Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

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Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:24 pm UTC

This side-discussion started happening in the "Darker Side of the News" thread, so I thought I'd start this thread on society's interest in sexual morality at Serious Business.

The context:

CorruptUser wrote:[EDITED BY OBSESSOMOM TO PARAPHRASE: Someone else had expressed doubts that many religions provide justifications for murdering children.]

Ba'al Hamon, God of Carthage, required child sacrifices. Interestingly, it was the nobles who had to offer a sacrifice, because it was their fault things got so bad. The gist of it was, whenever there was a crisis, i.e., food shortage, someone had to die. And it was better to kill someone you weren't yet attached to.

This was actually surprisingly normal for the world until very, very recently. Eskimo retirements weren't a thing, but they did murder newborns they couldn't take care of. The greeks would abandon newborns they couldn't feed, usually the girls, which is why they were so gay. Also why they were so murderous, seeing as the only way to get laid was to murder and rape in the next town over. The catholic church ran brothels, but would murder all the male children. The Aztecs... well you know. The Eastern Shoshone of North America (or one of the Shoshone tribes) killed ALL the female newborns, and got wives by either buying slaves or kidnapping them. The Canaanite cultures famously sacrificed to Moloch until 3200 years ago, around the same time that part of the world turned to constant warfare instead...

Be very, very VERY grateful you live in a world with condoms. Because without which, the only way to survive is some combination of murdering your children or murdering your neighbors.



CorruptUser wrote:
Obsessomom wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:The greeks would abandon newborns they couldn't feed, usually the girls, which is why they were so gay.


I understand that your entire post is on the hyperbolic, outrageous gadfly side, CorruptUser, but I find it very hard to see humor in statements like this. Just sayin'.


Not that much hyperbolism, actually. We can look down upon the "backwards" views on sexuality of our ancestors because we did not have to suffer through the living hell that was the world prior to birth control. And paternity tests. And food preservatives. And vaccines. And antibiotics. That's pretty much the definition of "privilege", as we never had to suffer from the horrors of not even that long ago.

And based on what part you quoted, I feel I should clarify that I don't view homosexuality as being "perverse" or anything like that, just that homosexuality was somewhat more tolerated in ancient Greece than in the past thousand or so years indirectly because of the female infanticide.


Ethics philosophy quarantine
Spoiler:
Oh, and I'm not actually a moral relativist. More of a moral nihilist, or really a moral anti-nihilist; there is no "inherent" morality (or meaning in the world), which gives humanity the right to create whatever morality (or meaning) we see fit ("we" as in plural; morals are worthless if it's just the individual). So, what is "right" is "whatever is best", and what is "best" will depend on what society is capable of. Today, the benefits of having "free love" far outweigh the problems, so long as safe sex is practiced, but if condoms and the pill were to disappear?



sardia wrote:It's still better than when he called every extremist a closeted homo.


Ok, that one was excessive hyperbole, but I still stand by my hypothesis that it's higher than the average.
Last edited by ObsessoMom on Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:02 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:16 pm UTC

Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to distinguish between the quoted material above and my blather below.

CorruptUser wrote:Unless I'm horribly mistaken, while anesthetics make our individual lives better their availability has little impact on the morals on society.


You seem concerned about the effects of homosexuality on the morals in society. I don't think the phrase "morals in society" means what you think it does. (Or you don't think it means what I do. Anyway, I thought it might be useful to see if we can agree on a definition.)

If I understand you correctly, CorruptUser, you seem to be saying that that the physical expression of love between two equals is automatically immoral if it's same-sex (regardless of whether the couple is in a long-term, monogamous relationship).

Yet you also imply that condoms make it okay for hetero people to cheat on their spouses.

I don't think you and I are looking in the same way at society's interest in encouraging stability (which is what I've always thought was the purpose of morality).

Yes, irresponsible reproduction puts members of society (both parents and children) into financially unstable circumstances, which can in turn lead to a number of other societal problems. So most societies try to discourage that in various ways.

