Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
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09-01-2013, 11:03 AM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
(09-01-2013 10:06 AM)Denicio Wrote:  So, in semi-debating spiritual things with a loved one they replied to my need for scientific testable proof with a semi smug "Science cant prove that i love you".
Sometimes when an argument is that '3rd grade' it takes me off my game, so to speak. Kinda like debating with Ray Comfort...when the argument is so silly that it boggles the mind.
I was left somewhat speechless when i heard this... that i failed to have any real comeback.
Curious, What would you Atheists have said in this situation?
D
Love is an emotion. It is learned/acquired later in life though demonstration. So, it's not up to science to prove or disprove it, it's completely subjective and up to the individual to decide if those words are simply excited utterances or backed up by reality.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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09-01-2013, 11:05 AM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
I would correct their assertion to say "Science cant prove that i love you, yet."

Our bodies are chemicals, electrical signals, etc, all things that have the potential to be measured and observed. It's conceivable that at some point we'll have equipment and research data that can actually measure all the common physiological 'readings' that go with love, lies, hate, anger, mental illness, joy, euphoria, and the likes. Maybe one day science will show you a picture of an avocado, measure the release of an electrical signal in a certain area of the brain, and determine that you indeed hate them.

I personally don't care if feelings are one day quantified with measurements. Knowing what's going on "under the hood" doesn't diminish my enjoyment of experiencing great emotions, just like knowing how alcohol affects the body doesn't diminish my enjoyment of a good party.

Tongue

...it would rather be a man... [who] plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them with aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice.
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09-01-2013, 11:26 AM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
Aren't these arguments applicable to all emotions? Love, hate, whatever? And by further extrapolation, to all relationships of all kinds? Friends, coworkers, pets, enemies, whatever?

We can prove what people do to each other (usually, unless it was unobserved and left no trace). We can prove or demonstrate proximity, behavior, conversations, obvious relationships like parent/child, boss/employee, etc. That's about it.

From all that, we infer emotional relationships based on our own personal understanding of what those emotions mean. Our inferences can often be quite wrong.

What's really interesting is that none of us have the same exact understanding of any emotion. I know what love is. I learned it as a child, loving my parents and family and pets. Later I learned to love romantically and later I loved (and still love) my children. I also love pizza, and Rush, and playing video games. It's all love and it's all different - yes, I love my children differently than I love pizza. But my understanding of love is almost certainly different than how each of you understand it, and you're all almost certainly different from each other. At least marginally.

This is because love cannot be demonstrated, quantified, or taught. We each experience it our own way and learn to call that experience love, but it's unique to each of us with no way to compare and measure it against each other. Of course, this applies to all emotions. They're all unique to each person experiencing them.

So it's an interesting thought - when you say "I love you" to someone and he or she says it back, you're almost certainly saying slightly different things.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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09-01-2013, 11:43 AM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument





Does that explain it?

Ha ha. I kid.


Love actually can be 'proven'. It is a descriptive of an emotion. Saying what your loved one said is like saying you can't prove that you give me 'warm fuzzies'. That's because there are no actual fuzzies he/she is giving you. It's describing what is happening in him/her when they relate to you (in presence or thoughts). It's chemically contrived and has layers (some we love more intricately than others based on memory and association).

It's based on a chemical reaction in a brain and is a secondary emotion to the base emotion of empathy. Emotions have evolved over time in humans (and other creatures) as a means of survival (cuz that's what it's all about). It doesn't mean it isn't real or meaningful, it very much is! And it's one of the most intelligent sources we have as human beings. It's what holds us together for this fleeting time and makes us passionate about this life.

Does your L.O. mean you can't prove love or do they mean you can't prove that action or doing of love? I guess that would be my next question in that mini debate because that would have determined how I furthered the conversation. CTS was describing the action (using divorce papers as evidence for what was at that time), or it could be described in actions of hugs, gifts (love language if you're familiar, ha ha). I previously described more so the actual feeling.
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09-01-2013, 11:46 AM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
(09-01-2013 11:26 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Aren't these arguments applicable to all emotions? Love, hate, whatever? And by further extrapolation, to all relationships of all kinds? Friends, coworkers, pets, enemies, whatever?

We can prove what people do to each other (usually, unless it was unobserved and left no trace). We can prove or demonstrate proximity, behavior, conversations, obvious relationships like parent/child, boss/employee, etc. That's about it.

From all that, we infer emotional relationships based on our own personal understanding of what those emotions mean. Our inferences can often be quite wrong.

What's really interesting is that none of us have the same exact understanding of any emotion. I know what love is. I learned it as a child, loving my parents and family and pets. Later I learned to love romantically and later I loved (and still love) my children. I also love pizza, and Rush, and playing video games. It's all love and it's all different - yes, I love my children differently than I love pizza. But my understanding of love is almost certainly different than how each of you understand it, and you're all almost certainly different from each other. At least marginally.

This is because love cannot be demonstrated, quantified, or taught. We each experience it our own way and learn to call that experience love, but it's unique to each of us with no way to compare and measure it against each other. Of course, this applies to all emotions. They're all unique to each person experiencing them.

