Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


The myth that love is all we need, it has a bad side

Love has a bad side.  Love's goodness is not obvious and we must remember that we want to be loved so that creates a perceptual bias.

What does love mean?  People tend to get its definition wrong and all definitions have their problems.  When love is vague it is open to abusing. 

Does love need an opposite? Why?  It helps define love clearly or should.  If love is what is best for others then its opposite is what is worst.  If love is acceptance then its opposite is rejection.  If love treats a person as precious its opposite turns them into a  mere object that does not matter.  If love gives then its opposite takes. 

Despite that it is still not clear. 

If there is a problem with good being vague then love has to be even vaguer. 

It is said that good is real but evil is just not real and is in fact good that is too weak or goes too far.  Is good really good if evil is not real and not an opposite?  Boundaries are clear when a and non-a are direct opposites.  Good is vague in itself and vague also in how we try to perceive it which makes it worse. 

Love has to be vague for it is unclear what it's opposite is supposed to be. 

There are two candidates.  Hate is one.

It is said that the opposite is not hate for hate admits that the other person is there and your problem is that you care about what you want them to be so concern is there somewhere even if it is warped.  Hate wants the other to be degraded and suffer and treated like an object because of some problem you have with them so it follows that if they pleased you you would stop hating them.  Hate then is conditional.

We talk about unconditional love so is unconditional hate possible?  This is a very difficult question and this kind of hate would clearly be the reverse of love, the direct opposite.  It would be the converse of unconditional love and also conditional love for it rejects love in good and bad forms so it is a very complete rejection of love.

Those who say the opposite is not hate by a process of elimination decide that it is indifference/apathy. 

A process of elimination is hardly proof that what is left is an opposite.  Not everything has to have an opposite.  If complete intelligence exists that does not mean complete stupidity has to exist.

Nobody wants unconditional hate to be the opposite of love which shows up what those people really are and how fake deep down our morality is.  They don't want a diagnosis of the problem because that leads to tackling the problem.

Let us forget how we have found the true opposite of hate.

Is the opposite of love really indifference? 

Suppose the opposite is indifference - not noticing they are there or choosing not to notice.  The problem is that indifference is not about helping or hindering but ignoring while hate is wanting to hurt the other person for you just intensely dislike them.  If love is not there then hate or indifference is there.  Indifference is not a vacuum or void - it is something. 

If love is not there then it is best to be indifferent through not noticing rather than choosing to be indifferent or hate. 

What does this principle teach us?  It teaches that the real concern is being morally virtuous in the name of loving others when in fact there is no real love.  A morality that prefers people to be by luck indifferent if it means they are not hating or being deliberately indifferent is not about what is best for people and so is about "virtue" and is not a morality at all.

Unconditional love is wanting the best for others without it being about you trying to value yourself as good or for getting any good feelings/rewards.  It is just love.

For Christians love to be real has no conditions. Unconditional love is love that makes no demands.

Therefore it is not about you fulfilling a need to just love or to love a particular person.

Love is a free gift that asks for nothing back not even love.

It wants others to be happy even if it means they have to leave you and stop loving you. It celebrates their happiness.

Conditional love then is mild hate for it is about rejecting and devaluing the person in such a way that it looks like accepting and taking while it looks like giving.  It is a lie.

Hate is an evil but evil has its problems too as well as love and is one of the reasons love is not as clear in meaning as it likes to look.

So far we have learned that love is vague for its opposites are vague too and we all mix love and evil together.  Unconditional love then is a lie.  To say God loves us like that is an insult for how can creatures like us know what unconditional love means?  It will be coloured by our warped and prejudicial idea of love.

Let us ask if love/hate/indifference is real then how it comes about.

What is love derived from?  Hate?  Indifference?

What is hate derived from?  Love?  Indifference?

What is indifference derived from?  Hate?  Love?

Do they just appear?

Indifference is more natural and common than either love or hate so indifference grows into love or hate.

How does love get along with reason?

