Virtuoso Expression of Love

Virtuoso Expression of Love July 1, 2015

Virtuoso expression of love

“There is only one defense against the rising, worldwide, fear-filled fundamentalist tide engulfing all religions (including the intolerant religion of the New Atheists) which once engulfed me: the embrace of paradox and uncertainty as the virtuoso expression of love.”

– Frank Schaeffer, Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace, as quoted on his blog.

I like the quote, and think that the language used deserves to be reflected on. Do you agree that love inherently involves uncertainty and paradox? Love is inherently risky and cannot be realized without moving outside of our comfort zone. Becoming a virtuoso in such risk-taking, learning to courageously explore an area so rewarding, and to embrace the inevitable pain as inherent in the process of making connections and transcending our narrow individual horizons, is the only hope for a brighter future.

 

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  • John MacDonald

    I think the essence of our humanity is the desire to become more than we are. What is a more beautiful expression of this than love? It is in love that our “telos” and our nature become one.

  • AtalantaBethulia

    Indeed. If you aren’t already familiar with the research and writing of Brene’ Brown, she’s worth looking into. Her research on shame discovered that the willingness to embrace vulnerability was the very thing that separated those who lived wholehearted lives, who felt their lives had meaning and purpose and those who struggled to find love and belonging. Her book “Daring Greatly” explains her findings and her TED talks are well worth the 40 minutes to watch them both.

    Thank you for the post.

  • David Evans

    OK except for the routine slap at the New Atheists. When did you last hear of a terrorist brandishing a Kalashnikov and shouting “Dawkins akbar“?

    • Indeed, the Old Atheists had “Marx akbar” and “Lenin akbar” and “Mao akbar,” but nothing of that sort from the New Atheists – at least, not yet. I suppose the interesting question is whether the New Atheists are inherently immune from that sort of thing.

      • Nick G

        Well no, that was the Marxists (more accurately, some of them), Leninists, and Maoists respectively. Identifying “Old Atheism” with Marxism is just lazy.

        • But identifying ISIS with Islam isn’t? 🙂

          • Nick G

            Of course it is. What’s your point?

          • To highlight our agreement, that I took a cheap shot and was rightly accused of being lazy. 🙂

          • Nick G

            Fair enough!

      • David Evans

        The point of my question was at least as much about the Kalashnikov as about the akbar.
        And no-one is inherently immune from error. To ask the question that way is to blur the fact that, on the evidence so far, New Atheists are less disposed to “that sort of thing” and much less disposed to violence than religious fundamentalists.

  • Nick G

    *sigh*
    The tired old trope of “atheism is a religion”. There’s plenty to criticise in the writings of “New Atheists” such as Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris, without resorting to blithering nonsense such as Schaeffer (“an atheist who believes in God”) specialises in.