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Thread: What is love?

  1. #51
    DQ 1337 Member codbarley's Avatar
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    I think love is actually a translation of a greek word for vagina or something. I forgot where I heard that though.

  2. #52
    Cynical Puppeteer Victory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Thank you for your concern, but it is actually quite sturdy. And yes, that was a given. Love is a transformative experience. My definition purposefully excludes "love" that does not provoke change of some kind, because I do not consider that love.
    I'll go as far as say that non-platonic love changes you emotionally, but love does not require or mandate change in your actions or your behavior from your normal character. There's a very vast difference between saying that this change is likely and saying that is is required for it to be dignified your special title of love. Also, please refrain from impertinence - you are not omniscient and cannot hope to righteously judge and classify the importance or sincerity of other people's feelings based on a rigid set of rules. So keep the quotation marks to yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I would be interested in discussing this further though, since you seem to have a great deal more in mind. Were you thinking of a particular example of a relationship which is generally accepted to be a loving one but does not involve change?
    Children have a very strong and natural emotional bond with their parents from birth and, when capable, they enjoy helping their parents for no other personal gain than that they enjoy it. Let's remember that the change we're speaking of here is a change away from your natural character, from what is expected of you normally and there is no such change present in loving your parents since we will instinctively love a nurturing caregiver. In fact, love is our natural character - and some people just happen to love themselves more than they love others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    This is perfectly consistent with my carefully-worded definition. It doesn't say that love is the only thing that encourages kindness or going out of your way to help. It says that love is a) an emotional bond (so if you are doing it for reasons that are not based on an emotional connection it's right out) and b) it encourages altruistic behavior (so if you do not feel moved to benefit the one you love it's right out). Both aspects are required and the altruism is particularly tricky, we may get into a discussion about what constitutes altruism as well, and some people may bring in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_egoism, but I don't really want to get into that so I am stating for the record here: regardless of your personal beliefs about altruism, for the purposes of my definition altruism = the thing at work when you create benefit for an entity other than yourself, at your own expense, without receiving adequate material or social compensation; mere pleasure from the joy of helping does not count as material or social compensation, but public respect and / or potential incurred favors count as social compensation.
    I once took a homeless woman in hand, walked to an ATM, gave her 50 dollars, hugged her and then went to work. I had an emotional bond with her and I did that just to help her... but I didn't love her. I cared for her, but caring is not the same as loving. See, if I'm capable of behaving this way without love, then behaving like that out of love is not a change from my character. It's unusual, but it's not removed from the person I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I already specified the reasons: altruism, see above bold text.
    Altruism is not synonymous with love and does not count as a retort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I agree on the first two points (passive love and contemptuous love) but I draw the line at love that is never expressed in any way. Love is about actions, not thoughts. In the case of passive or contemptuous love you might resist expressing love explicitly, i.e. in any way that would confirm to observers that you love them, but if you wouldn't still at least go out of your way to try to benefit them in subtler ways (possibly ways that said loved one would never know about) then it is not love under my definition, and I believe rightly so.
    Love is a feeling, not a sport. I should not have to prove to someone that I am in love, and going out of my way to help someone is not proof of love.

    Now before we go any further, I'd like to inform you that what you're suggesting is incredibly offensive to me and I will fight you bloody before I ever choose to accept a static, arrogant description of what love has to be to be accepted by someone else. So, before you reply, please understand that you and I are not friends in this argument and I would sooner sacrifice our relationship than concede to your totalitarian checklist of how a personal emotion is supposed to manifest to be "approved".

    Fuck you and have a nice fucking day.
    Last edited by Victory; March 4th, 2012 at 09:06 PM.

  3. #53
    Ex-staff member Polo's Avatar
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    Gee, emotions sure can make people go a little crazy, dontcha think?
    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    Do you have any idea how hard it is to make Madder praise the Beatles? I have been trying for three consecutive years to do that without success, but you managed it through the power of your wrongness. I'm kind of proud in a sick twisted way.
    Quote Originally Posted by codbarley View Post
    I mean, my brain is a real piece of work guys.

  4. #54
    Meow! DrunkCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Mine works just fine for polyandry, or any other kind of love, from parent-child love to platonic love between friends to your love for Nineteen Eighty-Four. I don't see the issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkCat
    Also yours I believe speaks in generality, the love towards a friend, a family member, a significant other. I was both being narrower (significant other(s)) but I was also broadening the term as to not limit by species/ideological beliefs.
    I was under the impression this thread was about 'romantic' love. Hence the above statement. Yours works fine for any love. Mine is meant to answer for one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I didn't say anything about imploring. It's descriptive, not a judgment. Strength of love = what you would do for the persons or the things that are loved, and how far removed from your typical character those actions are.

    But minus the word "implore" I absolutely can say that. It is a constant across all ideologies because it's the only tangible measure of love. Every culture's love stories are about altruistic deeds. If you wouldn't go even slightly out of your way to help somebody then how can any case possibly can be made that you love them?

    And... demanding a sandwich? What? I'm not following, when did demands become altruism?
    In a majority of monotheistic religions the female is regarded quintessentially as property. A woman need not love, even by your definition, to 'love' in said ideology; merely be subservient to her husband and family. Also, as a man, to love your wife would be to treat her as property as well. This is why I can't see it being a 'constant across all ideologies'. Unless you consider forced self-sacrificed to be altruism.

