Love - learned or inherent?

This is a discussion on Love - learned or inherent? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; In my recent discussion about the power of literature with my friends, we've stumbled onto a rather interesting topic that ...

  1. #1
    Registered User axon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Posts
    2,572

    Love - learned or inherent?

    In my recent discussion about the power of literature with my friends, we've stumbled onto a rather interesting topic that I would like to share with all of you, and more importantly, get some feedback and opinions that you might have about it.

    The main topic is the following question, "are emotions learned, or inherent in the human being?" I'd like to bring this down even lower, and specifically talk about love.

    At this moment, I wont argue for one or the other, but will throw out some ideas about it - mainly from a story telling perspective, this includes all forms such as novels, poetry, film, music, etc.

    It has been said that we would not know we were in love if we had not read novels or been introduced to it in some other form of story telling. A story is a way of doing and showing things with words; it makes something take place in the real world: it can, for example, suggest methods of selfhood or ways of behaving that are then imitated in our real world. So, if we agree that stories “create” instead of “reveal” feelings and emotions, then love is learned and created by them. We need stories to “coach” us how to feel.

    Think about it; I’m sure all of us have been introduced to stories and fairytales in our childhoods that showed love and other feelings. Would we know how to experience these feelings without stories? Would nurturing by our mothers and fathers be enough?
    Last edited by axon; 01-18-2005 at 09:41 PM.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

  2. #2
    Sweet
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    1,801
    I think that we would know how to love even if you weren't read stories or see examples of it.
    We have natural emotions(like being sad or glad), maybe we wouldn't know what the certain felling meant but we would have them regardless of knowing what it was.
    Woop?

  3. #3
    Registered User axon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Posts
    2,572
    >>We have natural emotions (like being sad or glad)<<

    thats precisely it, why do you think these emotions are "natural"? Do you think that we are born with a lexicon of emotions and the ability to differentiate one from the other?

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

  4. #4
    Sweet
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    1,801
    I think that we are born with these emotions, think babies do cry when the are sad(being general here) and glad. You don't teach a baby to laugh if you play let's say peek-a-boo they just enjoy it and respond with either fear or happyness.
    Woop?

  5. #5
    Registered User axon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Posts
    2,572
    yeah, I see what you're saying - but do you think love falls into the same category of emotions as being "sad or glad"?

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    4,913
    You don't teach a baby to laugh if you play let's say peek-a-boo they just enjoy it and respond with either fear or happyness.
    Dogs smile too - they don't learn that from stories.

  7. #7
    UT2004 Addict Kleid-0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    656
    Dogs also mimic humans though.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    4,913
    I've never had a human squeal upon seeing me and then hump my leg. Unless you count RoD.

  9. #9
    Sweet
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    1,801
    I do think that love falls under that category. I would fight that we wouldn't know what it was if we hadn't been taught. But it is a natural emotion cause I believe if it was taught then we could love anybody that we wanted to cause we would learn how to make ourselfs love.
    Woop?

  10. #10
    UT2004 Addict Kleid-0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    656
    Quote Originally Posted by sean_mackrory
    I've never had a human squeal upon seeing me and then hump my leg. Unless you count RoD.
    Humans are intelligent enough NOT to mimic dogs!

    Quote Originally Posted by prog-bman
    I do think that love falls under that category. I would fight that we wouldn't know what it was if we hadn't been taught. But it is a natural emotion cause I believe if it was taught then we could love anybody that we wanted to cause we would learn how to make ourselfs love.
    There is no learning involved with love, unless you're talking about abstract feelings about love, like sex. Love is a required feeling, it was probably developed while our evolution was going on, as we developed, most likely humans that loved survived better. Love is a tool to survive, and thus that's why everyone feels it (for their parents, for their friends, etc).
    Last edited by Kleid-0; 01-18-2005 at 09:53 PM.

  11. #11
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    2,686
    This reminds me of a famous Chomsky quotation from the 50s. Although I don't remember the exact deatils (or the exact quotation), it was something along these lines: BF Skinner proposed that language is learned through children being rewarded or punished based on their reaction to stimuli from their parents to develop a proper sense of language. Chomsky said something to the effect of, "I don't know about the practices of intellectual families, but the rest of us live in the real world."

    I think there is a parallel to draw here. The idea that emotions are taught as opposed to innate assumes that everyone has a common cultural background (for the case of written/spoken/acted works). Now, there are those societies that have not had exposure to Western thought on emotions, and even societies that have relatively little connection to Western culture (I realize this is an ambiguous term -- I am meaning it to specify a class of cultural backgrounds rather than a single one), and you can look at whether or not they have emotions. I can't say I've specifically done research into this, but certainly I've seen the National Geographics where some member of the tribe/group dies, and the close family members cry... presumably this is an expression of the sadness emotion, and I'd guess that an analog holds for love as well.

    Cheers
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

  12. #12
    Registered User axon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Posts
    2,572
    thanks Kleid-0 and Sean for such great contributions to the thread


    back on topic though; suppose that all emotions are indeed inherent, how would you associate these feelings with the world around you. How would you know that you are "in love"? I think this is where stories play a huge role in our development.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

  13. #13
    Sweet
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    1,801
    Kleid I know this is the GD but could you please post about the topic.
    Woop?

  14. #14
    UT2004 Addict Kleid-0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    656
    Quote Originally Posted by axon
    Suppose that all emotions are indeed inherent, how would you associate these feelings with the world around you. How would you know that you are "in love"?
    You know when you're in love when you care for someone very well. In other words your body takes over your emotions for that person, and it's an autohappiness when you see him/her.

    "in love" is like a gun, a person pulls the trigger, and it's a natural event. But after the pulling the trigger, it goes down hill from there, like a exponential function.

  15. #15
    Registered User axon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Posts
    2,572
    yes, its easy for you to explain that, as you have a notion about what "in love" means? Think about how you learned what it means and where it came from? Think about why you've used such analogies for being "in love," and then the decline (according to you) of love.

    See, you just told me a story of the emotion we tend to call love...if I didn't know what it meant before, I would have a bit better understanding of it now.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Unconditional Love
    By jrahhali in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 87
    Last Post: 05-17-2005, 01:18 AM
  2. "if you love someone" :D
    By Carlos in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 10-02-2003, 01:10 AM
  3. Learned optimism
    By Terrance in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-25-2003, 03:06 PM
  4. What signs are there of that a girl is in love with you?
    By A_guy in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 05-21-2003, 07:48 AM
  5. What have you learned?
    By ygfperson in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-01-2002, 11:12 PM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21