The Four Loves by C.S Lewis





The Four Loves by C.S Lewis

Philosophy is a subject that is involved in studies related to general knowledge about life issues and questions about the existence and purposes of man. Philosophy in Greek means the love of wisdom and, therefore, philosophy is about wisdom relating to the problems about life and the existence of man (Lewis, 4). The ‘Four Loves’ is a summary of loves shown by humans towards other humans (Lewis, 7). The four loves include love for God or charity in the society, friendship among people, erotic love among lovers and affection. All the outlined loves have a vital role to play in the development of the human life and affect people their relations with other people. God’s love is shown by the charity work in society such that the less fortunate receive love. His mercies are a blessing to the world and the existence of humankind, which is a clear indication of love. Without love in the world, countries and people would live in hatred and war. Without love, the presence of man would be diminished. For instance lack of romance in a relationship means that there would be no children borne out of such relationships. The four loves are necessary in the field of philosophy because they facilitate the existence of man (Lewis, 28).

Affection is ranked, as the first of the four loves (Lewis, 14). Affection is a love that amounts to more than friendship between people. Affection is a delicate love among people, as it requires time to develop such kind of love. It is based on familiarity among people especially members of a family. It comes naturally as a human instinct because it is natural, as the individual loves the other because they have not been forced to be love. It is also described as causing emotions because the individuals are fond of each other. Such fondness creates a bond, which is almost unbreakable making it necessary to philosophy given it creates a sense of belonging in a human being. Affection is because of a good relationship among people. People who are shown affection in any family or relationship feel appreciated and hence they feel happy and enjoy their existence.

It is deemed as one of the most valuable loves because it lacks measurable aspects, as it is typified by sacrifice and admiration. People are told to expect the presence of affection in relationships that are regarded as firm because they are built on familiarity, which creates a sense of security to those in the relationships. This kind of love is vital in the existence of humans because all people have personal relationships that are based familiarity. Bonds created among people because of familiarity especially in a family setting illustrate the importance of having a family to provide the love that is vital for leading a healthy and satisfactory life. In philosophy, the presence of happiness is because of having comfort, security and the existence of family members who are a source of encouragement in difficult times. However, in some aspects being affectionate does not really mean that the person showing the affection to another person loves the person. It could be a gesture that the person is showing affection for showing remorse or pity on a person. Affection can be out of respect for a person because of their deeds towards another, which could be a sign of repaying a debt owed to him. Man is an intellectual being and thus he relates to people in his life in differently depending on the respect and trust that has been developed because of familiarity. Hence, without affection man cannot feel appreciated to conduct his daily duties with ease and enable him to live in happiness.

Charity refers to unconditional and unlimited love towards others especially those that are considered as familiar. Charity is regarded as the most important love of all because there are no conditions for such love to be received or to given to people. God is regarded as the creator of the world and everything in it especially and who is the only intellectual being in the world. God gives to humans both love as a gift a love as a need. Gift love or gift of love is due to the existence of man as being made in his image. In his image, God made man such that he is able to act on extraordinary settings. God shows his gift of love to men in the world in different ways. God has equipped man with love in his nature such that he is able bring love into the world on his own by benevolent acts towards unfortunate people in the society. Charity is not about benevolent acts or behavior. Just as man is given freely by God his conscience guides him into giving back via numerous ways. In addition, receiving from God should evoke benevolence in the mind of man such that he gives without expecting to be given back which is a true altruistic act. The wisdom of helping others and the initiative to help the less fortunate is part of the reason of existence of people from different backgrounds, to help those who cannot help themselves

It considers unconditional love towards others in the society. It entails love for others ort r nigh boras without consideration of the qualities that would be desired for the subject to be considered as lovable. It is considered as the greatest love off all because it does consider man’s defects as a person but his attributes. Charity is the gift of God which humankind receives through his mercies and grace owing to the deep love he has for humankind. His love for what he created is reflected by the love he shows to man. He relegates of taking care of the world to humankind and instills a nature of caring into us such that man is able to take care of what God created out natural instinct. However all the efforts of protecting and saving humanity is a tall order. Thus, man supports God’s word by ensuring that his creation is taken of by man, this is also a way of showing gratitude to God. We as humanity express gratitude to God in so many ways that we deem fit. Love of God is stronger than love one that is provided by man, thus it is greater in every aspect such that all those who believe in him should live fulfilling lives

