The origin of "love"

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I've been pondering this question for a while now, but I'm stuck in my thought process and am looking for new angles to aproach the subject.

What do you think love is? Is it the work of chemicals in our brains, which are put to action because of some element of the other person that triggers the effect? Or does it come from the so called "soul" or other not-so-scientific source? Or what?

Help me out here. What I wish to see is in what result other people have arrived in their thoughts.

Brain chemicals.
Everything you experience is in the end electrical signals in your brain.
Why does a person alter the way your brain functions like this? Eh, I'd say evolution. It's a good imperative for mating and raising the resulting children.

What is love?

Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.....

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Love is playing Borderlands coop with your other half.

And then having sex with them.

A physical attraction that people made lied to themselves about being more than that.

Oh boy. Get ready for all the edgy "anti-love" posts from bitter people who-

Doclector:
A physical attraction that people made lied to themselves about being more than that.

Well, shit, that was quick.

hazabaza1:
Oh boy. Get ready for all the edgy "anti-love" posts from bitter people who-

Doclector:
A physical attraction that people made lied to themselves about being more than that.

Well, shit, that was quick.

Please, I'm not edgy. I'm grumpy. There's a difference.

Doclector:

hazabaza1:
Oh boy. Get ready for all the edgy "anti-love" posts from bitter people who-

Doclector:
A physical attraction that people made lied to themselves about being more than that.

Well, shit, that was quick.

Please, I'm not edgy. I'm grumpy. There's a difference.

Bugger, I put my quotations marks around the wrong word.
Let's pretend I said "edgy" instead of "anti-love". Most "edgy" people are generally just grumpy so I think it should undo any mistakes. My apologies for any grievances.

Love is an appreciation of intimacy with a person and the behaviors that are taken to nurture that intimacy.

Jonluw:
Brain chemicals.
Everything you experience is in the end electrical signals in your brain.
Why does a person alter the way your brain functions like this? Eh, I'd say evolution. It's a good imperative for mating and raising the resulting children.

Then what do you think that triggers the chain where the hormones and other chemicals that create "love" are released? Is it a combination of the information your senses receive (smell, looks, sound etc.), or is it something that slowly develops if interaction with the person makes you happy, or other similar methods?

I also have an unrelated question to you. So if everything that we experience, that we do and that we are is caused by chemicals and electrical signals that are controlled by our autonomic nervous system which we can't control consciously, what does that make us? Are we just empty vessels? Are we just structures that can't break free from their architechture?

And is free will only an illusion, if our actions and our nature are controlled by things that are not under our control?

No, I don't believe in a soul or that love comes out of anything but brain chemicals and whatnot.
That said, is this supposed to mean that love is less real than if it comes through a soul or some sort of metaphysical connection? I'm sorry, but if someone is to argue for such a stance I'd half expect them to argue that without a belief in some sort of religion or similar one can't have morals or respect the sanctity of marriage.

People say brain chemicals and seem to think less of it, but with all our science we've barely been able to map out how the brain truly works, how advanced the communications is. It's not a miracle, but evolution, that made it what it is, but why would that make it any less beautiful?

OniaPL:
Then what do you think that triggers the chain where the hormones and other chemicals that create "love" are released? Is it a combination of the information your senses receive (smell, looks, sound etc.), or is it something that slowly develops if interaction with the person makes you happy, or other similar methods?

I also have an unrelated question to you. So if everything that we experience, that we do and that we are is caused by chemicals and electrical signals that are controlled by our autonomic nervous system which we can't control consciously, what does that make us? Are we just empty vessels? Are we just structures that can't break free from their architechture?

And is free will only an illusion, if our actions and our nature are controlled by things that are not under our control?

Hope you don't mind me joining in on this one, it's a question I rather enjoy.

