Do Not Do What Judas Just Did! What “Love One Another” Means.

‘So I would say yes, to love one another – as Jesus said – get vaccinated, get boosted.”

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (December 2021)

The command to “love thy neighbor” is not, as many nowadays suppose, a command to give thy neighbor’s house and chattel to total strangers.  Nor is the command to “love one another” a command to sacrifice oneself to the Moloch of social utility and the Beelzebub of collective hedonism.  Jesus was not playing John the Baptist to Jeremy Bentham, and, with all due respect to the Archbishop of Canterbury, his doctrine of love is not Bentham’s doctrine of “effective benevolence.”

Bentham’s doctrine of effective benevolence is often described with the formula, “the greatest good to the greatest number,” good being defined as felicity, happiness, or in Bentham’s words, “that which maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain.”*  Bentham coined the word “deontology” as a name for the “science of morality,” or “knowing what is fit to be done of every occasion.”  Bentham said “utility” is the key to all deontology, right action, or what is “fit to be done.”

“The principle . . . on which Deontology is grounded, is the principle of Utility; in other words, that every action is right or wrong—worthy or unworthy—deserving approbation or disapprobation, in proportion to its tendency to contribute to, or to diminish the amount of public happiness.”

It is by acting on this principle of utility (also called “effective benevolence”), and not, for instance, by the Parousia, that mankind will by its own mutual backscratching bring itself to “the millennium of accessible bliss.”  This is the eschatology of Jeremy Bentham.

“When effective benevolence is brought into the realms of Deontology, when the greatest good, the universal happiness, is made the central point round which all action revolves, the golden era of moral science will commence.”

* * * * *

Now I will venture to say that, when Jesus commanded his disciples to “love one another,” he was not commanding them to set about mutual backscratching so as to bring themselves, much less the mass of humanity, to “the millennium of accessible bliss.”  Nor was he commanding them to do whatever the latest quack doctor tells them to do because it is “good for society,” or “the planet,” or “the wretched of the earth.”  Nor was he commanding them to put a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, a jacuzzi on every deck, and a rechargeable vibrator in every nightstand drawer.

All of this is evident to those of us who have not been backwards in our pursuit of scripture knowledge.

Those of us who have not been backwards in our pursuit of scripture knowledge know that Jesus said these words at the Last Supper, and that he described them as a “new commandment.”  This means that the command to “love one another” is not a reiteration of the command to “love thy neighbor.”  As I have said more than once in these virtual pages, neither command is a command to love every Tom, Dick and Harry, or even to throb with goodwill towards the mental abstraction of “humanity.”  If Jesus had meant everybody, we may suppose he would have said everybody.

As it is, he said “your neighbor” and “one another.”

When he said “love one another,” Jesus clearly meant the disciples who were gathered round the table in that upper room celebrating the Passover feast.  And what he meant is evident from what happened just before he said it.  (Here is where a decent command of scripture knowledge comes in handy.).  Just before he said “love one another” to his disciples, Jesus handed Judas the sop of bread and wine by which “Satan entered into him,” and then said to the traitor, “that thou doest, do quickly.”

The disciples did not at the time realize what they had just witnessed.  Indeed, they wrongly supposed that Jesus had dispatched Judas to “give something to the poor.”  Owing to this mistake, they may have further, and also wrongly, supposed that the “new commandment” to “love one another” was in fact a foreshadowing of Bentham’s deontological principle of utility, or effective benevolence.  But in hindsight they later understood that “love one another” meant

Do not do what Judas just did!

It meant be loyal to one another, stick together, and do not be corrupted, as Judas was corrupted, by a carnal hankering for heaven on earth (or what Bentham would later call “the millennium of accessible bliss”).

