Could someone love you if…

If it could be known by another person everything about you; all your desires, your likes (even the weird things) and dislikes, private quirks, every thing you’ve done even in private, and every thought you’ve had, could you be loved?

If I had to be honest, if every deed I’ve done, thought were made accessible, opinion I hold, etc. not only would I not be married, I’d have no friends. In fact, I’d probably be hated viscerally.

Tangentially, now reflect on the Christian message that God so loved us that he made provision for us to be reconciled to him despite having this exhaustive knowledge of us.

Comments

  1. What let you to write this post?

    • Something I heard on a podcast. I think some ancient theologian or philosopher used it as an argument against the existence of God. He claimed, I think, that exhaustive and whole knowledge of a human being would render them unlovable yet God loves man.

  2. That’s a rather silly argument.

  3. I understand the purpose of the exercise, but also consider the other way around. “Would you still love your wife if …?” “Would you still love your children… ?” or your parents? or anyone?

    It sort of exposes the absurdity of the notion of “unconditional love”, doesn’t it?

    Not to mention the fact that under the Christian faith, even though you believe that god loves us despite our unlovable nature, the vast majority of people on this planet are headed for an eternity in hell.

    • I dont actually think any person can love another unconditionally. We all have thresholds that a person we love could cross at which point we would cease to love them.

  4. But I guess your willing to say that god loves you unconditionally?

    Yet he seems so willing to relegate your eternal existence to hell for not accepting Jesus.

  5. Yes, you’ve played that card before – and it’s still illogical.

    You were born guilty and the only way to gain the judge’s grace is belief and submission.

    Illogical at best. Blackmail at worst.
    It’s easy to understand how Christians can be so emotionally attached to the idea.

  6. And that’s the guilt-laden blackmail structure that is Christianity. Thank you for proving my point.

    You are sinful and guilty and bound for an eternity in hell if you don’t believe that god sent Jesus here to save you.

    • Believing is the cure not the ailment. But even if its blackmail it doesnt make it false. I must say this is a very emotional objection. Nothing youve said is logically or philosophically incoherent. And you wanted me to believe you have purely intellectual objections? Hmm.

  7. Not emotional at all here – just a clear explanation of Christian belief.
    Is there any other way into heaven?

  8. Is there anyone among us that has not sinned?

  9. paynehollow says:

    John…

    He claimed, I think, that exhaustive and whole knowledge of a human being would render them unlovable yet God loves man.

    In Paul’s writings in the famous “love chapter,” he says that here and now, we know only in part, we see only in part. We do not fully know anything – including other people’s ideas, thoughts and motives.

    It goes on to say that God DOES know us. Perfectly.

    Some have suggested that saying God loves us IN SPITE of knowing us perfectly is looking at it backwards. Some have said that God loves us BECAUSE God knows us perfectly. God knows our good motives (when we have them) and God knows the trials and life-shaping experiences that lead us to make less-than-healthy choices. It is this perfect knowledge that lets God loves us, even though we are not always lovable. Sort of like we love our most intimate friends, in spite of knowing their failings. Because we KNOW them and that they are generally well-intended and even when not, there is an explanation for their sometimes mean-spiritedness.

    I like that take on the notion.

    ~Dan Trabue

  10. paynehollow says:

    No, I’m not suggesting that, I don’t guess. At least, that wasn’t the point of what I was saying. I do think we have a sinful nature and we WILL sin, but not necessarily that we HAVE to sin at any given point. I was just passing on what I’d heard from at least one conservative preacher that God loves us BECAUSE he knows us perfectly, not in spite of it.

    That in perfect knowledge can come perfect love.

    What do you think?

    ~Dan

  11. paynehollow says:

    Whoops. Sorry.

  12. Let’s not play dumb here, John.

    It is not possible to live a sinless life based on Christian doctrine.

    Because we are guilty of sin, the wages for sin is death and an eternity in hell.

    Since we’ve established we are not without sin, the ONLY way to enter heaven is to accept Jesus.

