Любовь и справедливость суть одно и то же Положение третье: "Любовь и справедливость суть одно и то же, ибо справедливость есть любовь распределяемая на многих, и ничто кроме" Вот положение, разгоняющее мрак над множеством казуистических неясностей. Поистине, оно бросает лучи света в темные углы на многих уровнях христианской этики. Практически каждая проблема озадаченной совести, в отличие от совести сомневающейся, может быть сведена к напряжению (tension) между любовью и справедливостью. Не будем забывать, что Августин, так упорно настаивая на центральной роли любви, был вынужден пояснять, что руководство любви нуждается «в большем, чем добрая воля, и может осуществляться только при высокой степени вдумчивости и осмотрительности».1
1 "Morals of the Catholic Church," 26:25, in Philip Schaff, ed., Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo: Christian Literature Co., 1887), Vol. IV, p. 55.
Love Is Careful
This is why he used the dilectio (diligere)—not amor or caritas—to emphasize the love that not only cares but is careful, "diligent" in serving the neighbor as well as it can. Prudence and love are not just partners, they are one and the same. That is to say, Christian love and Christian prudence are one and the same, since they both go out to others. (Self-centered love and prudence are something else altogether!)
This is a side of love that businessmen can appreciate, as when a production engineer tries to balance product quality against price in a low-income market; or a personnel manager has to choose between letting an illness-weakened supply clerk keep his job, on the one hand, and on the other, playing fair with line workers whose output and piece-rate pay are being cut down by the clerk's delays. Love as prudence helps a field commander who has to decide whether a platoon or company, or even a regiment, is expendable. And if so, which one. Prudence, careful calculation, gives love the care-fulness it needs; with proper care, love does more than take justice into account, it becomes justice.
When we see love in this way we are forced to pull back from the sentimental and irrational idea that love isn't "intellectual". Luther was speaking of faith when he said, "Whoever wants to be a Christian should gouge out the eyes of reason"119 because reason is "the devil's bride, ... a lovely whore".120 Too many Christians think this nonrationality applies to love too. It does not.
Here is precisely the serious difficulty of love. How are its favors to be distributed among so many beneficiaries? We never have one neighbor at a time. How are we to love justice, how are we to be just about love, how are love and justice related? If to love is to seek the neighbor's welfare, and justice is being fair as between neighbors, then how do we put these two things together in our acts, in the situation? The answer is that in the Christian ethic the twain become one. Even if we define justice as giving to others what is their due, we must redefine it Christianly. For what is it that is due to our neighbors? It is love that is due—only love ("Owe no man anything except to love"). Love is justice, justice is love.
Again granting that justice is giving to each man what is his due (the suum cuique of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas), how are we to calculate, weigh, and distribute love's benefits among so many? As "persons" we are individuals-in-community. Therefore love's outreach is many-sided and wide-aimed, not one-directional; it is pluralist, not monist; multilateral, not unilateral. Agapeic love is not a one-to-one affair. (That would be philia or eros.) Love uses a shotgun, not a rifle! Faced as we always are in the social complex with a web of duties, i.e., giving what is "due" to others, love is compelled to be calculating, careful, prudent, distributive. It must be omnified, taking everything into account, and optimific, doing all that it can.
It will not do merely to keep love and justice separate, and then to give one or the other priority. Nathaniel Micklem relates a story of Canon Quick's about an Indian deeply in debt who inherited a fortune and gave it away to the poor, leaving his creditors unpaid.121 The "moral" drawn was that something is wrong with charity (love) when it is at variance with justice, since charity does more than justice, not less. This is, of course, a very badly drawn lesson. It is true, yes, that love and justice should not be at variance. The reason, however, is not that one should excel the other but, rather, that they are one and the same thing and cannot vary! The Indian failed in agape, and was therefore unjust.