Eros is a main feature in the outlined loves it can be interpreted as romance or erotic love as suggested by the word ‘Eros’  which the word erotic derives its meaning from . Eros can also be defined as state of an individual falling in love (Soble, 25). Sexuality has a strong definition in the definition of Eros. Thus, Eros has both sexual and non-sexual definitions People who lie together are usually in a state of Eros (Krausser & Michael, 14). Eros however was not a reason or marriages in the early periods. From a Christian perspective, people got married without other ill-natured desires, which has entirely changed in a period characterized by the presence of divorces due to adulterers. Without e presence of sexuality in marriage people would not continue the purpose of populating the world. Eros has contributed to love among people, which later ends in marriage. Marriage is a sacred institution in God’s eyes, which shows the clear definition of being married. Married couples how love in different ways both verbal and non-verbal. This can be attributed to the presence of love that only exists amongst lovers or married people, which fulfils the reason as to why God made both man and woman. Their presence in the world is to complete each other via means of marriage. Marriage without love has no foundation because none of the partners considers the other as importance in their lives.

The effect of romance is courtship and maybe then marriage. Thus the married couples are able to experience the presence of love in their midst which makes them love each other more. Courtship enables people to understand their partners before marriage and to get to know if they are fit for each other. Romance is part of god’s gift to man. In addition, romance brings happiness amongst two people. Love among couples without the presence of romance would not be sufficient to sustain the relationship (Lewis, 38).

However, most of the society in the modern world experience sexual contact without the presence of any kind of love or attraction. Lack of love has also contributed to the presence of infidelity in marriages because most of the marriage partners are involved in some form of infidelity. However, such beliefs are based on morals, in philosophy what draws the most satisfaction and happiness is considered to good. Therefore, queries arise as to what is good for man. A man might feel gratified by having multiple lovers or sexual partners, which might result in high self-esteem or happiness (Krausser& Michael, 24). Because of such, Eros does not rule out love because of morals on those involved in the love. Continues the existence of man by new generations which are as a result of romantic relationships

Philia is also a predominant kind of love and is fundamental to the existence of man in the world. Philia is described as the friendship among people (Fimiani, 11). Such people could have known each other or could have just met and forged a good friendship based on trust, respect and common issues affecting them. Philia affects how an individual relates with others like him in the world. Friendship is responsible for the formation of happiness in the life of a human being. Happiness is attributed to better relations among people in the society. Philia leaves out relationships with non-living elements, which cannot communicate. Thus, philia enables communication between people who have strong bond (Lewis, 48).

Success among people can also be attributed to philia. The brotherly love helps people to share ideas for leading a successful; life in any field that they please. Different types of philia are present in the world. Friendships of utility are forged without the regard for the other person’s needs or feelings. They are regarded as selfish because they lean to helping one person in the relationships that consist of two people. Friendships of pleasure are formed by the happiness produced by the company of the friends. These kinds of friendships are usually formed by the presence of a similar activity or hobby that the friends enjoy doing together. This is a genuine love for the friends because there are no selfish interests in the friendship and the friendship is founded on true brotherly love. Brotherly love is the source of people co-existence between people regardless of their tribes, thus the presence of such love is truly a gift of God to Man to enable him to live with others in peace and happiness.

However, the lack of the unifying activity can lead to the collapse of such friendships, thus they cannot be described as insincere because each of the friends bases their friendships on the joy they experience form the company of others. Philia is a vital aspect in the existence of man among his peers and other people in the world and society. A good friendship or philia can be described as where friends enjoy just the simple company of each other’s presence. This is aided by presence of similar character traits enabling them to associate with each other with ease. The existence of man can be attributed to how he relates with his species in his society. This influences his existence and determines if he grows as an individual or the whole society benefits from such friendships (Soble, 32). Without philia among people, it would be difficult to exist peacefully.

In conclusion, without love in life, existence of man would be cold or further still, man would not be in existence because love revolves around the existence of man. The grace of God is the sole reason for the existence of man. The purpose of man is to make the world habitable for his species, other animals also made by God and other humans to come in the future and for maintaining it because he is made in God’s image. It becomes difficult to distinguish between the two loves Eros and Philia. Both are intertwined such that for successful romantic relationship, it starts with friendship, which then possibly leads to a romantic relationship. In Eros, a relationship between two can be beneficial to only on partner who is selfish and wants only his needs addressed in the relationship. In addition, a relationship between two friends can lead to one taking the advantage of the other. Thus, the presence of both Eros and Philia enables man to continue in existence and facilitates happiness in his life brought about by loved ones and friends.

Work Cited

Fimiani, Mariapaola. Philia. Napoli: Città del sole, 2001. Print.

Krausser, Helmut, and Michael Mitchell. Eros. New York: Europe, 2008. Print.

Lewis, C S. The Four Loves. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1960. Print.

Soble, Alan. Eros, Agape, and Philia: Readings in the Philosophy of Love. New York, N.Y: Paragon House, 1989. Print.

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