Self Love?

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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
How can we love our neighbor correctly if we do not love the Lord first?

How can we love ourselves correctly unless we love the Lord first?

I am having trouble understanding why this is a hard concept to grasp...
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
As the Shorter Catechism says so eloquently:

Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, And to enjoy him forever.

I would suggest that the concept of glorifying God necessarly includes loving God and as finite creatures anything that dilutes this love (as self love would necessarily entail) is to be looked at negitively.

I do not really see the point of even trying to look at self love positively. Any move away from attempting to be God centered to being self centered or man centered is anathema to the Reformed view.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Who said anything about self-centered self-love?

Again - our presuppositions are staining our thoughts.

Please respond to the OP - not a strawman.
 

Simply_Nikki

Puritan Board Junior
I guess what you're trying to ask is why does it state love your neighbor "as yourself". Why even include the concept of loving yourself?

I think JBaldwin may have answered it already. It is to exert the care and preseveration you have of your own life onto your neighbor. - I think? :um:
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
Who said anything about self-centered self-love?

Again - our presuppositions are staining our thoughts.

Please respond to the OP - not a strawman.

Please consider what I wrote without your own presupposition that we can have neutral or even positive self love.

The question is not only what to think but also why to think, in view of our fallen natures do you not think that encouraging any element of self love is at best distasteful?

Even withsome neat logical argument that we should love all that the creator has created (including self) all you are doing is leading tp error, even if it eas not error itself because it goes against the grain of Biblical, and hence reformed, thought.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Please consider what I wrote without your own presupposition that we can have neutral or even positive self love.

I do not have that presupposition.

The question is not only what to think but also why to think, in view of our fallen natures do you not think that encouraging any element of self love is at best distasteful?

See Bob's response above - we are imago Dei...and loving your neighbor is predicated on loving ourselves - thus loving ourselves in the proper context cannot always and in every circumstance be evil.

Even withsome neat logical argument that we should love all that the creator has created (including self) all you are doing is leading tp error, even if it eas not error itself because it goes against the grain of Biblical, and hence reformed, thought.

Let God be true and every man - even Reformed men - a liar.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I guess what you're trying to ask is why does it state love your neighbor "as yourself". Why even include the concept of loving yourself?

I think JBaldwin may have answered it already. It is to exert the care and preseveration you have of your own life onto your neighbor. - I think? :um:

I'm sorry, Nikki - did not see this.

The question I have is - in what context is self-love appropriate?

Is there some appropriate context - or is it evil and loathsome in every context for every person?

Matthew 5:46-48 (New American Standard Bible)
46"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

47"If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

48"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

How do we contextualize this perfect love for ourselves and others to the perfect love of God?
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
As Rich said, self love is assumed. Self love is sinfull as it is naturally exclusive to self. I just read an excellent article in by Horton in Modern Reformation where he alludes to this point in contrast to the self love gospel being carried by many evangelicals today. It is a very good article.

You're spot on. Self love is what the Bible assumes we all have for ourselves. Recall the discussion in Matthew 5:

46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

Love for one's own (including onesself) is completely expected and natural - and the supreme love we have for anyone, let's truly be honest!

How are we to love our neighbor? Exactly as we (already) do ourselves. I think there's no justification at all for promoting the idea that "you need to learn to love yourself in a God-glorifying way". It just isn't found in Scripture.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Methinks I should read the rest of a thread before replying, since many below the post to which I just replied have already said just the same as I have....
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
How can we love our neighbor correctly if we do not love the Lord first?

How can we love ourselves correctly unless we love the Lord first?

I am having trouble understanding why this is a hard concept to grasp...

Perhaps because the concept has nothing to do with (edit: does not properly follow from) the verses you quoted in the OP?
 
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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
In other words, the two premises are not necessarily related. Because of that, there can be no conclusion.

Are you seriously stating that the 2 elements are not inter-related?

Matthew 22

40"On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

Yes, I am serious. You asked if the logic holds water in your original post. I said no because it is a faulty syllogism.

