Will you still love God if life on earth is all there is?

Peace and Joy of Christ to all who visit this thread.

This is a follow up on the thread “If there is no heaven, will you still love God?”

To the Moderator:

If following up on a thread that has been closed is not allowed then you will obviously need to delete this thread. I hope though that you will give this topic a second chance.

There are a few posts from Nom the Wise which I was intending to address when the thread was closed and I bring these up here.

Noms post 539

[quote=Nom the Wise]Point #1 = The OP is a fallacy precisely because it is not true. There is Heaven. That makes the question invalid and illicit if taken literally.

Point #2 = As a “What if” scenario ONLY it is valid for the reasons you have pointed out, but you and others have come to heretical conclusions in your attempts at reasoning it out (and I don’t mean “all” but some).

I felt I had to answer that (again).

[/quote]

I have edited this post slightly to number the paragraphs as points 1 and 2.

On point number two you said the OP is only valid for the reasons I have pointed out.

Now the reason I have pointed out for the OP’s validity is that, it is valid (and therefore not fallacious), precisely because it is not true. Yet on point one you are saying that the OP is a fallacy because it is not true. You surely cannot be saying that the reason for its validity is at the same time the reason for it being fallacious.

What makes the question NOT a fallacy is PRECISELY THE TRUTH (at least to us Chrisians and based purely on faith) that there is heaven

Futhermore, how can you say that “the OP is fallacious because it is not true” when the OP is not making a statement but rather asking a question.
The question was “If there is no heaven, will you still love God?”
Statements can either be true or false but questions are neither true nor false.

If it is not a “WHAT IF” then it would indeed be fallacious for it would go like this: ” There is no heaven. Do you still love God?”. THAT is a fallacy because the first statement is a fallacy in so far as it begs the question by positing something (non existence or unreality of heaven) as fact, when this tenet in itself have to be established.

Post number 424 from “If there is no heaven…”

The OP is not saying that you discount Chist’s salvific death and resurrection.

Christ conquered sin and so conquered the wages of sin (death).

If you limit the effects of Christ’s salvific death to heaven then yes indeed the post does not make sense.

But if you remember that Christ’s death on the cross saved us from sin and not merely from the wages of sin (death) then the post remains valid.

What does it mean to be saved from sin? If original sin is a disobedience of God then to be saved from sin is to be obedient to God. Christ’s conquest of sin allowed us to be Christlike and so able to love God and others. When we love we participate in Divine life because God IS love.

If Christ has truly died for us, then we should be able to love God for Himself alone for Chist has conquered our selfishness, our self-seeking so as to enable us to reach out to another in love.

And if we can reach out to others in love, why can we not love God back for this and this alone if this is all there?

POST 434 on the Beatitude.

Since the OP is ruling out heaven, anything that is contingent on heaven such as some parts of the beatitudes must necessarily be ruled out as well. And when I mean ruling out heaven I mean here, life after death.

You say it is a heresy against the beatitudes. But that is not necessarily so.

Take for example that first one:
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Notice the phrasing. “theirs IS the kingdom” not “theirs WILL BE the kingdom”. The remaining beatitudes all have shall or will but this one speaks as though by being in poverty, you are already in the kingdom or God.

And why is that? Simply because when you are poor you learn to cling to God alone so humility becomes ingrained in you, you become truly aware of your creaturedness and how utterly dependent on God you are. Furthermore, without the trappings of wealth, God becomes your wealth, the precious gem for which you will trade all your possessions. And that is a reality that can happen and does happen right now here on earth.

The promise of the kingdom for the poor is not some future event but something that is happening now.

In post 426, you said “The wisdom of Christ is stupidity to the world” and you cannot be more right there. The wisdom of Christ plays out in the joy and peace that somehow unexplainably accompanies the suffering that one endures for Christ. For those in Christ, apart from the promise of eternal reward, there is indeed peace and joy amidst the suffering. The question of the OP is therefore: Is this peace and joy that He gives in the face of trials enough to love Him back for?

POST 436

[quote=Nom the Wise] A covenant is an agreement, if you do this I will do this.
[/quote]

A covenant is much more than an agreement or a contract. Scott Hahn says that a covenant is as far removed from a contract as the act of marriage is from prostitution.

In a contract there is indeed a quid pro quo (if you do this I will do that).

In a covenant there is an exchange of persons as in a marriage, as in you will be my people I will be your God, as in you will be my children I will be your Father.

