Your Capacity for Love?

Marquis
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Your Capacity for Love?

Many theists say 'love everybody'!

To me, this amounts to prett much the same as loving nobody.

Who can love "everybody"? How? And why?

There is an old saying: Don't bite off more than you can chew.

Whatever love I have in me is for my woman alone. Nobody else can have it. The rest of y'all jokers I can like or dislike if you're an interesting character, and "tolerate" (i.e. ignore) if you're just another mediocre zombie of boredom who's accidentally passing through life. But love you I won't. I can love only one. I refuse to spread myself any thinner than that, lest my love becomes a worthless commodity which supply far exceeds all and any demand for it.

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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thedionysian
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So are you suggesting that the only person you can effectively love is yourself?  May I ask why that is (if true) ? 

On this site, I've noticed a predominance of atheist vs. theist mentality - and that is certainly understandable - but i'd like to suggest that in the embrace of being god-less, there is in fact an incredible wealth of expanded thinking and being that is open to one, that lies far beyond the god/no-god dichotomy.


Atheistextremist
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I tend to think love is a

 

particular feeling people in our lives qualify for without much control on our part. 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


cojalen
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First, it may be true that

First, it may be true that many theists say "love everybody," even if that means converting (killing, torturing, demeaning, w/e) others out of "love". That's okay, but it implies that atheists usually don't say that. I have no idea if that's true, but I can't see how the existence of a god has any effect on your capacity to love.

Beyond that, I understand your dilemma. Having an all-encompassing love seems to devalue what love is supposed to be.

I think the answer is to define what you mean by love. You say you can only love one, but you also say you can only love your woman. What about yourself? And your parents? And your kids if that has happened or will happen?

There seems to be many different types of love. When I think about them, they seem so different that I feel we should have different words for them altogether. For example, the type of love that I feel toward my family certainly does not feel the same as the type of love I feel toward my boyfriend (well ... hypothetical boyfriend... you get the point, right?). Two different types, maybe two different emotions, but the same word. Different types exist for loving people you call your friends, for your pets, for your possessions, for the Earth, for humanity, for the universe, and you could maybe add more to the list.

When people say "love everyone," they are, to me, asking that we have a love for humanity. That's certainly not the same type of love anyone has for their romantic partner. It's a different type completely that, and I'm only saying what it feels like to me, focuses on the human connection and our shared experiences. It's like we're all reflections of each other. I think George Carlin in one of his later routines said about individuals that "I can see the universe in their eyes." That kind of thing some people may label as love because if you see everyone as a reflection of yourself, and you have self-love, then it's possible to love everyone. Again, not in the romantic sense but in a different one altogether.

 


cojalen
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Oh, and there are two

Oh, and there are two concepts I just heard of that I thought were interesting. Everyone else has probably heard of these, but they're new to me! xD

One of them was along the lines of that there are only two emotions: love and fear. Everything else stems from those.

The other was that there are only expressions of love and requests for love. Everything can be translated as one of those.

For example, take jealousy. If you're jealous of someone, they have something you want. You are lacking something. You're afraid, then, that you won't have whatever it is you want. And if you explore what it is you want, say that new, state-of-the-art toaster, you might find out that it's really just an object you feel might temporarily relieve some unhappiness caused by a lacking somewhere else in your life. Like loneliness (which would be a request for love). Something like that.

I don't know. I thought that might be helpful as far as deciding what love is. It's probably not... It's a bit interesting, though. But I think there is a philosophy of love that you can check out on the IEP. I haven't read it just yet, but that could explain stuff, too, and lead to further reading.

I hope this helped in some way! Even if I have just confirmed for you that love is BS. xD


peto verum
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In regard to your O.P.  Are

In regard to your O.P.  Are you saying that people congenitally only  have a finite allocation of "love" points?  Lets say 1 million love-dots as an arbitrary number, each dot representing a fraction of the whole).  I can use all those love-dots on one person (would this be true love?) or divide them up, oh lets say 500,000 love-dots between two people (would this still be love?)  or one love-dot for one million people?  Which would mean if I loved 2 million people I would be in some kind of mathematical error?  I agree with you that it would take a very special person to love everyone.  I also agree -if I'm understanding you correctly- that many people who claim to love everyone have somehow misused the word love.  The only question I have of you is how do my children fit in.  Introspection would say that I love them equally and immensely.  One was born years before the other but when the second was born I didn't feel as though I loved the first one any less, especially not 1/2 as much.  I can't say that I love every individual in the world though but I will say that I do support and hope to help my neighbors.  More of a tit-for-tat strategy in that regard but I do have the capacity to forgive.  Basically, I wish all people well.

 

Steve Pinker wrote a book "How the Mind Works" and I like the way he deals with emotions.  Computational Theory of the Mind is something I can identify with and evolutionary psychology is something I like.  The capacity to love being a trait that helps the genes replicate and has been selected for over the eons.  I don't believe that love is a totally learned behavior. 

 

Fun question.

 

Be Safe!

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A book which the Mohammedans foolishly believe to have been written by divine inspiration, but which Christians know to be a wicked imposture, contradictory to the Holy Scriptures. ~ The Devil's Dictionary


Gauche
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 Some people probably find

 Some people probably find it easier to love than others. I think it's pretty easy but I agree with Franti; it ain't about who you love it's about DO you love.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


cojalen
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peto verum wrote:In regard

peto verum wrote:

In regard to your O.P.  Are you saying that people congenitally only  have a finite allocation of "love" points?  Lets say 1 million love-dots as an arbitrary number, each dot representing a fraction of the whole).  I can use all those love-dots on one person (would this be true love?) or divide them up, oh lets say 500,000 love-dots between two people (would this still be love?)  or one love-dot for one million people?  Which would mean if I loved 2 million people I would be in some kind of mathematical error?  I agree with you that it would take a very special person to love everyone.  I also agree -if I'm understanding you correctly- that many people who claim to love everyone have somehow misused the word love.  The only question I have of you is how do my children fit in.  Introspection would say that I love them equally and immensely.  One was born years before the other but when the second was born I didn't feel as though I loved the first one any less, especially not 1/2 as much. I can't say that I love every individual in the world though but I will say that I do support and hope to help my neighbors.  More of a tit-for-tat strategy in that regard but I do have the capacity to forgive.  Basically, I wish all people well.

What an interesting way of looking at it!

I think that last bit, "I wish all people well," is what people feel when they say "love everyone." It's not the kind of love that we normally think of, like the "you complete me, and I want to be with you forever" love. More like a good will sort of love. I think it really comes down to how you define the word which always invites debate.