"Love Neighbour As Self" and Why it is Harmful

Jesus, according to the gospels, said that we must love our neighbour as ourselves. He declared this was a command. This teaching was extracted from the Law of Moses. Your neighbour just means the person you are interacting with now. A person on a train who you have never met before is your neighbour.  The as yourself is regarded as setting a bar.  You treat the neighbour as another self.  It is not a command to love yourself.  It is a detail.

In Leviticus 19:34 God tells Israel to love the person from a foreign country as themselves for they were once aliens themselves in Egypt.  Jesus was in no position to change the teaching so maybe he just went along with it but not out of conviction.  And it is a fact that love your neighbour as yourself is commanded to Hebrews or God's people without any conditions.  In Leviticus loving anybody outside that is given a condition.  Loving somebody not for themselves but because you used to be in their position is not loving them for themselves.  It is loving yourself for you make it about your previous status as dirty and less than human.

If you love your neighbour as yourself you will go out and make as many neighbours as possible. It would be selfish to help a few people instead of more people and the commandment does not want you just doing good for a couple of people. It would be hypocrisy if it did. Love your neighbour as yourself is not meant to be put into practice when the neighbours call around which would be a few times a day. It is meant to be practiced in every waking moment. It is a law of discipline for loving others as yourself requires discipline. It is hard so it has to be worked at all the time.

We have not evolved to help each other. We are selfish in who we help and what tribe or nation we help. Though Christians say love of neighbour is indiscriminate, the fact remains is that they care about their own. It may as well advocate discrimination for all the good it is doing.


Jesus and the Christian Church think it is not enough for us to live the way many of us do. We do not value our neighbour as ourselves but we help them when they are in trouble and we are friendly towards them. We don't need to put ourselves and others under pressure to do the impossible by valuing them as ourselves. If you value your neighbour as yourself then you will be willing to devote yourself to your neighbour - even if a stranger - for life if he is sick.

Life is hard enough. Some say if we do good but don't feel we value others as ourselves that is fine! But this lack of valuing in our hearts can lead to trouble. It can lead to you standing by the shore as your neighbour drowns because you value yourself most and won't take the risks involved with trying to save him. Their advice really says the most you should expect of people is people helping you without feeling affection for you. You don't think much of yourself or others if you take that advice! You are not going to like others if you think they are under no obligation to give you affection or think anything of you.

We have seen that to love your neighbour properly according to Christianity, you must keep God and the duty to conform to his will before you. The commandment is really about God and not human happiness at all.

A commandment we do not need is a bad one.


The commandment to love God is the supremely important one. Loving neighbour is less important so loving God - as interpreted as understood by your religion needless to say – must be made the centre point. The Bible says that we have to love God and our neighbour and if we don’t love one we don’t love the other. The two go together. How does this fit the assertion that we must work on loving God before loving our neighbour?

Even if the two go together, we must intend that if they didn’t we would love God totally at the expense of ourselves and our neighbour. The fanaticism of this is obvious. The commandments have secret horrors. We cannot intend such a thing without seeking big heroic good works to do to prove it that we would love God alone and totally if he asked.

We only love our neighbour because God commands it and it is loving God to obey him. The neighbour is not valuable in themselves irrespective of whether there is a God or not. So even if we serve our neighbour we are only doing it because we are working on loving God alone. That is the reconciliation. To put it another way, God wants you to look at your neighbour the child and image of God and see only God. So your intention to help another is based on you treating them as God.

Love your neighbour as yourself means put God’s authority first which is why Jesus said this commandment was like the one to love God alone and with all our powers. We obey it because God commanded it so it is just pleasing him we are to care about. We do not love our neighbour as ourselves because others need love but because we create a God for ourselves who commands it. Can you see how villainous this is? There is a hardness in a person that refuses to see that love is right for people need love. There is no real morality possible with such a person though the appearance of morality certainly is.


