TED Conversations

Nicholas Lukowiak


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What is love? Should the morals/values of life be revolved around spreading and teaching the ideas surrounding love?

Love is a multidimensional concept in which many subjects involving philosophy, morality, psychology, history, faith and opinions/perspectives can be used during the discussion.

Should values be taught by using love as the concept/term in which the discussion surrounds?

The discussion of love is a great lesson to be held, it does not have to be limited to just facts or strong beliefs. It can transcend into both (in various degrees) and still create valid considerations, debates, arguments, understandings, beliefs and/or facts.

Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels. Love may also be described as actions towards others (or oneself) based on compassion. Or as actions towards others based on affection. - Wikipedia

No idea of love is a bad one here.

Religious books are literature bottom line. The "golden rule" is widely accepted as the foundation of most religions, but as history dictates that is not the case always.

Poems, short stories, links, etc are great!


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    Apr 25 2011: Morals and ethics have not moved beyond the traditional ideas of right and wrong, and how they are defined with traditional logic, when it would probably do better to adopt something like fuzzy logic.


    Ethical behaviour can be treated like a complex system, with multiple "values" that takes into account consequence, intention, consent, etc. Rigid definitions of "good" are just too static and impractical in the real world.

    Just to add I think fuzzy logic also applies to behaviours like love, Our definition of love is also fairly complex and unclear.
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      Sky F

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      Apr 25 2011: Would you say there is no 'universal love' then? What I mean is an idea of love that applies to everyone globally?

      Great post. I'm going to save this. It is not limited to this discussion. Hell yeah.
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        Apr 25 2011: Thanks.

        I don't know how I would begin to categorize it, love has some visible characteristics which we immediately recognize. If someone asked you to describe love what kind of words would you employ. You could say true love is responsiblity, care and compassion as Erich Fromm did, You could say love is a masochistic desire to be controlled as Jean Paul Sartre did or you could just call it evil like Slavoj Zizek. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg7qdowoemo

        There are so many interpretations, because it's really a word that represents something abstract. Something that can represent both the greatest joy in our lives and the worst suffering,
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        Apr 27 2011: Hey Biridia, haven't engaged you in conversation in a while. What have you been up to?
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        Apr 27 2011: I am alright. I couldn't help it, had to bring up my two favorite philosophers. And I hope it was relevant and I am not just playing favoritism. :-)

        Question? You mean question our integrity or something like that?
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        Apr 29 2011: Well it is the one thing in us that doesn't demand explanation or excuses, we can't rationalize why we love some things. Now how do you seperate true love from something that is percieved and love?

        Sartre says that masochstic love is the result of an individual who becomes complacent in the gaze of the other. The other makes you feel good about who you want to be and you are mislead to believe that this person is wonderful and great but you don't necessarily love this person for who they are but for how they make you feel.

        The existential idea makes love a pretty miserable condition. And maybe it is but I think people willingly give their freedom away to love others, it just what drives and this drive is irrational. And if we as individuals are lucky to have healthy "models" of love we end up being with people who genuinely care about us.
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      Apr 25 2011: So you agree or disagree with Christopher Scheidler's original post?

      "Love is an inherent right of all creatures, with intrinsic value.
      One can only truly love one's self; but when someone realizes we're all a part of the same picture compassion can reign."

      I am going to read through fuzzy logic later, sounds good.
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        Apr 25 2011: I disagree that love is an intrinsic value,

        I partially agree with his second quote, loving someone else starts we loving the self and projecting the self onto another individual. But I don't think every human has the capacity for compassionate behaviour especially highly narcisstic people.
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          Apr 25 2011: Why can it not be an intrinsic value?

          Doesn't narcissism form from accepted values and not pre-constructed values? Do you not have to learn first what it takes and involves to become selfish? (Actuality prior to potentiality)

          I would think that selfishness and/or greed is a learned trait through cognitive educations throughout life, not something people are naturally without influences from environment.
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        Apr 25 2011: We will discuss, I will come back later to this.
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        Apr 26 2011: So Nicholas, I'm finally back.

        Value to me is a conscious reflection. A choice of what we desire in our lives. I am not arguing whether humans have free will, but lets assume they have something similar to what we experience and call free will.

        We can choose our values with conscious reflection. Our value doesn't have to involve love although our instinct may drive us otherwise.
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          Apr 26 2011: Interesting.
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          Sky F

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          Apr 26 2011: Exactly! Yes!

          This is why I disagreed with your claim, Nicholas, that "We all want love." in the last version of this thread. We may all tend to, but there exists diversity, and therefore the inability to create completely universal truths.
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          Apr 27 2011: The point was never to achieve universal truths, but to explore them Sky.

          The claim "We all want love" is starting point not a finish point in thought.

          Of course there are exceptions, there are allows exceptions to everything universal, always.

          Even that "everyone requires 2000 calories a day" is not a reality, many people live on under the deemed/studied amount of calories humans are considered to need to survive, yet they survive just not to the fullest and their lives become surrounded by the need of survival.

          To disprove that claim is no huge task, if I was defending it hard it was because I still know all do want love, just a few may rather kill their loved ones to stay alive and eating. Of course there are few universal truths, but I still believe love is the most universal truth (if that makes sense).
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          Sky F

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          Apr 27 2011: "Of course there are exceptions, there are allows exceptions to everything universal, always. "

          Incorrect by definition. Yawn. What's the point of language if you bend it to your will? Conventions are important.

          "of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases"

          "everyone requires 2000 calories a day" is not a universal truth. If you change it slightly it could be: "2000 calories a day is a healthy amount of calories for the average person" Voila. It's universal.

          Yawn. You get so upset that all I do is trash everything you say instead of talk about whats being talked about but its because every single thing you post is chock full of just things that are... wrong.

          (Formally wrong.)
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          Apr 27 2011: Relativism is the where truth lies.

          I shouldn't have rush the comment, you are right about me being wrong, but only in "love" have I been proved to be wrong often, because I am lost in thought with this idea. I am in between survival tactic and actual universal value. It's tough for me.

          Also "interesting" and my thumbs up for Budmir meant he was pretty much right, what was fascinating was his simplicity not the information.
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          Sky F

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          Apr 28 2011: "Relativism is the where truth lies."

          Maybe for you :P :P :P
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        Apr 27 2011: Thanks Nicholas. when I lectured chemistry a lot of the students liked that I could relate the concepts using everyday, straight forward language.

        They were surprised saying stuff like wow, you are making this sound like it's made for everyone. I was like of course, that shouldn't be a surprise.

        This is where I stand with truth as well. I think it's relative, comprehending something like universal truth means we have to jump beyond our perception. But that doesn't mean we cannot enjoy a fulfilling relative life and do all the things we wanna do like love, create and enjoy yourself. An ongoing search for truth is what makes life exciting.
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        Apr 27 2011: Wow thanks both of you. I'm nowhere near the genius of Beethoven, but wherever I am on this scale of artistry or craft I love what I do and I think everything emerges from that.

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