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To me that's kind of redefining the word. You include more into the word than I do... but that only shows one of the problems with the word "love". How can it be properly defined so we both can agree what it is.

 

Christians define "love" as "god".

 

I define "love" as an emotion and desire (not necessarily sexual, but the feeling and urge to care for and help and support... etc)

 

You define "love" as the beauty of life and nature.

 

How can we express any method to how and why love came about, when we talk about it in different contexts?

 

(I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm only pointing out the problem)

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hey did you watch any good movies lately? lol

Several. But I have some favorite shows right now, House and Kitchen Nightmare. Good shows.

 

Other than that, my fav game is Mass Effect right now. I finished Halo 3 on all difficult levels, got all skulls etc, and finished Jericho. Start on Assassins Creed, but got distracted by Mass Effect. It's like playing in an interactive movie/book story. Very addicting.

 

Unfortunately I have a deadline at work too, which isn't good considering the game takes too much of my time... :)

 

I love this game... maybe the game is God?

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haha well there was a halo mentioned in there somewheres

 

House is one of my favorite shows, I love him. :HaHa:

He's such a lovable a-hole. Hehe. But you have to see Kitchen Nightmare too, if you can. Gordon Ramsey is such a smart a-hole too. And what's really annoying is that he's right so many times, at the cost of people getting pissed at him. I get it why they do, but I get it why he do what he does. I feel it's educating me as a person how to view things.

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Hans

 

I dont think love is just an emotion, I think emotions are a part of us that expresses love but to define love as an emotion to me is lacking

 

Love to me is the highest thing that exists and in bible speak it is God but love is expressed in all kinds of ways that dont necessarily involve just emotion

 

love is life in action to me if I could define it

 

for instance have you ever really gazed at a plant reaching towards the sun and become in touch with the life in that? To me that is love expressed in nature and our emotions will get touched by that expression but that doesnt change that the love we have sensed is just an emotion but rather a life force that is all around us encompassing everything that lives to me

 

I know Im simple in my words here but that is just how I see it :grin:

Ok, I can't resist the temptation. To address this and Han's post about redefining love and talking about it's origins; Love in our biology and language has become more than emotions, but reflects an assumed principle of attitude and perception. What you describe in looking at the plant and connecting with it is a state of empathy.

 

Empathy is a state of mind that connects both intellectually and emotionally with others, versus sympathy which is sharing another's feeling through an imagined identification with them. Empathy is form of love that embraces another as part of you. It is moving beyond a sympathetic connection, to a shared connection where your feelings become engaged with the other. You don't just see them through your eyes, you see them through theirs.

 

Moving beyond the self to empathy with the other is to experience and recognize something more in one's own self. To recognize we are not separated is moving into a more specialized form of love that serves not only the individual and the group they are part of, but the species itself, and even greater all of life itself. Love is a choice in this case, and one that serves life beyond the individual. Love is a philosophy; it's something you live, not just feel.

 

Humanity has taken these principles and moved them beyond its simple biological roots, into philosophies of life. "God is love", of course is symbolic embodiment this principle. The religious system in it's more "spiritual" aspects is a vehicle of cultural communication of these "other-centric" principles through the use of mythological signs. This is where bio-cultural feedback loops begin to appear, where our biology itself becomes changed by our culture. I would even venture to say that love has become something more in humans than other species due to this, but don't hold me to that too far.

 

Ok, enough of that... back to work.. :grin:

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Antlerman

 

I really like how you shared that love changes the inner workings and even the biology of people

 

I bet science will prove one day or maybe they have for all I know , the effects of love within a person. Do you know of any studies on that?

 

However we want to term it I tend to see it as the most amazing force there is

 

Hans Ive never heard of that other show, have to check it out

I was raised in a very sarcastic family so House reminds me of home haha

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Antlerman

 

I really like how you shared that love changes the inner workings and even the biology of people

 

I bet science will prove one day or maybe they have for all I know , the effects of love within a person. Do you know of any studies on that?

I think there is. At least I have some vague memory of studies like that. The feeling of Love increases the heart rate and releases chemicals that puts a person in a state of euphoria. (But it depends on what love we're talking about here. Since just the attitude of empathy and caring for others doesn't necessarily release these things.)

 

Question: can you force someone to love?

