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  #1  
Old Feb 18, '11, 5:30 pm
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atheistgirl atheistgirl is offline
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Default God created us out of His Divine Love

I read that on another post.

What does that mean - created us out of His divine Love? And Divine love for who? And why - why not just leave us uncreated? And what sort of love is it that creates other creatures to worship the creator?

Edited to say this is not an ''anti'' post - I would just like to look further into the ideas.

Sarah x

Last edited by atheistgirl; Feb 18, '11 at 5:47 pm.
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  #2  
Old Feb 18, '11, 6:20 pm
Ranklyfrank Ranklyfrank is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

You will get plenty of other stuff on here, so I will jump in. Yours is a good question. It puts the matter of Creation into relationship terms. And given that Christianity sees God as an object, and is materialistic in the same way scientism is, ie "God and His Creation," we see two things. The first is that worship in Christian and many religious structures is formed in familial and hierarchical terms. And second we see that it is part the improbability of a personal God that makes many people atheists. And I would argue that atheism is possibly a necessary step of divorce from mythology in order to have a better perspective.

That perspective is that Creation is an aspect of God that is the means used by Deity to fully be and experience without prejudice in every possible way the fullness of the potentials of being. there is an OT statement that perfectly states the dynamic of this, and the identity statements of Jesus are congruent with it. Thus Consciousness as Principle is individuated by association with limits, say a body like yours, into awareness. Salvation is the process of rediscovering that identity of awareness with Consciousness. That dynamic has become veiled in the Christian tradition and is now exteriorized and bifurcated into personal worship and its intricacies as dogma. The Saints, some of them, have overcome these limitations and are not understood by the very Church they used to fuel their search. So "...out of "His" divine Love" is a statement attributing substance, not of motivation. Does that help?
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  #3  
Old Feb 18, '11, 6:37 pm
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atheistgirl atheistgirl is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

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Originally Posted by Ranklyfrank View Post
Does that help?
Im understanding better on each rereading I think Thank you.

''Creation is an aspect of God that is the means used by Deity to fully be and experience without prejudice in every possible way the fullness of the potentials of being.''

All well and good, but why create us at all. If Im getting this, nothing created God. God always was and always will be. God created everything. That everything includes us, humans. Skipping over a juicy apple bit, our job is to follow the bible, holy tradition, and the churches teaching, in order to get somewhere we've not been before, heaven, (we were created on earth) to praise God for ever without ending.
And the fact that we can get to heaven to do this, is somehow supposed to be the ultimate demonstration of God's love for us.

Im sorry - it's still lost on me I hope no one will take offence at the next bit as I mean it only in relation to the above for me, and not as a reflection of other peoples belief which I know people hold dear, but, if all of that was true, I honestly cant see the point in any of it. It makes no sense to me what so ever,

Sarah x
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  #4  
Old Feb 18, '11, 7:04 pm
Ranklyfrank Ranklyfrank is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

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Originally Posted by atheistgirl View Post
Im understanding better on each rereading I think Thank you.

''Creation is an aspect of God that is the means used by Deity to fully be and experience without prejudice in every possible way the fullness of the potentials of being.''

All well and good, but why create us at all. If Im getting this, nothing created God. God always was and always will be. God created everything. That everything includes us, humans. Skipping over a juicy apple bit, our job is to follow the bible, holy tradition, and the churches teaching, in order to get somewhere we've not been before, heaven, (we were created on earth) to praise God for ever without ending.
And the fact that we can get to heaven to do this, is somehow supposed to be the ultimate demonstration of God's love for us.

Im sorry - it's still lost on me I hope no one will take offence at the next bit as I mean it only in relation to the above for me, and not as a reflection of other peoples belief which I know people hold dear, but, if all of that was true, I honestly cant see the point in any of it. It makes no sense to me what so ever,

Sarah x
You may have noticed that a lot of ways of "describing" God include the word "All." So another way to look at it is that God is "just" a name for ALL. That's by no means meant in a belittling way. It's just to say that there is not so much of a creation of "us" and all that we see and don't see, but that what we are and see is an exploration of infinite possibility appearing as time, of Self. That is capitalized to denote a very specific use of the word that is not to be confused with our impression of being a person. It is a whole other matter, and it refers to the part of Human, or any, experience or manifestation in its depth of Being as distinct from its width of appearance. In fact it heals the artificial split between religion and science. And for what it's worth, I've been called an atheist sometimes for advancing its ideas!

