it's a very personal subject, so the only thing that even indicates that I am missing a fire is because my relationship is God-less

Your relationship being godless shouldn't indicate anything to you that I can think of.

-even if I attempted to make my relationship God-ful, I would have to really work at it in order to see this fire. That is, it may (or may not) happen in a day, a week, a month...

I've no idea how you'd go about making your relationship Godful. The Christian position is that you don't have to do any work to get God and that getting God will result in your fire being lit. By him.

-in fact, it may be a life-long trial of living with God in order to see this fire I'm missing.

Not so. The fire lights the day he comes.

-

You keep asking about how long we've been married. I don't really see the relevance, but we've been together for 8 years, and married for 5 years now (living together for 6).

Thank you. When faced with someone who says there is but trace elements of selfishness within the relationship, no struggles to speak of, no areas of core disagreement .. one is inclined to suspect that relationship to be in the very early "fallen in love" stage. The stage where her poo doesn't smell.

I see the fire-less drag that so many people go through as they make their way through their current relationships (regardless of how long they have been going on for). Most tend to be in relationships just because they feel they should be... maybe because of social conditioning, family pressures, religious standards, or maybe even because of the situation they find themselves in. I don't see anyone with the fire for their wife as I have for mine.

That's why I said your marriage appeared to be one in a million. Not that I'd be as negative as you. It's just that the experienced couples I talk to, who have good marriages and who love each other deeply, say that struggle is part and parcel with it.

That is, isn't it also possible that your God-ful relationship could be better if you turned it into a God-less relationship? Better in some way you're just unable to fathom right now because your mind is so focused on God and unable to see what's right in front of you?

So I dump principles 1 and 2 (and take the negative that come with that) and replace it with something unspecified to arrive at an overall better solution. Where's the logic in that?

-

I can certainly claim all the things that you are advising towards me:

-I can claim that my relaitionship with my wife has never been God-ful, so I don't personally know what the difference may be.

-I can claim that I'm unable to specify exactly how your relationship would improve... just that it would... if you removed God

-I can claim that, like border collies in suburbia, you are not living in such a manner as to fully flourish in your relationship. You may be happy and content, but there is a much more complete fire that you're missing.

-I can claim that you cannot rely on judging your relationship against others you see, because it's not about being better than others, it's about increasing your own relationship's value from wherever it is

-I can claim that wherever you think you are with your relationship, it actually would be *better* if it were a God-less relationship

-I can claim that simply trying this for a day or week or month likely isn't going to give you the desired result, but it may... because it has worked quickly for some

-I can claim that this may end up being a life-long trial to attempt to remove God from your relationship before you see the fire you are unable to currently obtain.

So, which of us is right?

The one who provides some rational principle to support the claim? I've provided 2. That doesn't mean I'm right, but it does mean that your marriage would be better God-ful than not (in the case God exists)

-

How can your claims for a God-ful relationship being "the best" be differentiated by my claims for a God-less relationship being "the best"?

I am not attempting to pit my claims against yours.
I am making the same claims as you do in order to show you how vague and useless and car-salesman-like your claims actually are.

If the claims and pleas and advice cannot ever be tested... they appear exactly the same as any and all other claims and pleas and advice from those who have no idea of what they're actually speaking about.

Your veering off from what would be the case in principle to demanding that God be proven to exist. I'm only dealing with the principle - I'm not making any claims about God's existance.

-

Maybe they don't know because they are simply naive, like the followers of cults. Or perhaps they know that they don't know... and yet persist, like scam artists.

Regardless of why they don't know. It is apparent that they really don't what they're talking about and they have absolutely no basis to be claiming what they're actually claiming.

Doesn't it bother you even slightly that your claims fall into this category precisely and exactly?

The veering off is complete.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Stile, posted 01-11-2011 11:33 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Stile, posted 01-12-2011 9:51 AM iano has replied
 Message 18 by purpledawn, posted 01-14-2011 9:06 AM iano has taken no action

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 14 of 38 (600063)
01-12-2011 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by iano
01-12-2011 8:20 AM


I can offer a few differences
iano writes:

Without having to know a single thing about your marriage I can say that your marriage would be better with God in it. He would be dealing with yours and hers sin. I take it you would agree that a marriage with less selfishness would be an improved marriage?