    Also, there are cases in which the only way to help someone is to do nothing. I'm agreeing with Vic on this one. Like I stated, love is a unification between two entities as one. So the simple act of loving the other is instantaneously transmitted without action other than feeling those chemicals. Not to say that expressions of love aren't valid; but they are susceptible to negative motivations.
    "To tell us that every species of thing is endowed with an occult specific quality by which it acts and produces manifest effects, is to tell us nothing; but to derive two or three general principles of motion from phenomena, and afterwards to tell us how the properties and actions of all corporeal things follow from those manifest principles, would be a very great step." -Issac Newton, Optics
    "You are what you do not do." - Relax.

  5. #55
    i am 12 and wat is this? Aval's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say your statement is incorrect Warren, but too broad to be definitive. I think this is what Vic is trying to articulate too.

    Alex, yours is kind of nebulous and prettier than it is meaningful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Polo View Post
    why the fuck can i never find what I'm after this is so gay

  6. #56
    Meow! DrunkCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    Alex, yours is kind of nebulous and prettier than it is meaningful.
    Exactly.
    "To tell us that every species of thing is endowed with an occult specific quality by which it acts and produces manifest effects, is to tell us nothing; but to derive two or three general principles of motion from phenomena, and afterwards to tell us how the properties and actions of all corporeal things follow from those manifest principles, would be a very great step." -Issac Newton, Optics
    "You are what you do not do." - Relax.

  7. #57
    i am 12 and wat is this? Aval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polo View Post
    why the fuck can i never find what I'm after this is so gay

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Also, please refrain from impertinence - you are not omniscient and cannot hope to righteously judge and classify the importance or sincerity of other people's feelings based on a rigid set of rules. So keep the quotation marks to yourself.
    Vic, I already said that this definition is neutral. It's not about righteousness. And no, I'm not omniscient, but I do know my own mind, what I consider to be love, and what I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Children have a very strong and natural emotional bond with their parents from birth and, when capable, they enjoy helping their parents for no other personal gain than that they enjoy it. Let's remember that the change we're speaking of here is a change away from your natural character, from what is expected of you normally and there is no such change present in loving your parents since we will instinctively love a nurturing caregiver. In fact, love is our natural character - and some people just happen to love themselves more than they love others.
    I see where you're coming from, but I don't think you're applying it quite the way I meant. Since a child's love for its parents begins so early, there is no control group to compare it to to demonstrate that the behavior is uncharacteristic; the transformative effect of love happens at imprinting. But the idea is rather: because the child loves zher parents, zhe goes out of the way to benefit them, in ways that zhe would not tend to go for folk that zhe does not love.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    I once took a homeless woman in hand, walked to an ATM, gave her 50 dollars, hugged her and then went to work. I had an emotional bond with her and I did that just to help her... but I didn't love her. I cared for her, but caring is not the same as loving. See, if I'm capable of behaving this way without love, then behaving like that out of love is not a change from my character. It's unusual, but it's not removed from the person I am.
    You draw a subtle distinction between caring and loving that I do not; I see care as a subset of love. I'm not sure that our disagreement extends very far beyond a choice of words.

    I frequently announce that I love everyone on DQ. If we switched mental dictionaries then I think I might not do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Altruism is not synonymous with love and does not count as a retort.
    I didn't say it was. It wasn't a retort, it was a response to "The difference isn't really how willing you are to go out of your way, but for what reasons." The reasons being altruism. I might have misunderstood the point you were making though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Love is a feeling, not a sport. I should not have to prove to someone that I am in love, and going out of my way to help someone is not proof of love.
    I don't see how being associated with actions needs to make it a sport, or demeans it in any other way that would merit such a comparison. I just believe actions speak louder than words, particularly unspoken ones. To be infatuated, yet unwilling to ever do anything to help the one with whom you are infatuated, does not seem like true love to me.

    (I don't mean to sound derogatory with the use of the word 'infatuated', I just needed a word other than 'love' to complete the sentence and it seemed like the least offensive relative.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Now before we go any further, I'd like to inform you that what you're suggesting is incredibly offensive to me and I will fight you bloody before I ever choose to accept a static, arrogant description of what love has to be to be accepted by someone else. So, before you reply, please understand that you and I are not friends in this argument and I would sooner sacrifice our relationship than concede to your totalitarian checklist of how a personal emotion is supposed to manifest to be "approved".

    Fuck you and have a nice fucking day.
    Well I won't fight you under any circumstances, bro. I am sorry to have offended you, but I can't take back things I have said while I still mean them. This is how I view love. No one's making you take my views as your own.

    I'm being cocky because I am proud of this definition and it's not often I have the self-confidence in a personal opinion to be cocky, so I enjoy it when it comes. I don't know whether it's mainly the cockiness, or mainly the view in and of itself, that hurt you so bad, but if it's the former then I can turn that shit off right now and hopefully we can forget this whole mess.
    Quote Originally Posted by C. S. Lewis
    When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