If you have not been backwards in your pursuit of scripture knowledge, you know that Jesus did not expect this band of brothers to follow his “new commandment” with any great success.  The love to which the disciples were enjoined was, as we have just seen, loyalty to one another, and having given this commandment, Jesus at once foretells the disloyalty of Peter.  In other words, the substance of this “new commandment” is the loyalty that Peter would be break “before the cock crows.”

* * * * *

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a fatuous fool, a disciple of Jeremy Bentham who puts scraps of scripture in the service of the Moloch of social utility and the Beelzebub of collective hedonism.  The President of the United States serves the same gods, with equally fatuous appeals to a spurious patriotism.

“All these people who have not been vaccinated: You have an obligation to yourselves, to your families, and quite frankly—and I know I’ll get criticized for this—to your country.”

Joseph Biden, President of the United States (December 21, 2021)

To this sophistical turd, an American’s response should be, that any country that says I have an obligation to take an experimental vaccine to avert a fictional calamity is no longer my country.  To understand why this is so, let me return briefly to the deontology of Jeremy Bentham, and to his utilitarian principle that there is a universal “obligation” for men and women to act, everywhere and always, in the manner that most augments “public happiness.”

Hidden in the clouds of perfume that surround this lofty ideal is the corollary that men and women are never—in no place and at no time—free to act on any principle other than social utility and collective hedonism.  They must, everywhere and always, sacrifice themselves to Moloch and Beelzebub.  This is not liberty or Christianity.

And, as it happens, this is exactly opposite to what Jesus meant when he commanded his disciples to “love one another.”  For as those of you who have not been backwards in your pursuit of scripture knowledge know, he meant by these words:

Do not do what Judas just did!


Addendum: I have not here argued against vaccination, only against the proposition that vaccination is a religious, moral or patriotic duty.  I think individuals should choose or refuse vaccination based on scientific evidence and their individual circumstances.  I think individuals do have a moral and patriotic duty to self-quarantine if they begin to suffer symptoms, whether or not they are vaccinated, but this is true of any contagious disease.  Thumbing your nose at the totalitarians doesn’t mean you are free to play Typhoid Mary.

*) Jeremy Bentham, Deontology; or, The Science of Morality (1834)

30 thoughts on “Do Not Do What Judas Just Did! What “Love One Another” Means.

    • Thanks. Both links are relevant. Deontology is much more complicated that Bentham admitted because we have multiple obligations that sometimes conflict with one another. And there are also times, I believe, when we are free and under no immediate obligation at all. I think the point of your second post is especially important. Sacrifice is meaningful only insofar as we choose what and whether to sacrifice.

  1. To this sophistical turd, an American’s response should be, that any country that says I have an obligation to take an experimental vaccine to avert a fictional calamity is no longer my country.

    Hear, hear!

      • I didn’t say the deaths were fictional. I said the calamity was fictional. This does not mean made out of the whole cloth, only that every effort was made to magnify the epidemic rather than minimize it. I’m using the word calamity to mean a disaster that is packaged as a reason that X or Y should be done, as when a forest fire is packaged as a reason the gas tax should be raised. In this case the fictional calamity is a fictional virus that threatens everyone, whether healthy or unhealthy, young or old, and that will probably reap another 800,00 dead if everyone isn’t vaccinated real soon. This fictional virus is not the covid virus.

      • The 140,000-330,000 killed in the USA by the vaccine itself are not a fiction (though of course we can’t estimate the number with much precision). The number officially killed by Covid is a fiction, though perhaps the number who died WITH Covid is of the same order of magnitude as the official number.

      • Winston:

        As I pointed out (numerous times) some years back when my State’s public school teachers went on the proverbial “war path” vying for higher teacher compensation, literally dozens of relevant factors must be taken into consideration before coming to an accurate conclusion on the matter. The same applies to this matter of COVID madness/stupidity.

        That isn’t the way the current world works, though, and I certainly understand that, … Probably better than most. I don’t presume to know how many of my fellow Americans have died *of COVID* vs *with COVID.*, but I’ll take your 800,000 number at face value. I was arguing on this side of things as early as March, 2019, and I can tell you therefore that the projected number of deaths due to COVID in the good ol’ US of A *should have been* by now upwards of 4 million and counting.