«Дело не в том, чтобы попросту различить любовь и справедливость друг от друга и затем установить приоритет той или другой. Натаниэл Миклем (Nathaniel Micklem) пересказывает историю, слышанную им от каноника Квика (Quick), относительно некоего индийца, обремененного множеством долгов, который вдруг получил наследство и отдал его нищему, ничего не уплатив кредиторам.4 «Мораль», которую он выводил из этой истории, состояла в том, что какая-то недостаточность все-таки должна заключаться в самом деле милосердия (благотворительности, charity) (любви), если оно находится в противоречии со справедливостью, коль скоро милосердие требует большего, чем справедливость, а не меньшего. Но это, конечно, весьма неудачный вывод. Да, это правда, что любовь и справедливость не должны друг другу противоречить. Однако это не потому, что одно должно исключить другое, а скорее потому, что они суть одно и то же и не могут различаться! Индийцу из этой истории не хватило чувства агапе, и в силу этого он поступил несправедливо.
Justice is the many-sidedness of love. Love's simplest complication is "commutative" justice or one-to-one obligation, as in buying and selling or making contracts, exchanging goods or values. It becomes more complex with "distributive" justice or many-to-one, when, e.g., the community shares out its assets with citizens in retirement benefits or frames a fair law for selective service. In the reverse direction and equally complex is "contributive" justice or one-to-many, as when a man pays his taxes or a club committee figures out a reasonable dues charge. The institutional problem of social ethics, "corporative" justice or many-to-many, wrestles with love's problems in union-management relations, international affairs, trade treaties, United Nations policy, and the like. To say that love is between individuals and justice between groups, and that a union cannot "love" a corporation or a city cannot love the nation, is to sentimentalize love and dehumanize justice.
Справедливость есть много-стороннесть любви. Простейшее из трудных дел любви есть «коммутативная» справедливость или взаимные обязанности «одного и одного», такие как купля-продажа или заключение договоров, обмен благами и ценностями. Дело усложняется в случае «дистрибутивной» справедливости или отношений «многих и одного», когда, например, сообщество распределяет свои доходы в пользу пенсионеров или регулирует цены на определенные услуги. Так же и в обратную сторону, и столь же сложны задачи «контрибутивной» справедливости или отношений «одного к многим», например, когда человек платит налоги или правление какого-либо общества вычисляет разумную величину членских взносов. Институциональная задача социальной этики, «корпоративная» справедливость или отношения «многих ко многим», сталкивается с задачами любви в деятельности профсоюзов, международных делах, торговых соглашениях, в политике Организации Объединенных Наций и тому подобном. Сказать, что любовь касается лишь отношений между индивидами, а справедливость – между группами, и что отдельное объединение не может «любить» корпорацию, или город – страну, значит сентиментализировать любовь и дегуманизировать справедливость.»
After a thorough and brilliant exposition of the radical intensity of an agapeic love ethic, Paul Ramsey was in the end forced by his own logic to insist that love is, so to speak, in honor bound to figure the angles.122 Love's calculations, which the Greeks called prudence, keep love's imagination sharpened and at work. It saves love from any sentimental myopia or selective blindness as it does its work. Each of its claimants must be heard in relation to the others. This is the operational and situational discipline of the love ethic—it needs to find absolute love's relative course. The what and the why are given but the how and the which must be found.
"I keep six honest serving men,
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who."
In all humility and in spite of any hesitations based on false piety and Biblicism, Christian ethics is under grave obligation to do some tinkering with Scripture—i.e., with translations from the Greek of the Summary. And why? Because we have to add an "s" to "neighbor" in that distillation of the law. In order to make sure that agape is not sentimentalized and individualized, reduced to a merely one-to-one relationship (this is the essence of pietistic distortion), we must render the generic term plesion in the plural form "neighbors". The plural is there implicitly but practical conscience and good hermeneutics have to make it explicit. Only thus can we avoid the oversimplifying Tolstoyan notion that love wears blinders, never calculates, sees only the one-to-one immediate neighbor, the one who simply happens to be nigh or right there under your nose. We must sophisticate the childish notion that love is only for people one at a time.
