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Love

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  • Jim Aiden
    I ve been so busy posting replies today, I haven t had time to get down to what I really wanted to say. Does this description of love fall in the acceptable
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 26, 2001
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      I've been so busy posting replies today, I haven't had time to get
      down to what I really wanted to say. Does this description of love
      fall in the acceptable range for the 'hardened' existential mind?

      Love is when you don't need to be selfish anymore. You have
      someone else to do it for you.... and you for they.

      J.Aiden
    • Ryan Dewald
      Incomplete I would say, but definitely one aspect of love that may or may not be present in a given relationship. -Ryan ... From: Jim Aiden
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 26, 2001
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        Incomplete I would say, but definitely one aspect of love that may or may
        not be present in a given relationship.

        -Ryan

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Jim Aiden [mailto:livewild@...]
        Sent: Monday, November 26, 2001 3:33 PM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] Love



        I've been so busy posting replies today, I haven't had time to get
        down to what I really wanted to say. Does this description of love
        fall in the acceptable range for the 'hardened' existential mind?

        Love is when you don't need to be selfish anymore. You have
        someone else to do it for you.... and you for they.

        J.Aiden



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      • james tan
        your prescriptoin of love is certainly one that will maintain relationship for a long time. james. From: Jim Aiden Reply-To:
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 26, 2001
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          your prescriptoin of love is certainly one that will maintain relationship
          for a long time.

          james.





          From: "Jim Aiden" <livewild@...>
          Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [existlist] Love
          Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 22:33:07 -0000


          I've been so busy posting replies today, I haven't had time to get
          down to what I really wanted to say. Does this description of love
          fall in the acceptable range for the 'hardened' existential mind?

          Love is when you don't need to be selfish anymore. You have
          someone else to do it for you.... and you for they.

          J.Aiden



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          Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
        • gamine22@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/26/01 2:36:40 PM, livewild@hotmail.com writes:
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 26, 2001
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            In a message dated 11/26/01 2:36:40 PM, livewild@... writes:

            << Love is when you don't need to be selfish anymore. You have
            someone else to do it for you.... and you for they. >>

            a while ago i realized that i had forgotten one of the most important things
            in life: that there is a place where people love you no matter what you do,
            who you are, or what you believe. they just love you because they can and
            they love loving you. this place because is who you are and who/ where you
            can turn to.

            dubstar
          • jimstuart51
            All, Since Kierkegaard s Works of Love , little has been written by existentialists on the subject of love. As Iris Murdoch has argued (in The Soverentity of
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 4, 2009
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              All,

              Since Kierkegaard's "Works of Love", little has been written by existentialists on the subject of love.

              As Iris Murdoch has argued (in "The Soverentity of Good") this is a big ommision.

              Here are my own thoughts (sorry for the excessive length):

              It is generally agreed that our modern English word `love' covers two ancient concepts: the Ancient Greek (pagan) concept of Eros – sexual or erotic love – and the Christian concept Agape – a non-erotic love which is characterised by selfless giving and helping others in need. Agape was translated as `charity' in the King James Bible, and is close to the Humean idea of benevolence and the Eastern idea of compassion.

              Whilst not dissenting from this view, I shall suggest that there are three primary kinds of love, which have overlapping characteristics. These I call `parent love', `partner love' and `neighbour love'.
              Parent love, manifested most clearly in a mother's love for her newly-born child, is the most natural of the three primary cases of love. Usually, but not always, parents love their children, attending to their needs, playing with them, encouraging them, and feeling their successes and failures as if they were their own. In most case, parents are concerned for their children's welfare and want to put the well-being and flourishing of their children ahead of their own well-being and flourishing. In fact, no conflict is usually experienced by the parent. The parent is happy and flourishes in tandem with the happiness and flourishing of the child.
              Partner love, although generally following on from a bio-chemical sexual attraction, is more a matter of culture than of nature. Certainly it is more a cultural phenomenon than parent love.
              I suggest that partner love is a hybrid of three elements – Eros (the love of sexual attraction), romantic love (a love based on culturally-transmitted mythical ideas of adventure, status and an idyllic lifestyle where the loved-up couple are "happy ever after") and what I call a been-through-it-together love (a love based on shared trials and tribulations often connected with the difficulties of pregnancy, child-birth, rearing young and teenage children and making sacrifices to achieve financial security).

