Love is Truth and Compassion

Robert Wright:

“A thought experiment: Suppose you are a parent and you (a) watch someone else’s toddler misbehave and then (b) watch your own toddler do the same. Your predicted reactions, respectively, are: (a) “What a brat!” and (b)”That’s what happens when she skips her nap.”

“Now (b) is often a correct explanation, whereas (a) the “brat” reaction isn’t even an explanation. Thus does love lead to truth. So, too, when a parent sees her child show off and senses that the grandstanding is grounded in insecurity. That’s an often valid explanation – unlike, say, “My neighbor’s kid is such a showoff” and brings insight into human nature.

“Yes, yes, love can warp your perception, too. Still, there is an apprehension of the other – an empathetic understanding – that is at least humanly possible, and it would never have gotten off the ground had love not emerged on this planet as a direct result of Darwinian logic…

“O.K., so your child isn’t special. This doesn’t have to mean she’s not worthy of your love. It could mean instead that other people’s kids are worthy of your love. But it has to mean one or the other. And – especially given that love can bring truth – isn’t it better to expand love’s scope than to narrow it?”

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