        While certainly diabolical, this is COVID nonsense is the dumbest thing ever perpetrated on the American public. But you know what William James said, “there is nothing so absurd than when you repeat a thing often enough, people begin to believe it.”

        Did I say “dumb” In the forgoing paragraph? What I meant to say was “absurd.” My apologies to Mr. James!

      • I just checked the 2020 death rate, and found that it was 835.5 per 100,000. This is 120.2 more deaths per 100,000 than normal. If I multiply this by the population of the country, I get 392,693 excess deaths. I didn’t find a 2021 death rate but suppose it will be lower than 2020. There are a lot of moving parts here, but it appears that the 800,000 number is a high-end figure. I don’t mean to sound callous, but we will probably have lower than average death rates for several years since covid culled so many who were sick and old. But the real question is what the number would have been if we had done nothing whatever. The answer is unknowable, but I think the chance that it would have been 800,000 is > 0.

      • Prof. Smith wrote:

        I just checked the 2020 death rate, and found that it was 835.5 per 100,000. This is 120.2 more deaths per 100,000 than normal. If I multiply this by the population of the country, I get 392,693 excess deaths. I didn’t find a 2021 death rate but suppose it will be lower than 2020.

        Personally, I tire of looking at these numbers; they all point to the same problem to me, if I’m honest, and that problem is that we’re being lied to by our own government and its media propagandists.

        Early on in this abject stupidity, numbers (of supposed COVID deaths) were coming in from various nursing homes across the country. I took time at the time to investigate the matter in several of the cases cited. What I found without fail was that the number of deaths at these homes was perfectly in-keeping with the average number of deaths at same in each in the several years preceding; that the *average stay* at one of these homes was something along the lines of 3.5 years prior to death. Prior to death due to causes *other than* COVID 19, mind you. And that the average stay prior to death remained virtually the same prior to and after COVID.

        My findings in that case are/were of course also perfectly in-keeping with your numbers above-cited. An increase in deaths *nation-wide* of roughly 120 per 100,000 is literally a ‘drop in the bucket,’ even if that “trend” continued/continues for the next several years running. If I really wanted to put the lives of me and mine in constant danger of severe sickness or imminent death, I’d move the family to Atlanta, or, perhaps East St. Louis, Detroit or Baltimore, et al. Wherein each city, COVID 19 nor any of its perported “variants” can even begin to touch the number of victims subject therein to violent crime and/or death.

        I say again, the whole thing is simply absurd!

      • Since a fetus cannot die “with” an abortion, I’d say the number is more objective. But I suppose there are ways even this number can be maximized and minimized.

  2. But the vaxx is a deadly poison, a bioweapon. You must be against it. We are being required to maim and kill ourselves as an act of love.

    • You may be right but I know too little about vaccines to give advice one way or the other. My sense is that there are risks either way and the choice should be left to individuals. I try to limit my pronouncements to subjects where I have at least a little knowledge, and I know there are many people who already think I do not limit them nearly enough. I will step in to say that no one has any business saying Jesus is sad because you will not get the vax, or that refusing the vax is somehow un-American.

  3. Professor Smith, I appreciate both your scriptural exegesis and your stubborn refusal to lend your public auctoritas (which you have!) in any particular direction when it comes to the medical facts surrounding these experimental injections. Thank you.

    If I may be so bold, I suspect that quite a lot of the commentary you get regarding these injections is driven by the very human need to find moral agreement from figures with such auctoritas. I know I, personally, have that drive, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that it drives other commenters as well.

