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Dionysus!

A few questions regarding relationships?

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Hello, I'm new to this forum and fairly new to the philosophy itself. I'd say I pretty much get the philosophy but still a few questions remain.

The questions I have mainly regard selfless love for another person. Now, I defiantly don't have selfless love for everyone and see no need for it.

But is it ok to have that love for people of my choosing? I have few people I'd make great sacrifices for, and would regardless of any philosophy, but I'm curious what Objectivism has to say about it.

Another thing, what exactly does the ideal objectivist family look like? Parent to child relations, spouse relations, sibling relations? (In-law relations..hehe)

Thank You,

JL

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Did the search feature not return any useful results?

In any case, the idea of selfless love is loving a person always, no matter what. Good or bad aspects included. The reason that is bad is because that is dishonesty towards oneself about essential aspects of another person when negative aspects of a person are seen. I would say that love is loving everything about a person, especially all the essentials. There are reasons you choose to love someone in the first place, and it's up to you to decide what those reasons are. The important thing to remember, though, is that people change. People can turn abusive to take an extreme case, or perhaps you simply discover something you could not have known earlier on that leads to frequent disagreement and thus an unpleasant relationship. Of course, you may want to take the time to fix issues, and that's a perfectly good thing to do most of the time, but that doesn't mean you would want to cling on forever and cause yourself distress. Love is a gift, basically. You give it to people that you value for a reason, not merely because they exist.

Be careful when you use the word "sacrifice." Many people view sacrifice as a short-term cost for long-term gain, but sacrifice more accurately means giving up a value for a lesser value. A lot of the time, if you have good reasons to love a person, choices you make are not sacrifices, because there is benefit to your life in the long-run.

As for an ideal "objectivist family," there wouldn't be one. It's only a matter of what type of family is most beneficial to you as an individual and the people you care about.

Edited by Eiuol

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These are just probably misnomers that you have to think about differently. What would self-less love mean? It would mean that you get no benefit from the person, that you don't value them at all, that you probably actually hate them, but you go ahead and do it anyway because it's a sacrifice. Now surely you don't mean that.

As far as sacrifice, it is easy to confuse "sacrifice" with a trade-off. Simply giving something up is not a sacrifice, or else everything is a sacrifice because all human action involves acting in the face of alternatives (or trade-offs.) A sacrifice, strictly ethically defined here, means giving up something you value more in exchange for something you value less or not at all. So for example, you give up going to the movies in exchange for tending to your child. We might nominally call this "sacrificing for a loved one" in modern terms, but again, it would have to actually be a sacrifice only if we hate our child and valued the movie more. So just think about what selflessness and sacrifice actually mean and you'll probably find that what you feel is not selfless love, but egoistic love and prioritizing of values accordingly.

A good rule of thumb is that a sacrifice always involves a down side, a net loss, always hurts like hell, while acting egoistically always involves a net gain or an even exchange (or at least ameliorating your losses at that point.)

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So for example, you give up going to the movies in exchange for tending to your child. We might nominally call this "sacrificing for a loved one" in modern terms, but again, it would have to actually be a sacrifice only if we hate our child and valued the movie more. So just think about what selflessness and sacrifice actually mean and you'll probably find that what you feel is not selfless love, but egoistic love and prioritizing of values accordingly.

Thanks, that makes sense.

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