Love is not a Choice

| | Comments (60) | TrackBacks (1)

I know I am going against typical Reformed teaching here, but I think that Love is not a choice. So, although I don't want to pick on people's children, when Adrian's daughter (asked if Love is a feeling) responds "Love is not a feeling. Its a decision.", I do have to say that I think she is only partially correct.

First off, love is indeed not a feeling. It is far more than feeling. However, Love must include feeling. There is no such thing as emotionless love. A love that has no affection or warmth or feeling is no love at all. Try to imagine such a love--cold, unfeeling, a love that does not like its object. That "love" is not worthy of the name. No matter how much that "love" seeks the best for its object it is not love without some level of affection.

However, that is not my main point. And Adrian's daughter may well have meant "Love is more than a feeling" as opposed to "Love is not a feeling". Perhaps she was just being a tad careless in speaking. My larger concern is with the idea that "Love is a decision", or as I have more commonly heard it "Love is a choice".

That statement is simply not true most of the time, and indeed might never be true. In my experience, I have almost never (and quite possibly never) chosen what I loved and hated, liked and disliked. Try it. Choose something that you hate--say "torture of babies"--and choose to love it. Or choose something that you love--say "Compassion"--and choose to hate it. You can't, can you?

(Note: If you already love "torture of babies" and hate "compassion", then a] choose something else that you hate and love for the examples, and b] get some professional help.)

OK. Maybe you think that it is immoral to love or hate those things and thus refuse to do so on principle, but you still think that you could if you wanted to. So let us choose some more morally neutral things. Take your least favorite color. Now choose to have it be your favorite. Or choose to love grass as your favorite pizza topping. You just can't do it.

Or, I should say, you can't do it without the proper motivation. That is to say, you can't do it purely as a choice of the will. Grass would be my favorite pizza topping if for some reason someone would kill my family if I didn't. But that is a case of one Love overcoming another. Indeed, in that situation I wouldn't be able to stop myself from making grass my favorite pizza topping. So it still wouldn't be a choice for me per se. At any rate, changing or determining what you love and how much you love it is not a matter of willpower and decision. It is something else entirely. (I'm still working out whtat that something else is, but I am certain is is not willpower.)

1 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Love is not a Choice.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://movabletype.ektopos.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/1722

I think the real issue is not whether Love is a choice, but how we define love. And that is why I think Wink is wrong. Because he has defined love as requiring a certain feeling, then obviously this has implications for how much choice is involved in l... Read More

60 Comments

I don't think grass would really be your favorite pizza topping. You would just act as if it were.

We are commanded to love, which is interesting. We're also commanded to delight in the Lord, which is even more interesting. We can certainly have a long-term effect on which things we love, even in the purely emotional sense of the word. We can come to appreciate things that we make an effort to appreciate. The command to love might make sense only because of that.

I don't think grass would really be your favorite pizza topping. You would just act as if it were.

If I truly beleived that grass as a pizza topping was the only thing keeping my family alive, then it really would be my favorite topping, even if it wasn't my favorite tasting topping.

Is it really either/or? Perhaps love is sometimes just a commitment or decision; it is never just a feeling (genuine love requires some knowledge of the object loved, does it not? otherwise, it's a fantasy); sometimes it is both a feeling and a decision.

I love Christians; I love Cleopatra; I love my wife. Decision; fantasy; both.

Is this not the case?

Uh, by both I meant "decision" and "feeling," not "decision" and "fantasy"!

I hope my wife doesn't read this.

Perhaps love is sometimes just a commitment or decision

If it is just a commitment or a decision without emotion, then it certainly isn't love. As I said before, love must include emotion.

sometimes it is both a feeling and a decision

I would say that decisions and/or commitments are often expressions of love. But I really don't think that in most cases (possibly all cases) you can choose to love by willpower alone.

If LeDoux is right (and I would contend he is) it is neurologically impossible to have any thought - which would include decisions and commitments - without some emotion being involved. The question is whether or not we are aware of the emotional undertones of our choices, or if we can accurately determine what feeling is present. For example, in a reaction formation people experience the opposite feeling of a deeper, unacceptable one: a woman who dislikes handicapped children but cannot admit it to herself becomes a volunteer in a children's hospital. She feels as though she really cares about the children, but she is only doing the service because she must prove to herself - at an unconscious level - that she really does care about these detestable creatures.

