Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quote of the Day

John Calvin, who's 500th anniversary of his birthday is this upcoming Friday:
"It is the common habit of mankind that the more closely men are bound together by the ties of kinship, of acquaintanceship, or of neighborhood, the more responsibilities for one another they share. This does not offend God; for his providence, as it were, leads us to it. But I say: we ought to embrace the whole human race without exception in a single feeling of love; here there is no distinction between barbarian and Greek, worthy and unworthy, friend and enemy, since all should be contemplated in God, not in themselves. When we turn aside from such contemplation, it is no wonder we become entangled in many errors. Therefore, if we rightly direct our love, we must first turn our eyes not to man, the sight of whom would more often engender hate than love, but to God, who bids us extend to all men the love we bear to him, that this may be an unchanging principle: Whatever the character of the man, we must yet love him because we love God."
Chilling how much this quote parallels Bob Wright's thoughts on non-zero sum interaction, cultural evolution, and a moral trajectory undergirding (human) history culminating in an ethic of universal love and toleration.

(h/t Andrew Sullivan)

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