Argument from love

The Argument from love is an argument for the existence of God.

Arguments from love to the existence of God

Tom Wright suggests that materialist philosophy and scepticism has "paved our world with concrete, making people ashamed to admit that they have had profound and powerful 'religious' experiences".[1] The reality of Love in particular ("that mutual and fruitful knowing, trusting and loving which was the creator's intention" but which "we often find so difficult") and the whole area of human relationships in general, are another signpost pointing away from this philosophy to the central elements of the Christian story.[2] Wright contends both that the real existence of love is a compelling reason for the truth of theism and that the ambivalent experience of love, ("marriages apparently made in heaven sometimes end not far from hell") resonates particularly with the Christian account of fall and redemption.[3]

Paul Tillich suggested (in 1954) even Spinoza "elevates love out of the emotional into the ontological realm. And it is well known that from Empedocles and Plato to Augustine and Pico, to Hegel and Schelling, to Existentialism and depth psychology, love has played a central ontological role."[4] and that "love is being in actuality and love is the moving power of life"[5] and that an understanding of this should lead us to "turn from the naive nominalism in which the modern world lives".[6]

The theologian Michael Lloyd suggests that "In the end there are basically only two possible sets of views about the universe in which we live. It must, at heart, be either personal or impersonal... arbitrary and temporary[7] [or emerging] from relationship, creativity, delight, love".[8]

Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft summarises the argument as "Love is the greatest of miracles. How could an evolved ape create the noble idea of self-giving love? Human love is a result of our being made to resemble God, who himself is love. If we are made in the image of King Kong rather than in the image of King God, where do the saints come from?"[9] Philosopher Alvin Plantinga expressed the argument in similar terms.[10]

According to Graham Ward, postmodern theology portrays how religious questions are opened up (not closed down or annihilated) by postmodern thought. The postmodern God is emphatically the God of love, and the economy of love is kenotic.[11]

Variants

Comparative rationality of belief in God and Love

A variant on the argument is a defence of the rationality of theism by comparing faith in God with love, and to suggest that if it isn't irrational to love someone then it shouldn't be seen as irrational to believe in God.[12] The philosopher Roger Scruton suggests: "Rational argument can get us just so far...It can help us to understand the real difference between a faith that commands us to forgive our enemies, and one that commands us to slaughter them. But the leap of faith itself — this placing of your life at God's service — is a leap over reason's edge. This does not make it irrational, any more than falling in love is irrational."[13]

Suggested compelling nature of God's Love

Another variant of the argument is that the evidence for God's love is sufficiently compelling that people can reasonably believe in it, and hence a fortiori believe in God.[14] This approach is criticised by Richard Dawkins who suggests that it is an "Argument from emotional blackmail".[15]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Tom Wright Simply Christian p 16
  2. ^ Tom Wright Simply Christian pp 25–33
  3. ^ Tom Wright Simply Christian p 33
  4. ^ Paul Tillich Love, Power and Justice Oxford University Press 1954 p4
  5. ^ Paul Tillich, Love, Power and Justice, Oxford University Press, 1954, p25
  6. ^ Paul Tillich, Love, Power and Justice, Oxford University Press, 1954, p19
  7. ^ Lloyd cites Quentin Smith
  8. ^ Michael Lloyd Cafe Theology (2005) ISBN 1-904074-76-6 p 14
  9. ^ Peter Kreeft, Your Questions, God's Answers, Ignatius Press, 1994, ISBN 0-89870-488-X, p. 105.
  10. ^ Alvin Plantinga (1986), “Two Dozen [or so] Theistic Arguments,” paper delivered at the 33rd Annual Philosophy Conference, Wheaton College, 23-25 Oct. and republished as an appendix to: Deane-Peter Baker (2007), Alvin Plantinga, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-85531-4.
  11. ^ The Modern Theologians 3rd ed p 335
  12. ^ This type of argument was made by Alvin Plantinga in God and Other Minds
  13. ^ Roger Scruton. Dawkins is wrong about God reproduced from The Spectator
  14. ^ See e.g. Michael Welker in The Work of Love p131 "in this love God's identity and power are made known" (italics in original). He cites e.g. John 17:26
  15. ^ The God Delusion p83
Index of philosophy of religion articles

This is a list of articles in philosophy of religion.