«При всем почтении и вопреки всяким колебаниям, идущим от ложной набожности и приверженности буквалистскому прочтению Библии, христианская этика стоит перед тяжелой обязанностью произвести некоторую доработку (tinkering) Писания – именно, в переводе с греческого основной заповеди Христа (of the Summary). Почему? Потому, что в этой квинтэссенции закона необходимо добавить "s" к "neighbor" <заменить окончание "его" на "их", то есть вместо "ближнего" читать "ближних". – А. К.> Для того, чтобы было ясно, что агапе не сентиментализировано и не индивидуализировано, не сведено к простым взаимным отношениям отдельного человека к отдельному человеку (в чем состоит суть пиетистского перекоса), нам следует привести общий термин plesion к множественному числу "ближние". Множественное число в нем скрыто предполагается, но практический рассудок и верная герменевтика должны его выявить. Только так мы сумеем избежать того чересчур упрощающего толстовского суждения, якобы любовь носит шоры, никогда не рассчитывает, имеет в виду лишь непосредственного ближнего – того, кто случайно окажется рядом, прямо под носом. Нам следует логически усовершенствовать то инфантильное представление, что любовь касается только каждого человека в отдельности.»
4 Law and the Laws (Edinburgh: William Green & Son, Ltd., 1952), p. 115.
Even "social gospel" moralists have been pietistic about love. Rauschenbusch, speaking of a man's concern for his neighbor, said, "If he loves him, let him love him enough to be just to him".123 How can you love him if you are not just to him? Even if we accept the separation of the two, which we don't, surely "love" would start by being just— as the very least it could do.
A few years ago Sammy Davis, Jr., a popular American entertainer, repudiated his Christian identity and became a Jew. "As I see it", he said, "the difference is that the Christian religion preaches love thy neighbor and the Jewish religion preaches justice, and I think justice is the big thing we need".124 Here is the cry of a man who has suffered discrimination, and seen millions of other Negroes suffer, because people separate love and justice.
On this basis they can "love" Negroes while they refuse them simple justice! To paraphrase the classic cry of protest, we can say, "To hell with your love'; we want justice." To understand such a battle cry is to see how pietism and sentimentality have twisted and shortchanged agape.
What untold foolishness and moral purblindness have been caused by the individualizing error of pietism! Tolstoy was one of its staunchest exponents. In the first place, he tried to hold that love is a one-to-one affair, that it wears blinders like a shy horse and has only one neighbor at a time. (The fear that calculation may thin down love's intensity is a "calculated risk" built into its open-range, wide-scope task.) In the second place, he made love a matter of immediate, present neighbor concern with no thought of the morrow, no calculation of future needs. He literalized the Sermon's admonition: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow. . . . Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof!" "Future love does not exist," he said. "Love is a present activity only".125 A love that casts aside breadth of vision and imaginative foresight in this fashion is ethically crippled. Sad to say, it is not at all rare: the name for it is sentimentality.
A Proposed Reunion However, the main thing to emphasize is that only a misdirected conscience has to wrestle with the "justice versus love" problem. It is seen to be a pseudoproblem at once when we drop the traditional systematic habit of separating them as "virtues." There is an interesting parallel between the love-justice and faith-works syndromes. Some theologies treat faith-works as faith versus works, some as faith or works, some as faith and works. Christian situation ethics says faith is works, i.e., simply put, that faith works. In the same way various systems of Christian ethics have related love and justice: love versus justice (opposites),126 love or justice (alternatives),127 love and justice (complements).128 We say, however, very positively, that love is justice or that justice loves. They are one and the same. To be loving is to be just, to be just is to be loving.
The tendency to reify, to imagine that predicates are actually properties, is as potent in the case of justice as of love. Psychologically, it becomes easier to separate them into different entities when they are supposed to he something. Nygren with his motif research separated and opposed them, putting justice in eros or self-interest and love in agape or disinterestedness.129 So did Denis de Rougemont.130 Reinhold Niebuhr separated and made them alternatives, love transcendent and impossible, justice relative and possible.131 (Rather than saying with Niebuhr that love is ideal and justice is actual, we should be saying that love is maximum justice and justice is optimum love.) Emil Brunner and William Temple have separated them, assigning love to interpersonal relations and justice to intergroup relations. All Catholic moralists separate them, making love a "supernatural" virtue and justice a "natural" one, holding that we must be just in our actions but only may be loving! (The very absurdity of this for a Christian ethic shows that something is seriously wrong here at the outset, for Catholic theologians are the very model of logical system builders.)