So, yes, you're correct: there are always emotions involved in love. But we do not always know what the underlying emotions are since our hearts - being the deceitful things they are - can lead us astray.

So, for example, I can cognitively choose to love others because I believe it is my duty as a believer and a reflection of my love of God. But perhaps I'm really doing it simply because it satisfies some narcissistic longings that I have. Same goes with "selfless" service to others or any kind of ministry you might imagine. There are, as you say, emotions involved in my "love," but they may not be the wonderful expression I regard them to be. Even our best efforts are narcissistically stained and need to be washed in the blood of Christ to be acceptable to God.

Love your enemies?

It's an interesting tension. We're commanded to do something that we can't do unless God works it in us to do it. The emotional component has got to be a work of God, and yet we're commanded to have it. Some see this as a contradiction, but Paul expresses it explicitly as a fundamental truth about the Christian life:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Phil 2:12-13, ESV)

This certainly includes love for those one would not naturally love, especially love for enemies.

Hmmmm.....as I read the post I completely agreed with it, but Rey raises a good point.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

If those are parallel statements (and I think they are), then this text seems to put love in the realm of action.

I agree, Rebecca, and even if those statements were not parallel (I think they are; I think a colon after "enemies" would be appropriate), certainly the parable of the good Samaritan demonstrates that love is meeting needs, i.e., an action.

Rey: the emotions can follow (I hate sounding like a Crusade clone) at times, i.e., we can act our way into the correct feeling. That's basic cognitive dissonance in action: doing something we don't feel like doing results in changed beliefs, attitudes, and feelings.

As always, Jeremy expresses what I could not clearly and concisely.

Rey - as for loving your enemies, I see no contradiction here with what I said. God clearly had a strong affection for His enemies (i.e. us prior to salvation). Similarly, we should too.

rebecca and Mike - Just as Faith without works is dead, love that doesn't translate into action isn't much of a love. But I don't see how that point is in any contradiction to my point that love is not a choice. Or that love is more than a feeling.

Wink:

So, how can I love someone without choosing to do so? If love is an action, not merely a sentiment, do I not have to choose - at some level - to engage in the action?

Love results in actions. What Wink is denying is that it is an action.

Exactly. Just as faith is not works, love is not actions.

So, how can I love someone without choosing to do so?

You can be induced to love any of a number of ways (e.g. being wooed, via marketing, through the Holy Spirit's intervention). But you cannot induce yourself to love via willpower. That is to say that other things can cause you to love, but you do not choose to love. (Or as the saying goes, "love chooses you" [though I don't think that that is entirely accurate either].)

OK, last try before dropping this. If love is not a choice - not at all - but rather something induced or whatever, then why the imperative mood in vv. such as Mt 5.43-44? Shouldn't the mood be passive, subjunctive, or indicative - anything but imperative? Or is Christ commanding us to do something we are not capable of doing?

He also commands us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. Is that something we're capable of doing?

Jeremy - Hey! I was gonna use that example. ;)

Mike - Short answer, yes, Christ is commanding what we are not capable of doing.

Hi All,

Apologies if I am labouring last week's topic, but love-decision v.s. love-emotion v.s. love-mixture-of-the-two (and more...)

Often the things or people that we love are complex entities and have many attributes. Some of these we simply love (perhaps by subconscious choice because of their similarity to what we believe is right/true/good). Other attributes, we may not love in the same way, forcing us to make a decision. Should we love the "whole" with all the good and bad that comes with it? Is this not a mixture of emotion and decision?

I doubt that I understand this fully... love is a very challenging thing after all...

Wink -- I aparently got confused about who posted this and attributed it to Jeremy on my blog. Sorry about the confusion!

