Who Do You Love?

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Recently I came across an article related to Herschel Walker’s run for a seat in Congress (Georgia US Senate) in which he said this about his decision to run.

“Before all this coming about, my wife and I … we went into prayer and I prayed about it. And to be honest with you, I was praying to God to bring somebody else. ‘Oh my God, I am happy, my life is doing well …’ But I love the Lord Jesus.”

“But I love the Lord Jesus.”

This phrase got me to thinking. How does anyone “love” an entity that exists only in a book?

Of course there are multiple meanings and variations to the word “love” — and I daresay nearly all of us have used one or another of them at various times in our lives to describe how we feel about different foods, movies, games, activities and other inanimate objects — not to mention the living creatures in our lives, such as dogs, cats, horses, etc., etc.

However, I tend to think most of us recognize the core meaning of the word LOVE is the deep emotion we feel for other HUMAN BEINGS. That is, those Real … Vital … Breathing … Touchable entities that are part of our daily lives.

Yet Herschel’s comment is not uncommon among the religious. In fact, the word “love” is used anywhere from 300+ to over 500 times in various versions of the bible. However, not every use of the word, even in the bible, relates to the distinct feeling that exists between and among humans.

So back to my original question: How does a person “love” an entity that exists only in a book — an entity that no person living today has ever met in a direct and face-to-face encounter?

And further to the question, how does anyone know that this entity loves them? The standard response is because “the bible tells me so.” But again, has anyone in today’s world ever felt that book-derived individual actually wrap his arms around their body, look deep into their eyes, and say with soulful and intense emotion … I LOVE YOU ??

I tend to think not … simply because imagination is not reality.

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Image by Herbanu Tri Sasongko from Pixabay

44 thoughts on “Who Do You Love?

  1. How does anyone “love” an entity that exists only in a book?

    But he exists in Herschel Walker’s thoughts, so not only in a book.

    imagination is not reality.

    Some people have great difficulty distinguishing between imagination and reality.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. That should be the definition of “religion”: people that have great difficulty distinguishing between imagination and reality.

    Listen to a Christian station on the radio and you will hear some of the craziest things. They love Jesus, they love god, they have “bathed themselves in the blood of Jesus Christ” etc. They can make themselves believe anything in their own heads and so, to them, it is real.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Jesus is real. People become Christians because Jesus is real. Jesus was a healer and a wise preacher during his time on earth. Imparting healing and wisdom are two ways Jesus manifests himself to his people. In my case, wisdom is achieving some small understanding of my limitations. Socrates also taught that concept and was executed for doing so.

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    • Do you love Jesus? If so, then I ask again, as I did in my post — how do you love an entity that exists only in a book? You cannot see, touch, or feel Jesus … nor can he do the same to you. Thus, he is NOT “real” … except in your imagination.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Socrates was REALLY executed because he spent his time telling the dissolute, arrogant aristocratic youth of Athens that they and they alone were entitled to rule. The Donald Trump Jr. and Scions if the Koch Brothers of the day.

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        • I don’t think anyone that visits my blog needs your lessons in Catholic catechism so I’m only allowing a portion of this comment (and none of the other one you offered). This post is not about who Jesus was or what he accomplished. It is about Christians who say they love —and base their entire lives around— an entity that exists only in book.

          Liked by 2 people

        • NOTE TO BLOG VISITORS: I am posting this comment from SOM to demonstrate his Christian love:

          Nan, Just go ahead and delete all my comments. You are an imbecile who just wants an echo chamber. If I encounter you on another blog I will cut your silliness to pieces you gutless coward.

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    • And Jesus was a Jew, exceptionally devout Jew whom never told anyone to be anything else. He was born, raised, and died in the Jewish Law. So unless you’re Jewish Jesus had no use for you. Sorry to say it but, your “love” is unrequited.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I actually am not ashamed of hating gun fanatics, the Trump Crime Family or Putin, but you are right overall

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  4. Mostly, I love people who tend to think along the same lines as I do. Not because it massages my ego, it does, but because it allows me to think of myself as more than an uninformed contrarian, which I am. It means that we began to use our brains as more than a sponge for religious dogma somewhere along the way. We began to look for truth, facts, and reality. We may have read some of the same books. It seems certain that we read a lot of free-thought, humanist, skeptical, writers and we recognized the feeble underpinnings of religion to be nothing more than unbridled imagination. I learned that love does not depend on some imaginary being whose core idealism is hate. Acceptance and empathy spring from our natural being. It is the religious element that is foreign to reality.

