Talk:Brotherly love (philosophy)

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'Brotherly love' is not just a biblical concept, and to be honest I'm unsure that it's distinct enough to warrant its own article. I'll seek advice and come back to this. Obscurasky (talk) 09:53, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Just looking at the sources here, there certainly seems to be a Greek tradition as well. Also, since a considerable amount of the idea comes from the Old Testament, it isn't just a Christian concept. The page Brotherly love is, and should continue to be, a disambiguation page. Maybe the best approach would be to move this page to Brotherly love (ethical), Brotherly love (moral), or Brotherly love (philosophy), and expand it from there. I would also strongly recommend revising the text so as not to rely so closely on a public domain source. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:49, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Who said that it is only a Christian concept? The fact that there is a WikiProject Christianity doesn't mean that other WikiProjects (religious or non) cannot cover the subject.Divide et Impera (talk) 21:58, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Valid point, I agree. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:53, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
The word 'Biblical' in the title implies there is a distinct 'Christian' concept of Brotherly love - which is something I personally disagree with. Of the 3 suggested alternative page titles, I'd go with Brotherly love (philosophy), although I think all have some degree of merit. Obscurasky (talk) 23:23, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I prefer the "philosophy" title, too. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:27, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
So what now? Is it worth trying to establish concensus for a title change? Obscurasky (talk) 22:08, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:57, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

"Hate thy enemy, un-Jewish" section[edit]

That brotherly love as a universal principle of humanity has been taught by the rabbis of old, is disputed by Christian theologians, who refer to the saying attributed to Jesus in Matt. v. 43: "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy, but I say unto you, Love your enemies," etc. Güdemann thinks that Jesus' words had a special political meaning, and that they refer to a view expressed by the zealots who wanted to exclude dissenters from the command of love by such teaching as is found in Abot[1]: "Thou shalt not say, I love the sages but hate the disciples, or I love the students of the Law but hate the 'am ha-areẓ [ignoramuses]; thou shalt love all, but hate the heretics ["minim"], the apostates, and the informers. So does the command, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,' refer only to those that act as one of thy people; but if they act not accordingly, thou needst not love them." Against this exclusive principle, Jesus asserted the principle of brotherly love as applied by the liberal school of Hillel to all men. Indeed, the Talmud insists, with reference to Lev. xix. 18, that even the criminal at the time of execution should be treated with tender love.[2] As Schechter[3] shows, the expression "Ye have heard . . ." is an inexact translation of the rabbinical formula , which is only a formal logical interrogation introducing the opposite view as the only correct one: "Ye might deduce from this verse that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy, but I say to you the only correct interpretation is, Love all men, even thine enemies." It is never mentioned to love one's enemies in the Old Testament.

Though in the Old Testament no commandment is found ordering to love thy enemy, there is a commandment to assist thy enemy in case of emergency in Ex 23,5: If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

There are too many issues with this section to leave it in the main article until it has been discussed properly. It's poorly written and has POV issues running right through it. The title too is problematic - I understand what it means, but it sounds unencyclopaedic and the fact that it focuses only on Judaism seems odd to me. The article isn't about Judaism - so why even mention it? Thoughts anyone? Obscurasky (talk) 14:14, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

