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The concept of love can be strongly correlated to the concept of religion or faith.

Right now I do not have love. You always hear about people having love, and when they have it they want to proclaim it to the whole world. This gets annoying to many people, except those who share the same level and feeling of love. You cannot see love, and until you have it you cannot feel love. But so many people have it in the world, and it is so prevalent in society, that you are sure it is there. But you cannot prove definitely that it is there, you can always have doubts. But you cannot prove definitely that it is not there, you can always have doubts. It is something that if you don't have you can spend all of your time trying to find it, whether in the right place or the wrong place. Some people go crazy when they don't have it, some need it for mental stability. Some people have a traumatic experience related to it and, as a result, are numb to it for a very long time, claiming they don't need it and it means nothing in the world. They say its all fake, and that all those people that have it are full of shit. Some people do nothing but wear it out by saying it all the time, and two main things result from this. First, the meaning of it reduces and reduces until it means nothing. You hear someone talk about it and just want them to shut up because you are sick and tired of hearing it. Second, although it is worn out in everyone's mind, its absolute truth, one way or the other, remains unaffected.

Now take everything I just said and try to find a piece of it that does not relate to the issue of the truth of a particular religion, say Christianity. There are some things that went through my head during the day that I was not able to remember to put in this document, but the general idea is laid out. Try and find an aspect of the concept of having love, sharing love, the existence of love, etc, that cannot be correlated with religion.

There are many implications for this, but the main road I went down is simply seeing the intriguing amount of similarities be

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    Apr 9 2012: Hi John.
    The word itself has lost most of it's impact in today's world. It has degenerated into Lust in many minds (making love etc) & become synonymous with selfishness & woolly feelings. The ancient Greek language had at least four words for it :-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love
    Jesus said..
    John 15:13 (NIV)
    "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
    This is unconditional love (Agape in Greek), which is the love he intends for Christians to practice. It is designed to help others, including the weaker members of society, even at great cost to oneself. Not quite 'survival of the fittest'.
    So, I agree, love is normally connected to a belief in God.

    :-)
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      Apr 9 2012: I agree that we should seperate love from lust.
      Romantic love is also different from deep love.
      Shallow love is what makes you feel good.
      Deep love is working to make the life of those you love better.
      Sacrificing our time (a precious commodity) our focus and energy for those we care about rather than being selfish, is evidence of this deeper love. Sometimes just trying to keep your temper, or not be passive agressive is an act of love

      Somewhere maybe there is a split between instinctive love, say to our children, and those outside our tribe.
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    Apr 9 2012: I suggest every aspect of love can be independent of religion.

    Of course if you believe we were created by a loving god, to love god and each other you will see love and god intertwined.

    If you believe in a vengeful god who will cast you into eternal torment, that wants you to kill or conquer infidels, that killed everyone on the planet by a great flood, or requires human sacrifice to make the sun rise, or animal sacrifice to make crops grow, then you might find it a bit conflicting. Some gods even choose some over others.

    If you beleive all gods and religions are man made constructs, in evolution, biology etc you can start to understand why and how we have these feeling of love. They are nothing much to do with our beliefs. they are universal to the human species. We see lower order parallels in other mammals, particularly other primates. Love hasd a lot to do with succesful reproduction and child rearing.

    This does not diminish the experience of love. This does not diminsh the challenge of various instincts with reason. It frees us to detmine how best we should live for ourselves, on what has meaning for us.

    Religion is simply an expression of human culture and experience - a powerful one, that leverages both our base and higher instincts depending on the situation, on our tribal natures, on belonging, providing a cookie cutter meaning, purpose etc. Often social controls and insights on the human condition are included.

    Religion is simpy a traditional way to interpret the human experience, including love. Gods are mere reflections of ourselves overlaid on an old, large, complex and confusing universe as understood at the time.

    In my view love is better understood and explored from a non relgious perspective.