I maintain that (a) love by its nature must be selfless and that (b) romantic love is really a form of obsession and isn't love at all.

I think we'd have to admit that romantic love is about wanting another person. Wanting to have another person to oneself, to possess them in some sense of the word.

True love is selfless. It's wanting what is best for the other person, even if it means denying ourselves what we would want. True love is altruistic.

The only true love is the love of a good parent for their child or the love of true friends for each other.

Agree or disagree?

Tags: altruism, love, obsession

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Disagree. The "love"of a parent to a child isn't love at all.

Agree with your disagree.

The love of a good parent IS love. How can it not be? It is selfless and has the best interests of the child in mind. It satisfies the definition of love. If not, then define love in a way that fits the facts and strikes most people as true.

Parental love is a deeply-ingrained hereditary human trait to protect one's own genes. I don't see that compulsion as particularly unselfish.

Come on. Never in my life have I had "protecting my genes" as a motive for anything I've ever done in the name of love. I doubt if you can honestly say that you have, either. Selfishness and selflessness—in fact, anything motivated in terms of oneself—has to be conscious, not instinctive or unconscious. Simply because something benefits oneself doesn't make an action selfish.

I can't speak for all parents, but I find being a mom incredibly rewarding. I want my kids to be healthy, happy, and successful. I love my kids more than other people's kids solely because they are mine. When people compliment my kids on their achievements, behavior, or even outfits it makes me feel proud of my parenting. I'm consciously aware of these motivations and they feel selfish to me but we all benefit in the end so it doesn't really matter.

I do understand what you're saying about romantic love being obsessive, but I've seen some pretty obsessive parents as well.

I'm sure most of us here have different personal definitions of terms like love, lust, obsession, and selfish. I'm certainly not claiming mine are more accurate than all the others. Even the dictionary has over 25 definitions for the word love.

I never said being a good parent wasn't rewarding, but simply that it's true love because it involves selfless sacrifice in a way that romantic obsession does not. It may not involve sacrifice on a daily basis, but good parents regularly work hard to send their children to far away schools, for example, meaning significantly less close contact with their beloved child. To the extent a couple might do something similar, such as accepting a long period of separation that benefits the other party, that is more an expression of the friendship between them than their romantic love.

My problem with this statement is "the love of a good parent." It smells very much like an opening to a "no true scotsman" comment. But it's not love at all. How can it be selfless? It doesn't have the best interests of the child at heart, it has the parent's interests of the child at heart. Parents are VERY good at rationalizing this away.

(that said: parental love OR friendship? that's it? what about other familial love that isn't the wholly irrational connection between parent and child - siblings, perhaps?)

What isn't selfless about raising a child, assuming all those expenses, all the time involved, protecting the child (sometimes at the cost of the parent's own life)? How cynical can you be?

I'm not talking about people who don't parent. I'm talking about good parents. It's not like the "no true scotsman" kind of thing, because I'm not saying only good parents are real parents, I'm simply distinguishing people imbued with parental love from people in whom it is absent.

Other filial "love" is basically subsumable into a sort of friendship. Brotherly love, for example.

heck, keep in mind that next to rape, one of the most violatory and immoral things one can do is have a child. it is specifically the creation of a new victim.

And since that is involved in almost all parenthood, how can that be love?

That is unnecessarily cynical. The creation of a baby isn't the creation of a victim per se. All people are victimized in some way from time to time in their life, but life isn't = to victimization. If you feel yours has worked out that way, I'm very sorry for you. You have my sympathy.

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