Here's the thing. If we're 'just' the result of chemicals and electrical signals that are controlled by our autonomic nervous system which we can't control consciously then we've been so all along. Every amazing human feat of change and self-realisation still happened. Every despicable act of inhumane cruelty still happened. Everything humans are capable of throughout history we'd still be capable of. None of that would change.

The only thing that would change is the source of it all. Instead of all of that happening due to some mystical divine 'soul' which has 'free will', both terms which are about as vague as humanly possible, it's now all an expression of who and what we are.

We are our brains. Our brains are the direct effect of everything we've ever experienced and many things that happened before that. All our actions and all our thoughts are a direct expression of everything that made us us. And the most amazing thing of all is that we ourselves are part of our past and thus we are part of shaping our own future. We are a cause of our own future.

If any of that makes any sense to you then I think it's pretty clear that even without free will we aren't empty vessels and that we can break free of our architecture because we possess the power to change our architecture. The brain is that adaptable.

I don't believe in free will. I believe in causality. I believe everything that happens follows logically from what's happened before. But I do not believe that makes us powerless. We do not have the ability to choose, but we do possess the ability to learn. Our present may be unchangeable but our future is not.

Hagi:

OniaPL:
Then what do you think that triggers the chain where the hormones and other chemicals that create "love" are released? Is it a combination of the information your senses receive (smell, looks, sound etc.), or is it something that slowly develops if interaction with the person makes you happy, or other similar methods?

I also have an unrelated question to you. So if everything that we experience, that we do and that we are is caused by chemicals and electrical signals that are controlled by our autonomic nervous system which we can't control consciously, what does that make us? Are we just empty vessels? Are we just structures that can't break free from their architechture?

And is free will only an illusion, if our actions and our nature are controlled by things that are not under our control?

Hope you don't mind me joining in on this one, it's a question I rather enjoy.

Here's the thing. If we're 'just' the result of chemicals and electrical signals that are controlled by our autonomic nervous system which we can't control consciously then we've been so all along. Every amazing human feat of change and self-realisation still happened. Every despicable act of inhumane cruelty still happened. Everything humans are capable of throughout history we'd still be capable of. None of that would change.

The only thing that would change is the source of it all. Instead of all of that happening due to some mystical divine 'soul' which has 'free will', both terms which are about as vague as humanly possible, it's now all an expression of who and what we are.

We are our brains. Our brains are the direct effect of everything we've ever experienced and many things that happened before that. All our actions and all our thoughts are a direct expression of everything that made us us. And the most amazing thing of all is that we ourselves are part of our past and thus we are part of shaping our own future. We are a cause of our own future.

If any of that makes any sense to you then I think it's pretty clear that even without free will we aren't empty vessels and that we can break free of our architecture because we possess the power to change our architecture. The brain is that adaptable.

I don't believe in free will. I believe in causality. I believe everything that happens follows logically from what's happened before. But I do not believe that makes us powerless. We do not have the ability to choose, but we do possess the ability to learn. Our present may be unchangeable but our future is not.

Hmm. It is true that we can change our architechture... Through learning, our brains create faster routes for the electric impulses to travel, and we remember things better. And through various substances, we can affect the way our brains work as well.

We are our brains, that much is true.
But are our brains slaves to forces that come from within us which we cannot control, that is what I'm interested in. Are we programs which are wired to function in a certain way, and if we change the way our brain functions because of a certain experience or through a certain method, is it just because it was predetermined beforehand that in such a situation we would change the wiring of our brain by the genes, hormones and other biologial components.

I realize that the babbling above is kind of aimless, but let me try to present you this question: Is what we areŽ, is our "self", an accidental side product from the reactions of the chemicals? If we do not have "free will", that would mean that we are completely governed over by chemicals in our brains that do just what they do, and our actions and emotions and such would just be side products of the chemicals reacting to the changes in our environment. Doesn't that mean that we are indeed "empty vessels" that just act as a playground for the chemicals?
What if the chemicals which consist of molecules, which in turn consist of atoms and so on, what if beyond all these layers, on a level so microscopic that we can never detect it, live societies of mini men that live their own lives in their own world, and the pollution from their sky cars is where the building blocks for atoms and therefore we come from? What if we are just a smog cloud?