              I also suggest that we are confused in our attitudes to partner love. In particular we are unsure whether to persist in a long-term relationship when the initially shared sexual desire for each other begins to wane. The high rate of divorce – roughly half of marriages end in divorce – suggests that we enter a long-term relationship of partner love with over-high, unrealistic expectations and we are surprised and confused when the fairy-tale ending which is a central element of romantic love fails to materialise.

              Later I suggest a number of positive character traits which can contribute to good-quality partner relationships, and hence which contribute to the good life. For now, I offer the following story as evidence of our confusion about partner love. Bertrand Russell recountered how during one of his marriages, he was riding his bicycle one day when it suddenly occurred to him that he no longer loved his wife. As a result of this sudden thought he rode home and began to plan for his separation and divorce. Now my question is this: Is partner love such that one can suddenly realize on a bicycle ride that one no longer loves one's partner? Is partner love just something that happens to us (or not), and for which we have no responsibility? Is partner love a purely experiential phenomenon or is it something that we ought to work at, that involves the will as much as, or more than pure feeling?

              The third primary kind of love I call `neighbour love' and this aspect of human existence has been wonderfully manifested in the words and deeds of the two joint founders of Christianity – Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus. Jesus explained neighbour love in the parable of the Good Samaritan, while Paul describes the character traits of the person who manifests neighbour love in Chapter 13 of his First Letter to the Corinthians.

              Paul describes the person who manifests neighbour love as "patient and kind, not jealous or boastful, nor arrogant or rude". He also writes that "love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful". Such a virtuous person lacks ego, and exhibits selfless concern for the well-being of others.

              For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness.

              I shall now list six kinds of love which I think should be labelled `secondary cases' because our use of the word `love' for these phenomena is parasitic on our understanding of the three primary kinds of love.

              First, what I call `activity love'. I use this term for those cases of human activities which individuals are so passionate about, we use the word `love' to characterise their passion. For example love of music, love of philosophy, love of tennis, love of the countryside. The person who loves walking in the countryside has a passion for this activity. He plans walks, looks forward to them, they are one of the highlights of his week or month, he devotes much of his spare time to them.

              Second, abstract love, where the object of the person's love is something in itself intangible or abstract. As examples consider love of truth, love of wisdom, love of knowledge, love of science, love of beauty, or, the highest of all, love of the Good. Similar to activity love in some ways, I think these abstract loves involve the individual's values more closely than is the case with activity love, and these loves orient the person's whole life more than the activity loves do. Activity loves are more compartmentalised, whilst abstract loves issue from the core of the individual's being.

              Third, love of God. Many theists claim to love God, and they manifest this love in a certain orientation away from the purely material and towards spiritual, even other-worldly, concerns. Theists characteristically claim that God loves them, and further that God's love for them is prior and necessary for them to be able to love God in return, and for them to be able to love their fellow human beings.
              My own outlook is humanistic and atheistic, so I consider this kind of love to be based on an error, and, as such, it involves, in my view, an element of delusion or deception.

              Fourth, friendship love. Close and enduring friendships can be cases of love, although we generally find it rather embarrassing to talk of loving friends. Traditionally this kind of love was called Platonic love.

              Fifth, sibling love. Love of one's brothers and sisters can be as intense as love of one's parents or children, although I suggest it usually is not. Arguably, a parent ought to love her children unconditionally, but I see no reason why an individual should love a sibling or a parent unconditionally. If one has been abused by a parent or a sibling, it is perfectly appropriate for the victim to not love her relative; it may even be appropriate for the victim to hate the relative in question.

              Finally, self love. I think this is an ambiguous term as there is, I suggest, a good way to love oneself and a bad way to love oneself. If one cares about one's own well-being and, for example, eats healthily, keeps oneself clean and reasonably fit, does not take unnecessary risks with one's health and well-being, pushes oneself to achieve worthwhile goals, then this seems clearly to be a good kind of self love. The bad kind of self love is the self love of the narcissist who is excessively concerned about his own status and his own projects to the detriment of his concern for the well-being of others.

              I now move from predominantly descriptive remarks about the various kinds of love, to predominantly prescriptive remarks concerning how best love can be developed to be a positive and essential aspect of the good life.

