A question about "love".

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A question about "love".

If we take the abstract term "love" and strip it of what it describes (ie. feelings and emotions). Would that mean it becomes meaningless due to the fact it hasn't any universe of discourse. Due to lack of positive quantifiers?

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Re-word

If you strip a word of it's meaning, then yes, it becomes meaningless, as you have stripped the meaning from it!

Perhaps you should re-word this, as I'm not sure I understand your question, but Love, no matter what word we use to describe it will always be there no matter if the word is or not. We would just find another way to describe it, or another word to use


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Love

What's love got to do with it?


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Vermilion wrote:If you strip

Vermilion wrote:

If you strip a word of it's meaning, then yes, it becomes meaningless, as you have stripped the meaning from it!

Perhaps you should re-word this, as I'm not sure I understand your question, but Love, no matter what word we use to describe it will always be there no matter if the word is or not. We would just find another way to describe it, or another word to use

 

I'm trying to explain the Fallacy of Reification to my Muslim friend. He seems insistent on using "love" in the concrete since. Loving is not a concrete thing. It is an abstract word used to describe feelings and emotions.  Hes trying to use the old " science has limits because it can't measure love" argument. I told him love can't be measured because its an abstract term. Hince where the Fallacy of Reification comes in. So I guess my question is. Does love lose its universe of discourse if we try to turn into a concrete term?

I hope they cannot see
the limitless potential
living inside of me
to murder everything.
I hope they cannot see
I am the great destroyer.


ShaunPhilly
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The concept itself must be a

The concept itself must be a concrete thing, otherwise we could not conceive of it.  We are things, and since we are able to perceive the sensations the concept is modeled after and there is a causal relation between the two, then the concept must exist in the physical world in order to be derived from it. 

That is, of course, unless we decide to be dualists. 

Love may be an abstract term, but it is a concept based on something we actually feel, not see in the gaps of our feelings.

We do have concepts for things in the gaps of our experience.

That's all God is; a concept for the lack of a concept.  There is a lack of a concept because there is a lack of sensation; a lack of evidence. 

Does that mean it doesn't exist? Not necessarily.  But until I have the evidence or reason to believe there is even the possibility of evidence (how could one have evidence for the supernatural if the supernatural is, by definition, not-natural, and evidence is natural) why should I believe?

Tell him that.

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Both you and your Muslim

Both you and your Muslim friend are mistaken.  Love is not an abstract concept; it is a measurable physiological response to external stimuli.  It is a process that occurs within our bodies (primarily our brains and our endocrine systems).  There is a great deal of concrete research on love (in all its forms), in the field of psychology.

 I would refer you to Helen Fisher.  She is a pre-eminent researcher in the field.  Look her up on line; I know she has some you-tube videos as well.   The physiological process of love is explored through experimental methodology that includes personal interviews, statistical analysis of questionnaires, blood and tissue samples and brain imaging.  If that isn’t scientific, I don't know what is.  The basic assumptions of your friend’s argument are simply false. Further, in the book "The Molecules of Emotion" by Candace B. Pert, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health has isolated a type of molecule called a peptide and/or polypeptide that is excreted by the pituitary gland for every emotion that you feel.  These molecules rush around your body and "inform" every cell of your body what you are feeling.  This is why addiction is so hard to beat:  The craving for the drug (or the person) is literally happening at a cellular level.  Excitement, boredom, love, anger, each has different chemical signatures which float around your body. I hope that helps. 

 


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ShaunPhilly wrote: Love may

ShaunPhilly wrote:

 

Love may be an abstract term, but it is a concept based on something we actually feel, not see in the gaps of our feelings.

I would beg to differ.  I challenge many people to explain the concept of love and they all run into similar problems that those who believe in God do.  Even when I specify that I am speaking about the love one has for another that is NOT their family member or close friend, everybody defends love by appealing to "Well there are different types of love" which totally avoids my challenge of explaning what love is.  Ultimately, though, both God and love, or arguements for them, rely on personal experiences that cannot, in anyway be verified and people simply end the conversation with "Well, i hope you experience it one day". 

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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illeatyourdog

illeatyourdog wrote:

ShaunPhilly wrote:

 

Love may be an abstract term, but it is a concept based on something we actually feel, not see in the gaps of our feelings.

I would beg to differ.  I challenge many people to explain the concept of love and they all run into similar problems that those who believe in God do.  Even when I specify that I am speaking about the love one has for another that is NOT their family member or close friend, everybody defends love by appealing to "Well there are different types of love" which totally avoids my challenge of explaning what love is.  Ultimately, though, both God and love, or arguements for them, rely on personal experiences that cannot, in anyway be verified and people simply end the conversation with "Well, i hope you experience it one day". 

 

What I'm saying is that while love may be an abstract concept, it is based on actual emotions.  The problem is that different sets of emotions are labeled "love" (thus the different kinds; we actually feel the various emotional states that we call "love&quotEye-wink.  A problem of definition, yes, but not one that means there is no meta-definition.  

It's really just a semantic problem that is solved when we realize that some words refer to complex ideas; ones that arise as a result of interaction emotional/cognitive states.  It's kind of like how oxygen and hydrogen have properties of their own, but when they form water, new properties emerge.  With ideas, complex cognitive states emerge as a result of simpler ones.  I wish I understood the physiological basis for this better, but from what I've seen here so far perhaps others could help me out with that.  If there is any good literature or research being done in this specific area, I would like to know of it. 

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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ShaunPhilly wrote: all that

ShaunPhilly wrote:

 

all that I'm saying is that while love may be an abstract concept, it is based on actual emotions.  The problem is that different sets of emotions are labeled "love" (thus the different kinds; we actually feel the various emotional states that we call "love&quotEye-wink.  A problem of definition, yes, but not one that means there is no meta-definition.  

People who believe in God also claim that it is based on actual emotions or at least feelings such as feelings of connection or completeness.  So we, as rational questioners, must maintain that they are mistaken in this.  Yet, when it comes to love, we feel that it is possible for one not to be mistaken even though the same exact feelings arise.  As rational questioners, shouldn;t we maintain that they cannot really be feeling any sort of connection or completeness or at least maintain that they cannot know that they are since that implies that they have absolute knowledge, or at least more knowedge than any human can have, about their true desires?  Not to mention that the love idea has a problem that the God idea escapes which is the other person not loving the one who loves him/her.  If there is such a connection, or the lvoer would maintain that there is such a connection, how can this lack of recprocity be accounted for?

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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I would suggest that the

I would suggest that the "Love" problem is not reification, but equivocation.

Love: The feeling when X,Y,and Z chemical agents cause A,B,C physical change at the cellular level, causing AA,BB,CC perceptual changes.

Love: The description of a complex set of emotions including affection, sexual attraction, jealousy, protectiveness, etc.. towards a mate.

Love: A sense of obligation, as in "I love my brother, but he's really an asshole."

Love: The neurological state of attachment to a mother, caused by something akin to 'imprinting.'

Love: Deriving great pleasure from:  "I love Steely Dan's music."

Love: Zero, in tennis.

Love: Rational concern for your fellow humans:  "Love thy neighbor."

When we say that we love someone, we usually mean that we feel a very complex mixture of feelings towards them, which may or may not include the same feelings that someone  else feels when they say the same thing.  This isn't because each set of feelings doesn't exist.  It's because nobody ever bothers to define love scientifically in colloquial conversation.

