Love and Human Person Essay
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1. Phenomenology is a way of seeing, of grasping the world from one’s lived experience, and as a method makes much use of epoché and the phenomenological reductions to describe man’s experiences. 2. Using secondary reflection on my lived experience, I discover the inescapable fact of my existence: I exist as a being-in-the-world-with others, and this is because of the datum called my body. My body encroaches upon both being and having. *
3. As an embodied spirit, I am facticity-transcendence, temporality and historicity.
All these are manifested in my being a homo faber. Work is a way for me to express and liberate myself, and to humanize the world.
4. Consciousness is intentional. Human knowing is a dialectical unity of the subject’s openness to reality and the self-givenness of reality in an endless series of profiles against a horizon of other possible objects.
5. At first glance, freedom and responsibility mean the capacity to choose, to act on my own, to be the source of my concrete actions and to be accountable for them.
But as I gradually unfold in the world, I become free and “response-able.” Authentic freedom then develops into a “self-possession with an objectively directed project of life.”
6. Dialogue is not identical with love but it is required in love. The obstacles to dialogue are seeming, speechifying and imposition. 7. Love is the unconditional giving of oneself to the other as other. Love of the other as other does not run counter to self-love but presupposes it. Love is “essentially a movement tending to the enhancement of value.” (Scheler)
8. Justice is the minimum demand of love rooted in the inviolability of the human person. 9. The socius exists as a dialectic to the neighbor. The neighbor passes through the socius, expresses itself on the fringes of the socius or rises against the socius.
10. The family is not a problem but a mystery, a value and a presence, the incarnation of the pact between the human persons and life, rooted in creative fidelity and hope.
11. The state exists to provide the external conditions and structure for the human person’s being-with-others. The principles of solidarity and subsidiary are important to counteract the totalitarian tendency of the state and to promote the value of democracy. As a political being, the human person has a double-duty towards the state.
12. Civil society, as distinct from the state, the economy and political parties, offers an alternative framework for sustainable societal development, and resolves the contradictions of elite versus participative democracy, rights-oriented liberalism versus communitarianism, and welfare state versus neoconservative antistatism.
13. In being-towards-death, one’s existence can be either inauthentic or authentic (Heidegger). Death is a test of love and the condition of freedom (Troisfontaines).
14. Human love in itself, which is the crowning point of all of my activities, does not guarantee my total fulfillment as a person but fails short of my search for authenticity. Thus reflecting on my historicity, and facing the inescapable fact of death, I long for the Absolute Thou who is the Horizon and Ground of my earthly existence.