Musings on Love and Love

George Blaisdell maqhth at
Wed Oct 17 15:02:40 EDT 2001

George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

"Be not troubling of you the heart..."
[From the Gospel of John, Chapter 14, verse 1.]

>From: Steven Lo Vullo

>In plunging into this issue again I feel like an alchoholic: I know I'm
>going to be sorry afterwards, but I can't help myself.

Well, it sure looks like an issue that will neither resolve nor go away, so 
perhaps it is a good one for us linguistic alchoholics! :-)

>Let's look... to see if a distinction between
>"feeling toward someone or something" and "action resulting from or
>demonstrating the reality of the feeling" is necessary or even >probable.

>The problem with this way of thinking is that the only way to maintain >it 
>is by presupposition. Not only that, but such a response reveals >that for 
>those who hold the view you are espousing there is no way to >falsify the 
>proposal. This is what is so frustrating in this debate. >The underlying 
>presupposition insures the conclusion no matter what, >and the explanation 
>always depends on the presupposition.

>If anything, FILEW is semantically the broader of the two terms in that 
> >context, taking into its scope AGAPAW, as I argued in one of my posts.

I agree with you that the terms are interchangable in usage - They are terms 
that both express the same thing, which in English is 'love'.  In English, 
for a parallel, what is the difference between fear and anxiety?  There 
really is no falsifiable test of difference.  They mean the same thing.  We 
might try saying that anxiety is lower key and more pervasive, whereas fear 
can be sharp and overwhelming, but as soon as you talk with someone having 
an anxiety attack, the distinction vanishes...  That person is in a total 
state of fearful panic...

So perhaps these two are like that - two words that indeed can be 
interchanged.  And we would do well to just translate them both as 'love' 
and get out of Dodge!

The lingerer that keeps me sipping out of this bottle, of course, is 
etymological.  Gapless vs affectionate.  And this etymology does indeed seem 
to confirm your notion that FILEO is the larger of the two, for if you are 
affectionate toward something, if you love it in your heart, then you will 
love it in-deed, and the loving in deed covers its gaps, covers its 
deficiencies, indeed, covers its sins...  Which is one of the big reasons 
why love is often deemed blind and insane...  A loving Christian sees and 
covers sins, whereas a loving non-Christian loves in the denial of faults.  
Or rejects upon admission of faults, so that when a 'gap' appears, the 
'love' [FILEW] disappears...

All speculation, of course, for the two can be interchanged at any textual 

>Moving on to Eph 5.25 FILEW is not found... anywhere in the entire >letter!

Which seems to say something!!

And FOBHTAI [as an aside] is presented as the appropriate response of the 
wife to her husband's AGAPH at the end [5:23]...  Which gives fear a whole 
new look...  'Reverence' in my KJV...

>As I mentioned earlier, it is a non sequitur to argue that because one term 
>is used rather than another that the other COULD NOT have been >used 
>synonymously to the same effect.

Indeed so.  Yet where are those [etymological] gaps?  And what can we do 
about them?  How do you 'love your enemy' when you hate his slimy guts?  
AGAPAW, understood as 'covering' his sins, seems more suited to obedience of 
this command than somehow generating a FILEW that is not felt...  For the 
Christian knows that we all sin, and that by covering a sinner's sins, one 
can thereby cherish the sinner, as if [s]he were oneself...

All but speculation and rambling musings in the bottle of etymology and 
reverie...  It's that "no gap" business that keeps me nipping at the cork 
here, Steve!!


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