Love

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AuthorTopic: Love
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #25
Physics that has room for strange and charm has room for love.

Color me another evolutionary psychologist, though. Romantic love is a cause, effect, and symptom of how we mate. Or maybe it's a crazy societal meme. Who knows? It's most definitely real, though, and it's still real after one love fades and you find another one.

That kind of love is completely different from love of family or friends. There are several ways to justify those by evolution too, which I have already done elsewhere to widespread disgust.

—Alorael, who doesn't see how calling something an adaptive trait honed by generation after generation of evolution makes it less meaningful. Love is chemicals and beauty is certain patterns of light hitting your retina, but that doesn't devalue either one.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #26
quote:
Originally written by Laurina:

I believe in unconditional love too.
What the heck is "unconditional love" even supposed to mean? Unconditional love for a person isn't unconditional; it's conditional on the fact that they are that person, unless you love everyone and everything in the universe exactly equally.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #27
Heh. Dikiyoba knows someone who comes close to that description.

"I love it! It's so beautiful!"

"It's some sort of weedy river plant."

"I know, but it's still beautiful!"

"It feels slimy and itchy."

"It's still beautiful!"

"You're terrifed that your feet will get tangled in it and you will drown."

"I know, but I love it anyway!"


[ Thursday, August 03, 2006 16:47: Message edited by: Dikiyoba ]
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #28
I'm willing to believe in unconditional love, but only as a personality defect. If you can love someone no matter how spiteful, petty, and odoriferous they are, there is something wrong with you.

Fortunately, I can think of exactly zero examples of this.

—Alorael, who loves everything to some extent. Pond weed may not be perfectly appealing, but one day its molecules may do something worthwhile.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 3364
Profile Homepage #29
*raises eyebrow at Alo*

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"Even the worst Terror from Hell can be transformed to a testimony from Heaven!" - Rev. David Wood 6\23\05

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." - John Wesley
Posts: 1001 | Registered: Tuesday, August 19 2003 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 7353
Profile #30
*saunters in, fresh and new-registered, and begins jabbering*

Love is real, despite whatever origins it may have. If something is experienced by the majority of the population and generally agreed upon as being one thing then it is assumed that it is in fact that thing. For some it gets sick or radiant or weird or whatever, but that's life, stuff varies. "True love" is a fictional device used in sugary "chick lit" books that is often (and often disastrously) striven for in real life. This is kind of dumb. Some people can't be happy with just feeling stuff and letting it be - they need the bright shiny happy LOVE OF THE AGES that makes movies happen and bankrupts parents for the wedding. And then unrealistic expectations of realistic things do what they always do: run up against a wall and get horribly mangled, often ending in disaster.

But there can be happy couples in happy relationships that last a damnably long time. If you're in one, it's really kind of nice, but is never going to be without the bumps and awkwardness that plagues humanity. If you're not in one, sometimes you want to stab those who are. We endure gracefully, because we have constant reassurance that we're not unloveable and we haven't failed at life, so neener.

Though of course the measure of a person isn't finding that perfect other to complete them and make them right, but being happy and well-adjusted without having the "need" to be in a relationship. No one's ever completely free of the need for companionship, but requiring a relationship to feel complete is as sure a sign of being broken as is needing no contact with other members of the species at all.

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Endure. In enduring, grow strong.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Friday, August 4 2006 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #31
Unconditional love may make a bit more sense if you think of a parent's love for a child. Maybe you need to have a child to appreciate this, but you're somehow stuck rooting for the kid permanently. If they're good, you're happy; if they're spiteful, petty, or odoriferous, you want them to get better, and you're willing to stick with them until they do. You adjust your expectations so that you're happy about every slight downward increment in spitefulness, pettiness, or odor. And to a large extent this irrational hope of improvement is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I'd say it's rather subtle how to extract from this example a principle that could be applied to other relationships than parent-child. A parent-child relationship would clearly not be a healthy marriage, for instance. But I think there probably is some essential element of this unconditional love that can bear translation out of the parent-child context, and serve as a basis for other relationships.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #32
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

[QUOTE]What the heck is "unconditional love" even supposed to mean? Unconditional love for a person isn't unconditional; it's conditional on the fact that they are that person, unless you love everyone and everything in the universe exactly equally.
Okay, I guess you have a point. I think others know what I mean, so I'll try and explain - I believe in love that is unconditional apart from the one condition you point out. So, technically, it's not unconditional in the wide sense, no.

