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Goodbye Jesus

What Is Love


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Over the years my definition of "Love" has changed and i am yet at another crossroad with this word again. Going a little further into the rabbit hole with this word now, i am torn between chemical reaction and and just not knowing fully about the word.

 

Also, another big issue i face(and i am sure many others here have) is applying the word to practical life now. Years ago the word to me was some mystical force that bound people or objects together. Now i am seeing it as just a chemical reaction, which in line, would make marriage useless when it comes to love. Is mariage just a convenience between two people to make them "feel" part of something special? Is that all it really comes down to, knowing that God doesn't exist and "Love" is just a chemical reaction?

 

What started me off on this path was the deconversion process.

 

I am struggling with this and any and all help would be very helpful.

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Goodbye Jesus

Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more... I couldn't resist...

 

Perhaps keep in mind that everything you feel is just a chemical reaction. Doesn't make it any less valid, just means there isn't any magic or supernatural force behind it.

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The mechanisms by which your brain creates emotions and everything else consist of electrical and chemical processes. So what? The Mona Lisa was created with animal hair, pigment and solvent.

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I have always valued acts of service and compassion above feelings of emotional attachment.  Infatuation is fun and messy, but love to me is about service and commitment.

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Thanks for the replies. Did any of you struggle with this same issue at anypoint or has your veiwpoint stayed the same?

 

I guess i am just confused about the reason for marriage if love is nothing more than a chemical reaction. Kind of sounds less special that way, doesn't it?

 

Like i said, i am probably too caught up on the placement of the word and where it belongs. Once you pull the religious lens off and put the science lens on it really changes that word and its application around in the practical world.

 

But i guess it is what it is.

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Love doesn't exist. That is why it is the predominant theme in fairy tales. The 'feeling' of love is nothing more than chemicals released in your body. For example, i can think of a beautiful woman and my body/brain whatever, will release chemicals to make me feel an emotion which humans label 'love.' 

 

I hate to be a buzzkill, but in my experience, 1. love doesn't exist, and 2. love is just a label people give to that chemical release in the body that causes pleasant sensations. 

 

-Cat

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Suuurrre all the feelings may be chemical reactions, but like already stated, all feelings are chemical reactions because we're all chemical beings.

 

But come on, I think you guys can think a little deeper than that, unless you're all just being a bunch of bitter old men Trishrazberry.gif I like and agree with what TF said about valuing actions of service and compassion. I would say love goes beyond just that initial 'good feeling' definitely and it really is defined about acts of service and compassion.

 

Going out of the way to make someone else feel better if they're upset, or even when they're just fine, and making them feel special and happy for no real reason, putting their needs before your own, protecting them if or when they need protecting, acknowledging their feelings and thoughts on different subjects, knowing their likes and dislikes, and caring about them, or simply just being there for them if or when they need you. It's about sacrifice of your own personal time, and occasionally of your wants and feelings, and "true love", excuse the fairy tail term, would go both ways if there were truly such a thing. These above descriptions could go for any type of love, between two mates, or a parent and child, or someone and a friend...

 

I would say marriage is more or less just a convenience, and despite apparent tax benefits, it's more of a social expectation and normality than anything, and others like to use it as something to make their bond 'official', even though imo, it's not necessary. It can either make things easier or more difficult. But it really is more of a social announcement I think haha, letting other humans know 'Hey, this human is my mate, not yours unless we come to some other agreement'. I could imagine people insecure in their relationships being more eager to marry than a couple more secure.

 

We're all humans, none of us are perfect, and none of us are tied to any supernatural being. The best of us humans are empathetic, compassionate creatures who are willing to go out of our ways to make others' days a little brighter, and some of us do find love with another human, whose presence and image may release those happy chemical in us, but our care towards them goes beyond more than a chemical reaction, I'd say.(I know, I know everything you DO is a chemical reaction technically). 

 

I just think it's stupid to say that there is no such thing as love and that's why is a predominate theme in stories and fiction, and it's stupid to think that love is a simply a religious thing, and atheists and the like can't experience such a thing. The most primal I will get is to say that love is more of a biological programming to find a social group and keep them close for your own survival and social needs, and same for finding a mate and reproducing, and you're biologically programmed to try to protect your young at all costs(under normal, neurotypical standards....).

 

So if you do break it down to the very very basics, sure, it's a chemical reaction in our brain, but so is everything else we do. You gotta think a bit more deeply.

 

disclaimer: I'm an artist and a writer, so maybe I'm romanticizing things, but hey, it's what I do.tongue.png Also I just woke up and didn't really proofread this, so sorry if it's all over the place

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Guest Furball

 

 

I just think it's stupid to say that there is no such thing as love and that's why is a predominate theme in stories and fiction

 

 

 

I base my opinion off reality and experience, not wishy washy romanticism. I used to be a believer in it like you, but not anymore. Love, like religion, is the oldest fairy tale in the book. Only the gullible still believe in it. 

 

I love you dragon, but i am gonna have to disagree with ya' on this one. -Peace/Cat

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I just think it's stupid to say that there is no such thing as love and that's why is a predominate theme in stories and fiction

 

 

 

I base my opinion off reality and experience, not wishy washy romanticism. I used to be a believer in it like you, but not anymore. Love, like religion, is the oldest fairy tale in the book. Only the gullible still believe in it. 

 

I love you dragon, but i am gonna have to disagree with ya' on this one. -Peace/Cat

 

 

Agreeing to disagree =) I'm only 18, I still have a lot to experience, so I'm not discrediting your opinion at all.

 

The only thing I really disagree on is that because I have seen proof of love in real life(not just in stories) I believe it is not a made-up concept, and even some animals seem to express some form of love(but once again, based on survival instincts, necessity, and biological programming) towards Humans, their mates, and their young. It's no where near the same as religion in my opinion

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"I'm all dressed up and ready to fall in love!"  -- Divine in "Pink Flamingos"

 

When I was single, I could fall in love three to five times a week.  Awesome!

 

But I'd say, more seriously, that love is more like trust.  You trust that a certain few people in your life can and will be there for you, do what they say, and in whatever way be nice or protect you, and you know they can trust you to return all of that to them.  Not like they'll always be perfect or do the exact right thing, but when it comes to the big things, you can completely trust that you can rely on them, and you can feel safe and comfortable talking with them if something is bothering you.  When I was a kid I completely loved and trusted my parents, just knowing they would be there and do what they said they would, and I felt very safe.  I feel the same towards my kids and I will always be there for them, unless it's physically impossible because I'm in a coma.  The same between my husband and me -- I never spend a moment wondering if he's really doing what he said he was doing, or going where he said he was going.  I completely trust in him and know I can rely on him.  Yeah, this is totally different from the lusty feelings we felt at first, but even with that you want to trust the other person enough to not feel abused or taken advantage of.  When I was just dating, any sexual experiences I had with a partner was completely open for discussion with my friends and I certainly didn't care if the guy talked about me with other people, and in a "just dating" situation it didn't bother me to date other men and I never asked what my guys were doing on nights I didn't see them -- but there were limits where I trusted they wouldn't tell me about showing naked pictures of me to their friends or posting them on-line, or about dating other women while I was seeing them.  I didn't mind if the guys talked about our sex or showed pictures without my knowledge or dated other women, but show some respect, like I would for them, by not telling me about it.  But when I was with my first husband, and with my current husband, it felt different, and those discussions were not open for discussion with friends and I didn't feel like going out on dates with other guys.  What's between us is between us, which is a very trusting and loving thing.

 

I certainly don't believe in one soul mate.  I remember as a child hearing Dr. Joyce Brothers say that there isn't just one person for us, but "more like 10,000 different people we could love and marry."  I do believe that.  But people aren't interchangeable.  Sure, love and trust and all emotions are a chemical reaction, but not all people make the same chemical reaction in my brain!  There is a group of people out there that I could feel comfortable marrying, a bigger group that I could feel comfortable flirting and having casual sex with (and take pictures!), a group I'd just enjoy being friends with, and a group that would cause an intense chemical reaction in my brain that would translate as "revulsion."  

 

It's fun hanging out with different people and seeing what kind of chemical reactions they make in my brain!

 

And as far as religion:  religion in no way ever affected my having crushes on people, dating people, lusting after people, sleeping with people, flirting with people, or marrying the two guys I did (or getting divorced -- and I am still friends with my ex-husband; he even made me and my daughter a nice steak dinner this past Sunday for Mother's Day!).  I never felt like religion had any influence on my personal life like that, and I've always enjoyed my crushes, and flirting, and sex.

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I don't really know how "love" works, and I don't really care. If you've never had it, I'm so sorry. I wish for you to experience it someday, even if it is just a chemical reaction. I can tell you how I see marriage, though. After 22 years, most of which was as Christians, we are still very contentedly married. I agree with Dragon (wow, you are remarkably wise for your age!) that it is something beyond a chemical reaction, because there have been MANY times the "chemical reaction" failed and we just had to look at each other and make a decision. You could say that it was our Christian programming that kept us together during those times, but we are no longer Christians and I don't think I would choose any differently now. To me, our wedding was our time to say in front of everyone we knew and loved that, "I choose you. From all the other humans I could be with, I choose you." And every morning we wake up is another chance to say, "I choose you." I've wondered before if I would marry again if something happened to my husband, and I really don't know. I think it would have to be something both of us felt really strongly about, but I'm not sure it's necessary now. I definitely don't see myself ever having an "open" relationship, though. It just seems entirely too complicated for my minimalist/simple living leanings.

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Forgot to mention that I think for marriage, or any "love" relationship, to work in the long run, you have to genuinely LIKE the person. No sexual relationship is hot and steamy and "chemical" all the time. I think the reason some people keep hopping from relationship to relationship is because they really believe that "in love" feeling is supposed to be constant. Maybe they're addicted to that particular chemical reaction. I don't know. Anyway, I genuinely enjoy my husband's company with or without sex. He is my best friend, closest confidante, most trusted ally, etc. He is always in my corner and I in his. I would guess that not everyone needs or wants that kind of connection, but we do and it works for us.

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Forgot to mention that I think for marriage, or any "love" relationship, to work in the long run, you have to genuinely LIKE the person. No sexual relationship is hot and steamy and "chemical" all the time. I think the reason some people keep hopping from relationship to relationship is because they really believe that "in love" feeling is supposed to be constant. Maybe they're addicted to that particular chemical reaction. I don't know. Anyway, I genuinely enjoy my husband's company with or without sex. He is my best friend, closest confidante, most trusted ally, etc. He is always in my corner and I in his. I would guess that not everyone needs or wants that kind of connection, but we do and it works for us.

I totally agree!  The best part of both of my marriages is that we were friends and enjoyed doing things together.  Ok, that faded out in my first marriage, but I still have wonderful memories of the early years with him.  With my current husband, we do just genuinely like each other and enjoy each other's company and enjoy taking walks together and doing other simple things.  It's not always hot 'n' heavy love and lust and sex.  Sometimes it's just cuddling or laughing or a wonderfully contented companionship.  With love and trust and friendship, all of that is wonderful.  I certainly can't cuddle and laugh and feel a contented peace with just anybody; it's so rewarding with my husband.

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I want to thank everyone for their feedbacks. I feel the same as most of you do when it comes to this subject. The purpose of me making htis thread ws to explore how the word love fits into my life now. I havent pondered any of this for years, not until i came across this site. Ex-C has really opened my mind to subjects like this and i guess i am just trying to explore the deeper meaning not that God isn't involved.

 

Thanks again for all the help with this.

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I want to thank everyone for their feedbacks. I feel the same as most of you do when it comes to this subject. The purpose of me making htis thread ws to explore how the word love fits into my life now. I havent pondered any of this for years, not until i came across this site. Ex-C has really opened my mind to subjects like this and i guess i am just trying to explore the deeper meaning not that God isn't involved.

 

Thanks again for all the help with this.

I just recently joined too and deconverted a long time ago but issues and ideals are having to be re-examined since joining here. Putting aside the fact that we are just semi-highly evolved mammals made up of chemicals, I have one little comment to make about the word

"love." It's a verb.

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Suuurrre all the feelings may be chemical reactions, but like already stated, all feelings are chemical reactions because we're all chemical beings.

 

But come on, I think you guys can think a little deeper than that, unless you're all just being a bunch of bitter old men Trishrazberry.gif I like and agree with what TF said about valuing actions of service and compassion. I would say love goes beyond just that initial 'good feeling' definitely and it really is defined about acts of service and compassion.

 

Going out of the way to make someone else feel better if they're upset, or even when they're just fine, and making them feel special and happy for no real reason, putting their needs before your own, protecting them if or when they need protecting, acknowledging their feelings and thoughts on different subjects, knowing their likes and dislikes, and caring about them, or simply just being there for them if or when they need you. It's about sacrifice of your own personal time, and occasionally of your wants and feelings, and "true love", excuse the fairy tail term, would go both ways if there were truly such a thing. These above descriptions could go for any type of love, between two mates, or a parent and child, or someone and a friend...

 

I would say marriage is more or less just a convenience, and despite apparent tax benefits, it's more of a social expectation and normality than anything, and others like to use it as something to make their bond 'official', even though imo, it's not necessary. It can either make things easier or more difficult. But it really is more of a social announcement I think haha, letting other humans know 'Hey, this human is my mate, not yours unless we come to some other agreement'. I could imagine people insecure in their relationships being more eager to marry than a couple more secure.

 

We're all humans, none of us are perfect, and none of us are tied to any supernatural being. The best of us humans are empathetic, compassionate creatures who are willing to go out of our ways to make others' days a little brighter, and some of us do find love with another human, whose presence and image may release those happy chemical in us, but our care towards them goes beyond more than a chemical reaction, I'd say.(I know, I know everything you DO is a chemical reaction technically). 

 

I just think it's stupid to say that there is no such thing as love and that's why is a predominate theme in stories and fiction, and it's stupid to think that love is a simply a religious thing, and atheists and the like can't experience such a thing. The most primal I will get is to say that love is more of a biological programming to find a social group and keep them close for your own survival and social needs, and same for finding a mate and reproducing, and you're biologically programmed to try to protect your young at all costs(under normal, neurotypical standards....).

 

So if you do break it down to the very very basics, sure, it's a chemical reaction in our brain, but so is everything else we do. You gotta think a bit more deeply.

 

disclaimer: I'm an artist and a writer, so maybe I'm romanticizing things, but hey, it's what I do.tongue.png Also I just woke up and didn't really proofread this, so sorry if it's all over the

place

 

This is a great explanation DTD. I don't think you 'romanticized' any of this. I find it quite factual and  a very sane explanation. I think that when we speak of 'love', we tend to think of those beautiful moments of romance during the courting stage. That 'feeling' doesn't last really long. As soon as we 'catch' our fish, we relax and get on with the 'real meal deal' and it's not always fun once you open up your eyes to all of the flaws that we humans have (and I certainly include myself.)

 

That's when this real thing called 'love' is tested. I was a romance addict all my life so this thing called 'love' (in a relationship) has been very disappointing for me. I do not blame the other person now. It was my fantasy. Just like the issue of god. My fantasy. I am much more of a realist now and I accept everything about life as 'facts' now. Those chemicals reactions that bring two people together are nice but the real work begins after the infatuation wears off. I like what others have said on this thread and I certainly understand everyone's views, god and bad on this topic of 'love'. 

 

Hug

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I want to thank everyone for their feedbacks. I feel the same as most of you do when it comes to this subject. The purpose of me making htis thread ws to explore how the word love fits into my life now. I havent pondered any of this for years, not until i came across this site. Ex-C has really opened my mind to subjects like this and i guess i am just trying to explore the deeper meaning not that God isn't involved.

Thanks again for all the help with this.

I just recently joined too and deconverted a long time ago but issues and ideals are having to be re-examined since joining here. Putting aside the fact that we are just semi-highly evolved mammals made up of chemicals, I have one little comment to make about the word

"love." It's a verb.

That is exactly the stage i am at right now. I think religion hijacked the word Love and ran with it. I think one of my biggest issues i am trying to overcome is the fact that when the churches preach to you they pound the point home about "God being Love". Over the years since i put this Christian God in its place i havent really tackeled the words they associated with God and put them in their perspected places.

Words such as Love, Hate, happy, sad, etc.etc.etc. I use to think "love" ruled over those other "feeling" but not so much anymore.

 

The point that it is a verb helps me also understand its place. I never thought that deeply into it that way. I guess i was always treating it as a noun and i could probably chalk that up to religious indoctrine.

 

When i first posted this thread i was having trouble expressing what i was asking but this helped me get to the issues. Thank you Becks

 

 

Suuurrre all the feelings may be chemical reactions, but like already stated, all feelings are chemical reactions because we're all chemical beings.