              I start with the negative. I suggest there are three distinct character traits which work against the development of love. I shall personify these character traits into three personality types.

              First the egotist or narcissist, the individual who is obsessed with his own status and projects to such a degree that he is not sensitive to the feelings, needs and preferences of others. Like the priest and the Levite in Jesus', such a person focuses exclusively on his own goals and he is blind to the presence of the other.

              Second the control freak, the individual whose motivation is to control the lives of others. Parent love, partner love and neighbour love are all corrupted by the desire of the control freak to determine the course of the other's life. The controlling parent has his own ambitions for his child and will not tolerate the child expressing ambitions or values contrary to those of the parent. The controlling lover thinks he knows what is best for his partner and seeks to order her life so she is best able to achieve the plans he has for her. The controlling lover suffers inappropriately high levels of jealousy, and cannot stand his partner choosing her own friends or developing interests and passions which do not centre around himself. Neighbour love is corrupted by the control freak who feels he knows what is best for his neighbour and makes his generosity conditional on the neighbour towing the line. One example is those Christian charities which make their donations of food conditional on the poor attending Christian indoctrination classes.

              Third, the individual who manifests what Nietzsche termed `ressentiment', and is close to the English word `resentment'. Unlike the egotists, the person full of resentment does not focus his thought on himself, but focuses his concerns on the other, but in a bad way. According to Nietzsche, the resentful person is unhappy with his own lot in life, and rather than seeking to change his circumstances and seek happiness for himself, he aims to makes others as miserable as he is. He cannot abide the other enjoying herself, and he is on a mission to make the other as miserable as he is.

              In summary, the three negative character traits, which are common to a greater or lesser extent in most of us, more so in men than in women in my experience, prevent the three primary cases of love (parent love, partner love and neighbour love) from developing to full fruition. So, for parent love, partner love and neighbour love to develop unimpeded, the following three contrasting character traits are needed.

              First, a selflessness in which the individual is as concerned with the other's well-being and personal projects as with his own. Second, a genuine respect for the other as an equal, and a respect for the other's autonomy. A wish to impose his own values on himself only, and not on the other. Third, a generosity of spirit that genuinely wants the other to be happy and wants the other's life to go well.
              To conclude: love in all its forms contributes to the good life, and it is good to promote it. To develop love in ourselves we must overcome our natural tendencies to egotism, control freakery and resentment. The loving person has a generosity of spirit, she genuinely wants the loved one to lead a happy, fulfilled, flourishing, autonomous life. She is a facilitator rather than a controller.

              Finally, a word of caution. Love is often claimed to be the answer to everything, however, by contrast, I suggest that love is only one of the virtues conducive to living the good life. To advocate love as the only ethical requirement is not really to offer anything substantial. Saint Augustine famously said "Love and do what you will", and whilst this may be a useful antidote to excessive legalism and casuistry, it can be read as just a sentimental platitude.

              Love is certainly a virtue, possibly the central virtue, but, I suggest, there is a unity of the virtues, and the virtuous person not only manifests love, but also manifests the other core virtues such as truthfulness, justice, temperance, courage, prudence, constancy, amiability, etc.

              Any thoughts?