Now the Father fathers us right now in a myriad of ways. He sends the rain, he makes the sun shine, the grasses in the fields, families and friends who love us, the flora and fauna for food, etc,etc. He made us in all our complex glory.

Is all these not enough to love Him back, were we to factor out of the equaton spending eternity with Him?

You said: Who would have dared to ask God to die for us. Who would have thought that it were even possible that the infinite God would love us so much?

All I can say is: Precisely. God died for us. But the effect and benefits of his dying is not confined to heaven for His dying has an impact on how we live our life on earth.

If the effect of Chists’s death and resurrection is that we, the baptized, can be like Christ, doesn’t it stand to reason that if we are truly saved, then we should be able to love as Christ loved right now? If, because of the graces that have been poured down on our soul due to the cross, we can love others without asking for anything in return, then is it not possible to do the same for God?

And no the question is not just for fun and many have answered in the affirmative and I am sure they did not do that in fun.

If there is no heaven there is no need of a crucifixion, no need of a redemption.”

In a strict sense yet. But since through Adam we have all sinned then yes we still need redeeming even if only so that here on earth we can learn to love as God loves. They will know we are Christians by our love, not by our fixation on heaven. We love not because of heavenly reward. We love because the love of Chris impels us to love.

Post # 447 from “If there is no heaven…”

[quote= Nom the Wise] So there is a subtext to answering “no” to this question, and that subtext is “Your faith is immature if you can’t love God for who God is and now because you want a reward”.
[/quote]

You are the only one reading that subtext into the question. I don’t think anyone is thinking that at all. You are accusing us of judging those who answer no as being immature and yet on another post you accuse us of lying for saying yes.

As I have said before, TheAtheist nailed it right on the head when he said that one’s answer will be determined by the kind of life they have led. And that is not a judgment on how well or poorly you love God but more of an indication of where, (in terms of degree of happiness and acceptance of your lot in life), you are at in your life right now.

[quote=Nom the Wise] To love out of fear of punishment is not love at all which has been pointed out on previous posts. But it is (can be) the first step to love…
[/quote]

And that is true. That is (can be) the first step… Everyone goes through that first step and God has a lot of say on where we are at the moment. But the question is do we want to remain on the first step? Is there no desire to ascend at all? Should we fight with all our might the OP because we feel we are on the first step and the rest of the group will ridicule us for being on the lowest rung of the ladder?

Does God want us to be stuck all our lives on the bottom rung of the ladder? Is he not calling us up the steps even to the point of holding our hands and giving our feet that extra help that we might take a further step upwards?

This thread is not about indicting those who feel they cannot answer yes and patting those who do.

When I said I cannot understand your fear in answering the question you said I said I was guilty of ad hominem. You also said you have not demonstrated any fear in answering my question.

Post 542 from “If there is no heaven…”

[quote=Nom the Wise] You just love ad hominen refutation, don’t you. I have demonstrated no fear
[/quote]

in addressing your question
First off, there was no ad hominem error in my question. I did not say that because you are afraid therefore your arguments are wrong. However, I do maintain that you are proffering wrong arguments because of your fear. I have no doubt that you are intelligent and quite knowledgeable in philosophy but I think your fear is preventing you from thinking clearly.

Secondly. I sensed fear in your and a few other’s posts. At least, that is what I sensed. Then I read your post (which you needed to repost before I would read it [FONT=Wingdings]J[/FONT] and realized the source of your fear.

You said that you “were only able to make this decision not to give in to the temptation of money career and prestige because of the promise of heaven”.
Therein lies the fear, the fear that it would have been all pointless. If there is no heaven then you might as well have just allowed the boy to pass and just let yourself compromise your intergrity. It is no wonder you said the OP “wounded” you. As you said very clearly in your post “you need there to be heaven” because the only reason you did the right thing was because of the promise of heaven.

But someone else in the thread said something that is really true. Doing what is good is it’s own reward. The reward is the knowledge that you have kept your integrity and that you have demonstrated to the world that you have indeed been baptized, because the Holy Spirit gave you the strength to do what is right against all odds. And that shows a lot of courage (which is of course one of the gifts of the Spirit).

In this world so short of men of integrity, your action has more impact on a lot of people than than you think. I think even those who thought you crazy to stick to your guns secretly envy you your courage.

I must say that when I read that bit of your post I truly, greatly admired you. I wish I had read it before. I sometimes have a rather jaundiced view of humanity in general but then I hear stories like yours and my faith is renewed. All our actions reverberate through out humanity and our good actions always transmit good vibrations even if we do not see it.