 

But come on, I think you guys can think a little deeper than that, unless you're all just being a bunch of bitter old men :cunn: I like and agree with what TF said about valuing actions of service and compassion. I would say love goes beyond just that initial 'good feeling' definitely and it really is defined about acts of service and compassion.

 

Going out of the way to make someone else feel better if they're upset, or even when they're just fine, and making them feel special and happy for no real reason, putting their needs before your own, protecting them if or when they need protecting, acknowledging their feelings and thoughts on different subjects, knowing their likes and dislikes, and caring about them, or simply just being there for them if or when they need you. It's about sacrifice of your own personal time, and occasionally of your wants and feelings, and "true love", excuse the fairy tail term, would go both ways if there were truly such a thing. These above descriptions could go for any type of love, between two mates, or a parent and child, or someone and a friend...

 

I would say marriage is more or less just a convenience, and despite apparent tax benefits, it's more of a social expectation and normality than anything, and others like to use it as something to make their bond 'official', even though imo, it's not necessary. It can either make things easier or more difficult. But it really is more of a social announcement I think haha, letting other humans know 'Hey, this human is my mate, not yours unless we come to some other agreement'. I could imagine people insecure in their relationships being more eager to marry than a couple more secure.

 

We're all humans, none of us are perfect, and none of us are tied to any supernatural being. The best of us humans are empathetic, compassionate creatures who are willing to go out of our ways to make others' days a little brighter, and some of us do find love with another human, whose presence and image may release those happy chemical in us, but our care towards them goes beyond more than a chemical reaction, I'd say.(I know, I know everything you DO is a chemical reaction technically). 

 

I just think it's stupid to say that there is no such thing as love and that's why is a predominate theme in stories and fiction, and it's stupid to think that love is a simply a religious thing, and atheists and the like can't experience such a thing. The most primal I will get is to say that love is more of a biological programming to find a social group and keep them close for your own survival and social needs, and same for finding a mate and reproducing, and you're biologically programmed to try to protect your young at all costs(under normal, neurotypical standards....).

 

So if you do break it down to the very very basics, sure, it's a chemical reaction in our brain, but so is everything else we do. You gotta think a bit more deeply.

 

disclaimer: I'm an artist and a writer, so maybe I'm romanticizing things, but hey, it's what I do.:P Also I just woke up and didn't really proofread this, so sorry if it's all over the

place

 

 

This is a great explanation DTD. I don't think you 'romanticized' any of this. I find it quite factual and  a very sane explanation. I think that when we speak of 'love', we tend to think of those beautiful moments of romance during the courting stage. That 'feeling' doesn't last really long. As soon as we 'catch' our fish, we relax and get on with the 'real meal deal' and it's not always fun once you open up your eyes to all of the flaws that we humans have (and I certainly include myself.)

 

That's when this real thing called 'love' is tested. I was a romance addict all my life so this thing called 'love' (in a relationship) has been very disappointing for me. I do not blame the other person now. It was my fantasy. Just like the issue of god. My fantasy. I am much more of a realist now and I accept everything about life as 'facts' now. Those chemicals reactions that bring two people together are nice but the real work begins after the infatuation wears off. I like what others have said on this thread and I certainly understand everyone's views, god and bad on this topic of 'love'. 

 

Hug

Also very valid points. I agree that we need to have this emotion involved but i guess i was just searching for its relevance and how to examine the word after you pull the fake God away from it. Most of my childhood and half of my adult life i associated the words God and Love as they were one thing.

 

The question i asked and the thoughts i had about the chemical reaction was the tip of the iceberg. That was just where my critical thinking about the topic started. I release that i think i put too much stock in one word and i am seeing it more for what it is now. So, this is where i see it right now. Do we need love? Yes, but it has its place.

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Haven't figured out romantic love yet, but if you ask me, general love is feelings for someone that make you want to take care of that person and truly want their best interest. Self-centered people can believe they love someone, but don't really, because they aren't motivated to put the other person's needs first.

 

Some people insist that love has nothing to do with feelings and is all about actions, but that's rubbish because doing something kind and unselfish for another person does not mean we love that person. Say you volunteer at a soup kitchen every week--would you say you "love" the people you serve? Of course not (unless you're a Jeebuzzer). That would be weird. Love is a combination of feelings plus actions.

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