    The only thing I really have to add to the post as written is to point out the later Scriptural evidence for in what this love consists. Specifically, Peter fails in the Commandment, and quite graphically, as you have aptly pointed out. So do most of the other Apostles and disciples. But what comes after failure? True repentance, and true forgiveness, and true, materially and spiritually supportive (and authoritatively directive) brotherly love and loyalty to one another, even to those who once upon a time failed but made real acts of repentance and came back to the Church, like Peter himself or even Paul, their one-time zealous persecutor, but never Judas, for he never returned to the bond of brotherly love.

    • Thanks. I dislike narrow specialization and the bureaucratization of intellectual life, but part of this dislike is a refusal to talk like a specialist on subjects where I am deficient in even general knowledge. I think the hunger for affirmation from authority is altogether natural and proper. It’s a hunger we dissidents must often go to great lengths to satisfy. To the extent my writing at the Orthosphere is a mission, it is a mission to assure readers who think as I do that they are not stupid, evil or nuts. And to do this I try not to sound stupid, evil or nuts myself.

      Your are certainly right about the repentance of Peter and Paul, from which we can learn that love waxes and wanes and sometimes fails. You have read here long enough to know that I have an almost Nietzschean contempt for the dewy-eyed love of sentimental Christian humanism, and for the cynical use of Christian tropes by the priests of Mammon, Moloch and Beelzebub. When Jesus said “love one another” he meant that Christians should not stab each other in the back, and he said this with the knowledge that this is exactly what Christians would do. Christians nowadays do it by denouncing other Christians for not loving some sanctified group of non-Christians as much as they (the Christian denouncing Christians) do.

      Since writing the post I’ve been thinking about the “sop” that Jesus hands Judas as a kind of anti-sacrament of bread and wine. It signified and perhaps effected a permanent and un-repentable end of love. I don’t recall reading any speculation on the question whether Judas could have turned back after that point. I do think it is significant that John notes that he immediately went out into the “dark.”

      • I don’t know if Judas could have turned back before his act bore its fruits. That’s a mystical question at its base, having to do with the Godly construction of history, and one thing that’s very clear from Scripture is that God is esoteric as far as human understanding is concerned. However, he could have repented his deeds afterward rather than giving into despair and self-murder. What that might have looked like I don’t know, but the road to salvation is always open until you shut it yourself.

        I wouldn’t consider your contempt for Christian humanism Nietzchean. Christ himself shows the same contempt, up to and including the use of force. I’m thinking here of the parable of the Good Samaritan (specifically, that those who are supposed to be the Good, Kind, etc. are revealed to be so much trash), Jesus calling the Pharisees whited sepulchres, and the scourging on the moneylenders. All of these acts are acts of Christian love.

        These last two show as indisputable historical fact that so-called Christian humanism has very little to do with Christianity.

        Another specifically European example: St Louis IX was sainted and had conferred upon the French Crown the title of “Most Christian King” not in spite but (in part) because he ruthlessly enforced bans on heretics, traitors, and men of violence (all in fact covered by the same word with no differentiation in the Latin and French promulgations) from owning property or living in the realm, which included those who were otherwise good Mass-attending Catholics but who sheltered such people.

        (Their properties and livelihoods and standing in society could be and often were restored by acts of proper submission, repentance, and restitution.)

  4. @Rhetocrates

    If I may be so bold, I suspect that quite a lot of the commentary you get regarding these injections is driven by the very human need to find moral agreement from figures with such auctoritas. I know I, personally, have that drive, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that it drives other commenters as well.

    This is a polite way of saying they are looking for validation. No, I’m not above that either, but I don’t think that’s principally what’s going on here. At least for me I don’t think it is, even while I too recognize JMSmith’s auctoritas.

    Couldn’t people wish to persuade someone with auctoritas not because they desire validation but because not to persuade them means a lot of damage that might otherwise have been prevented as compared to, say, someone who is way off in his thinking but that no one listens to anyways?

