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Old 07-18-2009, 01:16 AM
6,344 posts, read 9,170,895 times
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This is question that makes the self proclaimed "rationalists" run for the hills and one that I have never received a good answer to. Why should I believe in love, but not GOD?

Love (I am referring to the Romantic kind) is something that I am 90% sure does not really exists. Yes, indeed, there are chemical reactions in the brain that happen when someone has an experience with a "loved one", but that is mating, not love. It is a desire to breed, nothing more. Romantic attachmenet, passion, all of these things could easily be called what they are: Something that, in our distant evolutionary past, might have been beneficial, but is just a worthless delusion today.

Anti-Theists all the time say "look at all the evil religion has done to the world!" Well, my answer is simple: LOOK AT ALL THE EVIL DONE IN THE CONTEXT OF ROMANTIC LOVE!
Messy divorces, domestic violence, date rape, etc etc etc.

What are the figures for domestic violence? Let's see..."In a 1995-1996 study conducted in the 50 States and the District of Columbia, nearly 25% of women and 7.6% of men were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime (based on survey of 16,000 participants, equally male and female)"
American Bar Association - Commission on Domestic Violence: Key Statistics

"Physical violence is estimated to occur in 4 to 6 million intimate relationships each year in the United States"
Domestic Violence Statistics: Prevalence and Trends ~ FindCounseling.com

So...what about all the violence within the context of intimat relationships? Would there be any domestic violence if there was no domestic relationship? Of course not! And if love was real, then how come so much violence is a part of it? Can romantic relationships really offer anything positive to the world?

But wait, there's more! How about "being with someone your whole life?" A BIG FAT LIE! What is divorce like in America?....
" According to divorce statistics, it is estimated that between 40 percent and 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce in the United States. In some countries, divorce rates for first marriages exceed 50 percent."
Statistics of Divorce (http://ezinearticles.com/?Statistics-of-Divorce&id=1468444 - broken link)

And what happens after the marriage fails, as that looks very, VERY likely? Child support, alimony, lawyer fees etc. So, dear Rationalists...HOW F****IN' "RATIONAL" is marriage anyway?! It isn't!

But wait, THERE'S STILL MORE! How about murder by a "loved one?" Well, that happens allot too..."A woman dies as the result of spousal abuse every 6 hours in the U.S."
Most Recent U.S. Spousal Murder Statistics

Every six hours! So, more women are killed by their husbands every week then people are killed in the name of Christianity every month (not to mention all the husbands killed by wifes and boyfriend/girlfriend murders)
Atheists always bring up the Crusades, which happened centuries ago, to show the "evils" of religion...but if I show them something like this: CNN.com - Wife, closeted lover guilty of husband's murder - Sep 29, 2006 that happened two years ago, would they agree with me about the evils of love?

Now, let's say one beats the odds and does not end up dead or beaten or divorced or any of the other horrible things that come with "love". What does love get you? It cost money, time, and effort. All things that, rationally, could be spent pursuing research papers or scientific research or any of the other things a good "rationalists" should be doing.

I mean, some religions expect you to tithe ten percent of your income to a church...in marriage, you are tithing 100% of your income to the marriage! Which is worse, financially?

I have a GOD. Will GOD ever beat me up, divorce me, or steal my money? No. To you, dear anti-theists, I ask...can your spouse or lover do those things? Indeed, they can! So, who is more likely to get screwed over: You by your "lover" or me by GOD? GOD has never disapointed me...have you ever been disapointed by a lover? If so, then why, logically, continue believing in romantic love?

"But, you need love" you say? Well...I NEED GOD! Just as I have an irrational belief in GOD, you have an irrational belief in love. The only difference, as I have shown, is that my belief can never hurt me and will never commit an act of violence against me.

Just as many Anti-Theists snicker and say "GOD is a crutch for the weak minded" or "GOD is irrational", I content that, as I proved above, Love is indeed irrational and for the weak minded. Why become depended on a human being for emotional support, considering how weak humans are? That is irrational and weak minded in the utmost.

Just as Atheists say that they are happy without GOD, I am happy without love. I have never been on a date and never had a girlfriend in my life, and I often see the pain "love" causes and think "I am not missing much". Just as you can live without GOD and think the whole thing silly, I can live without love and think the whole thing silly. Also, just as you "cannot live without love", I cannot live without GOD.

BUT: If love was GOD, I would be Agnostic. I do keep open the possibility of it existing and would like to date some day. I can, however, live a perfectly happy life without love.

However, while few anti-theists would ever try religion for a month and see what happens, I am indeed willing to try love for a time and see what happens...BUT I WILL NEVER SHUT MY SKEPTICS BRAIN OFF WHILE DOING SO. I will observe and be aware and coldly analytical, with no useless "faith" in the "chemistry", and I will even take notes. But, I have a strong feeling the empirical evidence will come to a conclusion that the "Rationalists" hypocrites refuse to believe:

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Old 07-18-2009, 01:38 AM
1,634 posts, read 3,604,735 times
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I really don't care if you believe in love or not. I have loved and lost, and I have been exposed to religion/god and rejected it. So, what is your point?
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:48 AM
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,677,014 times
Reputation: 4301
Well, that's cool. I'm fine with there not being such a thing as love...

Hey, speaking of which... Since you and God are basically shacking up together and you're planning on moving your stuff into his house, do you love him and does he love you or are you just going to be roommates?

