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What is love ?

  1. Oct 13, 2004 #1
    We have discussed about many things in this forum without mentioning about the definition of "love". So, what do you think love is all about?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2004 #2
    Love is agape (according to Lewis).

    Love is never putting the other at risk.
    Love is unconditional.
    Love is always putting the other ahead of yourself.

    Love is not what you see in romantic hollywood films.

    Love is not violin music and candle-lit dinners in the monlight.
  4. Oct 13, 2004 #3
    No no dekoi! Love is what you see on television. You meet someone, can't take your eye's off of them or stop thinking about them (this has nothing to do with lust). Then, you kiss, and make love. You then see you have too many differences, don't actually have anything in common, or flat out don't know each other, and move on to the next person. I KNOW that's how it is, because that's how it is on TV and to the nearest teenager.
  5. Oct 14, 2004 #4
    but the love you mentioned is not true love. In the end, you don't have true happiness. True love brings you true happiness. And yes I agree with dekoi. Love is understanding, trusting and respecting each other. Even though, it's hard to find that kind of love nowadays and the definition of love has been misunderstood by a lot of people, we cannot deny the truth.
    If you did something for a good purpose, what you did could still be right or wrong. However, if you did something for a bad purpose, there must be no right in what you did.
    Same with your perspective towards love, if you seek a true love with all your heart, you may or may not find it but you still can hope for one. However, if you seek for the love that does not last, how you can find a true love.
    What you think always has an impact on what you react in life.

  6. Oct 14, 2004 #5
    Brandon, i really hope you're joking. Your tone has a satirical edge to it, so i really can not judge right now.

    Perhaps you should read about the subject before making statements. You are talking strictly about eros and storge.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2004
  7. Oct 14, 2004 #6
    A true idealist, and a definition that might be expected from a true idealist.
  8. Oct 14, 2004 #7
    Agape is not the only type of love. Eros is too. So is philos.
  9. Oct 14, 2004 #8
    Perhaps you should consider the difference between someone who recognizes the truth, and someone who is impractical (idealist).

    Agape is ultimate love. Eros, philos, and storge are at a much lower degree.
  10. Oct 14, 2004 #9
    I am not sure if you are trying to claim that you are one of these and not the other. I never said, and I do not consider, that idealists are impractical or that beling one is a bad thing. It is one type of person that has opinions that are different from other types.

    I am sorry, but your word "ultimate" has absolutely no meaning for me. Should it?

    I am not familir with storge. I am also not familiar with degrees of love, such that they are hierarchically organized in an objectively agreed upon order. Please cite a reference that supports your objective contention that there is a hierarchical order for degrees of love, such that one is more important than another.
  11. Oct 14, 2004 #10
    Yes, I was joking...well somewhat. If you ask a teenager what love is, most likely their definition or understanding will be much closer to the TV love rather than true love.
  12. Oct 14, 2004 #11
    Prometheus: By lower degree i mean to say it achieves a lower degree of happiness. This hierachy roots from the Levels of Happiness.

    C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves is a good overview of these breeds of love.
  13. Oct 14, 2004 #12
    LOVE is a 'Life Force' (LF). And LF is ANY THING or ACTION that permits or contributes to CO-EXISTENCE and the overall HUMAN PROGRESS and SURVIVAL.



    Last edited: Oct 14, 2004
  14. Oct 15, 2004 #13


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    So the construction of the highway system in the United States was an act of love? Odd way to use the word.

    At bottom, love is a kind of subjectively experienced emotion. Certain kinds of behavior may ensue from this kind of emotion, but these acts are not what defines love. It is the qualitative character of the emotion itself that defines love.
  15. Oct 15, 2004 #14

    You are not clear on the root of love? Are you stating that it is strictly emotion?