Your argument requires you to establish a bunch of other premises. The syllogism you laid out is defective. That's my only point. Whatever your argument is, it is not supported by the syllogism you presented.

It's syllogism 101: your conclusion must not add additional terms not included in the premises.

Just to review:

p1 YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND

Quite true, no issue at all with this. It tells us how we should love God.

p2 [you shall also love] YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

Also no argument with the truth here. It tells us how we should love our neighbor. Note the command to love our neighbor has a different standard: "as yourself", not "with all your heart", etc. So the command is a separate and independent command, not subject to the first (because that command was directed to our behavior to God).

Your conclusions introduce new elements:

c1 If you strive to love God completely and correctly, you will love yourself in a godly manner, thus allowing you to love your neighbor in the same way.


"If you strive to love God completely. . . ."

Nothing in either of the two premises discusses your striving or desire. The command is a command, regardless of your desire.

"you will love yourself in a godly manner, . . . ."

There is nothing in the two premises that states that any result comes from loving God in the right manner. So this is another element introduce that was not included in the premises.

And there is nothing at all in the premises that support the "thus allowing you to love your neighbor" clause. It's a completely new element.

Same with the second conclusion, for the same reasons:

c2 God's love is abundantly self-sacrificial and long-suffering, so also should our self love and love for our neighbors

Of course the first clause is true, but nothing in the premises support those terms—that is, there is nothing in the premises that describes God's love at all. It is an introduced element.
And there is no imperative "should" in either of the premises that connects our "self love" to God's love at all.

BTW, the Matt. 22:40 quote also clearly establishes that the two commands are logically independent of each other (otherwise Jesus would have said something like: "on this one commandment the other necessarily follows").

Again, whatever your argument is, it is not supported by your syllogism. That is all I'm saying, nothing more. I suggest a different approach.
 

shackleton

Puritan Board Junior
Question: Are you saying in the original post that as we love God more we love ourselves in a more godly way and we should then seek to love others in that same godly way we have come to love ourselves?

Note: I always took this verse to mean that, we already love ourselves in that our main goal in life is self-preservation by way of food, clothes, shelter, water etc. and we should then seek to love others in this way. I guess one could say that we should seek to do these things for others, put their primary needs above our own and in this way we are loving God the way he has commanded since Jesus states, after listing some ways that one would show love to Christ,

Matthew 25:31-46
31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,£ you did it to me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
(ESV)

Just thinking :think:
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
victorbravo said:
BTW, the Matt. 22:40 quote also clearly establishes that the two commands are logically independent of each other (otherwise Jesus would have said something like: "on this one commandment the other necessarily follows").

I think you proved my point by attempting to refute it. :)

see bolded

Matthew 22:34-40

The Great Commandment
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
J.D.,

I answered your question. If you don't like the answer I gave then I have no further information I can provide. I don't believe that the basis for learning to love our neighbor is learning how to love ourselves in a Godly way. That thought is never repeated in the Scriptures.

As I've stated, c1 is faulty. There is no logical connection between the premises and the conclusion.

And as has been clearly demonstrated, your assertion is false. :)

??? I don't think it has been clearly demonstrated at all. The following is not a proper syllogism:

p1 YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND

p2 [you shall also love] YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

c1 If you strive to love God completely and correctly, you will love yourself in a godly manner, thus allowing you to love your neighbor in the same way.

c2 God's love is abundantly self-sacrificial and long-suffering, so also should our self love and love for our neighbors


Leaving aside the other parts of the discussion, this is not a syllogism. It contains two fallacies: equivocation and an undistributed statement. In other words, the two premises are not necessarily related. Because of that, there can be no conclusion.

P1 is a command to love God in a defined fashion.

P2 is a command to love your neighbor in a potentially different fashion: "as yourself".

The command in P1 is potentially different from the command in p2, so there is equivocation. There is no overlapping statement in p1 that p2 falls under so we have an undistributed statement. Because of this lack of connection, no syllogistic conclusion can be drawn. Rich is correct.

