Aristotle on friendship: “an absolute necessity in life. No one would choose to live without friends, even if he had all the other goods” (Book VIII, Nicomachean Ethics). He goes on to say that there are three kinds, none of which are intrinsically evil: (1) based on utility, (2) based on pleasure, (3) based on virtue (other-centered)
C.S. Lewis on friendship: “Friendship (as the ancients saw) can be a school of virtue; but also (as they did not see) a school of vice. it is ambivalent. It makes good men better and bad men worse” (The Four Loves). Of course, substitute “people” for “men,” for this obviously applies to all.
After my post yesterday concerning the SBC report on sexual abuse and the manipulation and cover-up by those in power, I am enjoying Stanley Hauerwas’ book: A Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics. While I don’t agree with everything in it, he focuses on the value of story, virtue, character, the local church, and the nonviolence of Jesus Christ for Christian ethics. Nonviolence can take on many different forms in different contexts. Christians are servants, adjectives and not nouns (C.S. Lewis makes this point), called to serve and not grasp for power (Hauerwas). Also, I found Hauerwas’s autobiography Hannah’s Child delightful.