Love is a choice, any feelings of love for one thing or another e.g. colors, scents, flavors, are programmed into us through socialization yet we CAN choose to love things we did not love before and in fact this is the only way we change who we are. We choose to alter our affections, tastes and loves from what we previously knew.
I have a son and watched him attach feelings of attraction or "liking" something merely because it was associated with me or what I liked and because he liked me he transfrerred his feelings to that. I could have presented statues of purple frogs sitting on bicycles and he would have loved em because he loves me. And when he becomes an adult and starts forming his own opinions (i.e. making choices based on value judgements of what he wants) he would decide that purple frogs on bikes are simply ridiculous and uncool.

But what gets us to love the things we didn't love before? Is it merely choice? If so, then I can choose to like some flavor of food that I despise just by choosing to do so. The fact that it's difficult to like some people but possible to condition ourselves to do good things for them while not liking them shows that the emotional component of love is not a choice. You can do things that will, over time, increase or decrease the level of attraction you have to something or someone, but that isn't the same thing as just choosing to like or dislike the person or thing.

I think when you start talkin about love and food, you are cheapening what Love is. We throw the word around like it's yesterdays newspaper (i dont know if that makes sense) Lets get real here, We're talking about Love between people, not animals, food, taste, or a certain cut of jeans. I believe that "feeling" are a byproduct of Love. This is a fruit which in different seasons grows and withers. Much like Joy is the byproduct of living in the spirit. Joy is not the focus, but a result of it. "Feelings" are the result of deliberate action. I don't care what Webster defines love as, The Bible definition is all action. Love is Patient, Kind, doen'ts boast...etc.... It does not say Love is feeling, Love is twitterpatedness, Love is never sad...etc.....

I Cor 13 does say very clearly that love is not mere action. You could engage in mere action all you want, but it would be just a clanging gong. There are enough affective elements of our love for God, of God's love for us, and of our love for each other in scripture that I think the view that love is merely a choice does injustice to the full picture of it in scripture.

In order for us to be able to make a decision one has to think. In order for us to reason one has to think. In order for us to use free will one has to think. Think, think, think. But the experience itself is not a thought. Thinking and experiencing are not the same thing....IN order for us to be able to think about anything or make any decisions or use free will or reason we would have had to have experienced something. Feeling is experiencing. "One" is symbolic of that which has a beginning and an ending. One is of infinite but it is not the same thing. Infinte has no begining and no ending. One is contracted from infinite. A thought is of the experience. The experience is infinite. A thought has a beginning and an ending and therefore a thought is not infinite. Therefore a thought is of infinite. But infite is not the same thing as a thought. One is of love. God is love. Love is a feeling. This is the trinity: one is thought, infinite is feeling, thought (one) is of feeling (infinite).
We have misunderstood the God.
The physical is thought i.e., because we think in our brains and our brains are physical. And the experience is infinite. Therefore in order for the experience to exist the physical had to exist. Therefore in order for the thought to exist the experiecne had to exist.
Thought is of feeling. Feeling is experiencing. You are feeling what you are thinking or you are experiencing what you are thinking; but thinking and experiencing are not the same thing or thinking and feeling are not the same thing or God and one are not the same thing...And so you could not be feeling while you were thinking. Otherewise I would be a figment of your imagination and I would be God and everything that I imagined would just be; and I would be talking to myself right now. God never said that feeling is bad or that feelings are irrational. God created feelings and thoughts equally and so we should appreciate what God has given us and use them equally. God never said that thinking is better or existed before feeling. And God never said that feeling existed before thought. In order for one to exist the other had to exist. And so God made them at the same time.

P.S -Someone will kill me for saying this.
But then if I make a prediction and it comes true then everyone might believe me. And those that are better and have money and have power and are un-equal wouldn't want that.

