Is Love Beyond Good and Evil?

Agree. I would say that sex and the sex drive are “Mother Nature’s way to ensure that we will procreate,” not love. Certainly love can be an aspect of that drive, but it clearly does not have to be.

I think it would be good for all of us to get an idea of what “love” is exactly.

Like all things truly relative by design, “love” is what you make of it. For some a vague mixture of ‘affections’, for others a very distinct emotional state.

I think the most fundamental distinctive quality of “love” could be a requisite of passion. Though, again, I would think “passion” to be a generally ambiguous, and even enigmatic, term due to both relative and subjective influence.

Perhaps love itself is inductive, but the effects that stem from it are causal. That is to say, the induction is contingent upon some goal/purpose. The goal - that which is created or introduced - in the case of a term or concept, does not continue to induce in itself – rather, it becomes a catalyst for further induction through consciousness.

…I hope that makes sense.

I guess, in short, I’m essentially saying that perhaps love is not the “creative force”, but that which is actually created. The force is us, therefore we may subsequently create “good” and “evil” in response to our sentiments concerning love.

What I said about love also applies to the sexual drive. There is no such entity as ‘Mother Nature’. The only entities who may care whether we procreate or not are we ourselves. Sex may lead to procreation, but that does not make procreation its goal.

I’m not so sure what to make of this. There are some who believe in the Gaia principle which, I presume, would also include the way nature balances itself or seeks balance or homeostasis. I’m not sure I do, but I can’t just dismiss it either. I do not, however, discount evolution or natural selection where survival of the species would then make sex and the sex drive natural evolutionary developments. Thus, if procreation is not the goal of sex, then what would that goal be? I would think, then, that the natural, instinctive goal of sex is to procreate, but that procreation does not have to be the goal of any one sex act, particularly if you add love and pleasure to the mix.

We all still need a good, mutually acceptable definition of “love,” though.

This just won’t do. That love might have passion as an emotional component is certainly possible, but that in no way tells us exactly what love is.

I’m on the side of science here, and I ask you: Why should it have a goal at all?

I’m not so sure what to make of this. There are some who believe in the Gaia principle which, I presume, would also include the way nature balances itself or seeks balance or homeostasis. I’m not sure I do, but I can’t just dismiss it either. I do not, however, discount evolution or natural selection where survival of the species would then make sex and the sex drive natural evolutionary developments. Thus, if procreation is not the goal of sex, then what would that goal be?

If you’re on the side of science, then why wouldn’t the goal be survival of the species and hence, procreation? By the way, this goal would operate purely on the level of animal instinct, and last time I looked, there was no evidence that humans have not always been animals and still are. However, if love is a factor that might mitigate this goal, fine. Of course, that would mean that love itself would be something stronger or, dare I say, beyond instinct and evolutionary drives; and it would also imply that love would have its own possible goal or goals. But we still do not have a definition of what love is exactly.

That is my point, there is no “exactly” with a concept like love. Love is what you perceive it as; there are no universal, or objective, means by which to define it.

In my opinion, that will have to do. If anything, ambiguity is more a characteristic of love than exactness. Nobody is certain in “love” – it is a word used to describe intense affection. The level/manner of intensity which is deemed “love” is entirely subjective, and almost just as relative.

It doesn’t. Sex is sex, procreation is procreation. Each could be argued as a goal in itself.

I disagree. I believe that love can be defined.

How? Tell me precisely how you would do that. Make the arguments.

Sure, subjectively. But that is the extent of it.

If you care to enlighten, please do…

Sexual urges are primal, fundamental drives. Sex is wholly natural and need not result in procreation for sex to take place, nor for sex to be appealing. Thus, if sex is appealing to us, absent of procreation, we can say procreation is not necessarily the “goal” of sex. So, then, if sex is the end result of some effort - meaning consideration has not extended beyond the actual act - I think it reasonable to say sex was the “goal” (this is in your terms, not mine). All things associated with sex, while in the act, can be considered “sex” in this context (ex. physical pleasure, affections, euphoria, exhaustion, etc.). To the individual, all of those properties combined is his/her ideal of “sex”.

Procreation is a fundamental drive as well, though seemingly not as influential as the sexual urge in general. Procreation is often a conscious effort, though not always (as I’m sure we are all well aware). I think we can agree that procreation can be considered the end result of some effort as well. The consideration of a pro-creative act extends up to procreation, making procreation the “goal” (…again, your term). To procreate without intention is still procreation; no? That is to say, even if one identifies sex as his “goal”, but procreates as a consequence, his scope of consideration is forced beyond just the sex. He is now left to contemplate a new, unintended “goal”. And, again, all things associated with procreation, while in the act, can be considered “procreation” in this context. To the individual, a combination of all efforts that went into creating the baby is “procreation”.

We seek sex and procreation, however we do so at different times with different intentions. The two are not inextricably linked. Procreation can even take place without actual sex, and, of course, vice-versa.

So, for instance, perusing Starbucks for a leather skinned cougar to engage in the physical act of sex with would suggest that sex is your goal.

On the other hand, having sex with your wife (or some alternative method with the same purpose) in hopes of conceiving a child would suggest that procreation is your goal.

I think you’re onto something. We are animals indeed, but our level of consciousness (the state of the human SuperEgo) allows us to refine our primal urges to some degree.

And you never will “exactly”. Good luck in the endeavor though, it could either be good exercise for the mind or a total waste of time.

Your turn – explain everything you say in great detail so I can crap all over it with unfounded personal opinions.

