Re: Unconditional love

Ernest Prabhakar (
Wed, 13 Aug 97 14:06:04 -0700

Adam wrote:
>Maybe my definition is skewed. But I believe the equation


I would say the issues is "COMMITMENT" - not trust.   It is in fact quite  
easy to love someone more than I trust them, as long as I maintain certain  
boundaries.   A parent with two year old child, for example.   I would claim  
it is oxymoronic to say you love someone more than you are committed to them.

> That unconditional love is something we as humans can strive for, and > even theoretically achieve in the limit, but cannot fully ever achieve. > To me, humans are not capable of unconditional love. But we can get very, > very close.

I actually agree with this.

>> But show me the most unconditional of loves in human relationships, and I can show you a way of breaking that. Through a violation of trust. If you brutally, cruelly, calculatingly tied them up and made them watch you while you repeatedly raped, violated, and murdered several thousand people in front of them, I'd be willing to bet that unconditional love would founder. <<

I disagree on a fundamental point, and even that particularl instance. Though I will admit perhaps it is semantics. I define love as a commitment to another person's well being. If someone violates my trust, I will not trust them or make myself vulnerable to them, but that does not necessarily mean I don't love them.

To pick a more precise case: Is it possible to love your enemies? Obviously you can't really trust them. I would argue (I admit I'm on shaky ground here) that the kind of undconditional romantic love we were talking about before has to stem from the same kind of love it is possible to give your enemies (since, frankly, often the ones we love can feel like enemies at times).

>> In my mind, the only unconditional love there can ever be, requires a divine element to it. <<

Well, yes. As a Christian, we refer to this as the Holy Spirit working within us to love the unlovable. "Anyone might die for a righteous person; but God demonstrates His love for in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly."

Your point is that unconditional live requires divinity. My point is that healthy relationships require unconditional live. The obvious syllogistic conclusion is that healthy relationships require divinity.

I realize not all of the list share this worldview, but it is at least internally consistent.

-- Ernie P.