There is also reward on this earth for all good deeds but it is not quite what you expect sometimes. Our God is a God of surprises with a penchant for writing straight with crooked lines. In your case, what you have done is a dying on the cross. Right now and for some time perhaps, it will be Good Friday and Black Saturday. But Easter Sunday will arrive; in God’s time. And Easter Sunday happened on this earth.

[quote=Nom the Wise] I did fear losing my job but I feared losing the love of God even more
[/quote]

We can never ever lose God’s love. If we seem to be so far away from Him it is because we, not Him, moved. Christ died for us when we were sinners. If we can lose God’s love because of our sin then we lost it a long time ago. Christ would not have come to die for us.

If we cannot believe that, then it would seem we have not heard of the parable of the lost sheep or the prodigal son. He said he came for the sick not the well. We are all infirmed. Behold our Physician comes.

O felix culpa quae talem et tantum meruit habere redemptorem!!

[quote=Nom the Wise] “Would any of you call me selfish? Immature? Does my faith need strengthening?”
[/quote]

The answer to all three is yes, only insofar as the answer to that question will always be yes no matter who posed the question (except perhaps the saints as they neared death). We are all selfish, immature and need a great dollop of faith.

What I do think you need is a re-thinking of your image of God and the way you view salvation.

No. Because that kind of God doesn’t love me, and i need God inorder to love, since God is love itself.

No. Because your hypothetical God does not desire us to share and exist in his eternal Love. The God you speak of is a cruel and selfish being, not to mention careless of our salvation.

Based on your posts, in the past thread, it would seem that you would have us think that Heaven has nothing to do with our being created. But it is apparant to me that God created us inorder so that we can exist in His eternal love, His eternal Heaven. This is why i love God; because of his love for me. Otherwise, what is the point of us being created in the first place? Do we exist simply to look at his creation and say wow? No. I am not interested in a vein God.

In an eternal relationship with God, the eternal good.

Such a thing is not possible if God does not love us enough to be in an eternal relationship with us. Love is eternal.

Catholics on this forum, more then likely, already know that true love loves for nothing in return, that is why it says in scripture that only God is Good. I do not believe in the glory of human love; for that is a false God and i am not impressed by it. Exposing the fact that human beings do not love God outside of Gods will, which ought to be common knowledge, doesn’t seem to me to be productive under this current topic heading. It will more likley cause resentment.

How Can we learn to love God if Gods love is not eternal. That is not true love.

It is because of heaven that many become Christians. Heaven is the perfect expression of Gods Love for us; and it is in my contemplation of heaven that i recognise Gods love for me. Otherwise, what is the point of it all exactly? The whole point of life is for us to be happy in God. How can i be happy about a God that cares so little of me that i should cease to be?

Why would a God who showers you all the blessings here on earth not be loving you should He decide that this is the only life you will live? Does the length of of time you experience that love alter the fact that it is indeed love?

and i need God inorder to love, since God is love itself.

But you do have God. I would assume that you love other people now. Where do you think that capacity to love is coming from? Yourself? Definitely not. That love that you give others now comes from Him. You are able to love right now just because He loves you. So why is it that you can love others now because of the love that God has given you and yet you cannot love the Source of that love?

Why would the shortness of our experience of His love make Him cruel? Bear in mind that after that experience there is nothing. No damnation. We came from nothing we go back to nothing and in between these nothings we share in God’s love.

Based on your posts, in the past thread, it would seem that you would have us think that Heaven has nothing to do with our being created.

No, I am not saying heaven has nothing to do with our being created. I am rather ASKING a question. IF our existence is limited to this earth? I am not saying IT IS limited to this earth.

To make it easier for you to comprehend the question. This is like an IMAGINE IF. We are trying to imagine something that is not what reality is.

But it is apparant to me that God created us inorder so that we can exist in His eternal love, His eternal Heaven.

True. But that is precisely what the IMAGINE IF is suspending.

This is why i love God; because of his love for me.

Exactly!! His love for you which you experience RIGHT NOW. So can you love Him back simply for His love which you experience here on earth?

Otherwise, what is the point of us being created in the first place?

Yes, that is true. But that POINT is what has been suspended by the question. The thread is a question. It is not a statement.

Do we exist simply to look at his creation and say wow? No. I am not interested in a vein God.

God did not created the marvels of creation for us just to go Wow! He did this to show His love. He is no more vain that your mother, say, when she cooks your the best meal ever. Your mother would have done that for love of you not so you can go wowl

Such a thing is not possible if God does not love us enough to be in an eternal relationship with us. Love is eternal.