I just remembered the reason I usually stay out of SW debates. :)

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And when you want to Live
How do you start?
Where do you go?
Who do you need to know?


*Name by Slarty, so blame him if it's filthy...
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #33
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Unconditional love may make a bit more sense if you think of a parent's love for a child. Maybe you need to have a child to appreciate this, but you're somehow stuck rooting for the kid permanently. If they're good, you're happy; if they're spiteful, petty, or odoriferous, you want them to get better, and you're willing to stick with them until they do.
I'd find it interesting to examine what conditions actually do attach themselves to this "unconditional" love (or, if I may coin what I think to be a more precise term, "behaviour-independent love"). Clearly it's not simply conditional on them being children, since parents don't show the same behaviour-independent love for other people's children. It's also not simply conditional on them being one's own biological children, since adoptive parents seem able to treat adopted children as they would treat biological children. On the other hand, it can't simply be conditional on having spent time raising the child, since a parent who has separated from the custodial parent of a child will often spend considerable time and effort trying to obtain access to a child the parent has rarely or never seen.

Clearly also the conditions for a parent to show behaviour-independent love for its children are not culturally universal, since there have been cultures throughout history in which it's perfectly acceptable for parents to kill disobedient children. Seems like that'd be a big improvement nowadays: we'd solve the overpopulation problem and the juvenile delinquency problem in one fell swoop.

Okay, so it turns out I can't make one reasonable post about children without my hatred of them showing through. So sue me.

Seriously, though, my suspicion is that the primary cause of behaviour-independent parent-child love is intense social pressure on parents to display behaviour-independent love for children which society deems them to be responsible for. Any negative feelings toward those children are repressed or dismissed as not being the way one "really" feels about one's children, regardless of how common or how strong those negative feelings are relative to the positive ones. In cases where this cognitive dissonance can no longer be maintained, postnatal depression results, because the parent feels at fault for being unable to live up to an impossible standard.

In essence, then, my argument is that the concept of behaviour-independent love is a self-delusion, albeit possibly a well-motivated one.

[ Friday, August 04, 2006 18:23: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3040
Profile #34
Your being a self-proclaimed troll in these types of topics makes it much easier not to be provoked by your claims :rolleyes: . Your list of rebuttals for various motivations for parental love seem to hold. I'm convinced by them. I'm not convinced by your claim of societal pressure leading to parental love. You said yourself love does not extend to other people's children. So what if everyone tells you your child is a dick? I'm sure many people love their children despite societal pressures.

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5.0.1.0.0.0.0.1.0...
Posts: 508 | Registered: Thursday, May 29 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #35
quote:
Originally written by wz. As:

So what if everyone tells you your child is a dick?
When people tell parents this, it's generally in an attempt to make the parents improve their children's behaviour. I think that's perfectly consistent with my hypothesis.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 7353
Profile #36
I've known far too many people with hideously dysfunctional family lives to believe that child-parent love is perfect and true. Ideally, yeah, you're going to love your kid, and your kid is going to love you, but far too often that doesn't happen and someone ends up on meds.

Personally, I believe that parental love stems from a sense of ownership rather than outside pressure. Whether yours or otherwise, normal or not, healthy or born without something crucial, it's YOURS. Your baby is the smartest and the most beautiful in the world because it is YOUR baby, and your mom is angelic and pure because she's YOUR mom. This sense of ownership can also cause disastrous relationship failures if other dysfunctional elements are present, but eh.

The maternal instinct needs SOMETHING to latch on to. If not children, or loser boyfriends, cats.

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Endure. In enduring, grow strong.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Friday, August 4 2006 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #37
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

Seriously, though, my suspicion is that the primary cause of behaviour-independent parent-child love is intense social pressure on parents to display behaviour-independent love for children which society deems them to be responsible for. Any negative feelings toward those children are repressed or dismissed as not being the way one "really" feels about one's children, regardless of how common or how strong those negative feelings are relative to the positive ones.
It's intensely sad that this is true, but it is.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
BANNED
Member # 6074
Profile #38
No, no, no! You're all wrong! Love is a trap set by the Democrats.