If I’m on the side of science, why would it?

I’ve never denied that humans are animals. I don’t think instinct has a goal, though. It’s an irrational urge. If that urge makes one more likely to procreate, it is selected.

Just to start. This is fun. I’m enjoying this thread immensely. O:)

Ok. Even subjectively, then, how would you define it?

I really want to hear from you and Sauwelios on this first. I do have my ideas, though.

Uh oh. Gotcha. Here is the question. If sex were, say, an evolutionary drive with the goal of procreation – hypothetically speaking of course – then wouldn’t it have to be pleasurable as a requisite?

Explain to me exactly, in logical and scientific terms, how “procreation” is a drive. (I see it as a result of a drive, the sexual one to be exact.)

I agree with jonquil here.

Rainbows, golden feathers, and teddy bears filled with freedom.

…I wouldn’t.

Well, for one, this is a hypothetical that has yet to be proven or even argued, so it is weak to begin with.

However, the answer is no. Why would it? Do you think all animals that procreate experience pleasure from the act? Instinct, in my opinion, delves deeper than a desire for physical sensation. In fact, I think it pretty obvious that sex is less than desirable for some animals. However, I kind of covered the pleasure thing to begin with - what pleasure you associate with procreation goes into your idea of what constitutes “procreation”. This may be similar to your idea of sex, however the end result of creation is still pretty definitive.

I’m not a scientist. However, I do believe that animals have some drive to reproduce and persist. Even if this means persistence of one’s immediate family rather than an entire species. Animals, in my opinion, have some inherent investment in persistence (perhaps it is yet another extension of their Will to Power).

I do agree that sexual urges greatly promote the urge to procreate, but I have no reason to believe the two are one in the same.

Using your own hypothetical, I would think procreation must be a drive to some degree if sex is not always pleasurable. The concept still appeals to animal instinct, absent of both physical pleasure and emotional affections. Some animals do not even engage in “sex”, they simply dump sperm on eggs to fertilize. Yet, at the same time, some animals have sex without any immediate desire to procreate.

Also, before it goes any further, I’ll go ahead and admit I misspoke in saying “procreation is a drive” – I can’t possibly know that, and don’t totally believe it myself. I do believe, however, that animals have a drive toward preservation or persistence, as I’ve noted. Though I also think procreation is our primary tool in interest of that drive.

Well, I really would like to know, seriously, how the act of sex could not have a goal? I can certainly be persuaded that individual acts of sex could have different goals, but I just don’t see how the sex act itself can be seen as goalless. Also, in evolutionary terms, I don’t see how sex can be seen in any other light than serving the purposes of procreation; and since the theory of evolution is scientific, then perhaps you see my puzzlement with your view. I am willing to be persuaded to your view, though, if you can make it comprehensible to me.

Yes, and that is what science tells us also, by the way. The only part I would change would be the idea that instinct is irrational, though maybe I’m quibbling too much in suggesting that it is neither rational nor irrational; it’s more akin to an innate inborn part of one’s nature, similar to the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. In other words, one will have a sex drive willy nilly, like breathing; and yes, one can take rational control over it with full aware consciousness as well.

I answered by whom, even though it wasn’t literal expectations. There’s no more function necessary for our survival after procreation after raising your children, so I was saying our role is over. I can say with all confidence that our bodies are designed to survive, hence we can draw truth from our own design beyond speculation.

First off, I agree that love doesn’t make procreation our goal, but that doesn’t mean procreation isn’t our goal. Love is a tricky subject. I believe we use the word to describe different emotions and feelings. The love that I refer to is the one we feel towards our sexual partner (to be, or never to be w/e. not relevant). I believe this love is just a byproduct of our sex drive, that’s the context in which I was using the word.

Lastly, I’d just like to reiterate the point that I do not believe there is literally an entity Mother Nature, it’s just a quick way for me to sum up the laws of the universe, our structure/evolution and the evolution of our environment. We’re evolving and I say the direction is Mother Nature’s choice, when we’re really just moving into efficiency.

Love still hasn’t been defined. So, if you say that love is what we feel towards our sexual partner, then how is that love defined? Just what is love exactly?

You know, you keep making statements that you can’t back up. You did say “sure, subjectively” when asked if love could be defined… but this answer is a complete kerfuffle. We still need a good, working definition of love.

That was supposed to be joke on my part. Of course sex is an evolutionary drive with the goal of procreation, and certainly the added ingredient of pleasure helps humans achieve that goal. I do not believe, however, that procreation has to be the only goal of sex.

I wasn’t saying love is what we feel towards our sexual partner, rather that one use of the word love is that. I think each of us often use the word love in different contexts, so it doesn’t just vary through others, but within ourselves. As far as a definition, thefreedictionary.com/love works fine for me. Do those definitions suit you?

No, I was not aware. Care to elaborate?

I see a good bit of talk coming from you, and yet you say nothing. Anyone can ask questions then shit on the answers he is given – that is far easier than theorizing and playing the defensive roll, isn’t it?

You are asking me what your subjectively acceptable definition of “love” is? Not completely clear on how that is supposed to work…

If you want a “working” (aka vague) definition, a dictionary may be a good starting point.

Perhaps with a goal of procreation. My contention is that sex need not have a goal. Procreation is achieved without sex, as we’d define it, in nature. I think preservation/persistence is the drive you are looking for. Perhaps sex is a primal utility for that drive in the interest of procreation.

But, to be clear, you do believe that sex exists solely for procreation? The rest of the “goals” are essentially fringe benefits?