    JMSmith says that thaddeuskozinski may be right that these injections are poison, but until we know for certain people should be free to choose whether to take them or not. Isn’t there a substantial problem in thinking this way? Rarely do I agree with Bruce Charlton in matters touching religion but in the following I do: there’s a fatal error going on when people wash their hands of taking a stand on these injections because of the specialized “field” it represents, but fail to take the larger spiritual implications into consideration over which each individual has a responsibility to decide by virtue of owning a human conscience.

    • I’m going to say a word for agnostic pacifism, or maybe I should say passivity. When my academic department votes, I’ve taken to abstaining when I have no strong opinion one way or the other. Sometimes I have no opinion because I haven’t studied the matter as closely as I should, and sometimes careful study leaves me ready to flip a coin. In these cases I do not think I should add my tepid vote to the mix, since doing so may negate a deeply informed opinion, and also inflate or deflate a majority. I also try to resist the urge to vote down the ballot if I know nothing at all about the candidates. I also try not to get vehement about positions that people like me typically hold, but I do not really hold because I’ve never really thought about it.

      My agnostic pacifism does not entail a belief that everyone should by an agnostic pacifist, and I condemn no one for vehemence when they have strong and grounded convictions. But these battles are best fought by those who are knowledgable and vehement, and without the echos of ignoramuses who get swept up in the excitement. I’m using the word ignoramus to describe myself here, and not anyone else.

    • This is a polite way of saying they are looking for validation.

      I didn’t mean just that. There are at two sides to this desire, methinks, as an emotional driver. I say this looking within myself.

      Validation is certainly part of it, and I think many of us are tempted in some degree in this direction. But another is the sense of relationship a public figure can build up with his adherents, especially in a format that invites answer and response such as a blog. We begin to care about our public figures, or about our mental maps of those public figures, and wish them well. I sincerely believe many commenters who insist he comment on the moral or medical arguments regarding these experimental injections do so because they wish him well.

      The fact that this is bound up with seeking validation can make the motives difficult to disambiguate both for the observer and for the commenter himself.

      As to the rest of your comment I have little to add except agreement in general terms.

      • You’re right that disagreement is most painful between friends, and that it is most especially painful when the medical or spiritual consequences of the divergent opinions are very grave. I don’t think there is much virtue in a tolerance that would calmly allow a friend to kill himself with quack medicine or damn himself with quack religion. I try to remember this when someone gets overheated trying to change my religious opinions. If they are correct and I am really on the road to perdition, then they ought to get overheated.

  5. The greatest folly that Judas did was after betraying Jesus. Actually committing suicide. Rather than doing as Peter did.

    Crying bitterly, staying alive and seeking forgiveness. There is no atonement after self-interest.

    • I think more is implied by John 13:27. “And after the sop Satan entered into him.” Matthew tells us that Judas later “repented himself,” and therefore returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, and that he also said “I have sinned.” Was Judas therefore forgiven for betraying Jesus? Was suicide while nearly insane with remorse the only sin in which he died?

      • It says so. But then again. Is suicide adequate for atoning for sin? Evidently not.

        Did Judas ever have the opportunity to seek the forgiveness of our God if he didn’t commit suicide?

  6. There is insufficient data concerning the risks, or otherwise, of taking the vaccine. My own anecdotal experience, here in Ireland, is that they have been partially effective, reducing the incidence and severity of COVID. I have heard a lot of people complaining of mild, short-term effects of the vaccine, but have heard of very few serious or fatal effects (of course, one might become ill or die ‘with’ a vaccine rather than ‘of’ it). Vaccines seem to have little effect on the incidence of Omicron, I have heard nothing about the effects of the latter on the unvaccinated.

    My biggest concern extends to the huge proportion of all modern medicines that are derived, either directly or indirectly from the material or information obtained from murdered babies. I fear that many of the so-called miracles of modern medicine have been obtained through a Faustian pact and I have a certain anxiety regarding my own degree of responsibility. Regardless of the latter point, it is a situation I would prefer did not exist.

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