I forgot to mention in my second pargraph: while you are thinking you are physical because you think in your brain and your brain is physical. -The physical is not the same thing as the emotional. The thought is physical and the experience is emotional.
In the bible love is symbolic of feeling. And feeling is experiencing. And "One" or thought is symbolic of the physical.
These are all the same: One, law, word, name burning, will, bread, flesh.
"God is One" is not the same thing as God is love...sorry to break it to you. God is one is symbolic for night. Darkness.
and the opposing: love, God, light, mind..etc.

ok first off id like to say i think you deff have a point but i dont completly agree.
I have just started to write my senior paper and it kinda exactly the opposite of your debat.
"Love is a action" thats the title. Like i deffinetly think that there is the emotion of love but i think it starts with the decision to "Love": doing what is it in the best interest of the other person (the person your in love with). You show your love through what you do. Like a father truely show his love to his kids by doing what is best for them (getting out of bed everyday and going to work) you have to choose to love someone i am totally against the idea that you can "fall i love" you cant "fall into" love it is hard to love someone. it is a steady desicion you make eveyday.
I guess this is my opinion.

Love is a choice...when you decide to love, you love uncondtionally...which means a choice to forgive, to learn and to grow with eachother. Love is a choice when you give it your all to be at your best.

Love is not a choice when you have feelings in your heart that make you feel you want to excell in love. Love takes no measures when you have found true love. Your there for better or for worse...You have no choice when the person who you are in love with, is in love with you too. Love is an interpersonal communication realationship- Close and intimate. full of expression, feelings, emotion, verbal, and non- verbal communication. Love is life.....life is love! Never take your love forgranted....

I have done a survey in our church on the great question "is love a choice" So far it is split right down the middle. I have always believed that love is a choice but i'm not so sure anymore...

Love not the World, neither the things of the World.
Love one another.
If these can be obeyed, then we must have a choice in it. If not, then you are saying God commanded us to do something or to not do something, knowing we would fail. Who do you think He is? Who are we to argue with His commands? As far as the verse about "being perfect", this is a command to be always striving for perfection. Look up the meaning of the original languages. He commands us to love Him with all our hearts and to love others as we love ourselves, are these more commands that are not obtainable or are we just making excuses for not being obedient and trusting the Lord to help us to obey Him?

If not, then you are saying God commanded us to do something or to not do something, knowing we would fail.

That doesn't follow. It may be that God has commanded us to do something or not do something, knowing we would succeed. Either way, God's knowing that we will not do it does not preclude our being wrong in not doing it.

Besides, the claim here is not that we are not free in whether we love or not. The claim is that we do not choose to love or not. We do things that put us in a position where the love will more likely develop, or we do things that will put ourselves in a position where the love will less likely develop. We hold drunk people responsible for what they do, even though they aren't consciously and rationally choosing to do some of the stupid things they do while drunk. Why? Because they were in possession of their full faculties when they chose to initiate the process of getting drunk. Why should it be any different with the process of building character over a long time if it turns out that your character leads you to do things that you don't deliberately choose to do in the instance it happens. You simply respond, and your emotions result from your inner character. The fact that you built such character makes you morally responsible.

But I think the primary element that you're refusing to tolerate is what Paul says in Philippians 2:2-13, which I quoted in the comments above. I won't take up further space by repeating it here.

So you really think the mere striving for perfection is enough to satisfy God? So much for the necessity of the cross.

Ok help me with this one...
My girl and I have been going out for over 2 years now and we just recently broke up because of all these dramas we're having...sorry dont want to explain the details...too personal...anyways for some reason I still love her but I was the one who chose to break it off because I wanted to explore...what would anyone say about that? Is that both feeling and decision or what?

It could be conflicting feelings. It could be some view you have that conflicts with a feeling. It could be two conflicting views that aren't feelings. I don't think it would have to be any one of those.

Curious. Is love really the same thing as like? Does God call us to like everybody? I certainly don't like a lot of people who I am called to love. Did Jesus like the pharisees?

There has to be something internal. Otherwise I Cor 13 doesn't make any sense in saying that you can do all the actions you want externally, and it's just noise if it's not love. So love must be more than just actions that you choose to do. That doesn't mean loving and liking are the same thing. But love must have some feeling component, or much of what the Bible says about it makes no sense.

Well yeah it has some feeling component. But I think its erroneous to think that "love" is just a "really strong like". There is many parts to love, its not just one sold grayscale going from "hate to love" with "like" and "dislike" somewhere in between. There is a feeling component, and it certainly is easier to love someone you like, but I see it as (to use my first example) Jesus didn't "like" the pharisees, but he did love them. There was some emotional component in there (as we are humans and we can not separate our heart from our head) but that component goes beyond merely a "like" gradation.