The only counter to this would be your claim that you/she aren't in any way selfish within your marriage. That you/she have selfishness compressed down to being resolved in "micro-seconds". I don't believe that for one micro-second myself, but if that's your position...

No, that's not the only counter. That is a real-life counter, but irrelevant. We can talk about an average "general" marriage instead of my personal marriage, if you prefer.
The counter I provided is exactly the same (just opposite) of the one you provided.

You say that a God-ful relationship will help reduce sin (ie. selfishness) and therefore improve the marriage.
I say that a God-less relationship will help reduce selfishness (or anything else you'd like to label as "sin") and therefore improve the marriage.

Which one of us is right? How can we tell the difference?

There are all kinds of things in life that you don't realise you are missing out on for want of knowing they exist and are available to you. Does this mean they cannot be talked of?

Again, I ask the same question of you.
Do you not accept the possibility that there are things in life that you don't realise you are missing out on? Are you the only one who doesn't miss out on anything?

And, again, which of us is correct? How can we tell the difference?

.. one is inclined to suspect that relationship to be in the very early "fallen in love" stage. The stage where her poo doesn't smell.

I still don't see the relevancy of this information.
Are you saying I don't need God in my relationship until my wife's poo starts to smell?

So I dump principles 1 and 2 (and take the negative that come with that) and replace it with something unspecified to arrive at an overall better solution. Where's the logic in that?

This is exactly what I'm asking you.
Our claims to each other are exactly the same.
You seem to be able to recognize that my claims to you are illogical when I don't specify what you need to do, or how things will actually improve.
However, when you don't specify what I need to do, or how things will actually improve for me... you expect me to take your word for it because you say so?

How can we tell the difference between your claims with no explanation and my claims with no explanation?

The one who provides some rational principle to support the claim? I've provided 2.

Your two principles:

1. Sin tends towards selfishness and love towards selflessness.
2. God-in-your-life = an agency who works at reducing your sin > 0

My two principles:

1. Bad actions exist that tend towards selfishness; Actions of Love tend towards selflessness.
2. God-not-in-your-life will allow you time to reflect on your actions and how they affect others. This will provide you with an ability to identify Bad actions and therefore work at reducing them.

So, what's the difference?
I can name a few differences:
You use a term ("sin") that is not defined, where I do not. Granted, "Bad actions" isn't explicity defined, but it's certainly more easily identified in society than "sin" is.
You also give a base claim (God will work at reducing your sin) without any basis for that claim. Where I do provide a basis for how one can go about reducing "Bad actions".

I'm only dealing with the principle - I'm not making any claims about God's existance.

I'm not asking you to show God's existance.
I'm asking you to show the reliability of the principles you espouse.
I'm not the one hinging the reliability of my principles on the existance of a God I can't show to exist.
That's another difference.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by iano, posted 01-12-2011 8:20 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by iano, posted 01-13-2011 4:24 AM Stile has replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1172 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 15 of 38 (600175)
01-13-2011 4:24 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Stile
01-12-2011 9:51 AM


Stile writes:

The counter I provided is exactly the same (just opposite) of the one you provided. You say that a God-ful relationship will help reduce sin (ie. selfishness) and therefore improve the marriage.

I say that a God-less relationship will help reduce selfishness (or anything else you'd like to label as "sin") and therefore improve the marriage. Which one of us is right? How can we tell the difference?

This conversation of ours stems from a necessary assumption on your part that (the Christian) God exists for the purposes of discussion, in order for his role in your marriage to be evaluated. You spoke in those terms in your OP.

quote:
Isn't it better to focus our lives and efforts on Love rather than on God? That is, wouldn't any attention upon God be taking away attention from Love? If we are focusing on Love, isn't that what God's message is about anyway?

