What does the word "equally" mean in this context?


When someone say:

God loves everyone equally.

What does the word "equally" mean in this context?

B2 fairly and in the same way: In an ideal world, would everyone get treated equally?

the word "equally" has several meanings, and I don't know which meaning is appropriate.

C1 in equal amounts: The inheritance money was shared equally among the three sisters.

C1 to the same degree: You looked equally nice in both dresses.

› used for adding an idea that is as important as what you have just said: Not all businesses are legitimate. Equally, not all customers are honest.

(Cambridge Dictionary)


Posted 2016-06-16T00:58:05.043

Reputation: 57

Not sure about calling duplicate on this one - there is certainly a considerable overlap with this question

– PerryW – 2016-06-16T03:48:17.157



To the same degree would be a correct interpretation here, but a simpler interpretation would just be "the same." Identical, no difference. Take any two identical things, you can say that they're equal. Put back into the original quote, you could say:

"God has the same love for Jim as He does for George, or anyone else for that matter." Absolute equality, no difference found or implied to either people, they are treated as if they are exactly the same in this regard. Also with the various definitions you quoted, it always comes down to whatever referenced thing being "the same."

We'll distribute the liquid equally between these two jars.

In the end, both jars are going to have the same amount of liquid.

Rotate both dials equally.

Both dials will have undergone the same degree rotation.

Distribute your money among your children equally.

All children will receive the same amount of money.


Posted 2016-06-16T00:58:05.043


thank you! So to sum up, the meaning of the sentence "God loves everyone equally" can be interpreted in two ways 1: God loves everyone to the same degree (that is, if love can be quantized, God loves each of us with equal amount of love); 2: God loves everyone in the same way, that is, the way a parent loves his children (since everyone is God's children in God's sight)? does the sentence mean both 1 and 2, or does it only mean 2, not necessarily 1? not that I think everyone should believe in God, it's just the text I am dealing with. Thank you for your help. – dweins – 2016-06-16T13:36:11.213

@dweins They're the same, they imply the very same thing. Same degree, the same. In this case, degree is superfluous and adds nothing to the expression that the two things being compared are viewed as equal. This is of course speaking just to the raw definitions of "equally" that we have in the question. I'm not really addressing any deeper meaning in the source text, but if you're speaking from a Biblical reference I'd say that's accurate to say. However, that discussion isn't on-topic for this site. – None – 2016-06-16T13:45:44.057

@dweins If you want to investigate the deeper philosophical meaning behind Biblical text you could try out Christianity.SE, although as a Christian I'm not fond of it myself. Any belief under the sun that declares itself associated with Christ in any way is permitted to post their point of views and you're not allowed to post your view and claim that it's correct, etc. – None – 2016-06-16T13:47:25.677

Hello, sorry for keep asking questions but can the word "equally" in this context also mean that God does not love us "as unique beings"? If God's love is the same for each of us, that could mean God does not recognise us as unique beings? – dweins – 2016-06-16T17:05:23.230

@dweins Those kinds of questions are off topic but I'd say even in a general sense that the answer is no. I'm a father, I love both of my children equally. They're both unique and loving their unique personalities does not change loving them equally. It simply means that I do not favor one over the other. Speaking from a Biblical perspective, there's lots of Scripture about God weaving you together in your mother's womb, knowing the exact number of hairs on your head and so on, so I'd say there's an intimate knowledge of each persons uniqueness in combination with this equal love. – None – 2016-06-16T17:56:42.907


To the same degree is a reasonable interpretation, but there is another that should be considered: as if they were equal. That is, to treat two people equally is to treat them as if they were equal even though they are not. That is consistent with "to the same degree", but there is a further implication here: regardless of their merits.

Thus we might in various situations treat the rich and poor equally or the young and the old equally, or the clever and the dull equally, meaning that we ignore the differences between them.


Posted 2016-06-16T00:58:05.043



The word equal means to be the same.

I.e - cooking - 'Make sure the cup of sugar is equal to the flour' I.e - respect - 'Show equal respect for your fellow classmates' (treat everyone equally)

I.e - The distance to XYZ is equal to ABC. (the distance is the same) I.e - 'I had such anger within my heart, but at the same time an equal amount of love' (as much anger was equal amount of love)


Posted 2016-06-16T00:58:05.043

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