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"Rational Scientific Theories from Theism"


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Previous: 11.1 Love Itself Up: 11. God is Love Next: 11.3 Love and thought

11.2 Love and substance

We now apply the ontological analyses of Chapter 4 to the case of God. In that chapter, we saw how the underlying power or propensity of a being could be identified as the substance of that being. That chapter dealt with physical dispositions since it was based on generalizing how science analyzes causes. Once we allow that non-physical beings can exist, exactly the same logic follows for mental, spiritual and divine beings.11.2We therefore argue:

  1. The underlying power or propensity is the true substance of that being.

  2. The underlying power or propensity of God is love.

  3. Therefore, love is the true substance of God.
This is to conclude that divine Love is the substance of God. It is the substratum in terms of which he exists and is the subject of all his properties. We are not saying that ‘God was formed out of this substance (love)’, because there was never such a forming event in the past. Rather, God is love itself and always has been. We say that we can intellectually distinguish (in God’s present being) the Love that is the basis or substance of that being.11.3

Then, because created objects are a kind of image of God, we can conclude that something like love is the substance of all things in the world. In a nutshell, ‘Love makes the World go Around.’ This is not to say that love is the direct mover of every natural object and the immediate instigator of every natural event. Rather that something like love does these things. For minds, the ‘something like love’ can be loves, desires and motivations that we know are significant in human life. For physics, the ‘something like love’ could be deepest principles of energy, force and propensity that keep the physical world moving. These are grand claims: that desires, propensities and energies are ‘images of love’, and that they respectively are the substance of humans as well as of all animate and inanimate objects. Fleshing out and understanding the details of these claims, especially concerning the relations between the mental and the physical, is the task of theistic science.

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