    I find the discussion of such topics very difficult without referring to theology.
  16. Oct 15, 2004 #15


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    Yes, I'm saying that the notion of 'love' is defined by a range of particular emotional states a person may be in. If I do charity work but feel the same emotionally as when I do taxes, then love has nothing to do with it. I don't know exactly what you mean by the 'root' of love, but whatever that is, I imagine it is the same as the 'root' of anger or bemusement or any other kind of emotion. Certainly love is a more sublime kind of emotion to experience than anger or bemusement, and one could make an argument that it is the most valuable kind of emotion that humans can experience. But at bottom it's an emotion, insofar as I can say with confidence that if one is experiencing the right kind of emotion, one is experiencing love, and if one is not experiencing the right kind of emotion then one is not experiencing love.
  17. Oct 15, 2004 #16
    hypnagogue. That's '(I'm) in Love' you're describing I believe.

    I find Love hard to describe.

    I think maybe it is best described through an action.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2004
  18. Oct 17, 2004 #17
    I find it difficult if not impossible to define "love" if even the concept of my own identify and existence remain a mystery.

    Before we can venture a definition of love we must first thoroughly understand the reality of subjective experience, and knowledge we at this moment are horribly behind in.

    The answer to what is love. I don’t know. But I know it sure feels good.
  19. Oct 17, 2004 #18
    So Preator, as well as other members who have replied: you would not agree with my statement regarding love? I am wondering whether you believe it is false and you are in disagreement with it, or you have not read it.

    "Love is never putting the other at risk.
    Love is unconditional.
    Love is always putting the other ahead of yourself."
  20. Oct 17, 2004 #19
    Love is never putting the other at risk.
    -----what if this person never risks to leave her room, or ride a bike or drive a care? If I loved her would I let her waste her life, and miss out on much happiness because she never wanted to take a risk? Would I for the sake of not letting her take a risk, RISK the possibly of her being forever unhappy for not experiencing life? And more importantly WHERE WOULD I DRAW THE LINE?

    Love is unconditional?
    -----Even if he is a genocidal terrorist creating nukes to destroy the worlds? Even if he WANTS TO KILL ME? Again where would I draw the line?

    Love is always putting the other ahead of you?
    ------What do you do when there is a scarcity of resources? When there is only ONE drop of water in pot in the dessert? What if by doing so, you make yourself UNATTRACTIVE (by not looking out for yourself), and now she doesn’t want to be with you anymore? Again where would you draw the line?

    Your definitions of love fail only because they try to impose a binary logic (1, 0;;; black/white) on a dynamic complex non linear system with an inherent degree of chaotic behavior.

    Of course you could find perfect counterarguments to my arguments, and to I would counter you counter ad infinetum, each of us specifying in smaller and smaller detail and every time less and less general and more specific definitions of "Love". At the end we will have a convoluted and irrational patchwork of definitions of love. This process is called reductionism, and the patchwork of definitions is but a matrix of "APPROXIMATION" of love, and therefore by definition NEVER able to EVER give us a 100% solution. In the field of "poetic" love non-100% truths are not very welcomed.

    It is a similar problem as trying to define hydrodynamic motion by analyzing the motions its individual atoms (in our case "the ever more specific" definitions) interactions in a matrix which APPROXIMATES the collective motion.

    In "real world" applications this process just simply DOES NOT PASS MUSTARD.

    Only recently with the development of a new and better "language" (that of evaluative chaos theory) that better solutions to said non linear (and non binary) problems of hydrodynamics can be solved to a FAR greater degree of accuracy.

    In a similar vain, as regards definitions of love, what we lack is an adequate language that can better handle the non linear complexities of subjective experience. Until we have that all our pretentious definitions of love are but guesses in the wind.

    *ps: The name's Fenix.
  21. Oct 17, 2004 #20
    I disagree with all of these. I think that these are not love, but attributes of love, and that furthermore they are the attributes defined by a person who is extremely different from me.

    You are far too abstract for me, and I personally do not feel a great deal of attraction to your personal selection of attributes.
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