  9. #59
    Cynical Puppeteer Victory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Vic, I already said that this definition is neutral. It's not about righteousness. And no, I'm not omniscient, but I do know my own mind, what I consider to be love, and what I don't.
    The impertinence comes from the "love" part. If you wish to define love in a specific way, be my guest, but lets not trample on people's feelings by telling them that your love is better than their fake ones. It's not very loving behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I see where you're coming from, but I don't think you're applying it quite the way I meant. Since a child's love for its parents begins so early, there is no control group to compare it to to demonstrate that the behavior is uncharacteristic; the transformative effect of love happens at imprinting. But the idea is rather: because the child loves zher parents, zhe goes out of the way to benefit them, in ways that zhe would not tend to go for folk that zhe does not love.
    Not true. In an environment where the child feels safe, most children will help with basic physical activities like closing doors or picking up objects, even with perfect strangers, which has nothing to do with love. Children are naturally altruistic. A child doesn't express its love for the parent by doing physical labor, it does it much more by seeking comfort and safety and love from the parent. While this is a behavior and a sort of action, this is a natural, normal behavior that will stick with the child well past imprinting. I still feel safe when I hug my parents, because I recognize it from my childhood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I frequently announce that I love everyone on DQ. If we switched mental dictionaries then I think I might not do that.
    It's funny how you say that you love everyone on this forum, yet you do not actively go out of your way to act out your feelings. If love is defined by actions removed from your natural character and you love everyone, then why aren't you proving it? I wonder how much it would take to buy my affection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I didn't say it was. It wasn't a retort, it was a response to "The difference isn't really how willing you are to go out of your way, but for what reasons." The reasons being altruism. I might have misunderstood the point you were making though.
    Altruism is not a reason, but a contextual character trait. If I do something for someone, it's for a specific reason and not because I'm altruistic and just naturally better than others. It can be as easy as "because you wanted/need help" or "I just want to show this person I care," but altruism is never a reason for itself. If you do something specifically because you want to be altruistic, then you're licking very bad parts of your own anatomy - and your ego - and that's not altruism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I don't see how being associated with actions needs to make it a sport, or demeans it in any other way that would merit such a comparison. I just believe actions speak louder than words, particularly unspoken ones. To be infatuated, yet unwilling to ever do anything to help the one with whom you are infatuated, does not seem like true love to me.

    (I don't mean to sound derogatory with the use of the word 'infatuated', I just needed a word other than 'love' to complete the sentence and it seemed like the least offensive relative.)
    You're free to think that but it's not your call, it's ultimately up to the person who claims to have the emotion. While the burden of proof always lies with the party making a positive claim, he is under no obligation to prove anything unless he means to convince you. A person unwilling to help the person he loves does not sound like a person who wants to prove anything, it sounds either like someone with a serious emotional dilemma or a psychological disorder.

    Again, you can't claim to know people because they don't act like you want them to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Well I won't fight you under any circumstances, bro. I am sorry to have offended you, but I can't take back things I have said while I still mean them. This is how I view love. No one's making you take my views as your own.
    You're free to believe whatever you want and I'm free to be offended when you tell me that my feelings aren't real because they don't meet a list of bullshit conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I'm being cocky because I am proud of this definition and it's not often I have the self-confidence in a personal opinion to be cocky, so I enjoy it when it comes. I don't know whether it's mainly the cockiness, or mainly the view in and of itself, that hurt you so bad, but if it's the former then I can turn that shit off right now and hopefully we can forget this whole mess.
    How about you take your foot out of your mouth and instead shove it up your ass? Then I'll consider it even.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkCat View Post
    I was under the impression this thread was about 'romantic' love. Hence the above statement. Yours works fine for any love. Mine is meant to answer for one.
    Oh ok, sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkCat View Post
    In a majority of monotheistic religions the female is regarded quintessentially as property. A woman need not love, even by your definition, to 'love' in said ideology; merely be subservient to her husband and family. Also, as a man, to love your wife would be to treat her as property as well. This is why I can't see it being a 'constant across all ideologies'. Unless you consider forced self-sacrificed to be altruism.
    Oh ok, I get you now. Firstly that's not in any way exclusive to monotheism, patriarchy has been in practically all cultures regardless of creed, even Buddha was reluctant to ordain women and thought they were inherently less enlightened than men; but the thing is, I am pretty sure that even in such societies there was acknowledgement that marriages, particularly arranged marriages, did not necessarily imply love between married individuals, and in fact they produced much drama and art relating to the divergence between the two. See Greek eros and agape for instance, and Helen's relationship with Paris vs. with Menelaus.

    Opinions on the appropriateness of sexual love, insofar as it conflicts with other things, have changed--I don't think that the idea of what love is has.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkCat View Post
    Also, there are cases in which the only way to help someone is to do nothing.
    Yes but as far as defining love goes it's about the intent, not the results. If you are in love, you will do as your judgment indicates to help the other person, including doing nothing if that is what your judgment demands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    The impertinence comes from the "love" part. If you wish to define love in a specific way, be my guest, but lets not trample on people's feelings by telling them that your love is better than their fake ones. It's not very loving behavior.
    Blaargh, again, neutral, not 'better'! I like this definition because it encapsulates my personal feelings, and also most of what is meant in human artistic media / conversations about love, and thus it is linguistically useful. No definition of something so abstract is ever going to be perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Not true. In an environment where the child feels safe, most children will help with basic physical activities like closing doors or picking up objects, even with perfect strangers, which has nothing to do with love. Children are naturally altruistic.
    Most of the adults I know are inclined to do the same things. I think that falls more under politeness than altruism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    A child doesn't express its love for the parent by doing physical labor, it does it much more by seeking comfort and safety and love from the parent. While this is a behavior and a sort of action, this is a natural, normal behavior that will stick with the child well past imprinting. I still feel safe when I hug my parents, because I recognize it from my childhood.
    No no, it's precisely because it stays past imprinting that demonstrates that it was the consequence of a profound transformative effect; the child and parent will continue this type of behavior as long as they are in the state of familial love. And you brought up the idea of physical labor, not me, I would never suggest the means of expressing love are that limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    It's funny how you say that you love everyone on this forum, yet you do not actively go out of your way to act out your feelings. If love is defined by actions removed from your natural character and you love everyone, then why aren't you proving it? I wonder how much it would take to buy my affection.
    There's no need to straw man me. I was clear that this isn't about buying anyone's affection, if you are in love then the affection or lack thereof doesn't come into it, except insofar as abuse or lack of affection have the potential to end love (which they don't always necessarily have).

