Love and Christianity


0. [Notes to self: Check attendance. And do evaluations at end.]

1. I will schedule extra office hours between now and exam. Friday, 12/7, 4:30 pm (where?) I will email you some definitions for the exam.

2. Last time, I talked about Camus’ and Russell’s non-religious approach to the meaning of life.  I’d like to close the course by looking at a directly religious approach to ethics, the approach of the Christian Scriptures. 

3. Can a philosophical argument be given for the duty to love neighbor?  Maybe.  Start by observing that love focuses one on lovable qualities in the person we love.  The recognition of such lovable qualities seems essential.  Surely we love people for their lovable qualities.  Love is responsive: it rejoices in the good things it sees in the beloved. 

4. For Aquinas, love includes the following two aspects: Knowledge and good will. These result in union between the lover and the beloved. If I have love for someone, this is not some abstract benevolence like in utilitarianism. Rather, in love I see things from the point of view of the person I love, I think about my beloved, I want good things for my beloved, and I feel about things happening to my beloved like they happened to me.