Reason is a tool that gives you a dignity that non-humans do not have and you can avoid error with it by thinking correctly and in tune with what is real for what is real does not care about what you think.  But you need to think correctly to avoid dangers.  So reason and love go together in principle but in practice reason cannot tell you it is wrong to look after yourself and your family and ignore the pain outside your front door.  Reason works through showing up contradictions but there is no contradiction in that or in the view that for some reason only you and perhaps your loved ones exist while everybody else is just an illusion.  The paradox is that love is needed by reason while reason and love attack each other.

Reason cannot prove that anybody else exists apart from you and maybe your family.  So it is not helpful if you are going to love somebody other than yourself.  There is no logical absurdity in thinking you alone are real and living in some dream.

That again shows that love is vague.

Clear definition or not, in practical terms love is hard to apply.  This is another deep and huge and destructive problem.  Take Mormons.  For them loving yourself meant being glad to have your blood spilled to atone for your sins. Loving your neighbour to death meant that you could call on fellow Mormons to stab or shoot you so that the blood would flow and your unpardonable sin would be dealt with.

Love is linked to harm and morality - ie justice and mercy and so on.

One reason love has a bad side is because the principle of do no harm is intrinsically imperfect and not as harm-free as it looks.

Something being very very common and done by most and which seems to do no harm or does no harm it could still be morally wrong.  Insurance fraud on a small scale is still somehow bad.  Harmless does not mean something is morally right.  A harmless deed that is morally wrong then calls for a harm to be inflicted on the perpetrator for punishment. The distance between morality and harm makes the whole subject more confusing.  Love and rules then must go together.  Yet they seem to be two different things and it seems degrading to link love to rules like that. 

Depending on the nature of the harm it is harm to tell or force somebody not to harm themselves if they want to.

Protecting people from themselves can harm their right to privacy so it is exchanging one form of harm for another.

We see examples of bad love such as pedophiles loving their victims.  So love is intrinsically imperfect for it can bear such bad fruit.

Love is so subjective that you can find you really have some kind of contempt for the person you think you love.  It is tied to how you feel and feelings can make you feel tied to them.  You feel a bit enslaved by them.  So the love can easily turn toxic.

Love is risking being used.

It is risking being hurt.  You cannot risk that without also risking those who love you truly,

It is risking turning the other person into a harmful attachment.

Being too attached to a good person is not good for you.

You fear bad things happening to the object of your love.

You fear leaving them in some way perhaps by death.

Love is the risk of condoning. Consider how a relative or close friend's evil will be covered up by you.

Love is unselfishness or altruism.  If altruism is programmed into us or hardwired into us, then it is not the real deal. The real deal is about freely choosing to make good. If altruism is biological or programmed then it is not real and will easily get a man to fly into buildings in the name of sacrifice as it will get him to build a hospital for free.

Love has a dark side at the best of times.  It stands to reason that love cannot be always good.  In those cases, it is simply bad.  The problems in the world and the endless struggling are down to the fact that love is not really that good but is slow-burning evil.

GOD

If God hates sins and is enraged by them that is because he chooses to be. It is not because his mental state is captive to any feelings or attitudes. It is choice.  But when love is flawed and everybody admits it is very hard to love sinners and hate sins the view that "love sinners and hate sins" is just passive-aggressive hypocrisy is to be deemed correct.

The Bible assertion that perfect love casts out all fear is nonsense for love itself is not all good and cannot be. To accuse anybody with fear of not loving correctly is just bullying and proof that love as taught by early Christianity is not a good thing. Itís a lie first and foremost.

Hyping love up and turning it even into God - the Bible says God is love - is a disgrace.  Better to admit that love is flawed.

God is worshipped for being love for love is flawed.  We are no better than pagans who did not want to worship worthy gods.

THE THREAT

Love does not have a completely good side. It is about protecting the loved one and by implication you are resolving to destroy whoever or whatever threatens to hurt that person. It is about discriminating against yourself by agreeing to be hurt so somebody else might not be hurt.