              Jim
            • bhvwd
              ... Certainly it is apt grist for SK who knew little and therefore resorted to love. You just will not cut away from such spirous thinking and discussing
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 4, 2009
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                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                >
                > All,
                >
                > Since Kierkegaard's "Works of Love", little has been written by existentialists on the subject of love.
                >
                > As Iris Murdoch has argued (in "The Soverentity of Good") this is a big ommision.
                >
                > Here are my own thoughts (sorry for the excessive length):
                >
                > It is generally agreed that our modern English word `love' covers two ancient concepts: the Ancient Greek (pagan) concept of Eros – sexual or erotic love – and the Christian concept Agape – a non-erotic love which is characterised by selfless giving and helping others in need. Agape was translated as `charity' in the King James Bible, and is close to the Humean idea of benevolence and the Eastern idea of compassion.
                >
                > Whilst not dissenting from this view, I shall suggest that there are three primary kinds of love, which have overlapping characteristics. These I call `parent love', `partner love' and `neighbour love'.
                > Parent love, manifested most clearly in a mother's love for her newly-born child, is the most natural of the three primary cases of love. Usually, but not always, parents love their children, attending to their needs, playing with them, encouraging them, and feeling their successes and failures as if they were their own. In most case, parents are concerned for their children's welfare and want to put the well-being and flourishing of their children ahead of their own well-being and flourishing. In fact, no conflict is usually experienced by the parent. The parent is happy and flourishes in tandem with the happiness and flourishing of the child.
                > Partner love, although generally following on from a bio-chemical sexual attraction, is more a matter of culture than of nature. Certainly it is more a cultural phenomenon than parent love.
                > I suggest that partner love is a hybrid of three elements – Eros (the love of sexual attraction), romantic love (a love based on culturally-transmitted mythical ideas of adventure, status and an idyllic lifestyle where the loved-up couple are "happy ever after") and what I call a been-through-it-together love (a love based on shared trials and tribulations often connected with the difficulties of pregnancy, child-birth, rearing young and teenage children and making sacrifices to achieve financial security).
                >
                > I also suggest that we are confused in our attitudes to partner love. In particular we are unsure whether to persist in a long-term relationship when the initially shared sexual desire for each other begins to wane. The high rate of divorce – roughly half of marriages end in divorce – suggests that we enter a long-term relationship of partner love with over-high, unrealistic expectations and we are surprised and confused when the fairy-tale ending which is a central element of romantic love fails to materialise.
                >
                > Later I suggest a number of positive character traits which can contribute to good-quality partner relationships, and hence which contribute to the good life. For now, I offer the following story as evidence of our confusion about partner love. Bertrand Russell recountered how during one of his marriages, he was riding his bicycle one day when it suddenly occurred to him that he no longer loved his wife. As a result of this sudden thought he rode home and began to plan for his separation and divorce. Now my question is this: Is partner love such that one can suddenly realize on a bicycle ride that one no longer loves one's partner? Is partner love just something that happens to us (or not), and for which we have no responsibility? Is partner love a purely experiential phenomenon or is it something that we ought to work at, that involves the will as much as, or more than pure feeling?
                >
                > The third primary kind of love I call `neighbour love' and this aspect of human existence has been wonderfully manifested in the words and deeds of the two joint founders of Christianity – Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus. Jesus explained neighbour love in the parable of the Good Samaritan, while Paul describes the character traits of the person who manifests neighbour love in Chapter 13 of his First Letter to the Corinthians.
                >
                > Paul describes the person who manifests neighbour love as "patient and kind, not jealous or boastful, nor arrogant or rude". He also writes that "love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful". Such a virtuous person lacks ego, and exhibits selfless concern for the well-being of others.
                >
                > For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness.
                >
                > I shall now list six kinds of love which I think should be labelled `secondary cases' because our use of the word `love' for these phenomena is parasitic on our understanding of the three primary kinds of love.
                >
                > First, what I call `activity love'. I use this term for those cases of human activities which individuals are so passionate about, we use the word `love' to characterise their passion. For example love of music, love of philosophy, love of tennis, love of the countryside. The person who loves walking in the countryside has a passion for this activity. He plans walks, looks forward to them, they are one of the highlights of his week or month, he devotes much of his spare time to them.
                >
                > Second, abstract love, where the object of the person's love is something in itself intangible or abstract. As examples consider love of truth, love of wisdom, love of knowledge, love of science, love of beauty, or, the highest of all, love of the Good. Similar to activity love in some ways, I think these abstract loves involve the individual's values more closely than is the case with activity love, and these loves orient the person's whole life more than the activity loves do. Activity loves are more compartmentalised, whilst abstract loves issue from the core of the individual's being.
                >
                > Third, love of God. Many theists claim to love God, and they manifest this love in a certain orientation away from the purely material and towards spiritual, even other-worldly, concerns. Theists characteristically claim that God loves them, and further that God's love for them is prior and necessary for them to be able to love God in return, and for them to be able to love their fellow human beings.
                > My own outlook is humanistic and atheistic, so I consider this kind of love to be based on an error, and, as such, it involves, in my view, an element of delusion or deception.
                >