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Live long and prosper.
Viva mucho tiempo y prospere.
Habiter long et prospérer.
Leben Sie lang und prosperieren Sie.
Lever lang og prosper.
Longos vivos e prosper.
Lunghi in tensione e prosperano.
???????????
?????????
???? ? ????.
Posts: 84 | Registered: Wednesday, July 6 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #39
"Love", I have just discovered, "is a miserable lie".

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And when you want to Live
How do you start?
Where do you go?
Who do you need to know?


*Name by Slarty, so blame him if it's filthy...
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
La Canaliste
Member # 5563
Profile #40
Oh, Laurina, I hope you are not all bruised and sore!
My man and I have been together for 20 years this week. Both of us had been somewhat battered before we met each other. It taught us both the importance and value of being gentle with each other. Also that there is no point in winning if it means that the other has to lose.

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I am a mater of time and how .

Deep down, you know you should have voted for Alcritas!
Posts: 387 | Registered: Tuesday, March 1 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #41
That was quick.

—Alorael, who thinks unconditional love for children is based on the laudable goal of proving Darwin right. Fortunately or unfortunately, humans are wired to love babies that trigger the "Mine!" reflex whether or not they are biologically related. Parents seeking custody of children they've never met are either especially devoted Darwinians or vengeful jerks.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Warrior
Member # 6923
Profile Homepage #42
Love is a device invented by bank managers to make us overdrawn.

Not really.

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"There are no turtles anywhere" Ponder Stibbons
One, Two, Three, Pfhor, Five…
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I have an interest in "custard titles". I want one. Now!
Posts: 74 | Registered: Friday, March 17 2006 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #43
quote:
Originally written by saunders:

My man and I have been together for 20 years this week.
:) !

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Agent
Member # 618
Profile Homepage #44
Speaking as someone who used to have to compete with a television for parental attention or even getting five words out of them (still do, actually. Just stopped trying) and holding little empathy for that section of my family, in general, I'd draw some conclusion that it isn't completely biological.

Huzzah on you, Saunders. ;)

[ Tuesday, August 08, 2006 04:20: Message edited by: *Yawn* ]
Posts: 1487 | Registered: Sunday, February 10 2002 08:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #45
quote:
Originally written by saunders:

Oh, Laurina, I hope you are not all bruised and sore!
My man and I have been together for 20 years this week...

Just a little. Perhaps :P

And congratulations! I also like the possessiveness... :)

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And when you want to Live
How do you start?
Where do you go?
Who do you need to know?


*Name by Slarty, so blame him if it's filthy...
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #46
Thuryl, you mean that people care more about society at large than they care for their own children? I suppose society has the advantage of greater numbers.

"Unconditional" love is often used as a synonym for other vague terms, such as everlasting love, great love, true love etc.

What about "love me for who I am"? Surely someone here can shred that.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #47
It's superior to loving someone for who they're not. That leads to awkwardness, unpleasant questions, and long silences.

—Alorael, who also has some experience with loving people for who they might be. Sure, there may not be any obvious resemblance to a reincarnated Yo****omo, but you never know!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #48
quote:
Originally written by Alex:

Thuryl, you mean that people care more about society at large than they care for their own children? I suppose society has the advantage of greater numbers.
And, more importantly, the ability to ostracise you if you don't play by their rules. Children, being dependent on their parents for survival, aren't in such a strong bargaining position on their own.

quote:
What about "love me for who I am"?
Who are you?

[ Tuesday, August 08, 2006 23:12: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Warrior
Member # 7099
Profile #49
Ok. Well, there are different kinds of "Love". Brotherly love...would be like a dog that youve had for 10 yrs. Lustful love....ok, well, ya know. Then, there is wut i like to call Jesus Love. Being kind to everone you meet, and youd die for any of them. Then, the marriage love. Which is much more complex to speak of.

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I like everyone...I just like some people more than others!
Posts: 60 | Registered: Wednesday, May 3 2006 07:00

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