I'm certainly with you on that. I think you can fully love and fully hate someone at the same time, so I have no patience with a model that puts them on opposite ends of a continuum.

I am curious about what you mean by love and hate someone. Actually wasn't really speaking about that quite, so I am curious what exactly you mean. I am interested in understanding...

Well, one approach to places in the scriptures like Psalm 139:21-22 is to say that the psalms sometimes reflect accurately what human authors said but that the attitude is a bad one. I'm reluctant to conclude that. I take the psalms as indicative of proper attitudes of worship. That means it can be appropriate to hate those God loves.

Given that there's also a command to love enemies, some might take this to be a contradiction if they assume that love and hate are opposite ends of a continuum. But I don't assume that. Hate is a certain attitude toward what is bad in a person, and it is a righteous attitude if it sees what's bad as bad. Love, on the other hand, sees what's redeemable in this person made in the image of God. The reason it's not just hating the sin and loving the sinner is because we are what we do. In our sinning it is we who are evil. So the hate must be toward the person as much as the love is. That means love and hate, on this account, are not only compatible. They are both actually the proper attitude for a righteous being to have toward a sinner.

But there is a difference between hating the evil a person does, and the evil they have within them, and hating the person. You mention that the reason we can't "love the sinner, hate the sin" is because we are defined by our actions. True, but why can't we hate the corruption of the person, and not the person? Lets bring this love back to its most fundamental. The idea of "Love your neighbor as yourself". Are we supposed to hate ourselves? No, we are supposed to hate the things we do, the corruption we have given into.

That's the account commonly given, but I don't think it gels well with Psalm 139. The kind of hate expressed in that psalm is directed at the person because the person has hated everything God is about.

Yes but doesn't Jesus say that if you so much as hate your brother, you are a murderer?

You could take him that way. If so, then have to allow for two different senses of 'hate' to capture both scriptural emphases. So maybe on one sense of it you do get the continuum from love to hate with no overlap.

But what he actually says is isn't hate, at least not in the translation in front of me. It says if anyone with an angry heart is liable for punishment.

Well as I was double checking that, I found this verse "“But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, 1 do good to those who hate you" I think its important as a side note to point out that with his use of parallels he seems to be putting them up as opposites.

I did find that verse you mentioned, and you are right on the translation, though this worries me more if we choose to take it to mean a literal anger. "If you get angry at people you are a murderer." I doubt that is what he means. And if you look at Deuteronomy, as you in an earlier post showed, the concept of "its hate, its the motive that makes it murder" is present even in the OT.

What is hate, anyway?

As far as I know biblically, it's being at enmity with someone emotionally.

Wouldn't this qualify, in some sense:

"Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?" (Matt 23:32-33)

Or

"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be cursed." (Gal 1:8)

I think Jeremy is right to think there must be some kind of distinction between the kind of hate Jesus prohibited and the kind of hate expressed in the Psalms.

jeremy & david i know im getting in here late on your discussion but ... hey you should hate your self not just your actions (matt 10: 37-39)(2 tim 3:2)(galations 5)(John 3:30)(jn 12 23-25)and you can't both fully love and hate the the same thing.(matt 6:24)(luke 11:17)contradicting truth first points to the lack of research /study /time spent with the topic at hand and secondly at the lack of acceptance of what is the real truth. you do however need to always take the word of god at what it says not what you think it could be used for out of context.

Reducing what Love is to a choice undermines the true nature of it. If God is love, it cannot be a choice in itself. I can choose to cultivate it, like I chose to let the seed of what would be love grow in my heart for my wife. Love is a nature of God, which means that God has no choice but to love, he cannot "choose" otherwise because it is his nature. Like how I am of hispanic origin, I cannot choose my ethnicity because it is my nature. If we believe that God is Love, and is therefore part of his nature, then Love is not something that could be created. God did not create Love, if he did that would imply that there was a time before God was Love. Then Love cannot merely be choice or action, but a nature of something. In humans it must be cultivated and allowed to grow.