                > Fourth, friendship love. Close and enduring friendships can be cases of love, although we generally find it rather embarrassing to talk of loving friends. Traditionally this kind of love was called Platonic love.
                >
                > Fifth, sibling love. Love of one's brothers and sisters can be as intense as love of one's parents or children, although I suggest it usually is not. Arguably, a parent ought to love her children unconditionally, but I see no reason why an individual should love a sibling or a parent unconditionally. If one has been abused by a parent or a sibling, it is perfectly appropriate for the victim to not love her relative; it may even be appropriate for the victim to hate the relative in question.
                >
                > Finally, self love. I think this is an ambiguous term as there is, I suggest, a good way to love oneself and a bad way to love oneself. If one cares about one's own well-being and, for example, eats healthily, keeps oneself clean and reasonably fit, does not take unnecessary risks with one's health and well-being, pushes oneself to achieve worthwhile goals, then this seems clearly to be a good kind of self love. The bad kind of self love is the self love of the narcissist who is excessively concerned about his own status and his own projects to the detriment of his concern for the well-being of others.
                >
                > I now move from predominantly descriptive remarks about the various kinds of love, to predominantly prescriptive remarks concerning how best love can be developed to be a positive and essential aspect of the good life.
                >
                > I start with the negative. I suggest there are three distinct character traits which work against the development of love. I shall personify these character traits into three personality types.
                >
                > First the egotist or narcissist, the individual who is obsessed with his own status and projects to such a degree that he is not sensitive to the feelings, needs and preferences of others. Like the priest and the Levite in Jesus', such a person focuses exclusively on his own goals and he is blind to the presence of the other.
                >
                > Second the control freak, the individual whose motivation is to control the lives of others. Parent love, partner love and neighbour love are all corrupted by the desire of the control freak to determine the course of the other's life. The controlling parent has his own ambitions for his child and will not tolerate the child expressing ambitions or values contrary to those of the parent. The controlling lover thinks he knows what is best for his partner and seeks to order her life so she is best able to achieve the plans he has for her. The controlling lover suffers inappropriately high levels of jealousy, and cannot stand his partner choosing her own friends or developing interests and passions which do not centre around himself. Neighbour love is corrupted by the control freak who feels he knows what is best for his neighbour and makes his generosity conditional on the neighbour towing the line. One example is those Christian charities which make their donations of food conditional on the poor attending Christian indoctrination classes.
                >
                > Third, the individual who manifests what Nietzsche termed `ressentiment', and is close to the English word `resentment'. Unlike the egotists, the person full of resentment does not focus his thought on himself, but focuses his concerns on the other, but in a bad way. According to Nietzsche, the resentful person is unhappy with his own lot in life, and rather than seeking to change his circumstances and seek happiness for himself, he aims to makes others as miserable as he is. He cannot abide the other enjoying herself, and he is on a mission to make the other as miserable as he is.
                >
                > In summary, the three negative character traits, which are common to a greater or lesser extent in most of us, more so in men than in women in my experience, prevent the three primary cases of love (parent love, partner love and neighbour love) from developing to full fruition. So, for parent love, partner love and neighbour love to develop unimpeded, the following three contrasting character traits are needed.
                >
                > First, a selflessness in which the individual is as concerned with the other's well-being and personal projects as with his own. Second, a genuine respect for the other as an equal, and a respect for the other's autonomy. A wish to impose his own values on himself only, and not on the other. Third, a generosity of spirit that genuinely wants the other to be happy and wants the other's life to go well.
                > To conclude: love in all its forms contributes to the good life, and it is good to promote it. To develop love in ourselves we must overcome our natural tendencies to egotism, control freakery and resentment. The loving person has a generosity of spirit, she genuinely wants the loved one to lead a happy, fulfilled, flourishing, autonomous life. She is a facilitator rather than a controller.
                >
                > Finally, a word of caution. Love is often claimed to be the answer to everything, however, by contrast, I suggest that love is only one of the virtues conducive to living the good life. To advocate love as the only ethical requirement is not really to offer anything substantial. Saint Augustine famously said "Love and do what you will", and whilst this may be a useful antidote to excessive legalism and casuistry, it can be read as just a sentimental platitude.
                >
                > Love is certainly a virtue, possibly the central virtue, but, I suggest, there is a unity of the virtues, and the virtuous person not only manifests love, but also manifests the other core virtues such as truthfulness, justice, temperance, courage, prudence, constancy, amiability, etc.
                >
                > Any thoughts?
                >
                > Jim
                >Oh yes, Jim!I have never thought of you as an existentialist just as I do not accept love as a concept useful to existentialism. I will not attempt to follow your tripartite confusion about what is a belief. No matter how many segments you cut it into your love is just christian mind control. I will not be controlled by a priestly demand to love all sorts of people and things and gods.
                Certainly it is apt grist for SK who knew little and therefore resorted to love. You just will not cut away from such spirous thinking and discussing your belief lattice is a waste of synapse. It is the same old game, protestants wanting to be hip and blabbering about love. I would rather roll in the filth of our friendly poronographers who haunt this site. At least they know what they are trying to sell.Peace and lust, Bill
              • shadowed_statue
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 4, 2009
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                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "bhvwd" <v.valleywestdental@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:

                  > > Finally, a word of caution. Love is often claimed to be the answer to everything, however, by contrast, I suggest that love is only one of the virtues conducive to living the good life. To advocate love as the only ethical requirement is not really to offer anything substantial. Saint Augustine famously said "Love and do what you will", and whilst this may be a useful antidote to excessive legalism and casuistry, it can be read as just a sentimental platitude.
                  > >
                  > > Love is certainly a virtue, possibly the central virtue, but, I suggest, there is a unity of the virtues, and the virtuous person not only manifests love, but also manifests the other core virtues such as truthfulness, justice, temperance, courage, prudence, constancy, amiability, etc.
                  > >
                  > > Any thoughts?
                  > >
                  > > Jim
                  > >Oh yes, Jim!I have never thought of you as an existentialist just as I do not accept love as a concept useful to existentialism. I will not attempt to follow your tripartite confusion about what is a belief. No matter how many segments you cut it into your love is just christian mind control. I will not be controlled by a priestly demand to love all sorts of people and things and gods.
                  > Certainly it is apt grist for SK who knew little and therefore resorted to love. You just will not cut away from such spirous thinking and discussing your belief lattice is a waste of synapse. It is the same old game, protestants wanting to be hip and blabbering about love. I would rather roll in the filth of our friendly poronographers who haunt this site. At least they know what they are trying to sell.Peace and lust, Bill
                  >However, Jim has described himself as a humanist and atheist, so a critique that attributes to him an idea of love as christian mind control is, potentially at least, premature. All of these descriptive terms are mutable in meaning, and the amount of bullshit involved in our long-running discussions here cannot be quickly cleared away. SK did not involve himself in any enterprise in which he did not know exactly what he was letting himself in for, hence his exemplary conduct, from the standpoint of honour, and the lack of hypocrisy in the way he practised an orthodox, compassionate ethics that evolved to Christian faith. I'm not convinced that the pornographers are either friendly, or, from an existentialist point of view, really know what they are selling, but that would be asking a little too much from commercial opportunists and lubricious narcissists. This subject-matter is difficult to steer away from moral questions, where I am hardly qualified to command credibility, but duty has called, and a merely literary soldier must respond as best she may. The grotesquerie keeps me out of worse mischief for the present. I believe in peace, and, if lust were in the question, would believe in that too. This is England calling, and here there is much hate, sadly. The Second Coming has arrived at a time when all are unprepared, and most are kept from seeing the signs. The secret lodges of the North-East hold all the answers. Louise
                • tom
                  I think the meaning of love and do what you will is that if a person has love for his fellow beings and his life is dominated by his love for them, the other
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 4, 2009
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                    I think the meaning of love and do what you will is that if a person has love for his fellow beings and his life is dominated by his love for them, the other virtues would be axiomatic. These lesser virtues are the manifestation of a caring regard for the well being of all.