In questioning what the Christian God could bring to your marriage you must don the robes of what Christianity says your position before God would be as a believer. That position sees you sinful and him working to bring your sin > 0. That's an additional to your marriage - aside from any efforts you expend on reducing your (e.g.) selfishness yourself. Self-reduction of selfishness is all the unbeliever can envisage - he's down that iadditional supplied by God.

Yours isn't a counter Stile, it's extracting yourself from the 'assuming God exists' position you placed yourself in when querying what God could bring to the table of your marriage.

-

Again, I ask the same question of you. Do you not accept the possibility that there are things in life that you don't realise you are missing out on? Are you the only one who doesn't miss out on anything? And, again, which of us is correct? How can we tell the difference

I'm sure there's things I'm missing out on in this life. No doubt about it. I'm not sure I see the relevance of this though.

It is self-evident that operating according to a designers design would optimize your function (with the assumption that God has your well-being at heart and that contentment is tied to operating according to his design).

You don't have to know that such a fire exists (from your position as unbeliever) in order to acknowledge the principle being true (in the case God exists).

-

I still don't see the relevancy of this information. Are you saying I don't need God in my relationship until my wife's poo starts to smell?

Life with God is always good - it would be better to share the excitment one feels about a new relationship with him than keep it to yourself. It would also be better to include him in order to guide you past the dangers inherent in thinking someones poo doesn't smell. It does and the fact it does will become apparent someday. God can help ensure that you are embarking on a relationship that has a sound basis for withstanding future smelly poo - and warn against a relationship that is built on mere newness of attraction.

-

This is exactly what I'm asking you. Our claims to each other are exactly the same. You seem to be able to recognize that my claims to you are illogical when I don't specify what you need to do, or how things will actually improve. However, when you don't specify what I need to do, or how things will actually improve for me... you expect me to take your word for it because you say so?

I'm not expecting you to take my word for it. I'm expecting you to (necessarily) assume God exists for the purposes of discussion so that the question "what could God-in-my-marriage add?" can be answered. Once you do that your faced with the affirmative answers provided by the two principles already mentioned.

I'm not dealing with the question of "how would I gain access to God in order to a) believe these benefits are actually there to be had b) gain access to those benefits)

In mentioning two principles operating when God-is-in-your-life I am being quite specific. What have you offered specifically by way of counter in favour of the godless marriage? I can only envisage you arguing for reliance on self to counter own selfishness - something which clearly brings less to a marriage than reliance on self + a God bent on reducing selfishness >0

-

How can we tell the difference between your claims with no explanation and my claims with no explanation?

I don't need to explain self-evident principles which you necessarily need to assume for the purposes of discussion.

-

1. Bad actions exist that tend towards selfishness; Actions of Love tend towards selflessness.

2. God-not-in-your-life will allow you time to reflect on your actions and how they affect others. This will provide you with an ability to identify Bad actions and therefore work at reducing them.

So what's the difference

God in your life allows you to do the same reflection. It's just that with God in your life there's your motivation to change and his motivation to change you. His is an additional to the godless life.

-

You also give a base claim (God will work at reducing your sin) without any basis for that claim. Where I do provide a basis for how one can go about reducing "Bad actions".

This point is dealt with by your re-assuming the Christian God exists for the purpose of discussion.

-

I'm not asking you to show God's existance.
I'm asking you to show the reliability of the principles you espouse.

Do you mean you want to do a Bible study to see if a pretty orthodox Christian position is indeed orthodox? If not interested in that kind of reliability, and if not requiring the reliability that would come from a demonstration of God's existance then what category of reliability are you endeavouring to obtain?

God intent on reducing selfishness in your life is rendered reliable by Christian doctrine (although it's possible for a Christian to exclude God from his life and suffer consequences)

Contentment brought about by operating according to design is rendered reliable by both Christian doctrine and common sense.

-

I'm not the one hinging the reliability of my principles on the existance of a God I can't show to exist. That's another difference.

I'm hinging the reliability of the principle on your assuming God exists for the purposes of discussion. If you don't want to do that anymore then you need to edit an OP which still does.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Stile, posted 01-12-2011 9:51 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Stile, posted 01-13-2011 10:42 AM iano has replied

  
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