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One of my favourite books is called 'why love matters'. The kind of tender care that comes from loving a baby is essential to the development of neural pathways in the brain - without expressed love babies have impaired development.

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Alice I wonder if that was related to some show I saw a long time ago. Your post made me recall it.

 

In some orphange where children were kept in cage like things and given no physical contact except to clean them up everyonce in a while the children did not talk nor have any real emotion. They just existed. sad sad sad

 

sojourner

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Question: can you force someone to love?
by Hans

 

I sure wouldnt think so

 

force by its nature seems like it couldnt bring forth love to me

 

sojourner

Have you ever met someone who smoke pot?

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Yes and what are you getting at lol

 

I used to get high, but was allergic to it so it didnt appeal to me, all I got from smoking pot was paranoid

Some pot smokers tend to be very loving to people around them when they get high. More than usual. So I do think you can make people feel love... call it fake kind or not, but I'm certain those who feel it won't think it's false.

 

What do you think about Toxoplasma parasite infection in a human host?

 

Some scientists believe that Toxoplasma changes the personality of its human hosts, bringing different shifts to men and women. Parasitologist Jaroslav Flegr of Charles University in Prague administered psychological questionnaires to people infected with Toxoplasma and controls. Those infected, he found, show a small, but statistically significant, tendency to be more self-reproaching and insecure. Paradoxically, infected women, on average, tend to be more outgoing and warmhearted than controls, while infected men tend to be more jealous and suspicious.

From here: http://www.corante.com/loom/archives/2006/...pet_masters.php

 

Interesting stuff. Maybe free will and love isn't as independent as we think...

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Very interesting, makes me want to down some parasite pills and see if I have any changes. I have a bottle in my cabinet that Ive neglected.

 

I know when I was doing meth I had anger issues horribly, would rage a lot. They did some study and found that meth affects the area in the brain where anger and rage are formed.

 

Also one time back in 2000 I had a very euphoic experiance that coinsided with a severe diet change. I went to a mostly vegetarian diet with no sugar for a few months. Lost weight but the main thing was the clarity of thinking and the more spiritual or euphoric experiances that went with the whole time. Made me think of fasting in the bible and how often people that would fast in the bible would have all these visions and such.

 

Im sure there is something to all this and I think you are so right about how love can be coerced

 

thinking about how when I was a young lass of 15 an older guy made me feel I was so mature and pretty and such because he was a very smooth talker and manipulator and I fell in love, my first real love experiance and it didnt turn out well.

 

sojourner

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I'm glad that we're on the same page Soj.

 

Here's another thought. There are medical evidence that our understanding and decision making capabilities can be affected by brain injuries. Esp. frontal lobe. Now, if our ability to make moral decisions are completely made by our physical mind, how can it be a free will from some kind of soul/spirit or other Godly created factulty? Or, how come they have found out that apes have a basic understanding of morality and ethics, if it was a specific gift from God only to humans?

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I'm glad that we're on the same page Soj.

 

Here's another thought. There are medical evidence that our understanding and decision making capabilities can be affected by brain injuries. Esp. frontal lobe. Now, if our ability to make moral decisions are completely made by our physical mind, how can it be a free will from some kind of soul/spirit or other Godly created factulty? Or, how come they have found out that apes have a basic understanding of morality and ethics, if it was a specific gift from God only to humans?

I saw this documentary where a group of chimpanzees teamed up as a gang and went hunting - for one of their own group. When they found him, they collectively beat him to death. Now what this showed was something rather contrary to our conventional ideas of human morality. Clearly this was a case of social "justice" being exacted against one of its members. There was some agreed upon code that was violated that made this chimp be hunted down by the group and murdered/executed. Clearly humans are not unique to premeditated murder.

 

So here's what I see. I would say that our particular code of morality does come from God. It starts with the basic code of society rules, and then is held up as virtues by the telling of tales, songs, laws, and self enforcement. Those who can abide more easily to these codes become selected for breeding, who in turn pass on genes suited for this. Children, who are more in tune with these, find better places within the society and better breeding occurs, created more offspring more suited as receiver of the law. Hence, God being the created image of ideas of order, morality, love, etc drives natural selection to produce children in his own image. We are thus, created in the image of God. "In the beginning God created man in his own image." Who would have known? Genesis is right. :grin:

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I saw this documentary where a group of chimpanzees teamed up as a gang and went hunting - for one of their own group. When they found him, they collectively beat him to death. Now what this showed was something rather contrary to our conventional ideas of human morality. Clearly this was a case of social "justice" being exacted against one of its members. There was some agreed upon code that was violated that made this chimp be hunted down by the group and murdered/executed. Clearly humans are not unique to premeditated murder.

