Self Love?

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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
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. . . .

David, duly noted.

Following Bob's lead, let's get to a more fruitful track. I think the questions are these:

Is Self-Love commanded? Or is it assumed to be innate in everybody?

Probably a new thread is in order. I'm off for a meeting, and I'll be out of the loop until bedtime.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
David - I have never had a day of formal logic training - I'd like to think that my thoughts are logical, so I try to present them in a way that I think makes logical sense.

I have looked at the definition of syllogism, premise and logic and conclusion , as well as read a few articles on logic and have been strongly convinced that my thoughts are presented in accord with the general principles of these ideas.

When I am strongly convinced of something, I do not typically just roll over based on the criticism of one man - no matter how great a model of patience and gentleness. Victorbravo has thrown in his crtiticism as well as Toddpedlar, so I will bow to the collective and never, ever try to use a formal syllogism or pretend to be logical again.

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!


Bow.jpg
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
BTW - I was NOT asking for critique of my formal logic form - I was asking for critique of the logical (or "logic like" or "logic seeming") proposition.

That is - it seems as if Christ words somehow could possibly mean that there is some way a person can love themselves in a God-centered way that would therefore lead to a God-centered love for our neighbors.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I read back over the thread, and I think the disagreement has to do with the way JD is understanding the phrase "as you love yourself" vs. the way others are understanding the phrase.

JD is saying that "as you love yourself" implies that there is a good love which we show ourselves and that we should show this love to other people.

Others seem to be saying that the hidden premise is that "self love is bad," and that what Jesus means when he says "as you love yourself" is that we are wrong for loving ourselves the way we do, and that this energy ought to be directed towards our neighbor. In other words, he is saying: "Love God, and all that energy that you spend caring about yourself, use it to love your neighbor instead!"

Am I off?
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
I read back over the thread, and I think the disagreement has to do with the way JD is understanding the phrase "as you love yourself" vs. the way others are understanding the phrase.

JD is saying that "as you love yourself" implies that there is a good love which we show ourselves and that we should show this love to other people.

Others seem to be saying that the hidden premise is that "self love is bad," and that what Jesus means when he says "as you love yourself" is that we are wrong for loving ourselves the way we do, and that this energy ought to be directed towards our neighbor. In other words, he is saying: "Love God, and all that energy that you spend caring about yourself, use it to love your neighbor instead!"

Am I off?

NO, you are right on. That is a very nice succinct presentation of what the 2nd commandment means.

"You love yourself - naturally of course, you do, and you do everything in your power to maximize your own comfort, advantage, pleasure and happiness. Without commenting on whether that's good, bad or otherwise, I am merely saying that your love for your neighbor should encompass all those goals for HIM."

Quite honestly I don't think the statements of the 1st or 2nd commandment affirm or deny the appropriateness of self-love. They merely point to the love we naturally express toward ourselves and command us to direct the same love to our neighbor.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
What I am trying to explore is this thought:

If I love God with everything I am, an activity He enables, then the paradigm of natural self-love is transformed.

How I love myself now (post conversion) is by loving God with all I am. That is - I only love that within myself that reflects and glorifies God. I still despise the remnants of the old me, but I love the Christ, through the Holy Spirit, that dwells within me.

If I love myself that way - then my love for my neighbor will be enabled by a God-centered rather than man-centered self-love. A self-love that is ok.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I read back over the thread, and I think the disagreement has to do with the way JD is understanding the phrase "as you love yourself" vs. the way others are understanding the phrase.

JD is saying that "as you love yourself" implies that there is a good love which we show ourselves and that we should show this love to other people.

Others seem to be saying that the hidden premise is that "self love is bad," and that what Jesus means when he says "as you love yourself" is that we are wrong for loving ourselves the way we do, and that this energy ought to be directed towards our neighbor. In other words, he is saying: "Love God, and all that energy that you spend caring about yourself, use it to love your neighbor instead!"

Am I off?

NO, you are right on. That is a very nice succinct presentation of what the 2nd commandment means.

"You love yourself - naturally of course, you do, and you do everything in your power to maximize your own comfort, advantage, pleasure and happiness. Without commenting on whether that's good, bad or otherwise, I am merely saying that your love for your neighbor should encompass all those goals for HIM."

Quite honestly I don't think the statements of the 1st or 2nd commandment affirm or deny the appropriateness of self-love. They merely point to the love we naturally express toward ourselves and command us to direct the same love to our neighbor.

