« Against Orthophemism | Main | The Skeleton Garden of Paris »

July 9, 2014



How about the simpler (in structure, though not at all in practice) argument that replaces 3 with "3. I experience God" (and thus doesn't need to necessarily mention 4)?

As you say, who is to say that God isn't a feeling, or that there cannot exist a (the?) feeling of God? This "truth of the personal experience of God" is the promise of many spiritual traditions, such as yoga philosophy with its turīya state, etc.


"we often don't even know of ourselves whether we have in mind a concrete being, or rather an abstract ideal, principle, or emotion represented in the figure of a concrete being."

That's true, indeed, and both academic and lay theologians sometimes use this fact to good advantage by deliberately altering the definition of God whenever it suits their purpose to do so. I find it infuriating to debate someone on a topic that starts off discussing some particular anthropomorphic attribute of God (such as justice or love)only to be eventually told I'm using a straw-man argument - when I wasn't paying attention he'd gradually morphed into a Tillichian 'ground of being'.

I'd need convincing, though, that a particular pattern of neural firing, no matter how 'spiritual' it may be experienced and interpreted, is evidence of anything emanating from outside the physical universe. That doesn't, of course, mean that such feelings, your 'proof', doesn't deserve to be explored to the end - personal experiences of anything are surely just as valid as any other experiences. Though, again, I must question both the relative value and the veracity of any insights that must forever remain subjective and can, by definition, never be shared. It seems to me to be a bit like being the only person in the world who's ever tasted chocolate ice cream.

morgan meis

holy shit. it's true.



Is this serious?

It seems obvious to me that the move to define God in (4) makes (5) a trivial statement. Substituting your definition of God into (5), all you have said is "Therefore, love is real." That's fine as far as it goes, but it certainly says nothing extra that is interesting about the concept of God.

If God is really just love and nothing more, as it is under your definition, then there is no reason to talk about God at all. We might as well stick with the one word "love" to describe it. If God is something more than love, which I assume you intend, then the argument does nothing to address why that "something more" is real.

Jim H

Where to begin?

The equation of the experience of 'Fear' with the experience of 'Love' is suspect. Fear is caused by something external: a reaction. [NB: The 'Fear of God' is more primal than the statement 'God is Love'. You might even make the case that the experience of the reality of fear is a direct experience of encounter with the divine.]. Love, to the contrary, is an attitude or stance or inclination, internally generated, toward an external object: an action.

With Step 4, you fall back into the fundamentalists' argument that a bronze-age text just is true by fiat. You move from the authority of the experience of an authentic feeling (i.e. fear) to the authority of a text that attempts to make a metaphorical point by reference to a common human experience. The statement 'God is love' is a metaphor taken, here, quite literally.

Blinn Combs

The sense in which our reports of emotional mental content are veridical is only qua purely subjective emotional mental content. They are not externally verifiable. They may or may not be justified, or rational, or pathological. They are veridical only insofar as they accurately report our current experiences.

The problem with this isn't anthropomorphism. Indeed, it's the other way around. The problem is that it reduces God to an entirely subjective emotional state. This is, fairly obviously, not what believers primarily (or secondarily or...) have in mind when they talk about God, and it's also pretty clearly failing to capture the spirit of the passage you cite, which isn't *just* a description of subjective phenomenal experience, but also about that experience connecting us to an external source. Debates about God's existence are about our justification for thinking we have good evidence for that external source, not our subjective emotional content.


After a public lecture, the philosopher Michael Scriven was challenged by an audience member: "You're problem, Professor Scriven, is that you don't believe in love!"
"Of course I believe in it.", he replied, "I've seen it done!"

Tim Sommers

If your theory of "god" includes any features that are not part of the subjective experience of love, they remained unjustified by this argument.

Alan Cooper

The fact that it's not obvious that this is a joke or parody speaks volumes about the value of most of what passes for "philosophy" in the academic world.


...after all, I find him awfully hates of "loneliness".
sometimes my notes trapped to a horror Chaos. then I start to draw a couple of angry eyes, like open wings of a huge bird...
I think It's a course for "measure" , "deliberation" or something like a "resurrection by analysis the notes, words,..."
the wings or eyes of chaos are just like "levers of old scale tools"...

I think the chaotic language of this century, injured him. "Chaotic language" like "Gothic language", and complication of this problem Causes to Chaos eyes seems Quasi Gaze... TRY TO READ AND RECOGNIZE WHAT WE WRITE AND IF OUR NOTES WERE SIMPLE, TAUNT, TRUE, LIE, OR EVEN SEDUCTION... (for justice, justify or judgment)

and what I seriously & sedately remember of him is about when he brought a pure love to a young mademoiselle, a simple female branch form (created or preceded) through his own property...!
(that's what I feel and try to share with some friends if they've interested to know more..., by no mean and no reason and maybe it was a wrong feel, I don't wanna poke YOUR fire by my clumsy words...)


PS: this is what I found in testamentary causes which i study, and what i mean of "chaotic language"
if you could read "اللغة العربیة" script:

pronouncing "CHAOS" is similar to "قیاس" means: measurement.
and pronouncing "MEASURE" is similar to "محشر" means: judgment day.

this is a serious message, a manifestation of my swot studies, untold before. just for guide everyone whom upper and ahead and sedulously searches for freedom and philanthropic:

Al-Koran is absolutely True, but never check for correction till now. that is "A Reference Book of "BIBLE" Series" and try to solve old dogmatism, but fall into decay by "Muslim-Face" governments!

That is a "قرآناً عربیاً" ! and It never introduce itself by this way, that it is a "قرآناً جعلنا باللغة العربیة" !

IT IS SERIOUSLY A "EUROPEAN" BOOK. "ARABEAN" is incorrect lapsus calamy (wrong associate of unknown meanings)!

this is a friendly message but I confidently write it by certification of my chief referee subscribe:
Mutant Quasar, by the way "رب العلمین - کسرای کی نشان"

overwrought it : "REPEAL -ALL- MEAN" (LORD OF THE WORDS)

seeking to find "SCYTHIAN's master" under cover of {{"A" LAW}}...


I don't know if you could find what a great unlawful sacrilege has been inside the message by unlatching it, or not!
if anyone except me use of my subscribe and try to change any little word of "CORONAE" he/she felt into grievous cuss of my lively words.
if someone else tried to insolve it, he/she haunt by forgotten people through all of the last 1447 years.

does it fair that PEOPLE under cover of the shaddow of a one unique God, speaks in over than 500 LANGUAGES?!

that was letters of the K.X.R
A Repeal who involve All Gods (except Alaw and his altar) by the Powerful PHOENICS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, the causer of CHAOS!

I could be nice, but after sate the Damn Daesh & any one like it...

bless me 4 long letters. have fun...

The comments to this entry are closed.