Love does exist, and if one definition of it is reduced to science, it is quantifiable.  In theory, we could, with accurate enough technology, measure down to the atomic level exactly how much emotion a person was experiencing, and we could say that according to X measure, so-and-so loves their cat more than their goldfish.  Susac is right.  There are concrete chemical changes that occur when someone feels any emotion.

The problem in these conversations is that the person using the "You can't measure love " argument will fall back on the nebulous colloquial meanings, which, of course, can't be measured because they're not scientifically defined.

 

 

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illeatyourdog wrote:People

illeatyourdog wrote:

People who believe in God also claim that it is based on actual emotions or at least feelings such as feelings of connection or completeness.  So we, as rational questioners, must maintain that they are mistaken in this.

I don't like this argument. People who believe in god often cite emotions as evidence for God, but they do not tend to say that the emotions they experience are God in and of themselves. Otherwise, they would simply have an emotion called God. The God concept entails much more, though.

The word love is different because we are applying the word love directly to those emotions. We are not saying that those emotions are evidence for love which is something else. The emotions ARE love.

An invalid comparison, I think.

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Quote:When we say that we

Quote:
When we say that we love someone, we usually mean that we feel a very complex mixture of feelings towards them, which may or may not include the same feelings that someone  else feels when they say the same thing.

The same exact thing can be said about other notions such as respect or honor.  Certainly we designate a combinations of feelings to these as well and no two people necessariuly feel the same combination of feelings when they honor or respect something.  Furthermore, if two people can feel radically different things when they say they love someone or something, shouldn't this simply render the term meaningless and unhelpful?  Again, look at how the uderstanding of God changes radically from person to person.  We, or at least I, use this fact alot when debating Christians to explain why I find little reason to beleive in the Christian conception.  Why must we drop God yet must keep love even though both seem to be defined by culture and one's own individual need at a specific time?

Quote:
Love does exist, and if one definition of it is reduced to science, it is quantifiable.  In theory, we could, with accurate enough technology, measure down to the atomic level exactly how much emotion a person was experiencing, and we could say that according to X measureLove does exist, and if one definition of it is reduced to science, it is quantifiable.  In theory, we could, with accurate enough technology, measure down to the atomic level exactly how much emotion a person was experiencing

I would say it would be more important to be able to disinguish one emotion from another since, even with our limited understanding of the atomic level of things, we have little trouble with saying things like "You were not in love, you simply infatuated".  IN fact, it seems whenever someone guesses wrong about whom loves them, the "comforting" comment is usually "It must not have been love then".   

 

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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Quote:I don't like this

Quote:
I don't like this argument. People who believe in god often cite emotions as evidence for God, but they do not tend to say that the emotions they experience are God in and of themselves.

they are called Born Again Christians and they maintain that every human being have these feeling in them and simply refuse to listen to them or ignore them.

Quote:
Otherwise, they would simply have an emotion called God. The God concept entails much more, though.

Many do not view love as simply an emotion either.  We have to remember, love used to be a robust notion of two perfectly matched souls finding each other and that many still believe this to be the case.

Quote:
The word love is different because we are applying the word love directly to those emotions. We are not saying that those emotions are evidence for love which is something else. The emotions ARE love.

Again, even if you do not like the soulmate notion of love, many would still maintain that love is more than an emotion since, as many would say, emotions are fleeting, love endures.  Not to mention that the biggest hurtle many lovers have is eventually not having these feelings and emotions that they initially has for one another when they first met, so like God, for thsoe who truyl believe in love, it encompasses more than just mere emotions.

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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I feel like others have

I feel like others have already addressed your point, but I'll try using different words and maybe it will help.

People can say that love is more than an emotion, but that is not exactly right.  What they mean is that it is more than one specific emotion or set of emotions.  I guess the best way to make the point would be to ask if it were possible to experience love if one had no emotional states.  That is, if a sentient being could exist that had no emotions in the way that we do, could they experience love?

I am tempted to say that they could not, but then I think that the point is that love is a disposition rather than a feeling itself.  That is, love may be a set of behaviors that arise due to certain emotional states, rather than some combination of said emotions. 

I think what makes this question so difficult is simply that we use the term 'love' to refer to not only the feelings that we have in association with people, things, and ideas, but rather the disposition as well.  That is, love can be thought of as the emotions, the disposition, or the combination thereof, and thus has this nebulous existence that is not really emotion and not disposition. 

The difference between this nebulous existence of love and that of god is simply that while we cannot pin down whether love is emotion or disposition, we are certain that the emotions and dispositions exist.  The person who associates those types of experiences with something transcendent is adding something to the mix that is unnecessary, and thus Ockham's Razor slices it away cleanly; there is no need to postulate a 'god'-thingy to explain or account for the feelings and dispositions we call 'love.'

If someone were to equate god with love, then I'm no longer an atheist.  I may not have a clean definition and explanation for the experience of love, but I know it's there because it's part of what makes up what I am, and I exist.  If we want to call it god, and thus theism is the proposition that said state of experiences exist, then I'm a theist.  But this is not what a theist means, I don't think, when they say that god is love.

Rather, they are associating their current state of being with a transcendent being which brings up all sorts of ontological and metaphysical problems.  If they think (as many theists seem to, in my experience) that emotions and thoughts are literally non-material things that their soul feels, then we can see how this error occurs.  If they think that love is their soul feeling god, they simply misunderstand how emotions arise in the body, and their error is deeper and more complicated than a simple equivocation fallacy, although that is part of it.

Shaun

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illeatyourdog wrote: Quote:I

illeatyourdog wrote:

Quote:
I don't like this argument. People who believe in god often cite emotions as evidence for God, but they do not tend to say that the emotions they experience are God in and of themselves.

they are called Born Again Christians and they maintain that every human being have these feeling in them and simply refuse to listen to them or ignore them.

Quote:
Otherwise, they would simply have an emotion called God. The God concept entails much more, though.

Many do not view love as simply an emotion either.  We have to remember, love used to be a robust notion of two perfectly matched souls finding each other and that many still believe this to be the case.

Quote:
The word love is different because we are applying the word love directly to those emotions. We are not saying that those emotions are evidence for love which is something else. The emotions ARE love.

Again, even if you do not like the soulmate notion of love, many would still maintain that love is more than an emotion since, as many would say, emotions are fleeting, love endures.  Not to mention that the biggest hurtle many lovers have is eventually not having these feelings and emotions that they initially has for one another when they first met, so like God, for thsoe who truyl believe in love, it encompasses more than just mere emotions.

 

Right, but the feelings of love---regardless of what you believe they are---provide a universe of discourse about love. When I burn my hand on a hot stove, I could irrationally conclude that the intense pain in my hand is being put there by the Stove Fairy, who is a bitch that detests stove-touchers. Or I could conclude that there is a magical force that exists between men and hot stoves that repels them with painful black magic. (And, for this reason, your hand hurts the hot stove back!)

We can talk about the nature of the pain until we're blue in the face, but we know that the sensation---whatever it is---is real.

I was only trying to point out the same about love. We know that the sensation of love is a fact, but the discussion of the nature of love is where people will begin to disagree.