If you are curious, I can PM you a list of simple or complex books that are "pointers" to this idea and how it works. I've probably stepped on too many toes on here already! :-)
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  #5  
Old Feb 18, '11, 7:21 pm
PJD1987 PJD1987 is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creator.html

This is the Catechism's explanation of creation. My only point would be that, going into it saying, "This doesn't make sense to me," won't really help you be enlightened to answer your question. If you approach it with an open mind, then perhaps it will make sense.

"And what sort of love is it that creates other creatures to worship the creator?"

God did not create us because He is an egomaniac and needs or wants our praise. Frankly, God does not need us, but praise and worship of Him is good for us because it brings us closer to fulfillment in Him.

What about this question, why do people have children? Are children not a creation out of love? It's not a completely perfect analogy, however, if it helps one understand, then I suppose it's useful. We get married, and have children, because we love. In the same way, God loved, and out of that love came creation.

"And Divine love for who?"

God's Divine love was for us. God created in His image, love. Christianity is participatory in that we are called to take part in this Divine love, as we are in His image and praise and worship of the Lord is a way to commune with the Creator, to love and be loved simultaneously. Our souls cry out for the love of the Lord, it's referred to as the God-sized hole, because only God can fill it.

"And why - why not just leave us uncreated?"

A being of pure and total love would not do this. If we as humans in all our sinfulness still desire to create, how much more would an All-Loving God wish to create?

"And the fact that we can get to heaven to do this, is somehow supposed to be the ultimate demonstration of God's love for us."

Yes, it is not "supposed to be", it is the ultimate demonstration of God's love for us. We were not created by God for this world, we were created to commune fully in praise and worship of God, because it is good for us. It was by our free will that the "juicy apple bit" happened, called The Fall. But in His Goodness and Wisdom He foreknew and foreordained a way for us to be reconciled to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, our admittance into Heaven is the ultimate demonstration of God's ultimate love in our reconciliation with Him and forgiveness of our repented sins.

Keep asking questions, it is good to explore these questions. Some are Mysteries and we will not know until we see Him, but nonetheless, I hope this is helpful.

God Bless,
Paul
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  #6  
Old Feb 18, '11, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

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Originally Posted by PJD1987 View Post
http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creator.html

This is the Catechism's explanation of creation. My only point would be that, going into it saying, "This doesn't make sense to me," won't really help you be enlightened to answer your question. If you approach it with an open mind, then perhaps it will make sense.
This is why Im asking the question. Im trying to understand.

Quote:
"And what sort of love is it that creates other creatures to worship the creator?"

God did not create us because He is an egomaniac and needs or wants our praise. Frankly, God does not need us, but praise and worship of Him is good for us because it brings us closer to fulfillment in Him.
But God is all powerful, has existed forever, yet decided to create us. Why? Was there something missing in God;s life that it was not sufficient to simply always be and have been, that he had to create us, the ultimate aim being for us to get to heaven to praise him? Why would an all powerful God need such a thing?

Quote:
What about this question, why do people have children? Are children not a creation out of love? It's not a completely perfect analogy, however, if it helps one understand, then I suppose it's useful. We get married, and have children, because we love. In the same way, God loved, and out of that love came creation.
I can relate to that - I have kids, but I want them to fly the nest when theyre ready, and I want to get out of their way so they can get on with their life. I most certainly dont want them back at my door in 30 years time badgering me with the never ending mommy, can I have the keys, mommy, where's your purse, mommy, Im having a slumber party again.. mommy......
So, God is All, and pure Love, and the greatest expression of this Love, is us


Quote:
"And Divine love for who?"