    “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.” It seems that the more incredible a thing seems to be, the more readily people like me can accept it hook, line and stinker. Credulity. Every bible thumper knows its value to the ‘faith.’

    Most religions have some good teaching about human and social development. The problem comes when they cannot recognize their own graciousness but are compelled to attach it to some nonbeing that we can’t face with our grievances, leaving the priesthood to manipulate and abuse every good thought. The most terrible of punishments are reserved for the non-believers, but we do not fear them because reality has ser in to stay a spell.

    I looked it up, Nan. There are 20 Hebrew and 14 Greek words with various translations of the word ‘love’ in the KJV. When some of those Christian Apologists argue that the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages are less ambiguous than English, they are mistaken. I accept your count on how many times it appears.

    Men admire and worship only what they do not understand.
    Jean Meslier 1678-1733
    (It is this fact that theists rely on. Ignorance of the masses. When Christianity or any other religion takes control of education, that society is going into decline.)

    “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.”
    Voltaire

    The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.
    Mark Twain

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Bite me fanboy!” A slogan attributed to the last Czarnian.

    I love Gandalf, though I know he is just a character in a novel. The Christias think they know Jesus is real. How do you measure love?

    Perhaps the Christian loves Jesus a bit like a fan loves a rockstar. To both the rockfan and the Christian the public image of the character they love is what they think the character is all about and they can foster a fantasy of more intimate relationship because, unlike in real relationships, the subject of their worship is never going to object. It may be a bit immature form of love in both cases, yet sincere. Who are we to judge the deep emotions of others?

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    • An apt observation — Christians “foster a fantasy” … and it is this fantasy that they see as an “object” of their affection/love.

      I disagree, however, in your comparison of Jesus to a rock star. A rock star is a living human being. If circumstances allowed it, an admirer could hug and hold this person. They could speak directly to the individual and express their love. Can they do this with their Jesus?

      And this is my point … how do you somatically “love” an entity that exists only in a book?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Perhaps you are right, but I think that Jesus is just as real and equally distant to the Christian as a rockstar is to a teenager fan. The love both the Christian and the teenager fan may feel may also be real enough as an emotional sensations, even though the object of their love is a bit abstract. The fact that it is abstract gives them both safety of never having to fear rejection and quite a bit of leeway in molding their concept of the object of their love to be as lovable they personally are able to imagine. Christians rarely hold all the same values as the Jesus character in the book, but their concept of him always shares all of their own values.

        I think emotions mature as we go through life, but most people do not analyse their emotions and even if one does they may be so grounded experiences that it may be hard to let even the most infantile emotional responses go, unless one has a very strong motive to do so.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. How does anyone “love” an entity [or caricature] that exists only in a book?

    In general, I think there’s a virtual library, a never-ending plethora of answers to that simple question Nan. None of them, however, are exhaustively 100% unanimous among 7.9-billion emotionally-charged, highly imaginative humans prone to and possessing affinities for dopamine-releases. Hence, it seems to me it’s a matter of neurology, hormonal or endocrinology, and psychology all jumbled subtly or chaotically together. Simple, right? 🙂

    That said, how long have the literary stars of love endured over human history? Romeo or Juliet? Rhett or Scarlett? King Arthur or Guinevere? The adoration and worship of such romances and caricatures is literally timeless. In this sense, all the fans of intense(?) love—in whatever of its six or seven forms—are essentially the same, even Hershel Walker’s object of love despite the entity being fictional in his own life and for 2-plus millenia.

    This is where I point out to all religious romantics, like Hershel Walker, that they have merely fallen for or been duped by what IS ACTUALLY tangible and verifiable: the Placebo-effect. And that love-gas effect they consume is reinforced by Peer-assimilation/Peer-pressure at and within theatrical performances (mass gatherings) by OTHER victims of their own passions and imaginations.