My point in all this was that your response to ShaunPhilly didn't quite seem adequate:

ShaunPhilly wrote:

What I'm saying is that while love may be an abstract concept, it is based on actual emotions.  The problem is that different sets of emotions are labeled "love" (thus the different kinds; we actually feel the various emotional states that we call "love" )  A problem of definition, yes, but not one that means there is no meta-definition. 

illeatyourdog wrote:

People who believe in God also claim that it is based on actual emotions or at least feelings such as feelings of connection or completeness.  So we, as rational questioners, must maintain that they are mistaken in this.  Yet, when it comes to love, we feel that it is possible for one not to be mistaken even though the same exact feelings arise.  As rational questioners, shouldn;t we maintain that they cannot really be feeling any sort of connection or completeness or at least maintain that they cannot know that they are since that implies that they have absolute knowledge, or at least more knowedge than any human can have, about their true desires?  Not to mention that the love idea has a problem that the God idea escapes which is the other person not loving the one who loves him/her.  If there is such a connection, or the lvoer would maintain that there is such a connection, how can this lack of recprocity be accounted for?

 

Whether you think love is a chemical, a drive, a magical force, a gift from god, or a madness contracted by being shot in the arse with an ethereal arrow---it's all beside the point. As long as the word "love" is being applied to some kind of feeling, there is a universe of discourse, because the feeling is true.

What you believe to be the nature/source of that feeling is another matter.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Quote:As long as the word

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As long as the word "love" is being applied to some kind of feeling, there is a universe of discourse, because the feeling is true.

It's a tricky proposition if you're going to word it properly.  Where "God is supernatural" fails is that there is literally nothing within the proposed categories.  "God" is defined as a contradictory being (by Christians) and cannot exist due to the law of non-contradiction.  "Supernatural" literally refers to that which doesn't exist, for natural is, by definition, that which exists.  So, saying God is supernatural is saying, "nothing is nothing."

Saying "Love cannot be measured" is difficult to analyze because the speaker is likely to be using multiple meanings, even within the one sentence.  Even if he is using only one meaning, it is possible that what he is referring to could be measured if we knew more about it.  In any case, whether love is a concept, an abstract, a behavior model, a singular or complex emotion, or some combination of all of the above, each of those things exists within the natural universe in positively qualifiable ways.

If I have a standard 12" ruler, I cannot use it to measure a paramecium.  The tool is inadequate to the nature of the task.  Similarly, if we want to measure love with a test tube, we're going to run into problems.  This does not speak to whether or not love or the test tube exists, only whether one is adequate for addressing the other in a meaningful way.

 

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 Quote:I guess the best way

 

Quote:
I guess the best way to make the point would be to ask if it were possible to experience love if one had no emotional states.  That is, if a sentient being could exist that had no emotions in the way that we do, could they experience love?

 

Zombies belong in movies where they can be shot in the head and killed.  Not in intellectual discourse.

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The person who associates those types of experiences with something transcendent is adding something to the mix that is unnecessary, and thus Ockham's Razor slices it away cleanly; there is no need to postulate a 'god'-thingy to explain or account for the feelings and dispositions we call 'love.'

Perhaps, but many people view love as this trancendance regardless if they associate with God or not, thus, the problem persists if this trancendance is what love is or if its the emotions, dispositions, or combinations of them together.  Clearly, many have little trouble with stripping love of this trancendental quality but simply redefining love does not mean you have proven the trancendental hypothesis false, at least, thats what believers in this trancendental hypothesis of love will maintain and take it even further to say that these feelings, emoitions, and dispositions are possible through this trancedental quality that love possesses or is.

Quote:
If someone were to equate god with love, then I'm no longer an atheist

I might be a little hazy on my new testamement quotes but I'm pretty sure it says quite clearly "God is love".  Of course this only brings us back to the problem of definition as well as the further problem of translation and interpretation.

 

 

Quote:
If they think that love is their soul feeling god, they simply misunderstand how emotions arise in the body, and their error is deeper and more complicated than a simple equivocation fallacy, although that is part of it.

Perhaps, and they will simply maintain that you are mistaken and that emotions in general is can only exist if their is a trancendtal being who put them their.  But now we are talking in circles since you already addressed this point in one of your earlier comments.

 

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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Quote: We can talk about the

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We can talk about the nature of the pain until we're blue in the face, but we know that the sensation---whatever it is---is real.

 

INdeed.  I have talked with many about the sensations one has when in love.  They can easily be shown to have a radically different cause or to be way to consequentialist to fit with any developed conception of what love is.  Of course these sensatiopns, as I have said, run the gamut from simply feeling heat ir warmth to feeling an emotional "pulling" (rapists and stalkers feel a similar "pulling" as well).  Speaking of heat though and what extreme heat can do, namely burns, if you burn your hand on the stove, there is little question to what caused it, as said earlier, extreme heat.  Even if you weren't burned by the action and you had this pain in your hand and you were curious as to why you felt this pain, we would help you out by asking you "What did you do today" and if you remember touching the stove while it was hot you would reply "I touched the hot stove".  Now, if you were totally oblivious to touching the hot stove and felt the same pain as you would when touching a hot stove and we asked you the same question, and you replied "I don't remember" or "I dont know" we would throw out ideas but never conclude.  Love works the exact opposite and many claim to know it in an instant even if their partner is totally oblivious.  Which would essentially be like someone telling you that you touched a hot stove, thus, is experiencing pain even though you were, as said before, totally oblivious to both touching the hot stove and the pain.  WHich is just absurd. 

Quote:
Whether you think love is a chemical, a drive, a magical force, a gift from god, or a madness contracted by being shot in the arse with an ethereal arrow---it's all beside the point. As long as the word "love" is being applied to some kind of feeling, there is a universe of discourse, because the feeling is true.

I dont think love is anything.  My criticism is that some people think it is something.  And if the best response you can give is "love is being applied to something real, therefore, we should treat it asif if it is something real" (i apologise if I paraphrased incorrectly but I dont know what else you are trying to say with "there is a universe of discourse&quotEye-wink, then there is a "universe of discourse" for God too since many people are having, or claim to have, trancendental experiences that they attribute to God.  It does not matter what you believe is the actual cause of such experiences, "God" is the word applied to them or at least designates a conception that is intimatly linked with the real feelings as the cause.  Is this response also "not adequate"?

 

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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"If I have a standard 12"

"If I have a standard 12" ruler, I cannot use it to measure a paramecium.  The tool is inadequate to the nature of the task.  Similarly, if we want to measure love with a test tube, we're going to run into problems.  This does not speak to whether or not love or the test tube exists, only whether one is adequate for addressing the other in a meaningful way."

 

We need a standard and consistent defition of love first.  And simply listing all the possible things it can be such like "In any case, whether love is a concept, an abstract, a behavior model, a singular or complex emotion, or some combination of all of the above" is nothing solid at all and this  "each of those things exists within the natural universe in positively qualifiable ways" is just stating the obvious.  I gues what I am looking for, if there is to be any real discourse on "love", is a few singular definitions or conceptions that can be tested as opposed to apealing to "we feel these sensations, have these dispositions, and many people call this 'love', therefore there must be something to it" defense and especially without apealing to "Well different people mean different things by it" since that is my whole problem with it in the first place.  I know many here dislike the claim of simularity between God and Love but no two concepts have been used more to justify both saving and killing other people and if many feel that the idea of God is dangerous for that reason, the idea of love is just as dangerous, if not more, becuase people are more free to make of love whatever they want since there are --  along with there being no Book of love that has millions of adherents --  few who are willing to do away with the idea of love and maintain that those who kill, or commit even worse acts, simply must not have been in love (again similar to how Born Agains do not consider Catholics Christians becuase they participated in the Crusades).

