God & Love

"God is love," says the author of 1 John. How does process thought generally answer the issue at the basis of two questions: "Is love an abstract standard outside of Godself that God embodies perfectly?" or "Is love whatever God does, simply because God does it?"
Publication Month: 
May 2000
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

This question harks back to the Realist-Nominalist debates of the later Middle Ages. The Realists, such as Thomas Aquinas, believed that human beings have some knowledge of the distinction between good and evil. God, they argued, is purely good. The Nominalists taught that good and evil have no existence in themselves. Such distinctions depend entirely on the point of view. We cannot place our preferences as absolute, and then judge God by them. On the contrary it is God's judgment that establishes what is good and evil.

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