    It’s rather cut and dry, isn’t it?
    (Then you blame the victim for not accepting Jesus!)
    Explain to me again how this isn’t blackmail?
    Explain to me how this is logical to you.

  13. Please tell me if the following is correct or incorrect:

    1. It is not possible to live a sinless life based on Christian doctrine.
    2. Because we are guilty of sin, the wages for sin is death and an eternity in hell.
    3. Since we’ve established we are not without sin, the ONLY way to enter heaven is to accept Jesus.

    • Z

      Just because something will happen doesnt mean it must happen.

      Second, im still waiting on an explanation of what is illogical about the whole thing. Have you had a chance look up what illogical means?

  14. Wow – you’ll do anything to avoid answering a simple question.

    Your constant quibbling about defining words make it extremely difficult to hold a conversation with you.

  15. il·log·i·cal (-lj-kl)
    adj.
    1. Contradicting or disregarding the principles of logic.
    2. Without logic; senseless.

    Example: The foundation of John’s belief in the Christian god is illogical.

  16. Wow – it’s always the same with you.

    Just because someone declares your belief to be bs it suddenly becomes their burden to prove instead of you actually defending your bs.

    I’m going to ask this again-

    1. It is not possible to live a sinless life based on Christian doctrine.
    2. Because we are guilty of sin, the wages for sin is death and an eternity in hell.
    3. Since we’ve established we are not without sin, the ONLY way to enter heaven is to accept Jesus.

    True or False, Yes or No. There is no ambiguity here.
    (After all, you believe eternity is in the balance, right?)

    • Z,

      The wages of sin is death AND an eternity in hell? Who says this?

      The wages of sin IS death (according to Romans). As Adam did, we will all die. But, our loving Father gave us a way back. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

      I don’t know why you think this is illogical. What doesn’t make sense?

  17. paynehollow says:

    To answer Z’s questions, according to mainline evangelical thought…

    Please tell me if the following is correct or incorrect:

    1. It is not possible to live a sinless life based on Christian doctrine.

    TRUE.

    2. Because we are guilty of sin, the wages for sin is death…

    TRUE…

    …and an eternity in hell.

    True, EXCEPT that God has an “get out of hell (sorta) free” card to play – “repenting of your sin and trusting in Jesus.” I think maybe (just guessing) this is where the traditionalists are balking at answering your questions, although, who knows? Getting direct answers around here is like pulling teeth…

    3. Since we’ve established we are not without sin, the ONLY way to enter heaven is to accept Jesus.

    TRUE. According to mainstream evangelicalism.

    I think those are the answers you are seeking, as answered by a mainstream evangelical Christian. One question in all that might be, “What does it mean to ‘accept Jesus…’?” but I think those are your answers. I’m sure they’ll correct me if I’m mistaken.

    Carry on…

    ~Dan

    • It is difficult to give direct answers to equivocal and complex questions without being clear on meanings first.

      Many questions asked by commenters are akin to “when did you stop beating your wife” and insisting on a direct answer to the ‘when’.

  18. paynehollow says:

    And so, have I missed some “complexity” of his question in how I answered it, or is my answer correct, from the traditional evangelical point of view?

    How it appears is that you all are reluctant to give direct answers because you fear those answers will be used against you, logically. And, if your positions don’t hold up logically, that might not be unreasonable to fear answering, but still, have the courage of your convictions. State your case. Answer questions.

    If someone asks me a “did you stop beating your wife” sort of question, there IS no “gotcha,” I can easily answer it in a few short words that defeat any trickery that may have been intended. “I never have beat my wife or anyone else, and thus, I do not now, nor ever have beat my wife.” That IS a direct answer to that question.

    Just because questions might be a bit tricky doesn’t mean they can’t be answered directly.

    ~Dan

    • But dan you didnt answer the question I asked. I want to know when you stopped beating her. You arent giving me a direct answer because you know it will be used against you later.

      My point is that you cant have an effective discussion without all being on the same page as to what the words and ideas mean first.