For example, some societies marry people off as soon as they hit puberty, apparently with the idea of immediately limiting their sexual activity to certain partners and making them unavailable to others. Such societies tend to mete out harsh punishments for adultery (i.e., extramarital sex when one or more partners is married to someone else) and fornication (i.e., extramarital sex without regard to whether one or more partners is married to someone else). These societies also tend to frown upon seduction (generally seen as undermining the right of male family members to choose whom their younger female relatives will marry). Honor killings may be technically illegal, but in practice the authorities in cultures with a tradition of honor killings tend to look the other way, because they believe that the traditional system of arranged marriages is more conducive to stability than letting young people navigate their love lives unguided, and perhaps have out-of-wedlock children.

In the context of a society in which parents marry off their children in their teen years, always to someone of the opposite sex, homosexuality is by definition always extramarital, and therefore it's always fornication. But falling in love itself--outside of the relationship that one's parents have arranged--is likewise forbidden in such societies.

Are homosexual relationships inherently immoral in a society, like ours, that generally gives people the freedom to choose if, and to whom, they will marry?

I don't think so. It seems to me that our society benefits from encouraging the stability of committed, longterm, mutually satisfying relationships. Period. Whether those relationships are heterosexual or homosexual.

In fact, I think it's immoral for society to discourage committed, longterm, mutually satisfying relationships that happen to be same-sex, based only on the threat that homosexuality represented to the early-and-arranged-marriage culture in which most of us no longer live. Societal stability is no longer threatened by homosexuality. In fact, same-sex marriages significantly contribute to societal stability.

[Okay, I made a bunch of changes to this, but I'm done tinkering now. Sorry to anyone who was trying to respond while I was rewording things.]

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:22 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:If I understand you correctly, CorruptUser


You don't. Not even sure where to start with you, so I'll just ramble on here.

1) Morals are derived from consequences
2) Consequences are in large part the result of the environment, whether that's the technology of society, the local climate, or the presence of various diseases
3) From 2 and 1, if you change the consequences, the morals change too
4) The environments of the 16th century had different consequences as a result of sex than the environments of the 21st century
5) From 3 and 4, we can conclude that sexual morality would therefore also change

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby morriswalters » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:29 am UTC

1) Morals are derived from consequences
I kinda wish that I believed that.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby sardia » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:17 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:If I understand you correctly, CorruptUser


You don't. Not even sure where to start with you, so I'll just ramble on here.

1) Morals are derived from consequences
2) Consequences are in large part the result of the environment, whether that's the technology of society, the local climate, or the presence of various diseases
3) From 2 and 1, if you change the consequences, the morals change too
4) The environments of the 16th century had different consequences as a result of sex than the environments of the 21st century
5) From 3 and 4, we can conclude that sexual morality would therefore also change

Even if what you're saying is true, you don't even account for traditions that last long past their usefulness. Fear of shellfish, obsession with trees and gardens etc etc.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:39 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:1) Morals are derived from consequences
I kinda wish that I believed that.


Morals that flow from philosophy do, at least the serious ones anyway. There is much drunken debate that has been had over the various normative ethical theories, but advocates of any sort of ethical system still have to argue that their system produces the best result for society even if they don't get lost in trolley problems. Of course, morals don't change instantly when the environment changes, so you'll have 'vestigial' ethics. For example, once we perfect vat grown beef, you won't see ranchers disappear overnight.

That said, ethics that are not derived from a consistent philosophical source, e.g., religious morals, tend to be... hit or miss. Far too often you've had leaders pushing forth morals that benefit themselves rather than society as a whole.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby ObsessoMom » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:43 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:If I understand you correctly, CorruptUser


You don't. Not even sure where to start with you, so I'll just ramble on here.

1) Morals are derived from consequences
2) Consequences are in large part the result of the environment, whether that's the technology of society, the local climate, or the presence of various diseases
3) From 2 and 1, if you change the consequences, the morals change too
4) The environments of the 16th century had different consequences as a result of sex than the environments of the 21st century
5) From 3 and 4, we can conclude that sexual morality would therefore also change


Okay, let's start there.

Would you agree that positive and negative emotions are significant consequences? You haven't mentioned emotions at all.

I certainly got married for positive emotional reasons, not least among which was the desire to have children and raise them in a supportive financial and emotional situation with someone I knew would be both a really fun life partner to me and a really fabulous dad to them.

