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JosephM

Love? What is it?

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14 hours ago, thormas said:

Again, I do acknowledge that hate, anger, grief and some types of love are emotions but again, in response to the question (What is Love), my response is that Christian Love or Agape is not emotion. It is a decision to act and be in a certain way. I am not jumping to and signing out a single emotion (Love), I disagree that Agape love is an emotion.

Our decisions are made because of emotion - that is how our brain works.  So a decision to act and be in a certain way is employed because you have an emotional response to some sort of stimuli.  Without trying to muddy the waters for you, emotions and decision making are integrated, they are not separate.  Sometimes it may seem grandiose such as when somebody who is 'madly in love' does something silly, but the rest of the time it is subtle.  This is not a 'belief' of mine, this is called neuroscience.

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15 hours ago, thormas said:

I wouldn't characterize Being as 'waiting around' as I envision existence, the expanding universe, evolution and the advent (and growth) of man as a bit more dynamic than that. The analogy is that of a man who loves natures, loves his dogs, cares for his gardens, is drawn by the wonder of the universe. And, when he marries, he continues all this (as opposed to merely waiting) and when he has a child, he enjoys all the moments of her life as she is growing and learning yet also looks forward to that time, when as a 'adult' human being, she can be in an even fuller relationship with him. 

 

That analogy seems packed with emotion to me.

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10 hours ago, PaulS said:

That analogy seems packed with emotion to me.

Whether it is or not, the point is made (there is no god who is waiting around as opposed to actively present). And in Christianity, God is thought of as Father, actually as Abba (Daddy), so the analogy to a human loving father is sensible and on target - from within this perspective.

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10 hours ago, PaulS said:

Our decisions are made because of emotion - that is how our brain works.  So a decision to act and be in a certain way is employed because you have an emotional response to some sort of stimuli.  Without trying to muddy the waters for you, emotions and decision making are integrated, they are not separate.  Sometimes it may seem grandiose such as when somebody who is 'madly in love' does something silly, but the rest of the time it is subtle.  This is not a 'belief' of mine, this is called neuroscience.

Again, no one is denying emotion. Yet, even on the everyday level, most people acknowledge that there is a 'difference' between the emotion of hate or rage or romantic love and the act (decision) of being for the other, even the stranger - what we have been calling agape. 

No problem with neuroscience but in your study of neuroscience is there much about the mind or is it only the brain? It seems like the study of the brain doesn't always or significantly focus on the mind. 

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14 hours ago, thormas said:

Whether it is or not, the point is made (there is no god who is waiting around as opposed to actively present). And in Christianity, God is thought of as Father, actually as Abba (Daddy), so the analogy to a human loving father is sensible and on target - from within this perspective.

I agree you make a point, but don't see how you've established that there is a God actively present.  My point was that you say 'God is love' but that such love is not emotion, then completely use emotion to explain that God.  That doesn't make sense to me.

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16 hours ago, thormas said:

Again, no one is denying emotion. Yet, even on the everyday level, most people acknowledge that there is a 'difference' between the emotion of hate or rage or romantic love and the act (decision) of being for the other, even the stranger - what we have been calling agape. 

Yes, different emotions are generated by different chemical responses in the brain.

Quote

No problem with neuroscience but in your study of neuroscience is there much about the mind or is it only the brain? It seems like the study of the brain doesn't always or significantly focus on the mind. 

From my limited understanding of neuroscience, the evidence is largely about the brain (which includes mind - i.e. the flows of information within the brain) as that is what the empirical evidence supports.  There doesn't seem to be any empirical evidence for 'mind' being separate from brain function and subsequently mind seems to sit in the 'belief' category, at least in my understanding (other than as a product of brain function).  That doesn't stop neuroscience from investigating such I guess, and it doesn't stop others from claiming mind is separate to brain, it's just that any empirical evidence to support 'mind' other than it being a result of brain function, is underwhelming.

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

That doesn't stop neuroscience from investigating such I guess, and it doesn't stop others from claiming mind is separate to brain, it's just that any empirical evidence to support 'mind' other than it being a result of brain function, is underwhelming.

One could argue that evidence for Love is God is equally underwhelming.

The problem here for those of rational bent these things need to make some sort of sense, ie there has to be some sort of causal correlation between events. Those of an emotional bent have no such need, it seems it is just another way of knowing. Of course this is just fine in the great scheme of things. But it can be a source of frustration (an emotion) for both sides

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

I agree you make a point, but don't see how you've established that there is a God actively present.  My point was that you say 'God is love' but that such love is not emotion, then completely use emotion to explain that God.  That doesn't make sense to me.

