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An argument in favor of friendship ties in the church

On a linked page we examine some of the implications for educators. In one setting we may describe someone as a friend, in another the label may seem less appropriate. We may have a very thin understanding of what friendship entails. For example, Bellah et. In contemporary western societies, it is suggested, we tend to define friendship in terms of the first component, and find the notion of utility a difficult to place within friendship. What we least understand is the third component, shared commitment to the good, which seems to us quite extraneous to the idea of friendship.

In a culture dominated by expressive and utilitarian individualism, it is easy for us to understand the components of pleasure and usefulness, but we have difficulty seeing the point of considering friendship in terms of common moral commitments.

Many contemporary writers in the west tend to present friendship as private, voluntary, and happening between autonomous individuals.

  1. In this kind of love, as Emerson said, Do you love me? The Registering Officer reads the certificate aloud.
  2. Quaker weddings Quaker weddings do not have to take place in registered buildings but they must be held indoors.
  3. There are worries that relationships that exist in text — or even screen-to-screen on flickering webcams — are less satisfying than those in which people can really see, hear, smell, and touch each other. Can online relationships be meaningful, perhaps even as meaningful as in-person relationships?
  4. The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age.

This contrasts in key respects with the classical view, and, as we will see, derives from a particular view of selfhood. Furthermore, as Graham Allan 1989 has argued, relationships that are often presented as voluntary, informal and personal, still operate within the constraints of class, gender, age, ethnicity and geography — and this places a considerable question against the idea that friendship is a matter of choice.

Two classical views of friendship Aristotle provides us with one of the great discussions of friendship. He distinguishes between what he believes to be genuine friendships and two other forms: These two forms only last for as long as there is utility and pleasure involved, whereas genuine friendship does not dissolve.

It takes place between good men: This also entails appropriate self-concern. Aristotle on friendship Friendship… is a kind of virtue, or implies virtue, and it is also most necessary for living. Nobody would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other good things…. There are, however, not a few divergent views about friendship. Some hold that it is a matter of similarity: There are three kinds of friendship….

  • Quaker marriages can be held at any time of day;
  • Meetings for business Individual Quaker Meetings carry out matters of business and administration at "Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business";
  • Friendship needs time, space and material resources to develop and will be impacted upon by the particular social environment and setting in which it arises;
  • Cicero 106-43 BC was a Roman statesman and orator whose writings on ethics, the philosophy of religion and natural law have been influential;
  • Perfect friendship is based on goodness;
  • From the various evidence available, and it must be recognized that much of it is now quite dated, it appears that… the tendency has been for non-kin relationships to remain bounded by the initial setting for interaction… Thus, by and large, workmates are not seen elsewhere unless they also happen to share other activities in common:

Friendship based on utility. Utility is an impermanent things: So with the disappearance of the ground for friendship, the friendship also breaks up, because that was what kept it alive. Friendships of this kind seem to occur most frequently between the elderly because at their age what they want is not pleasure but utility and those in middle or early life who are pursuing their own advantage. Such persons do not spend much time together, because sometimes they do not even like one another, and therefore feel no need of such an association unless they are mutually useful.

Friendships with foreigners are generally included in this class. Friendship based on pleasure. Friendship between the young is thought to be grounded on pleasure, because the lives of the young are regulated by their feelings, and their chief interest is in their own pleasure and the opportunity of the moment. With advancing years, however, their tastes change too, so that they are quick to make and to break friendships; because their affection changes just as the things that please them do and this sort of pleasure changes rapidly.

Also the young are apt to fall in love, for erotic friendship is for the most part swayed by the feelings and based on pleasure. That is why they fall in and out of friendship quickly, changing their attitude often within the same day.

But the young do like to spend the day and live together, because that is how they realize the object of their friendship. Perfect friendship is based on goodness. Only the friendship of those who are good, and similar in their goodness, is perfect. For these people each alike wish good for the other qua good, and they are good in themselves. Accordingly the friendship of such men lasts so long as they remain good; and goodness is an enduring quality.

Also each party is good both absolutely and for his friend, since the good are both good absolutely and useful to each other.

  1. Altruism and Morality, New York. His belief in the notion of human rights and the brotherhood of man became important reference points.
  2. The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age. There is the associated question of whether the internet is splitting people into two separate worlds.
  3. A study in moral theory, London. We can also see that we are separate and different from each other.

Similarly they please one another too; for the good are pleasing both absolutely and to each other; because everyone is pleased with his own conduct and conduct that resembles it, and the conduct of good men is the same or similar. Friendship of this kind is permanent, reasonably enough; because in it are united all the attributes that friends ought to possess.

For all friendship has as its object something good or pleasant — either absolutely or relatively to the person who feels the affection — and is based on some similarity between the parties. But in this friendship all the qualities that we have mentioned belong to the friends themselves; because in it there is similarity, etc.

Therefore it is between good men that both love and friendship are chiefly found and in the highest form.

That such friendships are rare is natural, because men of this kind are few. And in addition they need time and intimacy; for as the saying goes, you cannot get to know each other until you have eaten the proverbial quantity of salt together.

Nor can one man accept another, or the two become friends, until each has proved to the other that he is worthy of love, and so won his trust. Those who are quick to make friendly advances to each other have the desire to be friends, but they are not unless they are worthy of love and know it.

The wish for friendship develops rapidly, but friendship does not. Aristotle The Nichomachean Ethics, 1155a3, 1156a16-1156b23 Suzanne Stern-Gillet suggests that friendships of utility and pleasure can be seen as processes, whereas friendships of virtue are activities. Such activities are central to living the good life. It is only friendship based on virtue that allows a relationship between whole persons.

