Consider first these different scopes of love:
- Egoistic love. One against all. I against society. “Liberty of the people is not my liberty!” – Max Stirner
- Romantic love. “Baby, it’s you and me against the world.” – Some hundred songs and movies
- Familial love. “Peace to my family, death to my enemies.” – Wisdom in Chains
- Tribal love. Our tribe against enemy tribes. “Barbarism is the natural state of mankind.” – Robert E. Howard
- Cultural love. Our culture against foreign cultures. “When I hear ‘Culture’… I release the safety catch on my Browning!” – Hanns Johst
- Humanistic love. “I’m on team people. Everything else better be beautiful, guard my house, or do tricks. If not, I eat it.” – Joe Rogan
- Universal love. “All sentient beings without exception have the Buddha-nature.” – Nirvana Sutra
Now answer these questions:
- Whom are you able to love and whom are you willing to hate to strengthen that love? Everyone, some, nobody?
- Do you think that a broader scope of love dilutes its intensity? If so, what would be the perfect balance?
- How does your naturally limited capacity of trust bias your thinking? Would you rather correct or embrace that bias?
- Is your deepest morality based on rational arguments or are your arguments rationalizations of the emotional capacities you’ve acquired in early childhood?
- Can there be values rooted in positive emotions rather than existential fears and insecurities?
Finally, how do values relate to freedom?
If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil. – Spinoza
Every value has the form “X is good” and is thus tied to a conception of good and evil.
Once we have values, we see good and evil, the sources of love and purpose, but we lack freedom.
Freedom can be a value itself if there is evil threatening to take our freedom away.
But what about the freedom beyond good and evil?
That would imply freedom from values, leading to moral, political, and personal emptiness.
Is emptiness a value?
Think for yourself.
- On the Emptiness of Freedom
- Egoism, Tribalism, and Utilitarianism
- The Positive Effects of Tribalism (Jonathan Haidt)