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Do atheists love?

Do they fall in love with other people? How do they know that love is real?

Posted: May 9th 2009

Eric_PK

I’m not sure what your question has to do with atheism, but yes, atheists do fall in love with others.

But “love” is just an abstraction. I use the label “love” around a set of feelings that I have, and I use the same label for the set of behaviors that I see in my wife. I can’t prove that my wife loves me, but for the last 25+ years she has acted in ways that are consistent with her loving me.

Posted: May 10th 2009

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George Ricker www

Yes. Why do you ask? What a moronic question.

Posted: May 10th 2009

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Dave Hitt www

No. We’re all miserable misanthropes who hate everyone and everything. We hate our spouses, children and pets. We hate music and art and theater. None of us has ever read a book or seen a move that we love. We despise every idea and concept we’ve ever encountered.

When you see an atheist who appears to be a loving family man, who tries to make his wife and kids happy, it’s all an act. He really hates them, and only pretends to like them for some inexplicable reason. When he goes to a concert and seems to be enjoying the music, maybe even singing along or dancing, he’s really quite miserable, despising every moment. His large music collection is just there to fool friends who might visit. Which is a waste, because he has no friends so no one ever visits. Except, occasionally, other atheists. And he hates them too.

He may seem to have a passion for something, and devote a considerable amount of time and talent to it, but in reality he’s doing all that work and expending all that effort because he hates it.

And what we hate more than anything else, even more than puppies and rainbows and laughter and music and friends and family, are extremely dopey questions.

Posted: May 10th 2009

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logicel

This question rocked me with laughter. So thanks for that lovely rush of endorphins!

Atheists just go one god further. You are atheistic towards all other gods except the one you believe in (requiring a non-evidential faith leap leaving rationality behind because there is not enough evidence to believe in even your god). So since you are an atheist/agnostic theist in this regard, how do you know love is real?

You know that love is real by the same way that I do. You feel it. You experience it. I can love in the abstract, but not in the sense of loving an supernatural being as I do not see any evidence for the supernatural. For example, I can love concepts. I love the one where there is focus on working hard and bearing the fruits of one’s labors. I love that one very much. I love my husband and our wonderful cat. I loved my mother so much that after almost forty years since her death she is still alive in my mind. I love living in France. I love flowers, especially morning glories! And my continually passionate love affair with international cuisine is still going strong after all these decades.

I, too, regard love as a discerning and personal emotive state. It is mine. I choose who/what to love. And I certainly have neither expectation for everybody to love me or inclination for me to love everybody. One of the most revolting aspects about many religions, especially Christianity, is the cheapening of love. Christians are basically love sluts (apologies to all humans with healthy sex drives!)

I perceive a possible patriarchal underpinning to your question. Without the love of a divine father figure, you seem to regard as love being ungrounded. Love is grounded in our ability to feel it. No religious attitude, steeped in obsolete patriarchy, is required.

Posted: May 10th 2009

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Reed Braden www

Love is the same between Atheists as it is between Christians. We just don’t share that love with imaginary beings in some unusual sort of cosmic threeway… so I guess love between Atheists is stronger than love between certain sects of theism, since we only have love for those we honestly love and are not coerced to share that love with an invisible dictator. Nor do we submit to cosmic demands that we love every other human being on the planet. (If we did that, what would love mean?)

I’m not a Satanist, nor do I usually quote the works of Church of Satan founder, Anton LaVey, but he wrote about this in The Satanic Bible, chapter: Love and Hate:

You cannot love everyone; it is ridiculous to think you can. If you love everyone and everything you lose your natural powers of selection and wind up being a pretty poor judge of character and quality. If anything is used too freely it loses its true meaning. Therefore, the Satanist believes you should love strongly and completely those who deserve your love, but never turn the other cheek to your enemy!

Love is one of the most intense emotions felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love.

It’s a bit harsh, but it’s essentially true. LaVey then goes on to bash hippies and call the hippie movement a murderous one. Like I said, I usually don’t quote him, but there are a few diamonds in the rough, so to speak.

Posted: May 10th 2009

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SmartLX www

I’m pretty sure I’m in love with my fiancee.

Love is defined by people. On a basic level it’s an interpretation of certain feelings humans naturally develop towards each other. Because we all feel roughly the same things for our nearest and dearest, we’ve been able to give a name to these common feelings, and that name is love.

You’re trying to draw a parallel between the existence of love and the existence of a god. There are a few differences. The majority of humanity has unmistakable personal experience of what we call love, so there’s generally no need to prove it exists. A god needs to be an entity entirely independent of human experience (that is, without us it still exists) to be worth worshipping, whereas the concept of love works very well as simply an abstract part of human experience.

Posted: May 9th 2009

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