I have engaged in debates over whether God exists, and I’ve studied human nature and I now know why this, I believe.
We may debate the existence of God, but there is no quarrel among us about the existence of love. I’m not referring to the casual usage of the term love, but the love that transcends distance, time, and even death; a love that is far stronger than what would be predicted had we arrived at our current state through “survival of the fittest”.
As a pediatrician, I watch mothers love their children who, through genetics or illness fail to recognize or reciprocate that love. I see them continue to provide their care as they mature into adulthood, feeding them and changing their diapers. Their selfless love does not fail.
Even without familial ties we collectively care for these “evolutionary non-contributory” people in nursing homes and hospice. We protest loudly and broadly if we see them, after having lived in a persistent vegetative state, brought to an early end. We attach emotionally… we cry when they die and mourn for them until we die. Whether or not you believe in God, you can love in this way.
I consider this love not as an evolutionary anomaly or an emotional Achilles heel, but instead as a lingering remnant of True love. True love amongst a displaced people who share a common circumstance. True love between we who, as we look about us recognize that something is horribly wrong and intuitively know that this is not how it was meant to be. True love that mourns, refusing to believe that our relationships were ever meant to end.
I believe that there is a selfless love that transcends any evolutionary model that might try to explain its existence. A love that is described by the well-known phrase “all men are created equal”. A love that recognizes our inherent and individual worth, whether we are deemed valuable or not by our humanly contrived categories.
There is a love that points to having it’s origin outside of ourselves, and in this love, I believe.
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