HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

"Love Neighbour As Self" - Too Vague


Why did Jesus and the Bible say, “Love your neighbour as yourself” and not, “Love anybody you meet as yourself?” Or better still, "Love the person who needs your help as yourself."  If it is just about the person you come across then the implication is, "Don't love Maisie in the next country for you have no connection to her."  And you are saying, "I will only love Maisie if I meet her."  This is really about you using the other person as a project to help.  It is not really about the other person at all.

 

Neighbour definitely is chosen for a reason. It essentially means just love people in your community or religion. People largely do choose their neighbours in a very general way. The neighbour is the person living next to you.

 

Peter Vardy, The Puzzle of Christianity, "The first and most important command which Jesus affirmed was the absolute centrality of the love of God. Secondly came unconditional love of neighbour. The first command every Jew would recognise and accept, but Jesus taught that the second should be taken literally: that is, it did not apply to Jews alone."  Why do people need commanding or to be told even to help others?  To feel I need to be told is me telling myself, "I don't want to do it but am only doing it for I am told to."  That kind of outlook is going to lead to you failing - a lot!  Is that what our passive aggressive Jesus actually wanted?  Vardy notices that the first command is the one that has to be kept if - hypothetically - the other cannot be.  The two commands allegedly go together but that depends on you being able to keep them both.  Religion is clear that few keep the first properly and some say nobody keeps it.  Notice how it is absolute and the other is not.  So assuming you need the two then unless you see God as absolutely important and central you do not truly love your neighbour.  Fake love is worse than hate.  In a sense Christianity would prefer you to hate than be subject to that. 

 

Jesus admittedly did tell the Jews, according to the Luke gospel, that neighbour meant even the enemy Samaritan who needed urgent help.  That looks like a fabrication from Luke.  Jesus could command love of neighbour and still be an insular racist bigot for he knew that in reality people will be careful which neighbour they will love.  They will be selective.

 

Jesus might have thought that if you calculate that doing something shows as much concern for yourself as others then you have a clear mathematical principle for determining right and wrong. The principle is dangerous. Its trouble. Interfering mothers-in-law think they are loving their son and their son’s wife as themselves when they interfere. The principle only encourages well-meaning interference.
 
Love your neighbour is vague for few people agree on how to work for the real wellbeing of others. Love your neighbour as yourself is bigger in what it demands. Thus it worsens the problems. For that alone, it is not the kindly doctrine it appears to be.
 
Do you love your neighbour as yourself when you know three dying people who will survive if they get your organs and you won’t kill yourself to make sure they get them? You are loving yourself more than them. Do you love them at all when you put one life before three?
 
The principle of loving neighbour as yourself is vague and therefore useless. It’s just for publicity. Jesus knew how to get people’s attention – duly and unduly!
 
Suppose my friend has a family and I am single and childless and always intend to be and one of us has to be murdered. Suppose also that I am left to choose who must die. It is best if my friend is the one that lives and I choose death. If I love my friend as myself then it doesn’t matter which of us dies. If my friend is younger than I then I should choose to die for I have had a longer life. If he is a better person than I, then I should choose to die. It might seem I must consider his family too. I should die so that they might have a father. So the more people involved the less I have to love myself. Because if I love myself as much as I love them as a group I am keeping more love for myself than I am giving to them individually so if I love myself that much I should really be choosing the other man for death. The commandment serves no practical purpose. It is manipulative and a smokescreen intended to make people feel safe and drawn to Christ – and lulled into a false sense of security they become new victims of the Church.
 
If it is equally good for me to die as my friend then if I choose death I am making a sacrifice of love that I am preventing him from making so I don’t love him at all when I am doing that. Enabling a person to love is the greatest love of all according to Jesus Christ. So I am in deadlock. If I choose death I prevent him from the love sacrifice. If he chooses death he prevents me. The commandment just isn’t sensible.
 
The commandment isn't intended to help. All it is good for is encouraging people to manipulate one another, "O if you loved me as yourself you would do this for me!"
 
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