Love and laughter

Jesus said

Love your neighbour as yourself.

The commandment has a corollary.

Love yourself as your neighbour.

‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ is a utilitarian moral principle. To love someone is to value their happiness. To love your neighbour is to value, as Bentham put it, ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number’. To love your neighbour as yourself is to heed Bentham’s dictum, ‘each to count for one, and none for more than one’.”

This gives the lie to claims that Christian morality is a species of altruism. It’s obviously not.

Now consider

Laugh at your neighbour as yourself.

and its corollary

Laugh at yourself as your neighbour.

Would Jesus approve this message? I think he would. He was not past poking fun at his own disciples on occasion. Of course, I think Jesus was more a “laugh with you” than a “laugh at you” kind of a guy. But Jesus can’t laugh with you if you don’t get the joke. So practise laughing at yourself. In the words of Dame Edna Everage

Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.

Compare and contrast Dame Edna’s advice with the advice of another famous dame.

Humor is the denial of metaphysical importance to that which you laugh at. … If what you are laughing at is the evil in the world (provided that you take it seriously, but occasionally you permit yourself to laugh at it), that’s fine. [To] laugh at that which is good, at heroes, at values, and above all at yourself [is] monstrous . . . . The worst evil that you can do, psychologically, is to laugh at yourself. That means spitting in your own face.

No sense of humour. How about a sense of life instead?

This entry was posted in Ayn Rand, Humour, Love. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Love and laughter

  1. PJ Cornell says:

    “Love your neighbour as yourself.

    The commandment has a corollary.

    Love yourself as your neighbour.”

    “By all means, love your neighbor as yourself. But first be such as loves himself.”

    –Friedrich Nietzsche

  2. Google says:

    Information No results found for “By all means, love your neighbor as yourself. But first be such as loves himself.”.

  3. I must whole heartedly disagree with your assertion that christ taught Utilitarianism Richard. By my rekoning Utilitarian pragmatism is in direct contrast to Christian Idealism. That a person’s Christianity may at times be conducive to other peoples happiness is accidental, not essential, indeed more often faithfulness to Christ provokes wrath and hatred in others. Bentham set up utilitarianism in opposition to Christianity as an alternitive system of ethics and it is akin to absolute democracy. John Stuart Mill was an atheist whom was one of utilitarianisms greatest champions, yet he modified it in an attempt to solve some of its most henious ramifications, by saying ‘the greatest happiness is achieved not by whim of the majority… but by recognising individual rights and protecting them by Law”… nonethe less the system remains purely pragmatic baced upon ends rather than justice.

  4. Richard says:

    I must whole heartedly disagree with your assertion that christ taught Utilitarianism Richard.

    I, too, wholeheartedly disagree with the assertion that Christ taught Utilitarianism!

    Tim, please read what I actually said. 🙂

  5. PJ Cornell says:

    I was paraphrasing somewhat.

    “love your neighbor as yourselves, but let me first see you such as love yourselves”

    Another one, on a related note:

    “The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.”

    Man. Great stuff.

  6. Pingback: Preaching to the retarded | Eternal Vigilance

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