Well, the point is that I'm still confused.
I can respect that you hold to the second position at this point, but given that we lack a common frame of reference for now when we're talking about all these different terms it seems a bit premature to begin talking about how they can apply for same-sex couples.
I'm probably still confused as well.
Maybe we'll just figure it out after some discussion.
Part of my confusion is likely a product of my belief that homosexual couples are capable of loving in the same way, being sad in the same way, sharing in intimacy in what is effectively the same way (while plumbing may vary, the physical responses and conclusions remain effectively equivalent). And that love, sadness—care, sympathy, empathy—extends not just to one another, but to their children as well. There must necessarily be some differences. Many would agree that there is a special bond between a child and the child's biological mother and to the extent that is true it is unique.* But to the extent that matters, a homosexual couple need not face a major challenge beyond that faced by an adopting couple, and in any case my experience tells me the extent to which parents are good
parents matters more than any other particular (e.g. it is very easy for a good single parent to be a much better parent than lesser combined parents, or a combination where one parent is a bad parent).
While 'love' may take meaning from context, perhaps in the least it helps to know that when I use the word it is in the belief that the 'love' same-sex couples share is not different from that of heterosexual parents.
James wrote:Reasonably close. I'd just add that b) is frequently the case but must not always be so. Conversely, while for some couples it is not so, it is not realistic to expect as much of couples as an external observer. A) I agree with as written.
WeiWenDi wrote:All true. But we are looking at certain, shall we say, cultural outliers here to determine the limits of a.), so you'll notice I haven't made an issue out of b.). On which:
What cultural outliers impact a? I mean, there are some—like intolerance—but I'm just curious what comes to mind.
WeiWenDi wrote:Okay, there you're fully agreed with Dong Zhou and Shikanosuke. I think we can all agree that scenario (1) is not 'love' even though it has all the physical and external markers of a stable relationship.
WeiWenDi wrote:Like I said, that was highlighted merely to meet your condition b.) about sex being a 'primary need' above, because I wanted to interrogate your condition a.). P and R are able and willing to satisfy each other physically. The only thing I highlighted to change were the circumstances around it.
But again, as with DZ and Shikanosuke above, you are on the one hand unwilling to either claim that (2) is love, and on the other hand are unwilling to answer definitively the way you did for (1) that it is not.
That means something has changed within these conditions to admit the possibility. I want to know what that is.
Like I said, though, I think this scenario applies, more often than we might think, wherever arranged marriages are still practised.
I suppose the simplest explanation for my perspective here is that I see no reason why an arranged marriage which did not start with love (by any definition) cannot grow to become a loving relationship. Given the story above it seems comparatively unlikely that it would, nor does the later sound like love, but many relationships that begin with love settle down in their own ways. Looking in from the outside I would be surprised if that relationship could be described as one of love but there'd be know way to take a strong stance without knowing much more.
And it's probably also worth knowing that many of the relationships I see around me—it seems to me that most are no longer relationships rooted in love but rather relationships ranging from awful relationships which should be ended to those which become more a contract of stability and comfort. But some—some are clearly relationships between two people who adore and enrich one another's lives even ten years later, and boy do I admire that.
WeiWenDi wrote:One needs to have a baseline standard, though, in order to discuss the concept intelligently. Obviously, this is something better done within the realist and humanist scope of literature than in a philosophy text, but we can at least try.
Does love demand, for example, commitment or an investment of time? Or does it require only romantic emotions?
In (2), commitment is there even though the romantic emotions are not. In (3) the exact opposite holds true. These questions are important because without them I can't even start to discuss your condition a.), either to agree with it or to disagree with it! For example, when you say 'other things' do you mean money? Stability? Shared life-goals? Opening one's shared life to the possibility of offspring? Right there marked off a vast range of things to add to 'love' as a condition of a healthy relationship, and I'm just trying to understand the scope!
I'm not sure that this is a realistic means through which to approach the concept of love. This is why I mentioned, previously, that love is not something which can be broken down to a formula or checklist. For example, one person may love another romantically, enjoy their company, have fantastic sex, but come to decide that the relationship is destructive because that person is an alcoholic. That's an extreme example. Another person might be pretty materialistic, driven, ambitious, and educated, and fall in love with someone who is carefree, not concerned with material possessions, not ambitious—and decide that the relationship cannot exist long-term. Another person in the same later scenario may just have found their 'soul mate'.
So what can we do in defining love? Scientifically we can boil it down to a chemical process in the brain and that is something we can literally measure. But do we want to use it as a concept to describe something much more? I say it is worth doing so because we need language to describe it; and because society uses the word to describe it. Do we want to measure it in such a form? We cannot, because it is an abstract concept. A specific relationship we describe as loving is not so because the right boxes were checked on a form—rather, because a unique and sophisticated formula unique to that couple worked out. And that formula will certainly also be complicated, littered with spices such as acceptance of faults, shared experiences, interests in common and
Which really all comes back to my original position here. The extent to which an individual factor is important to one relationship varies from another, and that includes sexual intercourse. And the extent to which these individual factors are important to individuals is not something people are particularly good at changing (although we can do a fantastic job of denying and ignoring) or even being aware of going into a relationship.
And in discussing the abstract, shouldn't we accept as best we can that it is abstract?
WeiWenDi wrote:That is the point, actually.
We're all agreeing on your point b.) about sex being a 'primary need', yes?
So it's not worth making an issue out of, for now. These scenarios aren't meant to be realistic, they're philosophical fictions and thought-experiments meant to gauge where you think the boundaries of 'love' are.
An important need for most. There are definitely exceptions.
WeiWenDi wrote:Ah, so the sex needs to be done for the right reasons, yes, regardless of the resulting physical satisfaction of both parties? I agree. The question is, what are those reasons? I think it should be easy enough to guess where I fall on this question, but I am interested in your and other people's perspectives on this.
For the unsolicited James stamp of approval:
1) Intercourse should be consensual between two parties able to give competent consent.
2) Intercourse should not harm another party with cause to feel harmed (e.g. cheating, disease).
In an affectionate relationship, I see intercourse as healthy as the above applies.
Outside a relationship, and in accord with the above, I have nothing against people engaging in intercourse for pleasure. I personally would be wary of such a choice given the probability of unintended consequences (handling of which gives potential for new moral hazard) and because the more one engages, the easier it becomes to violate #2.
And building a baby in a committed, stable relationship.