Thursday, September 21, 2006

Agapic Love

Have you ever thought about how to define love? We can give a description of it -- love is patient, kind etc. That is what love is like. But what is love? We typically say it's not a a feeling, it's an action or a virtue perhaps. There seem to be different kinds of love -- erotic, friend-love, parental-love, marital-love, divine-love. Some seem to just "happen" to you, like infatuation or the feeling you have for your baby. Some seem to require a great deal of will and work, as in marriage.

So can we talk about mature, agapic love as a state or in terms of actions? Do I say that Smith is "loving" the same way I say that Smith is "humble?" Or can it only exist in our actions? You can't be loving, you can only do loving things. If you do enough loving things consistently over time, I suppose we might say you are a loving person. But then is love just your tendency to do nice things for others? Or is love simply your actions themselves?

Consider Jesus in Gethsemane. What is love in this case? Jesus' feelings toward God or toward humanity? Or is love simply Jesus' choice to go to the cross? Can we say, "There, that's love!" And by that, we mean that event -- the choosing to submit to the Father's will.

I think if agapic love simply is an event that humans can bring about by their choices, then it requires freewill. This is what my paper is about.

These are just some rambling thoughts. I'd love any comments you guys & gals might have. My rough draft is due next Wed. (9/27).


Blogger derek said...

hey Chris, cool psot man. As you know, i would have to agree.

For me, the idea of free-will makes love beautiful to me. The idea that someone made a choice, one that at times probably didn't feel very good, b/c they wanted to serve me makes me feel valued, important. It is the willingness to be uncomfortable, even feel pain, that communicates how much they care

Blessings Chris

3:54 PM  
Anonymous joel Ringdahl said...

Because I think you need a devil's advocate, I will stir the pot.

Does choice making necessarily infer free will? What if, by manipulating the consequences of choices, I can manipulate the choices someone makes? Are their choices still a product of free will? Or, is their choice making now a product of determinism?

Just trying to give you food for thought on your paper. My point being, the act of choosing does not infer or prove free will.

9:55 PM  
Blogger chris said...

You're absolutely right. My paper has developed a good bit since last week, and I think I can make a good case. I'll put it in another post.

12:32 PM  

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