Love Ain’t Nothin’ but an Ill-Defined Concept

One of my correspondents, and doesn't that phrase just roll trippingly off Your Humble Blogger's keyboard, writes:

"Question sparked by Conservative Tenet #2: Is love always about accidents of history? If love for another person isn't based on any of the qualities of their inviolable personality, what is it based on? Why do you love one person, and not another?"

Well, the safe answer to this, and to all questions, is "It's not that simple." My love (brotherly ... or not) for, let's say, an old college buddy is partially about the accident of history that brought us together, and partially about my own criteria for friendship and admiration, and partially about the old college buddy's criteria, and my response to the old college buddy's reponse to me ... my friends generally share certain traits because I like those traits, and, through the demographics of our society and the accidents of history, most of them share certain traits that I don't care about one way or another, but brought me into contact with them. That is, most (but not all) of my friends are college graduates, and are in fact graduates of small liberal arts colleges, not because I like the graduates of small liberal arts colleges more than others, but because I have spent more social time with them than others. Because they, too, spend more social time with graduates of small liberal arts colleges, my circle expands to those people more than others.

For a Gandhi, I should point out, loving one person and not another is a gross error, in part because of those accidents of history. Although I don't agree with that (in part because I do think that Love involves a certain heirarchical ranking), I do think that anyone is, ultimately, lovable by someone; if you want to value a soul based on that, we all come out even.

Thank you,

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