Tillich links them in a coalition, a mutual reinforcement. He says that love "is the ground, the power, and the aim of justice," so that "love without justice is a body without a backbone".132 He comes fairly close to coalescing them, to making them the same thing. He agrees that love is "the ultimate principle of justice".133 But this is not close enough. He does not say, as we must say, that justice is the "ultimate" principle of love. In like fashion, G. Ernest Wright and Canon Quick say that justice is an aspect of love, inseparable from it, but they are really including one in the other—they are not equating them.134Ramsey once said that "justice may be defined as what Christian love does when confronted by two or more neighbors".135 The trouble with this is that love always confronts many neighbors.
«Тиллих объединяет их в некую коалицию, взаимно подкрепляющее объединение. Он говорит, что любовь есть «почва, сила и цель справедливости», так что «любовь без справедливости подобна телу без позвоночника».15 Он весьма близок тому, чтобы слить, отождествить их. Он согласен с тем, что любовь есть «конечный (ultimate) принцип справедливости».16 Но этого недостаточно. Он не говорит, как должны сказать мы, что справедливость есть «окончательный» (ultimate) принцип любви. Подобным же образом, Г. Эрнест Райт (G. Ernest Wright) и каноник Куик (Quick) говорят, что справедливость есть один из аспектов любви, неотделимый от нее, но они по сути включают одно в другое – а не приравнивают одно к другому.17 Рамсей (Ramsey) однажды сказал, что «справедливость может быть определена как то, чем занимается христианская любовь, когда имеет дело с двумя или более ближними».18 Беда здесь в том, что любовь всегда имеет дело с многими ближними».
15 The Theology of Culture (Oxford University Press, 1959), pp. 133-145.
16 Love, Power and Justice (Oxford University Press, 1954), p. 79.
17 Wright, The Biblical Doctrine of Man in Society (London: SCM Press, Ltd., 1954), p. 168; O. C. Quick, Christianity and Justice (London: Sheldon Press, 1940), p. 25.
18 Basic Christian Ethics, p. 243.
The "love, not justice" and "justice, not love" gambits have completely muddied the waters of all ethics, Christian and non-Christian. Ethical relativism, as in situation ethics, has to bury it once and for all. As we shall see in the next chapter, a lot of our trouble can be traced to an inveterate tendency to make love a sentiment rather than a formal principle, to romanticize it or assign it to friendship, as Brunner and Temple do (interpersonal as divided from intergroup). But Christianly speaking, we know that this is wrong; that agape is what is due to all others, to our various and many neighbors whether we "know" them or not. Justice is nothing other than love working out its problems. This viewpoint has existed potentially for a long time. Now we state it flatly and starkly so that there is no mistaking what is said. Love=justice; justice=love. It is often said that what is "due" to the neighbor is giving him his "rights." But here again we see that for situation ethics the same reasoning obtains. You have a right to anything that is loving; you have no right to anything that is unloving. All alleged rights and duties are as contingent and relative as all values. The right to religious freedom, free speech, public assembly, private property, sexual liberty, life itself, the vote—all are validated only by love.
Love Using Its Head
Justice is Christian love using its head, calculating its duties, obligations, opportunities, resources. Sometimes it is hard to decide, but the dilemmas, trilemmas, and multi-lemmas of conscience are as baffling for legalists as for situationists.136 Justice is love coping with situations where distribution is called for. On this basis it becomes plain that as the love ethic searches seriously for a social policy it must form a coalition with utilitarianism. It takes over from Bentham and Mill the strategic principle of "the greatest good of the greatest number."
