Unconditional Love?

[b]Love is conditional and unconditional love is an impossibility.

Love is a social convention. Social conventions are based on social conditions. In order to be Love, social conditions are required. Therefore, love cannot be unconditional. Love is created out of conditions.[/b]

Side note for philosophical fodder:
If God has unconditional love, then sending his son to die for our sins was completely unnecessary. It is a condition that we accept Jesus as our sacrifice to forgive us of our sins in order that we may see God and not be sent by him to Hell. If you dare say that God loves those that he sends to hell, then I don’t know what to say to you. Eternal damnation seems to contradict love, does it not? For he is not sending them to hell so that they may learn and be redeemed. He is punishing them eternally, to no end! Creating something to then destroy it and torture it eternally is not love.

Anyway, love is conditional! Rebuttals?

I guess no one gives a shit. :laughing:

Here is a very famous essay on why we ought practice impartial caring/Universal love:


I tend to think that love with distinction is better than what is suggested in the essay because 1) I feel that it is more realistic 2) I think it is a more suitable learning tool and 3) I think it is more effective in creation a relational society.

While I’m not sure that love is a social convention (though I certainly could be convinced), I do agree that love is conditional.

Also, since your post had a Christian tone to it, you might want to check out this thread:

Does God Love You?

Thanks for the post Xunzian! :slight_smile:

I partly did this post because my wife and I are always talking about love and our ever-changing love for each other. We notice how there are certainly conditions in order for our love. It is fun to ask, If some of the conditions were changed, would our love stay the exact same? I think not.

People are always changing, psychologically and physically too. We are generating new cells and old ones are dying. Our body completely regenerates I forget how many times during our lifetime. We regenerate to the point where we are a completely different person, cell wise, every few years.

My wife and I have fun talking about this because we say that we’ll love each other forever… that is, we will love who we each are at present forever.

The thing that we are getting at and that we like to ask is, “How much would I have to change for you to no longer love me?” People often fall out of love over time as one or both change too much. You could take a psychological/personality example or an actual physical example. For example; if my personality changed so much that you wouldn’t even call me myself, she wouldn’t love me anymore, because I wouldn’t be me, even though I would be the same body. A physical example would be if my entire body was crippled and I was a thinking vegetable. I would still be me, but things would be very different. And loving me in the same way would be very different. I couldn’t return hardly any affection or love. We actually get quite morbidly joking sometimes about it too. If I had my finger cut off, I would be a slightly less of a man, but my wife’s love for me wouldn’t change or lessen much at all. What if my dick was cut off, and my whole face and ears? That might cause some problems. What if I was a talking head?

Even though we would like to think that our physicality has nothing to do with the love of our spouse, it does change things. Another example would be Alzheimer’s disease. What if my wife didn’t know me or remember anything, it would be a struggle to love her in the exact same as I do now. These are just some random rambling thoughts on love. There are numerous conditions of love and there are numerous types of love. Currently those conditions are satisfied for my wife and I. But if I were to be cut into 1,000 tiny pieces and my wife was left with my pinky toe in a jar, I don’t think her love for me would be the same as it is now. :-({|=

A thought experiment – imagine a very handsome, male lawyer who is 32 years old, just made partner in a prestigious law firm, comes from a wealthy family, and is good at sports.

Now imagine him being introduced to a woman who is very warm, funny, affectionate, intelligent, is a respected full professor in sociology at a major university, and has dozens of friends – but is overweight and homely.

Will the guy be romantically interested in her? No, of course not. So much for unconditional love.

People say that the love of a parent for a child is unconditional – but that reminds me of what my mother always said about her mother-in-law: “She only loved you grandkids so much because you were her grandkids.”

Nice example. Thanks for the post.

Conditions exist in order to even qualify or be defined as love.

Unconditional love is love without conditions but that does not make it impossible.
What makes it impossible is the perception that love comes with conditions.
Love, as always, is a matter of perception.

I have stated many conditions for love. In order for something to even be defined as love, there are conditions in which it is love. It is not just a matter of perception. We might define love differently in many differrent ways. Indeed many different loves. But in order to define them at all, certain conditions have to exist. Perhaps we need to find an example of what we would both agree is love. We will then see that there are conditions in which we are both agreeing on. For example, for me to love you, there must be a me and there must be a you. :slight_smile:

I wonder if conditional love and unconditional love are simply two sides of the same codependency coin. Either way, you pay for it.

We are attracted to people for reasons.

You can call those reasons conditions if you want, but I don’t want to.

If the attraction is adequate to allow a relationship, love – meaning I want you and I want the best you want for yourself and I love how I feel when I’m with you … – will begin as a healthy connection starts and deepens.

Hopefully love will grow and last.

Sadly, too often, it doesn’t.

You make two persuasive points. One is regarding God’s love and the other is regarding the presence of at least two persons to exist as a condition of love.

Where does the idea of unconditional love come from the first place? Is it a Christian concept? In evangelical literature I have read the discussion of three kinds of love: eros, phileo, and agape, based on ancient greek terms. I also recall “because of” love being contrasted with “in spite of” love. The former was characterized as the kind of love that romantic love is. I believe the latter was considered unconditional and associated with God. The “in spite of” variety can be unflattering as in “I love you in spite of the way you look.” But it was considered higher in the evangelical context. The idea of God’s love in “giving his son” seems to be tied up with that of sacrifice as a measure of the greatness of that love. Logically though, the term “unconditional” does not seem to apply.

See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love

Unconditional love is analagous to “true” love in my mind - I doubt the amygdala can produce either.

What we call ‘love’ is merely (once the all-important novelty has worn off) familiarity mixed with interdependence. You’d miss them if they were gone. Then again, if they got fat and lost the use of their legs, you’d miss the old them, while the new one was still around.

I will agree with you that existence is a condition for humans to experience love. If they did not exist, they would not be humans.

But what of love beyond existence, a universal, unconditional love that humans have difficulty percieving on account of their condition?

btw, this has nothing to do with any sort of god though a fault in human perception, a condition, may lead some to believe this.

Interesting post! =D> I’ve heard ministers give sermons on how we should incorporate “agape” love. They then proceed to use the word “unconditional”.

There is no love beyond existence. A subject must exist for it to love.

Beings exists…
Love exists…
Beings can have love…
But there cannot be love without beings.
It is, by definition, a thing that beings can do. :slight_smile:

And the universe (everything) is not a sentient/conscious being that has human attributes like love, emotions, or feelings. (I am trying to explain this in the pantheism post.) :confused:

:laughing: I like how you point out how TIME is a critical element. And that variables are always changing. This is how we fall in and out of love with something. We are always changing and whatever we love is too.

Why don’t you love my legs?

The apostle Paul interpreted Jesus’ death by crucifixion in terms of blood sacrifice necessary for redemption thus conforming to your model of conditional love. However, Jesus teaches the unconditional love of God in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15. When the son returned having “sinned against heaven”, the father (read God) “saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” The father’s acceptance of the son was unconditional, not based on any propitiatory sacrifice.