How does this relate to loving God?  God cannot be hurt for he is all-powerful and is not a thing but a spirit.

It does not matter if God cannot be hurt. Even though God cannot be hurt loving God means you treat him as if he can be and hurt badly. The more you are to love God the more resolved you are to be to destroy whatever hurts him. And this problem will be terrible as you are to love him totally and be about him and make others all about how you relate to him. Loving God creates the fear of what others will do to God. The more you are trying to or succeeding in loving God the more intense the fear will get. The religious say that God has put fear in us for a reason so that we might recognise and desire and battle evil. Fear and love are incompatible. Those who love do not love as much as they say. Some flip-flop between what they see as love and outright fear. The bad side of love could be why religions of love lead to violence and are weak in handling violent situations and virtually make cruelty seem okay. Loving God and thinking you get his love are not good either.

WHAT ABOUT LOVING VULNERABLE PEOPLE?

Unconditional love seems to be about loving people but not loving them for their qualities or because you want something back such as the happiness they give or whatever. It does not try to find ways to justify or excuse their terrible behaviour and attitudes.  What if you cannot understand this behaviour? What effect does that have on the love?  You keep trying to help the person even as you see how dangerous they could be for you.  You take the risk for their sake but without pretending they are really good people but mistaken or that they will not lash out at you.

People seem to try to channel unconditional love when their loved ones get into trouble or have dangerous behavioural problems.  Where was the love before then?  Is the love being channelled now for the sake of making the other person your project that you can lavish goodness on?  If so then it is about you not the other.  The other person is not truly loved for she or he is being objectified as something to be sorted out.

Unconditional love of troubled people and addicts is constantly battling the temptation and risk of enabling those people to do the things that hurt them.

Another problem is how the person who loves them unconditionally tends to image that the love will in time cure their addictions and problems. Unconditional love never healed a broken arm. Donít think you are the one person who loves unconditionally where such miracles will happen. You are not. Your love then is too narcissistic to be really unconditional love.

The person themselves has to co-operate with any help given. Your love cannot help them but how they respond to you. So it is them.  Your love is not what they need.

Unconditional love tends to be an attempt to make up for how the person may not have been loved properly in the past. But you cannot replace the missing love a person never got in childhood. Trying to only hurts them over again.

The person will feel that God must love them but they will feel Godís message and affection are not coming through.

If a person has borderline personality disorder, no evidence of being loved will impact them. They just cannot feel loved and they think that that they feel about not being loved is the truth. Facts will not get through.  Imagine the harm belief does to them.  The notion that all you need is love for the religious person means all you need is God's love.  As God is that which supposedly made you and gives you all you have that is a major thing if you cannot see his love.  And what if the reason you cannot see it is that it really is not there!  It is obvious that religion has potential harm and must destroy vulnerable people merely by advocating faith in God.

Compassion is about putting yourself in the other's place to try and get a hint of how bad they feel and then acting on it to help them.  Its an action word.  Its more about attitude than feeling or belief.  But remember how selfish it is - it is you pretending you are not you so you can pretend you are them so that you can learn to help them.  But in fact it is not them you want to learn to help - it is yourself put in their place that you want to help.

The fact that love is stressed and compassion made into a subdivision of love shows that love is really just a mask.  Compassion is hard work but it is easy to cloak your selfish use of another person or lazy attitude to them by love for love is vague and all sorts of excuses exist for getting it wrong.  Love is vague in meaning and hard to apply.

EVIL

Love rules out evil regardless of whether it is an opposite or not.  The religious say that if you do harm you harm yourself in a way you cannot harm the victim - you damage your dignity and your ethical self.  It is like you become bad energy that fools even you and manipulates you.  This makes forgiveness a pile of foolishness and irresponsible and yet without forgiving there can be no love so love is suspect. 

FINALLY

Love is too vague so we cannot praise anybody's unconditional love. They say they love without reasons and thus tell us to see them as suspect.  The motives of love bombers and love promoters are not as good as we want to think.  Observation says that.  The principle says that.