Saturday, 18 January 2014

First love God - only then can you love neighbour. Likewise first love Truth - only then can you do philosophy or science

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36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 22: 36-40

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First Love God - because without God you cannot Love your neighbour.

Without Love of God, then love of neighbour becomes just 'altruism' - policies, laws, regulations; taxes; doles, welfare, subsidies, allowances, benefits... statecraft and suppression of those who oppose it.

Which is anti-Love.

We see this all around us. The experiment has been done - look at the results.

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Modern 'altruism' ('love thy neighbour') by those who do not first Love God is not just un-Loving but anti-Love: Hatred in the name of Love - which is much, much worse.

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(It takes a while for the cut-off of Love of God to work through a person and a culture - childhood beliefs and experiences have a lasting effect - but there has now been enough time that we can observe the consequences.)

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Philosophy and Science display the same dependence on Truth. 

First love Truth - because without it you cannot do philosophy or science or indeed any of the scholarly disciplines.

Without love of Truth, then all academic activity becomes careerism and expediency - dishonesty done in the name of Truth.

We see this all around us. The experiment has been done - look at the results.

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Modern research and scholarship by careerists who do not first believe in Truth is not just un-Truthful but anti-Truthful: dishonesty in the name of Truth - which is much, much worse.

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(It takes a while for the cut-off of Love of Truth to work through a person and a culture - childhood beliefs and experiences have a lasting effect - but there has now been enough time that we can observe the consequences.)

8 comments:

  1. This was the subject of Bible study this week. One person offered you only love God as much as you love the person you love least. Because we are made in his image and he has commanded us to love one another.

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  2. @Don - I think that is true - so long as we do not assume that the 'remedy' for loving God insufficiently is first to love more the person you love least.

    This is a complicated matter! But the way into it must be clear and simple - or else people won't even try to understand it.

    My way into it, is to use our Love of Men (especially family) to understand the nature of God's love for us (like a wise and loving Father) and ours for him (a grateful, trusting, loving child).

    I personally think this is a deeper truth than mere analogy - but even if regarded analogically it is the best 'way in' in my opinion.

    Therefore, the subversion of the understanding-of and respect-for the family is among the greatest evils of modernity - because it prevents (or inhibits) people from understanding God.

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    1. @Bruce,
      This is the same reasoning I use with my children regarding the nature of true love. God's gifts include the capacity for love. My thought is God wants us to exercise all his gifts. Just as we can become better artists or teachers by practice and achievement, so can we learn to love bettter by practice and enjoyment.

      Don
      P.S. perhaps all this practice is in anticipation of what the LDS church believes. Perhaps God has plans for us in the next life that his gifts in this life and how we use them are preparing us for.

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  3. Liberals try to break our understanding of this. They forget God and twist love of neighbor into love of sin. True love calls for rejection and punishment of sins like murder - not embracing and hugging a rapist or destroyer.

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  4. "Let God be true, and every man a liar."

    --Romans 3:4

    BASIC epistemological advice for every person, regardless of his opinions on whether Christ rose. Truth truly is the ONLY source of knowledge and wisdom, and there ought not to be any distinction between truth and reality when we use language to engage these matters. (I suppose that's why give Truth the capital-T treatment.)

    Truth-- as God Himself does, one might say-- always speaks for itself. I am working on some very as-of-yet undeveloped ideas regarding the nature of ideology, understood pathologically, as systematic thinking closed off from this basically revelational character of knowledge and truth. Ideologies presume an autonomous claim to true statements.

    P.S.
    From a young reader, thank you Dr. Charlton for your refreshingly original and realistic way of thinking these subjects through. You always challenge what I believe in a constructive manner, and I am grateful for this.

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  5. This is spot on Bruce. Further, the two are linked - without a love of God it is more difficult to orient oneself toward Truth. By focusing on the physical world and nothing else one necessarily turns towards falsehood

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  6. @D - thanks. Glad to have your endorsement.

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  7. @Don. Thanks for this.

    When I was a young atheist (aged six or so!) I was horrified that I was being told to love God more than my own Father. And indeed, I now believe this is a silly/ counter-productive thing to tell young children.

    But I now recognize that love of my (earthly) father, and family, needs to be underpinned, or needs the context of, love of my Heavenly Father - otherwise love of family collapses into mere personal feelings - and if or when those feelings weaken for any reason at all, then there is no basis for re-building them and love tends to collapse.

    So when a marriage is based on love of spouse as the primary and ultimate imperative - then if or when love of spouse weakens or disappears; so does the marriage - because there is no reason why it should not.

    Therefore, in an ultimate sense, all our loves in this world must be subordinate to our love of God; and this is not a matter of how relatively intensely we feel love of God compared with spouse or family.

    Perhaps very few people really *feel* love of God as intensely as - at peak - they feel the love of their parents, their spouse or their own children - but that is not a problem! - so long as we fully acknowledge the primacy of God, then relative intensity of feelings is irrelevant.

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