It's not different from our capital punishment. The state is the people. The state has the right (X vs the People is usually how the file is named) to execute for certain crimes. And it seems that the support for capital punishment is more common in very religious countries. It shows how religious morality has more common ground with the primitive ape morality. :grin: But anyway, we the people do take in criminals and kill them for offense against our society, just like those monkeys.

 

---

 

An extract from New Scientist:

It is not hard to recognise the two pillars of human morality in the behaviour of other animals. These pillars are elegantly summed up in the golden rule that transcends the world's cultures and religions: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This unites empathy (attention to another's feelings) with reciprocity (if others follow the same rule, you too will be treated well). Human morality as we know it is unthinkable without empathy and reciprocity.

 

These tendencies are widespread in other primates, too. For example, it is not uncommon that, after one chimpanzee has attacked another, a bystander will go over to embrace the victim. We have documented hundreds of cases. The usual effect of such consolation is that the screaming, yelping and other signs of distress stop. In fact, the tendency to reassure others is so strong that Nadia Ladygina-Kohts, a Russian scientist who raised a juvenile chimp a century ago, said that if her charge escaped to the roof of her house, holding out food would not make him come down. The only way was to sit and sob as if she were in pain, whereupon the young ape would rush down to put an arm around her, a worried expression on his face. This attests to the power of the empathic tendency in our close relatives: it beats the desire for a banana.

 

(Dang, I got interrupted again...)

 

Recently I had an experience with our dogs. I was holding our little dog in my arms, and one of our other ones tried to jump up on our bed. The larger dog tripped and failed, and fell on the floor. She didn't get hurt, at least not much. The dog in my arms started to yelp, and twist and wanted to get out of my arms. I let her go. She jumped quickly to the larger dog and started to sniff and give the larger dog attention and affection. What was that? Animal instinct? If so, what kind? I'd say it darn looked like empathy or love. And I've seen other similar things between our dogs before. Things where one dog acts to help to other dog, without really gaining anything themselves in return. Our dogs are filled with the Holy Spirit... maybe my dogs god is a better god than the Christians?

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Heck, the articles from New Scientist was so good that I don't care about the copyright and post the whole article here:

The animal roots of human morality

14 October 2006

NewScientist.com news service

Frans de Waal

 

IMMANUEL KANT saw about as little value in human kindness as US vice-president Dick Cheney does in energy conservation. Cheney mocks conservation as "a sign of personal virtue" that will fail to do the world much good; Kant, while not denying that compassion is "beautiful", declared it irrelevant to a virtuous life. Who needs tender feelings? Duty is all that matters.

 

We live in an age that celebrates the cerebral. Strangely enough, this also applies to my field of study, animal behaviour, where just a couple of decades ago, the words "animal" and "cognition" couldn't be mentioned in the same sentence. With this fight behind us - at least on most days - emotions have become the new taboo. Anyone suggesting that a dog can be "jealous", "loving" or "mean" had better watch out: this kind of language doesn't belong in science.

 

This is unfortunate, because emotions nudge an organism towards rapid decisions based on millions of years of evolution, and so provide a window on behavioural adaptation. This even holds for human morality, the domain that Kant tried to give an exclusively rational twist to. If it is true that morality is reasoned from abstract principles, why do our judgements often come instantly? In one study, psychologist Jonathan Haidt from the University of Virginia presented people with stories of odd behaviour - such as sex between brother and sister - which they immediately disapproved of. He challenged every last argument they came up with until they ran out and reached a state of "moral dumbfounding", stubbornly insisting that the behaviour was wrong yet unable to articulate why. Clearly, we often make snap moral judgements that seem to come from the "gut".

 

No wonder pre-Kantian approaches to these issues are making a comeback. Philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment, such as David Hume, anchored morality in the "sentiments", a view that fits well with evolutionary theory, modern neuroscience and the behaviour of our primate relatives.

 

I don't claim that monkeys and apes are moral beings, but I do believe that human morality is on a continuum with animal sociality. Charles Darwin saw it this way. In The Descent of Man he wrote: "Any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts... would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well developed, or nearly as well developed, as in man."

 

It is not hard to recognise the two pillars of human morality in the behaviour of other animals. These pillars are elegantly summed up in the golden rule that transcends the world's cultures and religions: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This unites empathy (attention to another's feelings) with reciprocity (if others follow the same rule, you too will be treated well). Human morality as we know it is unthinkable without empathy and reciprocity.

 

These tendencies are widespread in other primates, too. For example, it is not uncommon that, after one chimpanzee has attacked another, a bystander will go over to embrace the victim. We have documented hundreds of cases. The usual effect of such consolation is that the screaming, yelping and other signs of distress stop. In fact, the tendency to reassure others is so strong that Nadia Ladygina-Kohts, a Russian scientist who raised a juvenile chimp a century ago, said that if her charge escaped to the roof of her house, holding out food would not make him come down. The only way was to sit and sob as if she were in pain, whereupon the young ape would rush down to put an arm around her, a worried expression on his face. This attests to the power of the empathic tendency in our close relatives: it beats the desire for a banana.

 

“It is not uncommon after one chimp has attacked another for a bystander to embrace the victim”Reciprocity can be seen in our own experiments on captive chimpanzees when we give an individual food to divide with others. Before doing so, we measure spontaneous grooming: who grooms whom for how long. Grooming is a pleasurable, relaxing activity, and being groomed is much appreciated. We found that if one chimpanzee had groomed another, this greatly improved his chances of getting a share of the food from the groomee. In other words, chimpanzees remember who has groomed them, and return the favour later. Like humans, they seem to keep track of incoming and outgoing services.

 

Humans enforce social norms that dictate how we treat others and promote communal interests, but at morality's core we find an ancient primate psychology. This is quite different from the idea that morality goes against human nature, a view I dub "veneer theory". Veneer theorists argue that our moral lives are a thin crust that barely covers our inborn nastiness and selfishness: the only reason we act morally is to avoid punishment and impress each other. For three decades, this curiously non-evolutionary explanation has been promoted by biologists and science writers alike. It is best captured in the quip by biologist Michael Ghiselin from the California Academy of Sciences: "Scratch an 'altruist', and watch a 'hypocrite' bleed."

 

One of the momentous developments of our time is the effort to wrest morality from Kantian philosophy and put it back in touch with evolution. This effort is not only supported by studies of cooperative behaviour among animals but also by modern neuroscience. Whereas veneer theory attributes moral problem-solving to the latest additions to our brain such as the prefrontal cortex, imaging human brains has shown that moral dilemmas activate a wide variety of areas, some of them present in all mammals and closely tied to the emotions. Recent research at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, shows that empathy may exist in mice - which only goes to show how old these tendencies may be.

 

There is also continuity between humans and animals when it comes to social rules. When Sarah Brosnan in the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia, divided rewards, she found that monkeys had a crude sense of fairness. One monkey will throw away a perfectly fine reward that she normally relishes if she sees her companion getting an even better one. By investigating the expectations primates hold about each other, we may find we are not alone in judging some social situations to be unacceptable.

 

To show that even social rule enforcement is not beyond non-human animals, let me recount a fascinating situation that I witnessed years ago at Arnhem Zoo in the Netherlands. One balmy evening, when the keeper called the large chimpanzee colony inside, two adolescent females refused to enter the building. The weather was superb, they had the whole island to themselves and were loving it. The zoo's rule was that none of the apes would get fed until they had all moved inside. The obstinate teenagers threw the rest of the group into a grumpy mood. When they finally came in, they were assigned a separate bedroom by the keeper to prevent reprisals.

 

This protected them only temporarily, though. The next morning, out on the island, the entire colony vented its frustration about the delayed meal by a mass pursuit ending in a beating for the culprits. That evening, the same two females were the first to come in.

 

From issue 2573 of New Scientist magazine, 14 October 2006, page 60-61

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I dont believe I have ever even considered morality as being only a human quality much less only a christian quality. Ive never really thought about that. Unlike some of you really intelligent ones that think about these things it just never was a thought for me lol

 

but it doesnt suprise me that it shows up in animals like it does

I know they have strong emotions and I would think emotions and morals would somehow work together - I dont know, never really thought about it I guess :grin:

 

sojourner

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Heck, the articles from New Scientist was so good that I don't care about the copyright and post the whole article here:
The animal roots of human morality

14 October 2006

NewScientist.com news service

Frans de Waal

To show that even social rule enforcement is not beyond non-human animals, let me recount a fascinating situation that I witnessed years ago at Arnhem Zoo in the Netherlands. One balmy evening, when the keeper called the large chimpanzee colony inside, two adolescent females refused to enter the building. The weather was superb, they had the whole island to themselves and were loving it. The zoo's rule was that none of the apes would get fed until they had all moved inside. The obstinate teenagers threw the rest of the group into a grumpy mood. When they finally came in, they were assigned a separate bedroom by the keeper to prevent reprisals.

 

This protected them only temporarily, though. The next morning, out on the island, the entire colony vented its frustration about the delayed meal by a mass pursuit ending in a beating for the culprits. That evening, the same two females were the first to come in.

 

From issue 2573 of New Scientist magazine, 14 October 2006, page 60-61

Well there we are. I definitely side with evolutionists in looking at the sources of morality. I'm always fascinated by examples of these "sacred" things being seen in animals. I think it's been sort of my personal quest to understand the nature of God in the human experience, as part of this continuum of evolution that has led to us. Morality did not drop on us from the sky, nor the idea of God. Rather the sophistication of our codes of conduct are developed on early, basic principles tied in species survival.

 

Sorry if I keep beating this stick, but I see so much in this that as humans developed language skills and gave a name to these things using symbols for communication, "God" as it became called being as almost a separate organism from us, held up collectively by language and signs. It's in this realm of living ideas, that the influence over our own biological development begins. In a very real way, the embodiment of our ideas and values shaped us as a species.

 

It's in this that God is really a creation of life itself. And where we are today now, seems a step of not only seeing how our biology came to be, but our very souls, as it were. We are quite literally our own creators by creating our creator. We are God creating himself in our own image.

 

So then the question is, how can we not believe in God if we are?

 

And now to consider the sound of one hand clapping.... :grin:

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And now to consider the sound of one hand clapping.... :grin:

Actually I do know how one hand clap sounds. I can do it. With accurate speed and strength you can make your fingers snap against the palm and make a clapping sound... I did show that in religion class in high school... my teacher didn't like that kind of humor so he brushed it off. :)

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And now to consider the sound of one hand clapping.... :grin:

Actually I do know how one hand clap sounds. I can do it. With accurate speed and strength you can make your fingers snap against the palm and make a clapping sound... I did show that in religion class in high school... my teacher didn't like that kind of humor so he brushed it off. :)

Shhh... you gave away the secret. Now everyone can attain enlightenment.

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I'm still here Madame M,

I have been at work all day and have been reading and thinking since. I don't know that I know. I can see many points and can put survival rational into most all forms of existance today, even religion, but still do not understand what put the initial lifeform into survival mode...... I guess one of my initial thoughts before posting was, sure, an ex can participate in love, but if there is an afterlife, surely as the creator creates, he can create a place without love. And I say that, not to belittle your choice, but because having faith in a place or existance without the evil that goes on in this world is what allows me to rest. I will say that I respectfully disagree with some of the thoughts, but we knew that. I am appreciative of all of the thoughts and participation.

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but if there is an afterlife, surely as the creator creates, he can create a place without love.

If it's a creation from God than he couldn't create something without love, if God is love. He would have to create something that doesn't exist in his nature. Either that, or there is a loveless aspect to God, which I'm sure you don't agree with.

 

Love is a part of life. If there is an afterlife, then it's not of this universe and could not be compared to things of this life - including love. Unless of course Love, is like the graviton particle which is theorized to exist across multiple universes. Then love could also exist in the afterlife universe, just like gravity would. But outside of that, none of the other particles or elements in this universe would be there, so streets of gold would definitely be out.

 

And I say that, not to belittle your choice, but because having faith in a place or existance without the evil that goes on in this world is what allows me to rest.

Have you ever tried to find a place in this life without the evil so you can rest? Unless of course you are in some living hell where your very life and safety are under constant immediate threat, I would say you can have peace here in this life now, since it is available here, now. Heaven is a state of mind.

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