On Randal Rauser's Blog Daniel Wilcox speaking to atheist Dana Harpar: "I agree with you and others that there is no evidence for the infinite and loving God of many Christians or for any of the revealed religions at all."I think I've given plenty of good reason to believe in God and to make a leap of faith. Now I will argue if God does exist God is the loving God of revealed religion,ie of Christianity.
I could appeal to devine revelation then argue for the validity of the Bible. That would be a profuntory answer, one expected of any apologist and guronteed to turn off skeptics. Instead I have two arguments:
I.The nature of religious experience.
II.The Phenomenology of Christian love
The nature of religious experrience as a whole demostrates the loving nature of God. I will use Mystical experience (ME) as my argument but it applies beyond that.There are two core aspects to mystical experience: (1) a profound sense of the undifferentiated unity of all things, and (2) A profound sense of God's all pervasive Love. This second aspect is at the core of the experience and is so much a part of it that lift is missing that is a good reason to doubt that it is a true mystical experience.
Mystical experience is backed empirically to such an extent that it almost constitutes proof of God's existence.200+ studies over 50 years all showing the validity of the experience with no counter study, not one. The experience is overwhelmingly positive and transformative, makes your life better across the board.What I mean by this is illustrated by a sample of one of the studies, a summary of findings from two.This was published on my religious experience argument back in the summer.
*Say their lives are more meaningful,
*think about meaning and purpose
*Know what purpose of life is
*Score higher on self-rated personal talents and capabilities
*Less likely to value material possessions, high pay, job security, fame, and having lots of friends
*Greater value on work for social change, solving social problems, helping needy
*Reflective, inner-directed, self-aware, self-confident life style
*Experience more productive of psychological health than illness
*Less authoritarian and dogmatic
*More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient
*High ego strength,
*relationships, symbolization, values,
*autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude,
*increased love and compassion
Short-Term Effects (usually people who did not previously know of these experiences)
Love is more than just a feeling of butterflies in the stomach. It is an experience as well as an ideal. It's concept but it os a;so ex[eroenced,phenomenological apprehension.
I don't feel very loving right now, but I don't have to feel any way to talk about love, because love is not merely a feeling. A lot of people think that love is just the special way of feeling about a person, or the warm fuzzy that comes from being with a certain person. Love is much more than just a special way of feeling. It is also a value, a commitment, a sense of orientation toward others, a philosophy, a way of being in the world (an existential engagement).
There are degrees of love and kinds of love. The Greeks called sexual and romantic love Eros From which we get our word "erotic." The kind of love friends feel they called Phileo or "brotherly love" (as in "Philadelphia"). The highest form of love they called Agape. That is usually the kind of love the Bible speaks of when it speaks of God's love for us. 1 John tells us "He who loves knows God for God is love."
Agape Means: the will to value the other, or the will to the good of the other; the desire for the other to have the best. It entails the idea of according the other all rights and human dignity. It is not personal, it's a commitment to all people. Agape is sometimes translated Charity (as in kJ trains 1 Corinthians 13 "if I speak with the tongue of men and of angles and have not charity") but this is more condescending and patronizing than the actual meaning of the term. Charity can be paternalistic in the negative sense, controlling, colonizing, derogatory. Agape is a totally positive thing; one must actually seek the good of the other whatever that may be, even against one's own interest.
Now I will start saying "crazy stuff," these are things that I have theorized about and I guess they make up the radical edge of my own philosophy because they have been scoffed at plenty of times on these boards. But I don't care I'm saying it anyway.
Basis of everything: connection with Being
When I say love is the basis of everything, I mean it really is. I believe that when the Bible says "God is love" it means it literally. In other words, we should put an "itself" there. God is "love itself,": the thing that love is actually the essence of what God is. Now you may ask how can God be both being itself and love itself? Because these two are inextricably bound up together.
Love is giving, the idea of seeking the good of the other, according the other full human dignity equal to one's own, these are ideas that entail give over, supplying the other with something. It's a positivity in the sense that it supplies an actual thing to someone. Being also shares these qualifications. Being is giving in the sense that it bettors itself upon the beings and they have their existence. It is positive in the sense that it is something and not taking something away, it's not a void as nothingness is, but moves in the direction of filling a void; nothingness becomes being, the existence of things.
So love and being are really the same impulse and they both unite in the spirit of God. God is the basis of all being, of all reality. God's character is love; that is God seeks the good of the other and bestows upon us the ultimate human dignity of being a child of God.
Motivating force behind creation
Love is the basic motivating force behind creation. God's motive urge to create was not out of a need due to looniness, but out of a desire to create as an artist, and desire is fueled by love. Art is love, artists love art, as revolutionaries love. Revolutionaries are in love and their revolutions are often expressions of love, what He Guava called "a strange kind of love, not to see more shiny factories but for people." So God creates as a need to bestow love, which entails the bestowing of being.
Now let's not have a bunch of lectures about "perfection" based upon not knowing what perfection is. Let's not have a buck of Aristotle thrown in as though it were the Bible. There is no baseline for comparison from which one can really make the judgment that need is imperfection; especially the sort of need one feels to be creative or to bestow love; that is a different sort of need than the need for food or shelter.
Basis of morality
Love is the basis of morality. Love is the background of the moral universe, as Joseph Fletcher said. Austin said it too. That means all moral decisions are made with ultimate reference to God's love which is the driving force behind morality. Many people think Christian morality is about stopping impurity. These people regard sex as the greatest offense and think that basically sin = sex. But nothing is further from the truth. Sin is not sex, sin is an unloosing nature, or a selfish desire to act in an unloosing manner.
Love requires selfless giving over OT the other for the good of the other. That means all moral actions must ultimately be evaluated with reference to their motivational properties. That's why Jesus spoke as he did in the sermon on the mount: if you hate you are a murderer. Because the motivation itself is the true essence of the sin, the rejecting of love and acceptance of self as the orbit creates the motive that eventually leads to the act. He is not saying that the act sin OT sinful of course, but that the sin begins with the motive not just with the act. In that sense morality is somewhat teleological, although I normally eschew teleological ethics. I am not saying that the morality of a given act is based upon outcome, but that the end toward which moral motions are given is the goal of doing love.
Love is too central to the nature of the faith to be floating out as a mindless idea divorced from divine consciousness.
 Joseph Hinman,"Argument from Religious Experience (for existence of God),"Metacrock's Blog."(AUGUST 31, 2022) https://metacrock.blogspot.com/2022/08/argument-from-religious-experience-for.html
God, Science, and Ideology by Joseph Hinman is a very important book. Hinman was a PhD candidate in the UT system, his field was history of ideas and he studied the history and philosophy of science. He brings this knowledge to the critique of athye8ist ideology on the internet. Hinman summarizes 20years of arguments with atheist apologist and takes down some of the major atheists figures such as Richard Dawkins,