I don't see the worry. Surely there's some sense in which God deliberately does what's good. Just because evil is contrary to God's nature doesn't mean we can't speak of God's choices to love. The Bible regularly speaks of God choosing to do certain things, and those are in the context of love (e.g. his choice of Israel to love them as his firstborn son, his choice of believers to love us as his adopted children).

Just because something flows from your nature or character doesn't mean it's a robotic, unconscious response. Willing it is what makes it a choice. I choose to do good things because I am good, and I choose to do bad things because I'm bad. I'm already good or bad before I choose it, and what leads me to choose it is the way I am. That doesn't make it not a choice.

Andrew Fulford--- Really I don't see how calling the pharisees a brood of vipers counts as hate. Its a rebuke. A strong rebuke, but people need tough love sometimes.

brad king---- I think you bring up a good point about when you quote jesus juxtaposing hate/love, but I don't agree with your use of the first set of verses. Saying that you must hate your father and mother is hyperbole.

Samil--- You are quite right. Love is not merely a choice. As I said, its many different things. God is the Good. He is the very personification, base foundation, justification, and fulfillment of Good. In the same way, he is with Love. I think the term "love is a choice" is inaccurate, though in context it has a point. Its point is, that you don't merely love, or not love a person based upon the unbridled sway of your emotions, (for who can force themselves to like something, they don't? I don't like eating poop. Nor can I force myself too.) but rather on a choice. We must choice to love others, to try and do whats best for them, to put them before ourselves, to show them some little bit of Christ. That is the reason for the term, though it is an inaccurate one. Rather I would say Love is a Virtue, though I am not sure if that really sums it up. Love is more than an emotion, or an action. Its many different things bound up together. There is romantic love, and comradery, and selfless love for a stranger, and much more.

Jeremy Pierce --- Hmmm... I got to say, I think I agree with pretty much all you say there. Its still a choice.. hmm. I will have to mull that over, but I think I buy it.

'love thine enemies...", compassion,i think, is crucial. "God is love' and 'With God anything is possible'. How wonderous is God, thus love...,it is a choice, wat else need for free will, he wanted us to CHOOSE to love , to love him . A woman was asked "did u learn to love". your FEELINGS of love mean nothing to anyone but u, but your actions because of it do. its both, and more.

I disagree with whoever wrote this. Love is most DEFINITELY a choice. Feelings can COME from loving someone or BEING loved, however it is certainly not the same or similar.
Think about feelings...when you have a fight with your wife or husband, or even just friend, you FEEL angry you FEEL like just ignoring them. However, at that moment, when you CHOOSE to LOVE them, you act above what your feelings are telling you.
Ultimate example. Jesus. He was, beyond depressed, he knew he was going to die. Painfully. He most definitely didn't FEEL like going through what he was going to go through. Yet BECAUSE he LOVED us, he went through with it anyway. While people were hating on him, beating him, spitting on him, mocking him, he CHOSE to LOVE us by continuing with his mission. We all know he could've, called upon a host of angels to strike them all down. But he didn't.
True love exists when feelings fail. Even when it's not easy to love someone.

Oh and btw, commenting on your last paragraph, this is what the world has warped the true meaning of "love" into.
Simply an extended "liking" of something or someone. But it just doesn't gel with what the Word says. If love was anyhow a feeling, then we would all be doomed. Imagine God/Jesus: "hmmmm, these guys have been cursing me and have done everything to put shame to my name and disobeying me..., no, I really ain't FEELing it...I think ill just let them receive their full punishment." But because he is a LOVING God, we can now stand above death. Whatever you hear, always check it with the ultimate source of truth, cause if it can't be backed, then it's not from God.

Wink's point was not to deny that there are choices involved with love. He was saying that it's a choice that involves a feeling.

What you're pointing out is that love can go against another kind of feeling. But isn't it possible to have conflicting feelings at the same time? So that doesn't show that love doesn't include feelings. All it shows is that there can be feelings within you that your love goes against. I would agree that the highest love is when it's not easy to love, but what makes someone do the thing that's so hard is the combination of choice and feeling that can overcome the feelings that make it so hard to do it.