It is a sin to help your neighbour when you could be encouraging him to do selfless good instead. To be happy when your Christian wife is kind to you is foolish for she is only doing it to please God and not you for she believes in Jesus’ commandment to love God with all our being and that God is owed all that love. If she really cares for you, she will consider you to be an end in yourself and not just a means of pleasing God. If she cares even a bit then she regards caring as sin and she believes that she cannot love you or God with sin in her heart so she cannot win unless she becomes an Atheist. If God’s will were that she should not do good for her husband she would not be doing it so she does not care for him at all. She loves him in the sense that she treats him as God wants him to be treated which is not loving him at all. The Christian law of love is so horrible that it would make you anti-social.


Jesus had a different meaning for love than we generally have. Thus there is no reason to believe that he tolerated self-love. Love in his book meant doing the will of God be it bad or good for you and trusting him even to the extreme of being willing to die for his revelation even if death was the end or the gateway to Hell for having the wrong beliefs. There is nothing reasonable or pleasant in this “love”. To love God means doing God’s will without reserve and without hesitation and to love your neighbour means, “Do what God wants you to do to them” and is not about affection towards them for themselves. Jesus was opposed to loving yourself and we all know that we only hurt others in so far as we fail to love ourselves. We cannot give love to others if it is not in us and it doesn’t start in us unless we love ourselves.

Serving others so that when you see them happy, that will make you happy, is really to work for your own happiness and not theirs for your motive is your own happiness. Their happiness is but the means to the end, and the end is your happiness. But God says love your neighbour as yourself so he forbids you to get self-esteem in helping others. You help others as yourself but you are not allowed to do it all just because you love yourself and consider yourself worthwhile. That command is meant to do one thing, break people down and turn them into failures. It is no wonder the majority of Christians live bad lives at least from a God or Bible perspective. Yet prayer is about trying to love your neighbour as yourself so prayer is a deadly device.

God-based religion is anti-happiness whether it notices it or not and must be firmly but gently corrected. God, if he is maker of all things, made the aberration in us that makes us develop happiness when we stop focusing on it. This suggests that happiness is something he does not like. Religion might say we are only to have stopped directly focusing on happiness and we are still after it but indirectly but if God made that system it suggests a grudging tolerance of self-love. He can’t stomach it but just endures it. God prefers us if we distort our feelings and end up depressed and miserable. To see us happy is as vulgarity to him.

Some say you must see your neighbour as another you. If you see others as another self then you will abuse them like you do yourself. We all are our own worst enemy. Seeing a person as yourself at the mirror is a way of objectifying them. You see you not them. You insult them for you want it to be about you. You hurt them when you see they are not you. The Christian answer is that you see yourself as God and the other as another God. This is all about God.


Jesus was always terribly incoherent. Jesus’ teaching cannot be reconciled with the view that it is good to die for your neighbour to save his life if he is attacked by a murderer. He certainly made it clear that the best love is in dying for another. But this is loving your neighbour more than yourself or even loving your neighbour and not yourself. Logically, you should walk away and safeguard your own life unless you are fairly sure you can handle the attacker. Many Christians, despite and against the faith, agree. But when to die as a true martyr is a guarantee of Heaven and when it is a great act of selfless love it is plain that Christians cannot agree with it. Jesus Christ allegedly died as a ransom for sinners so it was suicide for he had no need to do this for sinners, according to Christian belief, deserve to be tormented in Hell and not be saved from it by his death. To refuse to offer your life to save the life of another would certainly be an insult to what Jesus has done for you. Jesus loved us more than himself so we have to do the same. When you have degrade yourself by dying for another it follows you have to do it in matters of lesser importance as well.


Jesus said the love your neighbour as yourself commandment along with the one to make God the only thing that mattered in any sense was the summary of the Law and the Prophets. It cannot be the summary if it is just commanding concern and affection for others for the Law commanded many horrible things and made divine authority not love its basis. You love not because you see value in the persons but because Divine Authority says you must love. So Jesus denied that the commandment was just about concern. It was about being concerned about obeying God.

It cannot be a summary for it does not show what the Law is like as it is over-simplified. The Law is too big and complex for a summary.

Jesus attempted to summarise the evil Law with a good rule thus he was saying the Law was good!


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