And a related question: How can any of us be sure that anything exists except him/herself at a certain level? If we experience the reality around us through our senses, what if that is just an illusion? All senses can be deceived. What if the world I live in is nothing more than a fabrication of my mind to keep myself sane when the "real" world is nothing more than a big empty void, with only my mind floating around in it?

Eh, sorry, too many thoughts in mah brain make me go a bit crazy.

All the "it's just biology people" will hate this answer, but to me true love or unconditional love is something beyond brain chemistry, evolution, or sex. It's hard to define, but in the very simplest terms it is everything that is good. love isn't limited to couples, friends, or family either; plenty of people are just loving because they choose to be. They go out and do great things for other people for no other reason than that they can, and they make the world a better place simply by being in it.

OniaPL:
Hmm. It is true that we can change our architechture... Through learning, our brains create faster routes for the electric impulses to travel, and we remember things better. And through various substances, we can affect the way our brains work as well.

We are our brains, that much is true.
But are our brains slaves to forces that come from within us which we cannot control, that is what I'm interested in. Are we programs which are wired to function in a certain way, and if we change the way our brain functions because of a certain experience or through a certain method, is it just because it was predetermined beforehand that in such a situation we would change the wiring of our brain by the genes, hormones and other biologial components.

I realize that the babbling above is kind of aimless, but let me try to present you this question: Is what we areŽ, is our "self", an accidental side product from the reactions of the chemicals? If we do not have "free will", that would mean that we are completely governed over by chemicals in our brains that do just what they do, and our actions and emotions and such would just be side products of the chemicals reacting to the changes in our environment. Doesn't that mean that we are indeed "empty vessels" that just act as a playground for the chemicals?
What if the chemicals which consist of molecules, which in turn consist of atoms and so on, what if beyond all these layers, on a level so microscopic that we can never detect it, live societies of mini men that live their own lives in their own world, and the pollution from their sky cars is where the building blocks for atoms and therefore we come from? What if we are just a smog cloud?

And a related question: How can any of us be sure that anything exists except him/herself at a certain level? If we experience the reality around us through our senses, what if that is just an illusion? All senses can be deceived. What if the world I live in is nothing more than a fabrication of my mind to keep myself sane when the "real" world is nothing more than a big empty void, with only my mind floating around in it?

Eh, sorry, too many thoughts in mah brain make me go a bit crazy.

The way I see it the answer is both yes and no.

To illustrate. This isn't 5. Depending on how you look at it it may be two straight lines and an unfinished circle. It may also be 00110101 if you look at it's ASCII code. It may be a certain pattern of pixels. It may be a certain set of neurons activating in your eyes.

The actual five is just a side-effect of us experiencing those things. The character '5' isn't actually five.

Yet at the same time 5 is five. Actually experiencing the character '5' makes it the same as five.

Likewise all those chemical and electrical signals are and aren't our consciousness. Without experiencing them they're separate things with the side-effect of consciousness. Yet when we experience them they're the exact same things. Altering our chemical balance directly alters our experience and altering our experience directly alters our chemical balance.

As for your related question, that's a theory known as solipsism. It can neither be proven nor disproven as far as I know. But it does assume a rather drastic disconnect between subconsciousness, which would be generating this entire illusionary world, and conciousness, which would be experiencing that world. With the conciousness being utterly and completely unaware what the subconsciousness is doing. To the point where one has to wonder if it even matters if your sensory input originates from an actual "real" world of from a subconsciousness so vast and alien that it's capable of creating such a world without you knowing. Regardless of whether that world is actually real we do experience it as real and everything that happens in it does affect our consciousness however minutely. Wouldn't that make this "fake" world just as real to us personally as the actual real world would?