  19. paynehollow says:

    My concern is that you come across as dodgy, evasive and divisive if you don’t simply answer the questions being asked, as directly as possible. You can always add caveats or amend your answer if it is misunderstood. I do that all the time.

    Q and A is a good way to communicate, IF both sides will A the Qs.

  20. “Q and A is a good way to communicate, IF both sides will A the Qs.”

    This could be one of the flat out funniest things Dan has ever written.

  21. Yes. Those are the (my) answers. Our question is “What’s your point?”. That it’s “illogical”? How so?

    Here are the rules. Follow them.
    If you can’t follow them, you don’t deserve to live forever. So, no one deserves it! We’re not perfect.

    But, if you want everlasting life, you may have it, IF you believe there’s a way to get it: The belief that God paid for it.

    Whether this is all true is up for debate. But, there’s nothing illogical about it.

    Perhaps Z doesn’t understand the deal. I’m more inclined to believe that he just doesn’t believe it, because he doesn’t like it.

    Here’s a deal for you. You give me a trillion bucks, and I’ll give you a cup of lemonade. No one can pay that much. So, just say that you believe I have lemonade for you, because Jesus died for you to have it, and it’s yours. It’s not a matter of logic. You may not like the deal, but that’s the deal. And if you believe that I’m good for it, you may take it or leave it.

  22. I certainly believe in unconditional love. No matter what your child does, it’d be very difficult to stop loving him or her, even if they became Charles Manson 2.0. And I say that as a father of four. There’s nothing those kids could do that would make me stop loving them. Nothing. And that includes hurting me, my other children, and my wife. I would still love them.

    Regarding the question, my wife pretty much knows everything about me, even my private quirks and thoughts. I don’t hold back much. I never wanted to murder anyone. I never wanted to molest or rape anyone. I never dreamed of doing anything like that, so while I’m certain my wife doesn’t know every little thought I’ve ever had, I can honestly say that none of them are anything that would stop her from loving me. She knows basically everything, and yet she’s still here. And I know basically everything about her, and I’m still here.

    So, I do believe in unconditional love and I do believe that a person can know everything there is to know and still love you. And I think any insinuation to the contrary is simply absurd and based off personal realities rather than reality. I don’t know what private thoughts you guys have had…….

  23. paynehollow says:

    C2C…

    If you can’t follow them, you don’t deserve to live forever. So, no one deserves it! We’re not perfect.

    But, if you want everlasting life, you may have it, IF you believe there’s a way to get it: The belief that God paid for it.

    Whether this is all true is up for debate. But, there’s nothing illogical about it.

    I believe the thinking about why this is illogical would be…

    1. There is a perfect God who is perfectly loving, perfectly just.
    2. All humans created by this God are imperfect.
    3. If you are imperfect (as God created you that way), then you are doomed not just to die, but to suffer in misery for an eternity…
    4. UNLESS you accept Jesus.
    5. But, if – in your imperfection – you fail to understand the need to “accept Jesus” – or maybe never even have Jesus explained to you – and you don’t accept Jesus, you are still doomed to an eternity of miserable suffering.
    6. Is it rational, therefore, that a perfectly loving and just God would condemn someone to an eternity of that horrible suffering for merely being imperfect (and that imperfection led you to not accept Jesus), if that is indeed the way God created us?

    Consider: IF I have a young child and I explain to the child the rules for behavior when I’m out of the room. I try to make it abundantly clear to the child, “IF you misbehave, you will suffer some punishment – a bad punishment! – when I return…” and when I return, I find the child misbehaving (he is a young child, after all, prone to forget, not understand or plain just be tempted to do this behavior), it would be one thing to punish that child (sit in time out!), but another thing to wholly cut that child off and punish her/him for an eternity.

    One problem with this set up is the disproportionality seems inherent unjust and unloving. Not saying that behaviors should not have consequences, but rather, a loving and just parent would have those consequences fit the bad behavior. “An eternity of painful suffering” seems overkill and, IF we are presuming a perfectly loving, perfectly just God, that seems irrational.

