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jonathan7
05-21-2008, 10:18 AM
There have been some rather interesting pieces on BBC Radio 4 recently about love. (I know that listening to this station is a sure sign I'm getting old).

Anyways, it had been noted that 'love songs' used to be about how *you felt* about them, and now 'love songs' are about how someone makes *you* feel.

What do people make of this change?

Another point of interest...

Sociologists claim there's been a threefold drop in references to love in pop songs sung by women in the past 45 years.. So does this mean it's Goodbye to Love?

So what is love? How important is it? And what do you think this change in love songs indicates?

*(I did search for an online version of the show, but haven't been able to find it).

mur'phon
05-21-2008, 11:30 AM
So what is love?

An extremely good feeling, responsible for countless stupid actions on my part.

How important is it?

Since I don't regrett any of those actions, I'd say it's very important on an individual basis.

As for the love songs, I don't know. The "girls don't sing about love as much" thing might have something to do with it being more acceptable for them to sing about other things. Which again might have something to do with more equality.

The feel/felt thing might be due to "impossible love"/"Only one love" going out of fashion.

El Sitherino
05-21-2008, 11:37 AM
What is love?
Baby don't hurt me.

Society has changed, so has the culture surrounding romance. Everything is more self-serving and almost contemptuous. Look at the foundations of the new generations love lives, disjointed concepts of courtesy and do's/don't's.

I'm not going to say it's wrong, but we all have our personal preferences of how we wish to carry out our lives. Love songs are a very different form of music, so these drastic differences aren't really too unexpected.

adamqd
05-21-2008, 12:30 PM
Haddaway still begs the Question...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsCXZczTQXo

jonathan7
05-21-2008, 12:38 PM
Haddaway still begs the Question...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsCXZczTQXo

I respond with this :p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdnAbtIF3YM

Achilles
05-21-2008, 01:57 PM
So what is love? A physiological response to oxytocin (http://www.oxytocin.org/oxytoc/index.html) (would have referenced the wiki, however some of the material there might push the PG-13 boundary).

How important is it? Using Maslow's needs hierarchy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs#Representations), I'd say pretty important.

And what do you think this change in love songs indicates? In a sentence: a change in the zeitgeist. 45 years ago would have put us in the 1960's when wide-sweeping cultural changes where taking place, specifically with regards to gender roles and the value of women in society. As someone that used to listen to quite a bit of 50's rock and roll, I can tell you that the themes were quite saccharine and from a modern perspective, rather naive about relationships (I suspect that this has more to do with marketing and values than the nature of relationships at the time though).

So the longer answer to your question is that women (and men) are probably more concerned with those higher tiers of Maslow's pyramid now, or at the very least, not as interested in making songs about the lower tiers.

My 2 cents.

*Don*
05-21-2008, 08:50 PM
Anyways, it had been noted that 'love songs' used to be about how *you felt* about them, and now 'love songs' are about how someone makes *you* feel.

What do people make of this change?


Personally speaking, I would agree with Achilles and attribute this partially to the sweeping change that the 60's brought around.

Interestingly enough, I also noticed this change in all international music as well (not jus American and British songs). Eastern songs have also began to follow this trend and I am guessing that its catching on pretty fast.

jonathan7
05-21-2008, 09:14 PM
A physiological response to oxytocin (http://www.oxytocin.org/oxytoc/index.html) (would have referenced the wiki, however some of the material there might push the PG-13 boundary).

I think thats one side to it myself, I think there are others however...

Using Maslow's needs hierarchy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs#Representations), I'd say pretty important.

I don't think Maslow, put it high enough up on his hierachy myself, I'd say it should be top of the list.

In a sentence: a change in the zeitgeist. 45 years ago would have put us in the 1960's when wide-sweeping cultural changes where taking place, specifically with regards to gender roles and the value of women in society. As someone that used to listen to quite a bit of 50's rock and roll, I can tell you that the themes were quite saccharine and from a modern perspective, rather naive about relationships (I suspect that this has more to do with marketing and values than the nature of relationships at the time though).

I think there has been massive change in society and as such the zeitgeist has changed. However does 'true' love change?

In the west, I think it has just become more and more about self.

So the longer answer to your question is that women (and men) are probably more concerned with those higher tiers of Maslow's pyramid now, or at the very least, not as interested in making songs about the lower tiers.

My 2 cents.

lol, perhaps, though I'm not convinced people will find fullfillment in those tiers.

Personally speaking, I would agree with Achilles and attribute this partially to the sweeping change that the 60's brought around.

Interestingly enough, I also noticed this change in all international music as well (not jus American and British songs). Eastern songs have also began to follow this trend and I am guessing that its catching on pretty fast.

Enculturation, marketing and the fact the world is becoming a smaller and smaller place I would think are having this effect.

Ravnas
05-21-2008, 11:38 PM
Love is the only thing that encompasses eternal happiness and soul-crushing depression.

Achilles
05-22-2008, 03:11 AM
I think thats one side to it myself, I think there are others however...It's possible. I'd have to know what they are in order to be able to comment further.

I don't think Maslow, put it high enough up on his hierachy myself, I'd say it should be top of the list. Based on your opinion or based on a defendable, objective argument?

I think there has been massive change in society and as such the zeitgeist has changed. However does 'true' love change? Since "true love" is subjective, and therefore influenced by zeitgeist/enculturation, I would say that it absolutely is. If you can objectively define what "true love" is then I would say that your argument carries more weight than mine, however I think it will be very difficult (if not impossible) for you to do so.

In the west, I think it has just become more and more about self. That's possible. I would have to know how you're defining it before I could agree or disagree.

lol, perhaps, though I'm not convinced people will find fullfillment in those tiers. Of course not. By definition, "fulfillment" is only possible in the top tier and you cannot satisfy the upper tiers without having satisfied the lower tiers (there's a reason Maslow's hierarchy is represented via a pyramid and not a progression).

jonathan7
05-22-2008, 06:47 AM
It's possible. I'd have to know what they are in order to be able to comment further.

Based on your opinion or based on a defendable, objective argument?

Since "true love" is subjective, and therefore influenced by zeitgeist/enculturation, I would say that it absolutely is. If you can objectively define what "true love" is then I would say that your argument carries more weight than mine, however I think it will be very difficult (if not impossible) for you to do so.

That's possible. I would have to know how you're defining it before I could agree or disagree.

I'm unsure if you would define this as opinion or objective argumentation, I leave you to make your own decision. :)

I'm affraid my definition, might be a little long, I had originally posted this over in the atheism/theism thread, while reviewing it, I noticed you had said;

Shouldn't the topic of love be a separate thread?

So here we are :)

Love; it’s the most beautiful and powerful force in the world and something I think modern western civilization is forgetting; I think all the problems that are coming to light in our society are due to a generation not knowing what love is. Indeed I think all the world problems throughout all the ages is due to a deep and massive lack of love.

Many people today are lonely, unhappy and broken. I think it is because they are not loved; I’m not even writing about romantic love, I’m writing about friendship love. I think being lonely isn’t a sign that you need a partner, more that you don’t feel loved by friends. Tragically, I think those who offer unconditional love can be viewed with suspicion, having been hurt and used many times people can cynically assess others. It is a very difficult business finding out who are true friends.

I would suggest that true friends, will always do what they can to come through for you; they will do all they can in their power to help and love you. They will be there for you in the bad times to listen and love and there for you in the good times to have a laugh.

Suggested song to set the mood; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9OGfBGOCpk

So what is love? I shall use a few definitions and thoughts from those far more learned, wise and loving than I. “Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offense. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith,
its hope, and endurance. In a word, there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of them all is love.”*

The famous writer C.S. Lewis defined love in two ways; "Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal." And "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained."Jesus (‘That’ dude from the Bible) said; “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Finally; from the wonderful poet Rabindranath Tagore “Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.”

I really like the above definitions of what love is, I think what many think love is has now become a shadow of its former glory, twisted and feeble compared to what it should be. Let me give you an example of what I mean…

The most easy thing to do this with is romantic love, I shall use two films too differentiate between what I think romantic love is, and what many people today think love is. My good and loving friends Toby and Alex introduced me to the film Stardust; I really like this film and would recommend it, if you haven’t seen it (despite some rather lovey-dovey moments) and think it makes some great points about love. Consider this conversation between the two main protagonists;

“Yvaine: [in the pirate ship] Tell me about Victoria.
Tristan: Well, she... she... There's nothing else to tell you.
Yvaine: The little I know about love is that it's unconditional. It's not something you can buy.
Tristan: Hang on! This wasn't about me trying to buy her love. This was to prove to her how I felt.
Yvaine: Ah... And what's she doing to prove how she feels about you?
Tristan: Well... Look, Yvaine, you'll understand when you meet her, all right? If we don't get murdered by pirates first.
Yvaine: Mmm... Murdered by pirates, heart torn out and eaten, meet Victoria... I can't quite decide which sounds more fun...”