And this life is a speck in eternity. And that eternal love is felt experienced in this speck of eternity.

How Can we learn to love God if Gods love is not eternal. That is not true love.

How? Because we experience it in the NOW.

It is because of heaven that many become Christians.

And probably Muslims for that matter :D. Remember the terrorists and how they were able to commit suicide bombing because they are looking forward to a reward in heaven for their martyrdom?

Heaven is the perfect expression of Gods Love for us;

Wrong. The perfect expression of God’s love for us is Jesus Christ.

it is in my contemplation of heaven that i recognise Gods love for me.

Then maybe you should start meditating on the cross, on Christ crucified.

**Question: "Will you still love God if life on earth is all there is? "

With all my heart and soul and every breath I take! He owes me nothing, I owe Him my life.**

:amen: I think this really needs to be stressed "He owes me nothing."

God does not eternally love us if we exist only for a time. our value to God, in this respect, is no different to that of a slug which he created for his own entertainment. What are you talking about when you speak of Gods love? It is alien to me.

[/quote]

If you are asking a hypothetical question, then you must stick to it. One must not think that just because the question is hypothetical that one must suspend logic.

You could say to me imagine 4 was not the fulfillment of 2 + 2; would I still believe that 2 + 2 = 4? But I can only conclude that the sum would be left unfilled or not answer at all, because, in the first place, it is simply an irrational thing to ask somebody, especially in so far as it is being asked in the strong sense that I “ought” to believe that 2 + 2 = 4 even though I’m being asked at the same time to believe that 4 is not the answer. I cannot imagine it any more then I can imagine what it would be like to exist in non-existence. If we are talking about God, then there are certain necessary truths that follow from Gods being. God either created us for heaven, or he didn’t. It is as simple as that. If he created us for heaven, then that is a sure sign that God cares about the existence of our being since God wishes to fulfill our being.

Perhaps you should say, imagine we, as human persons, were fulfilled by ceasing to exist after a time with God. Then I can say yes to your answer, because God seeks to fulfill me as a living person, which is the nature that God gave me, and by my nature I would be grateful because a finite love and non-existence is the ultimate end.

But I know in reality that I am not fulfilled as a living person by ceasing to be, or merely by existing in this world, and neither does it make any sense bringing people in to a world full of potential horror, unhappiness along with the inevitable despair of death. Therefore i cannot answer you Question in a positive manner.

Why do you find that so difficult to understand?

If it is true, then it is always true, regardless of suspension. I cannot suspend logic.

I experience Gods love now because of the promise of personal fulfillment in heaven; these things cannot be separated.

I am not feeling any love from your hypothetical God.

Only because we are created for heaven, this is the basis of our faith; the eternal promise.

This is fallacious reasoning. Just because people will blow themselves up for heaven, does not change the reality that heaven is the spiritual completion of humanity. Otherwise what is the purpose of heaven?

And why exactly did Jesus Christ die on the cross? It was only so that we could enter Heaven. That is the glory and love of Jesus, and the Love of the Father. And the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. God acts for a perfect purpose, and that purpose is our salvation in Christ in Heaven. Otherwise there is no point in sending Jesus to die on a Cross. According to your hypothetical God, Jesus suffered and died for absolutely nothing. That doesn’t sound like a loving God to me. It sounds like an insane God; a God with serious mental health problems. Such a God to me is far from perfect. I do not want to worship that God. God’s perfection is made evident in the glory of Christ, only in so far as Christ opens the gates to eternal heaven for our spiritual fulfillment. Gods perfection and love is as such as to not only bring us in to being, but to bring our being in to fulfillment and completion; and only that which is eternally fulfilled in being can speak logically of being fulfilled. Existence is good, and God is the greatest good for human beings, therefore, so long as existing is the greatest good, it is not possible that a person can cease to exist. And if only God can ultimately fulfill us then…ill let you figure it why heaven cannot be logically defined as a place. Secondly I have always said that we experience heaven in a place. The reason why I say God is heaven, is simply because heaven, as I understand it, is the fulfillment of humanity. However only God can fulfill Humanity. And any one that says a place can ultimately fulfill us, is to me, more or less expressing idol worship. Well…unless you willing say imagine if Jesus was just a man!!! Then we really would be just like Muslims!!!