Любовь, пользующаяся головой Справедливость есть христианская любовь, пользующаяся головой, взвешивающая свой долг, свои обязанности, возможности, ресурсы. Иногда решение трудно, но дилеммы, трилеммы и мульти-леммы совести столь же головоломны для легалистов, как и для ситуационистов.19 Справедливость есть любовь, имеющая дело с ситуациями, в которых требуется учет многих лиц (distribution). Исходя из этого становится ясным, что в той мере, в какой этика любви всерьез занимается социальной политикой, она вынуждена вступать в коалицию с утилитаризмом. Здесь она перенимает стратегический принцип Бентама и Милля – принцип «наибольшего блага для наибольшего числа людей».
Observe that this is a genuine coalition, even though it reshapes the "good" of the utilitarians, replacing their pleasure principle with agape. In the coalition the hedonistic calculus becomes the agapeic calculus, the greatest amount of neighbor welfare for the largest number of Neighbors possible. It uses the procedural principle of utilitarianism, distribution of benefits, but it already has its value principle as given in the Summary.
We need not try to assert some supposed mutual exclusion as between agape and the "happiness" that utilitarians want. All depends upon what we find our happiness in: all ethics are happiness ethics. With hedonists it is one's own pleasure (physical or mental); with neo-Aristotelians it is self-realization; with naturalists it is adjustment, gratification, and survival. Happiness is the pragmatist's satisfaction.137It is "how you get your kicks". The Christian situationist's happiness is in doing God's will as it is expressed in Jesus' Summary. And his utility method sets him to seeking his happiness (pleasure, too, and self-realization!) by seeking his neighbors' good on the widest possible scale.
(Words such as "happiness" and "pleasure" are not definitive. Attempts to systematize ethics always break down at this level. Hedonism, naturalism, utilitarianism— these are really hardly more than epithets. The same holds true of class terms such as "deontological" for formal or duty ethics, said to be concerned with doing the right rather than seeking the good; and "teleological" for goal or aspiration ethics, said to be concerned with realizing the good more and more, not merely obeying a law or rules.138 In these conventional terms situation ethics is closer to teleology, no doubt. Yet one's "duty" is to seek the goal of the most love possible in every situation, and one's "goal" is to obey the command to do just that! Our goal is to obey the Summary; our obedience is to serve love's aim and aspiration. Here is double-talk; there is no difference in practice. Calm scrutiny breaks down many of these neat and artificial categories.)
Take the story of the anointing at Bethany.139 (John's Gospel uses the episode to attack Judas, but Mark and Matthew let the real issue appear.) The issue is between impetuous, uncalculating, unenlightened sentimental love, in the woman's use of the costly ointment, and a calculating, enlightened love. The disciples say that love must work in coalition with utilitarian distribution, spreading the benefits as much as possible. Jesus is cast into the role of defending Leo Tolstoy's doctrine that love wears blinders, sees only the neighbor there. If we take the story as it stands, Jesus was wrong and the disciples were right. Attempts have been made to excuse Jesus, saying he was trying to comfort the thoughtless but sincere woman, softening the criticism of the bystanders while he actually agreed with them. We do not have to conclude that he ever said anything at all like, "You always have the poor with you".
When Ivar Kreuger's suicide showed that investments in his operations were worthless, in 1932, one American brokerage firm used its privy knowledge of the fact to sell its shares and those of its clients on the exchange to the ignorant trading public. This showed a proper concern for its own and its clients' welfare, but it was a clear betrayal of agapeic (all-loving) care. Love does not permit us to solve our problems or soothe our wounds at the expense of innocent third parties. Our neighbors include all our neighbors.
A resident physician on emergency, deciding whether to give the hospital's last unit of blood plasma to a young mother of three or to an old skid row drunk, may suppose that he is being forced to make a tragic choice between disinterested" love and justice. He may have been sentimentalized into thinking that to choose the mother and her children means ignoring love's "impartial" concern for all neighbors alike. But this falsifies reality. There is no partiality, no "respecting of persons," in preferring to serve more rather than fewer, many rather than few. Love must make estimates; it is preferential. That is to say, it is responsible, thoughtful, careful. To prefer the mother in that situation is the most loving decision. And therefore it is the most just decision too.