As with all of this, there is no 'establishing' - this is a statement of belief which is beyond establishment or proof, either way.

I don't see how in drawing an analogy to a human father that I used emotion. I simply drew an analogy. I get that this doesn't make sense to you because you simply don't share the same belief. 

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

From my limited understanding of neuroscience, the evidence is largely about the brain (which includes mind - i.e. the flows of information within the brain) as that is what the empirical evidence supports.  There doesn't seem to be any empirical evidence for 'mind' being separate from brain function and subsequently mind seems to sit in the 'belief' category, at least in my understanding (other than as a product of brain function).  That doesn't stop neuroscience from investigating such I guess, and it doesn't stop others from claiming mind is separate to brain, it's just that any empirical evidence to support 'mind' other than it being a result of brain function, is underwhelming.

Interesting and expected response. I'm reading an author who includes 'minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of the brain" as one of the ten core scientific beliefs. He then goes on to state that these beliefs make up the philosophy or the ideology of materialism, whose central assumption is that everything is essentially material or physical, even minds. This belief mirrors your position.

He then adds that "many scientists (and I should add those who read some of this science, including neuroscience) are unaware that materialism is an assumption: they think of it as science, or the scientific view of reality, or the scientific worldview." He argues that these scientific 'assumptions' have hardened into dogma. He states that "the belief system that governs conventional scientific thinking is an act of faith...." This author is proving to be an interesting read, including the chapters on consciousness and mind.

It is therefore highly questionable what exactly is underwhelming.

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3 minutes ago, thormas said:

He then adds that "many scientists (and I should add those who read some of this science, including neuroscience) are unaware that materialism is an assumption: they think of it as science, or the scientific view of reality, or the scientific worldview."

I am glad you kept the author's name anonymous. You saved him a bunch of embarrassment.

Materialism is not an assumption. It is a scientific theory or at worst a hypothesis. I would carefully evaluate what I read before repeating the supposedly interesting bits. There is a ton of evidence that are so called minds are chemically based. 

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59 minutes ago, romansh said:

One could argue that evidence for Love is God is equally underwhelming.

The problem here for those of rational bent these things need to make some sort of sense, ie there has to be some sort of causal correlation between events. Those of an emotional bent have no such need, it seems it is just another way of knowing. Of course this is just fine in the great scheme of things. But it can be a source of frustration (an emotion) for both sides

Well, of course it is since it is a belief statement,  within the Christian confession of faith. One could also argue that evidence that Love is not God is equally, if not more, underwhelming. 

Many religious or spiritual people are of a 'rational bent' as evidenced by that book you promised to read by David Bentley Hart and also the British religious philosopher, John Hick - just to mention two. Two authors not found wanting in their rational bent but found demanding and challenging because of it. And the word systematic in systematic theology speaks of a 'coherent body of ideas or principles in a work that is methodical in procedure and marked by thoroughness." Perfect but challenging reads for the rational minded.  

Who among us doesn't have an emotional bent yet most of us are not frustrated at all.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, romansh said:

I am glad you kept the author's name anonymous. You saved him a bunch of embarrassment.

Materialism is not an assumption. It is a scientific theory or at worst a hypothesis. I would carefully evaluate what I read before repeating the supposedly interesting bits. There is a ton of evidence that are so called minds are chemically based. 

I thought you'd ask and assume the worse. So typical, so predictable.

The author is Rupert Sheldrake, the book Science Set Free and he also presents a field theory of minds and bodies which is interesting.

Scientific theory deals in explanations and explanations are based on...........assumptions. And isn't a synonym of hypothesis ............assumption? I'll go with the scientist out of Cambridge.

 

Edited by thormas

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Materialism is a belief system.  

$28 billion annually on irreproducible results  https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/06/study-claims-28-billion-year-spent-irreproducible-biomedical-research

Quote

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”   Marcia Angell, M.D.

Quote

Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet, published a statement declaring that 50% of published peer-reviewed research is fake.

 “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(15)60696-1.pdf

That's 2/3 major medical journals and 1/2 top general science publications.  As for brains, most nervous system activity is dedicated to inhibiting thought not producing it.

Sheldrake is worth listening to, but he is hard to find because he threatens the big science rice bowls.  Love is the most important thing in life, and can't be dismissed via the minuscule factoids materialism provides.

The problem is that the reality of love disproves materialism's claim as a universally applicable belief system.

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9 hours ago, thormas said:

As with all of this, there is no 'establishing' - this is a statement of belief which is beyond establishment or proof, either way.