The fact is, your question disfigures the eternal and holy nature of God so much so that we cease to be speaking about the same God. Your hypothetical God is nothing like Jesus. This is obviously going to cause problems that only a very astute person is going to regognise.

I suspect that I already do, probably allot more then some people care to think.

I was glad to read your PM’s. Thank you.

I actually requested that the moderators close this post, because reading your responses to my posts from the other thread made me very sad. I think this is an exercise in futility. I disagree with this premise as I did before. My belief still remains that this thread is in grave error.

I am a sinner; a sinner that loves God as best I can (and not always as best I can if I’m being honest with myself) and a sinner that relies on the promises of God. I love God even when I am persecuted. At work recently I told a coworker whom was encouraging me to date again (as my wife left me) that I cannot date unless I get an annulment. He said “You don’t really believe in that sh*t, do you?” I said yes. He looked at me like he thought I was retarded. I didn’t really care. I am beyond caring anymore when people don’t understand my commitment to God or are downright hostile to it.

Because of this, benedictus2, we can see eye to eye. We both serve God for our love of God and not because we seek a reward (in this life). But my hope is in heaven, which doesn’t make my faith less, but rather more. I only have Christ’s promise that there is heaven. My faith takes God at his word.

As **Realcatholicgk **said “He owes me nothing.” And yet He has given me everything. This is what moves me to action. The truth is that your “what if” could also very well be reworded “What if there is no God?” Atheists hold that life on earth is all there is. The equation is still the same. I live now and I die.

I will love God through every test and all suffering because only his grace sustains me. I trust there is Heaven (afterlife) when all logic suggests that I shouldn’t, as our world falls further and further into chaos and apathy.

I think this means I agree with you. I love God without hope of reward, and I trust to his promise that my faith is not in vain.

Dear Nom,

I am truly very sorry that my responses to your post have made you very sad. I never realized that contemplating this question would sadden you so deeply. I am truly so very sorry for that.

I cried when I read your post above.

It was never my intention to hurt anyone with this question. I thought it would be good to reply to your posts since the other thread was closed so suddenly and I read in one of your replies that you were waiting to be rebutted (or at least that is how I interpreted it). It was a pity I missed so many of your posts early on. It was even more a pity that I did not get to visit the thread you started earlier. I cried when I read that too.

I was going to post a reply then read that you felt that that thread had reached the end of its life so I decided not to post.

I think you are a truly wonderful person. Your post above confirms that even more. There are not many people that I would say I truly admire but I can really say that about you. :tiphat:

I apologize again and hereby bow out of this thread.

To MindOverMatter;

The apology goes to you as well. I will not be replying to your post.

To the Moderator:
I think this thread should now be closed.

I like this.

You probably don’t agree with everything that i have said if you have been following my posts. However i think we can both agree that we are all designed to approach God in favor of eternal fullfilment, and it is within that relationship that we find the grace to love as God loves. But we do not love by our selves; it is impossible to love God outside of Gods grace. The reason i have got upset is because people have been making out that those who approach God in this manner is in error. But man cannot love outside the glory of Gods Grace, and so the glory is all Gods, not ours. Only God is Good. Thats why it gets to me when people say that they would love God nomatter what. To me that is a self-glory that does not regognise its dependency on Gods grace. Like you say, why not just be an atheist if there is no spiritual fullfilment? In this case Faith just becomes a crutch rather then the standard of being to which we aim. Secondly i think there is a grave assumption that we can be perfectly fulfilled in this world.

We ought to love, because love fullfils us as “persons”. When we sin, we destroy our nature as people. But that can only be meaningful in regards to heaven and hell; it is meaningful in terms of loss. If there is no heaven or hell, then what is it that we are losing by not loving God? That would suggest to me that Heaven is the eternal standard of moral law; and therefore is God. No-matter what, we can’t escape the fact that we do things in respect of personal fullfilment, and i don’t think that there is anything inherently wrong with that so long as it is put in to its proper genus. Once one sees it in the proper perspective, there is no contradiction in loving for the sake of personal fullfilment and loving for the sake of love, for the two are neccesary to our development as spiritual beings. In otherwords we learn to love others by loving ourselves, and if we trully love ourselves we would not desire to cease existing and God by his nature does not desire it either.

I think it is important to understand that the purpose of our existence is to be happy and fullfiled, but that the only way we can be happy and fullfiled is to love as God loves. It is God who provides that supernatural ability, not us.

Otherwise what use is the Golden rule? Do on to others as you would do on to youself.

Of coarse, i might be wrong. So take my reasoning with a pinch of salt.

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