I had deleted the phrase "un-Jewish" from the header because I think that it (unintentionally) implies that Jewish people hate non-Jews, but I was reverted. I would make the case that the article should include Jewish and Old Testament thinking on the subject, but we need to be careful about what we say in "Wikipedia's voice". --Tryptofish (talk) 18:57, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
The section has been restored to the article and the POV-section dispute tag added instead, which is the proper way to alert other editors that they need to check the talk page here and assist resolving the issue(s) in contention. The original "Brotherly Love" article from the Jewish Encyclopedia has been around for more than 100 years, so it is a little late to declare it "unencyclopaedic" I would think, but definitions change I suppose. It is true that the article is not about Judaism, so more material from old and new testaments needs to be added to balance things out. Instead of "Hate thy enemy, un-Jewish", how about "Hate thy enemy is not Jewish view"? I agree things could be worded better, but the issue itself seems valid and needs to be included. Let's hear from some more editors. Thanks. —Telpardec (talk) 20:07, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Just to be clear about what I meant, I agree with you about changing the header title in some way, as opposed to eliminating coverage of the topic. I also think someone really needs to revise the text so that it isn't just parroting the public domain source. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:36, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
OK, it sounds like we are on the same page. After re-reading it some more, I still don't have a good handle on just what is needed, beyond the fact that it is overly wordy. As for a title, how about:
"Hate thine enemy" – an outdated view?
That would avoid the awkward term "unJewish" in the section title, and maybe open up some possibilities for expanded views. —Telpardec (talk) 00:37, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Reading what the section actually says (and the writing is awful), I'd suggest a different approach: Neighbors and enemies. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:55, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Much of the problem with the current title, and with the pretext for the entire section, is that it hinges on opinion. The question of interpretation (or misinterpretion) of biblical text very far from an exact science and the fact that more than one view exists needs to be stated and referenced. Obscurasky (talk) 22:04, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Perhaps another approach for the section might be Contrasting views in Old and New Testaments? (Although other sources might not agree about the contrast, as portrayed by the source from which the text was pretty much copied.) --Tryptofish (talk) 15:56, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Rename proposal[edit]

Per talk above, I propose that we move this page to Brotherly love (philosophy). --Tryptofish (talk) 15:56, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay getting back here. How about we CANCEL the idea of a name change, since there are so few editors involved. Instead, I went ahead and renamed the unJewish section to my idea above, which I'm not locked into, so we can change it further if we can figure out how to rewrite the section. (I removed the disputed section template also.)

Secondly, rather than an article name change to philosophy, I have added a "Philosophic views" section where we can address the philosophy aspects of brotherly love. (I'm not locked into that section name.) In the Bible, the word philosophy appears only one time, and in a negative context as something to "beware" of, so my concern with an article name change, is that the biblical aspects of the subject might be diminished too much.

Note the added material in the article from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (and there is much more material in that peer reviewed source) and especially note the connection of agape with brotherly love. Philadelphia is affection/friendship for a brother. Agape encompasses a lot more than mere feelings. I'm hopeful we can find other secondary sources to expand more on the agape type of brotherly love in this article. Feel free to add content before or after the material I added in the Philosophic views section if need be. Thanks for your patience. —Telpardec (talk) 19:40, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Incorporating a philosophic section, within this article seems an odd arrangement - since the philosophical position is the more encompassing. Wouldn't it make more sense to have a Brotherly love (philosophy) article with a Biblical section? Obscurasky (talk) 00:21, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Obscurasky's point is a good one, and I agree with it. I would add that the addition of material from Greek philosophy actually makes this page, in its current form, not simply about Biblical views, so the title is becoming increasingly inaccurate. If Telpardec feels that it would be better to involve more editors in the decision, it would be fine with me to open a content RfC. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:14, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, we should go ahead with the move soon. There's no reason to leave things as is, simply due to inaction. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:45, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Obscurasky (talk) 00:38, 7 October 2011 (UTC)


This article needs a major overhaul. It is essentially a Judaistic perspective on a Christian concept. The Jusdaistic bias is, of course, understandable considering the article is based on the one in the Jewish Encyclopedia. StAnselm (talk) 06:14, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

The heading "Hate thine enemy" – an outdated view? is also frankly bizarre. Is it suggesting that some people think "Hate thine enemy" is an outdated view? That the Old Testament/early rabbis taught it, but the New Testament/later rabbis rejected it? In any case, these things are not actually addressed in the section. Again, a rewrite is necessary. And I've added it to my list of things to do. StAnselm (talk) 06:46, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. 'Brotherly love' is not a Christian concept - as the title indicates, it's a philosophical concept. Obscurasky (talk) 06:58, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with that, too. I guess the page has sat quietly for a long time, but the content problems remain to be fixed. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:29, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • ^ R. N. xvi., ed. Schechter, p. 64
    • ^ Sanh. 45a
    • ^ Schechter, "J. Q. R." x. 11