Thursday, October 22, 2009

Evil Love

"A human being is beautiful and may be revealed as beautiful to another human being."
--Love and Responsibility
by Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II

Love and truth, writes Karol Wojtyla, are inseparable. "When we speak of truth in attraction, it is essential ... that the attraction not be limited to partial values, to something inherent in a person, but not to the person as a whole... there must be a direct attraction to the whole person... And the person as an entity, and hence as a good, is different from all that is not a person... The object of attraction which is seen as a good, is also seen as a thing of beauty. This is very important in the attraction on which love between masculine and feminine is based... A human being is beautiful and may be revealed as beautiful to another human being."

A woman, reckons Wojtyla, may be beautiful in a way all her own, and a man attracted to her through her beauty. Likewise, a man is also beautiful in his own particular way. This beauty must necessarily include the entirety of the individual, not merely his physical nature. Desire also belongs to true love; it is perhaps the most powerful component of human love; this is true because we are all limited beings, social beings and we have need for others. And yet love between man and woman would prove evil, if it went no further than love as desire; it is not enough to love and desire others as a good for yourself, one must however long for and seek that person's good. If this is not present, then an egoism exists.

Genuine love completes the life and enlarges the existence of a person. Love given and received in friendship, in goodwill, with desire, are closely connected. How so? If for example, one person desires another as a good for himself, then they must want that person to be a true good, not false goods. Goodwill is indeed free of self interest, it is selflessness in love. Such love is the love which does the most good to those who experience it; both persons are fulfilled in the exchange.

Evil may generally be defined as the sum of opposition to the genuine needs and desires of individuals. Evil seeks not acquisition but loss or deprivation of an otherwise good. Thus truth is the antithesis of evil. In love, truth is the factor which balances its parts, such as desire, friendship, good will, attraction, tenderness among others. One may, in truth, realize what one experiences to be genuine good or not. Truth allows for the objective evaluation of a possible good, and contrasts that good against its opposite. Thus, in the Christian mind, God is the ultimate; his love is truth to which Christians may aspire.

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