From a societal standpoint, I enjoyed being able to flash my engagement ring--and then my wedding ring--to stop unwelcome advances from guys on the prowl for available women. (Admittedly, this became a non-problem when I reached a certain age, but it was a significant nuisance when I was younger, even though I really wasn't that good-looking.)

When I was single, it was sometimes hard to get rid of these would-be suitors without being outright rude. But, even though my feminist instincts shuddered, showing them evidence that I was another man's "property" (ugh) made them back off. Apparently, their system of morality didn't require them to respect a woman's right to find them unattractive, but it did require them to respect another man's property rights. I really hated that in principle, but in practice I had to admit that it worked like a charm to achieved instant results, which I loved.

I think most societies develop some sort of sexual partner dibs system to promote feelings of bondedness/security/wellbeing and reduce the number of murderously jealous rages, etc., when people feel abandoned/betrayed/rejected. (A rejection because "I'm married" is less personal than a rejection because "I don't like you." And they seemed to understand and want to avoid my husband's potential anger if they were to continue to flirt with me.)

In fact, I think reducing the number of murderously jealous rages, rather than avoiding disease or situations in which children aren't supported by both parents, may be the main reason that most societies' systems of morality promote monogamy over "free love".

What do you think about morality's relation to those positive and negative emotional consequences?

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby morriswalters » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:06 pm UTC

but advocates of any sort of ethical system still have to argue that their system produces the best result for society even if they don't get lost in trolley problems.
I suppose I see your point, but I'm just not certain that the reality is that simple. We abstract from underlying biological responses, or so I believe. And I see morals as a rationalization of something less accessible consciously.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:29 pm UTC

Obsesso, I have not argued that homophobia was moral. I think I see this disconnect here.

I am not arguing that the morals that societies had in the past were the best possible moral for society at that time

morriswalters wrote:
but advocates of any sort of ethical system still have to argue that their system produces the best result for society even if they don't get lost in trolley problems.
I suppose I see your point, but I'm just not certain that the reality is that simple. We abstract from underlying biological responses, or so I believe. And I see morals as a rationalization of something less accessible consciously.


Eh, those tend to be the morals that society has rather than philosophically should have. A huge, huge part of philosophy is trying to determine our personal biases and shortcuts, and is one of the bigger points of the trolley problems.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:06 am UTC

Despite both of our efforts to communicate, we still seem to be having two entirely different conversations. I didn't mention homosexuality at all in my last post.

We can continue to spend a lot of time and energy explaining what we think the other is saying, or we could just call it a draw and quit.

Handshake?

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:39 am UTC

Handshake then.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:21 pm UTC

I demand sources for .EVERY. example given in the OP. Like, you do not just go accusing several societies of systematic infanticide without something to back it up.

P.S. The Sexual Revolution happened only about 50 years ago and divorce rates are at unprecedented levels. I would be much more surprised if society did not have a interest in sexuality.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:49 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I demand sources for .EVERY. example given in the OP.


Here you go.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:05 pm UTC

You just respond to a request for respectable sources by linking to Wikipedia...

Also, plenty for "serious" philosophies do are not based on consequentialism, such as Locke and Kant.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:28 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Like, you do not just go accusing several societies of systematic infanticide without something to back it up.


You were bitching about a lack of sources for infanticide. Virtually all of them can be confirmed by wikipedia. Do you want me to tell you which line each one is on, or are you going to be a big boy and use "ctrl+f"?

jewish_scientist wrote:Also, plenty for "serious" philosophies do are not based on consequentialism, such as Locke and Kant.


Their advocates must still argue that these philosophies result in a better society, there is no way around it. That is the metric by which ethic systems are judged.


If you are going to continue to redefine your question or my responses the way you have in the past, please bugger off.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:34 pm UTC

This is in SB, not N&A, so when you're asked for sources you should probably skip the snark and just provide some.

Also, don't think we haven't noticed your No True Scotsman about consequentialism in ethics.
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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:46 pm UTC

Since I respect you (Gmal) somewhat more than JS, please, explain to me in what way the advocates of Locke and Kant and others do not ultimately measure the value of their own ethical system by the hypothesized resulting society?