A Grief Observed

A History of God

A Letter Concerning Toleration

A New Model of the Universe

A Secular Humanist Declaration

A. H. Almaas

Abandonment (existentialism)

Abd al-Karīm ibn Hawāzin al-Qushayri

Abhidharma

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Absolute (philosophy)

Absolute atheism

Absolute Infinite

Abstinence

Abu'l Hasan Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-'Amiri

Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani

Accidentalism

Acosmism

Actus purus

Adevism

Adi Shankara

Adriaan Koerbagh

Afshin Ellian

Afterlife

Age of Enlightenment

Agnostic atheism

Agnostic theism

Agnosticism

Ahimsa

Ahmad Sirhindi

Al-Farabi

Al-Ghazali

Al-Kindi

Al-Shahrastani

Al-Tabarani

Al-Zamakhshari

Albrecht Ritschl

Alice von Hildebrand

All Truth Is God's Truth

Aloysius Martinich

Alvin Plantinga

Alvin Plantinga's free-will defense

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Amsterdam Declaration

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism

Anāgāmi

Analects

Analytical Thomism

Ananda Coomaraswamy

Anantarika-karma

Anarchism and Islam

Anatta

Anava

Anders Nygren

Anekantavada

Animals in Buddhism

Anselm of Canterbury

Answer to Job

Anthony Kenny

Anthony Thiselton

Anthropopath

Anti-clericalism

Anti-communism

Anti-Supernaturalism

Antihumanism

Antireligion

Antitheism

Anton Kržan

Anton LaVey

Apatheism

Apocalypticism

Apologetics

Argument from a proper basis

Argument from beauty

Argument from consciousness

Argument from degree

Argument from desire

Argument from free will

Argument from inconsistent revelations

Argument from love

Argument from miracles

Argument from morality

Argument from nonbelief

Argument from poor design

Argument from religious experience

Arhat

Aristotelian view of a god

Arya

Ashtamangala

Atheism

Atheist's Wager

Atheist existentialism

Ātman (Buddhism)

Augustine of Hippo

Avadhuta Gita

Averroes

Avidyā (Buddhism)

Avraham son of Rambam

Ayatana

Ayyavazhi phenomenology

Baptists in the history of separation of church and state

Bardo

Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna

Beatific vision

Best of all possible worlds

Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival

Bhagavad Gita

Bhava

Bhumi (Buddhism)

Biblical literalism

Bilocation

Biosophy

Bodhi

Bodhimandala

Bodhisattva Precepts

Brahmacharya

Brahman

Brahmavihara

Brian Davies (philosopher)

Brights movement

British Humanist Association

Bruno Bauer

Buddha-nature

Buddhism and evolution

Buddhist philosophy

C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis bibliography

C. Stephen Evans

Cappadocian Fathers

Catholic guilt

Celsus

Charles Blount (deist)

Chöd

Chovot ha-Levavot

Christian de Quincey

Christian existentialism

Christian humanism

Christian materialism

Christian philosophy

Christian Realism

Christianity and environmentalism

Christological argument

City of God (book)

Classical theism

Clemens Timpler

Clement of Alexandria

Clerical philosophers

Clericalism

Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion

Confucius

Consciousness-only

Contemporary Islamic philosophy

Continuum of Humanist Education

Contra Celsum

Cosmological argument

Cosmology (metaphysics)

Counter-Enlightenment

Creationism

Credo ut intelligam

Criticism of Christianity

Criticism of Hinduism

Criticism of Islam

Criticism of Jesus

Criticism of Judaism

Criticism of monotheism

Criticism of religion

Criticism of the Bible

Criticism of the Catholic Church

Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement

Criticism of the Qur'an

Cultural materialism (anthropology)

Cultural materialism (cultural studies)

Curt John Ducasse

Daniel Rynhold

Dariush Shayegan

Darwiniana

David ben Merwan al-Mukkamas

David Braine (philosopher)