    I think your idea of "proving it" is similarly misplaced here. It's not about the one in love proving anything, since in many cases there would be no observers to prove it to, kind of a "if a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it" type deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Altruism is not a reason, but a contextual character trait. If I do something for someone, it's for a specific reason and not because I'm altruistic and just naturally better than others. It can be as easy as "because you wanted/need help" or "I just want to show this person I care," but altruism is never a reason for itself. If you do something specifically because you want to be altruistic, then you're licking very bad parts of your own anatomy - and your ego - and that's not altruism.
    Now we're into the territory of psychological egoism that I wanted to avoid. I don't want to derail this into a discussion of the nature of altruism, but for the purposes of this discussion said ego-stroking still counts as altruism, assuming that's the only reward you get; I'm not asking that anybody agree with me on that, I just want people to understand that's what I am talking about when I say 'altruism'. I very strongly believe that character is about the choices you make, rather than how you feel about stuff.



    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    You're free to think that but it's not your call, it's ultimately up to the person who claims to have the emotion. While the burden of proof always lies with the party making a positive claim, he is under no obligation to prove anything unless he means to convince you.
    Again, it's not about proving anything to other people. In practice it's impossible to demonstrate that someone is not passively in love. This definition doesn't resolve that, nothing can. There is a degree of nebulousness to love, but, just as I don't think it's appropriate to acknowledge artistic merit in every single creative work just because some people enjoy it and there is some subjectivity inherent in art, I don't think it's appropriate to acknowledge every claim of love as true solely on the basis that the one in love thinks so and there is some subjectivity inherent in love.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    A person unwilling to help the person he loves does not sound like a person who wants to prove anything, it sounds either like someone with a serious emotional dilemma or a psychological disorder.
    In the case of the first, I would argue it is usually because of something else that zhe loves which is in opposition with the first person or thing zhe loves. (I consider things like duty to be subsets of love)

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    You're free to believe whatever you want and I'm free to be offended when you tell me that my feelings aren't real because they don't meet a list of bullshit conditions.

    How about you take your foot out of your mouth and instead shove it up your ass? Then I'll consider it even.
    I didn't say they weren't real. Feelings are always real. I would just refer to some of them by another word than you would. And whatever the case, since we have acknowledged there is freedom all 'round in here, we ought to agree that the word 'totalitarian' was totally unnecessary earlier.

    My foot is not in my mouth here. I don't regret anything I've said and I think it's unreasonable of you to be acting this way about it, since feelings that I would consider to be love are invalidated by DC's definition just as much as yours are invalidated by mine, but you don't see me telling him to take it back or risk ending our friendship, because I'm still interested in what he has to say. This is a philosophical discussion thread about a very personal topic where a lot of people are going to be baring their souls, so I checked my emotions at the door before I entered and figured that everyone else would do the same, like we usually do to help create a safe intellectual environment.

    But all of that said, I would much rather be your friend than get the last word in one philosophical discussion. If you really cannot let me talk about this without holding it against me, then my foot is poised neatly between my buttocks and ready for the plunge.
    Quote Originally Posted by C. S. Lewis
    When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

  11. #61
    DQ 1337 Member Jedi-L's Avatar
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    Just gonna toss this out there (also ties into my previous query of whether physical desire was seperate from love or not).

    I feel that the physical intimacy between myself and my girlfriend, directly ties into our emotional bond. Many a time have I felt we have communicated more with sight and touch than speech. Thoughts, comments, and telling me I'm an idealistic git are all appreciated.

    Oh and...

    Quote Originally Posted by codbarley View Post
    I think love is actually a translation of a greek word for vagina or something. I forgot where I heard that though.
    Last edited by Jedi-L; March 5th, 2012 at 08:58 PM.

  12. #62
    Cynical Puppeteer Victory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Blaargh, again, neutral, not 'better'! I like this definition because it encapsulates my personal feelings, and also most of what is meant in human artistic media / conversations about love, and thus it is linguistically useful. No definition of something so abstract is ever going to be perfect.
    It has nothing to do with perfection, nor does it have anything to do with with intent. What you said came across as discrediting people's feelings, not their definition of it. I'm protesting your attitude, not your claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Most of the adults I know are inclined to do the same things. I think that falls more under politeness than altruism.
    Children have no concept of politeness because to be polite is to behave within accepted norms of a culture or society. In fact, children are suspended from social norms because they are intrinsically rude until they reach a certain age, and we excuse them from certain behavior that they can't yet understand is inappropriate. Children just helps people because they enjoy it, it's fun stuff. Regardless, if we're taught by society to be altruistic then we still don't experience a change in behavior when going out of our way to help a loved one; it is still part of your natural character and your natural behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    No no, it's precisely because it stays past imprinting that demonstrates that it was the consequence of a profound transformative effect; the child and parent will continue this type of behavior as long as they are in the state of familial love. And you brought up the idea of physical labor, not me, I would never suggest the means of expressing love are that limited.
    So what kind of change are you suggesting here? Because it seems to change definition every time you reply and I'm growing increasingly confused that I either might misunderstand you or that you have no proper fixed sense for that change is supposed to mean in these contexts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    There's no need to straw man me. I was clear that this isn't about buying anyone's affection, if you are in love then the affection or lack there, of doesn't come into it, except insofar as abuse or lack of affection have the potential to end love (which they don't always necessarily have).
    How has your love for people here on DQ changed your character? Because from what I've noticed, you've always been like this and your affection for these people is directly caused by your character, not by suspending it. Any and all actions you take from that affection is not a step away from your normal behavior, it just is another example of who you are. If it is not an example of who you are, then it's an example of dishonesty.

