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Philosophical Question #2

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Which do you think is better?

Choice #1: Love only your SO
Choice #2: Love everyone.
Total votes : 13
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Philosophical Question #2

Postby LordArt » Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:51 pm

If you go on the premise that one has a finite amount of love to spread around. Which do you think is better:

Choice #1: To only dedicate your love to your significant other. This does not mean there is no loyality or duty to friends and family, but there is no real emotion there as a love bond. In so doing, your love for your significant other is THAT much more intense (or can be potientially).

Choice #2: To love all. While you'll still love certain people more than others, by loving so many, your more spread thin. While there is nothing wrong with this of course, the tendency to cheat on one's significant other is that much higher because things aren't as intense in comparison to choice #1.

(Again, this is a philosophical premise, nothing is ever as black and white or cut and dry. So try to work within the premise)

Give your choice and why please.
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Postby Obsidian » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:04 am

I think for my answer to be accurate, it would depend on just how much love I had to share around.

Using numbers:

I've got 10 loves to give around. Giving all of them to my SO would form quite the intense relationship, and it would give me a great friend's network but no real 'love' between them.

Giving all of my loves to people, having 10 people I love but none more than others, I'd have a close, tight group, but no-one standing out.

Giving 5 or 6 to my SO would still form a very strong relationship, with the rest being distributed evenly. =)

I think the more love I had, the more I would give out..

I'd be more inclined to go with option one if I only had a little, and give all my loves to my Significant Other. But then there's the danger that she wouldn't return it and I'd be left hollow.

As for the why:
If I were to be with someone, I'd be into it fully. Not do it half-assedly, it'd be all or nothing. I'd give her all my love, because it's what she deserves and nothing less. I also believe I'd feel guilty if I gave her less than everything.

This is a difficult question, Art. Perhaps I should think more on it.
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Postby Lightbringer » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:21 am

Why is there not an option to love only yourself? If a person loves oneself first, then the result is an increase in total love (as if love is quantifiable) one can express or retain. This would happen to the point that one would have infinite love, and could love themselves as well as everyone else.
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Postby Obsidian » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:11 am

If one were to love only oneself, therefore increasing the total amount of love to include loving anyone, they're no longer loving themselves.

You cannot love only yourself and include others in the equation, irrespective of how much love (units) you produce as a result. They must, by choice of your option, be directed at yourself again.

Also, no matter how much you increase the 'total' love, it will never become infinite. Unless something starts out life as being infinite, it can never achieve infinte status.

But then, can something ever not exist if it's existence is infinte?
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Vote for love all

Postby ChaoticMind » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:31 pm

While I do entertain the concept of true love and deep emotional relationships, giving all your love to one person can lead to much dissapointment. The question said you give all your love to one person... but said nothing about them needing to give you all their love in return. That being said the first thing wrong with giving all your love to one person is unballanced emotion.

Secondly it is always good to spread your love to others. Love builds strong relationships between people. In the society we live and work in, we need to have more than one person to share an attachment with. Everything said and done, its just more simple. Complication causes... well complication.

Now in loving all it is said that we can love some more than others. In finding a correct and livible answer to this problem one must become rather skilled at balancing their love, and also in the case of cheating, developing control. That being said... isn't that exactly how life is? Our feeble attempt to impart balance and control onto a rather chaotic yet correlated series of events?

My vote? Love for all

Although I am a much bigger fan of the Grudger concept...
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Postby FireEssence » Tue May 16, 2006 4:38 pm

I'd pick loving myself any day but I guess only loving my significant other would work. I don't really have love or emotional attachment except for longtime friends and even that is sometimes debatable so loving just one person makes plenty of sense to me.
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Postby Psychokinetic Wannabe » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:02 pm

I believe when I voted for this, I voted for option #1. This is probably something I have to go into in-depth.

Earlier in my life, 13 or 14 years old, I was a fan of the whole 'love everyone' concept. But ultimately, at least as a lower incarnated as a human, you can't 'love everyone'. Even outside this premise, supposing love isn't finite, it's just not realistic or practical for the human mind to work like that. I suspect, too, that it's not how 'love' works for our inners, if they feel 'love' per se at all.

While I no longer remember the exact steps I took when dislodging from the above idea, I eventually settled on a more ubiquitous and doable compassion and empathy for all notion. I also tend to, and for a long time have tended to, dislike the notion that it's somehow right to give preference to those you love / are close to just because of the emotional connections involved, at least in principle.

Ultimately, at this point, I don't think we need love bonds to be compassionate, kind, etc. So, working from that basis, when put into aforementioned premise that love is finite, I think it's more preferable to put it into one significant other.

Obsidian, I do not agree with your 'hollow' idea here because the question says nothing about 'giving' your 'loves'. It uses the wording 'dedicating' - which by itself proves nothing of course, but just over-all, it seems that there's nothing here that suggests that once you've directed your love at a target, you can't redirect it to another target, or put it in mental storage somewhere until someone suitable comes along. So if it's not reciprocated, you can keep directing your love at them for a while, hoping that eventually they'll feel the same way, but you'll always have the option to stop feeling that way about them, and dedicate said quantity of love to someone else.

LordArt, I don't know if 'cheating' necessarily is a love thing. If you're setting that up as part of the premise, by including that by definition as something under the purview of only love, but I think a large portion of willingness to cheat comes from other aspects of one's personality, not necessarily how intensely one feels love towards their partner(s). Does love help? I suspect it probably does, and it probably plays a large role, but I don't know if it's necessarily the primary role. That being said if love is limited and directed as implied by the premise, then 'cheating' can be made more likely, especially in cases of some of the love being directed at someone you otherwise find appealing other than your significant other. That said things like one's ethics and personal views on cheating, as well as self control and so on play a large role too.

