Monday, June 26, 2006

Moral Claims

Andrew Sullivan has some eloquent thoughts on nepotism today, as part of his praise for the generosity of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett:
I know it's only natural to want to hand over all your wealth to your children, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it as such. But it is not the only moral claim; and those who elevate the biological family to supreme status in our society seem to me to be missing something important. Take care of them, of course. But keep them in their place. Along with the rather base impulse to benefit one's own genetic material, there is also philia -- the love based on choice and acceptance of another free human being -- and agape -- the love for all as one loves oneself. These two other forms of love and giving are clearly morally superior to "family values." They certainly were to Jesus, whose disdain for the biological, nuclear family is one of the great themes of the Gospels.
Read the whole thing.


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