I would just make sure I was in love with someone before I planned on having an eternal relationship with them... I'm just saying... You know, I'd hate for you to make such a commitment and find out he doesn't love you... That could be heartbreaking...

P.S. - Move to Massachusetts or Iowa... I think those two states offer same-sex benefits... That is, of course, if you find out you're both in love with one another.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:05 AM
Location: Victoria, BC.
32,014 posts, read 33,637,692 times
Reputation: 13140
Romantic love is natures snare who's purpose is to propagate the species. Falling in love is a temporary thing, but real lasting love is a choice one makes, that is not always easy, but often requires effort...

This I believe speaks of romantic love. It's a wonderful feeling....Too bad it's temporary.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night,
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Kahlil Gibran
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:08 AM
Location: ABQ
3,775 posts, read 6,331,077 times
Reputation: 4873
I would actually agree that there is no such thing as love. It IS all chemical reactions in the brain, as well was monogamy a good idea in terms of evolution and natural selection. Monogamy is afterall, a reason humans still walk the planet earth. But is there something of substance called love that we can hang onto? Are there soulmates? No.

And I don't believe in God either.

I don't know why you think you trap any atheists with that question. If so, I apologize for random, irrational answers but it's really not so tricky or clever. Atheists are humans too and just as Christians get trapped with an emotional God-vision, so do other humans with love. But in the end, both are fantasies.

So your answer from me is: You shouldn't believe in love or in God, but if it makes you feel better to do so, go right ahead. Why would I care what you believe in? Just don't bother me with either.
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:28 AM
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 15,267,875 times
Reputation: 1573
Originally Posted by victorianpunk
There are people who love their loved ones so much that they would give their lives in order to see them safe.
Heck, during WWII there were Dutch people who risked their lives by hiding Jewish people who were complete strangers to them.
I doubt this would be classified as romantic love?
Since you don't believe in love would you call these people insane?
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:55 AM
Location: S. Wales.
48,957 posts, read 14,737,445 times
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I don't understand your problem with this. So far from having 'run to the hills' I thought I'd set it out. 'Love' is a blunderbuss term applied to a whole lot of feelings that we have. Some can be traced to hormonal activity, some can be linked with evolved preferences that tweak our emotions, others look cultural and it is all a very interesting subject that should be looked at medically and rationally except that so many people regard it as dangerous and slighly blasphemous to do so, in case it destroys their illusions that 'love' is something 'real' instead of being a cultural myth, like 'luck', 'destiny', or 'fate'.

Similarly, Believing people often get edgy about looking scientifically and rationally at 'God' in case their illusions are shattered by finding out that it's no more than hormones, evolutionarily - tweaked preferences and cultural stuff.

In fact the 'love' argument is just a variant on the hoary old theist ploy of trying to point up something we 'can't see' (the wind, gravity, the intelligence' but we nevetherless "Believe In" and argue that as some reason to 'believe' in other (selected) stuff that we 'can't see'. It is a long discredited trick of theist apologetics and I only mention it as I am sure you are not falling into that trap.

Though otherwise, as I say, I don't see your difficulty.
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:58 AM
Location: California
32,763 posts, read 36,270,318 times
Reputation: 28957
Love doesn't need or ask for us to do anything, we are not expected to worship it.
Love doesn't claim to be all knowing or all powerful.
Love doesn't talk or have rules to follow.
Love makes no promises.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:19 AM
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
13,856 posts, read 24,168,601 times
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I don't think it's merely things you can't see, but intangibles. That's not the same thing. Wind, gravity, etc can be proven to exist scientifically. Things like "lasting love" or "justice" or even "art" can't as such.

I have to admit the atheist responses so far are intriguingly honest in essentially saying love isn't real and presumably justice isn't either. Still I think most humans are always going to find a philosophy that rejects all intangibles rather cold and unappealing. I think this might explain why most people who don't believe in God, even in nations where disbelief is common, tend not to call themselves "atheists" per-se. "Atheist" has kind-of come to mean "reductionist form of rational materialism" and few people want that. I think few people would throw out a belief in all intangibles.

In any event it's true the existence of an intangible does not prove the existence of any other intangible. Still the "soul" is quite possibly the most universal intangible of all. Evidence of belief in it can be traced back to Neanderthals. Granted one can believe in the soul without believing in God, but a "Supreme Being" is probably also more universal than love or justice. One can still disbelieve in a Supreme Being and a soul, while accepting other intangibles, but to do so is largely going to be a matter of taste. Which oddly I might have some respect for after a fashion.

Granted that's not too relevant to the discussion so far. Most atheists here seem to be leaning toward the option of just rejecting the reality of intangibles altogether. Which is essentially inhuman and I think will/should always be marginalized in human history. (And no that doesn't mean all atheism should be marginalized. The idea of rejecting every non-verifiable concept is not necessary for atheism and I think is likely rare among actual people who disbelief in God. It's more some weird sub-culture among scientists)
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:29 AM
Location: Indianapolis
4,325 posts, read 5,497,744 times
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There are two kinds of love. Natural love we are born with and Divine Love which is God's substance.
The natural loves changes and thats why it fails. This love is the sand and when it collapses, everything around it will fall.
Divine Love never changes and is the rock that Jesus spoke of in the bible. Nothing can move it and the foundation will last throughout all eternity.
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