Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Love, Faith, and Rationality

From the movie, The Devil's Advocate:

Kevin Lomax: What about love?
John Milton: Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate.

The question I have is how can anyone prove that love exists? This is a critical point. One can't measure love. But I can pretty much guarantee that even atheists believe in love. Must take a lot of faith to believe in something that you can't prove exists.

Sexual attraction isn't love. As well, sexual attraction isn't measurable or definable in itself. That is, one can see chemical changes, sweat response, genital response, etc. These are responses to stimuli -- responses to so-called sexual attraction, arousal, what have you. While one can measure response, and say "I've seen the responses and they match what happens when people say they're in love.", I can point to the quote above and ask the obvious question -- the same question/argument atheists have about faith.

If the tests of religious faith were applied to love, one would have a lot of angry people, apologetics, and so on. "Prove you are in love" "Prove I'm not" Love is, by some accounts, irrational, unexplainable, unmeasurable. It is, however, quite the controversial statement to make to even the most rational of people that love is only for the mentally deficient. Nearly every argument against religious faith can be applied against love (or practically any other emotion). I think about the wars caused by love (or hate). I think about the murders committed by or because of love. Yet, I have yet to see the self-important signoff on message board posts "I wouldn't want to be in love, because of what lovers do to others who aren't in love with them."

My question goes to the very heart of the arguments against "Faith" -- that faith is irrational; that faith is illogical; that faith is "stupid" because it can't be measured.

What makes love different than religious faith?

The question becomes even more important in light of the viewpoint that "God is Love". Believe in God? Believe in Love?

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