This is exactly what I've been trying to tell you for some time now, JD. You really do need to read a logic textbook before attempting to impress everyone by whipping out syllogisms. I don't know why you haven't listened to me, but maybe now that someone else is raising the same objections you will take heed.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
victorbravo said:
BTW, the Matt. 22:40 quote also clearly establishes that the two commands are logically independent of each other (otherwise Jesus would have said something like: "on this one commandment the other necessarily follows").

I think you proved my point by attempting to refute it. :)

see bolded

Matthew 22:34-40

The Great Commandment
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

JD, I won't use the head banging smiley, but I really think you are missing the point.

An analogy to what I perceive your point to be. My commands to a child:

"You shall, with great joy and thanksgiving, eat everything on the plate that I put there."

"And a second command, similar to the first (like unto it): finish your juice."

Just because I said "like unto it" doesn't mean one is logically connected to the other. They are two separate commands, similar because they deal with consuming something, but the objects of the command are different.

That's as far as I can go. Follow David's advice and go back to the logic texts.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
victorbravo said:
BTW, the Matt. 22:40 quote also clearly establishes that the two commands are logically independent of each other (otherwise Jesus would have said something like: "on this one commandment the other necessarily follows").

I think you proved my point by attempting to refute it. :)

see bolded

Matthew 22:34-40

The Great Commandment
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

Quite honestly, JD, I think your bolded part doesnt do what you think it does. The second is "like unto the first" only because it instructs us as to HOW we are to love. The thing to which our love to God is compared is not necessarily AT ALL related to the thing to which our love to neighbor is compared.

BTW, when I say "not necessarily" there I'm not expressing a lack of certainty, as we usually mean today when we say "not necessarily" - i.e. I'm not saying "well, it could be, but it ain't necessarily so".

Rather, what I'm emphasizing is that with these two verses juxtaposed, there is no NECESSARY connection between the two. Loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength is unquestionably a good thing - these two verses together do NOT NECESSARILY mean that self-love is good or bad. This is because there is no NECESSARY connection between the two things to which our love to God and our love to neighbor are compared in verse 37 and in verse 39, respectively.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
ok - ya'll bear with the weaker brother:

You are asserting that Jesus was not logically connecting the 2 commandments? Even though he was answering a specific question?

What is the greatest command?

You are saying he added the neighbor portion as an "Oh, by the way?"
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
This is exactly what I've been trying to tell you for some time now, JD. You really do need to read a logic textbook before attempting to impress everyone by whipping out syllogisms. I don't know why you haven't listened to me, but maybe now that someone else is raising the same objections you will take heed.

Why do you think I am trying to impress anyone, Dave?

If it will make the nitpickers happy, I will use "syllogistic-like" when I employ the form.

Maybe:

Statement 1 that is true or contains truth.

Statement 2 that is true or contains truth.

Leads me to make some conclusions.

I am much more concerned about the content and context than getting logic 101 lessons - it is a red herring.
 
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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
ok - bear with the weaker brother:

You are asserting that Jesus was not logically connecting the 2 commandments? Even though he was answering a specific question?

What is the greatest command?

You are saying he added the neighbor portion as an "Oh, by the way?"

OK, brother, I'm not trying to be harsh. I'm critical because you asked for criticism in the OP. ;)

The original question in the passage was "which is the greatest commandment?" Jesus answered that there were two greatest commandments. So he corrected a misconception that they were previously arguing about (while skillfully negating their trap) and, at the same time, set out the foundation for the entire law.

So the second is not a "by the way." Jesus said it was an equal commandment. So now we understand better that there are two distinct commandments that undergird the whole law: one focused on God, the other focused on the one aspect of God's creation that bears his image: your neighbor. Just as we see in the 10 commandments. They are interrelated because they both deal with love, but their focus (objective) is separate.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I was presupposing constructive criticism :)

so - they are interrelated but they are not interrelated like I am proposing?

That is - there is appropriate, valid and God-centered self-love.

Help me work through this - are these valid premises?

p1 - As a Christian, I must love God with all myself - this is the greatest commandment

p2 - As a Christian, I must love my neighbor like I love myself - this is the 2nd greatest commandment and it is like (equal) to p1
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
If those premises are valid, then would this conclusion not be accurate?