David Ray Griffin

David Strauss

De Coelesti Hierarchia

De divisione naturae

De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum

Dean Zimmerman

Death

Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism

Deism

Demiurge

Derech Hashem

Desire realm

Deus

Dharani

Dharma

Dharma transmission

Dharmakāya

Dharmarāja Adhvarin

Diamond Realm

Dietrich von Hildebrand

Dimitrije Mitrinović

Dipolar theism

Direct revelation

Distributism

Divine apathy

Divine command theory

Divine simplicity

Divinity

Dōgen

Dogma

Doomsday argument

Doomsday cult

Doomsday event

Double-mindedness

Dukkha

Dwight H. Terry Lectureship

Dzogchen

E. David Cook

Early Islamic philosophy

Eliminative materialism

Elizabeth Burns

Emergent materialism

Epistemic theory of miracles

Epistle to Yemen

Eranos

Ernesto Buonaiuti

Ernst Ehrlich

Ernst Troeltsch

Eschatology

Essentially contested concept

Eternal Buddha

Eternal return

Eternal return (Eliade)

Ethica thomistica

Ethical will

Ethics in religion

Étienne Tempier

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

Euthyphro dilemma

Evolutionary argument against naturalism

Evolutionary Humanism

Exegesis

Existence of God

Extrinsic finality

Faith

Faith and rationality

Faith, Science and Understanding

Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

Fate of the unlearned

Fazang

Fazlur Rahman Malik

Ferdinand Ebner

Fetter (Buddhism)

Fi Zilal al-Qur'an

Fideism

Fiqh

Five hindrances

Four stages of enlightenment

Fourteen unanswerable questions

Francis Schaeffer

Franciszek Krupiński

Françoise Meltzer

Franz Rosenzweig

Frederick Ferré

Freethought

French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools

Friedrich Nietzsche and free will

Friedrich von Hügel

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

Fujiwara Seika

Fundamentalism

Gary Habermas

Gaudapada

George H. Smith

Gifford Lectures

Giles Fraser

God

God-Building

God in Buddhism

God Is Not Great

God of the gaps

God, A Guide for the Perplexed

Gödel's ontological proof

Good and necessary consequence

Graham Oppy

Great chain of being

Greek hero cult

Gregory of Nyssa

Guru Nanak Dev

Gustav Glogau

Hajime Tanabe

Han Yong-un

Hans Rookmaaker

Haribhadra

Hasidic philosophy

Hayashi Razan

Hayom Yom

Henosis

Henry Corbin

Herbert McCabe

Hermetica

Hermeticism

Hierophany

Hinayana

Hirata Atsutane

Hisbah

Historical materialism

Holy History of Mankind

Homoiousian

Homoousian

Hōnen

Hossein Nasr

Hossein Ziai

Huayan school

Huineng

Human beings in Buddhism

Human extinction

Humanism

Humanism and Its Aspirations

Humanism in France

Humanism in Germany

Humanist Manifesto

Humanist Manifesto I

Humanist Manifesto II

Humanist Movement

Humanist Society Scotland

Humanistic naturalism

Huston Smith

Ian Ramsey

Ibn al-Nafis

Ibn Arabi

Ietsism

Ignosticism

Illtyd Trethowan

Illuminationism

Illuminationist philosophy

Immanence

Immortality

Impermanence

Incarnational humanism

Incompatible-properties argument

Indefinite monism

Indriya

Ineffability

Infinite qualitative distinction

Inka

Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society

Integral humanism (India)

Intellectualism

International League of Humanists

Intrinsic finality

Intuition (knowledge)

Invincible error

Invincible ignorance fallacy

Inviolability

Invisible Pink Unicorn

Ippen

Irenaean theodicy

Irreligion

Is God Dead?

Islam and democracy

Islamic fundamentalism in Iran

Islamic philosophy

Ivan Aguéli

Ivan Vyshenskyi

J. J. C. Smart

J. P. Moreland

Jainism

Jakob Guttmann (rabbi)

Jakub of Gostynin

James Gustafson

Jay Newman

Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa

Jayatirtha

Jean Meslier

Jewish ethics

Jinul

Jiva Goswami

Jizang

Johann Friedrich Flatt

Johann Joachim Lange

Johann Nepomuk Oischinger

Johannes Scotus Eriugena

John Calvin

John E. Hare

John Hick

John of Głogów

Joseph de Torre

Joseph Priestley and Dissent

Joseph Runzo

Kalam cosmological argument

Kalpa (aeon)