At any rate, back to the question - depending on the exact quantity and divisibility of the 'love' one could give out, I'd still probably focus it all on the SO, because the implication in the premise is that this gives a richer and stronger 'love' experience; at the same time, directing fragments of my love at others would only tempt me to be biased in their favor when dealing with other people who I don't love. It's already hard enough to keep oneself diligently objective and fair with other emotions besides love that get attached to friends. Of course, here someone is bound to point out that the extra love towards the SO might make it harder to be objective about them, since that seems to be my goal - but for one, I know I'd be pretty picky about how much a person matches my ideals before dedicating my love towards them - and two, I think it'll be simpler to force oneself to overcome one strong bias in favor of one person than numerous more subtler biases in favor of many, simply because in a good, open and honest, relationship, you'd know your partner's flaws well enough that with mental diligence, you could keep track of them well enough to counter biases - at least once you notice them in your thought processes - which gets progressively harder when you have that much more people to keep track of.

Actually, the second of the above counters I just mentioned is less "I think" and more "my experiences have confirmed that that is the case for at least my own mind".

I AM inclined to agree with Obsidian as the amount of 'love' gets very very large, and very easily 'dedicateable', though - because if I had enough love that I could readily direct a small amount at every person I'm interacting with, that would help counter the bias aspect, and in that hypothetical scenario, the 'love all' ideal becomes somewhat possible, in a modified way. But of course that kind of quantity of love is unrealistically large.

- End of Reply; Beginning of Tangent -

I have to point out that that love (and I'm talking romantic love specifically - I think it's important to distinguish because platonic love, romantic love, familial love, and the kind of 'love' that develops between friends isn't the same emotion, at least I really doubt that it is) isn't that 'directional' in my experience. It's more like a state, and there's different-strength associations to different people. By default the state is at no love, but as you grow more attached to a person, and start to feel, consciously or otherwise, that they are a compatible partner, you start to get partially into the 'in love state'. Since they are the person triggering it, there's an association between the state and them in your mind. However, if you, say, have a minor crush on someone else, while still in love with the original person, it's not so much that the feeling of love for the first is decreased - rather, a second association grows between the in-love state and the other person. Typically, people either focus on the person they currently love, so the second association dies out because it's not sufficiently reinforced by cognitive processes, while the first one remains as strong, or on the contrary they focus on this new association to the point of compromising the former one. Of course, exactly how you think about your partners may result in a weakening of the association even if there's no other associations to to experience in connection to feeling attraction, or cause you to strengthen some associations without wanting to. Then there's the lovely thing that of course most of these things are subtle and without enough attention to your thought processes, you won't notice them, let alone ever be able to tweak your cognitive predispositions. Anyway, conversely, the state tends to recede to the strongest current association to that state.

Of course, it's pretty difficult to accurately word the above in a way that seems intuitively right, since sitting in our own minds we feel like we love a person. Similarly, using separate words like 'state' and 'association' implies that they are distinct where-as they are very tied together. However, it's the best way I've thought of to express how I perceive the emotion to work. Of course, hypothetically, you could have different brains have different technicalities about how they work when it comes to various emotions. *Shrug* Plus, even if my above conception of it is right, we 'feel' the emotion with the association with the subject, and usually not by itself, so I can see how it can come off as counter-intuitive even if it does turn out to be the most accurate. (Of course, how counter-intuitive it is is largely shaped by how we already conceptualize love, which in turn comes largely from social/cultural assumptions about it...)

But now I'm like two tangents away from the original topic, so I'll shut up now.
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Postby Thelynx » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:37 pm

If I had to only chose to love one person and disregard everyone else in my life who have done so much for me, I rather be single and love everyone equally. I loved one person endlessly and forgot about everyone else, and in the end, he chose others over me. But if that person I was suppose to love above all others, made the same choice as me, then of course I would chose number 1. It would be us against the world. :p Only if life were that simple.

In the end, I chose number 2.
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Re: Philosophical Question #2

Postby microbe » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:22 am

When I was engaged, I tried loving just my significant other.

Unfortunately at the time, I didn't know that trying to love just one person was impossible.

We've broached the topic of soul-groups and how people tend to travel in them. I firmly believe that one of the reasons we travel together is because of the love that we share for each other.

There's no such thing as spreading to thin when it comes to love. Love is in itself an infinite structure. It's the nature of it. The more love you put out, the more that is returned to you and in turn the more you have to give out. It's an infinite loop, no matter how you look at it. Most people feel spread too thin when they start putting conditions on their love for others. When you add the ability to love all unconditionally, you find yourself able to break all boundaries and barriers. Anything truly is possible and you can find yourself in places you would never expect yourself to be.

At the same time, when you love everyone unconditionally, yes, it does become overwhelming at times, because not everyone else does so. And doubt and fear can creep into your heart. And those are the things that really cause you to feel like you're spread too thin.

My vote is for unconditional love for all. Try it.
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Re: Philosophical Question #2

Postby Draco_Platina » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:16 pm

To me, this quickly becomes a question of intensity or stability. Those that know me probably would place me away from the stable end of the spectrum, I think. Were it a simple choice, one or the other, I still don't know. If I chose one, I would likely be unsatisfied with it and wish I chose the other (such is my nature). Forced to choose, though... I would have to go with intensity of experience rather than stability. I am until I am not.

Honestly, this decision was heavily influenced by my stint on the antidepressant Prozac - While I was not freaking out, punching walls or rocking in the corner crying, I felt empty and devoid of vitae. The ups and downs were much preferred to the steady state of meh.
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