    Now I'm not saying you haven't changed, change happens all the time, with every experience you have, and with all relationships you keep. In that sense, of course a relationship or a feeling can change you, but not all of them do, and not all change actually change who you are, but simply refine you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I think your idea of "proving it" is similarly misplaced here. It's not about the one in love proving anything, since in many cases there would be no observers to prove it to, kind of a "if a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it" type deal.
    You're making a positive claim that love is measured by the degree to which your actions stray from your natural behavior, but that this change is otherwise ever present regardless of degree - where's your proof? Where's your argument? I don't see people making decisions despite of their character, but rather based on their character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Now we're into the territory of psychological egoism that I wanted to avoid. I don't want to derail this into a discussion of the nature of altruism, but for the purposes of this discussion said ego-stroking still counts as altruism, assuming that's the only reward you get; I'm not asking that anybody agree with me on that, I just want people to understand that's what I am talking about when I say 'altruism'. I very strongly believe that character is about the choices you make, rather than how you feel about stuff.
    Yeah, and I agree with you. My problem is that you're claiming that love has to suspend your natural character in favor of a new different behavior and I'm saying that while this is possible it's not mandatory. People are naturally willing to go out of their way to help others even while putting themselves at risk, so altruism is not a change in character, its reinforcing your preexisting character. A video for a video:



    Or is your argument that these people spontaneously fell in love with the driver and had to help him? Because while this behavior is mostly unusual in your every day activities, it is still not uncharacteristic.

    If your change has nothing to do with altruism specifically, but rather your general behavior - like being shy or absent minded - I still wouldn't say it's a change from a person's natural character, since we're prone to different behavior in different circumstances and all of these add up to your character, not just your most recent sustained norm of behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Again, it's not about proving anything to other people. In practice it's impossible to demonstrate that someone is not passively in love. This definition doesn't resolve that, nothing can. There is a degree of nebulousness to love, but, just as I don't think it's appropriate to acknowledge artistic merit in every single creative work just because some people enjoy it and there is some subjectivity inherent in art, I don't think it's appropriate to acknowledge every claim of love as true solely on the basis that the one in love thinks so and there is some subjectivity inherent in love.
    I agree, not everyone claiming that they are in love is in love, but more goes into analyzing that claim than your 1, 2, 3 step program. Age, gender, social situation, vulnerability, circumstance - you can find people who match your formula who still aren't in love, and people who don't match it and are in love.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    In the case of the first, I would argue it is usually because of something else that zhe loves which is in opposition with the first person or thing zhe loves. (I consider things like duty to be subsets of love)
    Without context that is irrelevant. Still, I'd like to know, have you ever loved someone you hated? I mean, despised so much you constantly want to punch the person? I have. Tends to get in the way of what you will do for that person or how you express your feelings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I didn't say they weren't real. Feelings are always real. I would just refer to some of them by another word than you would. And whatever the case, since we have acknowledged there is freedom all 'round in here, we ought to agree that the word 'totalitarian' was totally unnecessary earlier.
    Fair enough. Like I've stated previously, I was enraged by your attitude, more so than your actual claim which doesn't bother me that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    My foot is not in my mouth here. I don't regret anything I've said and I think it's unreasonable of you to be acting this way about it, since feelings that I would consider to be love are invalidated by DC's definition just as much as yours are invalidated by mine, but you don't see me telling him to take it back or risk ending our friendship, because I'm still interested in what he has to say.
    You misunderstand. I'm posing no ultimatum, I'm setting the scene. I'm giving you a means to understand how emotionally loaded this issue has become to me in what you're suggesting. If I could easily discard your friendship, then you wouldn't be my friend and the decision wouldn't be up to you to begin with.

    You're free to explain your opinion, but I find the way you causally discredits people's feelings - because they don't behave the way you want them to in the circumstance - to be infuriating and petty. I don't actually agree with your theory in general, but I wouldn't have a problem with it if the way you presented it didn't come across as forceful and intrusive.

    You should also note that DC's claim poses no conditions to pass in order to call your personal, strong, possibly life defining emotional bond with something or someone else what it is. He's just defining what he feels love is when it's there. Do not assume that I'm just naturally afraid of opinions that do not match my own, I'm not that petty; I get mad for other reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    This is a philosophical discussion thread about a very personal topic where a lot of people are going to be baring their souls, so I checked my emotions at the door before I entered and figured that everyone else would do the same, like we usually do to help create a safe intellectual environment.
    I saw no disclaimer, and I'm not usually one to be emotionally distant in discussions. Regardless, if you feel I breached your trust in that regard I apologize for flipping my shit in my criticism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    But all of that said, I would much rather be your friend than get the last word in one philosophical discussion. If you really cannot let me talk about this without holding it against me, then my foot is poised neatly between my buttocks and ready for the plunge.
    There's nothing I hate more than people who run from a fight because they think it'll please me to win.
    Last edited by Victory; March 5th, 2012 at 11:18 PM.