Okay, well I guess this discussion has run its race for me then.  Thanks for participating and sharing your beliefs.

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7 hours ago, thormas said:

I thought you'd ask and assume the worse. So typical, so predictable.

This is a classic example of you evaluating evidence. I did not ask!

Also I did not assume the worst. I simply pointed out the error is the person's reasoning.

7 hours ago, thormas said:

Scientific theory deals in explanations and explanations are based on...........assumptions

They are based on evidence. Now a speculative hypothesis might contain assumptions. But these assumptions are tested. Science as such never finds the truth. Based on the evidence I am right handed. Is that an assumption?

Sheldrake … sheesh.

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41 minutes ago, romansh said:

This is a classic example of you evaluating evidence. I did not ask!

Also I did not assume the worst. I simply pointed out the error is the person's reasoning.

They are based on evidence. Now a speculative hypothesis might contain assumptions. But these assumptions are tested. Science as such never finds the truth. Based on the evidence I am right handed. Is that an assumption?

Sheldrake … sheesh.

"I am glad you kept the author's name anonymous" You assume this was to obscure something because he/she was not credible and your statement begs for the author's name to repudiate this false claim. 

"You saved him a bunch of embarrassment." You not only assume or suggest the worse, you state clearly that the worse is that the author's position is an embarrassment. Seems my points are made.

Materialism is the underlying assumption. And, you clearly state that a hypothesis is speculative and contains assumptions. Sure a hypothesis is tested but the underlying assumption is that materialism ('belief') is reality. That is not the case and the author establishes that 'test' results are sometimes wanting and the conclusions disputed. It appears that materialism, rather than being seem as a belief has become unquestioned dogma. 

Again, I will go with the true scientist out of Cambridge.

 

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Guest intuition

Love is connection; an interdependance.

In everyday speach, 'love' is a loaded word. So, in the present discussion it may be more appropriate to say "love is a type of connection". I'm also thinking that much of what has been said so far is not differentiating between the causes of love and the symptoms of love. Love does not happen by itself; describing a symptom of love does not educate us on what causes love. 

Having said that, I have to admit that I really don't know what love is, even though I experience love.  I've often thought that the yin-yang concept provides some clues, however, I am not a yin-yang expert.

I just searched famous quotes on 'love' and found these two quotes from Albert Einstein;

  1. Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do—but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.
  2. No, this trick won’t work… How on Earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

You assume this was to obscure something because he/she was not credible and your statement begs for the author's name to repudiate this false claim. 

No you appear to assume that I assume you are obscuring. Frankly I did not care.

If materialism is an assumption it is based on evidence. From pondering this sort of thing, the major leap of faith I have to make is there is universe beyond my perception and that perception is a reflection of that universe (OK perhaps two assumptions).  

I will go with Oxford, John Maddox, though I prefer Cambridge as a location.

Quote

Sheldrake's book is a splendid illustration of the widespread public misconception of what science is about. In reality, Sheldrake's argument is in no sense a scientific argument but is an exercise in pseudo-science ... Many readers will be left with the impression that Sheldrake has succeeded in finding a place for magic within scientific discussion – and this, indeed, may have been a part of the objective of writing such a book

We can exchange "true" scientists as much as you like thormas.

Again there is evidence for materialism, and indeed physicalism the parent worldview.

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8 hours ago, romansh said:

No you appear to assume that I assume you are obscuring. Frankly I did not care.

If materialism is an assumption it is based on evidence. From pondering this sort of thing, the major leap of faith I have to make is there is universe beyond my perception and that perception is a reflection of that universe (OK perhaps two assumptions).  

I will go with Oxford, John Maddox, though I prefer Cambridge as a location.

We can exchange "true" scientists as much as you like thormas.

Again there is evidence for materialism, and indeed physicalism the parent worldview.

Actually Sheldrake mentions numerous scientists in his book and it was fascinating to read a scientist who (like a progressive Christian questioning the assumptions of an Evangelical) questioned what has become the accepted 'scientific dogma.' 

I, of course disagree, with the materialism/physicalism belief but, again, it was interesting to read a scientist, who 'speaks the language' and knows the literature and experiments, disagreeing/questioning also.

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9 hours ago, romansh said:
9 hours ago, romansh said:

Sheldrake's book is a splendid illustration of the widespread public misconception of what science is about. In reality, Sheldrake's argument is in no sense a scientific argument but is an exercise in pseudo-science ... Many readers will be left with the impression that Sheldrake has succeeded in finding a place for magic within scientific discussion – and this, indeed, may have been a part of the objective of writing such a book

Who is the quote by and is it a book or article or otherwise? But isn't such a criticism expected - much like a Conservative Christian saying that a Progressive's view are a "splendid illustration of the widespread public misconception of what Christianity is about."