God's Divine love was for us. God created in His image, love. Christianity is participatory in that we are called to take part in this Divine love, as we are in His image and praise and worship of the Lord is a way to commune with the Creator, to love and be loved simultaneously. Our souls cry out for the love of the Lord, it's referred to as the God-sized hole, because only God can fill it.
But, that divine love wouldnt be for us, if he didnt create us. Why us? There couldnt have been anything incomplete in God, yet there seemed to be this need to make us, and have us lavish unending praise and worship on Him.


Quote:
"And why - why not just leave us uncreated?"

A being of pure and total love would not do this. If we as humans in all our sinfulness still desire to create, how much more would an All-Loving God wish to create?
But why? We desire to procreate to ensure our genes survive. God has no such need.

Quote:
"And the fact that we can get to heaven to do this, is somehow supposed to be the ultimate demonstration of God's love for us."

Yes, it is not "supposed to be", it is the ultimate demonstration of God's love for us. We were not created by God for this world, we were created to commune fully in praise and worship of God, because it is good for us. It was by our free will that the "juicy apple bit" happened, called The Fall. But in His Goodness and Wisdom He foreknew and foreordained a way for us to be reconciled to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, our admittance into Heaven is the ultimate demonstration of God's ultimate love in our reconciliation with Him and forgiveness of our repented sins.
My understanding takes a serious nose dive here. Not only were we created to praise and worship God, forever, but God knew we'd mess it up on earth, making it highly likely we wouldnt get to heaven, according to God's own rules which He set, and he always did know that even before he made us, yet he went ahead and made us anyhow, and then sacrificed his only son to save us, and theres still no guarantee his creatures will make it.

I am completely completely stumped here.

Quote:
Keep asking questions, it is good to explore these questions. Some are Mysteries and we will not know until we see Him, but nonetheless, I hope this is helpful.

God Bless,
Paul
Yes. Thank you.

Sarah x
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  #7  
Old Feb 19, '11, 12:05 am
danserr danserr is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

Quote:
But, that divine love wouldnt be for us, if he didnt create us. Why us? There couldnt have been anything incomplete in God, yet there seemed to be this need to make us, and have us lavish unending praise and worship on Him.
I'll just pick this quote to work off of, and I guess I'll repeat a bit of what has already been said, but I'll try not to too much.

Why did God create? has sometimes been a classic question phrased alot like you did. Why did he just not create, and if he did create, does this suppose some sort of "need" in Him. ie., if he "needed" to create, he would not be perfect.

The shortest answer is to affirm that God has no needs. None. He is omnipotent, omniscent, morally perfect etc., he does not need us or out worship. I think this is a little hard for people to understand because people are not like God in this. We have needs, and those needs cause us to do things. Even human love is affected by need. A child may love their mother, but the child also needs their mother, a husband and wife love each other, but also have some need for each other. ("It is not good for man to be alone etc...) This means there is a tension in human love between the needs of the self and love for the other. A mother might be tempted to spoil her child out of "love," but this is not from a pure love for the child, but from her own needs. So the human loves are not really perfect, since it is possible for there to be an element of need and even selfishness in them. This element of need is not necessarily bad (we're not God), but it is something to be aware of.

God, on the other hand, has no needs. This means that His love is not tainted by any tension between his own needs and the needs of those He loves. Because He has no needs, He is able to love perfectly and with perfect selflessness. This explains his creation of the world. It is hard for us to understand, because our love is characterized by out own needs (for out family, spouse, God etc.) and rightly so, but God is not like us in this respect. He has no needs, so His creation of the universe was a work of pure love.

Real love is both self-giving and self-sacrificing. It is the nature of such love to pour itself out. But there is not need in the person that causes them to do so. So I would say that God created the universe and us because He is Love, and it is the nature of Love to want to give itself out.