Kammaṭṭhāna

Kancha Ilaiah

Kang Youwei

Karl Heinrich Heydenreich

Karl Jaspers

Karma

Karma in Buddhism

Karuṇā

Keith Ward

Kensho

Kersey Graves

Kitaro Nishida

Klaus Klostermaier

Knight of faith

Kol HaTor

Kūkai

Kumārila Bhaṭṭa

Kurt Almqvist

Kuzari

Lazarus Geiger

Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion

Letter to a Christian Nation

Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever

Lewis's trilemma

Life of Jesus (Hegel)

Likkutei Sichos

Lineage (Buddhism)

Linji school

List of female mystics

List of new religious movements

Logic in Islamic philosophy

Lutheran scholasticism

Macrocosm and microcosm

Madhusūdana Sarasvatī

Madhvacharya

Mahābhūta

Mahamudra

Mahavira

Mahayana

Manas-vijnana

Mandala

Mappō

Martin Luther

Materialism

Maximus the Confessor

Maya (illusion)

Meera Nanda

Meister Eckhart

Melville Y. Stewart

Merit (Buddhism)

Mesillat Yesharim

Metaphysical naturalism

Metempsychosis

Methodios Anthrakites

Michael Gottlieb Birckner

Michael Martin (philosopher)

Michael Oakeshott

Michael Ruse

Middle way

Mind's eye

Mindstream

Miracle of the roses

Mircea Eliade

Mircea Eliade bibliography

Misotheism

Monad (Greek philosophy)

Monism

Monistic idealism

Morality without religion

Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei

Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tabrizi

Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi

Muhammad Iqbal

Mulla Sadra

Mumbo Jumbo (phrase)

Mystical philosophy of antiquity

Mystical realism

Mystical theology

Mysticism

Myth of Er

Nagarjuna

Namarupa

National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies

National Secular Society

Natural theology

Naturalism (philosophy)

Naturalistic pantheism

Nemesius

Neo-Scholasticism

Neo-theocracy

Neoplatonism and Christianity

Neutral monism

New Age

New religious movement

New Thought

Nichiren

Nicholas of Kues

Nick Trakakis

Nikolai Lossky

Nimbarka

Nirvana

Noble Eightfold Path

Nondualism

Nontheism

Nontheist Friend

Norman Geisler

Numenius of Apamea

Nyaya

Obscurantism

Occasion of sin

Occasionalism

Odium theologicum

Of Miracles

Olavo de Carvalho

Omega Point

Omnibenevolence

Omnipotence

Omnipotence paradox

Omnipresence

Omniscience

Omphalos hypothesis

Ontological argument

Ontotheology

Opium of the people

Or Adonai

Orchot Tzaddikim

Orlando J. Smith

Osvaldo Lira

Outline of humanism

Outline of theology

Over-soul

Pandeism

Pantheism

Pantheism controversy

Parallelism (philosophy)

Paramartha

Pāramitā

Pascal's Wager

Patañjali

Paul Draper (philosopher)

Paul Häberlin

Paul J. Griffiths

Perennial philosophy

Personalism

Peter Abelard

Peter Geach

Peter Kreeft

Peter Millican

Peter van Inwagen

Phenomenological definition of God

Phenomenology of religion

Phillip H. Wiebe

Philo's view of God

Philodemus

Philosophical Foundations of Marxist-Leninist Atheism

Philosophical theism

Philosophical theology

Philosophy of religion

Philotheus Boehner

Pierre Cally

Political theology

Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture

Postmodern Christianity

Praepositinus

Pragmatism

Pratītyasamutpāda

Pratyekabuddha

Precept

Preformation theory

Preformationism

Primum movens

Prince Shōtoku

Problem of evil

Problem of evil in Hinduism

Problem of Hell

Problem of why there is anything at all

Process theology

Proof of the Truthful

Proslogion

Protestant work ethic

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite

Pseudo-secularism

Pseudo atheism

Pseudoreligion

Psychoanalysis and Religion

Quantum mysticism

Quietism (Christian philosophy)

Quinque viae

R. De Staningtona

Rabia al-Adawiyya

Rabindranath Tagore

Ralph Tyler Flewelling

Ramanuja

Rational fideism

Rational mysticism

Rational Response Squad

Real atheism

Reality in Buddhism

Rebirth (Buddhism)