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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illeatyourdog wrote:Love

illeatyourdog wrote:

Love works the exact opposite and many claim to know it in an instant even if their partner is totally oblivious.  Which would essentially be like someone telling you that you touched a hot stove, thus, is experiencing pain even though you were, as said before, totally oblivious to both touching the hot stove and the pain.  WHich is just absurd.

I recognize that the comparison is faulty because touch is not the same as emotions, which are more complicated. The only point I was making with the comparison is that we would know that the feeling was real. The nature of the feeling (e.g. magical or non-magical) would still be an open question, but the feeling itself could be called real.

I suspect you would probably agree with me, though (correct me if I'm wrong), that the term "love" is loaded with an entire catalogue of connotations ranging from magical warm fuzzies to hot steamy passion. For this reason, whenever you start describing love in a particular way, attempting to nail down its identity, it can simply change jackets and escape out the backdoor. It's the Carmen Sandiego of emotions.

Thinking of the term "love" as describing a single, discrete emotion is most likely the problem.

It would be no different than someone saying that they have felt "sadness". For all we know, they might be referring to

disappointment

melancholy

grieving

separation/missing someone

loneliness

dissatisfaction

despair

shame

discouragement

homesickness

etc.

And even with every word on that list, we can conceive of a variety of situations where the term might apply in a slightly different way.

I'll try and phrase it this way: emotions are real; we know because we feel them.The term "love", though, is arbitrarily applied, depending on individuals and circumstances.

I'll get to reciprocation in a moment.

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I dont think love is anything.  My criticism is that some people think it is something.  And if the best response you can give is "love is being applied to something real, therefore, we should treat it asif if it is something real" (i apologise if I paraphrased incorrectly but I dont know what else you are trying to say with "there is a universe of discourse&quotEye-wink,

You've mostly got what I was trying to say, though not entirely (which I'm not saying is your fault or mine).

Whatever the feeling is that is being felt when the word "love" is used is real, and that feeling is the only thing we have to treat as something real. When I say that there is a universe of discourse (borrowing OP's words, but we may be using them differently), I only mean that there is a very limited number of things we can say about the emotions people categorize as "love" simply because they are real---a sort of meta-discourse about them that expresses how we feel about those feelings. For example, we can say that we are feeling such a thing or we are not; we can say whether these feelings are positive or negative; we can say whether or not we want to take a certain course of action based on these feelings (i.e. to prolong them or to curtail them); etc. So in a very limited sense, we can discuss the emotions and be certain of what we mean.

But as I pointed out by comparing "love" to "sadness", there is also a universe of discourse about love in which we can't be certain of what we mean, namely when we are trying to pin down the specific attributes of "love" and not just discussing how we feel toward it.

I think this answers your question about love not being reciprocated as well. Whatever the feeling is that is not being reciprocated, we can discuss it in a very limited sort of meta-discourse (e.g. "I am disappointed that this very positive feeling I call 'love' is not being reciprocated); but when we try to say specifically what it is, things quickly become nebulous.

Some food for thought, though:

According to a discussion I've seen from Helen Fisher, love is not in the same category as other emotions because it not merely an emotion---it is also a drive. So while we can equate it to a mere emotion, like happiness, we can also equate it to a mere drive, like hunger. Love is apparently intertwined with two of our drives: 1) have sex, 2) be a social animal. When we are achieving these extremely important biological goals, we receive extremely pleasurable feedback. It is the gene's way of saying, "Please continue doing this for me... er... us."

I can't elaborate very well on this because I've only watched her giving a short talk on the subject and I haven't read her book (books?).

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then there is a "universe of discourse" for God too since many people are having, or claim to have, trancendental experiences that they attribute to God.

Right, and the attributing to god is where I draw the line on what we can call real. We can call what they felt real because they really felt it. We do not have to accept whatever they are citing as the source of the emotion (read: god) as being the true source, or whatever they believe to be the true nature of the emotion (read: transcendent) to be the true nature.

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It does not matter what you believe is the actual cause of such experiences, "God" is the word applied to them or at least designates a conception that is intimatly linked with the real feelings as the cause.

Like the word "love", the word "god" is being arbitrarily applied in whatever way the user deems fit (as all words ultimately are).

I suspect we might be thinking along the same lines but that I'm just doing a poor job of communicating a very minor point.


 

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Archeopteryx wrote: I

Archeopteryx wrote:

 

I suspect you would probably agree with me, though (correct me if I'm wrong), that the term "love" is loaded with an entire catalogue of connotations ranging from magical warm fuzzies to hot steamy passion. For this reason, whenever you start describing love in a particular way, attempting to nail down its identity, it can simply change jackets and escape out the backdoor. It's the Carmen Sandiego of emotions.

Love has a constantly changing catalogue connotations ranging from individual to individual.  I have a Born Again friend who maintains that love is a choice and that a husband should love his wife in the same way jesus loved the church, or something.  Don;t ask me what the hell she meant by it but she honestly believed this to be the actual case about what love is.

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It would be no different than someone saying that they have felt "sadness". For all we know, they might be referring to . . . and even with every word on that list, we can conceive of a variety of situations where the term might apply in a slightly different way.

True.  Nevertheless, it is far easier to group the feelings associated with sadness then with love.  Especially since people can be happy becuase they believe they are in love, or sad becuase they are in love.  Ity seems love, or whatever it is that people want to attribute this too, is a catalyst for emotions rather then an emotion itself or atritbuted to an emoito, at least to some versions of it.

I'll try and phrase it this way: emotions are real; we know because we feel them.The term "love", though, is arbitrarily applied, depending on individuals and circumstances.

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So in a very limited sense, we can discuss the emotions and be certain of what we mean.

1) This is probably just restating what you already said but, all we can be certain of them is that the feeling is their and possibly what caused that feeling.  This seems to be problematic becuase what if what caused this feeling people associate with love is someting comepletly arbitrary and irrelevant to relationship development? 2) So far it seems your explanation of what love is, is nothing more but an arbitrary labeling of an emotion, or group of emotions that we are having.  While, it is a very weak notion, meaning that it should not be something people make major decesions over. 

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I think this answers your question about love not being reciprocated as well. Whatever the feeling is that is not being reciprocated, we can discuss it in a very limited sort of meta-discourse (e.g. "I am disappointed that this very positive feeling I call 'love' is not being reciprocated); but when we try to say specifically what it is, things quickly become nebulous.

Kinda answers it but it makes love more of a selfish emotion, or group of emotions which, to those who believe in a more robust notion, would find rather counter-intuitive.

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According to a discussion I've seen from Helen Fisher, love is not in the same category as other emotions because it not merely an emotion---it is also a drive. So while we can equate it to a mere emotion, like happiness, we can also equate it to a mere drive, like hunger. Love is apparently intertwined with two of our drives: 1) have sex, 2) be a social animal. When we are achieving these extremely important biological goals, we receive extremely pleasurable feedback. It is the gene's way of saying, "Please continue doing this for me... er... us."

I can't elaborate very well on this because I've only watched her giving a short talk on the subject and I haven't read her book (books?).

 

That is an interesting way to look at the problem (for lack of better word at the moment).  However, based on how love is described oftenly, it seems to be something that grows out of a drive or many drives rather than being a drive itself.  Like we have the drive to care, the drive to be cared about, and the drive for companionship and then, somehow, love emerges from these drives (not becuase, necessarily the drives are being fullfilled though).

 

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Right, and the attributing to god is where I draw the line on what we can call real.