As for creating us to worship Him. There is a youtube video by Fulton Sheen on prayer (search for "fulton sheen and prayer") Toward the end of it, He explains about our worship of God. It's like a young girl who picks her mother some flowers from her backyard. The mother is pleased with the gift but does the mother need the flowers? No, the mother doesn't need them. Does the child need to give them? Certainly! The child has been given a good home and love and other good things and for the child to not give the flowers would mean that she would be lacking in love, and affection, and gratitude. Similarly, God (because He has no needs) does not need our worship. We do! We have been loved into existence, given life, Jesus, promised eternal happiness, and many other good things. For us to not worship and praise God would mean that we would be lacking in love and gratitude. God does not need our worship, but he does value it as an expression of our love, the same way the mother does not need the flowers but values them as an expression of her child's love.
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Old Feb 19, '11, 1:04 am
PJD1987 PJD1987 is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

"But God is all powerful, has existed forever, yet decided to create us. Why? Was there something missing in God;s life that it was not sufficient to simply always be and have been, that he had to create us, the ultimate aim being for us to get to heaven to praise him? Why would an all powerful God need such a thing?"

He didn't need to, God is lacking nothing. If He had willed it, it would have been sufficient that He should always be and have been, but that was not His will. As the Lord said to Job, "Will we have arguing with the Almighty by the critic? Let him who would correct God give answer!" (Job 40:2). Guess what Job did! (He shut up because he realized he was "of little account" (Job 40:3) and was in no position to correct the Lord) Are we so bold as to think we are smarter than God that we should critique what and why He has done what He has done? I'm not implying you are, but in your question, the answer is a question. He simply created out of love for us to share in Him. It was His will that it be done, and it was done, it was not out of a lack of anything.

"I can relate to that - I have kids, but I want them to fly the nest when theyre ready, and I want to get out of their way so they can get on with their life. I most certainly dont want them back at my door in 30 years time badgering me with the never ending mommy, can I have the keys, mommy, where's your purse, mommy, Im having a slumber party again.. mommy......
So, God is All, and pure Love, and the greatest expression of this Love, is us"

"But why? We desire to procreate to ensure our genes survive. God has no such need."

As Jesus said to St. Peter when Peter rebuked Jesus for saying He must suffer greatly and be killed, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." Matthew 16:23. Of course, Jesus is not saying Peter is Satan, but The Father of Lies puts these doubts and thoughts in our minds. In the same way you are thinking as a human, naturally, but one cannot put human logic and thinking into God. Being made in God's image does not mean we share His mind and knowledge or way of thinking, but that we have an immortal soul that longs to be reunited with Him. I was simply using the closest analogy I could, as I said, it is not perfect, as nothing can perfectly capture the Mind and Will of the Lord.

"But, that divine love wouldnt be for us, if he didnt create us. Why us? There couldnt have been anything incomplete in God, yet there seemed to be this need to make us, and have us lavish unending praise and worship on Him."

There was no need to make us, that is essential to understand. He did make us however, out of love. Why He created us, sometimes it's useful to humble ourselves and simply say, "I don't know," and frankly, I don't know the correct Catholic answer to that question, it's a very deep and thought-provoking question, maybe someone else will chime in with a more complete answer. Otherwise, I'd suggest maybe directing this question to one of the apologists on the site, or maybe seeking out a priest at a nearby church. I've always just understood and accepted that we were created out of His immense love. The need for us to worship Him, is for our benefit, not for His. Not only is it right to give Him thanks and praise (as is said in the Roman Catholic Mass), but it is beneficial to us in that it brings us closer to Him. It is edifying to praise Him, it works wonders for our emotional, psychological, and physical state. If you won't take my word for it, http://stason.org/TULARC/health/alte...-Benefits.html, there is a brief article about several studies. However, the point isn't scientific proof of the power of prayer, but rather the inner peace and contentment one experiences when they have a devoted and healthy prayer life.

"My understanding takes a serious nose dive here. Not only were we created to praise and worship God, forever, but God knew we'd mess it up on earth, making it highly likely we wouldnt get to heaven, according to God's own rules which He set, and he always did know that even before he made us, yet he went ahead and made us anyhow, and then sacrificed his only son to save us, and theres still no guarantee his creatures will make it.

