Reading Chapter 2 of Free Choice in St. Maximus the Confessor by Dr. Joseph Farrell on The One reminds me of the statement God is Love. I think in philosophy, the simplest thing said about God is God is good. Goodness seems self-referential to me. Love seems other-referential. Therefore, I prefer God is love.

Another way to think of it is, is God good because he is love, or is God love because he is good? I still prefer the former.

Maybe it’s because goodness implies rule keeping. Love transcends rules, else Jesus wouldn’t have healed on the sabbath day and people wouldn’t feed their cows on that day. But you can say it’s good to feed cows on the Sabbath. But why? Because of some vague sense of rightness, because a good person feeds cows, or because cows shouldn’t go hungry? Going hungry is bad, but it is unloving people who cause bad things. I think loving people do good things, not good people do loving things. If good people do loving things, it’s because they are mimicking love, and haven’t become it yet. But I am a limited anthropomorphizer.

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