I noticed no magic in his book but will double check,

 

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

Who is the quote by and is it a book or article or otherwise?

John Maddox, like my reply said. If you are interested,

  I will let you look him up on Wikipedia.

1 hour ago, thormas said:

But isn't such a criticism expected [?[

If any book is full of inaccuracies, then isn't such a criticism expected. Or are you suggesting we should not criticize, say Trump's twitter feed, because our criticisms are based on assumptions?

1 hour ago, thormas said:

it was interesting to read an Anglican, who 'speaks the language' and knows the literature and experiments, disagreeing/questioning also.

FIFY … 

Here is a quick review. This is a brief critique [mine] of the Science Dleusion

Quote

1.That nature is mechanical.
Sheldrake falls into his own trap here. Taking 'robots' and the like literally and not as a metaphor.
2.That matter is unconscious.
Is matter conscious? Is energy conscious? Am I conscious?
I think these are valid questions. But it brings in other questions like are rocks 'life'? So just end up playing a definition game. I can no more throw out Sheldrake's position that matter is conscious than I can throw out Blackmore's position that she is not conscious. As a bystander I can observe that fundamentally the processes at least those that we have access to are the same. Do I have to invoke 'morphic resonance' and the like. I don't think so.
3.The laws of nature are fixed.
Here I think Sheldrake is very wrong. Scientists are continually checking that the grand constants are actually constant.
Here is an example from Oklo
4.The total amount of matter and energy are always the same.
Well I suppose this one of the axioms of science. The first law of thermodynamics. But Sheldrake does show his bias when he describes the Big Bang as miracle where the first law is broken. All I can do is point you to Krause's A Universe from Nothing and Hawking's and Mlodinow's The Grand Design
5.That nature is purposeless.
This is baliwick of classical philosophy and theology - Here Sheldrake conflates people's world views with science.
6.Biological inheritance is material.
This seems a reasonable deduction to me, [here I include energy in the material]. But if inheritance is immaterial how on earth do we study it?
7.That memories are stored as material traces.
See 6.
8.The mind is in the brain.
I have some sympathy for these words, but certainly not the intent.
9.Telepathy and other psychic phenomena are illusory.
Show me the data. More importantly show me the experimental procedures. The field of parapsychology is strewn with poor experimental procedures.
10.Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works.
No one I think is implying that mechanistic medicine always works. But if Sheldrake is proposing a non-mechanistic medicine. I am all ears.

 

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19 minutes ago, romansh said:

If any book is full of inaccuracies, then isn't such a criticism expected. Or are you suggesting we should not criticize, say Trump's twitter feed, because our criticisms are based on assumptions?

Opinion, but that is one's right. However it does mirror religion.

21 minutes ago, romansh said:

it was interesting to read an Anglican, who 'speaks the language' and knows the literature and experiments, disagreeing/questioning also.

Do you have a specific Anglican in mind who gives a reasoned critique of Progressive Christianity?

23 minutes ago, romansh said:

Here is a quick review. This is a brief critique [mine] of the Science Dleusion

So you seemingly don't accept materialism/physicalism assumption in all cases. And you pick and choose when in agreement with Sheldrake. Fair but it also lessens your "sheesh" comment. Well done.

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18 hours ago, PaulS said:

Okay, well I guess this discussion has run its race for me then.  Thanks for participating and sharing your beliefs.

Thought I had sent this but apparently not so -  thanks for sharing your beliefs also.

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11 hours ago, thormas said:

Opinion, but that is one's right. However it does mirror religion.

Yes mine is an opinion, but it is based om observation, unlike your Cambridge man. Yes Sheldrake is given the right to be wrong.

 

11 hours ago, thormas said:

Do you have a specific Anglican in mind who gives a reasoned critique of Progressive Christianity?

This is not clear. What cause would I have to give a this answer. But Spong does come to mind.

11 hours ago, thormas said:

So you seemingly don't accept materialism/physicalism assumption in all cases. And you pick and choose when in agreement with Sheldrake.

Where on Earth did you get that?

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11 hours ago, romansh said:

Yes mine is an opinion, but it is based om observation, unlike your Cambridge man. Yes Sheldrake is given the right to be wrong.

 

That goes without saying. Don't we all have that right ? Even you?

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