Asking ChatGPT to define love
As programmers develop new text generation methods, what can come as a result is interesting. Recently, ChatGPT responses have been propagating to Twitter, with many asking the AI text generator for common paradigms with known human solutions. Some posts have been insightful about how the chatbot was instructed to learn and associate words. However, to those who have programmed AI models, the shortcomings are apparent, and there is no immediate threat of a robot uprising. Currently, many perceived issues are corrected by inputting the correct wording to the chatbot, indicating the idiom, garbage in – garbage out, is still valid.
I was interested in asking the ChatGPT to clarify the love quality found in John 3:16.
Love is an emotion that is, in Christian circles, attributed to different levels or types of love. One can have a love for a sports team, a love for a spouse, and a love for chocolate. However, these types of love vary based on each object and the love holder.
In English, we would use the same word for love to describe the varying emotion, but in other languages, the varying degrees are expressed in different word choices. It is common for Bible preachers to equate Greek word choices with varying forms of love, such as in the dialog between Peter and Jesus in John 21. (Although Carson has made good dialog into overthrowing this perceived relation.1)
My recent study of the Greek text in John 3:16 revealed a language barrier between what is written in Greek and what is translated into English. When written, love was given a form without English verb equivalency. It is translated in the English past tense, which offers a sense of something performed in previous times, but does not apply to today. However, as John wrote in Greek, the phrasal action exists in an eternal state.
Perhaps ChatGPT could describe this immeasurable amount of love:
The response is what you would expect of popular psychology, being there for a person regardless of the circumstance. The fallacy of this thought is easily identified in a situation where the one you love has escaped from prison. In that instance, supporting them would require you to harbor a known fugitive – an act punishable by US law. It is also impossible to be supportive of everyone’s actions at all times. Can immeasurable love be shown to groups that have contrary opinions? However, this type of love is expressed in John 3:16.
God’s love is an immeasurable amount of love, which has lasting effects that continually build up. The potency by which God shows His love is presented through its conceptualization and increasing exponential power, which began in eternity past. In essence, God’s love will continually build upon the foundation until the recipient has no more room to receive it. At this point, God’s love is exponentially more.
The very nature of God’s love felt for the world is signified by this thought: God expressed it in giving the most prized possession He had – His only begotten Son. The power and intensity by which God loves are based on the virtue of Jesus Christ.
God so loved; therefore, He gave.
1 D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2013). 51-53.