  13. #63
    Meow! DrunkCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Oh ok, I get you now. Firstly that's not in any way exclusive to monotheism, patriarchy has been in practically all cultures regardless of creed, even Buddha was reluctant to ordain women and thought they were inherently less enlightened than men; but the thing is, I am pretty sure that even in such societies there was acknowledgement that marriages, particularly arranged marriages, did not necessarily imply love between married individuals, and in fact they produced much drama and art relating to the divergence between the two. See Greek eros and agape for instance, and Helen's relationship with Paris vs. with Menelaus.
    I never mentioned exclusivity. I only choose it as an example because it particularly does imply (and define) that sub-set of patriarchy to be love on both parts. The severe disconnect between altruism and love (as defined) serves well to accentuate the problem I see with your definition being absolute.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Opinions on the appropriateness of sexual love, insofar as it conflicts with other things, have changed--I don't think that the idea of what love is has.
    The Linden Oak is forever my idea of what love is. As there are three parties at this very moment who already declared differing ideas it would lend credence that maybe the idea of what love is can be subject to change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    since feelings that I would consider to be love are invalidated by DC's definition
    Truly? I am curious in to what exact manner you consider my 'nebulous' definition to be in conflict with yours? (Taking into account that mine only overlaps a subset of yours.)
    "To tell us that every species of thing is endowed with an occult specific quality by which it acts and produces manifest effects, is to tell us nothing; but to derive two or three general principles of motion from phenomena, and afterwards to tell us how the properties and actions of all corporeal things follow from those manifest principles, would be a very great step." -Issac Newton, Optics
    "You are what you do not do." - Relax.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    It has nothing to do with perfection, nor does it have anything to do with with intent. What you said came across as discrediting people's feelings, not their definition of it. I'm protesting your attitude, not your claim.
    Ok, that's what I meant when I asked about the cockiness. I apologize, to you and anyone else who was offended reading this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Children have no concept of politeness because to be polite is to behave within accepted norms of a culture or society. In fact, children are suspended from social norms because they are intrinsically rude until they reach a certain age, and we excuse them from certain behavior that they can't yet understand is inappropriate. Children just helps people because they enjoy it, it's fun stuff. Regardless, if we're taught by society to be altruistic then we still don't experience a change in behavior when going out of our way to help a loved one; it is still part of your natural character and your natural behavior.
    I haven't brought this up until now, but nearly everything you have said about children in this entire discussion has sounded strange to me. I think we must have had very different childhoods, and have interacted with very different children as adults.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    So what kind of change are you suggesting here? Because it seems to change definition every time you reply and I'm growing increasingly confused that I either might misunderstand you or that you have no proper fixed sense for that change is supposed to mean in these contexts.

    How has your love for people here on DQ changed your character? Because from what I've noticed, you've always been like this and your affection for these people is directly caused by your character, not by suspending it. Any and all actions you take from that affection is not a step away from your normal behavior, it just is another example of who you are. If it is not an example of who you are, then it's an example of dishonesty.

    Now I'm not saying you haven't changed, change happens all the time, with every experience you have, and with all relationships you keep. In that sense, of course a relationship or a feeling can change you, but not all of them do, and not all change actually change who you are, but simply refine you.

    You're making a positive claim that love is measured by the degree to which your actions stray from your natural behavior, but that this change is otherwise ever present regardless of degree - where's your proof? Where's your argument? I don't see people making decisions despite of their character, but rather based on their character.
    The change is between your response to a person you do not love, and your response to a person you love. You view a person differently when you are in love with them, and your views influence your actions to some degree even if you aren't conscious of the influence. A child loves zher parents from birth, because of imprinting, so we can't observe the difference in that case.

    You keep using the word "natural" to explain why there is no change, and I think that word is a little misleading; I'm not saying that love is unnatural, or that the changes it produces are unnatural. Hunger is natural, puberty is natural, tiredness is natural, euphoria is natural, but your behavior still changes from its previous state when they happen.

    I changed profoundly from my previous character over the course of about two years, which ended around the time I came to DQ, so you didn't get to see that, Vic; but I used to have a vague impersonal resentment and apathy towards people in general, and this changed because of a series of loves that I came to have in rapid succession, DQ being the last.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Or is your argument that these people spontaneously fell in love with the driver and had to help him? Because while this behavior is mostly unusual in your every day activities, it is still not uncharacteristic.

    If your change has nothing to do with altruism specifically, but rather your general behavior - like being shy or absent minded - I still wouldn't say it's a change from a person's natural character, since we're prone to different behavior in different circumstances and all of these add up to your character, not just your most recent sustained norm of behavior.

    I agree, not everyone claiming that they are in love is in love, but more goes into analyzing that claim than your 1, 2, 3 step program. Age, gender, social situation, vulnerability, circumstance - you can find people who match your formula who still aren't in love, and people who don't match it and are in love.
    I would say that it is possible to have a general, impersonal love of people; or a slightly more specific love of people with a specific kind of problem that you strongly identify with. And yes, sometimes it can be rather spontaneous, and sometimes you don't know you have it until something happens that brings it to the surface. I think this is the sort of thing that you referred to before as caring.

