Sunday, June 28, 2015

Love vs Lust

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

What is love? What is love as opposed to lust? The SCOTUS judgment that irrationally claims a "right" to same-sex marriage claims it is about "love." #LoveWins, or does it?

Love is an emotion. But is it just an emotion? The world defines "love" as a purely emotional thing, such that people "fall in love." Denying one's emotions is seen as cruel and wrong, except of course when it comes to denying the emotions of incestous couples (so far). Even those who are not hopping onto the LGBTQIAXXXXXXX bandwagon have a view of love that treats it an emotion that one mysteriously come to have, and must not be denied if the emotion is mutual.

Love however cannot be purely an emotion. For if that is the case, then the marriage vows do not make any sense, for what happens if a spouse does not "feel" loving towards the other at any time? Would that be immediate grounds for divorce? But if marriages are to make any sense, "love" has to be more than an emotion, but rather it is to be grounded in the will or volition. From a Christian perspective, God commands us to love. Emotions cannot be commanded, for one either feels or don't feel. But the will can choose to love. Therefore, love must be grounded in the will.

For love to be love, it must seek the good of the other, not fulfill what one desires from the other party. Love as such is antithetical to selfishness; it is other-centered. In seeking the good of the other, it wants what is best for the other, and what is good is a moral question, to be decided according to considerations of ethics not feelings. After all, everything is for hurting the feelings of terrorists and stopping them from committing terrorism. Scarcely anyone will say that we should not hurt the feelings of terrorists since their deep desires would get hurt if we stop them. The reason is because we hold that terrorism is morally wrong, and therefore the feelings of those involved are absolutely irrelevant.

Love is grounded, or should be grounded, in the will, and it seeks the good of others. Lust on the other hand is purely emotional, and has no regard for others, except as a means to satisfaction of desire. Here we see the problem with the predominant view of "love," for what they see as "love" is actually "lust." So love does not win; lust did. The SCOTUS decision is a celebration of lust, not of love. A pure love would require a channeling of emotions towards what is true and good. If two men really loved one another, they would not enter into a same-sex "marriage," because that is supremely unloving. The partners of a same-sex relationship do not love each other, because they are willingly entering into a relationship that destroys the other party. It is hateful lust, destroying each other in perverse sex. But what about those struggling with same-sex attraction? If they truly love others, they would be willing to fight their attraction. Giving in to the unnatural desire is an act of hatred against their neighbors — a lustful action not a loving one.

The sadder thing is not that marriage has been perverted (it has), but that most people operate on a wrong view of love. Love is not self-seeking, which means that true love sometimes might entail letting the other go, and not pursuing a wrong relationship. It is not doing whatever you please based upon your feelings, no matter how strong they might be, but with discipline and self-control discerning one's own feelings according to what is good and true, and acting accordingly.

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