Sunday, October 5, 2014

Love - the Good and the Bad

In the reading we had over the weekend, it says that the natural inclination of human beings is love but sin is the product of an immoderately directed love. This concept is strange to someone like me, who has grown up with the idea that love is pure and innocent and, thus, can do no wrong. But in Dante’s masterpiece, he describes the love in Hell and Purgatory as perverse or tainted. In Hell, the three types of love are incontinence, which is an inability to control one’s sexual desires, violence, and fraudulence. Strangely, the seven sins are found in Purgatory not Hell as one of three types of love: misdirected (pride, envy, and wrath), defective (sloth), or excessive (gluttony, avarice, and lust). Once again, I have never thought of the sins or Hell in terms of love, but it does make sense. The sin wrath holds a particularly unique position in the perversion of love, mostly because of how the Bible describes certain actions by God. God’s wrath is considered an act of love for humans; He punishes us to push us in the right direction, to help us stay on the correct path. But that brings up a question: Why does Dante feel that those with the misdirected love wrath should be punished, while God, who shows His wrath and love in the Bible, is considered to be completely Holy? Why is God considered to be perfection if, according to Dante, his type of love for us is wrong? Perhaps love is not what it appears to be; perhaps it is actually more of a hindrance than a benefit. Is this the reason why Dante distinguishes love and vision, which is similar to love? In Paradise, people are classified by the extent of their vision of God. Basically this means that those with a love of God are found in Paradise. Its funny how the one of the only times love is good is when its directed at God. I am interested to find out how everyone feels about this.

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