    See, very simple easy explanations about the degrees of mass hysteria within peer-assimilation/pressure. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Re “simply because imagination is not reality.” Not if you are a Christian. :o)

    Realize that many in the South are taught to “love the Baby Jesus” from a very young age and then that “love” is reinforced ad nauseum. (I know you know this.) This is just overt signaling to fundamentalists to “vote for me” cuz “I am like you.” All GOP dog whistling is not about race.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I only love people who actually exist and I can contact/pursue online. Thus, I’ve often been served with cease and desist notices from such celebrities as Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde, and Uma Thurman. I take their hostility toward my online wooing as a sign of their true love for me and have vowed to not cease wooing them until I finally get one of them to be my wealthy, famous sugar momma! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  9. It’s staggering when a mind is not equipped to handle logic or reason and the disillusionment of knowing something is not real. You can love the idea of something or someone, but when there is absolutely no tangible evidence or reciprocation, that is what you are loving..an illusion.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Some people just love being morons.

    I read a Mickey Mouse book as a young lad. I did not “love” Mickey Mouse. I read the Tolkien trilogy a couple of times. I do not “love” anyone within the storyline.

    Now if we had Mickey Mouse and Tolkien preachers, I suppose a lot of people would love Mickey Mouse and Tolkien. “All praise Mickey!” “All praise Gandalf!” Send $$$$$$$$$$

    Liked by 1 person

  11. For me, to love Jesus is to receive him, not imagine him. For example, he told doubting Thomas to literally handle him. So first and foremost, I received his tangible, resurrected and ascended Spirit.

    Nowadays I love Christ by receiving the people, places and things he puts in my life (or not). He lived trusting his Father 24/7, and said, “Follow me.” These are recorded facts of the Person on whom I’m basing my belief.

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  12. This is an interesting question, though, not just a religious one but also a philosophical one. The Bible says that God is love, which a lot of people take to mean that God loves people, which I believe is true. But can we simultaneously interpret that to mean that every time we feel love, be it from a family member or friend, that is God loving us? It seems to work in reverse (the Bible says whatever you give to your brother you give to Me), so could that be how you can love a person you cannot see or touch? Then there is the whole thing of, don’t we love people who live far away from us, who maybe write us letters (like pen-pals) that make us feel loved even if they don’t wrap their arms around us? Don’t we love people who have died? Could these be ways that we love people we cannot see or touch and the way in which Christians love God. And finally, love is itself an unseen force, as is fear, anger, hope. None of the five senses can detect emotions, yet we can still feel them. It is true that, biologically speaking, emotions are combinations of chemicals and such, but the actual *feeling* we get is something you cannot touch, taste, see, hear, or smell. If such feelings exist then is it illogical to suppose that it may be possible for them to come from something we cannot touch, taste, see, hear, or smell but can still feel just like those emotions? I don’t know what you think of it, but I know that’s how it works for me; it’s actually a lot like the pen-pal example I gave, because, in my belief, just as it (normally) is in the real world, I get to meet the One who has written me the letters one day.

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    • As I wrote in my post … “LOVE is the deep emotion we feel for other HUMAN BEINGS.”

      Note the word “emotion.” Sure, we can say that we love ice cream, we love a certain type of music, we love looking at the stars at night, we love going to the circus … ad nauseum. Just as we can say we “love” God.

      But “true” love is an essential reality. It comes about through physical association with another human being. It is the core of the deep emotions that exist between ourselves and other humans.

      And most importantly, love is reciprocal. No entity that exists only in a book can “love” you back.

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      • Is love an emotion we get only from human beings? I love my pets and I value them as much as I value other people. Furthermore, they are capable of loving me back (well, some of them). These are not human creatures, yet they have ways of showing love. I think God has ways of showing love to, some people just miss it, or put it down to luck. I also feel that your conclusion is somewhat skewed since you are writing from your perspective (which has Jesus as just a character in a book). I’m not dinging you for that or anything; I often if not always write from the perspective that God is real and Jesus is real. But since we have differing perspectives, and neither of us can solidly prove the other wrong, how we know who’s conclusion is right?

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        • There have been and always will be different opinions. Humans are not robots. Which actually brings up a good point. Could robots love each other? Why or why not?

          Your comment related to Jesus being “just a character in a book” solidifies my point.

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  13. I think that whether or not robots can love each other is dependent on how human we make them.

    I’m a little confused about that last statement, could you elaborate on how it solidifies your point?

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