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Thread: Does love exist?

  1. #46
    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    There is love in life, and also great sorrow and failure. Inevitably there is loss of life. Therefore, life is forever unkind. If there is a god, he must hate, to have us feel love and then die, or watch our loved ones die. So love exists, but is it important? It may sustain us through our short lives, but why should we be sustained?

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varenne Rodin View Post
    There is love in life, and also great sorrow and failure. Inevitably there is loss of life. Therefore, life is forever unkind. If there is a god, he must hate, to have us feel love and then die, or watch our loved ones die. So love exists, but is it important? It may sustain us through our short lives, but why should we be sustained?
    But then again without death how could we ever love as we do - we only feel such a strong sense of love because there is the inevitability of death. A mother knows that she will die leaving her son alone, and that fuels the love. Much like a man whose wife dies, his love for her is so strong only because of death. If there was no suffering there could be no pleasure or joy, if there was no pain existence would be an endless stretch of ennui, like an endless poppy dream.

    If there is a god (which I don't believe there is) and he gave us a life without suffering and pain and sorrow and death - he would have been the crulest of gods. There is no crueler sensation than constant happiness and knowing that you have everything you could want in life...
    Last edited by Alexander III; 08-04-2011 at 07:57 AM.

  3. #48
    Registered User Red-Headed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varenne Rodin View Post
    If there is a god, he must hate, to have us feel love and then die, or watch our loved ones die.
    If there is a god, this is exactly what makes us superior to god; because we can feel love.
    docendo discimus

  4. #49
    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander III View Post
    But then again without death how could we ever love as we do - we only feel such a strong sense of love because there is the inevitability of death. A mother knows that she will die leaving her son alone, and that fuels the love. Much like a man whose wife dies, his love for her is so strong only because of death. If there was no suffering there could be no pleasure or joy, if there was no pain existence would be an endless stretch of ennui, like an endless poppy dream.

    If there is a god (which I don't believe there is) and he gave us a life without suffering and pain and sorrow and death - he would have been the crulest of gods. There is no crueler sensation than constant happiness and knowing that you have everything you could want in life...
    I used to feel as you do, Alexander, and in many ways you are right. I could have done without the phonecalls letting me know people I deeply loved were dead. I was blissfully happy. I could have enjoyed being so forever. It does emphasize the strength of the love, but that strength was there the whole time. In a hug, in a smile. Boredom would have been enough to counterbalance the excitement of love. I don't know why we have to disappear and/or lose ourselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red-Headed View Post
    If there is a god, this is exactly what makes us superior to god; because we can feel love.
    Thank you, Red. That is perfect.

    I've taken this thread off topic. Love is real.

  5. #50
    Registered User Red-Headed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varenne Rodin View Post
    Love is real.
    Yes it is.
    docendo discimus

  6. #51
    Seeker of Knowledge RosyRosalind's Avatar
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    I believe love is real, as well. I will admit, it is difficult to describe something so abstract as "love". But, since we ARE discussing this on Online Literature, my main argument to the fact that it exists is based on literature; that the idea of "love" is expressed in numerous poems, novels, religious texts, and plays. People have been trying to truly define what "love" is for centuries. Love for family, love for another man or woman, love for a child, love for a stranger....

    But the main reason I BELIEVE in love is a perfectly personal one. For me to live without love would be no life at all. To live is to love, and to live is to lose. There is no perfect world, but would I be happy in one? Would I know joy without sadness? Would I know light without darkness? Would I know LOVE without indifference? (For, in my opinion, the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.)

    Argue all you like (For what else are these forums for?), but... I like to think it exists. To imagine that love isn't real and that it cannot exist is too hopeless for me. I like to think better of the world. Perhaps it's selfish. But I'd rather see the world as not a place of perfection (for that isn't possible), but a place where love can exist. You can accept or reject that love, seek it or hide from it, and sometimes, it is taken away from you. But that doesn't mean it's not real.
    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." As You Like It, William Shakespeare

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    Quote Originally Posted by RosyRosalind View Post
    I like to think it exists. To imagine that love isn't real and that it cannot exist is too hopeless for me. I like to think better of the world. Perhaps it's selfish. But I'd rather see the world as not a place of perfection (for that isn't possible), but a place where love can exist. You can accept or reject that love, seek it or hide from it, and sometimes, it is taken away from you. But that doesn't mean it's not real.
    I used to feel that way. I think I don't want to believe in love anymore partially as a defense mechanism. In some twisted and selfish way, if I allow myself to believe in love then I am unable to justify the deep loneliness, worthlessness, and emptiness I've felt all my life, and once more I will feel obligated to destroy myself.

  8. #53
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G L Wilson View Post
    I give more to nurture than nature; what is taken from one strengthens the other.
    It's unquestionably both, but I still think all humankind is a lot more DNA than culture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    In science, a theory is non-trivial if it has significant explanatory or predictive powers. Reductionist, biological theories about love can only predict what is already obvious. That's why they are "trivial". They can predict that Romeo will be attracted to a woman -- but not why he becomes infatuated with Juliet.
    I have to hand it to you, mentioning science, then posting something utterly unscientific. I really do suggest you stop trying to combine science with your philosophy, because it just ain't working.


    We can entirely predict what attracts Romeo to Juliet & vice-versa. It is extraordinarily well know that even in culturally-altered 2011, people are still largely attracted to phenotype above all. How on earth do you think the idea of "love at first sight" persists?

