Splitting Eros Leads To Disaster

One of Dalrock’s recent posts examines the consequences of the elevation of romantic love to a moral force:

The simple fact is the moment you attribute moral value to romantic love you are creating a rival to biblical sexual morality.  In biblical sexual morality it is marriage that creates a moral space for sex and romantic love (with romantic love not separated from sexual passion).  We have overturned God’s order here, and are now claiming that romantic love is the moral space for marriage and sex.  This is deceptively subtle, and at the same time demolishes the moral meaning of marriage.

Passionless duty sex was for marriage, and passion was for adultery.  Courtly love built upon this idea with a twist.  It added a new concept of romantic love, separating out the emotional aspect of sexual passion.  This newly separated concept of romantic love was worshiped and seen as sanctifying.  CS Lewis summed up the concept of courtly love as (emphasis mine):

“The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love.”

What Dalrock is examining here is a situation where Eros has been split in two. As a reminder/refresher, the ancient Greeks believed in several different concepts of  “love.” The three principal loves were:

  • Eros- sensual love associated with the body
  • Philos- love in the form of friendship that is associated with the soul
  • Agapos- the self-sacrificing love that comes from God and is thus associated with the Spirit

Now, Eros is a bodily love. However, emotions are as much of the body as the actual “rubbing together of bodyparts.” Which is my way of saying that Eros properly contains both Romance as well as the actual physical acts of intercourse. Passion and Romance go hand in hand, if you will. Dalrock is making a mistake by calling it “Romantic love.” It is really just the emotional aspect of the love we know as Eros. It is not something separate.

What has unfortunately been going on for centuries now is an attempt to split Eros up into a “dirty” part, sex, and a “pure” part, “romance.” However, no matter how many games you play with this, it cannot be done. Eros encompasses both. Any attempt to separate the two is inherently insane. We should expect that craziness will follow from it. Thus, to me it is no surprise that efforts to separate Eros have helped “break” marriage in the west. We have gone against God’s plan for human beings- disaster is to be expected.

God created Man as a union of body, soul and spirit. Marriage, as an institution/sacrament coming from God, relies on a healthy state of that union. If they are unhealthy, or there is discord, then marriage will suffer accordingly. Marriage encompasses each of these loves, because marriage affects and is affected by all parts of that union. Trying to remove the physical component of Eros from marriage effectively breaks that unity and creates disorder in that man or woman- and thereby brings disorder into the marriage. It affects both husband and wife because in marriage the two become one.

Remember, Man was made for marriage. And by marriage I mean what God intends by marriage. Trying to fit man into anything other than what God intended is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t work. Alas, we are seeing the proof of that all around us in the West right now.

Update: I should make it clear that the mistake that I think Dalrock was mistaking was calling it “Romantic Love.” I don’t think he failed to grasp the other parts of my post. One of his older posts in fact notes that courtly love is always sexual.


Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, Marriage, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Sin, State of Nature, Temptation, The Church

3 responses to “Splitting Eros Leads To Disaster

  1. MK

    D: you are creating a rival to biblical sexual morality. In biblical sexual morality…

    Sort of amused at this appeal to authority. New theology alert: “Dalrock’s Biblical Sexual Morlaity, TM (DBSM, Dalrock, circa 2017).

    If we are talking sex, two people are involved (plus kids, parents, families). They (and thus the community) gotta have some method to “unify” on what the specific and detailed rules of sex/marriage/children are. And this method has got to be accessible, practical, and authoritative. It sure ain’t each person’s interpretation of the bible! As proof: Dalrock’s individualistic approach opposes 95% of Christian history and is illogical to boot. So it ain’t gonna be DBSM, for sure. So why waste the pixels?

    DG, Marriage, as an institution/sacrament coming from God, relies on a healthy state of that union.

    Just a quick comment here: of course Eros (and much else) is part of a normal marriage. But a sacramental marriage is still 100% “healthy” without it. True marriage, a gift from God, does not “rely” on anything but God, and He is reliable. Yes, life itself is suffering, and unfortunately much of marriage is suffering too. But as followers of Christ, we hang on the Cross with Him. Perhaps the best example of people trying to “perfect” their marriages via Eros is the lack of children within marriage (I find it fascinating that our obsession with Eros leads to sterility).

    Sidenote: the belief that marriage is all about happiness is why so many modern people find it difficult to believe Joseph had a chaste marriage with Mary. Yet few historical Christians (even Prots) had this difficulty. They understood marriage better than we do. It’s only moderns who freak out about it. Eros!

  2. Pingback: Romance is sexual. | Dalrock

  3. @ MK

    I will deal with the authority angle in a future post.

    Just a quick comment here: of course Eros (and much else) is part of a normal marriage. But a sacramental marriage is still 100% “healthy” without it.

    You are right that it can be, if it is a Josephite marriage. But those are pretty rare, and from what I can tell, nearly always involve special circumstances. Such circumstances were present in the Joseph and Mary’s marriage too. My comments here were directed towards normal marriages.

    Yes, as a sacrament all of the power draws from God. No argument here. However, as I’ve argued, when the union of body, soul and spirit is disordered then it risks estranging us from God. This will have a wide array of consequences, none of them good. I should do more research before venturing further thoughts on that.

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