So it's an interesting thought - when you say "I love you" to someone and he or she says it back, you're almost certainly saying slightly different things.
This is true. Love is felt differently and none of us will know if it's the same type or degree as the other we feel it for (the reciprocated feeling from them). Just like we all don't know we inturpet sounds, sights or tastes the same. What is too spicy for one may not be enough for another, too bright, etc. It's the difference of sensitivity.
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09-01-2013, 01:04 PM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
Well, first we need a pretty precise definition of love. Science is at its best, analytically, dealing with clearly defined hypotheses. "Love", as a word in common usage, is NOT precisely defined, and can refer to a very wide range of states: erotic love, parental love, nationalism, thinking your car is really cool... once we've narrowed down precisely what sort of love we're talking about, various options become available. These options include...

Self-reporting of physical sensation. Does the stomach do flip-flops? Do you get a warm, dizzy feeling? Cross-reference across a self-reporting population as to what love feels like, and you get something good enough to serve as the bulk of a medical doctor's diagnosis or a knowledge-base AI.

Examining physical reaction to physical proximity. Blood testing for certain hormones in the presence of that special someone. Do the pupils dilate? How does your ECG light up? Does your brain start producing dopamine or serotonin?

Predictive claims. Establish a model of behavior conditioned upon love. For example, "If and only if person A loves person B, then person A will do _______." (This would have to be a fairly complex model, allowing for a wide range of possible behaviors in turn conditioned on society, personality, and person B's responses, and no doubt would be subject to some error bars. Like most of science.) Once empirically established, we can then diagnose love based on purely behavioral psychology.

On and on and on.

Now, can we do any of that (including the precise definition part) with God?

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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09-01-2013, 03:18 PM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
Neurochemistry

Studies in neuroscience
have involved chemicals that are present in the brain and might be
involved when people experience love. These chemicals include: nerve growth factor,[6] testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin.[7] Adequate brain levels of testosterone seem important for both human male and female sexual behavior.[8] Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are more commonly found during the attraction phase of a relationship.[citation needed]
Oxytocin and vasopressin seemed to be more closely linked to long term
bonding and relationships characterized by strong attachments.

The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love — sexual attraction and attachment.[9]
Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles
that lead an infant to become attached to his or her mother or father–
or both.

The chemicals triggered that are responsible for passionate love and
long-term attachment love seem to be more particular to the activities
in which both persons participate rather than to the nature of the
specific people involved.[9]

Serotonin

Chemically, the serotonin effects of being infatuated have a similar chemical appearance to obsessive-compulsive disorder; which could explain why people experiencing infatuation cannot think of anyone else.[10] For this reason some, such as anthropologist Helen Fisher, assert that taking SSRIs and other antidepressants impede one's ability to fall in love. In one particular case Fisher noted:

Quote:I know of one couple on the edge of divorce. The
wife was on an antidepressant. Then she went off it, started having
orgasms once more, felt the renewal of sexual attraction for her
husband, and they're now in love all over again.[11]
Oxytocin



[Image: 220px-Chemical_basis_of_love.png]



[Image: magnify-clip.png]
Simplified overview of the chemical basis of love.


Nerve growth factor

In 2005, Italian scientists at Pavia University found that a protein molecule known as the nerve growth factor (NGF) has high levels when people first fall in love, but these return to previous levels after one year. Specifically, four neurotrophin levels (NGF, BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4)
of 58 subjects who had recently fallen in love were compared with
levels in two control groups who were either single or already engaged
in a long-term relationship. The results showed that NGF levels were
significantly higher in the subjects in love than as compared to either
of the control groups.[12]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_basis_of_love#Neurochemistry

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09-01-2013, 03:21 PM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
One of the most grand failures of theological argumentation is that any emotion cannot be explained by science, when it clearly has.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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11-01-2013, 09:47 AM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
(09-01-2013 10:06 AM)Denicio Wrote:  So, in semi-debating spiritual things with a loved one they replied to my need for scientific testable proof with a semi smug "Science cant prove that i love you".
Sometimes when an argument is that '3rd grade' it takes me off my game, so to speak. Kinda like debating with Ray Comfort...when the argument is so silly that it boggles the mind.
I was left somewhat speechless when i heard this... that i failed to have any real comeback.
Curious, What would you Atheists have said in this situation?
D
Actually it pretty much can, and will be able to completely in the very near future. Hate to break it to you but when you "love" someone there are a special set of chemicals and neural pathways your brain utilizes that we are getting pretty good at analyzing.

The main chemical culprits are phenylethylamine, norepinephrine, dopamine, oxytocin, testosterone, and endorphins.
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29-12-2013, 05:04 AM
RE: Love cant be proven Scientifically: The argument
As Richard Dawkins put it.."People sometimes say that you must believe in feelings deep inside, otherwise you’d never be confident of things like ‘My wife loves me’.
But this is a bad argument. There can be plenty of evidence that somebody loves you. All through the day when you are with somebody who loves you, you see and hear lots of little tidbits of evidence, and they all add up. It isn’t purely inside feeling, like the feeling that priests call revelation. There are outside things to back up the inside feeling: looks in the eye, tender notes in the voice, little favors and kindnesses; this is all real evidence.

Sometimes people have a strong inside feeling that somebody loves them when it is not based upon any evidence, and then they are likely to be completely wrong. There are people with a strong inside feeling that a famous film star loves them, when really the film star hasn’t even met them. People like that are ill in their minds. Inside feelings must be backed up by evidence, otherwise you just can’t trust them"
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