I wouldn't say that Jesus was even depressed, never mind beyond it. He was dreading what was about to happen, because separation from the Father is pretty awful. But that's not the same thing as being depressed. If he had been depressed, I would expect that should leasd to losing sight of what he was doing and why he was doing it, why what he was heading toward was actually good. That's what happens with depression. People can't see what's truly good as good and think bad things mean their life is awful. Yet Jesus wasn't in such a state, or he wouldn't have gone through with what he did.

I didn't see the second comment until after I'd written my last one, but the second one makes clear what I wasn't sure of. You seem to be laboring under the misimpression (which Wink's post actually clears up) that he thinks love is just a feeling. Since that's not his view, as he says very plainly, I just don't see how your argument touches the view he actually holds.

Good point, I guess I would still define it as, perhaps, intertwined then, yet both are two seperate. However his point about the pizza thing, I still don't agree with, in that that term "love" that has been used in that context differs from the preceding.

That might be one way to express my original worry about the pizza case. If you love grass as a pizza topping in that instance, you're loving its effects. If you love a pizza topping normally, you're loving a different kind of effect, though, namely the effect on your senses as you taste it. Both are instances of loving a thing for its effects. On the other hand, a different kind of love occurs when you love a person for the sake of the other person, because the other person is intrinsically good, because has interests of their own worth pursuing, and because your goal includes that person's interests. Those are different kinds of loves.

The question is whether the feature we care about in this discussion is common to both cases or whether it's not. I think it is. Whether you happen to care about grass as a pizza topping ultimately depends on which other things you're going to care about, and those could well involve both feelings and choices. Whether you happen to care about someone else for their own sake depends on both feelings and choices as well. So I'm not sure the difference you're pointing to is going to matter for the main point of Wink's post. I think his analogy does suit the point he wants to make, even if I would have stated it differently.

No, but my point was that, the pizza use of "love" had simply become an extension of 'liking' something, something that we all do. But I believe that ACTUAL love is something TOTALLY different to an act of love, or actually loving someone.

How you have to make the choice to love someone you don't want to. And yes, feelings come into it, sometimes we don't feel like we want to. And yes, emotion comes into it, in that we show affection by loving people, or receive it from being loved or loving someone.

First of all there is NO way to love food...it is a silly example.
Secondly, love is a choice, just like everything else in this world. If you truely seek an answer and love (true love), Jesus Christ our Saviour is the only answer.

In English, people certainly speak of loving food. The other languages I'm familiar with aren't that different. Perhaps we need a little more nuance in terms of the different senses in which you might love something or someone.

using grass on a topping for pizza as a comparison doesn't have anything to do with love... it has to do with TASTE.You can love the LOOK of grass but hate the way it taste.
Therefore you Choose to love a person but hate some of their actions or traits.
And as for the tolerance or lack of torture or compassion that is something we are taught or learned in a culture.
Some cultures practiced torture and was acceptable.
Aslo there are three types of LOVE
1. a brotherly or neighborly love
2. a romantic love
3. a Godly love
I dearly loved a certain person but hated some of her ways...
YES TRUE LOVE IS A CHOICE you can choose to love or hate a person.

That's how C.S. Lewis breaks down different kinds of love. Thomas Aquinas points to a more fundamental division between love in the sense of having an appreciation for someone or something (i.e. enjoying, desiring that person or thing) and considering someone else's desires as important as one's own. Romantic love ideally has both aspects. So does fraternal love. So does a godly love. If there is good in the other person, part of love is recognizing it. If there isn't, part of love (in the second sense) is seeking to do them good and help make them better so that there is more to love (in the first sense) about them. Love involves both.

The former kind clearly is not a matter of choice, and I think that's primarily what Wink meant with this post. The latter kind clearly involves some level of choice. I think that's what you're trying to get at.

Leave a comment

Contact

    The Parablemen are: , , and .

    Twitter: @TheParableMan

Archives

Archives

Fiction I've Finished Recently

Non-Fiction I've Finished Recently

Books I've Been Referring To

I've Been Listening To