To riff off of Richard Dawkins, I simply draw a longer line that stretches past God to other equally indescribable notions such as love since in both cases, we do attribute real feelings, emotions, and/or drives to something and we designate this somethings with an arbitrary word, thus, almost work backwards to try and explain what is going on.  What I mean is, it seems in both cases we go "Ok, people attribute these group of feelings to 'X' so lets try to find feelings that lead to a plausible story that will give us 'X' in some way" as opposed to "Ok, people feel emotion 'X'.  Lets figure out what drive causes it or if it is caused by certain external stimulus".  The one interesting move that can be made, which was made by Helen Fisher, according to you, is that we can propose that love, itself, is a drive of some sort which cannot be done with God since if God is merely a Drive within the human body, pretty much every spiritual narrative is utterly (more) absurd since people raged wars in the name of a drive.  I suppose I should concede that love is distinct from God on this point since it does allow for options that are simply not avaible for God. 

 

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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 Science is Love .....

 Science is Love .....


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You know... I just spent

You know... I just spent like 20 minutes writing a response to you, and then I hit "post" and then I was told "comment field is required", only it erased everything in my fucking message.

 

Thanks, forum.

 

I'll just say we're pretty much on the same page. I had a few clarifications I wanted to make, but dammit....

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Quote:You know... I just

Quote:
You know... I just spent like 20 minutes writing a response to you, and then I hit "post" and then I was told "comment field is required", only it erased everything in my fucking message.

I sense a conspiracy!!!

Quote:
I'll just say we're pretty much on the same page. I had a few clarifications I wanted to make, but dammit....

ahhh, k

 

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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Retry

Okay, let's try this again and hope that lightning doesn't strike me twice.

 

illeatyourdog wrote:

Love has a constantly changing catalogue connotations ranging from individual to individual.

Agreement.

Quote:

True.  Nevertheless, it is far easier to group the feelings associated with sadness then with love.  Especially since people can be happy becuase they believe they are in love, or sad becuase they are in love.

Ah, but that last one files underneath "melancholy", which can be seen as a form of sadness OR as a form of love. This underscores the point that I think we're both making: if love is anything in itself, it is so tangled with other things that it's almost impossible to discern.

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  It seems love, or whatever it is that people want to attribute this to, is a catalyst for emotions rather then an emotion itself or atritbuted to an emoito, at least to some versions of it.

No doubt true. As in the case of melancholy, the sadness part depends on the love part, but the love part does not depend on the sadness part. This seems to indicate that the love part is a catalyst for other things that it tangles with. One might turn in the other direction and speculate that the happy feelings that are often associated with love are only byproducts of whatever love is, like sadness is a byproduct of love in melancholy. But this still requires love to first BE SOMETHING in order for it to cause something else.

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1) This is probably just restating what you already said but, all we can be certain of them is that the feeling is there and possibly what caused that feeling.  This seems to be problematic becuase what if what caused this feeling people associate with love is someting comepletly arbitrary and irrelevant to relationship development?

Right. One example that immediately comes to mind is the case of junior high romance, where a 14-year-old boy and girl fill out a myspace survey and notice that they have the same favorite band, favorite soft drink, favorite season of the year, and that they both enjoy sunsets more than sunrises; therefore, they conclude, they are probably eligible for soul-mate-hood.

In reality, what they foolishly infer from their cutesy survey probably only amplifies a thing that was already there. (If they had similar results with someone they found ghastly to look upon, they would probably just ignore it.)

But I offer the example to show how different people (or different ages/maturities) have different interpretations of what "love" might suggest. I personally think that sharing a few miscellaneous idiosyncrasies is no guarantee of a successful and happy relationship, but someone else might conclude differently.

If I was forced to postulate a theory, I'd say that whatever a person decides that love must be is largely based on their experience, ESPECIALLY when it concerns their success or failure in that particular kind of relationship. (e.g. If these two junior high students miraculously lasted until marriage, they might never reach the conclusion that their shared idiosyncrasies have nothing much to do with their success, even though someone like me reached that conclusion long ago; however, if their relationship fails, they would be more likely to scratch that criterion off the list.)

So sure, people are going to have different interpretations of whatever it is, but I again think this is just a case of "love", whatever it is, becoming tangled with other emotions and lousy conjectures. (Like "soulmates" ).

But there still must be an underlying tackboard for all of this litter to hang from. Love is most likely that, whatever the hell that is.

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2) So far it seems your explanation of what love is, is nothing more but an arbitrary labeling of an emotion, or group of emotions that we are having.  While, it is a very weak notion, meaning that it should not be something people make major decesions over.

Yes, the label "love" is arbitrarily applied, so it can be applied to an emotion or group of emotions, but different people may disagree about what individual emotions should be in the group of emotions (or magical woo-woo, if it please them) that the label is applied to.

I agree that this makes the idea of love nebulous and weak, and therefore it's a lousy thing to base a decision on. Yet we are required to make decisions about it, whether we understand it or not, which is why there are so many theories. People have to come up with a "theory of love" to go by, which is why I speculate that our different perspectives on love are probably based on our own individual successes in that department.

The biggest problem is that, unlike things we can test objectively, love has no control to test against. You're just testing one conjecture against an endless string of other conjectures and opting for whatever one seems to work best or seems to make the most sense. Some people try to simulate a control by comparing their own success in relationships to a successful couple they admire, but we all know that what works for one couple does not work for another; so again, this is futile. (It doesn't have to be romantic love either; some parents compare their theories on parenting to that of other parents.)

Of course this fuzziness leads to bad decisions. That's why the world is full of exes.

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Kinda answers it but it makes love more of a selfish emotion, or group of emotions which, to those who believe in a more robust notion, would find rather counter-intuitive.

But it also seems counter-intuitive to say that altruism is selfish, even though it ultimately is on some level. We just don't like to think about it that way.

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To riff off of Richard Dawkins, I simply draw a longer line that stretches past God to other equally indescribable notions such as love since in both cases, we do attribute real feelings, emotions, and/or drives to something and we designate this somethings with an arbitrary word, thus, almost work backwards to try and explain what is going on.

Just because none of us can agree on how to describe it does not mean that no description is possible. Consider the state of emotion that most people refer to as feeling "blah". The very name of the emotional state is an unspoken agreement that none of us have any idea how to put the emotion into words---and yet the fact that we have a name for it at all suggests that we all more or less know what the emotional state is like. (The best description I can put together for "blah" is "emotional lethargy".)

As Steven Pinker has pointed out in much of his writing, the limits of our language are not the limits of our world.

If we seriously wanted to come up with an objective description of love, we could probably get cracking on that (as Helen Fisher seems to be doing, and probably others I haven't heard of yet).

It's just common to be content with the artsy-fartsy, trial-and-error, educated (or not so educated) guesses that are out there.

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  What I mean is, it seems in both cases we go "Ok, people attribute these group of feelings to 'X' so lets try to find feelings that lead to a plausible story that will give us 'X' in some way" as opposed to "Ok, people feel emotion 'X'.  Lets figure out what drive causes it or if it is caused by certain external stimulus".

Well, I can't conceive of why a person would attribute a certain feeling to "love" if they weren't actually feeling it, so I don't see much of a reason to throw those out. (It would be different if they said something like "love is where I feel god", because god is obviously not just a feeling. That's like saying love is when I feel the presence of my dead grandfather. The god/grandfather are just associations.)

Whatever "love" REALLY is, I would agree that it would have to be all natural---comparable maybe to Sam Harris's opinions spirituality.