I can’t help thinking many today are Victoria’s… That is to say, their partner has to prove their love to them, without them ever having to do anything to prove their love in return. I think love is shown by loving people when they are at their most unlovable, by coming through for them when they need you (this is true for friends as well); and that both partners doing this constitute what a relationship is meant to be. Of course Tristan is at fault here too; for he allows himself to be treated badly, because he has been blinded (in my opinion by infatuation, not love).

A chick flick I really rate is the Notebook, (thanks goes to Jen and the other Ripon St girls for my introduction to this film) I think this film is excellent in pinpointing the different aspects of romantic love, and without the over glamorization so many chick flicks fall into.

What is romantic love? Call me an idealist, but I like this quote from Allie (from the Notebook); “I did too. It's just that when I'm... when I'm with Noah, I feel like one person and when I'm with you I feel like someone totally different”. However I would also quote Noah, just before the scene I took the above quote from; “So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. And we're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that, because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day”.

So, that’s what I think love is, I think that love is what would solve the world’s problems. There are of course a few problems I shall now address.
Firstly, in friendships and relationships we will inevitable hurt and fail each other.

The German Philosopher Schopenhauer famously imagined people as a bunch of freezing porcupines: they have to huddle together for warmth, but if they get too close, they’ll hurt each other with their quills. If they stay too far apart, they’ll die of exposure. They have to find a place in between, where they are warm enough but aren’t being hurt by one another.

I have often sadly found that those who are least loved, need love the most, tend not to get it for they seek comfort in places it can’t be found. If someone is viewed as not useful such individuals will not associate with such people for they have no use. Having been treated like objects their whole lives, the treat others in the same manner; reaching such people is very difficult, and unfortunately modern society seems to be creating more of them.

The question is how do we respond when someone hurts us? I think the answer lies in the C.S. Lewis quote I used earlier; "Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal." I think forgiveness is a big thing in relationships, it is not easy, but I think responding with anger to anger, doesn’t seem at least to me to be a solution to the problem.

Indeed Wars to me, would seem to be the continued inability to let things go, to forgive, instead people get angry, seek revenge and ‘justice’.
A quote of Mother Teresa’s that I shall end with and have at least for myself found to be true is; “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. “

I hope you have enjoyed that... Peace and Blessings...

*2: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (That much maligned book… the Bible)

Of course not. By definition, "fulfillment" is only possible in the top tier and you cannot satisfy the upper tiers without having satisfied the lower tiers (there's a reason Maslow's hierarchy is represented via a pyramid and not a progression).

Perhaps, I do recall doing the pyramid in 6th Form, I think being loved, especially in childhood though, very important, consider the Romanian childreens auphanage studies, think they were by Piaget but it's along time since I studied it. So I would remain thinking, despite the importance of other things, that perhaps being loved and loving should be top of the pyramid.

Bee Hoon
05-22-2008, 09:31 AM
This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend when we were listening to oldies. Remember those good old days when love songs said things like "I wanna hold your hand..."

Okay, who am I kidding? I definitely *don't* remember a time like that:p

Anyways, it had been noted that 'love songs' used to be about how *you felt* about them, and now 'love songs' are about how someone makes *you* feel.Do you have any examples? My insatiable curiosity would thank you if you did!

*insert ambiguous statement about lurrrrrrrve here* Anyway, I would like to share the most romantic lines ever written; I'm sure a lot of you here know this poem:)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

Ray Jones
05-22-2008, 10:02 AM
Love is a stainless steel eagle inscribed with hellish utterances, jet black, bristling with missiles and chain guns under a forty-foot wingspan that comes screeching down upon you on a moonless, stormy night. Its only purpose can be to destroy.

Angst? :dozey: Nope. Carry on.

This is the *only* truth about love. :carms:

Achilles
05-22-2008, 01:59 PM
I'm unsure if you would define this as opinion or objective argumentation, I leave you to make your own decision. :) It's opinion :)

I'm affraid my definition, might be a little long, I had originally posted this over in the atheism/theism thread, while reviewing it, I noticed you had said;
<snip>
So here we are :) Indeed we are. Let's get to it then.

Love; it’s the most beautiful and powerful force in the world Very poetic. Clearly there are some people that would argue the opposite though. How to resolve...

...and something I think modern western civilization is forgetting; I think all the problems that are coming to light in our society are due to a generation not knowing what love is. All the problems? At what point did we know?

Indeed I think all the world problems throughout all the ages is due to a deep and massive lack of love. Are we conflating "love" and "empathy"? (Please do not respond with Star Wars quotes here. I'll have to fly to England and toilet paper your home if you do).

Many people today are lonely, unhappy and broken. Wow, this thread is quickly turning into a buzz-killer.

I think it is because they are not loved; I’m not even writing about romantic love, I’m writing about friendship love. I think being lonely isn’t a sign that you need a partner, more that you don’t feel loved by friends. Tragically, I think those who offer unconditional love can be viewed with suspicion, having been hurt and used many times people can cynically assess others. It is a very difficult business finding out who are true friends. No doubt that there are a lot of dysfunctional relationships (non-specific usage here) and that this has a huge impact on how people percieve themselves, others, and their interactions.

I would suggest that true friends, will always do what they can to come through for you; they will do all they can in their power to help and love you. They will be there for you in the bad times to listen and love and there for you in the good times to have a laugh. I think I can agree with this for the most part.

So what is love? I shall use a few definitions and thoughts from those far more learned, wise and loving than I. “Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offense. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith,
its hope, and endurance. In a word, there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of them all is love.”* That's nice (but also subjective).

The famous writer C.S. Lewis defined love in two ways; "Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal." And "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained."Jesus (‘That’ dude from the Bible) said; “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Finally; from the wonderful poet Rabindranath Tagore “Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.” This is also very nice (and still subjective).

I really like the above definitions of what love is, I think what many think love is has now become a shadow of its former glory, twisted and feeble compared to what it should be. Let me give you an example of what I mean… Back to the buzz-killing. You aren't bi-polar, are you? :D

The most easy thing to do this with is romantic love, I shall use two films too differentiate between what I think romantic love is, and what many people today think love is. My good and loving friends Toby and Alex introduced me to the film Stardust; I really like this film and would recommend it, if you haven’t seen it (despite some rather lovey-dovey moments) and think it makes some great points about love. Consider this conversation between the two main protagonists;

<snip> Okay, I have to stop here and point out that using movies, poems, books, stories, etc to try to define "love" really muddies things. We aren't talking about reality when we go there; we're talking about someone's contrived viewpoint about how they think things ought to be (i.e. their romantic notions).

Case in point: Robin Williams' monologue in Good Will Hunting

So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that.

If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy.

You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help.

I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you.

You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much.
Great stuff, right? I agree that some solid writing (and Mr. Williams pulls it off beautifully), but let's think about it. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were in their mid-twenties when that movie was made and they wrote the screenplay when they were still in college at Havard. Neither one of them had been to war, been married, or sat sitting up in a hospital chair watching cancer slowly kill their spouse.

So what we have is their take on what that must be like. We have their romantic notions. It's entirely possible that they may have interviewed people that had, but at the end of the day we're still dealing with dramatic license.

I can’t help thinking many today are Victoria’s… That is to say, their partner has to prove their love to them, without them ever having to do anything to prove their love in return. I think love is shown by loving people when they are at their most unlovable, by coming through for them when they need you (this is true for friends as well); and that both partners doing this constitute what a relationship is meant to be. Of course Tristan is at fault here too; for he allows himself to be treated badly, because he has been blinded (in my opinion by infatuation, not love).Same as above. We're dealing with fictional characters in a contrived set of circumstances. No doubt the author may have channeled some personal experiences when writing the screenplay for the movie, but to use this scenario as an objective base from which to draft a treatise on the nature of love will probably lead us down some non-productive paths.

A chick flick I really rate is the Notebook, (thanks goes to Jen and the other Ripon St girls for my introduction to this film) I think this film is excellent in pinpointing the different aspects of romantic love, and without the over glamorization so many chick flicks fall into. I couldn't disagree more. The cliches may have been different (arguable), but there were still cliches.

