Love of God, self, and others

Readers’ comments today have been so excellent and important that many of them have been posted as new entries. In the entry about Britain’s anti-British opening Olympics ceremony, Michael K., who wrote the initial entry, expands on my point that liberalism is about self-hatred and hatred of existence. He shows how such hatred violates the Torah and Gospel commandment that we are to love others as we love ourselves. In reply, I argue (quoting a previously unpublished draft) that the liberal interpretation of that commandment, which is that we are to love others unconditionally, is false, since obviously we are not to love ourselves unconditionally, but rather in the light of, and under the discipline of, our love of God.

I wrote:

A liberal literalist might say that since the first commandment is to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind; and since the second commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves; and since the second command is “like the first,” therefore we’re supposed to love our neighbor just as we’re supposed to love God—with our whole heart, soul, and mind. In reality, Jesus tells his followers to love the neighbor as one loves oneself, not as one loves God. It would be an absurdity to say that God wants us to love ourselves unconditionally, with our whole heart, soul, and mind. Therefore we are not to love our neighbor that way either. We are commanded to love and follow God, and once we do that, we will know how to feel and behave rightly toward ourselves and our neighbor as well.

- end of initial entry -

July 24

Juan writes:

This thought process has led us to the increase of narcissism throughout our society. People have become so self- absorbed and infatuated that they do love themselves in an unintended way. Since they worship themselves, they are then required to worship others.

LA replies:

Exactly. Once we make unlimited love of self our ideal and our highest value, we must have unlimited love of other selves.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 23, 2012 05:25 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):