This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rewards: God, Oughtness and Others

No one goes to Hell for believing the wrong thing on the Trinity. Our knowledge is wholly incomplete, and indeed must be. By definition, it is wrong. We cannot understand it. The reason doctrinal discipline on it is necessary is that common belief is essential for common worship - which is one part of loving God - although the main part is the second part of the Great Commandment, which is about loving others.

The whole discussion we had in Ethics class in Minor Seminary on oughtness really only has meaning when it applies to loving others. There is no way around loving God because that completes us rather than because He deserves it - because frankly, He does not need our Love at all - it is all for our benefit - to deserve is to have need of something. The oughtness of loving God must therefore come by loving others, which is impossible fully without the assistance of God (whether one honors God in worship or not). When we love each other for their intrinic value, rather than the reward that comes to us for doing so, we are getting the oughtness thing down. Indeed, some athiests are more worthy than Christians, since they love others with no expectation of reward, but only because compassion is simply the right thing to do.


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