What is unconditional love? The common idea is unwavering love no matter the circumstances. Oftentimes, the love is connected, directly or indirectly, to happiness. In reality, people refuse to comply with demands when it conflicts their boundaries. This is taken to mean a nihilistic truth about the world; that all relationships are transactional, that everybody is selfish.
In my essay On Selfishness1, I show that the former claim is meaningless. Consider the following –
Transactionality of Relationships: Two, or more, agents engage in a relationship, setting certain conditions, ideally pertaining to their true nature – as to ensure complete freedom.On Selfishness
Absolute unconditionality, as we mean it, can’t be conceived in language. Unconditionality, like any word, can only exist under the constraints of its context. And the constraints of it? Boundaries.
Consider a mother and daughter. The mother loves her daughter in absolute unconditionality. Such that any demand of her child is complied with, under the justification of love. In this case, is the mother a free individual? Or merely an unfree extension of her daughter?
As Stefan Boros says
Imagine your social skills become so good that you can charm or persuade anyone into doing anything you want. You become so good at applied psychology that you even have the superpower-like ability to control the tone of the people’s voices and their exact choice of words and speed of talking. You can make anyone, with enough effort, do anything to anyone else.
In this hypothetical reality, once you become so powerful, how much of the other is “human” anymore? If any one person can be controlled into doing anything, regardless of initial resistance, can we call them ‘human’ anymore? This is how a robot behaves, be it programmed by classical programming or by artificial intelligence. You will soon realize how extremely lonely you are. Each person is a puppet of your decisions, and is thus controlled by you, it is as if no other person would exist, since you would only interact with yourself. To be unlimitedly persuasive is like playing a game of chess with yourself: you make both moves.Chapter XIII: Anxiety, Shyness and What Makes Us Human. In Love, politics, social norms and sex2
Love happens amidst two individuals under free choice. If that freedom isn’t sustained, it ceases to be love. And boundaries are necessary for freedom. For if not, you cease to be yourself.
This is an argument for and against unconditionality. Against unconditionality, it wages that absolute unconditionality is non-existent. Similarly, it defends from the critics; as they fight an imaginary enemy.
Now, the latter – the End of Metaphysics. I claim, and plan to prove, that metaphysical claims are meaningless. An idea to similar to Carnap’s 3, but rooted in maximal rigour.
Kant started it, Nietzsche imagined its extent and I shall end it. And if this appears grandiose, allow me to ask you: What is life without a touch of grandiosity?
To conclude, a juvenile, provocative quote for Metaphysicians.
- Krishna, N. (2023). On Selfishness Retrieved from https://niranjankrishna.in/2023/03/25/the-problem-of-consent-why-yes-means-no/
- Lastrevio. (2023, March 27). Love, the desire to be desired and the master-slave dialectic. Love, the desire to be desired and the Master-Slave dialectic. Retrieved from https://lastreviotheory.blogspot.com/2023/03/love-desire-to-be-desired-and-master.html
- Eliminating Metaphysics Through the Logical Analysis of Language, R. Carnap