What is romantic love? Call me an idealist, but I like this quote from Allie (from the Notebook); “I did too. It's just that when I'm... when I'm with Noah, I feel like one person and when I'm with you I feel like someone totally different”. However I would also quote Noah, just before the scene I took the above quote from; “So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. And we're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that, because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day”. As anyone who's ever been in a long-term relationship will tell you, these things are easy to say (and mean) when you're in the infatuation stage.

Going backwards for just a moment, I think if you want to find the culprit for why relationships are so jacked up today (an entirely subjective assertion that I will support), I think you need to start with the media. Usual suspects include "Once upon a time", "And they lived happily ever after", any movie, song, story, or television show that only shows the "attraction/courtship" phase of relationships, and any movie, song, story, or television show that only shows the break-up/post-relationship. Enculturation has poisoned any semblance of realistic expectations and force-fed us fairy tales and cheap romance novels instead. [/rant]

So, that’s what I think love is, I think that love is what would solve the world’s problems. There are of course a few problems I shall now address.
Firstly, in friendships and relationships we will inevitable hurt and fail each other. Wait. Didn't you just ask us to call you an idealist? *head hurts*

The German Philosopher Schopenhauer famously imagined people as a bunch of freezing porcupines: they have to huddle together for warmth, but if they get too close, they’ll hurt each other with their quills. If they stay too far apart, they’ll die of exposure. They have to find a place in between, where they are warm enough but aren’t being hurt by one another. Not the first time porcupines have been used in a love-related analogy, IIRC.

I have often sadly found that those who are least loved, need love the most, tend not to get it for they seek comfort in places it can’t be found. If someone is viewed as not useful such individuals will not associate with such people for they have no use. Having been treated like objects their whole lives, the treat others in the same manner; reaching such people is very difficult, and unfortunately modern society seems to be creating more of them.I think we're clearly talking about dysfuntional behavior stemming from some form of abuse here. Surely not a baseline for a discourse on healthy relationships, correct?

The question is how do we respond when someone hurts us? I think the answer lies in the C.S. Lewis quote I used earlier; "Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal." I think forgiveness is a big thing in relationships, it is not easy, but I think responding with anger to anger, doesn’t seem at least to me to be a solution to the problem. We probably need a thread on congnitive therapy and PTSD rather than C.S. Lewis quotes.

Perhaps, I do recall doing the pyramid in 6th Form, I think being loved, especially in childhood though, very important, consider the Romanian childreens auphanage studies, think they were by Piaget but it's along time since I studied it. So I would remain thinking, despite the importance of other things, that perhaps being loved and loving should be top of the pyramid.I thank you for sharing your opinions and thoughts. Good thread, my friend. Take care.

jonathan7
05-22-2008, 05:01 PM
Do you have any examples? My insatiable curiosity would thank you if you did!

Amy Winehouse, is perhaps a very good example; http://www.metrolyrics.com/there-is-no-greater-love-lyrics-amy-winehouse.html

It is my opinion that the song is about how the individual makes *you* feel.

Compared with;

FgtH Power of Love; http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/frankiegoestohollywood/thepoweroflove.html

I've been trying to track down the Radio 4 show online for you all, but no luck (doesn't help that I can't remember when it was on in the past week).

It's opinion :)

Hehe, fair enough.

I think the point hangs on ones definition of love.

Very poetic. Clearly there are some people that would argue the opposite though. How to resolve...

Perhaps though I would argue contrarily, perhaps the question is what would the world be like if people viewed the above as the model for love?

All the problems? At what point did we know?

I dunno if I said know, I thought I had said think, for the most part, it as with most of my writing, for the reader to decide its 'wisdom'.

However perhaps an interesting question is what causes a man to want to be a Stalin? Love for his fellow man, isn't quite the way I would describe say Stalin.

Are we conflating "love" and "empathy"? (Please do not respond with Star Wars quotes here. I'll have to fly to England and toilet paper your home if you do).

Haha :p What kind of toilet paper? The nice delux stuff, or nasty cheapo brands?

Off-topicness asside, I personally would think empathy is part of loving someone myself.

Wow, this thread is quickly turning into a buzz-killer.

Its not meant to be, however I don;t think the world is a particuarly nice place for many people to live in.

No doubt that there are a lot of dysfunctional relationships (non-specific usage here) and that this has a huge impact on how people percieve themselves, others, and their interactions.

Agreed.

I think I can agree with this for the most part.

Cool :)

That's nice (but also subjective).

This is also very nice (and still subjective).

Does the subjectivity matter?

Back to the buzz-killing. You aren't bi-polar, are you? :D

lol, not to my knowledge, I try to however as accuratly as I can, relay the world as it is.

Okay, I have to stop here and point out that using movies, poems, books, stories, etc to try to define "love" really muddies things. We aren't talking about reality when we go there; we're talking about someone's contrived viewpoint about how they think things ought to be (i.e. their romantic notions).

I agree, though I picked my examples carefully, it is aimed for a wider audience, and I'm aware many of my friends, find it difficult to connect with my thinking, so I tryed to use examples they could relate to, instead of explaining things.

Case in point: Robin Williams' monologue in Good Will Hunting

Great stuff, right? I agree that some solid writing (and Mr. Williams pulls it off beautifully), but let's think about it. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were in their mid-twenties when that movie was made and they wrote the screenplay when they were still in college at Havard. Neither one of them had been to war, been married, or sat sitting up in a hospital chair watching cancer slowly kill their spouse.

So what we have is their take on what that must be like. We have their romantic notions. It's entirely possible that they may have interviewed people that had, but at the end of the day we're still dealing with dramatic license.

Does their lack of expierance, mean they can't emphatise and understand, or have something applicable to add? Talking to wiser individuals and nothing down what they say. Older generations are a wonderful source of knowledge, and some people are 'naturally wise'. I was reading a book review on genius the other day, which concluded that 'most great cerebral work is achieved before the age of thirty'.

Same as above. We're dealing with fictional characters in a contrived set of circumstances. No doubt the author may have channeled some personal experiences when writing the screenplay for the movie, but to use this scenario as an objective base from which to draft a treatise on the nature of love will probably lead us down some non-productive paths.

Depends on the paths the treatise takes you; I think relationships are idolised too much, and I have plenty of friends, who seem to think if they get into a relationship the worlds problems would be solved. It is my personal opinion that the only time you are really ready for a relationship is when you are happy being single.

I couldn't disagree more. The cliches may have been different (arguable), but there were still cliches.

There were cliches in the Notebook, but what I like is Noah, says its going to be hard every day, and that it ends with the couple in old age; which is more than can be said for most 'romantic films'... Frankly my dear I don't give a damn... ;)

As anyone who's ever been in a long-term relationship will tell you, these things are easy to say (and mean) when you're in the infatuation stage.

Indeed, but I would still argue love is shown when someone is at their most unloveable, and at which point I would presume they would be out of the 'infatuation stage. On this I can't comment to readily, as at uni my resistance to so called 'femme fatales' is well known.

Going backwards for just a moment, I think if you want to find the culprit for why relationships are so jacked up today (an entirely subjective assertion that I will support), I think you need to start with the media. Usual suspects include "Once upon a time", "And they lived happily ever after", any movie, song, story, or television show that only shows the "attraction/courtship" phase of relationships, and any movie, song, story, or television show that only shows the break-up/post-relationship. Enculturation has poisoned any semblance of realistic expectations and force-fed us fairy tales and cheap romance novels instead. [/rant]

I don't disagree, infact I fully concur.

Wait. Didn't you just ask us to call you an idealist? *head hurts*

Hehe :p It was technically a stab, at some who have labelled me a 'naive idealist'; something which causes great amusement to my friends, as I'm more known for witty cynicism and pragmatism, but c'est la vie.

Not the first time porcupines have been used in a love-related analogy, IIRC.

I can't think of anyone of the top of my head, doesn't mean there arent though.

I think we're clearly talking about dysfuntional behavior stemming from some form of abuse here. Surely not a baseline for a discourse on healthy relationships, correct?

Correct, though the form of abuse, is an interesting one. There are some very good looking girls who are friends of mine, and have all their lives been treated as objects especially by guys, and as such view everyone else in the same vein. Having never met their parents I couldn't comment on any further causes.

We probably need a thread on congnitive therapy and PTSD rather than C.S. Lewis quotes.