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:36 am UTC

It goes without saying (in the sense of being a tautology) that those philosophers thought behaving better (according to their definition of "better") would result in a better society (according to their definition of "better"). However, that isn't the same as saying "morals are derived from consequences".
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:03 pm UTC

On Moral Theories that are not Consequentialism:
Spoiler:
Libertarians say that the only things that the government can do is protect the people's bodies, the people's property, and enforce contracts. Anything else is immoral because the taxes taken to fund the action is a violation of the taxpayers' rights. Libertarians would say that a government run homeless shelter is immoral1. Telling them that the shelter houses 1,000s of people is like telling them that it is painted blue. They literally do not care about the effects the shelter has on the lives of the homeless people.

Immanuel Kant based his theory of morality on duties and rights. An action is ethical if it does not violate anyone's rights and fulfills all of your duties. A member of a democracy has a duty to vote, so refraining to do so is immoral2 even if his vote does not change the elections outcome.

Please read The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. This short story posses an interesting problem to any consequentialists, particularly utilitarians. However, libertarians and Kantians would be able to label the actions of the town Omelas immoral without any problems at all. This is because these two systems of morality focus on an individual's rights and are not concerned with the effects of an action.

1: This is a simplified version of libertarianism. A complex debate could happen between two libertarians because one could claim that homeless shelters protect the bodies of homeless people.
2: Again, this is a simplified version of Kantian ethics. Kantians would definitely allow someone to not vote if doing so is a form of protest, or if all of the candidates want to violate people's rights.


On The Quotation in the OP:
Spoiler:
This is a perfect example of why no one should use Wikipedia as a citation. I could not find citations there for several of the claims that you made. However, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that when you read the article, there were citations. The fact that Wikipedia is a wiki means that it is fluid and is in a state of constant change. This in turn means that information present at one moment in time may not be there later. These are the claims that I would like a citation for. All the other claims had supporting citations or I believe are irrelevant to the current conversation.

The citation given for the Greeks practice of infanticide says, "As to the exposure of children, let there be a law that no deformed child shall live. However, let no child be exposed because of excess population..." The italicized part was not included in Wikipedia's quotation, which is what I believe lead to your confusion on the matter.

The article does not say anything about Church funded brothels and says that the Church was very vocal against infanticide. Unfortunately, infanticide was common throughout the Middle Ages. However the only way that the Church could be blamed for this is to say that they should have done more to stop the practice.

All information about the Native Americans comes from one source, a book published by the Smithsonian Institute. That sounds good, until you click on the link. The link goes to the Wikipedia page on the book instead of a copy of the book itself. The word 'infant' appears nowhere in that article.

The infanticide practice by the Canaanites does not give a source other than than vaguely saying that the "Hebrew Bible" mentions the practice. I am perfectly happy to accept this as a valid source; just beware that doing so opens a floodgate that the majority of people here want to stay closed.

Your final lines about how infanticide as population control being common among the Ancients is unfounded. Even if we include your sources that lack proper citations, only a single example you gave (Eskimo) practiced infanticide as a form of population control. I have to head to class right now, but I will try to come back to refute that bit on birth control.

EDIT:
ObsessoMom wrote:Be very, very VERY grateful you live in a world with condoms. Because without which, the only way to survive is some combination of murdering your children or murdering your neighbors.

The world currently produces enough food to feed everyone. World hunger is caused by people being unable to afford the food. If food was evenly distributed, then everyone would take in 2790 calories/ day1. According to the CDC, the only people who need more than this are
males between the ages of 15 and 35 who walk more than 3 miles/ day, or preform an equivalent in other physical labor2. As agricultural
technology improves, the worlds total food production will increase. In addition, as general technology improves people will require less calories/ day because they will preform less physical labor. Even if all technological progress immediately comes to a halt, I would think we could go 2 centuries or so without artificially lowering the birth rate before vast global famines lead to systematic infanticide and/ or murder.