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  The one interesting move that can be made, which was made by Helen Fisher, according to you, is that we can propose that love, itself, is a drive of some sort which cannot be done with God since if God is merely a Drive within the human body, pretty much every spiritual narrative is utterly (more) absurd since people raged wars in the name of a drive.  I suppose I should concede that love is distinct from God on this point since it does allow for options that are simply not avaible for God. 

 

Natural explanations. No woo-woo. I love metaphors and poetry talk as much as the next person, and I'll gladly use it when I'm blowing in a lady's ear, but when I want an explanation for what something really is, give me the science. Love could have science, since it is detectable and affectable (brain scanning, chemical stimulants, etc) and not just bullshitted about.

God is just bullshitted about, which is a big problem for him. =]

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Archeopteryx wrote: No

Archeopteryx wrote:

 

No doubt true. As in the case of melancholy, the sadness part depends on the love part, but the love part does not depend on the sadness part. This seems to indicate that the love part is a catalyst for other things that it tangles with. One might turn in the other direction and speculate that the happy feelings that are often associated with love are only byproducts of whatever love is, like sadness is a byproduct of love in melancholy. But this still requires love to first BE SOMETHING in order for it to cause something else.

It does not require that love actually be something.  It just requires that there is something causing these feelings and dispositions (melancholy is more a disposition I think).  Many want to call it love, but if love is so ill-defined and in simultaneous entanglement with, quite possibly, every feeling or disposition we can posibly have as human beings, it seems to magnify the problem of determining the cause rather then narrow it down.  Which is one more reason why I think we should do away with it entirely, at least in intellectual discourse. 

 

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If I was forced to postulate a theory, I'd say that whatever a person decides that love must be is largely based on their experience, ESPECIALLY when it concerns their success or failure in that particular kind of relationship. (e.g. If these two junior high students miraculously lasted until marriage, they might never reach the conclusion that their shared idiosyncrasies have nothing much to do with their success, even though someone like me reached that conclusion long ago; however, if their relationship fails, they would be more likely to scratch that criterion off the list.)

This reminds me of another funny thing people do in regards to relationships which made me question the whole "love" thing.  Now, everyone, regardless of what notiont of love one goes by, maintains that a friendship is a strong and proper basis for such a close and intimate relationship.  Whenver I spend the time to develop one, the girl then doesn't want to "risk ruing the friendship", thus, goes out with random guys.  I am sure guys do the same thing so I am not making a gender claim about this but it is kinda fucked up and screwy for people to do that and strongly suggests that despite people claiming that they marry, or whatever, for love, or some deep notion is just false since the basis for any relationship has to be a little more base.

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I agree that this makes the idea of love nebulous and weak, and therefore it's a lousy thing to base a decision on. Yet we are required to make decisions about it, whether we understand it or not, which is why there are so many theories.

Why cant we just drop it like Aquinos' theory of Impetus?

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People have to come up with a "theory of love" to go by, which is why I speculate that our different perspectives on love are probably based on our own individual successes in that department.

Have you read Frankfurt's Theory on Love?  I found it quite asinine.  Of course this is the same man who wrote the book On BUllshit so . . . .

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The biggest problem is that, unlike things we can test objectively, love has no control to test against. You're just testing one conjecture against an endless string of other conjectures and opting for whatever one seems to work best or seems to make the most sense. Some people try to simulate a control by comparing their own success in relationships to a successful couple they admire, but we all know that what works for one couple does not work for another; so again, this is futile. (It doesn't have to be romantic love either; some parents compare their theories on parenting to that of other parents.)

Indeed the whole "If you love me you will do X becuase couple Y does X and they love each other" nonsense.

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Of course this fuzziness leads to bad decisions. That's why the world is full of exes.

Beer helps in both the fuzziness and bad relationship decesios as well Eye-wink

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But it also seems counter-intuitive to say that altruism is selfish, even though it ultimately is on some level. We just don't like to think about it that way.

I think you are confusing altruism with altruistic behavior.  I only say this becuase I think you might be referring to studies done on various animals which display altruistic behvaior -- one rodent watching out for a predator at the cost of its own life for the sake of his fellow rodents and such -- but that woulodn't really be altruism since, by definition, altruism is doing for other people's sakes and not your own.  I'm not saying its possible, I'm just saying we should keep a close eye of people displaying altruistic behavior since they are probably trying to pull a fast one on us.

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Just because none of us can agree on how to describe it does not mean that no description is possible. Consider the state of emotion that most people refer to as feeling "blah". The very name of the emotional state is an unspoken agreement that none of us have any idea how to put the emotion into words---and yet the fact that we have a name for it at all suggests that we all more or less know what the emotional state is like. (The best description I can put together for "blah" is "emotional lethargy".)

Even that dispostion has more consitency though.  It has no real entanglement with other emotions or dispositions.  No one is happy beucase they are "blah" or sad becuase thye aer "blah".  They are simply "blah".  IF anything, the "blah" disposition results when one has a lack of feeling while knowing one should actually be feeing something but does not care enough to feel it.  Like "I just failed a test.  I should be upset but . . . blah . . . .".

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As Steven Pinker has pointed out in much of his writing, the limits of our language are not the limits of our world.

Wasn't aware I made such a claim. I guess I should have put th pieces together better.  I am saying we have radically different descriptions of love beucase people are trying to describe different thing when describing it and if we are to make sense of it, we need to limit the things we describe as love instead of letting love be a description for anything (such as Plato, through the voice of Socrates in the SYmposium, describing love as our quest for immortality since thourgh love we beget ideas which are eternal).

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If we seriously wanted to come up with an objective description of love, we could probably get cracking on that (as Helen Fisher seems to be doing, and probably others I haven't heard of yet).

Again, read Frankfurt's The IMportance of What We Care About.  I think that is the work where he gives the most objectively applicable, which isnt saying much consdiering all the alternatives, of love.  And yes, it is very weird indeed since it involve dispositions, volitions, drives, caring, and whole bunch of toehr stuff.

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It's just common to be content with the artsy-fartsy, trial-and-error, educated (or not so educated) guesses that are out there.

Its just common to assume that the feelings you get in your loins when seeing a hot girl (or guy) is love at first site.

 

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Well, I can't conceive of why a person would attribute a certain feeling to "love" if they weren't actually feeling it, so I don't see much of a reason to throw those out. (It would be different if they said something like "love is where I feel god", because god is obviously not just a feeling. That's like saying love is when I feel the presence of my dead grandfather. The god/grandfather are just associations.)

I meant if one was studying someone supposedly in love to determine nueroligcal o other physiologicla characteristics.  INstead of going "Wait a minute, lets see whats really causing these feelings" they go "Ok, he claims to be feeling love so whatever changes there are in his nueroligcal state must be caused by love".  You possibly might want to cunter with sadness aain saying yhat how we came to undersatnd sadness but, as we already esteablished, sadness does have this interwined and convoluted entanglement with other emotions or dispositions and is rather easy to discern when one is sad or at least easier to discern when one is sad.

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Natural explanations. No woo-woo. I love metaphors and poetry talk as much as the next person, and I'll gladly use it when I'm blowing in a lady's ear, but when I want an explanation for what something really is, give me the science. Love could have science, since it is detectable and affectable (brain scanning, chemical stimulants, etc) and not just bullshitted about.

It is bullshitted about all the time.  WHy do you think Shakespeare and romantic comedies are so popular?