Even with all the brain chemicals and studies and science and whatnot, if you say there is no such thing as love proven and it's just a "lie" our body makes up to make us reproduce... When there is that one person you still can't stop thinking about, that is love!

Really, guys? He hands you that title, and we still go to Haddaway?

I am rather disappointed.

Daystar Clarion:
Love is playing Borderlands coop with your other half.

And then having sex with them.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate you in a very real and meaningful way?

Aris Khandr:
Really, guys? He hands you that title, and we still go to Haddaway?

It's been the go to answer for so long now that I didn't know any better.

I'm sorry.

Forgive me.

Daystar Clarion:
Love is playing Borderlands coop with your other half.

And then having sex with them.

You know, it'd be more efficient to have sex while you are playing. For example, have her ride you while you play Baldur's Gate. Surely you are capable of multitasking?

Isn't that a Lil' Wayne song?

Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope.

OniaPL:

Jonluw:
Brain chemicals.
Everything you experience is in the end electrical signals in your brain.
Why does a person alter the way your brain functions like this? Eh, I'd say evolution. It's a good imperative for mating and raising the resulting children.

Then what do you think that triggers the chain where the hormones and other chemicals that create "love" are released? Is it a combination of the information your senses receive (smell, looks, sound etc.), or is it something that slowly develops if interaction with the person makes you happy, or other similar methods?

I also have an unrelated question to you. So if everything that we experience, that we do and that we are is caused by chemicals and electrical signals that are controlled by our autonomic nervous system which we can't control consciously, what does that make us? Are we just empty vessels? Are we just structures that can't break free from their architechture?

And is free will only an illusion, if our actions and our nature are controlled by things that are not under our control?

We smell hormones whenever we breathe. The detection of those hormones starts the process. Interaction with said person simply strengthens their effect on you. So, it's a combination of both.

Technically, yes. Everything we feel or experience is controlled by the brain chemistry. But 'we' are our brains, therefore we control how to act when exposed to that chemistry.

Aris Khandr:
Really, guys? He hands you that title, and we still go to Haddaway?

I am rather disappointed.

dude you cant fight THE HADDAWAY!


give in the dark side

image

OniaPL:

Jonluw:
Brain chemicals.
Everything you experience is in the end electrical signals in your brain.
Why does a person alter the way your brain functions like this? Eh, I'd say evolution. It's a good imperative for mating and raising the resulting children.

Then what do you think that triggers the chain where the hormones and other chemicals that create "love" are released? Is it a combination of the information your senses receive (smell, looks, sound etc.), or is it something that slowly develops if interaction with the person makes you happy, or other similar methods?

Probably a mixture of the two.
At first sight you are attracted to the person, due to looks and perhaps pheromones. This triggers some hormones and shit, and makes you want that person in some capacity.
As time passes, you develop affection for the person.
Affection, here, taking the form of certain neural patterns and hormonal reactions to that person actions perhaps.

I'm just speculating wildly here though. I haven't seen any studies on the subject.

I also have an unrelated question to you. So if everything that we experience, that we do and that we are is caused by chemicals and electrical signals that are controlled by our autonomic nervous system which we can't control consciously, what does that make us? Are we just empty vessels? Are we just structures that can't break free from their architechture?

And is free will only an illusion, if our actions and our nature are controlled by things that are not under our control?

image

I do know that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the fact that particles act according to probability, not mechanics, can mean that the universe isn't deterministic.

In the end though, I'm fairly convinced that if you set up the world exactly as it was 20 minutes ago, you and I would make the exact same choices.
I don't know if the universe is completely deterministic, but I find it likely that we are to a great degree slaves to our genes and environment.

Could a man have chosen not to kill that other man?
Yes, he could, but that would have required his brain to have some slightly different connections/neural paths when making that decision.
In other words: If he stayed exactly the same in every way, that man would always choose to kill the other man.

We're moving into unexplored territory here though. This is mostly just guesswork and speculation.