    I can see that. You?

    ~Dan

    • It may seem irrational. It may seem like overkill. It may seem unfair. It’s still not illogical. It’s the deal.

      And it’s not illogical that a perfect god made imperfect humans. God gave us some godlike qualities, including free will and the ability to make good decisions. It’s not so overwhelming a task to avoid eternal death.

      • Most people overlook (forget) that God made the first humans very good, without a sin nature. It was those humans who affected us all, not God. Sure he makes us all, but the sin of Adam has stained us.

        Sure its not fair, but it’s our burden. Just like a baby born addicted to drugs because of her mother. Its not her fault and she is affected, bit its the way it is because of someone elses actions.

  24. paynehollow says:

    C2C…

    It may seem unfair. It’s still not illogical. It’s the deal.

    I think you’ve missed my point.

    Consider this: IF someone claims to be entirely fair, just and loving and builds a robot. He programs that robot specifically to not have perfect knowledge of all things. For instance, he programmed the robot to speak and understand English, but not Spanish, not perfectly… the robot might understand a little Spanish, some words and phrases, but nothing like perfect knowledge of it.

    If the Maker then says to the Robot:

    IF you pay me 500 trillion dollars, I won’t kill you.

    And IF the Robot obviously doesn’t have 500 trillion dollars, the Maker says, “If you can’t pay, you don’t have to. I’ll pay the fee for you if you just say, “I accept the deal of YOU paying for me…” but you have to accept the deal this week.

    Then that’s all well and good.

    However, what if the threat and “deal” is offered in Spanish – a language the Robot doesn’t – BY THE MAKER’s DESIGN – understand, at least not perfectly. The Robot maybe understands that there’s some possible threat, and that there’s some deal to get out from under the threat, but he doesn’t really get the nature of the threat or what specifically he has to do to avoid the threat.

    If, after the week is up, the Maker kills the robot for failing to perfectly understand the threat and the offer, was that rationally a fair and just deal to make? Yes, we understand that that’s the deal, but just because that’s the deal does not mean that an imperfect creation can understand the deal – and that, by the Maker’s design!

    Where is the rational consistency in that?

    Seems a fair question to me.

    ~Dan

  25. paynehollow says:

    1. That might depend on how you’re defining “fair” and “just.”

    2. That might depend on your biblical translation…

    God is always fair. ~Hebrews 6, CEV

    The Psalmist says…

    You [God] are fairer than the sons of men… ~Psalm 45, NASV

    Isaiah says God is fair…

    But with righteousness God will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth ~Isaiah 11, NASV

    3. Biblically speaking, God is Just. God will not act contrary to the ways of Justice. This is a claim found in the Bible. If you believe in the Biblical witness as to God’s behavior, you believe in a Just God. A perfectly Just God.

    The Hebrews 6 passage, in NASV says, “God is not unjust.”

    But that aside, what do you mean by “God is not fair…”? Do you think God is unreliable and unjust? What definition of “Fair” are you using?

    Merriam Webster has these relevant definitions…

    marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism;

    and

    conforming with the established rules

    Do you think God does not conform with established rules? Do you think God is marked by partiality and dishonesty? In what way is God not fair?

    ~Dan

  26. paynehollow says:

    Oh, I totally agree that life isn’t fair, for what it’s worth. But that’s different than saying God is unfair.

  27. And it’s not illogical that a perfect god made imperfect humans.

    Perfection creates imperfection? Illogical. Anything that is described as perfect cannot, by its very definition, create something that is NOT perfect.

    Most people overlook (forget) that God made the first humans very good, without a sin nature. It was those humans who affected us all, not God. Sure he makes us all, but the sin of Adam has stained us.

    And this perfect, all-knowing god didn’t see this coming? Never mind the immorality of perpetual punishment for all generations ever after, this negates any notion of perfect when all of this got started. Again, this story defies logic.