1: http://www.worldhunger.org/2015-world-h ... tatistics/
2: https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default ... yTable.pdf

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby Jumble » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:41 pm UTC

Spoilered because I'm upset and probably out of line

Spoiler:
I'm sorry, but I resent being included in the OP for this post. A lot has happened to me since I wrote that quote (which is taken out of context). I had to read back to remember what was under discussion.

I was discussing some pointless shitbag who thought it justifiable to drive a car at children. I have no idea, or interest, in how this ended up in a discussion on sexual morality (which seems, in this instance, to mean homophobia). If you want references just read the fucking news.

Since writing that post I have watched my mother die, buried my mother, and then 48 hours later been dragged back 3500 miles from my family to help deal with the cluster-fuck that is the US policy on Syria, written in crayon by a man-child. So, I'm not in a good frame of mind.

So, for the record:

- I was not talking about sexual morality, and I don't think those before or after me in the original thread were either.
- If you want to use anything I've written, or anything anyone has written, to condemn anyone on the grounds of their sexual orientation then , in my opinion, you can go fuck yourself.
- I've read my bible and I could give a rats arse what quotes you want to chuck at me. The God I am forced to tolerate isn't homophobic.

Now, I'm not in a good place so can you keep me out of these discussions in future?
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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:20 pm UTC

I don't think you were out of line at all, Jumble.

I am very sorry for having quoted you out of context, and have edited the OP to paraphrase what prompted CorruptUser's comments.

Actually, I think the whole exercise of moving the discussion here in order to 1.) not derail the original thread and 2.) have a mutually productive exchange of views seems to have achieved only 1.), due to my shortcomings in how the topic was framed, etc., etc. I tried a few times to clarify what I wanted to discuss, but those efforts were screw-ups too, so I decided to follow the proverb "When you're in a hole, stop digging." Apologies all around.

Wishing you strength and peace and comfort and whatever else you need right now, Jumble.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby Jumble » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:32 pm UTC

I'm sorry ObsessoMom , I don't think I was lashing out at you. Frankly I'm not sure who I was lashing out at, but that's where I am at the moment. I don't think I'm in a good place.

I just want to make a stand on the basic tenant that anyone who wants to justify homophobia or bigotry on the grounds of religion is someone I would like to meet, as I have some anger management issues to work out. I am married to a vicars daughter, my utterly beloved and worshipped daughter happens to be gay, which is completely irrelevant as far as I'm concerned, and I have seen mind of what you called god when I held the hand of my dying god-child. Anyone who wants to have a theological or moral conversation trying to belittle people on the grounds of their sexual preference, and use a deity in their argument, is not going to get a polite response from me at present.

So, I promise I will back out this discussion and leave you to it. Have fun.
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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby Flintstone » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:56 am UTC

The outset seems to be mixing a bunch of cultural ideas and prejudices with a half-hearted analysis of general culture, and some harsh accusations towards forum members based off some conversation from seemingly long ago. This seems like a really terrible way to start.

I'm not sure what the "question" is with this thread in general. We get an opening statement form the OP, that seems to have their own conclusion on the matter. So I suppose we're here to disagree or agree? The question of whether society has an interest in sexual morality is simple: yes.


As this discussion is a mess of political and personal ideals and accusations seem to be heavy, I'll focus on one particular disagreement. "Falling in love" is an idea everyone got from Disney cartoons (or more specifically the medieval love ballads). You can love anyone, just by putting the effort there. Whether you like someone is less in your control. You don't have to like someone to love them. Love is NOT defined by magic in the air, by beating hearts, by sex, nor even by mothers--as there are many mothers who did not love their children. Love is an action, to protect someone, to serve them over yourself, to care for their needs. Laying down your life for someone, is love. Nursing the sick day and night, is love. Punishing someone so they won't play with matches in future is love, you don't have to like it.

When people talk about sexual love, they're talking about "chemistry". Some people do like and lust after each other very successfully--or sometimes it is short lived and they dislike each other when the hormonal aspect dies down. Seeking this type of love has indeed lead to a lot of sexual immorality, where people are looking for love among prostitutes, for love among their siblings, for love through a series of abusive partners, or for love that betrays their own families. They were looking for sex, because people told them it would make them feel loved.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby ucim » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:59 pm UTC

Flintstone wrote:You can love anyone, just by putting the effort there.
Love isn't the putting somebody ahead of you. Love is the (followed through) desire to do so.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby Flintstone » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:12 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Flintstone wrote:You can love anyone, just by putting the effort there.
Love isn't the putting somebody ahead of you. Love is the (followed through) desire to do so.

