On the Morality of Love

Nietzsche once said that “what is done out of love goes beyond good and evil.” Although he instated that morality is some kind of relative fiction, he might have had a point, which suggests that one should begin to delve beyond the shallow implication that one can stop at the simple black and white of morality or no morality.

True, a society must be ordered to be successful, and we can get away from a rigid dogmatic society by using normative theory principles such as Aquinas’ Secondary Principles (does this still defeat the object of ‘absolutes’ anyway?), but can we throw morality at everything as a way to solve any problem? This is what I have seen countless individuals of position do nowadays. In my opinion, it is beginning to turn decision-making into a generic process of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ when often the case does not follow such a strict procedure to progression of thought.

The point I am making is that emotion, although outcast from the theory of moral choice, could actually be a type of morality in itself. No, not a right or a wrong, a different side that does not associate itself with the written and unwritten cultural stigma, but one which follows an innate set of rules that we all bear as animalistic, rhetoric beings.

Philosopher David Hume refuted many arguments, including Kant’s deontology, with the point that we cannot choose how to act based on our reason or intuition alone. “Reason is and ought not be anything but the slave of the passions”, to paraphrase.

Take love, for instance, with all its agapeic duties, erotic urges, and philiac intentions. How can one say that someone motivated by love falls into the category of being morally sound to bring their thoughts into actions? If love were not the cause, a doctor might declare a one mentally ill for doing the same action. When it’s love, no one stops to think that an exception can be made for those foolish acts one dives into, without thinking. It is that, indeed: love leads to an absence of the usual ‘moral sat-nav’, where a moral crisis may not be applicable in these situations of the heart.

We might consider that its extra mora approach adds a dimension that cannot be accessed by those who do not feel love- I am suggesting that love is relative, but the basis for a sound love is absolute: it is what one feels and knows to be in the best way to act.

What is it that I hear from convention that the elder person in the relationship automatically has more of a responsibility for whatever happens? Yet that is often that which is not a good happening, such as an unarranged absence of both parties. Thus, blame falls to the elder half, when it could just as well come from an idea germinating in the soul of the younger, when she or he might take an upper-hand in the motions and phases of a romance, but gets no credit from the media. When a man is utterly in love with a younger woman, convention is more likely to suggest that he is in charge of they way they act together, especially were there something scandalous to happen to them. I disagree: youth does not negate control, or power, or success to hold something over the older man in question in my example. It’s not, as one might assume, a point of being more ’emotionally experienced’; I believe that, no matter what one’s age or culture, if one is hit by love, then they know what is equal to the rights and wrongs of what their heart is declaring.

On that note, research has suggested that it’s less likely age that works into the demographic selection of available partners, but rather the similarity of the levels of maturity that a person possesses and searches for a partner with; a seventeen year old with a superior maturity rate to his or her peers might find more intelligent conversation and amusement interest in an older partner who possesses a ‘younger’ sense of maturity.

However, we might not come to say that one can’t choose to commit a wrong when in love. Rose-tinted, nevertheless, there must be a way that one can harness the innate decision-making that love brings on for their own measures. Sin could be re-defined as a misuse of tender feelings to earn one’s selfish good. But I don’t believe that, if someone can show and act in ways that declare they do love their partner, they would really make that conscious decision to act against the righteous call of love.

Science simply hasn’t found that solution to bottle love, or to cross-reference sense-experiences when in the Bliss. That’s what makes the proof so difficult to hold to.

Contemporary and ancient scholars have come to some agreement that love acts outside of time and outside of our thoughts, but there are still many issues to be resolved. Love might be chemical-based, certainly, but none of us make the conscious decision to fall in love- and certainly not in the way we think we make the conscious decision to act morally or immorally (ignoring the determinism argument this time). Thus, our decisions when in the state (or in the various emotional states and phases) of amoris cannot be laid, as equal, on a chart against the ways and certainties of normative values.

Amor omnes vincit” (love conquers all) suggests that love tops and destroys all the boundaries of what we know as morality. Love is out of this world; one can’t say that it must conform to a land that is so fallible, so concrete.


3 thoughts on “On the Morality of Love

  1. Love is the biological equivalent of Plato’s Noble Lie. We need to rationalize our biological urges to reproduce as “love” because the more banal Darwinian evolutionary based explanations makes us no different than animals which stands in stark opposition to the notion that we are God’s creation.

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