When T. E. Lawrence led his Arab forces against the Turks, he had to make moral choices, being a responsible decision maker. Hamed the Moor killed Salem in a personal quarrel while they were camped in the Wadi Kitan, even though Lawrence tried to stop it. He knew that Salem's people would exact "justice" by revenge, starting an endless feud and bloodletting. How should he calculate? He himself killed Hamed, to end it. Here is a real problem love faced. Bonhoeffer made the same kind of choice when he became a partner in the plot to kill Hitler. On a vast scale of "agapeic calculus" President Truman made his decision about the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Since legalistic casuistry says we are not always bound to be "loving," it might comfort Dr. Arrowsmith in Sinclair Lewis' novel. The scientist decided to give his new serum to only half the people on an island of the Caribbean, letting the others die of a plague, in order to convince skeptical authorities and so save many more lives in other epidemics. But legalistic casuistry could not comfort the British intelligence staff in World War II, when they let a number of women agents return to Germany to certain arrest and death in order to keep secret the fact that they had broken the German code. Situational casuistry could easily approve their decision.
If love does not calculate both the immediate and the remote consequence of its decisions, it turns selfish, childish, soft, subverting its own limitless, all-embracing work. To imagine that conscience may sometimes deny love but never justice, as the "natural law" theologians do, is confusion worse confounded. Such a demotion of love is perhaps the best they can do, given their initial mistake of separating love and justice as "virtues"—as properties to be "infused" rather than predicates of action. Actually, our only choice is between sentimentality and discernment, not between love and justice. Love and justice are the same, for justice is love distributed, nothing else. «Если любовь не берет в расчет одновременно непосредственные и отдаленные следствия своих решений, она становится эгоистичной, инфантильной, слабой, губящей свое собственное безмерное и всеохватное дело. Представлять дело так, что совесть может иногда отрицать требования любви, но никогда – справедливости, как это делает «естественный закон» теологов, есть самая отъявленная путаница. Такое снижение роли любви есть, возможно, лучшее, что им остается, если учесть их исходное заблуждение разделения любви и справедливости как разных «добродетелей» – как качеств, которые должны быть скорее «привнесены» в действие, чем быть его предикатами. Фактически, наш единственный выбор – выбор между сентиментальностью и пониманием, но не между любовью и справедливостью. Любовь и справедливость суть одно и то же, ибо справедливость есть любовь распределяемая, ничего кроме того.»
19 Leonard Hatch, Dilemmas (Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1931).
We have been speaking of justice as a moral principle, not as something settled and static, transfixed in laws. The root jus means many things: law, both written and unwritten; rights; and standards or ideals. But the basic distinction to be grasped is between moral justice and legal justice. The two, of course, are not antithetical, but it must be fully recognized that legal justice (law) always threatens to suffocate and cheat moral justice. Statutory laws, both civil and criminal, and the common law or custom, as in the Anglo-American tradition and most cultures, are in the situationist's view a necessary danger —but not, note, necessarily evil.
It is the task of jurisprudence, the philosophy and ethics of law and legislation, to keep legal justice as close as possible to moral justice. Most judicial systems even include, as a court of last resort, a procedure called equity in which it is sometimes admitted that although "the law was broken," the wrongdoer in the situation could not have acted otherwise without betraying moral justice too grossly to let even legalists close their eyes to it. This task of equity and jurisprudence is all bound up in, when it is not tied down by, the conflicting attitudes and tempers of jurists who are agapeic about justice and those who are legalists. The latter say with unction and every appearance of righteousness, "Rules are rules, laws are laws; don't blame me, you can't satisfy everybody."
To some, justice means merely penal justice, "giving them what they deserve" according to an established code of rewards and punishments. To some, it means an impartial, evenhanded administration of law, and to others, a fair adjudication between rival claims. Aristotle long ago distinguished between arithmetical justice, under which laws assume an identity between persons and cases, judging them according to the book, and geometrical justice, under which laws assume variety between persons and situations, judging cases more on their own merits and aiming at proportion between real people—although within the abstractions of "public order."