I agree. Grammatically all the sentence says is: "Love others in the way you love yourself."

In Ephesians, Paul says:

[bible]Ephesians 5:28-30[/bible]
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Tell me if it's a bad idea for me to do this after all the hubub and I'll change the format, but here is (I think) a syllogism which would make your argument, JD:

P1 All the love with which we should love others is good. (love your neigbor...)

P2 The love with which we love ourselves is love with which should love others. (...as yourself)

C The love with which we love ourselves is good.


Now, a syllogism can have three terms: A, B, C. The formula for this particular example is: All A is B, C is A, therefore C is B. Here, (A) is "The love with which we should love others", (B) "good", (C) "The love with which we love ourselves." In order for a syllogism to be valid, the terms must retain the same meaning throughout. If "love" means the same thing in (A) and (C), then this syllogism is valid. Those who disagree must disagree, then, on the notion that we have equivocated the meaning of love in (A) and (C), and that when Jesus says "love your neighbor" he means a good kind of love, and when he says "as you love yourself" he is speaking of a different (or bad) kind of love (energy, dedication? greed?). As I see it, it must be shown that Jesus means something different when he speaks of "loving" yourself.
 
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BobVigneault

Bawberator
David, I was just dying to use the phrase "I can logic higher than you". I can't follow you guys, you're too smart for me. I just think up cute and clever sayings so I can sound cute.... and clever.

You guys are doing great. Carry on. :wwbd:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
John 12:25, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I would like to suggest a couple of distinctions, as I suspect that people are using love and self-love equivocally.

Self-complacency or self-satisfaction, which is when you are pleased with yourself. As sinners, if not as human beings, this seems very inappropriate: what is there in this body of death, in this flesh where no good thing dwells, to be pleased about? (I don't think this necessarily includes being pleased when a difficult reverse shot in squash comes off or one of your jokes really lights up a room.)

Self-seeking, where I am who matters to myself: I really don't care about anything else. That, again, is clearly wrong.

Self-absorption: this can be positive, as in the case of someone who is head over heels in love with themselves; or negative, as in the case of someone who finds a constant source of irresistible depression in themselves --they're still focussed inward. That second aspect gets a lot of attention in our days, but people diagnose it as a lack of self-esteem, rather than treating it as garden-variety selfishness. Am I so important that my shortcomings are more significant than anything else in God's universe? People who are this way think of themselves enjoying things, instead of enjoying them.

But none of this means that we are to be therapy fodder, or that self-destruction, or discontentment with God's creation of us is the Biblical norm to be pursued. If man in the garden was given food, it ministered to his self-preservation, did it not? If God gave good things, it was for man to enjoy (to enjoy God in enjoying the things, but that doesn't diminish but rather enhances the pleasure of the things). And to unconverted and regenerate alike there is an appeal to self-interest. "Why will ye die?" "...continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." So there is a legitimate self-interest. The horror of losing my own soul certainly ought to move me.

Perhaps the way to put these things together is to acknowledge that there is a legitimate self-abhorrence because of sin; there is a legitimate self-interest which should drive me to seek salvation; and there is a legitimate degree of comfort with the body and personality that God has decreed for me. But that legitimate comfort doesn't make me self-absorbed: to the degree that such comfort is legitimate, it enables me to focus on others, to lay aside my feelings and needs and preferences in order to minister to those around me.

So sometimes (as with a person in the grip of self-despite who stabs themselves with scissors but isn't telling anyone about it --hence it's not for attention--) you may have to address a person who loathes himself in the wrong way: and one of the things you have to address with them is the colossal selfishness that gives them the perceived right to wreak vengeance on themselves. But I think if you pursue legitimate self-love directly, or as an end in itself, you'll never arrive: you have to come to grips with the basic facts of revelation: Creation, Election, the freeness of God's grace; and you have to learn to care about others. This isn't for the grand end of having a "healthy self-esteem": this is because others really matter, because God's glory really is more important than my paltry little self. Or to paraphrase Lewis, "If you play games to get exercise you won't do it much; if you play games for fun, you'll find yourself taking violent exercise."

Those are my off the cuff thoughts, but I hope this thread will help me to understand more clearly and communicate more precisely the relationship between legitimate self-interest and all forms of self-absorption.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
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.

I don't dispute your conclusion, JD, I just honestly don't think it is a case that can (or need) be made on the basis of these verses. You can find OTHER teaching that talks about what a proper love of self looks like, but I just can't see it in these verses without adding to what is actually being taught in these verses.
 
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