    Please; try to at least embrace realism a little when posting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    Love is culturally constituted (largely, at least).
    I will just state again that you really do need to watch some mammalian interaction. Avian, even.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    To "explain" it biologically is like explaining language biologically.
    Maybe understanding is more to do with whether you've researched the subject properly and are able to have a grasp of the complexities involved. Nobody's suggesting it's an easy subject, since it's entirely subjective, but it's remarkably obvious what love really is. Why do you think a human heartbeat starts racing at that love at first sight business?

    Quote Originally Posted by RosyRosalind View Post
    ....For me to live without love would be no life at all....
    And this is a classic example of why over-endowing love as a cultural construct can be bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by cl154576 View Post
    In some twisted and selfish way, if I allow myself to believe in love then I am unable to justify the deep loneliness, worthlessness, and emptiness I've felt all my life, and once more I will feel obligated to destroy myself.
    Can I mention here that "love" - or the losing of it - caused a 21-year old friend of my son's to kill himself yesterday? No, I am not kidding.

    I wish most people would realise that this love business is not the beginning and end of life. If it were such a wondrous, everlasting thing, why do so many couples get divorced? As often happens, an old tale often tells it best - how love fades, which pretty much shows that it's just lust dressed up in a Santa suit.

    For the first year of your marriage, put a pea in a jar every time you have sex.

    For the rest of your marriage, take one out every time you have sex.

    The jar never empties.

    I know people who live alone and have highly fulfilled lives. Love is not alpha and omega any more than there is a dead Jew's ghost in the sky watching sparrows.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    I know people who live alone and have highly fulfilled lives. Love is not alpha and omega any more than there is a dead Jew's ghost in the sky watching sparrows.
    I don't believe it is. I put more value in self-acceptance, of which I am equally lacking and skeptical.

    I think in order to have a highly fulfilled life, at the least one must love oneself.

  10. #55
    Registered User PoeticPassions's Avatar
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    Love is alive and well.

    But only tragic, unfulfilled love (in the romantic sense) is everlasting or eternal.
    "All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours." -Aldous Huxley

    "Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires." -William Blake

  11. #56
    Registered User Red-Headed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    It's unquestionably both, but I still think all humankind is a lot more DNA than culture.
    It could be argued that 'race' is cultural, at least a cultural construct. Obviously there is some biological determinism, but human beings are so similar genetically most ''racial' definitions & perceptions are actually based on culture rather than biology.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    We can entirely predict what attracts Romeo to Juliet & vice-versa. It is extraordinarily well know that even in culturally-altered 2011, people are still largely attracted to phenotype above all.
    Surely you jest? After all, behaviour can be viewed as belonging to the concept of phenotype, & much behaviour can be a social construct.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    but it's remarkably obvious what love really is. Why do you think a human heartbeat starts racing at that love at first sight business?
    I think that there is a huge distinction between 'love' & physical attraction. There is certainly attraction at first sight, love, often has nothing to do with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    I wish most people would realise that this love business is not the beginning and end of life. If it were such a wondrous, everlasting thing, why do so many couples get divorced? As often happens, an old tale often tells it best - how love fades, which pretty much shows that it's just lust dressed up in a Santa suit.
    It depends on what you mean by 'love' I suppose. I don't think dressing up as Santa can help LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    Love is not alpha and omega any more than there is a dead Jew's ghost in the sky watching sparrows.
    What's happened to all of the sparrows anyway?
    docendo discimus

  12. #57
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    We can entirely predict what attracts Romeo to Juliet & vice-versa. It is extraordinarily well know that even in culturally-altered 2011, people are still largely attracted to phenotype above all....

    .
    Thanks for making my point for me. I said that reductionist explanations of love are simplistic (even simple-minded). And now you offer simplistic (even simple-minded) explanations in rebuttal. Doubtless The Atheist falls in love based on phenotype, but most of us do not. Culturally constructed archetypes and ideals affect how most of us see others.

    If it (love) were such a wondrous, everlasting thing, why do so many couples get divorced?
    And yet divorce rates vary from culture to culture and century to century. Which theory of love is more consistant with this fact? The biological theory? Or the cultural one? Perhaps, however, we should not let facts stand in the way of our preconceived notions. The Atheist ignored my comparison of love with language. Maybe he thinks that knowing how to speak French is embedded in our DNA, just like falling in love is.

  13. #58
    A better topic title would probably have been "Does unconditional love exist?".

    To me, the answer is no.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freudian Monkey View Post
    A better topic title would probably have been "Does unconditional love exist?".

    To me, the answer is no.
    Thank you.
    But to me, unconditional love alone is true love.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    And yet divorce rates vary from culture to culture and century to century. Which theory of love is more consistant with this fact? The biological theory? Or the cultural one? Perhaps, however, we should not let facts stand in the way of our preconceived notions. The Atheist ignored my comparison of love with language. Maybe he thinks that knowing how to speak French is embedded in our DNA, just like falling in love is.
    I agree ... Although societies where arranged marriages have dominated for centuries can't extinguish emotion, it can suppress emotion and make it less identifiable.

    As for the whole mammal-with-babies discussion, I would say animals have cultures and influences of their own. Many animals move in groups that are their own "societies."

  15. #60
    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post

    For the first year of your marriage, put a pea in a jar every time you have sex.

    For the rest of your marriage, take one out every time you have sex.

    The jar never empties.
    Haha. That's not true. I agree with the other stuff you said, to an extent, but most people marry people they don't have enough in common with. I don't know what the general problem is for couples and sex. There are couples who have sex all the time, from young age to old age.

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