Archive for November, 2020

About True Love and Logic

In the Fog Island Tavern, on a long November evening.

– Vodçek:  what’s wrong with our friend Dexter over there — he’s been sitting there by himself brooding all night?

– Right, Bog-Hubert. I think he’s having problems with his girlfriend.

– How so? I thought it was all true bliss and love with those two?

– It was his logic bent that got him in trouble. Something logical about love. Or lack of logic. You know he’s a computer guy, and it’s all logic with him.

– Yes I know, he’s been very helpful with our projects. But what does logic have to do with love? 

– He briefly mentioned something when he came up to order his beer. It seems he stumbled upon a post in a social network group — about philosophy, no less — where some guy logically proved that humans can’t really experience true love. You were here, Renfroe: did you hear that? I was kind of busy with the orders.

– Yeah! Oh man. So when his girlfriend asked him if he truly loved her, he just blurted out that conclusion, didn’t want to lie about such important issues. Boom, big mistake. That was it. ‘You don’t love me!’… You can imagine the rest.

– Poor Dexter.  Makes me wonder about that proof? Did you catch that, Renfroe?  

– Nah. It had something to do with perfection. We love what’s perfect, but we ain’t perfect.

– Ah. I think I get it.  We love what’s good, beautiful, perfect?

– Right. Makes sense. Doesn’t it?

– Okay:  so we’d have True Love only for what’s completely good and true and  perfect?

– And since we are all not completely perfect, we can’t have completely True Love for each other. 

– Right. It’s what the preacher says in church:  you can only truly love God because He’s the only perfect being. What’s that, Sophie? 

– You mean She.  God. Perfect. 

– Oh yeah, I plumb forgot, sorry, Sophie. It’s just that Preacher keeps saying He, and Good Lord Almighty. Stuff like that. Hard to change old familiar sayings, I guess…

– Okay, different issue. For now, you’re forgiven. 

– Hmm. And so Dexter has to come up with some lame explanation about how close to true love he loves her, matter of degrees is a difficult one for one-and- zero digital folks like Dexter anyway. Too late, hopeless. Good…. Grief. 

– Clever save, Vodçek. But I wonder. What’s wrong with that logic thing? Bog-Hubert? 

– Well, Abbé Boulah would say something like, if you have trouble with the conclusion, check out which of the premises might be wrong, or whether the argument pattern is valid.  

– I thought Abbé Boulah had given up on valid logical arguments?

– That’s only for his beloved planning arguments. Another different topic. But look at those premises:  The first one says that we love what’s good, perfect. The other one says we humans aren’t perfect. If you accept both of them, and the argument rule — which is deductively valid — then you’ll have to accept the conclusion. So if you disagree: which is it?

– Okay: I think we have to accept the second one. Sorry Sophie, we know you’re almost perfect but as Abbé Boulah also keeps saying about some issues, “Let’s not investigate”.  

– Wise decision, Vodçek. But I don’t know, the first one also sounds good.

– I don’t agree, Bog-Hubert. What if it is the other way around? 

– What in three twister’s name are you talking about, Sophie? Don’t we love what’s good and beautiful and true? 

– Of course we do, at least most of us, — some folks may have poor taste about some things.  But what if love is really about accepting the other in spite of their  flaws, not just because of their good features? 

– Interesting. And a quite appealing way of looking at it — not as selfish as the other one.  

– I agree. But even more difficult to live up to? 

– Yes, perhaps more of a challenge?  So what you are saying is that the more flaws somebody has, the closer to true the love for that person would be?  I’ll have to think about that. 

– Why is that, Vodçek?  Isn’t that also more like what the preacher says: God loves the sinner man? And the other son, the lost and derelict one, more than the good son who stayed home and was the more perfect one?  If the lost one does come back, that is… 

– Ah Renfroe, you got me there. I just have more trouble loving customers, the bigger the bill they stiffed me with… Just one of my flaws, I admit. 

– I think that is a better definition of True Love, too, at least to think about, together. But think about it all the way through: Does it follow that loving somebody who is completely flawed, with no redeeming qualities, that would be perfectly True Love? 

– Help!  You’re talking about the devil there, Vodçek, aren’t you?  Satan? And the only people who would be capable of True Love would be Satanists? 

– Don’t you hate it when something like that happens with perfectly good logic?