                    Tom





                    > Love is certainly a virtue, possibly the central virtue, but, I suggest, there is a unity of the virtues, and the virtuous person not only manifests love, but also manifests the other core virtues such as truthfulness, justice, temperance, courage, prudence, constancy, amiability, etc.


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: shadowed_statue
                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 4:38 PM
                    Subject: [existlist] Re: Love


                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "bhvwd" <v.valleywestdental@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:

                    > > Finally, a word of caution. Love is often claimed to be the answer to everything, however, by contrast, I suggest that love is only one of the virtues conducive to living the good life. To advocate love as the only ethical requirement is not really to offer anything substantial. Saint Augustine famously said "Love and do what you will", and whilst this may be a useful antidote to excessive legalism and casuistry, it can be read as just a sentimental platitude.
                    > >
                    > > Love is certainly a virtue, possibly the central virtue, but, I suggest, there is a unity of the virtues, and the virtuous person not only manifests love, but also manifests the other core virtues such as truthfulness, justice, temperance, courage, prudence, constancy, amiability, etc.
                    > >
                    > > Any thoughts?
                    > >
                    > > Jim
                    > >Oh yes, Jim!I have never thought of you as an existentialist just as I do not accept love as a concept useful to existentialism. I will not attempt to follow your tripartite confusion about what is a belief. No matter how many segments you cut it into your love is just christian mind control. I will not be controlled by a priestly demand to love all sorts of people and things and gods.
                    > Certainly it is apt grist for SK who knew little and therefore resorted to love. You just will not cut away from such spirous thinking and discussing your belief lattice is a waste of synapse. It is the same old game, protestants wanting to be hip and blabbering about love. I would rather roll in the filth of our friendly poronographers who haunt this site. At least they know what they are trying to sell.Peace and lust, Bill
                    >However, Jim has described himself as a humanist and atheist, so a critique that attributes to him an idea of love as christian mind control is, potentially at least, premature. All of these descriptive terms are mutable in meaning, and the amount of bullshit involved in our long-running discussions here cannot be quickly cleared away. SK did not involve himself in any enterprise in which he did not know exactly what he was letting himself in for, hence his exemplary conduct, from the standpoint of honour, and the lack of hypocrisy in the way he practised an orthodox, compassionate ethics that evolved to Christian faith. I'm not convinced that the pornographers are either friendly, or, from an existentialist point of view, really know what they are selling, but that would be asking a little too much from commercial opportunists and lubricious narcissists. This subject-matter is difficult to steer away from moral questions, where I am hardly qualified to command credibility, but duty has called, and a merely literary soldier must respond as best she may. The grotesquerie keeps me out of worse mischief for the present. I believe in peace, and, if lust were in the question, would believe in that too. This is England calling, and here there is much hate, sadly. The Second Coming has arrived at a time when all are unprepared, and most are kept from seeing the signs. The secret lodges of the North-East hold all the answers. Louise





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                  • Shining Rainbow
                    I am a self taught existentialist, as in I have experienced much and read little. I reckon my views will be ripped apart in this list. But I ll have a go
                    Message 9 of 10 , Sep 4, 2009
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                      I am a self taught existentialist, as in I have experienced much and
                      read little. I reckon my views will be ripped apart in this list. But
                      I'll have a go anyway.
                      Is it not existentialist view that all external phenomena are pure
                      subjective sense interpretation, and therefore akin to nothing? The
                      "tree falling in the forest - there is no tree" thing.
                      And all sense of self at the personality level is subconcious
                      mechanism around attachment to the mistaken view that there is an
                      objective continuum of external phenomena.
                      So, personality is nothing too.

                      But if one takes this nothingness to an experiential level, rather
                      than a intellectual one - what is this nothingness?
                      Does taking responsibility for the ultimate nothingness of everything
                      not lead to the deep inner sensation of abiding peace? Compassion...
                      Love?

                      At an intellectual level existentialism is nihilistic, but
                      experientially it is as abundant as Buddha's belly.

                      - Rainbow
                    • jimstuart51
                      Hi Tom, Yes, I think what you write is correct, and fits in with what I said about the unity of the virtues – if an individual is a genuine loving person
                      Message 10 of 10 , Sep 5, 2009
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                        Hi Tom,

                        Yes, I think what you write is correct, and fits in with what I said about "the unity of the virtues" – if an individual is a genuine loving person he or she will possess the other virtues as well.

                        The point I was trying to make was that an individual needs to understand that it is good to tell the truth, it is good to treat others justly, etc. in order to fully understand what he means to love another person.

                        Jim



                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I think the meaning of love and do what you will is that if a person has love for his fellow beings and his life is dominated by his love for them, the other virtues would be axiomatic. These lesser virtues are the manifestation of a caring regard for the well being of all.
                        >
                        > Tom
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > > Love is certainly a virtue, possibly the central virtue, but, I suggest, there is a unity of the virtues, and the virtuous person not only manifests love, but also manifests the other core virtues such as truthfulness, justice, temperance, courage, prudence, constancy, amiability, etc.
                        >
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