Reformational philosophy

Relationship between religion and science

Religion

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Religion and abortion

Religion and happiness

Religious communism

Religious democracy

Religious humanism

Religious intellectualism in Iran

Religious interpretation

Religious interpretations of the Big Bang theory

Religious law

Religious naturalism

Religious philosophy

Religious skepticism

Religious views on business ethics

Religious views on suicide

Rémi Brague

Renaissance humanism

René Guénon

Revelation

Richard Carrier

Richard Dawkins

Richard Swinburne

Rigpa

Robert Cummings Neville

Robert Merrihew Adams

Rudolf Otto

Rudolf Seydel

Rule of Three (Wiccan)

Sakadagami

Sam Harris (author)

Sambhogakāya

Saṃsāra

Saṃsāra (Buddhism)

Samuel Maximilian Rieser

Samvriti

Sarah Coakley

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sathya Sai Baba

Sayyid al-Qimni

Sayyid Qutb

Scandal (theology)

School of Saint Victor

Science and Christian Belief

Scotism

Secular ethics

Secular humanism

Secular saint

Secular theology

Secularism

Secularism in the Middle East

Secularization

Sefer ha-Ikkarim

Sefer ha-Qabbalah

Seiichi Hatano

Self-Indication Assumption Doomsday argument rebuttal

Self-referencing doomsday argument rebuttal

Sentences

Seosan

Seth Material

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi

Sharia

Shem Mishmuel

Shinran

Shoshin

Sin

Skandha

Societas Perfecta

Søren Kierkegaard

Sotāpanna

Soul

Soul dualism

Spirit

Spiritual materialism

Spiritual philosophy

Sri Aurobindo

Stephen Mulhall

Stephen R. L. Clark

Strong agnosticism

Submission (2004 film)

Sufi metaphysics

Sufi philosophy

Summa

Summa contra Gentiles

Summa Theologica

Śūnyatā

Supreme Being

Sureśvara

Suzuki Shōsan

Syed Ali Abbas Jallapuri

Symbolism

Tage Lindbom

Taha Abdurrahman

Tanya

Tao

Taoism

Tathāgata

Tathagatagarbha doctrine

Tathātā/Dharmatā

Tawhid

Teleological argument

Teleology

Ten Commandments

Ten spiritual realms

Tetrad (Greek philosophy)

Thaumaturgy

The Age of Reason

The Case for God

The End of Faith

The Essence of Christianity

The Freethinker (journal)

The God Delusion

The God Makers

The God Makers II

The Guide for the Perplexed

The Incoherence of the Philosophers

The Necessity of Atheism

The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God

The Primordial Tradition

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam

The Teachings of the Mystics

The True Word

Theism

Theistic realism

Theodicy

Theodore Drange

Theognostus of Alexandria

Theological aesthetics

Theological determinism

Theological noncognitivism

Theological veto

Theological virtues

Theologico-Political Treatise

Theology

Theories of religion

Theosophy (history of philosophy)

Theurgy

Thirtha prabandha

Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas and the Sacraments

Thomas Jefferson

Thomism

Thought of Thomas Aquinas

Thoughtform

Three marks of existence

Threefold Training

Time and Eternity (philosophy book)

Tomer Devorah

Trademark argument

Traditionalist School

Trailokya

Transcendence (religion)

Transcendental argument for the existence of God

Transtheistic

Triad (Greek philosophy)

Trikaya

True-believer syndrome

Turtles all the way down

Twelve Nidānas

Two truths doctrine

Types of Buddha

Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit

Ultimate fate of the universe

Universality (philosophy)

Unmoved mover

Upanishads

Upaya

Upeksa

Vācaspati Miśra

Varadaraja V. Raman

Vasubandhu

Victoria Institute

Vijnanabhiksu

Vincent Miceli

Vipāka

Vipassanā

Vipassana movement

Voluntarism (theology)

Vyasa

Walter of St Victor

Wang Chong

War of Anti-Christ with the Church and Christian Civilization

Watchmaker analogy

Weak agnosticism

What I Believe

Why I Am Not a Christian

Willem B. Drees

William Alston

William F. Vallicella

William James

William L. Rowe

William Lane Craig

Witness argument

Wolfgang Smith

Womb Realm

Wonhyo

Works by Thomas Aquinas

Works of Madhvacharya

Yamazaki Ansai

Yi Hwang

Yunmen Wenyan

Zhentong

Zhu Xi

Zofia Zdybicka

Concepts in religion
Conceptions of God
Existence of God
Theology
Religious language
Problem of evil
Philosophersof religion

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