Absoluteness and Universality

“There is a difference, all too often ignored, between absoluteness and universality. I have an absolute obligation to my child, but it is not a universal one. Indeed it is precisely this non-universality, this particularity, that constitutes parenthood – the ability to feel a bond to this child, not to all children indifferently. That is what makes love, love: not a generalised affection for persons of such-and-such a type, but a particular attachment to this person in their uniqueness. This ability to form an absolute bond of loyalty and obligation to someone in particular as opposed to persons-in-general goes to the very core of what we mean by being human.”

The Dignity of Difference, p. 47