What is love?April 10 2010 at 2:38 PM
Vince (Login MoxiFox)
Response to Fascinating?
When you really stop and THINK about it?~
What, for example, draws two animals together in a bond of "love" to the exclusion of other animals which are "enemies"?
Is love affection?
What determines affection?
You know, I've wondered about that quite a bit. There are people with whom we become "good friends." Why are THOSE people more lovable to us than others?
It seems to me that we "choose" our best friends primarily on the basis of common interest. We associate with certain people because we like to DO the same things or we THINK alike. So the connection feels strongest with people who seem to think and do as we do.
Then there's a second, lower layer of ... common need. Soldiers in a unit NEED each other and during engagement with an enemy, they rely on each other for help and for victory and even for support ... when one becomes wounded and disabled.
So, soldiers in a unit would become "friends" over time, even though their private interests are much different and they would have little to support a friendship between themselves in civilian life.
The second kind of love seems to be brought about by bonding ... through common need.
Both of these loves are cultivated by selfish interests ... more or less. Both develop through personal need.
But then there's a third love that has no connection by mutual interest or immediate need -one which the NTestament refers to in Greek as "agape"- and this one, I contend, NEEDS a good amount of thinking in order to be fully comprehended, supported and appreciated. If a person doesn't think it through, he'll build up a lot of resentment.
This is a "social love" which creates organization and structure which will benefit MOST of the society in which the "love" is implemented.
Now, there's a certain amount of agape involved with group survival in conflict ... and possibly some in personal friendship too but for the most part, it's not really thought about.
A real agape love MUST be thought through to be fully accepted and supported. This love requires good organization, in order to work effectively. It's a societal love where ...... personal sacrifices are made in order to better the good for all. It's the kind of love -I believe- that truly makes a society a GOOD environment where EVERYONE is the most happy.
It's because people don't want to think much, that agape love doesn't work as it should. People tend to be selfish and attempt to GET ahead of others by exploitation or even "cheating." They don't understand that by being uber-selfish, they actually DECREASE their own happiness, joy and contentment. They don't realize that by being selfish, they impair the connection that exists between everything.
Take for instance, a community of poor people needing work for sustenance. Some fellow comes into the community and starts up a coal mine ... which gives most of the poor people a job and thereby, betters their lives. This fellow is doing everyone a huge "favor" .... isn't he?
Well yes and no. If he merely looks at all of those people as a labor force to exploit in order to make HIMSELF rich, he doesn't actually have a legitimate "loving" bone in his body. This is where capitalist arguments always fall apart, when tightly analyzed. Yes, the people get work and are able to buy things they need to improve their lives ... but ....
If these same people were left ALONE in the first place, they wouldn't HAVE such major poverty in their lives. They would form their own loose tribal organization and subsist from the land. It's only because capitalism has REMOVED ownership rights from them in the first place ..... that they're poor.
If an industrialist moves into a poor area and provides labor for money, he could ALSO think along agape lines where ... he has a vision for the community to enhance life for everyone. Since he himself will need to spend a good portion of his life in that location, it will make HIM a lot happier if all of his workers are happy and voluntarily work very hard to bring out the product to make him more money so that he can use a lot of that money to build hospitals, schools and even cultural centers and entertainment centers. They will all LOVE him and respect him ... and he will feel connected with them and feel fulfilled.
Agape love ENHANCES life for everyone. Sure, people could be happy if left to their own devices with no interference ... just living off the land. But they DON'T have a lot of the neat stuff that modernizing brings with it. To become more advanced and have more personal conveniences, they definitely benefit from planned organization and structure. The benefactors benefit too, by being charitable in their outlook. It all goes around in a never ending circle. BUT ... it requires a LOT of THOUGHT to put it all into efficient practice.