I am completely completely stumped here."

Again, I'd say, one, you are thinking as humans do and not the omnipotent God, which is natural. Second, I'd say that in God's plan, it was always His will that it be participatory, in that we all participate in the salvation of souls. Anything worth having is worth fighting, even dying for. Heaven is worth sacrifice, fighting for, and dying for. Characterizing Heaven as highly unlikely is, with all due respect, erroneous, from a Catholic standpoint at least. Holiness and saintliness is attainable for anyone, it is there for the taking, via His Son and our Lord Jesus Christ. He came down from Heaven as Jesus Christ because only God can bridge the infinite gap between us and He; only by becoming man could God save man, which He always willed would be part of His Divine Plan. It would be hypocritical if God were to call us to be like Him without ever having been like us. But He did become us, suffered the rigorous life of a poor Nazarean, executed as a common criminal. He was hungry, cold, tired, happy; He laughed, played with children, cried, made friends, was betrayed and abandoned by those He trusted, all the things we experience as humans....(continued in next post)
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  #9  
Old Feb 19, '11, 1:05 am
PJD1987 PJD1987 is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

Jesus showed us the way, the truth, and the life, by being the way, the truth, and the life, the Word made Flesh. As to the second point about dying without guarantee that all would make it to Heaven, is that not the most ultimate love you've ever heard of? To die for those who do not deserve it, to forgive those who should be unforgiven, for those who you even know would reject you? It's mind boggling to human reason, because it's a tough concept to grasp. As St. Paul says, "Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us," (Romans 5:6-7).

I am by no means a theologian and am simply doing my lousy best to answer your questions, I hope I'm being helpful. If you are serious in getting a deeper understanding, I would sincerely encourage you to speak with a theologian, a priest, a brother, deacon, any Catholic religious that may be able to answer your questions in a way more to your understanding. In any event, as I said, hope I'm being helpful. And I'll reiterate what I said, keep asking questions. It's good to ask questions, and the Catholic Church will not hide from anything, we are confident because we have the Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself, with the history, tradition and scripture that with enough research will answer any and all of your questions. Keep digging, as Blessed John Henry Newman said a Protestant convert to Catholicism said, "To be deep in history, is to cease to be a Protestant." I firmly believe the same can be applied to unbelievers.

I don't expect to convert you from atheism on catholic.com However, if you are serious, keep asking, and keep looking, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened," (Matthew 7:7). And lastly, even if you don't think they'll work, you shall be in my prayers.

God Bless,
Paul
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Old Feb 19, '11, 1:09 am
PJD1987 PJD1987 is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

I second everything danserr said and believe it speaks to what I was attempting and struggling to say, but could not adequately do about "why" we were created. Thank you danserr!

God Bless,
Paul
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Old Feb 19, '11, 6:47 am
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

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Originally Posted by atheistgirl View Post
... I honestly cant see the point in any of it. It makes no sense to me what so ever,

Sarah x
Perhaps you are thinking about the thing in terms of being a human in our human style of life . Why do you do this or that in your life? A. To save time. B. To save money. etc., etc..
But human petty motives are not why life was created, the little animals do not know about time and the little flowers do not know about money.
If one sees the endless variety of life one will quickly come to the conclusion that the motive for all of its creation was generosity. To appreciate generosity one needs to be outside the system of instinctual life, in other words people were required, creatures with the freedom of free will. None of us will ever see all the variety of life and things that are created, so for a human with freedom on earth, the world is seen as a place of almost, and to each individual, actual infinite wonders stacked on top of wonders. A generous spirit made all of this possible.
But people are not created to observe and appreciate all of this wonder only to die and disappear forever. For humans the story continues after death, where life was once filled beyond knowing on earth, the source of all of that life and generosity is finally seen in full and its spirit of generosity is now truely infinite and the spirit of appreciation in the human experiencing it is infinite and must be unendingly wonderful. A reason for human existence is this generosity of the creative spirit which creates for the purpose of joy and love and infinite appreciation of itself.
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Old Feb 19, '11, 9:53 am
Ranklyfrank Ranklyfrank is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

I have to wonder how y'all feel about advancing arguments based on premises already known to be rejected by the person you are talking at, as distinct from with? I know I do it sometimes, when I'm not directly asked about something, and then I feel silly. Maybe I feel silly a lot :-). But I'm not even an atheist, and I just wonder about how useful it is to butt heads instead of examining premises?