To perceive a friendtherefore, is necessarily in a manner to perceive oneself, and to know a friend is in a manner to know oneself. The excellent person is related to his friend in the same way as he is related to himself, since a friend is another himself.

As Ray Pahl 2000: In this we love the other person for their own sake not just for what they are or what they can offer, and we put the interests of the other before our own. We can also see that we are separate and different from each other. We know ourselves and the other. Friendship of this kind necessarily involves conversations about well-being and of what might be involved in living the good life.

Through networks of friends, Aristotle seems to be arguing, we can begin to develop a shared idea of the good and to pursue it. Friendship, in this sense, involves sharing in a common project: Cicero 106-43 BC was a Roman statesman and orator whose writings on ethics, the philosophy of religion and natural law have been influential.

His belief in the notion of an argument in favor of friendship ties in the church rights and the brotherhood of man became important reference points. As with Aristotle, Cicero believed that true friendship was only possible between good men.

The Strength of Internet Ties

This friendship, based on virtue, does offer material benefits, but it does not seek them. All human beings, Cicero concluded, are bonded together, along with the gods, in a community of shared reason. But in the real world, friendship is subject to all sorts of pressures. But do not let us wait to be asked either: Let us have the courage to give advice with candour.

In friendship, let the influence of friends who give good advice be paramount; and let this influence be used to enforce advice not only in plain-spoken terms, but sometimes, if the case demands it, with sharpness; and when so used, let it be obeyed.

  • The decision is not based on a majority or a consensus, but on the "sense of the meeting";
  • Organized around churches and chapels, trade unions and associations, or political and cooperative groupings and the like, such activity entailed utility and at least some pleasure and interest in the good;
  • Many contemporary writers in the west tend to present friendship as private, voluntary, and happening between autonomous individuals;
  • There is the associated question of whether the internet is splitting people into two separate worlds;
  • It has no set order of service or sermon.

This sort of man is rare; and indeed all excellent things are rare; and nothing in the world is so hard to find as a thing entirely and completely perfect of its kind.

But most people not only recognize nothing as good in our life unless it is profitable, but look upon friends as so much stock, caring most for those by whom they hope to make most profit.

Friendship theory: some philosophical and sociological themes

Accordingly they never possess that most beautiful and most spontaneous friendship which must be sought solely for itself without any ulterior object. They fail also to learn from their own feelings the nature and the strength of friendship.

For every one loves himself, not for any reward which such love may bring, but because an argument in favor of friendship ties in the church is dear to himself independently of anything else. But unless this feeling is transferred to another, what a real friend is will never be revealed; for he is, as it were, a second self. But if we find these two instincts showing themselves in animals, — whether of the air or the sea or the land, whether wild or tame, — first, a love of self, which in fact is born in everything that lives alike; and, secondly, an eagerness to find and attach themselves to other creatures of their own kind; and if this natural action is accompanied by desire and by something resembling human love, how much more must this be the case in man by the law of his nature?

For man not only loves himself, but seeks another whose spirit he may so blend with his own as almost to make one being of two. On it depends harmony of interest, permanence, fidelity. When Virtue has reared her head and shewn the light of her countenance, and seen and recognised the same light in another, she gravitates towards it, and in her turn welcomes that which the other has to shew; and from it springs up a flame which you may call love or friendship as you please.

Both words are from the same root in Latin; and love is just the cleaving to him whom you love without the prompting of need or any view to advantage-though this latter blossoms spontaneously on friendship, little as you may have looked for it… And since the law of our nature and of our life is that a new generation is for ever springing up, the most desirable thing is that along with your contemporaries, with whom you started in the race, you may also teach what is to us the goal.


But in view of the in-stability and perishableness of mortal things, we should be continually on the look-out for some to love and by whom to be loved; for if we lose affection and kindliness from our life, we lose all that gives it charm… section 27 This is all I had to say on friendship.

One piece of advice on parting. Make up your minds to this. Virtue without which friendship is impossible is first; but next to it, and to it alone, the greatest of all things is Friendship. It might be the case, as Anthony Gottlieb 2000: Certainly his work was to influence generations of thinkers — and in particular the intellectual elite that emerged with the growth of monastic and cathedral schools from the end of the tenth century Pahl 2000: However, there was some tension in these and other Christian settings, between this notion of friendship and the more universal idea of Christian love agape.

One way of approaching this is to see friendship as being more narrow in its focus. It is preferential and reciprocal. He saw friendship along with kinship and place as one of the three pillars of traditional community gemeinschaft that were disrupted by the rise of the more impersonal forms of society associated with industrialization, urbanization and capitalism 1955: Just whether traditional communities were of this nature is, however, doubtful.

There are significant indications that friendships in the periods prior to large-scale industrialization in countries like England were often instrumental. Relationships were frequently characterized by considerable caution and suspicion. These new, freely chosen relationships reflected the new universalism emerging in civil society. The well-regulated market frees the classic Aristolelian friendship of virtue from friendship of utility. A new generation of thinkers began to chart these shifts.

They celebrated the movement away from a narrow instrumental view of friendship. Commercial society brought a degree of autonomy right down to the ordinary tradesman and the street porter. Thus, where Rousseau in his Discourse on Inequality saw only inequality and dependence, Smith saw the possibility of well-being, achieved through a system of mutual co-operation, grounded on freedom, and a form of social organization which accorded independence to ordinary people; independence of a sort that they had never enjoyed before.

Sheamur and Klein 2000 However, Adam Smith recognized that the emergence of commercial society was a mixed blessing.