OniaPL:
What do you think love is? Is it the work of chemicals in our brains, which are put to action because of some element of the other person that triggers the effect? Or does it come from the so called "soul" or other not-so-scientific source?

If one cannot tell which it is, then does it really matter?

Doclector:
A physical attraction that people made lied to themselves about being more than that.

Well, it doesn't say romantic love.
People love their families, their pets, its not a misplaced physical attraction (or I should bloody hope not).

OT: Love is all sorts of different things. I'm sure a lot of it is biology, but for romantic love I would say it's accepting who each other is and warm fuzzy feelings and all that. And teaming up to stomp on noobs in various games. :)

Guy Jackson:

OniaPL:
What do you think love is? Is it the work of chemicals in our brains, which are put to action because of some element of the other person that triggers the effect? Or does it come from the so called "soul" or other not-so-scientific source?

If one cannot tell which it is, then does it really matter?

It matters to me because I find it interesting. It's curiosity, the same reason why you would ask any question.

Also, because I have too much free time and I like to question these things and ponder about them.

OniaPL:

What do you think love is? Is it the work of chemicals in our brains, which are put to action because of some element of the other person that triggers the effect? Or does it come from the so called "soul" or other not-so-scientific source? Or what?

Love is the natural attraction towards procreation. Humans that didn't experience a strong enough desire to procreate when seeing a member of the opposite sex have most likely died off long ago, because they didn't procreate. That's why the sentiment of love implies a very strong release of dopamine and other chemicals and has a very important priority in the brain. It's logical when you think about it: the reason any of us are here right now is because our ancestors stuck it into eachother and made imperfect copies of themselves. Love is a prerequisite for the human race's continued existence, and existence (survival) takes precedence over every other instinct in the hierarchy. Therefore, love is one of the strongest feelings.

Now, nature didn't count on us using contraceptives or being intelligent enough to pull out (mostly because nature isn't intelligent, or a being, or anything resembling more than a process), so there was never a real need to implement an overwhelming feeling when birthing instead of just copulating. So we're able to keep feeling and experiencing love regardless of whether or not we have children.

As for how attraction works and why the things we see make us feel differently, well, that's a pretty damn complex issue. Our tastes, our feelings of "cute" or "gross" or "funny" or "beautiful" have slowly developed over a very long time, and in time we learned (just as we learned to recognize patterns) to mentally assemble and interpret the forms we see into something that is representative of what we desire. If what we see looks like a man or woman, the body reacts accordingly. If what we see looks like delicious cake, well... saliva is produced. You get the idea.

Which brings us to this:

And is free will only an illusion, if our actions and our nature are controlled by things that are not under our control?

This is an important misunderstanding. Our actions are not controlled by anything. They are influenced. The difference being that we are more likely to do some things and less likely to do others based on feelings as opposed to logic. But the choice of whether to do them or not is still ours. If the most attractive woman alive shows up naked in front of me and declares that she wants to have sex, I am not bound to anything. I can refuse her. Chances are pretty damn high that I won't, but I can. That is free will.

Chemicals and social cohesion.

I travelled through the African continent last year. Spoke to many people about many things: religion, welfare, politics, life and love.

Love is a different concept in many cultures. Just because Hollywood has fed us the western definition of love for more than half a century does not mean its the only one. I remember one conversation about love in particular. I stayed with a family in Jinja (husband and wife of thirty years and their four kids) they seemed, and said to, be very happy. They told me the story of how they met and how they had fought hard to be together. So of course I assumed they married for love, as that is what I'm used to.

They laughed so hard when they heard me talk about "love", the type I know and you're asking about, this romantic construct. They thought it was ridiculous to be with someone on, what they called a "physical whim".

There is nothing magical or holly about love as we treat it. Its just another social construct, probably based in this ideal of the judeo-christian "free-will" bullocks we get drummed into our porn-induced skulls.