Fore example, I cannot accept atheism due to experience. But on the same grounds, neither can I accept the Abrahamic idea of God. And I was brought up in that belief, big time. And I didn't change until I was forced by an event in my life not to question my faith, but to question the nature of my person-hood. It was then that I discovered, very unfortunately and traumatically, that my birth religion did not adequately or even nearly address the questions made necessary by my experience.

That left me in a position of neutrality. and given what we are blessed with today as exposure to the entire world of ideas, if we but look, I found two things: a) a paradigm that explained my perceptions not only usefully but with great practicality and with an astonishingly greater wonder at the greatness of God, and b) eventually, a reconciliation to some extent with the Church, which I had at one point summarily rejected.

But what I'm saying is that it's going to be difficult to change someone's mind, including your own, unless you can find either a point of neutrality or agreement, or you are on the cusp of paradox, that being the most useful of all, and for excellent reason.

So we can bash away at each other as we seem to do, defending our ground, or we can look for something that is palpably useful as a starting point, no?
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Old Feb 19, '11, 11:29 am
danserr danserr is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

Quote:
So we can bash away at each other as we seem to do, defending our ground, or we can look for something that is palpably useful as a starting point, no?
Naturally, I agree that discussions should have a common starting point, but I would not say that anyone here is bashing away at anyone. I find the OP's questions polite and the responses also polite and thoughtful.
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Old Feb 19, '11, 11:45 am
Ranklyfrank Ranklyfrank is offline
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

I do too, Danserr, but I've been on other threads....
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Old Feb 19, '11, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: God created us out of His Divine Love

Quote:
But God is all powerful, has existed forever, yet decided to create us. Why? Was there something missing in God;s life that it was not sufficient to simply always be and have been, that he had to create us, the ultimate aim being for us to get to heaven to praise him? Why would an all powerful God need such a thing?
God doesn't need anything or anyone but He is Love. Love is creative and enjoys sharing joy with others. His ultimate aim is not be praised but for us to be praised for our love for Him and for others!
Quote:
I can relate to that - I have kids, but I want them to fly the nest when they're ready, and I want to get out of their way so they can get on with their life. I most certainly don't want them back at my door in 30 years time badgering me with the never ending mommy, can I have the keys, mommy, where's your purse, mommy, I'm having a slumber party again.. mommy......
Do you wish never to see them again? For all eternity?
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So, God is All, and pure Love, and the greatest expression of this Love, is us
We shouldn't assume anything about what God has created. As Hamlet said, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy...
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But why? We desire to procreate to ensure our genes survive. God has no such need.
Is that the only reason you had children? Was it an irresistible urge?
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Not only were we created to praise and worship God, forever, but God knew we'd mess it up on earth, making it highly likely we wouldn't get to heaven..
..,
Where did you get that impression? He does everything possible to guide us to heaven but if we choose to live for ourselves He respects our decision.
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...according to God's own rules which He set...
Moral laws are not arbitrary rules but truths about personal development. All our virtues bring their own reward and all our vices incur their own punishment.
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...and he always did know that even before he made us, yet he went ahead and made us anyhow,
Life is not a test but an opportunity for development and self-determination.
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...and then sacrificed his only son to save us..
His Son sacrificed Himself...
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...and there's still no guarantee his creatures will make it.
There can never be a guarantee if we are genuinely free. Even if you could would you force your children to conform to your values and principles?

Freedom is more important than anything else. If we're not free to choose what to believe and how to live we might as well never have been born. Heaven is not for sycophants but for saints who live for love!
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