The old cracker-barrel phrase is: "We can't legislate morals." Experience with sex laws, as with the "noble experiment" of prohibition in the twenties, seems to support that idea. But sometimes law can encourage and inculcate higher standards of behavior, not reflecting present mores but nurturing and pioneering better ones. Situationists acknowledge that law and order are not only necessary but actually good, wherever and whenever they promote the best interests of love.
Christian ethics is concerned not only with a remedy for sin (moral evil), as in discrimination against Negroes, but also with the restraint of it. It needs both love-justice and law-order. Indeed, each presupposes the other. Situation ethics welcomes law for love's sake sometimes, all depending. This is why anarchism is a fallacious social idealism, and why Tolstoy was wrong. It recognizes the need for love but fails to see the need for order. It sees the importance of voluntary order but is too myopic toward the reality of sin to see the need for a loving use of force to protect the innocent and to make "rights" practicable.
But desegregation laws and adequate civil rights legislation are essential to justice understood agapeically. Whenever or if ever any civil rights law ceases to serve love according to an enlightened grasp of love's outreach, it should be thrown aside. We have a moral obligation to obey civil law, for order's sake; and we have a moral obligation to be situational (even disobeying the law) for love's sake. This statement is beamed to both segregationists and integrationists. Law and freedom from law can be duties, but love is the basic principle.
In this connection we should note that the strategy of civil disobedience poses the problem neatly. We ought not to hesitate to break a law that is in all conscience unjust, that is to say, unloving. Perhaps also we should before or pari passu do what we can to get it reinterpreted in the courts or thrown out on some ground such as constitutionality, using legislative machinery to correct it. But neither the state nor its laws is boss for the situationist; when there is a conflict, he decides for the higher law of love.140 He has to weigh immediate and remote consequences as well as local and broader interests, but if the scales go against law, so does he.
If his disobedience is ethical, not sheer outlawry, he will be open and aboveboard about it. His disobedience will be a witness to love-justice, and doing it in plain view will be his acknowledgment of order's reasonable claims.141 The serious subversive is never clandestine. Yet we should note that there is always the more radical possibility that the conscientious revolt is not against any particular law so much as against the state itself, presumably on the ground that omnific and optimific love has decided finally that the state behind the law is beyond love's pale. Love then requires revolution. In this case, obviously, conspiracy rather than open witness is the right way.
In the American Revolution, the Boston "tea party," which threw casks of tea into the harbor in protest against unjust revenues, was an instance of civil disobedience, whereas the patriots' subsequent secret raising of citizen armies to fight the Redcoats was revolution. The one can escalate into the other, but need not and ought not so to escalate until serious analysis combines with loyalty to freedom to make it a demand of enlightened love-justice.
But the basic point is that moral justice is not legal justice. In Melville's symbolic tragedy Billy Budd, Clag-gart's lies accusing Billy of taking part in the mutiny plans drove the tongue-tied and shocked Billy into hitting him. The blow accidentally killed him. Everybody knew that Billy was innocent, and of the stress he was under. The ship's officers would have found him innocent in a court-martial. But Captain Vere convinced them that their duty was to apply the articles of war, with their law that a sailor who strikes a superior officer (here a foretopman hitting a master-at-arms) is to be hanged. Vere was afraid of the mutinous British crew, many of whom, like Billy, had been forcibly impressed. So they hanged Billy. Vere was loyal to the law, not to love. But in scorning love he scorned justice too. Only law won.142
This story vividly portrays how law, not freedom, can be used to rationalize and disguise selfish motives and personal prejudices. To say that situation ethics could do any worse is either naive or perverse. It happens all the time.
Love Is Not Liking
The Fourth Proposition: "Love wills the neighbor's good whether we like him or not". To love christianly is a matter of attitude, not of feeling. Love is discerning and critical; it is not sentimental. Many students of Christian ethics have quarreled with one thing or another in Anders Nygren's Agape and Eros since its appearance in 1932, coincidentally with Brunner's basic ethical work and Niebuhr's. But as to its core thesis, that Christian love is definitely agapeic, not erotic nor philic (not a question of romance or friendship), there has been no serious debate. That is, it is neighbor-concerned, outgoing, not self-concerned or selective.