C1 - As a Christian, I must love my neighbor like I love myself - when I am loving God with all myself.

or

As a Christian, I must love my neighbor like I love myself loving God.
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
or the converse:

As a Christian, I must not love my neighbor like I love myself when I am not loving God with all myself.
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
oh, BTW ...

Fireworks-02-june.gif


3000 posts!


Fireworks-01-june.gif

:lol:
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
This is exactly what I've been trying to tell you for some time now, JD. You really do need to read a logic textbook before attempting to impress everyone by whipping out syllogisms. I don't know why you haven't listened to me, but maybe now that someone else is raising the same objections you will take heed.

Why do you think I am trying to impress anyone, Dave?

If it will make the nitpickers happy, I will use "syllogistic-like" when I employ the form.

Maybe:

Statement 1 that is true or contains truth.

Statement 2 that is true or contains truth.

Leads me to make some conclusions.

I am much more concerned about the content and context than getting logic 101 lessons - it is a red herring.


This is what you said in the OP:

I have seen a couple of threads that have referenced self love in fairly negative terms. This got me thinking in terms of a logical syllogism (as I am wont to do) based around the great commandment:]

After such an opening statement, I would have expected you to be already familiar with logic 101, and if not, to be willing to take some time to look into it if you really want to use syllogisms.

Also, to say that it's a red herring to request that you follow the rules of formal logic when using formal logic is no good. You chose to make comments about the way you think, and you chose to argue syllogistically. If you are "wont" to thinking in syllogisms, I don't see why you get so defensive when we expect real ones.

So if you're so concerned about content and context, it would be better to just have a normal discussion.

Congratulations on 3000 posts. :handshake:
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I'd say I am more of an informal logician :) which is why I like the syllogism, but may break some of the formal structure.

Thus in terms of rather than - in strict adherence to :)

Also - see above as I am working to "toe the line" more, my brother.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
JD, I do wish you would have left out the syllogistic format in your first post. It's a darn good question and I would have enjoyed seeing it discussed. Unfortunately this has just become a 'I can logic higher than you' contest and we will never know the answer to your question.

I think we will learn who has the least amount of patience soon. I'll probably close it at that point and we can start again.

Remember everyone, God gave us logic and reason to make the scriptures MORE understandable, not more complex and abstruse. Unfortunately the logic text books rarely deal with winning people, only winning arguments.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
JD, I do wish you would have left out the syllogistic format in your first post. It's a darn good question and I would have enjoyed seeing it discussed. Unfortunately this has just become a 'I can logic higher than you' contest and we will never know the answer to your question.

I think we will learn who has the least amount of patience soon. I'll probably close it at that point and we can start again.

Remember everyone, God gave us logic and reason to make the scriptures MORE understandable, not more complex and abstruse. Unfortunately the logic text books rarely deal with winning people, only winning arguments.

I don't get it. Can you rephrase this in the form of a syllogism?

:p
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
JD, I do wish you would have left out the syllogistic format in your first post. It's a darn good question and I would have enjoyed seeing it discussed. Unfortunately this has just become a 'I can logic higher than you' contest and we will never know the answer to your question.

I think we will learn who has the least amount of patience soon. I'll probably close it at that point and we can start again.

Remember everyone, God gave us logic and reason to make the scriptures MORE understandable, not more complex and abstruse. Unfortunately the logic text books rarely deal with winning people, only winning arguments.

Bob,

JD asked a question about logic. Therefore I don't understand why what followed should be considered an "I can logic higher than you" contest (by the way, you're "poisoning the well" by using a term that makes it seem worse than it is ;)). We answered his question. Perhaps you would have preferred to see the discussion go somewhat differently, but he asked what he asked, and we answered in the way demanded by the terms of the OP. I do not see how those of us who answered "logically" are acting inappropriately, and hence think it's unfair to imply that we're just tossing knowledge around for the sake of winning the argument when we're merely speaking in the same terms JD implied that he was looking for.
 
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