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Friendship

Monday, November 5, 2007 6 comments

Disclaimer: The material cited does not reflect that of my Christian principles.

In a class I am taking we are reading a book titled “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals” by Immanuel Kant. One of the claims he makes is that morals are not a result of actions, but rather the intent of the action. For example, if someone does a good deed with a motive of being recognized, that is not considered moral.

“for we like to flatter ourselves by falsely attributing to ourselves a nobler motive, whereas in fact we can never, even by the most strenuous self-examination, get entirely behind our covert incentives, since, when moral worth is at issue, what counts is not actions, which one sees, but those inner principles of actions that one does not see.”

He later says that most of our actions come from a duty. “From love of humankind I am willing to admit that even most of our actions are in conformity with duty.”

I found the next part extremely interesting. “pure sincerity in friendship can be no less required of everyone even if up to now there may never have been a sincere friend, because this duty – as duty in general – lies, prior to all experience, in the idea of a reason determining the will by means of a priori grounds.”

As we know, friendship requires a duty on both sides. Are certain actions required or expected? As we get older friends change. Do you think that self greed is a result of actions in a friendship? How do we measure friendship if we cannot ultimately know ones motive or soul to determine whether their action was genuine? These are a few questions I pondered, as I thought of my few friends of many I consider to be sincere friendships.

6 comments: to “ Friendship so far...

  • Timm November 7, 2007 at 9:06 AM
     

    I'm confused.

    It seems to me that Friendship is one of many acts in life that require a good deal of faith. I can only control my motives. At the same time, I have to put my faith in you that you're motives, (in regard to our friendship,) are sinscere. That's all I can really do.

  • Craig November 7, 2007 at 10:28 AM
     

    I guess the point I was trying to make is that we have different levels of friendships and we lose some. Is this a result of a lack of duty? And what about the cases when someone on one side is fulfilling their part and the other is not?

  • Craig November 7, 2007 at 10:51 AM
     

    Furthermore, are these actions a standard or mere reciprocity?

    Someone argued that the "Golden Rule" was a selfish act because you are treating others the way you wanted to be treated in hopes that they would someday return the favor.

  • Timm November 7, 2007 at 12:59 PM
     

    There are different levels of friendships. I won't argue that. I'm not sold that I have a duty to anyone though. Ideally, the kind things I do are out of the goodness of my heart, rather than the feeling that I have to do them. I a personally appreciate people who say and act as they truly feel more than those who put on a facade for my benefit.

    I don't even know what reciprocity means. =) However, I think that "someone" missed the point of the Golden rule. The whole idea is to put yourself in someone else's shoes to try and understand how they might feel. If we want to talk about being selfish, isn't this whole conversation based on a selfish rational.

    All I can worry about is what I do, say and feel towards other people. If I sit back and dwell on what the motive is behind their actions towards me, then I'm worried about myself, not them. If I'm friends with someone who is only interested in how I treat them, I've picked a bad friendship.

  • Craig November 8, 2007 at 12:10 AM
     

    If there are different levels of friendships, what actions did they do to earn trust or achieve that level?

  • Layneh November 11, 2007 at 6:25 PM
     

    A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. -Proverbs 12:26

    From that verse you have a responsibility in a friendship, to prevent them from falling away from God. This is a selfless act.

 
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