Jose
Hmm, fair point. You might love someone, and still fail to put them ahead of yourself.

But I think I have to disagree with this definition. As even if you don't want to love someone, you can act lovingly. Caring for someone even when it's against your desires, is a sign of true love. Many times, a mother won't feel like being a loving mother, but will do so despite it. In general, if we get to love being based off desire, we return to the chemistry style of hormonal love.

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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby ucim » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:22 pm UTC

Flintstone wrote:But I think I have to disagree with this definition.
Ok, here's another: True Love is being able to put up with someone you like.
Flintstone wrote:Many times, a mother won't feel like being a loving mother, but will do so despite it.
Love isn't short term or fleeting. It's not what you "feel like doing today". It's what drives how you feel from day to day.
Flintstone wrote:Caring for someone even when it's against your desires, is a sign of true love.
Or it's a sign of duty. Duty is not love, even though love may inspire duty.

I'm not going to seriously try to define the word; I'm not convinced it's really possible. But perhaps you'll find insight in these quips.

Jose
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elasto
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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby elasto » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:54 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Love isn't short term or fleeting. It's not what you "feel like doing today". It's what drives how you feel from day to day.

I'd put it as 'Even when I don't want to be caring, I want to want to be caring'. It's a deeper drive that does not fluctuate in the same way that, say, 'I like you' does.

ucim wrote:Or it's a sign of duty. Duty is not love, even though love may inspire duty.

Yes. Duty or devotion comes from a different place to love, even though from the outside the effect can be similar (or even indistinguishable).

Compare/contrast with 'I love you but I'm not in love with you'.

Flintstone
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Re: Society's Interest in Sexual Morality

Postby Flintstone » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:12 pm UTC

The English language does not have enough words for this. Enough to make you want to go back to the six loves.

We're basically trying to decide some aspects for love, or perhaps true love.


1) Is love eternal? Can what is loved never be unloved? Or is it simply long-term? But what is long-term? This becomes one of those unanswerable questions, unless we say it is eternal.

I feel Elasto's answer is good for this, and I would say the same. Liking someone depends on how you feel. You can't say, "I like you," when you are furious with that person, unless you lie. But you can still say, "I love you," because you will stay with that person and support them even though you're furious with them. Love I would say, is a decision and a will. You can decide to stop loving someone, but that's very different from if they make you angry. Of course, a true love I would say would be an eternal love--someone who will not stop loving you, having complete loyalty in their love.


2) Is Love obligation? It seems we agree that you can't be forced to love. But are we obliged to love people that we should love them?

Anyone who has had children or a mother, surely thinks we have an obligation to love one and other. One of the worst things we can face as children, is to not be loved by our parents.

Interestingly on Elasto's point, there was a study that noted the difference between mothers who were acting out of obligation, and ones acting out of love. The differences were subtle, but had a visible effect on the children.


3) Is love an action, or an emotion? Elasto puts forward the very interesting example of, 'I love you but I'm not in love with you'. This gets into the question, do you have to like someone to love them, or perhaps you have to have liked them?

I would say that in English, lover refers to action and feeling. The emotion of love isn't liking something, it is most normally experienced as a terrible and unpleasant stress--when you're worrying for another's well-being. An example of the positive side of love, is when you feel good for benefiting another person in ways that don't benefit yourself. Liking someone, doing good things to them is a good way to get them to like you, so that doesn't prove love.

If you are nursing someone back to health for days and nights, at no personal gain or interest or necessity, then surely you are loving them however you feel about it. Even if you curse them secretly, you have decided to love them and care for them. If you didn't love them, you would turn them over to someone else with no regard for what happens to them.

Of course, this should not be confused with acting out of personal interest or fear. People can fear all sorts of things, or have all sorts of interests. Even fear of guilt can cause people to act benevolently.


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