(Even when Plato in the Symposium or the Phaedrus used eros with a spiritualized meaning, it was still primarily in the lover's own interest and for his own sake. And when Father Martin D'Arcy protests, rightly, that the two loves, agape and eros, are not mutually exclusive, he is not actually questioning the distinction or its importance.143)
Never Sentimentalize Love
In Canon Quick's sensitive expression, "Whereas in eros desire is the cause of love, in agape love is the cause of desire".144Agape s desire is to satisfy the neighbor's need, not one's own, but the main thing about it is that agape love precedes all desire, of any kind. It is not at all an emotional norm or motive. It is volitional, conative. The ethic of agape is a Gesinnungs-eihik, an attitudinal ethic. This is why Rudolf Bultmann is so positive in his statement: "In reality, the love which is based on emotions of sympathy, or affection, is self-love; for it is a love of preference, of choice, and the standard of the preference and choice is the self".145
A young unmarried couple might decide, if they make their decisions Christianly, to have intercourse (e.g., by getting pregnant to force a selfish parent to relent his overbearing resistance to their marriage). But as Christians they would never merely say, "It's all right if we like each other!" Loving concern can make it all right, but mere liking cannot.
Richardson's Theological Word Book explains that the predominant New Testament verb for love, agapao, "has neither the warmth of phileo nor the intensity of erao", and refers to "the will rather than to emotion".146 Bishop Stephen Neill calls it "the steady directing of the human will towards the eternal well-being of another".147 According to Søren Kierkegaard, to say that love is a feeling or anything of that kind is an unchristian conception of love.148H. R. Niebuhr and Waldo Beach have asserted flatly that "Christ's love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what not; it was the work of love, which was his life".149C. H. Dodd said of agape that "it is not primarily an emotion or affection; it is primarily an active determination of the will. That is why it can be commanded, as feelings cannot".150 Those for whom true love is an emotion will naturally take hate to be its opposite; those who follow the Biblical understanding will readily see that its opposite is indifference, simply not caring.
(We appreciate the pitfalls of oversimplified word studies. We cannot really construct a conceptual apparatus or Biblical theology on words alone; it requires whole statements.151 Yet on any approach to the problem, linguistic or not, the same nonemotional understanding of the key terms agape in the New Testament, and aheh and hesed in the Old, results.)
Pinned down to its precise meaning, Christian love is benevolence, literally. Goodwill. Unfortunately for us in our age, if we have any wish to stick with the New Testament's glossary of terms, the words "benevolence" and "goodwill" have by common usage taken on a tepid, almost merely polite meaning. Nevertheless, this is what Christian love is. It does not seek the deserving, nor is it judgmental when it makes its decisions—judgmental, that is, about the people it wants to serve. Agape goes out to our neighbors not for our own sakes nor for theirs, really, but for God's. We can say quite plainly and colloquially that Christian love is the business of loving the unlovable, i.e., the unlikable.
This love is as radical as it is because of its non-reciprocal, noncongenial outreach. It is for the deserving and the undeserving alike. God makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. To suppose that we are required by any Christian imperative to like everybody is a cheap hypocrisy ethically and an impossibility psychologically. People often point out, quite reasonably and properly, that "it is impossible to love in obedience to a command" and that to ask it of us only encourages hypocrisy, "since all men are not lovable".152 Both objections are correct. But only if we sentimentalize love, taking it to be a matter of feeling or emotion, could they be true objections to agape. Loving and liking are not the same thing.
Kant observed that love cannot be commanded, and discussed the question at some length.153 In his own way and in his own language he recognized that romantic love (and, for that matter, friendship love) cannot be ordered at all. But agape can. He concluded that in Jesus' Summary, in the second part, "it is only practical love that is meant in that pith of all laws". There is nothing sentimental about Christian love or Christian ethics.