The goal of this idea/discussion remains to figure out if there are things/could be things that people are required to love. Not how to enforce it, meaning if they don’t love what they should, I won’t be concerned with how to “fix” them, perhaps that could be another discussion.
Continuing where I left off, if it seems reasonable that people love and there are clear benefits to doing so. However, just because there are benefits for humanity to love doesn’t entail people should love, it just means that it has the potential to serve human flourishing. There are many cases in which people couldn’t care less about human flourishing and should everyone have to? Should the artist down the street selling his work have to care about how s/he can benefit humanity? No, fuck it! Let the artist be an artist and do as s/he pleases. The only problem that arises if the artist decides to slay some local townsfolk with his/her paintbrush. That seems obviously shitty.
So what if the artist just had to love not slaying people? Broadening it, if people were taught to love “not slaughter” could they go around doing as they please? It seems to me that they could. If everyone was, in some way, systematically taught to love things at least neutral to humanity (neutral might be a messy idea right now, I attempt to clarify further on) and nobody cared for something that would seem negative, it sounds like a step forward. Not saying it’s immediately possible, nor do I know how it would be, but the conclusion seems like something everyone can agree on. Everyone from the most selfless to the most greedy people are ultimately trying to cause what they perceive as good to themselves. The murderer wants to kill to gain something, the sociopath to satisfy an urge, the saint to help whoever, the politician to support legislature they believe in (hopefully), etc. If everyone loved something that was to lead to the conclusion of “not slaughter” wouldn’t that be valuable? I’m not arguing for what people must do, especially in gray areas such as moral dilemmas, but rather than love personal gain in a selfish way, wouldn’t it be better if they loved and believed in an outcome of least possible cost with best benefits? At the risk of belaboring it to further clarify what I mean, I’m not necessarily supporting a utilitarian approach to a moral dilemma, but instead a world in which the person making the decision believed they were making the right choice. It doesn’t have to actually be the “right” choice, determining that could be messy, but the choice wouldn’t be selfishly motivated. To achieve a world like that, as it stands now, seems quite valuable to humanity.
Now enjoy this lovely (but kind of early) intermission: click for fun
So what could possibly be something people must come to love for humanity to progress without forcing anyone to actually do anything? Hmmm…. this must be tricky… cats? Well I fucking love cats, plush cushions of warm fur that purr and do funny shit but try to play it off… maybe it’s cats. Then again it could actually be my neon pink banana hammock, some say I look quite stylish in it (nobody has said this). It’s not complicated at all really. If you haven’t heard me say it yet (you have) something people could love which would benefit humanity, is in fact humanity. Love humanity. Do it you shlub! Love everybody! If we all treated each other with the reverence of our dearest friend, our parents, our children, and our loved ones, would there be as much strife as there is today? No, obviously not. We fight with each other sometimes for sure, but don’t we still love them? If they didn’t do anything that they believed could cause problems, even if there was a disagreement, if we loved them what could the worst possible result of that disagreement be? I don’t know exactly, but the best interest is in mind. If 20 of 30 people believed doing M would be the best course of action and it turned out to have horrible consequences, if we truly loved couldn’t we forgive? If my the world decided my mother should be sent to the moon god as a sacrifice, then it turns out there’s no moon god, in today’s society a special kind of hatred is born. The world took my mother for a foolish purpose, fuck the world, I’ll see it burn. What if that could be replaced with love? What would happen? Love not born, but understood. I could understand that the world tried to do it’s best, what’s done is done, now we can only continue to find the next suitable solution (more people?). Revenge is sweet? Bha, Revenge is immature. Hating is so easy to do, but loving hard. Ultimately though, which do you think is worth it?
Thinking about it, I don’t think loving humanity is good enough either. I believe we must learn to love all life. For the same reasons as humanity: animals, plants, and life in general we must learn to love. This is an especially big leap from humanity though, to love the land as deeply we do one another. Certainly not a common characteristic at the moment, but absolutely necessary. If we loved life from the ants we step on to the plants we remove to construct malls, I contend that it would be in the interest of human progress. Before you think I love ants and refuse to go outside anymore, I’m saying within reasonable possibility. I’ll concede that it’s a very loose term, but with today’s technology there’s no way to easily avoid stepping on ants when walking outside. Even if something is invented, it would have to be highly affordable and mass produced. The point is to leave as little a footprint on the Earth as possible so that it would be that much easier to sustain, if not self-sustained. The extent to which we must love things like bacteria seems to vary from something like a tree. Loving all bacteria could prove problematic to the medical world, but I don’t believe saving a deadly form of bacteria is incredible benefit to human progress. Maybe isolating and keeping it in a laboratory to study (like polio I believe? I could be wrong) but it doesn’t seem like keeping it in an afflicted person (or animal) is all that promising.
The question now becomes what precisely will benefit human progress? Who am I to decide that the bacteria is wrong and I am right? Who am I to say how many animals may be hunted/farmed to sustain humanity while keeping the animal population in balance? So many gray areas come with trying to determine what is right and what isn’t and I 100% do not have a sweeping moral code to provide you. Instead, may I humbly suggest loving life? If you believe to the best of your knowledge, consult with experts, or do whatever research to make the best possible decision you believe you can, let me take this time to commend you. Whatever results may follow, I love you. I really do. My last question is if you believe me when I say to you, the most honest way I can while typing, that I love you, how does that make you feel? Think about it and comment!
Love yourself. Love me. Love everyone. And love my Banana Hammock. Maybe you’ll even love loving it.
as always I welcome corrections/opposing arguments,
thanks for reading, I.H.