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God is just bullshitted about, which is a big problem for him. =]

Again, I think love has the same problem Eye-wink.  Main reason being, lets say we come up with an objective definition that can be tested and we discover that everynoe who has claimed to be in love were way way off.  All they have to claim is "well, you clearly were not studying love" and leave it at that

 

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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Again, I think we're

Again, I think we're probably agreeing but just framing the question a bit differently.

=]

 

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It does not require that love actually be something.  It just requires that there is something causing these feelings and dispositions (melancholy is more a disposition I think).   Many want to call it love, but if love is so ill-defined and in simultaneous entanglement with, quite possibly, every feeling or disposition we can posibly have as human beings, it seems to magnify the problem of determining the cause rather then narrow it down.  Which is one more reason why I think we should do away with it entirely, at least in intellectual discourse.

Ah, okay. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I understand some of your objections now. This goes back to what I was saying about the arbitrary application of the word "love".

With this example, I was saying that it might be fair to give that catalytic element the "love" label, but as you've pointed out, that would be just as arbitrary as giving the entire thing the "love" label. To label it love would be misleading and confusing. It would be like referring to a bomb explosion as "bomb". In one sense you might rightfully refer to it as a bomb (if you think of the two as metonymous), but in a stricter sense, you would probably want to refer to it as an explosion.

I think I see now that you probably object to using the word for the actual natural phenomena that are going on, because to do so would be misleading.

I would reject the word as a term used for an actual explanation for something, but like you, I think it is an abstraction that doesn't seem to point to an identifiable target. I mentioned spirituality before because I think it falls into the same category. I also continue to use the word "spirit" in its very abstract and poetic sense, and would have problem with say that such-and-such was a spiritual experience, but I don't believe there IS an actual spirit. Similarly, I would still use "love" in an abstract and poetic sense, but I don't think it is an actual element that exists inside us.

If I'm understanding correctly, I would compare your objection to those who chastise Einstein and Hawking for using the term "God" to explain science. Of course they didn't mean a god REALLY. They were just mixing science with artsy-fartsy language.

If it's similar, I can understand both ends: those who would want to keep using the poetic language and those who think it doesn't belong in scientific writing.

 

 

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Now, everyone, regardless of what notiont of love one goes by, maintains that a friendship is a strong and proper basis for such a close and intimate relationship.  Whenver I spend the time to develop one, the girl then doesn't want to "risk ruing the friendship", thus, goes out with random guys.

I think most people do believe that good relationships require a certain degree of friendship, but the friendship excuse is just a way of reducing the awkwardness and maintaining a stable platonic relationship after shooting the person down (which can cause problems if not handled delicately).

They are probably thinking something more like "I would rather just be friends", but by turning it into "I don't want to ruin our friendship", they are not just asking to remain friends, they are also packaging it as if they are making the better choice. This tends to make both participants feel better, as it suggests that they came to some kind of agreement, not that one of them was simply shot down.

Fun with words! =]

 

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  I am sure guys do the same thing so I am not making a gender claim about this but it is kinda fucked up and screwy for people to do that and strongly suggests that despite people claiming that they marry, or whatever, for love, or some deep notion is just false since the basis for any relationship has to be a little more base.

I agree. If anyone were to say that the love between he/she and his/her other was not about physical appearances and sexual attraction, I would promptly tell that person that he/she was full of shit. Maybe not completely full of shit, but maybe like 5/8ths full of shit.

 

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Have you read Frankfurt's Theory on Love?  I found it quite asinine.  Of course this is the same man who wrote the book On BUllshit so

Have not read, but thanks for mentioning it.

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I think you are confusing altruism with altruistic behavior.  I only say this becuase I think you might be referring to studies done on various animals which display altruistic behvaior -- one rodent watching out for a predator at the cost of its own life for the sake of his fellow rodents and such -- but that woulodn't really be altruism since, by definition, altruism is doing for other people's sakes and not your own.  I'm not saying its possible, I'm just saying we should keep a close eye of people displaying altruistic behavior since they are probably trying to pull a fast one on us.

Conceded.

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Even that dispostion has more consitency though.  It has no real entanglement with other emotions or dispositions.  No one is happy beucase they are "blah" or sad becuase thye aer "blah".  They are simply "blah".  IF anything, the "blah" disposition results when one has a lack of feeling while knowing one should actually be feeing something but does not care enough to feel it.  Like "I just failed a test.  I should be upset but . . . blah . . . ."

Touché.

 

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As Steven Pinker has pointed out in much of his writing, the limits of our language are not the limits of our world.

Wasn't aware I made such a claim.

I wasn't bringing up the quote to reject anything you had said. I was bringing up the quote to reinforce something that I was attempting to say; namely, the arbitrary usage of the word "love" I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

 

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I guess I should have put th pieces together better.  I am saying we have radically different descriptions of love beucase people are trying to describe different thing when describing it and if we are to make sense of it, we need to limit the things we describe as love instead of letting love be a description for anything

Right, but only if we are attempting to explain what natural processes are actually going on. We could still use the word in its abstract, conversational sense. It is dangerous for scientists to use the term because the range of possible associations makes it confusing.

 

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It's just common to be content with the artsy-fartsy, trial-and-error, educated (or not so educated) guesses that are out there.

Its just common to assume that the feelings you get in your loins when seeing a hot girl (or guy) is love at first site.

Different ways of conceding the same thing. =]

 

 

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I meant if one was studying someone supposedly in love to determine nueroligcal o other physiologicla characteristics.  INstead of going "Wait a minute, lets see whats really causing these feelings" they go "Ok, he claims to be feeling love so whatever changes there are in his nueroligcal state must be caused by love".

I would disagree with them saying "whatever changes in their neurological state must be caused by love", but I wouldn't disagree quite so much if they said "whatever changes in their neurological state must account for what we refer to as love."

But again, this is dangerous in a scientific context because the conversational usage of the word fuzzies up what the scientist would actually mean, leaving him to defend against a lot of people who got caught up on the baggage he didn't intend. It would be in his best interest to choose a different word.

 

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  You possibly might want to cunter

Cunter? One who cunts? I don't know what that entails, but it sounds interesting!

(just picking)

 

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with sadness aain saying yhat how we came to undersatnd sadness but, as we already esteablished, sadness does have this interwined and convoluted entanglement with other emotions or dispositions and is rather easy to discern when one is sad or at least easier to discern when one is sad.

Especially because of what you were saying about how love tends to require another person. You can be sad all by your onesy.

 

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It is bullshitted about all the time.  WHy do you think Shakespeare and romantic comedies are so popular?

Which is fine, as long as we understand that we are just entertaining ourselves. I was really entertained by the movie Serendipity when I watched it with a make-out buddy. It's all about "signs". Very enjoyable bullshit. =]

 

On a more pernickety note: Shakespeare isn't popular because he writes about love. He writes about a lot of things in his plays, and love is seldom the main idea. It plays some kind of role in all of his plays, but often times (as is the case with plays like Hamlet and Henry IV) the love element is completely overshadowed by the real focus of the play. Actually, Shakespeare isn't even famous for his plots, since they are mostly stolen or adopted. What makes Shakespeare so famous is that he retold stories people already knew, but he told them "better".

It's mostly his use of language that makes him so famous. The idea that Shakespeare writes a lot about romance is largely a misconception that he can't escape. Even when he does write about romance, he tends to write about it negatively (portraying it as foolish, fickle, jealous, or ending in tragedy).