    I have known people who would stop to help an injured human but not an injured animal; I have known people who would stop to help an injured animal but not an injured human; I have known people who would stop to help either, but have not been that way all their lives. In each case, their feeling compelled to help is a direct consequence of what I would call love, and if what I would call love were absent they would not do it. This is what I mean when I say it causes a change from normal behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    Without context that is irrelevant. Still, I'd like to know, have you ever loved someone you hated? I mean, despised so much you constantly want to punch the person? I have. Tends to get in the way of what you will do for that person or how you express your feelings.
    The answer that immediately comes to mind is my mother, circa 2004, but frankly my feelings back then ran so dark that I think it might be more accurate to say that I stopped loving her entirely, and have relearned to love her in the years since. The second answer that comes to mind is my sister, who I think I have always loved, but I don't think I was ever as incredibly and chronically furious with her as I always was with my mother during my middle school years. So... maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    You should also note that DC's claim poses no conditions to pass in order to call your personal, strong, possibly life defining emotional bond with something or someone else what it is.
    It does, actually. I do not pursue the unification of my consciousness, or my soul, with any of the people I love, and frankly I find the idea a little frightening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    I saw no disclaimer, and I'm not usually one to be emotionally distant in discussions. Regardless, if you feel I breached your trust in that regard I apologize for flipping my shit in my criticism.
    No, but you're not usually one to say things like "I would sooner sacrifice our relationship than concede to your totalitarian checklist of how a personal emotion is supposed to manifest" either, especially when no one asked you to concede anything. Even at my cockiest I was basically just like "mine is clearly the most exhaustive, complete, concise definition anyone in this thread has put forward", not "my definition is law and none of you are allowed to challenge it". Hell, I wanted it to be challenged, that's what discussions are for, but I didn't want it to come to anything like this.

    But, apology accepted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victory View Post
    There's nothing I hate more than people who run from a fight because they think it'll please me to win.
    If you wanted to fight me, and there was absolutely no talking you out of it, I wouldn't run, I would stand there and take it. And I wouldn't be doing it to please you, I would be doing it because both of the alternatives would be shameful to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by C. S. Lewis
    When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

  15. #65
    DQ Senior Member Zolen's Avatar
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    Meh, Love is a English word that was made with to many possible meanings.

    To make this easier, just split the word into 4

    1) Love for Family
    2) Love for Friends
    3) Love for Lovers(sex)
    4) Love for Lovers ver 2 (relationships and all that)

    And then make up words to say it.
    Man rule 48. Any dispute lasting any longer than 3 minutes must be settled by rock, paper, scissors.

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    1. Love for Family (Friends = Family)
    2. Love for Passion (SexLove = Passion)
    3. Love for Another

    poetic fix'd
    "To tell us that every species of thing is endowed with an occult specific quality by which it acts and produces manifest effects, is to tell us nothing; but to derive two or three general principles of motion from phenomena, and afterwards to tell us how the properties and actions of all corporeal things follow from those manifest principles, would be a very great step." -Issac Newton, Optics
    "You are what you do not do." - Relax.

  17. #67
    DQ 1337 Member Xiox's Avatar
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    I haven't really read through the whole thread, so I don't know if this has been said. Here is a link to a website where they have multiple translations of the same thing. I find it to be the perfect definition in my opinion.

    http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/13-4.htm

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkCat View Post
    1. Love for Family (Friends = Family)
    2. Love for Passion (SexLove = Passion)
    3. Love for Another

    poetic fix'd
    Does n.3 include bacon?
    You can create your own opportunities this week. Blackmail a senior executive.

  19. #69
    Cynical Puppeteer Victory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    Ok, that's what I meant when I asked about the cockiness. I apologize, to you and anyone else who was offended reading this.
    Then this issue between us is resolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I haven't brought this up until now, but nearly everything you have said about children in this entire discussion has sounded strange to me. I think we must have had very different childhoods, and have interacted with very different children as adults.
    I base my argument around experience but also around test I've read about or seen through documentaries, some of which you should be able to find on Youtube concerning children's natural altruism, a quality we share with chimpanzees for instance. The claim that children are rude by default is from my own observation and perhaps it's easier for me to discern the difference in Sweden since we have very clear social guidelines of how to behave that children usually, if not always depending on the age, fail to comply to.

    They stare at people, take stuff without asking, they touch people with dirty hands, they talk about people openly and judge their appearance, voice, smell - qualities that we all take note of but is rude to comment openly about - they're loud and often not concerned with how their behavior affects those around them. None of this behavior is meant to be mean, they just don't understand that you're not supposed to act like this. Despite that, they will still rush to pick up an item you're trying to reach for but can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    The change is between your response to a person you do not love, and your response to a person you love. You view a person differently when you are in love with them, and your views influence your actions to some degree even if you aren't conscious of the influence. A child loves zher parents from birth, because of imprinting, so we can't observe the difference in that case.
    I would argue it's because the child grows to love the parents over the course of its cognitive development and that there is no change in behavior present past the child's own cognitive growth. Imprinting starts before a child is even born after all and the child isn't even self aware until past 18-30 months of age, which is when most emotions emotions starts to take root properly in children's psychology.

    But, in further response - that definition of change is still too vague for me to definitely argue against it. Because while I'm I'd do just about anything to help or protect people I love, say for example Becca, I would still exhibit the same kind of altruistic and protective behavior if I saw someone being beaten in the streets. In fact, I have, and I have scars to prove it. I spent most of my childhood in physical abuse because I was defending other children on the school yard, most of which I have never had any type of relationship with. In fact, most of these people would instantly turn around and target me with the bullies. Most of my friends did this, something that has been brought up regretfully in many drunken conversations with them later on.

