godly love!

June 10, 2008 at 4:13 pm | | science and the public, science community

How much does research on “Godly Love” cost? If you said $150,000 per project, you’d be right!

To what extent can emotionally powerful experiences of a “divine flame of love” move us beyond our ordinary self-interests and help us express unconditional, unlimited love for all others, especially when our human capacities seem to reach their limits?

The Flames of Love Project at the University of Akron is trying to answer this and other such questions important to science and humanity. The FOLP is currently accepting proposals for the $150,000 research grant, so get going!

I have to say, I find the image on the homepage sorta creepy: like hands scrambling to escape something. I like life—this life. Do you need to believe in a godly, infinite, ultimate love in order to like this life? I think we live in a benevolent—or at least not malicious—Universe, what is godly love?

Anyway, I’m not a big fan of mixing religion and science. They simply approach questions differently. Doesn’t testing religious feelings make them less emotionally powerful? Anyway, “proving” faith is a contradiction in terms.

That’s my flow-of-unconsciousness.


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  1. Scary! I kinda like science as the happy secular world it is. (Also scary that my first question was how much LSD they’d need for their projects.)

    Comment by psi*psi — June 10, 2008 #

  2. you should try to work out a grant proposal for that. Use lasers to induce some flames of love, or something.

    Comment by Jons — June 10, 2008 #

  3. which wavelengths are resonant with love?

    Comment by sam — June 10, 2008 #

  4. 630-680 nm. Aww yeah.

    Comment by excimer — June 10, 2008 #

  5. This project seems very subjective. Their sampling scheme is to conduct “in-depth interviews with nationally recognized exemplars of Godly Love, as well as a national survey on the role of Godly Love in fostering service to others.” What about interviews with nationally recognized exemplars of demonic hatred to contrast their results? And how do they get a control group? In the whole gray (but interesting!) area that is the intertwining of science, faith, religion, theology, and philosophy, I think the more interesting and more answerable question is not, “What is the scientific basis for theology, religion, and faith?” but, “What is the theological, philosophical basis for science?”

    Comment by Adam — June 11, 2008 #

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