Therapy does and doesn't help, I know many of my friends report that speaking to councilers (sp) as not at all helpful, but after speaking to me their problem can be solved. To my knowledge I have never applied the above, and have helped friends get over a range of problems including alcholism and other drug addictions.

I thank you for sharing your opinions and thoughts. Good thread, my friend. Take care.

Pleasure as always, thanks for your interesting responce. :)

Take Care too.

EnderWiggin
05-22-2008, 05:17 PM
As anyone who's ever been in a long-term relationship will tell you, these things are easy to say (and mean) when you're in the infatuation stage.

Going backwards for just a moment, I think if you want to find the culprit for why relationships are so jacked up today (an entirely subjective assertion that I will support), I think you need to start with the media. Usual suspects include "Once upon a time", "And they lived happily ever after", any movie, song, story, or television show that only shows the "attraction/courtship" phase of relationships, and any movie, song, story, or television show that only shows the break-up/post-relationship. Enculturation has poisoned any semblance of realistic expectations and force-fed us fairy tales and cheap romance novels instead. [/rant]

I think it's utterly impossible for me to agree more.

Which is a bit rare, when it comes to Achilles and I :D

_EW_

Achilles
05-22-2008, 05:50 PM
Perhaps though I would argue contrarily, perhaps the question is what would the world be like if people viewed the above as the model for love? Idealism always looks great on paper. No doubt that learning to live with more empathy would make the world a better place, but I think some of what might be suggested here borders on codependency-type behavior.

Reality shows us that relationships go through stages and some of those stages are pretty tough to get through. I think if we wanted to improve the nature of the relationships in our lives, we'd be better off focusing on building our skill-sets to be able to get through those challenging times rather than inspire others toward unrealistic goals.

I dunno if I said know, I thought I had said think, for the most part, it as with most of my writing, for the reader to decide its 'wisdom'. Quote: "I think all the problems that are coming to light in our society are due to a generation not knowing what love is."

Emphasis added.

However perhaps an interesting question is what causes a man to want to be a Stalin? Love for his fellow man, isn't quite the way I would describe say Stalin. I don't know how much that supports your earlier argument.

Is the lack of potable water in Africa due to a lack of love? How about the rising death toll in China as a result of the earthquake? Burma? AIDs-related death in the U.S.?

Or from another perspective:

The father that thinks he is preparing his son for the realities of life by administering "tough love". From the father's pespective, there is no lack of love there, nor is there a problem. How does your hypothesis address a scenario such as that one?

Does the subjectivity matter?The purpose of the thread would suggest that it certainly does. If we're going to try to measure an increase or decrease in something over time, we sure as heck better be able to objectively define what it is that we're measuring.

As I stated earlier, where you see a decrease in love, I see an increase in esteem.

lol, not to my knowledge, I try to however as accuratly as I can, relay the world as it is. Well, as you see it anyway ;)

I agree, though I picked my examples carefully, it is aimed for a wider audience, and I'm aware many of my friends, find it difficult to connect with my thinking, so I tryed to use examples they could relate to, instead of explaining things. Fair enough, however I still think that we're setting ourselves up for problems if we're using something fake to try to express an argument for something real. Analogies are a great way to convey a point, but that isn't what's happening here.

Does their lack of expierance, mean they can't emphatise and understand, or have something applicable to add?Not what I'm saying at all. What I am saying is that they are creating a fictional situation to convey a story to an audience. The reality is that the grieving process has several steps. Establishing a long term relationship has several steps. Trying to cherry-pick the most emotionally-potent aspects and then present that as "reality" serves as a distraction. As such, it makes me very nervous when I see people trying to use movies or stories to try to make relevant arguments about the nature of relationships, etc.

Indeed, but I would still argue love is shown when someone is at their most unloveable Okay. I would say that's codependency, but again, we've yet to operationally define what we mean by love.

I'm stopping here because I think the rest is veering off-topic.

Thanks for reading.

Which is a bit rare, when it comes to Achilles and I :DHuh. And here I thought we got along for the most part :D

Lance Monance
05-22-2008, 07:20 PM
Based on your opinion or based on a defendable, objective argument?


From Wikipedia:
While Maslow's theory was regarded as an improvement over previous theories of personality and motivation, it had its detractors. For example, in their extensive review of research that is dependent on Maslow's theory, Wahba and Bridgewell [3] found little evidence for the ranking of needs that Maslow described, or even for the existence of a definite hierarchy at all.

That seems to be an argument, since, according to Wiki, they did a lot of research.

Achilles
05-22-2008, 07:32 PM
Nothing here magically makes J7's opinion an objective argument (Not A does not equal B, for those of you that miss hearing it :)).

I'm perfectly comfortable using some other model of human motivation (two-factor theory, ERG theory, etc), however I think you'll find that they all have their detractors and not all of them clearly establish a role for love as Maslow did. If J7 would like to propose a new model of his own, I'd be happy to take a look at it, but I would hope that it was based on some form of social research rather than how he'd like to see the world behave.

Lance Monance
05-23-2008, 05:34 AM
I just wanted to point out that Maslow's theory isn't without criticism and that love may have a different rank in hierarchy. Wasn't trying to propose a model of my own or defend J7's statement. (I know that not A doesn't mean that it is B :))

Salzella
05-23-2008, 05:42 AM
Love is: painful. hah. hah. hah.

I dislike love songs mostly, especially the particularly sugary-sweet sentimental ones that make me want to bang my head against a wall. Hard.

As for what love actually is... Don't know.

Bee Hoon
05-23-2008, 07:19 AM
To be fair, this first verse of the Amy Winehouse song does address her own feelings about the beloved:P And some might argue that telling the person the way he/she makes you feel might be regarded as a compliment, rather than being a narcissist who focuses solely on...the idea of being in love.

Heh.

jonathan7
05-24-2008, 10:22 PM
The purpose of the thread would suggest that it certainly does. If we're going to try to measure an increase or decrease in something over time, we sure as heck better be able to objectively define what it is that we're measuring.

Love, I think is trying to achieve what is best for the other person as far as it can be obtained. My 2 cents on the definition :)

Idealism always looks great on paper. No doubt that learning to live with more empathy would make the world a better place, but I think some of what might be suggested here borders on codependency-type behavior.

Perhaps, I try to live out my vision of love, though most people would think me one of the most independant people they know. Though we are in many respects interconected with one another, and dependant on one another to an extent, why is codependancy so bad?

Reality shows us that relationships go through stages and some of those stages are pretty tough to get through. I think if we wanted to improve the nature of the relationships in our lives, we'd be better off focusing on building our skill-sets to be able to get through those challenging times rather than inspire others toward unrealistic goals.

I think its abit of both myself :p

Quote: "I think all the problems that are coming to light in our society are due to a generation not knowing what love is."

I can't speak for generations in the states, but my generation in the UK is in a poor way; not only is the education system a shambles, but enculturation is having a massively destructive impact, and no-one as far as I can see is even aware of this. I have my hypothesis as to why that is; Television, I think is a big culprit.

I don't know how much that supports your earlier argument.

I think chasing over to money, power and fame are all pointless endevours. Take for example saving up for that bigger house; will it really make you happy? I have never understood why dicators are so desperate to hold onto power; what does it get them?

I dunno if you consider my below responces ontopic or not.. however I do :p

Is the lack of potable water in Africa due to a lack of love?

Every year the UK flushes enough toilet water down its toilets to give the whole population of Africa enough drinking water for a year.

How about the rising death toll in China as a result of the earthquake? Burma?

Natural disasters are not caused by a lack of love however, the ruling Junta in Burma, because of their desperation to hang onto power are going to cause many more deaths.

AIDs-related death in the U.S.?

Aids?... Two people love each other enough to have safe sex...

If people loved their fellow man, drug dealers and producers would not be 'in buisness', ergo transmision of Aids via needle would go...

Which would only leave blood transfusions....

The father that thinks he is preparing his son for the realities of life by administering "tough love". From the father's pespective, there is no lack of love there, nor is there a problem. How does your hypothesis address a scenario such as that one?

As I said at the start; I think love is trying to achieve what is best for the other person as far as it can be obtained; that would include tough love. I don't think love is some gooey nice thing, I think it can be really hard and bloody sometimes.

As I stated earlier, where you see a decrease in love, I see an increase in esteem.

Please elaborate, I don't quite follow what you mean by esteem?

Well, as you see it anyway ;)

:p

Fair enough, however I still think that we're setting ourselves up for problems if we're using something fake to try to express an argument for something real. Analogies are a great way to convey a point, but that isn't what's happening here.

Fair enough.

Not what I'm saying at all. What I am saying is that they are creating a fictional situation to convey a story to an audience. The reality is that the grieving process has several steps. Establishing a long term relationship has several steps. Trying to cherry-pick the most emotionally-potent aspects and then present that as "reality" serves as a distraction. As such, it makes me very nervous when I see people trying to use movies or stories to try to make relevant arguments about the nature of relationships, etc.

Relationships are a hard slog, I think my generation gives up on things alot quicker than previous generations; I think in a consumer society people are consumed as well as goods. I think you misunderstand me, if you think I'm saying love is easy, or that its all 'nicey nicey'.

Okay. I would say that's codependency, but again, we've yet to operationally define what we mean by love.

I've tryed to rectify that at the start of the topic, though in some senses the thread was a debate over what people think love means anyways. :)

I'm stopping here because I think the rest is veering off-topic.

Fair enough :)

Nothing here magically makes J7's opinion an objective argument (Not A does not equal B, for those of you that miss hearing it ).

*Jedi Mind-Trick* Yes it does ;)

Thanks for reading.

You too :)

To be fair, this first verse of the Amy Winehouse song does address her own feelings about the beloved:P And some might argue that telling the person the way he/she makes you feel might be regarded as a compliment, rather than being a narcissist who focuses solely on...the idea of being in love.

Heh.

Perhaps, I'm still hoping to track down the Radio show for y'all. :)

EnderWiggin
05-24-2008, 10:46 PM
Aids?... Two people love each other enough to have safe sex...

...What? Safe sex has nothing to do with a quantification of a couple's love. Not sure what you're trying to say here.

_EW_

It's pretty interesting to see the abstract opinions clash with the concrete questions here.

jonathan7
05-24-2008, 10:50 PM
...What? Safe sex has nothing to do with a quantification of a couple's love. Not sure what you're trying to say here.

_EW_

Well, I suppose the question is more, why do people have unsafe sex and risk catching or passing on HIV?

It's pretty interesting to see the abstract opinions clash with the concrete questions here.

Indeed :)

EnderWiggin
05-24-2008, 10:54 PM
Well, I suppose the question is more, why do people have unsafe sex and risk catching or passing on HIV?

Ok, as long as you weren't insinuating that using a condom meant you loved someone more than not.

_EW_

I'll never forget how my 10th grade english teacher used to describe love - "Mutual Usury." I'll help you, talk to you, make you feel important. You just do the same for me.

Did I mention he was divorced?

jonathan7
05-24-2008, 10:59 PM
Ok, as long as you weren't insinuating that using a condom meant you loved someone more than not.

lol, Nah, thats not what I meant. It was more a point in our times, as to why people don't practice safe sex.

I'll never forget how my 10th grade english teacher used to describe love - "Mutual Usury." I'll help you, talk to you, make you feel important. You just do the same for me.

Did I mention he was divorced?

'Mutuall Usury', isn't the way I would define love.

Achilles
05-25-2008, 12:15 AM
Love, I think is trying to achieve what is best for the other person as far as it can be obtained. My 2 cents on the definition :) There's a difference between being part of someone's support system and being their entire support system. Healthy relationships allow for room, independence, and self-sufficiency. Again, what you're suggesting here is classic codependency type stuff.

Perhaps, I try to live out my vision of love, though most people would think me one of the most independant people they know. Though we are in many respects interconected with one another, and dependant on one another to an extent, why is codependancy so bad? There's a huge difference between being a partner in a relationship and being someone's caregiver. Being responsible for someone's well-being is all well and good when one goes by "mommy" or "daddy" but otherwise it tends to come with some nasty side-effects.

I can't speak for generations in the states, but my generation in the UK is in a poor way; not only is the education system a shambles, but enculturation is having a massively destructive impact, and no-one as far as I can see is even aware of this. I have my hypothesis as to why that is; Television, I think is a big culprit. *shrugs* FWIW, I honestly think that every generation thinks of previous generations in a "golden age" type of way. How does one compare Marilyn Manson to Alice Cooper to Ozzy Ozbourne to The Doors to The Beatles to Elvis. We look at Elvis and think "Elvis?! How the hell did Elvis end up on that list". Of course, that's because it's difficult for us to picture that outrage that parents had over Elvis Presley, The Beatles, etc.

I think chasing over to money, power and fame are all pointless endevours. Still not sure how that's related (in fact it appears that you simply repeated the last point with a few more words :)).

Take for example saving up for that bigger house; will it really make you happy? Toss this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism) unto your summer reading pile.

I dunno if you consider my below responces ontopic or not.. however I do :p :D

Please elaborate, I don't quite follow what you mean by esteem? How to tell when people don't click on the links that you provide for them, part 1. :)

Esteem needs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs#Esteem_needs)

I think you misunderstand me, if you think I'm saying love is easy, or that its all 'nicey nicey'. What I am saying is that you cannot use someone's fiction as a baseline for what "love" should look like in the real world.

I've tryed to rectify that at the start of the topic, though in some senses the thread was a debate over what people think love means anyways. :) To be honest, you seem to largely be figuring that out as you go along, so no, I don't think it's been operationally defined. I am all for the debate though :D

Jae Onasi
05-25-2008, 06:42 PM
What is love and what does it mean?
It is so much more than oxytocin. It is so much more than oxytocin, neuroanatomy, and electrophysiology combined, since just the hormone alone doesn't even begin to come close to explaining love. A baby has to be exposed to and experience love in order for him or her to develop properly not only psychologically but at the very neuronal level, so clearly love is much more than just one's own biochemistry and anatomy.

1 Corinthians 13 describes love beautifully:
1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love is the ultimate ethic, and this is reflected in laws of many cultures and religions. If you love your neighbor, you don't steal from him. You don't hurt him. You don't screw around with his wife. You don't hurt his children. You don't speak ill of him or lie about him or to him. If you love your parents unconditionally, you show respect to them and love them, just as they gave love to you. If you love your spouse, you cherish him or her, stay with him or her, don't abuse or cheat on him or her, and you help your spouse to grow and develop personally and with you as a couple. If you love your children you help them grow and develop properly into adults, and love them unconditionally when they screw up.

If the ultimate ethic is love, it allows for and explains things like altruism and that supreme sacrifice of oneself to save others when the situation allows no other option.

To address dysfunctional relationships as noted above--love does not mean you allow someone to abuse you or treat you badly without repercussions, but it does allow you to forgive them even as you remove yourself from the situation to prevent further destructive behaviors.

Love means giving yourself to others, not because you expect anything back, but because God loves us and wants to share love with us, and wants us to reflect and share His love with others. For those not religiously inclined, it means giving yourself to others because humanity is precious and greatly in need of love, and withholding it only makes us lesser both individually and as a people.

Achilles
05-26-2008, 12:03 AM
It is so much more than oxytocin.I'm sure it's possible there are other chemicals and horomones involved as well.

It is so much more than oxytocin, neuroanatomy, and electrophysiology combined, since just the hormone alone doesn't even begin to come close to explaining love. Why not? On what basis can you objectively rule out these other factors (which you would have to do in order to establish that there is "more")?

A baby has to be exposed to and experience love in order for him or her to develop properly not only psychologically but at the very neuronal level, so clearly love is much more than just one's own biochemistry and anatomy. Perhaps being exposed to affection (love isn't a tangible thing) helps the emotional centers in the brain to develop. If that were the case, then that would explain why affection and bonding are critical to child development while keeping it within the explorable boundaries of biochemistry and anatomy, would it not?

1 Corinthians 13 describes love beautifully:
<snip>While that is lovely, I wonder why I should consider Paul an authority on love.

Love is the ultimate ethic, I don't know about that :)

...and this is reflected in laws of many cultures and religions. It would seem that empathy is anyway.

If the ultimate ethic is love, it allows for and explains things like altruism and that supreme sacrifice of oneself to save others when the situation allows no other option. Empathy, duty, and even ego are explanations as well.

Love means giving yourself to others, not because you expect anything back, but because God loves us and wants to share love with us, and wants us to reflect and share His love with others. For those not religiously inclined, it means giving yourself to others because humanity is precious and greatly in need of love, and withholding it only makes us lesser both individually and as a people.The reasoning seems circular, but I like the image that the sentiment creates. Thanks for sharing it!

Salzella
05-26-2008, 07:55 AM
I'll never forget how my 10th grade english teacher used to describe love - "Mutual Usury."

A minor spelling mistake and that would be pretty amusing :xp:

Q
05-26-2008, 10:39 AM
I'll never forget how my 10th grade english teacher used to describe love - "Mutual Usury." I'll help you, talk to you, make you feel important. You just do the same for me.

Did I mention he was divorced?I've always referred to it as "emotional codependency" myself, but then at least I've had the good sense to not get married with such an attitude. ;)

In my experience it's just a lie that people tell each other when they feel the need to justify their "mutual usury." Whereas God is capable of love (maybe, if you believe in that sort of thing), and Dog is capable of love (definitely), mankind is only capable of BS.

"Mutual usury." Yeah, I like that.

Samuel Dravis
05-27-2008, 01:07 PM
Whereas God is capable of love (maybe, if you believe in that sort of thing), and Dog is capable of love (definitely), mankind is only capable of BS.That's a strange way of looking at it. A God's love is very different from a person's (in demonstration if not description), and it's the same with a dog's love. "Only?" I tend to think that it would be a bad idea to use that viewpoint. It's unnecessarily limited.

Corinthian
05-27-2008, 01:33 PM
I wonder when it became wise to hate humanity.

mimartin
05-27-2008, 02:16 PM
So what is love?
Please forgive if this looks like spam, but it is the best description of what I believe love is.

Love is hard work, but usual worth the effort.

Q
05-27-2008, 03:04 PM
I was in a particularly foul mood yesterday when I typed that post and a foul mood tends to distort my perception (it paints it black) and decision-making (like posting things I shouldn't).

Pay it no mind.

Gurges-Ahter
05-27-2008, 03:24 PM
I think it has some validity, Qliveur, even if it was written during a time when you were in a bad mood. I am married and do feel like I "love" my wife, but it's certainly different than the way I "love" my children. I agree with Samuel Dravis that the "only" should be removed. The "love" for my children is not BS; it's closer to the "love" you describe from a dog or God, I think, rather than the "love" people have for a spouse/significant other.

EnderWiggin
05-27-2008, 08:20 PM
I think it has some validity, Qliveur, even if it was written during a time when you were in a bad mood. I am married and do feel like I "love" my wife, but it's certainly different than the way I "love" my children. I agree with Samuel Dravis that the "only" should be removed. The "love" for my children is not BS; it's closer to the "love" you describe from a dog or God, I think, rather than the "love" people have for a spouse/significant other.

I would agree that it has some validity.

Here's another quote that I have:
A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love.
Interestingly enough, when I first heard this quote, I attacked it vehemently. I made the case that the only love that can be cured by looking closer is a love that never existed. But on the other hand, mutual usury has a certain ring to it.


It is so much more than oxytocin.

I agree. I think oxytocin plays a big part, but I think the entire process has something more to it. Else we'd understand it a lot better, no?

_EW_

Achilles
05-27-2008, 08:23 PM
I agree. I think oxytocin plays a big part, but I think the entire process has something more to it. Else we'd understand it a lot better, no?This assumes that we have a very good understanding of how the brain works. An assumption not shared by people that actually study the brain/behavior :D

EnderWiggin
05-27-2008, 08:29 PM
This assumes that we have a very good understanding of how the brain works. An assumption not shared by people that actually study the brain/behavior :D

Yeah, I understand that. That's kind of what I mean. If it were just the levels of oxytocin in the brain, then wouldn't it be quite easy to see that?

I do admit I'm not well versed in the intricacies of neuroscience, but...

I think the reason that we don't understand the brain better may be just that. There may be more to it then just chemicals.

_EW_

Achilles
05-27-2008, 08:43 PM
Yeah, I understand that. That's kind of what I mean. If it were just the levels of oxytocin in the brain, then wouldn't it be quite easy to see that? Perhaps yes and perhaps no.

Suppose you one day found the cure for cancer scribbled out in a language that you didn't recognize. Would you immediately know what it was or would you first need to spend years learning the language, then years learning the science before you could then truly understand what was being said?

If you've seen the movie Contact, perhaps you could draw a similar analogy with the message, blueprints, and eventual "ship".

This is a poor analogy because it suggests that someone else first had the answer and wrote it down, but I'm hoping you'll overlook this in order to see the point.

I think the reason that we don't understand the brain better may be just that. There may be more to it then just chemicals. I would tend to agree with the words, however since I'm not quite clear on the sentiment I'll have to hold off on providing my endorsement :)

Think about it this way: What part of the flashlight is light? None of it. Combine the right components in the right way and you have a piece of hardware capable of producing light but to say that the light is "more" than the flashlight is false because without the flashlight, the light doesn't exist.

We see the light and we see the flashlight but we refuse to accept that the light we see is a product of the flashlight itself.

My 2 cents.

EnderWiggin
05-27-2008, 08:51 PM
Perhaps yes and perhaps no.

Suppose you one day found the cure for cancer scribbled out in a language that you didn't recognize. Would you immediately know what it was or would you first need to spend years learning the language, then years learning the science before you could then truly understand what was being said?

If you've seen the movie Contact, perhaps you could draw a similar analogy with the message, blueprints, and eventual "ship".

This is a poor analogy because it suggests that someone else first had the answer and wrote it down, but I'm hoping you'll overlook this in order to see the point.


Yes, I understand what you're saying, but along those lines: After you researched and studied and learned some about the language, wouldn't you think you'd pick up on enough to give you an inkling that it's the cure for cancer - or for that matter, just a recipe for soup?

I'm under the impression that we know enough about the brain to say more about love than "Dunno" and shrugging our shoulders. I think that if it was just the oxytocin levels, we'd know that by now.


I would tend to agree with the words, however since I'm not quite clear on the sentiment I'll have to hold of on providing my endorsement :)


What do you mean?


Think about it this way: What part of the flashlight is light? None of it. Combine the right components in the right way and you have a piece of hardware capable of producing light but to say that the light is "more" than the flashlight is false because without the flashlight, the light doesn't exist.

We see the light and we see the flashlight but we refuse to accept that the light we see is a product of the flashlight itself.


I understand your points. I recognize your analogy. However, since neither of us know whether or not it's veritable, it doesn't really convince me all that much. And I'd dispute the point that the light is 'more' than the flashlight itself. I think it's a product of the components, which is something more.

Again, that's working in the analogy. I personally don't think our brain is as simple as a light bulb.



My 2 cents.

And mine as well. Thanks for reading.

_EW_

Achilles
05-27-2008, 09:05 PM
Yes, I understand what you're saying, but along those lines: After you researched and studied and learned some about the language, wouldn't you think you'd pick up on enough to give you an inkling that it's the cure for cancer - or for that matter, just a recipe for soup? Yes, but you're assuming that we're at the end of that process instead of somewhere in the middle (which is where the expert guess they are, not knowing where the finish line is and all :)).

I'm under the impression that we know enough about the brain to say more about love than "Dunno" and shrugging our shoulders. I think that if it was just the oxytocin levels, we'd know that by now.I suppose I can't force you to abandon your assumptions, however I will point out that progress is not hitched to your expectations :)

What do you mean? It means that I might agree with the sentiment "there may be more to it than just chemicals", but not in the same sense that you meant it. Clearly the light is the product of the flashlight, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is "more" than the flashlight.

I understand your points. I recognize your analogy. However, since neither of us know whether or not it's veritable, it doesn't really convince me all that much. It's not my job to convince you :)

And yes, I recognize that my thinking on the matter is still largely speculative (at least speculative within my range of understanding as a former a psych major. The experts might say that I'm pretty much on track), however I will challenge you to ask yourself which line of thinking makes more sense.

And I'd dispute the point that the light is 'more' than the flashlight itself. I think it's a product of the components, which is something more. Feel free to dispute any thing at any time :)

Would you mind expanding on your argument?

Again, that's working in the analogy. I personally don't think our brain is as simple as a light bulb. Neither do I, as the lightbulb is only one component of the flashlight :xp:

And mine as well. Thanks for reading. Great post, EW. Thanks for your reply.

EnderWiggin
05-27-2008, 09:25 PM
Yes, but you're assuming that we're at the end of that process instead of somewhere in the middle (which is where the expert guess they are, not knowing where the finish line is and all :)).

I suppose I can't force you to abandon your assumptions, however I will point out that progress is not hitched to your expectations :)

Both good points.

Cuddy: "How is it that you always assume you're right?
House: "I don't, I just find it hard to operate on the opposite assumption.

That quote comes to mind. It just makes more sense to me that way.


It means that I might agree with the sentiment "there may be more to it than just chemicals", but not in the same sense that you meant it. Clearly the light is the product of the flashlight, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is "more" than the flashlight.

So you're saying you think it might be more than chemicals, but only in the sense that hydrogen and oxygen gas combine with electricity to form water? And you furthermore think that the water is neither more nor less than the hydrogen and oxygen apart from one another? Just trying to clarify for my own sake.


It's not my job to convince you :)

Doesn't stop you from trying :)


And yes, I recognize that my thinking on the matter is still largely speculative (at least speculative within my range of understanding as a former a psych major. The experts might say that I'm pretty much on track), however I will challenge you to ask yourself which line of thinking makes more sense.
Didn't realize you were a psych major, but looking back on it (and the fact that you bring up fallacies of logic sometimes) it's a bit more obvious now. :D

I think that the reason we disagree here is the same reason we disagree about religion. You don't believe that there's something bigger out there, and the same is true here. Whereas I believe in God and the belief that love is 'bigger' than the brain itself.

Not really sure what the reason actually is, however.


Would you mind expanding on your argument?


Sure. In my opinion, the light produced by the flashlight is something that is unconnected to the components of the flashlight itself. The components allow the light to be created, but the light itself is something more than just the components - it takes the flow of electrons, which in my eyes, is the higher existence of love that we don't understand.

Hmm. Now I'm starting to confuse myself.


Neither do I, as the lightbulb is only one component of the flashlight :xp:

Semantics. :D You knew what I meant.


Great post, EW. Thanks for your reply.
To you as well.

_EW_

Achilles
05-27-2008, 10:00 PM
So you're saying you think it might be more than chemicals, but only in the sense that hydrogen and oxygen gas combine with electricity to form water? And you furthermore think that the water is neither more nor less than the hydrogen and oxygen apart from one another? Just trying to clarify for my own sake. I think you might be able to use the word "more" in the context of synergy, but not in the sense of there being something "separate" or "independent" that transcends. I hope that helps to clarify.

Didn't realize you were a psych major, but looking back on it (and the fact that you bring up fallacies of logic sometimes) it's a bit more obvious now. :D If the topic change to law/criminal justice, or information systems, we can touch on some of my other majors as well :D

I was in school for a looong time before I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I think that the reason we disagree here is the same reason we disagree about religion. You don't believe that there's something bigger out there, and the same is true here. Whereas I believe in God and the belief that love is 'bigger' than the brain itself. Probably. The same standards of evidence still apply though. You can't run from them by changing the subject :D

In order to present a viable argument for love being "more", you have to be able to rule out what it is not (much the same way that detective rules out suspects rather than builds a case against just one at the beginning). While intangible explanations aren't really testable (and therefore guesswork by default), explanations that have some foundation in the physical world can be tested and therefore more useful.

Sure. In my opinion, the light produced by the flashlight is something that is unconnected to the components of the flashlight itself. So what happens when you hit the button but the battery is dead? Can you still produce light? (i.e. can a dead person feel love).

What about if the bulb is manufactured with a flaw (such as a bad filament) and the flashlight cannot produces light? (i.e. do sociopaths feel love?).

If love is more than the product of chemical reactions in the brain and light is more than the product of component in a flashlight, then we should have pretty good explanations for where "love" goes when someone dies or where "light" goes when the juice runs out.

The components allow the light to be created, but the light itself is something more than just the components - it takes the flow of electrons, which in my eyes, is the higher existence of love that we don't understand. We have evidence for electrons :D

Try again ;)

Semantics. :D You knew what I meant. Indeed I did, but I think you may have missed my meaning :)

EnderWiggin
05-27-2008, 10:28 PM
I think you might be able to use the word "more" in the context of synergy, but not in the sense of there being something "separate" or "independent" that transcends. I hope that helps to clarify.

I think I agree.


If the topic change to law/criminal justice, or information systems, we can touch on some of my other majors as well :D
I was in school for a looong time before I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up.


All three interesting fields.


Probably. The same standards of evidence still apply though. You can't run from them by changing the subject :D

In order to present a viable argument for love being "more", you have to be able to rule out what it is not (much the same way that detective rules out suspects rather than builds a case against just one at the beginning). While intangible explanations aren't really testable (and therefore guesswork by default), explanations that have some foundation in the physical world can be tested and therefore more useful.


For right now, I'm going to have to let this be. I realize what you're saying about burden of proof, but I'm going to go to bed now instead.


So what happens when you hit the button but the battery is dead? Can you still produce light? (i.e. can a dead person feel love).

Ready for this cop out? I think that once a person dies, their soul doesn't need the earthly components of the brain to produce the 'light' of love.


What about if the bulb is manufactured with a flaw (such as a bad filament) and the flashlight cannot produces light? (i.e. do sociopaths feel love?).


IMHO, they do - it's just flawed.


If love is more than the product of chemical reactions in the brain and light is more than the product of component in a flashlight, then we should have pretty good explanations for where "love" goes when someone dies or where "light" goes when the juice runs out.

.... I'll work on this later.


We have evidence for electrons :D

Try again ;)


Hmm. I feel like we were talking in an analogy, and you totally ruined it. I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, but I don't think it's relevant. :)

Maybe you could explain further, however the counterargument "no" just doesn't resonate with me all that well. ;)

Indeed I did, but I think you may have missed my meaning :)

Well then. Please enlighten me. :)

_EW_

Achilles
05-27-2008, 10:46 PM
Ready for this cop out? I think that once a person dies, their soul doesn't need the earthly components of the brain to produce the 'light' of love. Okay, but where does it go? What evidence do you have that it goes there?

IMHO, they do - it's just flawed. That's fine too, but what does the research say?

Nevermind. Scratch that. Let's ignore what the research says and instead focus on why you think it's flawed. Because god infuses them with love differently or because they have some physiological abnormality? If we can show that all sociopathic people share a physiological abnormality, is it more likely that this is just a bizarre coincidence or might we feel comfortable proceeding with our research as though a causal relationship might exist?

... I'll work on this later. Okay.

Hmm. I feel like we were talking in an analogy, and you totally ruined it. I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, but I don't think it's relevant. :) I took your comment to mean that just as electricity powers the lightbulb to create light, god powers the soul to create love (or something like that). My point was we have evidence for electricity (and by way of comparison, we do not have evidence for god).

Rest well. Talk to you later.

Jae Onasi
05-27-2008, 11:08 PM
I'm sure it's possible there are other chemicals and horomones involved as well. Possible? Try estrogen, testosterone, dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline/norepinephrine, vasopressin....However, chemistry levels alone are inadequate to explain love. If that were the case, if we had the same chemistry levels we would expect people to exhibit the same level of love. You can have people with the same amounts of brain chemicals, but they aren't going to experience emotions or love the same way. That's because the brain pathways, the neuroanatomy, is laid down differently in each individual's brain. The neuroanatomy has as much an influence as the chemicals, and possibly more. Let me give you an eye example since I know that best. Children develop 'lazy eye', or amblyopia, because early in life the eye did not receive a clear picture. That could be because of a cataract, a turned eye that didn't allow the picture to focus on the macula (which is the part of the retina where we normally have our best vision), or a very different prescription in that eye so that the picture in that eye was always blurred. In order for the vision centers in the brain to develop properly, there has to be a clear picture coming from the eye. For reasons we don't completely understand yet, the clear picture allows the neurons to branch out and make more connections with other neurons. The more branches we have, the better our vision becomes as our brains mature. People with one normal eye and one amblyopic eye have a normal amount of neuronal branching in the visual centers for that eye, and a much lower amount of branching in the part of the brain that handles the amblyopic eye. So in this case, the brain chemicals are the same for both eyes, but the neuroanatomy is not, and the resultant vision is not. In the case of love, 2 people could have the same exact amount of neurochemicals, but they aren't going to have the same level of love if their brain anatomy is different.

Why not? On what basis can you objectively rule out these other factors (which you would have to do in order to establish that there is "more")?Minnesota twin study. Identical twins, who have the same genetic makeup and very similar environmental influences if raised together, and thus would have nearly identical anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, are no more likely to pick similar mates than random pairs of non-twins. If they experienced love identically or nearly so, they would pick similar mates.

Perhaps being exposed to affection (love isn't a tangible thing) helps the emotional centers in the brain to develop. If that were the case, then that would explain why affection and bonding are critical to child development while keeping it within the explorable boundaries of biochemistry and anatomy, would it not? I don't know that I'd separate affection and love--I think affection is a level of love. Can you show true affection without loving someone?

While that is lovely, I wonder why I should consider Paul an authority on love.Why do we need to be 'an authority' to be able to express our thoughts and feelings about love? Do PhDs know anything more about love than the rest of us who have experienced it? I've seen kids who are able to show love to others better than some college professors.

I don't know about that :)It's my opinion on it. :)

Empathy, duty, and even ego are explanations as well. What is empathy, but love for humanity allowing you to put yourself in their shoes? What is duty, but love for one's country/freedom/family/ideal? What is ego, but love for oneself?

The reasoning seems circular, but I like the image that the sentiment creates. Thanks for sharing it!It would appear circular stating it that way. Any number of medical and marriage studies show that giving and receiving love both are necessary for personal (physical, mental, and psychological) and marital health. Humanity needs love, we as individuals need to give and receive love. Perhaps love isn't subject to the sterile emotionless rules on circular logic.


Flashlights--they're just vehicles for changing electrical energy to light energy (or chemical to electrical to light if you're including batteries). All the flashlight did was convert one type of energy (electric or electrochemical) to another type (electromagnetic energy) that our eyes happen to be able perceive. It's also an inadequate analogy for the brain.

We're in the middle of our understanding of brain? Hubel and Wiesel have done a lot of work on the visual cortex and visual processing. What did they get their Nobel prize for in '81? They received it for learning how cats and monkeys are able to perceive the orientation of one single line. We're just starting to learn how genetics code pigments in the eye incorrectly leading to color blindness, or how genetics incorrectly code a chemical in retinal cells that lead to the development of retinitis pigmentosa. We still don't completely understand how the brain processes color vision, binocular vision/depth perception, or how it takes all these lines from the ocular dominance columns and actually turn those into what we perceive as 'sailboat' vs. 'book' vs. 'dad'. We still don't completely understand all the biochemistry, neuroanatomy, or electrophysiology. We've learned a lot, but we have so much farther to travel than the distance we've already covered.

Achilles
05-28-2008, 12:05 AM
Possible? Try estrogen, testosterone, dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline/norepinephrine, vasopressin....However, chemistry levels alone are inadequate to explain love. I'm still waiting for an explanation as to why this is true.

If that were the case, if we had the same chemistry levels we would expect people to exhibit the same level of love. The reasoning seems sound. How would we measure love though? Kinda makes it tough to test your hypothesis :(

You can have people with the same amounts of brain chemicals, but they aren't going to experience emotions or love the same way. While this is probably true, I'd like to know what evidence you have to back up your assertion. If this experience is completely subjective, then I'm sure it's possible that two people could experience it the same way. Even if they don't, how do we measure differentiation? How do we determine what degree of variation is statistically significant? Is knowing any of this even slightly important? If your answer is "no", then I have to ask why you would choose to pick that battle by presenting this argument.

That's because the brain pathways, the neuroanatomy, is laid down differently in each individual's brain. The neuroanatomy has as much an influence as the chemicals, and possibly more. Yet somehow we all manage to associate "smiling" with "happy", etc.

In the case of love, 2 people could have the same exact amount of neurochemicals, but they aren't going to have the same level of love if their brain anatomy is different. Just so I'm understanding this correctly, are you positing that the variation in "love" of two "normal" people is as pronounced as someone with two normal eyes compared to someone with a lazy eye?

Surely people that that have two normal eyes have roughly the same development process even though their brains are not precisely the same in every way, right?

Minnesota twin study. Identical twins, who have the same genetic makeup and very similar environmental influences if raised together, and thus would have nearly identical anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, are no more likely to pick similar mates than random pairs of non-twins. If they experienced love identically or nearly so, they would pick similar mates. I'm afraid the example does not address the question. Nothing here rules out naturally occurring physical processes (which was the argument that you made when you said that it had to be more than naturally occurring physical processes).

I don't know that I'd separate affection and love--I think affection is a level of love. Can you show true affection without loving someone?Sticking with the example I provided, yes I would argue that newborns are not instinctually affectionate. They instinctually know to be close to us, etc, but that isn't the same thing. Case in point: I'm sure you remember the first time that your children gave you a hug or a kiss. By demonstrating the behavior for our offspring, their development is affected (much the way you outlined with lazy eyes vs non-lazy eyes above), and they subsequently learn how to be affectional/feel love.

Why do we need to be 'an authority' to be able to express our thoughts and feelings about love? Do PhDs know anything more about love than the rest of us who have experienced it? I've seen kids who are able to show love to others better than some college professors. You were the one that presented his comments as though they should have some significance. If you find the words of a child or someone with a Ph.D more profound, then perhaps you should have posted those instead (however I'd probably ask for their qualifications as well).

It's my opinion on it. :) Fair enough :)

What is empathy, but love for humanity allowing you to put yourself in their shoes? Love is not prerequisite for empathy. Empathy is the ability to put oneself in another shoes. Whether love is a motivation for doing so or not is a completely separate question. Have you ever noticed that incredibly manipulative people tend to be pretty empathetic?

What is duty, but love for one's country/freedom/family/ideal?Sometimes duty is just duty. Sometimes it is motivated by love but sometimes it is motivated by a the knowledge that failure to perform one's duty will result in harm, punishment, loss of prestiege, etc.

What is ego, but love for oneself? While ego can lead to narcissism, that isn't always the case. If ego (or being the big shot) can motivate someone to act selflessly then I don't think your example applies.

It would appear circular stating it that way. Any number of medical and marriage studies show that giving and receiving love both are necessary for personal (physical, mental, and psychological) and marital health. Humanity needs love, we as individuals need to give and receive love. Perhaps love isn't subject to the sterile emotionless rules on circular logic. Indeed it makes a great deal of sense that if we developed emotional centers in the brain that relationships that stimulated those centers would be preferable.

The argument that we have love because we need love because we have love (because we need love because we...) seems circular. Again, I could also just be missing something in the translation too, which is why I said "seems" before.


Flashlights--they're just vehicles for changing electrical energy to light energy (or chemical to electrical to light if you're including batteries). All the flashlight did was convert one type of energy (electric or electrochemical) to another type (electromagnetic energy) that our eyes happen to be able perceive.
Brains--they're just highly evolved nerve centers capable of transmitting and interpreting a vast number of signal which are transmitted via chemical reactions. All the brain has done is register a certain chemical reaction in one region and associate it with a physiological response that current language happens to associate with the word "love". It works when I do it too :)

It's also an inadequate analogy for the brain. Why is that? We have physical components and chemical reactions. The two working together are capable of producing something that is not "inherent" (not sure what word to use here) to the components or the ingredients themselves (consciousness, emotions, light, etc.). I'm rather fond of the analogy and would hate to get rid of it, however if it truly does not work, then I need to find a new one ASAP.

We're in the middle of our understanding of brain? Hubel and Wiesel have done a lot of work on the visual cortex and visual processing. What did they get their Nobel prize for in '81? They received it for learning how cats and monkeys are able to perceive the orientation of one single line. We're just starting to learn how genetics code pigments in the eye incorrectly leading to color blindness, or how genetics incorrectly code a chemical in retinal cells that lead to the development of retinitis pigmentosa. We still don't completely understand how the brain processes color vision, binocular vision/depth perception, or how it takes all these lines from the ocular dominance columns and actually turn those into what we perceive as 'sailboat' vs. 'book' vs. 'dad'. We still don't completely understand all the biochemistry, neuroanatomy, or electrophysiology. We've learned a lot, but we have so much farther to travel than the distance we've already covered.This part of your post is simply awesome. Thanks for helping to keep our current progress in perspective.

Totenkopf
05-28-2008, 12:25 AM
Love is not prerequisite for empathy. Empathy is the ability to put oneself in another shoes. Whether love is a motivation for doing so or not is a completely separate question. Have you ever noticed that incredibly manipulative people tend to be pretty empathetic?

If empathy is little more than the ability to place yourself in another's shoes, what value as a basis for a moral code? One could easily imagine themself in someone else's postion and still do horrible things to that person, manipulating even themselves into rationalizing their own behavior.


While ego can lead to narcissism, that isn't always the case. If ego (or being the big shot) can motivate someone to act selflessly then I don't think your example applies.

If ego is the motivation, then it's entirely all too possible that the act only appears selfless to the uninformed.