    In fact, my aggressive, overly sarcastic and cynical view of people comes from this consistent betrayal during my early childhood up to my mid teens, and yet I still exhibit the same exact type of behavior nowadays when I see someone in need of help. It's who I am, and while experience might shape me and my behavior I'm still made of the exact same stuff and I will always help and protect a person in need, regardless of my relationship with them.

    In this regard, I don't change when I'm in love beyond certain character emphasis. I can be bashful or absent minded and change my superficial behavior in that regard, but these are all natural character traits that I've exhibited somewhere down the line. It doesn't so much change who I am, but emphasize different parts of my character to different degrees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    You keep using the word "natural" to explain why there is no change, and I think that word is a little misleading; I'm not saying that love is unnatural, or that the changes it produces are unnatural. Hunger is natural, puberty is natural, tiredness is natural, euphoria is natural, but your behavior still changes from its previous state when they happen.
    All of this is part of who you are though. Euphoria doesn't change who you are, nor does it inspire behavior that is uncharacteristic. If your argument is that we behave differently from one set of circumstances to another - without it necessarily being uncharacteristic - then I would agree with you. The part I'm arguing is love is measured by how far away from your character your behavior is, while I'm saying that behavior is well within your character, just differently highlighted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I changed profoundly from my previous character over the course of about two years, which ended around the time I came to DQ, so you didn't get to see that, Vic; but I used to have a vague impersonal resentment and apathy towards people in general, and this changed because of a series of loves that I came to have in rapid succession, DQ being the last.
    Fair enough, I won't claim to know you better than you know yourself. But I think this comment highlights why this argument is getting nowhere. You and I have very different views on what makes up the character of a person. I do not consider your sustained superficial behavior to be your character, instead I believe that your character is revealed in circumstances that call for it. You seem to regard your character as your skin of your behavior, while I see it as the core from which all your behavior stems from, regardless of circumstance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I would say that it is possible to have a general, impersonal love of people; or a slightly more specific love of people with a specific kind of problem that you strongly identify with. And yes, sometimes it can be rather spontaneous, and sometimes you don't know you have it until something happens that brings it to the surface. I think this is the sort of thing that you referred to before as caring.
    I do not consider any of this inaccurate, but I do not consider love synonymous with caring. They can occur simultaneously and is very likely to do so, but I can care for stuff and people I do not love. I will agree that it's harder to love someone or something you don't care for, though, since it poses a sort of paradox, but this concern is not necessarily translated through action for any number of reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    I have known people who would stop to help an injured human but not an injured animal; I have known people who would stop to help an injured animal but not an injured human; I have known people who would stop to help either, but have not been that way all their lives. In each case, their feeling compelled to help is a direct consequence of what I would call love, and if what I would call love were absent they would not do it. This is what I mean when I say it causes a change from normal behavior.
    Well, that's a better example of change that is easier to understand. Still, I will say it's not that simple. For instance, people are perfectly capable of contradicting themselves out of fear. You can't say that fear discredits or nullifies love, it just makes matters complicated and some people have funny priorities.

    While I would say that your example can demonstrate the character of a person, I would not agree that you can measure or judge love based on that very simple observation since these matters are usually more complicated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    The answer that immediately comes to mind is my mother, circa 2004, but frankly my feelings back then ran so dark that I think it might be more accurate to say that I stopped loving her entirely, and have relearned to love her in the years since. The second answer that comes to mind is my sister, who I think I have always loved, but I don't think I was ever as incredibly and chronically furious with her as I always was with my mother during my middle school years. So... maybe?
    My point is that love - or life in general - is complicated, and we can't always assign static norms of how you absolutely will act when you love something or someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    It does, actually. I do not pursue the unification of my consciousness, or my soul, with any of the people I love, and frankly I find the idea a little frightening.
    Like I said, he's explaining what he feels love is when it's there, not what what it has to be to be there to begin with. DC also explains that his definition is more poetry than a practical explanation - more pretty than meaningful - which - as he explained to me - is consistent with his view on love as general concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    No, but you're not usually one to say things like "I would sooner sacrifice our relationship than concede to your totalitarian checklist of how a personal emotion is supposed to manifest" either, especially when no one asked you to concede anything. Even at my cockiest I was basically just like "mine is clearly the most exhaustive, complete, concise definition anyone in this thread has put forward", not "my definition is law and none of you are allowed to challenge it". Hell, I wanted it to be challenged, that's what discussions are for, but I didn't want it to come to anything like this.
    It's similar to saying things like "I'd rather die than..." which isn't really an ultimatum, but a means to set the emotional level in whatever comes after. The difference is that I decided to make it more personal since you and I have different views on death and frankly, I'd rather not surround myself with more of it, even as an analogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    But, apology accepted.
    Good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varthonai View Post
    If you wanted to fight me, and there was absolutely no talking you out of it, I wouldn't run, I would stand there and take it. And I wouldn't be doing it to please you, I would be doing it because both of the alternatives would be shameful to me.
    That's the same. Whether you run or stop fighting, you've basically given up. Now, there's a lot of reasons why you should avoid or ignore an argument, but whenever people "okay, Vic, you win, okay? We can stop talking about this now," you're casting me in a light that makes me seem unreasonable and childish - and act that actually only serves to provoke me. If you want to prove to me that our friendship is more important than the argument, then you'd do better just to listen to why I'm upset and continue the the conversation until we can reach a middle ground - which has already happened at this point.
    Last edited by Victory; March 7th, 2012 at 10:18 AM.

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