Monday, February 26, 2007

Love, Truth and who we really are?

I am reading this and this which got me thinking about:

Most people would identify love as being essentially selfless. Love should not expect any rewards otherwise we wonder if it truly is love. Right?
So we have a husband who keeps on visiting his comatose wife who can not respond in any way to his gestures about love. We say that is a very loving thing to do. But we can also see that it is out of his sense of duty or obligation that he continues to do what is clearly something he would not do naturally. He does is duty. But isn’t even his duty something that fulfills some personally directed motive? Essentially, selfish? But yet we say this is a good thing for him to do. So what do we do? Change our definition of love so that we include selfish motives as acceptable reasons for loving? Can we trust ourselves enough to say that? Even if it is duty why is one thing seen as a duty and another thing seen gratuitous? Do we need to change our understanding of who we are? Are we essentially good or intrinsically bad or flawed? I love this stuff - it is fascinating.


jc said...

"Do we need to change our understanding of who we are? Are we essentially good or intrinsically bad or flawed?"

Do you think that this may be a false dichotomy? Is is possible to classify the entire human race as either one or the other? Rather, is it possible to judge a persons goodness or badness on individual actions and merit?

Paul Morgun said...

Is it also possible that you will make your head explode, thinking all this... :)

Incoming... said...

yeah paul pretty much ---kaboom---
I think what is cool about this topic is that in the half dozen conversations I have had on this topic - it has been pretty much impossible to come up with all the pat answers and still sound remotely intelligent.
I guess I never really thought that identifying the nature of humanity as being a false dichotomy. I guess rationally it would make some sense to me that we would be one or the other (good or bad) if we were neither or both I wonder why we tend not to trust our own motives and intentions.
So with my example up there it would seem that for this person to not visit his no responsive wife would be looked on with disdain by society. If the man didn't actually do something for his wife and did as he pleased or as suited him and his own desires we would be quick to point out that he is not being loving.
If this is a flase dichotomy how would you see us talking about the of humanity?