Have you ever been in a long-term relationship? I guess you have not because then you would know there is no such thing as a soul mate.

Jonluw:
I do know that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the fact that particles act according to probability, not mechanics, can mean that the universe isn't deterministic.

I'm not a physicist or anything so I could very easily be wrong here but I've always thought that the uncertainty in quantum mechanics came from measurements.

In order to measure something you have to affect it however minutely and thus the very act of measuring changes the measurement you receive. So the best you can get is probabilities about what the measurement would have been had you not affected it by measuring it.

But, as far as I know, the actual universe itself was still thought of as deterministic.

As I said though, I'm not a physicist and could easily be wrong here. Just looking for clarification.

OniaPL:

Guy Jackson:

OniaPL:
What do you think love is? Is it the work of chemicals in our brains, which are put to action because of some element of the other person that triggers the effect? Or does it come from the so called "soul" or other not-so-scientific source?

If one cannot tell which it is, then does it really matter?

It matters to me because I find it interesting. It's curiosity, the same reason why you would ask any question.

Also, because I have too much free time and I like to question these things and ponder

OniaPL:

Guy Jackson:
[quote="OniaPL" post="18.364988.14255424"]What do you think love is? Is it the work of chemicals in our brains, which are put to action because of some element of the other person that triggers the effect? Or does it come from the so called "soul" or other not-so-scientific source?

If one cannot tell which it is, then does it really matter?

It matters to me because I find it interesting. It's curiosity, the same reason why you would ask any question.

Also, because I have too much free time and I like to question these things and ponder about them.

For the record, I think it's chemicals. But I doubt that will sate your curiosity. The answer to your question is, by nature of the question, unknowable. So then the question (to my mind, at least) becomes: what difference does it make? How would you feel if the answer was A rather than B? Would you love differently?

Daystar Clarion:
Love is playing Borderlands coop with your other half.

And then having sex with them.

Love is buying her some greasy soggy chips from the ol chippy, and then her having a taste of your cod piece.

Cmon, that's the British way Daystar, you should know that...

Hagi:

Jonluw:
I do know that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the fact that particles act according to probability, not mechanics, can mean that the universe isn't deterministic.

I'm not a physicist or anything so I could very easily be wrong here but I've always thought that the uncertainty in quantum mechanics came from measurements.

In order to measure something you have to affect it however minutely and thus the very act of measuring changes the measurement you receive. So the best you can get is probabilities about what the measurement would have been had you not affected it by measuring it.

But, as far as I know, the actual universe itself was still thought of as deterministic.

As I said though, I'm not a physicist and could easily be wrong here. Just looking for clarification.

I thought so as well until we began to touch on the subject in physics class.
Apparently, it's not some sort of practical issue like that, it takes the form of a fundamental law of the universe.
If you try to break it by measuring the position of one particle and the speed of a different particle which has a speed and position that's related to the first particle, you actually change the properties of the first particle (See Aspect's experiment on quantum entanglement and the polarization of photons).

What it means is that not only do we have to treat particles' movements as a matter of probability when making predictions, the particles actually act as if they were waves. If you don't make any observations of the particles' momentum, the particles' movements will experience interference as if they were waves. The amazing thing here is that the interference patterns correspond to the probability waves that represent the particles.
It's not simply a matter of us having to treat particles as if they have a probable area of distribution. They actually act like the probability waves that we are limited to look at them as.
Look up electron self interference.

image

That is an image of a ring of iron atoms, taken with a scanning tunnel microscope. Each spike represents an iron atom. That spike in the middle of the ring is not an iron atom that the scientists placed there.
It's the probable distributions of all the other iron atoms piling on top of each other to create a new atom (Although, as you can see, the spike isn't as pronounced as the other atoms).
It's like how when two waves meet, the tops cancel out the bottoms, and tops that meet tops amplify eachother.

But getting into quantum mechanics like this is some serious mindfucking shit.
Try watching some related videos to that one I embedded if you want.

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