But that's a little off topic. =]

 

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God is just bullshitted about, which is a big problem for him. =]

Again, I think love has the same problem Eye-wink.  Main reason being, lets say we come up with an objective definition that can be tested and we discover that everynoe who has claimed to be in love were way way off.  All they have to claim is "well, you clearly were not studying love" and leave it at that

 

I think the distinction is that when we use the term "love", even in an abstract sense, there is something in reality that we are basing it on, be it an emotion felt, a sexual urge, etc. There is something natural mixed in with the bullshit.

Whatever that something natural is, it would probably be misleading to call it "love", since that would just create problems. I will agree with you, though, that 99.9% of what is implied by "love" is bullshit.

God, though, is a completely empty concept. We can't even say that it's true in part.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


illeatyourdog
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Archeopteryx wrote:Ah, okay.

Archeopteryx wrote:

Ah, okay. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I understand some of your objections now. This goes back to what I was saying about the arbitrary application of the word "love".

With this example, I was saying that it might be fair to give that catalytic element the "love" label, but as you've pointed out, that would be just as arbitrary as giving the entire thing the "love" label. To label it love would be misleading and confusing. It would be like referring to a bomb explosion as "bomb". In one sense you might rightfully refer to it as a bomb (if you think of the two as metonymous), but in a stricter sense, you would probably want to refer to it as an explosion.

More or less.  I would simply add that, in regards to the use of "love" it would be like using "bomb" to explain any  sort of massive damage that wasn't even caused by an explosion (like hurricanes or tornados). 

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I would reject the word as a term used for an actual explanation for something, but like you, I think it is an abstraction that doesn't seem to point to an identifiable target. I mentioned spirituality before because I think it falls into the same category. I also continue to use the word "spirit" in its very abstract and poetic sense, and would have problem with say that such-and-such was a spiritual experience, but I don't believe there IS an actual spirit. Similarly, I would still use "love" in an abstract and poetic sense, but I don't think it is an actual element that exists inside us.

I am more comfortable with the use of "spirituality" or "spiritual" at least as a catch-all word for experiences we cannot comprehend yet since it is a nuetral extra-sensory (for lack of better word at the moment) term in regards to various beleifs about what spirituality is i.e. a Christian and a Hindi can both have spiritual experiences, only, they frame them, or make sense of them through their chosen beleif system.

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If I'm understanding correctly, I would compare your objection to those who chastise Einstein and Hawking for using the term "God" to explain science. Of course they didn't mean a god REALLY. They were just mixing science with artsy-fartsy language.

The other thing you have you remember about Einstine is that his audience was mostly Christian so it probably helped get his ideas off the ground to mention God every once in awhile

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If it's similar, I can understand both ends: those who would want to keep using the poetic language and those who think it doesn't belong in scientific writing.

Scientific writing does not have this problem really unless it is trying to relate a scientific issue to a non-scientist.  It really bugs me when I see it in Analytic Pholosophy becuase this is the new Branchy of philosophy that tries to do away with such ambiguities yet it feels the need to keep this one for no reason other than, some Analytic Philosopher's are married and they feel they need to treat it seriously or else they will get hell from their wives.  Yes, I am not a big fan of Analyitic Philosophy, at least contemporary works and authors. 

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I think most people do believe that good relationships require a certain degree of friendship, but the friendship excuse is just a way of reducing the awkwardness and maintaining a stable platonic relationship after shooting the person down (which can cause problems if not handled delicately).

Fun with words! =]

 Perhaps but, to sidetrack even more, this create major problems for viewing the sexual act as anythng incredibly special since they are essentially saying "I aprreciate you enough to not fuck you, therefore, I will fuck guys i don't know that well".  Call me old-fashioned, I would rather fuck someone I trust and know rather than random strangers.  But that is jsut me. 

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I agree. If anyone were to say that the love between he/she and his/her other was not about physical appearances and sexual attraction, I would promptly tell that person that he/she was full of shit. Maybe not completely full of shit, but maybe like 5/8ths full of shit.

 If they were to tell me "we married becuase of love" i would say they are 100% full of shit especially if their story of how they met strats with "And he looked so gorgeous in outfit X"

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Have not read, but thanks for mentioning it.

The Text itself, whcih is a collection of seperate essays is actually titled The IMportance of Things we Care About i think.

 

 

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Right, but only if we are attempting to explain what natural processes are actually going on. We could still use the word in its abstract, conversational sense.

I only use it to denote how much I like something like "I love Sweet Tarts" becuase people associate "love" with the maximum about of desire one can have for an object.  And I do LOVE Sweet Tarts.

 

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I would disagree with them saying "whatever changes in their neurological state must be caused by love", but I wouldn't disagree quite so much if they said "whatever changes in their neurological state must account for what we refer to as love."

But again, this is dangerous in a scientific context because the conversational usage of the word fuzzies up what the scientist would actually mean, leaving him to defend against a lot of people who got caught up on the baggage he didn't intend. It would be in his best interest to choose a different word.

 Or to just say that the subject was seriously mistaken especially if they same states arise from an incredibly different cause.

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Cunter? One who cunts? I don't know what that entails, but it sounds interesting!

Its kinda like a punter.  Only instead of kicking a football they kick . . . . put two and two together Einstine

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(just picking)

 I did walk blindly into that one. 

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Especially because of what you were saying about how love tends to require another person. You can be sad all by your onesy.

It is the Lonliest Number after Twosys. 

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Which is fine, as long as we understand that we are just entertaining ourselves. I was really entertained by the movie Serendipity when I watched it with a make-out buddy. It's all about "signs". Very enjoyable bullshit. =]

 Speaking of John Cusack movies, I really like Grosse Point Blank.  Mainly becuase Minnie Drivers character summed up quite nicely the reality behind relationships.  If you have seen the film, you know one of the major plot points was John Cusack's character leaving Driver datelss for their prom and how he was trying to win her back.  One of the final things she says, however is "Ehh, you need to foget about forgive and just accept."  John Cusack also killed Benny "the Jet" with a mont blanc pen.  it was awesome.

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On a more pernickety note: Shakespeare isn't popular because he writes about love. He writes about a lot of things in his plays, and love is seldom the main idea. It plays some kind of role in all of his plays, but often times (as is the case with plays like Hamlet and Henry IV) the love element is completely overshadowed by the real focus of the play. Actually, Shakespeare isn't even famous for his plots, since they are mostly stolen or adopted. What makes Shakespeare so famous is that he retold stories people already knew, but he told them "better".

He is popular in the maintream becuase of his Love plays.  Only Lit. Majors or Academics actually get into his real works.  Of course I am not a huge fan a Shakespeare anyway becuase . ..

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It's mostly his use of language that makes him so famous.

 . . . he is nothing more but a 16th century Tarantino and . . .

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The idea that Shakespeare writes a lot about romance is largely a misconception that he can't escape. Even when he does write about romance, he tends to write about it negatively (portraying it as foolish, fickle, jealous, or ending in tragedy).

 . . . many people totally don't get this aspect of Shakespeare and impose their own modern views of what "love" is onto it.  I really dislike the "intellectual" claim of "Romeo and Juliette is not about love, its about lust".  It is about misplaced love not lust since the whole point is that his "love" energy should have been directed at the Montegues since that is his family or clan and anyone outside the clan, namely Julliete, is a potential danger to the clan.  Which is why everythng turned to shit when he devoted all his energies to her.

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But that's a little off topic. =]

 Indeed it is.

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God, though, is a completely empty concept. We can't even say that it's true in part.

We can it is true that "God" is described in the Bible under many different names/  That kinda counts as something, I guess  

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff