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Is Love Logical


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I think a lot of things about love are logical, rational, knowable. There are scientists studying the phenomenon of "clicking" and have found that it's not as random as we may have thought. We can predict a lot of things about love--who will fall in love, how likely they are to stay together, who's likely to get sick of whose shit first, etc. But even non-scientists can predict with uncanny accuracy the effect of various life choices on love--ask any married man what he thinks his love life is going to look like once his wife pops out a baby. And most of us know what love *doesn't* look like, which suggests that it has parameters that can be objectively judged. I also think that a lot of people--Christians particularly--don't know what a healthy love relationship looks like and confuse it with controlling and over-enmeshed personality disorders. I'd go as far as to say that just about every single damned thing I ever believed about love as a young adult turned out to be codependence (I can't blame it all on fundamentalism; it was the 80s and none of us had any defense against power ballads and teen movies).

 

End, why are you asking? What's got this topic on your mind this lovely morning?

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Let me guess. The next step is to assert that there is no logical reason for love to exist. It's like dejavu.

 

Let me just nip that by pointing out there is no connection between an emotion following logic and there being a logical reason for the emotion to exist. They are different and separate issues. That humans evolved to have love does not prove God.

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Let me guess. The next step is to assert that there is no logical reason for love to exist. It's like dejavu.

 

Let me just nip that by pointing out there is no connection between an emotion following logic and there being a logical reason for the emotion to exist. They are different and separate issues. That humans evolved to have love does not prove God.

 

Like women at a magic mike showing, I'm sure it was coming. Thanks for heading it off.

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Of course the existence of the attitudes we call love is a logical thing to see in primates and many other animals. We are a social species and rely on the tribe for our survival. Love is just as logical as chemical signaling mechanisms between the cells in our body. Requited love means wanting to watch each other's backs and increases the net survival odds for everyone involved. Love means noticing someone feeling sad and working to make them happy before they hit a depressive stage that causes them to contribute less to the tribe. Love "covers a multitude of sins" so that you don't get too angry at that jerk you have to share the campfire with on a deathly cold night. Love is what convinces adults to care for children for the many years it takes before they become self-sufficient, which is pretty important for the survival of the species.

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Just trying to understand.....love would be the response to sensory input? And then subjectively validated?

No. Haven't you heard people who've made bad choices say, "The heart wants what it wants."

 

Sometimes love is focused on an appropriate target, sometimes not. People can't seem to control what/whom they love, though they sometimes can control how they act upon it. Emotional responses such as love, fear, anger, etc. cause chemical changes in the brain, and it's rather difficult to fight nature. Logic may tell you to fight it, but if you love the wrong person anyway...logic usually loses to basic instinct and chemistry.

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Just trying to understand.....love would be the response to sensory input? And then subjectively validated?

No. Haven't you heard people who've made bad choices say, "The heart wants what it wants."

 

Sometimes love is focused on an appropriate target, sometimes not. People can't seem to control what/whom they love, though they sometimes can control how they act upon it. Emotional responses such as love, fear, anger, etc. cause chemical changes in the brain, and it's rather difficult to fight nature. Logic may tell you to fight it, but if you love the wrong person anyway...logic usually loses to basic instinct and chemistry.

 

Yes, but certain actions perpetrated on another can lead someone to feeling loved, no?

 

I was trying to say that if I see or smell or touch or am touched or hear, that this illicits an physiological response and one's conditioning would determine whether they though it "love"....i.e. subjectivity. So I was thinking it was first a response from some sort of input. And based on the person's needs, or environment, the input could be subjectively qualified as love?

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Yes, but certain actions perpetrated on another can lead someone to feeling loved, no?

Can someone make you love them? That's a hard one (that's what she said). I think at least short term, one may respond to the "love triggers" but it seems that genuine love has to be on a deeper level. A person you truly loved wouldn't have to do anything to make you love them, you just do. In fact, many people actually love an abuser who does nothing to earn the love. OTOH, negative behaviors can also cause someone to fall out of love. I don't think any thoughtful decisions are involved when it comes to love. Love is weird, but that's probably because people are involved and people are weird.

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Just trying to understand.....love would be the response to sensory input? And then subjectively validated?

No. Haven't you heard people who've made bad choices say, "The heart wants what it wants."

 

Sometimes love is focused on an appropriate target, sometimes not. People can't seem to control what/whom they love, though they sometimes can control how they act upon it. Emotional responses such as love, fear, anger, etc. cause chemical changes in the brain, and it's rather difficult to fight nature. Logic may tell you to fight it, but if you love the wrong person anyway...logic usually loses to basic instinct and chemistry.

 

Yes, but certain actions perpetrated on another can lead someone to feeling loved, no?

 

I was trying to say that if I see or smell or touch or am touched or hear, that this illicits an physiological response and one's conditioning would determine whether they though it "love"....i.e. subjectivity. So I was thinking it was first a response from some sort of input. And based on the person's needs, or environment, the input could be subjectively qualified as love?

 

Why do you put the word love in quotes there? Is the feeling any less real just because some external event started the physiological chain reaction that brought up the feeling?

 

Also, emotions and stuff are highly complex and not clearly deterministic. Sure, if I'm feeling needy and someone gives me a hug, that hug may make me feel loved. Other times, when I'm trying to not to feel painful emotions, that human touch makes it harder for me to hide from myself and brings all the pain crashing into full consciousness - you ever see someone struggling to hold themselves together but break down as soon as someone offers some comfort? Or if I was mad at someone and they tried to give me a hug, to demand that I feel love for them without them apologising or making up for what they did to hurt me, I will feel rage instead.

 

So no, love is not a direct response to sensory input. Sensory input can play into it, but it's also a response to your past experiences, your personality, your physical health at the time, etc. Love isn't an external thing that happens to you, even if you don't have conscious control over it. I guess you kinda were getting at that, but it's not a 1:1 correlation between sensory input and the feeling of love.

 

Sometimes I can choose to feel loved, sorta. If I'm feeling sad, I can pause for a moment and bring up memories of times in the past when someone has done or said something that made me feel loved. I can even bring up memories of time I did something nice for someone and get a rush off of that, and I can call that love, and feel excited about the chance to feel that again. There was a collection of sensory inputs involved in the initial feelings that I'm recalling, but feeling love by pulling up memories is rather meta.

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Guest Babylonian Dream
Yes, but certain actions perpetrated on another can lead someone to feeling loved, no?

Yeah, but the same actions could freak someone else out, especially when those feelings aren't reciprocated. Feeling loved and feeling in love are two different things. Some people have trouble feeling loved (like myself), while I have no trouble feeling love. Its just one of those things that really doesn't follow logic. The heart has rules of its own.

 

I've also fallen fallen in love with some people who turned out to be really scary people, I just couldn't see it until I got over them.

 

I was trying to say that if I see or smell or touch or am touched or hear, that this illicits an physiological response and one's conditioning would determine whether they though it "love"....i.e. subjectivity. So I was thinking it was first a response from some sort of input. And based on the person's needs, or environment, the input could be subjectively qualified as love?

Yeah, but depending on which love you're talking about, there are different responses, causes, etc... for that emotion.

 

Sexual/romantic love is caused by evolutions wanting us to propogate our species.

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Yes, but certain actions perpetrated on another can lead someone to feeling loved, no?

 

I was trying to say that if I see or smell or touch or am touched or hear, that this illicits an physiological response and one's conditioning would determine whether they though it "love"....i.e. subjectivity. So I was thinking it was first a response from some sort of input. And based on the person's needs, or environment, the input could be subjectively qualified as love?

 

I don't think the input itself could be called love. The response to it might though. You can behave lovingly toward someone else, and those actions might cause both you and the target to feel affectionate/loving/friendly toward each other (neat study about that not long ago), but one thing I've always thought was part of healthy love was reciprocity.

 

End, one thing I've never associated with you is genuine, agenda-less curiosity. What are you driving at? You're being very vague. I feel like I'm dancing around an elephant in this thread.

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Yes, but certain actions perpetrated on another can lead someone to feeling loved, no?

 

I was trying to say that if I see or smell or touch or am touched or hear, that this illicits an physiological response and one's conditioning would determine whether they though it "love"....i.e. subjectivity. So I was thinking it was first a response from some sort of input. And based on the person's needs, or environment, the input could be subjectively qualified as love?

 

I don't think the input itself could be called love. The response to it might though. You can behave lovingly toward someone else, and those actions might cause both you and the target to feel affectionate/loving/friendly toward each other (neat study about that not long ago), but one thing I've always thought was part of healthy love was reciprocity.

 

End, one thing I've never associated with you is genuine, agenda-less curiosity. What are you driving at? You're being very vague. I feel like I'm dancing around an elephant in this thread.

 

I'm mostly random A. The thing that triggered this question was I was thinking that love is not logical. Then I paired that to the argument here that the OT God is not logically the same as the NT. But after I aske the question, then it made me think about the question on a much deeper level.

 

Right now, I see new love as more a physiological involuntary response. But mature love, I see more as deliberate actions that reaffirm the immature days. Also, I can see the possiblility that if I hug someone, based on their experience in life, that this could be taken as genuine love or pornography depending on the person. I think we all can say that there is that feeling of love that is real and distinct and natural vs. cultivated love.........again, and although, I think the cultivation actions can start the process.

 

So yeah, the more I think about it, the worse this gets scrambled.

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Just trying to understand.....love would be the response to sensory input? And then subjectively validated?

No. Haven't you heard people who've made bad choices say, "The heart wants what it wants."

 

Sometimes love is focused on an appropriate target, sometimes not. People can't seem to control what/whom they love, though they sometimes can control how they act upon it. Emotional responses such as love, fear, anger, etc. cause chemical changes in the brain, and it's rather difficult to fight nature. Logic may tell you to fight it, but if you love the wrong person anyway...logic usually loses to basic instinct and chemistry.

 

Yes, but certain actions perpetrated on another can lead someone to feeling loved, no?

 

I was trying to say that if I see or smell or touch or am touched or hear, that this illicits an physiological response and one's conditioning would determine whether they though it "love"....i.e. subjectivity. So I was thinking it was first a response from some sort of input. And based on the person's needs, or environment, the input could be subjectively qualified as love?

 

Why do you put the word love in quotes there? Is the feeling any less real just because some external event started the physiological chain reaction that brought up the feeling?

 

Also, emotions and stuff are highly complex and not clearly deterministic. Sure, if I'm feeling needy and someone gives me a hug, that hug may make me feel loved. Other times, when I'm trying to not to feel painful emotions, that human touch makes it harder for me to hide from myself and brings all the pain crashing into full consciousness - you ever see someone struggling to hold themselves together but break down as soon as someone offers some comfort? Or if I was mad at someone and they tried to give me a hug, to demand that I feel love for them without them apologising or making up for what they did to hurt me, I will feel rage instead.

 

So no, love is not a direct response to sensory input. Sensory input can play into it, but it's also a response to your past experiences, your personality, your physical health at the time, etc. Love isn't an external thing that happens to you, even if you don't have conscious control over it. I guess you kinda were getting at that, but it's not a 1:1 correlation between sensory input and the feeling of love.

 

Sometimes I can choose to feel loved, sorta. If I'm feeling sad, I can pause for a moment and bring up memories of times in the past when someone has done or said something that made me feel loved. I can even bring up memories of time I did something nice for someone and get a rush off of that, and I can call that love, and feel excited about the chance to feel that again. There was a collection of sensory inputs involved in the initial feelings that I'm recalling, but feeling love by pulling up memories is rather meta.

 

I think you and I are saying about the same the VF.

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Right now, I see new love as more a physiological involuntary response. But mature love, I see more as deliberate actions that reaffirm the immature days. Also, I can see the possiblility that if I hug someone, based on their experience in life, that this could be taken as genuine love or pornography depending on the person. I think we all can say that there is that feeling of love that is real and distinct and natural vs. cultivated love.........again, and although, I think the cultivation actions can start the process.

 

So yeah, the more I think about it, the worse this gets scrambled.

 

I'd differentiate between "warm fuzzies"/ compassion and trust. I can feel loving emotions towards a stranger in need, but that's a different feeling than the love I feel towards someone that I've known for a long time and invited into my life. Love is a giant umbrella term, and trying to understand all forms of it with one explanation is just going to get messy.

 

On the physiological level, I'd say that compassion/empathy is a function of the motor neurons. I see someone in pain and I feel pain. I have very active mirror neurons, and when I'm around unhappy people it takes a lot of work to separate my feelings from their feelings and to not get dragged down into it. (This part of the brain is undeveloped in small children, which is why you have to ask them "how would you feel if someone treated you that way?" instead of "how do you think the kid you hurt feels?". They don't have the physical wiring yet to understand.)

 

Love in its highest forms, like the kind I feel for close friends and lovers, is connected with trust. Or at least it is now; I used to be willing to love people that weren't safe for me, but I'm getting better about not doing that. So the best love, for me, is tangled up with a feeling of safety and trust. I've handed my best friend my credit card when he was helping me shop for stuff online and I didn't feel like bringing it up on my own computer to do the order. I don't do that with a stranger no matter how much compassion I feel for them. I don't even do that with family - some of them I love even if I don't particularly like or trust them. So friend love feels different because I'm more relaxed about protecting myself; I don't have to have my guard up all the time. It's also possible to trust someone I don't love, if they're reliable and it's a business deal but there's no personal connection there, though after a while I will feel warm fuzzies towards a business that I've had positive experiences with. Trusted-friend love takes a lot of time and history to develop, and I think it's a little more "logical" in the sense that you're weighing a pattern of actions in your emotional response, not just one isolated incident.

 

All of the times I've chosen to love someone as a friend who ended up hurting me, I could see in retrospect that there were warning flags that I ignored because I thought that "being nice" meant not standing up for myself. So I'm learning how to separate love from trust, and how I can enjoy someone's companionship and feel empathy for them but limit how much of myself I'm willing to share. But since love is connected to trust, I feel less warm fuzzies towards those people than I do for my trusted friends.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

End, one thing I've never associated with you is genuine, agenda-less curiosity. What are you driving at? You're being very vague. I feel like I'm dancing around an elephant in this thread.

 

I'm mostly random A. The thing that triggered this question was I was thinking that love is not logical. Then I paired that to the argument here that the OT God is not logically the same as the NT. But after I aske the question, then it made me think about the question on a much deeper level.

How did I know that this was about God with you asking?

 

Perhaps the question wasn't random at all? The way you describe it, it came up, even the idea itself came up, outside of anything one could call random.

 

Right now, I see new love as more a physiological involuntary response. But mature love, I see more as deliberate actions that reaffirm the immature days. Also, I can see the possiblility that if I hug someone, based on their experience in life, that this could be taken as genuine love or pornography depending on the person. I think we all can say that there is that feeling of love that is real and distinct and natural vs. cultivated love.........again, and although, I think the cultivation actions can start the process.

 

So yeah, the more I think about it, the worse this gets scrambled.

See, regardless of what you do, no action is love. Actions can be done because of love, but they are in of themselves not love. Giving to charity can be fuelled by love, but the action itself isn't love. You're thinking about it too hard. The way you describe it, makes it seem like you don't know what love is, and I don't think that's the case, is it?

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End, one thing I've never associated with you is genuine, agenda-less curiosity. What are you driving at? You're being very vague. I feel like I'm dancing around an elephant in this thread.

 

I'm mostly random A. The thing that triggered this question was I was thinking that love is not logical. Then I paired that to the argument here that the OT God is not logically the same as the NT. But after I aske the question, then it made me think about the question on a much deeper level.

How did I know that this was about God with you asking?

 

Perhaps the question wasn't random at all? The way you describe it, it came up, even the idea itself came up, outside of anything one could call random.

 

Right now, I see new love as more a physiological involuntary response. But mature love, I see more as deliberate actions that reaffirm the immature days. Also, I can see the possiblility that if I hug someone, based on their experience in life, that this could be taken as genuine love or pornography depending on the person. I think we all can say that there is that feeling of love that is real and distinct and natural vs. cultivated love.........again, and although, I think the cultivation actions can start the process.

 

So yeah, the more I think about it, the worse this gets scrambled.

See, regardless of what you do, no action is love. Actions can be done because of love, but they are in of themselves not love. Giving to charity can be fuelled by love, but the action itself isn't love. You're thinking about it too hard. The way you describe it, makes it seem like you don't know what love is, and I don't think that's the case, is it?

 

So you are saying love in independent without the physical. How would that happen?

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I'm mostly random A. The thing that triggered this question was I was thinking that love is not logical. Then I paired that to the argument here that the OT God is not logically the same as the NT. But after I aske the question, then it made me think about the question on a much deeper level.

 

Right now, I see new love as more a physiological involuntary response. But mature love, I see more as deliberate actions that reaffirm the immature days. Also, I can see the possiblility that if I hug someone, based on their experience in life, that this could be taken as genuine love or pornography depending on the person. I think we all can say that there is that feeling of love that is real and distinct and natural vs. cultivated love.........again, and although, I think the cultivation actions can start the process.

 

So yeah, the more I think about it, the worse this gets scrambled.

 

I also kind of figured that religion was involved somewhere. That's hardly random, End. You had an agenda and you didn't state so up front. That's intellectually dishonest. Please be up front next time, okay? I'll let you pass this time because it's a neat topic and I just had my first anniversary last week so love's on my mind. ;)

 

That said: who's trying to argue that Yahweh in the OT and Yahweh/Jesus in the NT are different? Your own Bible says otherwise. The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And the NT ghostwriters put into the mythical Jesus' mouth the affirmation that he came to fulfill the law, not to change even a tiny bit of it (in between him changing big swathes of it, of course). It's one big reason I could never reconvert, honestly; I can't square what the Bible says about the OT god of cruelty and barbarity with the NT fuzzy-wuzzy Stalker!Boyfriend!Jesus god. Now, would I say that the culture that wrote the NT had some distinctly different needs and goals than the one that wrote the OT? Yeah, absolutely. The world had changed a lot in the ensuing centuries between the writing of the two sets of books. The message needed to have some warm fuzzies along with its threats of violence and torture or else it'd never fly with the more modern people hearing it. It was competing against a lot more ideas; it had to sell itself far more than the OT had. That's also why the Christianity we see practiced nowadays resembles very little at all of that ancient form of it. Culture changes religions over time, or else those religions fall into dust.

 

All that aside :) Do you know anything about limerence? That's kind of what it sounds like you're trying to describe. Limerence is that initial "rush" of attraction. We do understand a nice chunk about it.

 

I think that a lot of--not all, but a lot of--what we call love is predictable and quite logical. But logical doesn't have to mean cold or emotionless; it doesn't mean that what it's describing lacks wonder, joy, or majesty. Knowing what can cause love, what can keep it alive, what expressions of it are healthiest (not in all cases, never in all cases, but often at least) doesn't detract from the glory it brings to the human psyche.

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Here's one I thought worthy of exploration.......Is love logical.

Your question can be interpreted multiple ways, so there's a risk the answer won't match your expectation.

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