Explorations in Altruistic Love and Behavior: A Symposium

Explorations in Altruistic Love and Behavior: A Symposium

Explorations in Altruistic Love and Behavior: A Symposium

Explorations in Altruistic Love and Behavior: A Symposium

Excerpt

The establishment of the Harvard Research Center in Altruistic Integration and Creativity is based upon a self-evident presupposition similar to that of medical science. Medical science considers health and life to be infinitely more important than illness and death. The Center assumes that love and creative co-operation are infinitely more important than hate and bloody strife.

Having postulated these axioms, both disciplines proceed to study--as objectively and scientifically as possible--the conditions, ways, and most efficient means that lead to the maximum of health and life in medicine, and of love and creative mutuality in human relationships; to the minimum of sickness and death there, and of hatred and strife here. Excepting their postulated axioms, these applied disciplines endeavor to base their body of propositions upon the valid scientific knowledge now available.

Unfortunately our present knowledge of creative love is more meager than that of life and health. The vast field of love phenomena is much less explored than the field of medical science. This is particularly regrettable at the present stage of human history, when the very existence of humanity commences to depend upon a notable altruization of persons and groups, social institutions and culture. At the present time there seems to exist no power but creative love that can prevent future suicidal wars and revolutions; and there seems to be no effective defense against the Apocalyptic methods of destruction but the Sermon on the Mount practiced in human behavior, incorporated into our social institutions, and incessantly articulated by culture. Only the greatly increased "Production, accumulation, and circulation of love" can save humanity from the most terrible dilemma that is pending: "either wantonly to murder millions of innocent people or be killed in vain among millions of innocent victims."

In such conditions, a better knowledge of the how and why of love, and through that knowledge the accomplishment of an efficient altruization of persons, institutions, and culture, become mankind's truly paramount tasks at this turn of history. This ex-

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