    I’m not describing any facet of “fairness” or “unfairness” – I’m illustrating the total absence of logic behind the belief itself. What I find sad is the way believers bend over backwards to make every excuse for what they consider their perfect god and even resort to blaming the victim for their misfortune to maintain that belief. Again – perfect, by its very definition, cannot create imperfect. That is illogical.

  28. Define perfect and give me an example.

  29. Wow- way to deflect.

    Perfect means flawless, without defect or blemish, pure.

    It is illogical to say a perfect god would be able to create anything other than perfection.

    To defend your position, you either have to change the definition to suit your needs or make excuses for how a perfect entity can create imperfection.

  30. That’s not an assertion.

    Are you saying your god is NOT perfect?
    Do you NOT define perfect as I do?

    • Your assertion is that a perfect being creating an imperfect thing violated the laws of logic. That is not a granted assertion.

      You must manifest an argument which includes definions of God’s perfection, man’s imperfection, why it violates the laws of logic for the first to create the second.

  31. I’m sorry if you cannot understand simple logic.

    You seem to have knowledge of the “laws of perfection” that I am unaware of.

  32. Tell me, John – do you think that heaven is perfect?

    • What do you mean? The bible doesnt say much except there will be no more tears (no sadness?) Work wont feel laborous, we’ll have glorified bodies, but it doesnt say perfect, so I dont know.

  33. I’m just curious, that’s all.

    I hear people often refer to heaven as the place to be in the company of god, so I wonder about the nature of heaven itself. If god is perfect, I would think that heaven is perfect as well and wanted to know what you thought.

    • In Eden Adam “walked with” God and earth wasnt perfect as in maximally optimal. So I imagine that it could be imperfect and still be in the presence of God.

  34. paynehollow says:

    Z said…

    Perfect means flawless, without defect or blemish, pure.

    As a point of reference, many times (I don’t know about every time) when the bible translates a word “perfect,” the word being translated comes closer to the notion of Whole, Complete, As Designed. A PERFECT dozen eggs. “Look at your beautiful baby, she’s perfect…” like that. Not in the sense of “without error or flaw,” but “as designed.”

    Thus, when the text calls for us to “be perfect, therefore, as God is perfect…,” some would say that this does not mean that we are to be without human error, but rather, Be as you were Intended to Be. Be Loving. Be Full of Grace. Be Forgiving.

    Offering that up for discussion, for what it’s worth.

    Also, Z, for what it’s worth, I don’t think it stands logically that a Perfect Being (however you’re defining perfect) must be confined to creating only perfect things. I don’t see why that is a logical necessity.

    I reckon I’d argue that God created humanity in God’s image, entirely (perfectly?) able to make one’s own choices – good and bad. A being created WITHOUT that free will would seem (and maybe this is human prejudice) robotic and, well, imperfect.

    What do you think?

    ~Dan

  35. paynehollow says:

    Then I change my position…

  36. God is omnipotent. That He cannot do something (create an imperfect being, for example) does not follow logically.

  37. Open thread request: The properties of heaven.

    John, my last question to you was regarding the nature of heaven. I learned that although you believe god is perfect, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he cannot be in the company of imperfection, so I’m curious as to what you and your readers think may be the properties of heaven.

    In all seriousness, if you believe you will be in heaven after you die, what do you think that will be like? Is it possible to exist with “no more tears”? What does it mean to have a “glorified body”?

  38. paynehollow says:

    As for myself, I don’t know what heaven is like. I do know that the Kingdom or Realm of God, which is spoken of often in the Bible, is to be where we live lives of grace, love, respect, forgiveness. I can speak to that more authoritatively because I’ve seen the Realm of God, here and now. It’s a good thing.

    As to “heaven,” well, the Bible is more vague and we have no way of measuring, estimating, knowing what it is like, if it exists at all, seems to me. As for me, I do believe in an afterlife and in heaven, and that it’s a more complete version of the Realm of God we see here and now. But I’ve nothing to prove it.

    ~Dan

Any Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: