PHILOMADRID

PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Friday, September 27, 2013

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: Blame

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Blame. As I say in my short essay this is
the reverse side of guilt.

In the meantime Ruel has sent us a link to his essay.

Hello Lawrence,
Here is the link to what I wrote re the topic ¨Blame¨. I entitled my
essay ¨On Blaming.¨
http://ruelfpepa.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/blaming-2/
See you on Sunday.
Ruel
-------


Blame

Blame is closely related to guilt. Whilst guilt is a personal feeling
for one's failure, or prescribing feeling for moral outrage, blame is a
personal feeling of moral outrage towards others. Whilst guilt describes
the moral state of others, thus ascribing responsibility to them, blame
is our value judgement that we want to ascribe moral responsibility to
others.

There are two issues here. The first is that moral responsibility comes
in degrees of moral guilt and hence moral implication. Being guilty of
murder is not the same moral responsibility of being guilty of taking an
extra piece of chocolate from the box when your girlfriend is not looking.

The second issue is that, by blaming others it does not mean that the
others are nor ought to be guilty of anything nor that we are
necessarily right. But whatever the scenario, the opus operandi of blame
and guilt are always emotions. This means that objectivity could easily
be a victim in these value judgement decisions.

But the act of blaming does not happen in a vacuum. When we blame people
we are really saying that we want redress, punishment, or even a return
to the status quo of a wrong done to us. Somehow, blame, and guilt,
disturbs some kind of stability or harmony which affects our sense of
what is right and good.

There is, therefore, no doubt that blame is associated with a causal
effect both at the commission of the blameworthy act and the demand that
this act is redressed. We see a causal chain of events taking place
starting with the disturbance of a harmonious state to the consequences
of that state and, somehow, returning to the status quo.

I say somehow because we do not really have any evidence to suggest that
a causal chain can be reversed, at least not at the macro level. So, if
there is really no going back to the status quo, then can there really
be redress or restitution to a wrong done? This leaves us with
punishment, but even this does not take us back to the status quo, and
unlike redress or restitution, punishment for wrong done does not even
give us causal compensation.

This leads me to two observations. The first is that a moral state is
also governed by the physical state of causality. Thus, causality firmly
establishes morality in the empirical universe we are familiar with and
not in some metaphysical realm of existence.

And secondly, in the realm of morality we accept that the balance of
moral harmony can be achieved by non physical restitution. In western
society the imbalanced state of harmony after a murder is not resituated
by anything other than a punishment such as incarceration for life or
even the death penalty. And if there is any financial restitution to the
kin of the victim this would be a separate issue from the criminal and,
in this case, moral guilt.

Thus, whilst blame is a moral outrage, it is also an emotion outrage
which suggests that society needs to intervene in order not to allow the
victim to compound the issue, if there is a legitimate issue, with some
further injustice.

But if the concept of blame comes in levels of seriousness, and degrees
of moral import, as I suggest about, does this mean that all instances
of blame are instance of a serious moral judgement? And should all
immoral acts as identified by blame be an issue of guilt or moral sanction?

Very unlikely since this would be impractical given that we use blame to
identify things that happen in life; for example, I blame you for the
cold I have since it was you who insisted we go out in the cold. Compare
this with I blame the government and greedy directors of the collapse of
the economy and the suffering of the unemployed.

What is sure is that the blame game is more complex than just a right
wrong value judgement. Does this mean that morality is more complex than
simply tagging a situation good or bad? Or is that morality with it
duality has run its course and we need something more powerful to deal
with powerful moral outrage?

Best Lawrence

Lawrence


tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at
O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: Blame

Thursday, September 19, 2013

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: The risks of philosophy: what do we miss by being philosophers?

Dear Friends,


We are now back to the Sunday schedule of 6:30pm at the Centro Segoviano.

And the topic is still the same as last Saturday: The risks of
philosophy: what do we miss by being philosophers?

Below you have the links to the essays by Miguel and Ruel and my essay
at the end of this message.

From Miguel - Here it is:
http://cielosdemarzo.blogspot.com.es/2013/09/the-risks-of-philosophy.html

Hello Lawrence,
Below is the link to the essay I wrote re the topic on Saturday´s
PhiloMadrid.

http://ruelfpepa.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/the-risks-of-doing-philosophy/
See you on Saturday.
Ruel

So see you Sunday,



The risks of philosophy: what do we miss by being philosophers?

Strictly speaking, we really voted for the topic The risks of
philosophy, but part of the thinking behind this topic was the idea of
what philosophers might miss out on by virtue of being philosophers.

The risks of philosophy are no less varied than any other mental
activity human beings get up to. One of those risks is that our
reasoning might be based on flawed information or data. Think of the
mess we can get into if we thought that the world was flat. Thinking
that the world was flat like a piece of toast we reasonably would be
afraid to venture far away from where we live. But now imaging that the
world is round, it does not matter which way we go we know a priori that
we are going to remain on the surface of the world no matter how far we go.

But like all mental endeavours, such as science, our biggest risk is
that out methodology might be flawed. This is not about flawed data, but
rather the process we subject such data to. Is the Gaussian curve or the
bell curve really the beginning and end all for science, or the
principle of excluded middle (P or –P) for philosophy. And then one day
we come across the fat tail distribution in the form of a tsunami
crushing into our nuclear reactor, or quantum mechanics which challenges
our excluded middle and end up with something being, at the same time,
both a wave and a particle and yet a particle is nowhere near being a wave.

And then there are the everyday being-run-over-by-a-bus type of risks.
For philosophers, that every day risk would be language. Indeed language
is a key risk for philosophy partly because language is our main tool
for doing philosophy. The problem is that what we think in our head
needs to be transferred into a structure that can be exchanged with
other people. Now given that human brains are wired in the same way
(philosophy is not really concerned with brains that require medical
attention), but how we communicate with others is less well defined.
Thus, the problems we have communicating with each other socially are
the same issues, and therefore risks, for philosophers.

Moreover, knowledge cannot be bounded by borders so we have the added
risk in philosophy of having to translate impressive and great ideas
from one natural language into another natural language. The brave
attempt to formalise language into a mathematical language at the turn
of the twentieth century was indeed a brave attempt but one not destined
to go far. One of the problems is that our ideas are not universally
true and objective. How on Earth can the preceding idea be translated
into mathematical form when one day one of our ideas might very well be
universally true and objective and on another day just wrong, unlike for
example the number Pi?

And because we cannot put our philosophical ideas into a test tube and
give them a whirl in a centrifuge to see what comes out, we have no
other option but the long way of communicating our ideas through
language. Indeed we seem fated to take the long way. The compensation is
that at the end of the road will really be worthy of the claim of having
a valid philosophical idea. For example today we know beyond any
reasonable doubt that no matter how much we pad marriage as a religious
righteousness, forcing young girls into marriage is the ultimate in
immorality. Or today we know that the separation of powers is the best
form of government we can have. Our sense of what is right and just has
developed much more than Plato's sense of right and justice.

As for the question what are we risking by being philosophers? or what
are we missing out on by being philosophers? the answer is no less
imposing that what are the risks of philosophy? One of the risks that
exist today is that we just physically cannot be familiar with all the
knowledge out there. And this is true even of scientists. And the more
our knowledge is derived through empirical means the harder it will
become for us to establish the truth of any a priori ideas. Today we
just have more means and more data to test any a priori truths. The
problem is that it is unlikely that every philosopher can physically be
acquainted with all these tools and models.

And if this not bad enough, even the philosophical goal posts have
changed somewhat. Any philosopher who want to pursue issues in
philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and the concept of
life must, out of necessity, be acquainted with issues in biology, the
brain, evolution, quantum physics, physics, human behaviour and so on.
This is not because philosophers must compete in the discovery of the
next cancer cure, but rather because the next cancer cure will introduce
new ethical dilemmas and issues that probably do not exist today. Today
an argument based on authority is not good enough; today we hold those
in authority accountable but we cannot do that if we are not familiar
with the grounds those in authority have to tread.

So the philosopher, whether professional or just an ordinary mortal
philosopher, has to face the challenge that their repertoire of rational
tools must now include familiarity with the scientific method. Today we
know that there are no such things as forms which we only have access to
through shadows. Today DNA is the key to the essence of life including
human life. And we no longer need to concern ourselves with we duality
of a mind (soul) and body. Today we know that the brain is a very
complex organ and many scientists are busy trying to unravel the secrets
that lie within the boundaries of the human and biological brain. In
other words, today we don't need to create ghosts to understand the
human being.

I would argue that philosophers who do not take into account these new
parameters of modern philosophy stand the risk of ending up doing
history of ideas and history of philosophy rather than the guardians of
our rational methodology.

An even more serious risk we face as individuals is that just because
today we have a myriad of means to communicate our ideas with others we
might fall into the trap in believing that our thinking is acceptable as
philosophy even if we have good reviews from our peers. The test for
philosophical rigor today is more important than ever. We can safely
assume that today someone somewhere has, is or is going to think about
the very same idea we have postulated on. But there is also a further
negative consequence for mass distribution of ideas today. Mass
distribution also means mass information overload and our ideas can
easily be overwhelmed by the size of the available bits of information.
Basically, no matter how good our philosophy might be, we stand a very
high risk of being crowded out by other equally good ideas proposed by
other philosophers.

One objection to my arguments above that if we have to be conversant in
the sciences is that we would be scientists and not philosophers. But it
takes more than just being conversant in the sciences to be a scientist.
That is true, of course, but the scientist is interested in
understanding the world we live in. And as philosophers we are
interested in the soundness of our thinking and ideas. Our playground as
philosophers is the product of our brains as we now know.

For example, key issue in philosophy is what is the meaning of good?
What does it mean to be good? Today we are able to test in many ways a
state of affairs to see if it is good or bad. For example, to take a
very easy case, it is not good to force young girls into marriage with
male adults! This is not a difficult case. However what is more
difficult is this question: do we have a duty to do good? We can easily
argue that young girls should not be married to adult males, but if it
is not good to marry off young girls then do we have the duty to stop
adult males from marrying young girls?

To sum up, the risks of philosophy have to do with the expansion of the
philosophical method to accommodate other rational reasoning such as the
understanding of how the scientific method functions. For the
philosopher, the immediate risks are information overload and the
central stage empiricism now occupies in our life. But what might hurt
philosophy and philosophers the most is the blow to our ego when we
discover that those who today are doing philosophy do not call
themselves philosophers, and those who call themselves philosophers are
not doing anything worthwhile to call philosophy!

Take care

Lawrence


tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at
O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: The risks of philosophy: what
do we miss by being philosophers?

Friday, September 13, 2013

from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: The risks of philosophy: what do we miss by being philosophers?

Dear Friends,

We've got a bumper meeting this Saturday (6.60pm Centro Segoviano) with
three essays from Miguel, Ruel and myself. As always I have not looked
at the other two essays and I understand that Miguel was writing late
into the night today so don't be surprised if we come up with a bunch of
different arguments on this week's:

The risks of philosophy: what do we miss by being philosophers?

From Miguel - Here it is:
http://cielosdemarzo.blogspot.com.es/2013/09/the-risks-of-philosophy.html

Hello Lawrence,
Below is the link to the essay I wrote re the topic on Saturday´s
PhiloMadrid.

http://ruelfpepa.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/the-risks-of-doing-philosophy/
See you on Saturday.
Ruel

So see you Saturday,

Best Lawrence


The risks of philosophy: what do we miss by being philosophers?

Strictly speaking, we really voted for the topic The risks of
philosophy, but part of the thinking behind this topic was the idea of
what philosophers might miss out on by virtue of being philosophers.

The risks of philosophy are no less varied than any other mental
activity human beings get up to. One of those risks is that our
reasoning might be based on flawed information or data. Think of the
mess we can get into if we thought that the world was flat. Thinking
that the world was flat like a piece of toast we reasonably would be
afraid to venture far away from where we live. But now imaging that the
world is round, it does not matter which way we go we know a priori that
we are going to remain on the surface of the world no matter how far we go.

But like all mental endeavours, such as science, our biggest risk is
that out methodology might be flawed. This is not about flawed data, but
rather the process we subject such data to. Is the Gaussian curve or the
bell curve really the beginning and end all for science, or the
principle of excluded middle (P or –P) for philosophy. And then one day
we come across the fat tail distribution in the form of a tsunami
crushing into our nuclear reactor, or quantum mechanics which challenges
our excluded middle and end up with something being, at the same time,
both a wave and a particle and yet a particle is nowhere near being a wave.

And then there are the everyday being-run-over-by-a-bus type of risks.
For philosophers, that every day risk would be language. Indeed language
is a key risk for philosophy partly because language is our main tool
for doing philosophy. The problem is that what we think in our head
needs to be transferred into a structure that can be exchanged with
other people. Now given that human brains are wired in the same way
(philosophy is not really concerned with brains that require medical
attention), but how we communicate with others is less well defined.
Thus, the problems we have communicating with each other socially are
the same issues, and therefore risks, for philosophers.

Moreover, knowledge cannot be bounded by borders so we have the added
risk in philosophy of having to translate impressive and great ideas
from one natural language into another natural language. The brave
attempt to formalise language into a mathematical language at the turn
of the twentieth century was indeed a brave attempt but one not destined
to go far. One of the problems is that our ideas are not universally
true and objective. How on Earth can the preceding idea be translated
into mathematical form when one day one of our ideas might very well be
universally true and objective and on another day just wrong, unlike for
example the number Pi?

And because we cannot put our philosophical ideas into a test tube and
give them a whirl in a centrifuge to see what comes out, we have no
other option but the long way of communicating our ideas through
language. Indeed we seem fated to take the long way. The compensation is
that at the end of the road will really be worthy of the claim of having
a valid philosophical idea. For example today we know beyond any
reasonable doubt that no matter how much we pad marriage as a religious
righteousness, forcing young girls into marriage is the ultimate in
immorality. Or today we know that the separation of powers is the best
form of government we can have. Our sense of what is right and just has
developed much more than Plato's sense of right and justice.

As for the question what are we risking by being philosophers? or what
are we missing out on by being philosophers? the answer is no less
imposing that what are the risks of philosophy? One of the risks that
exist today is that we just physically cannot be familiar with all the
knowledge out there. And this is true even of scientists. And the more
our knowledge is derived through empirical means the harder it will
become for us to establish the truth of any a priori ideas. Today we
just have more means and more data to test any a priori truths. The
problem is that it is unlikely that every philosopher can physically be
acquainted with all these tools and models.

And if this not bad enough, even the philosophical goal posts have
changed somewhat. Any philosopher who want to pursue issues in
philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and the concept of
life must, out of necessity, be acquainted with issues in biology, the
brain, evolution, quantum physics, physics, human behaviour and so on.
This is not because philosophers must compete in the discovery of the
next cancer cure, but rather because the next cancer cure will introduce
new ethical dilemmas and issues that probably do not exist today. Today
an argument based on authority is not good enough; today we hold those
in authority accountable but we cannot do that if we are not familiar
with the grounds those in authority have to tread.

So the philosopher, whether professional or just an ordinary mortal
philosopher, has to face the challenge that their repertoire of rational
tools must now include familiarity with the scientific method. Today we
know that there are no such things as forms which we only have access to
through shadows. Today DNA is the key to the essence of life including
human life. And we no longer need to concern ourselves with we duality
of a mind (soul) and body. Today we know that the brain is a very
complex organ and many scientists are busy trying to unravel the secrets
that lie within the boundaries of the human and biological brain. In
other words, today we don't need to create ghosts to understand the
human being.

I would argue that philosophers who do not take into account these new
parameters of modern philosophy stand the risk of ending up doing
history of ideas and history of philosophy rather than the guardians of
our rational methodology.

An even more serious risk we face as individuals is that just because
today we have a myriad of means to communicate our ideas with others we
might fall into the trap in believing that our thinking is acceptable as
philosophy even if we have good reviews from our peers. The test for
philosophical rigor today is more important than ever. We can safely
assume that today someone somewhere has, is or is going to think about
the very same idea we have postulated on. But there is also a further
negative consequence for mass distribution of ideas today. Mass
distribution also means mass information overload and our ideas can
easily be overwhelmed by the size of the available bits of information.
Basically, no matter how good our philosophy might be, we stand a very
high risk of being crowded out by other equally good ideas proposed by
other philosophers.

One objection to my arguments above that if we have to be conversant in
the sciences is that we would be scientists and not philosophers. But it
takes more than just being conversant in the sciences to be a scientist.
That is true, of course, but the scientist is interested in
understanding the world we live in. And as philosophers we are
interested in the soundness of our thinking and ideas. Our playground as
philosophers is the product of our brains as we now know.

For example, key issue in philosophy is what is the meaning of good?
What does it mean to be good? Today we are able to test in many ways a
state of affairs to see if it is good or bad. For example, to take a
very easy case, it is not good to force young girls into marriage with
male adults! This is not a difficult case. However what is more
difficult is this question: do we have a duty to do good? We can easily
argue that young girls should not be married to adult males, but if it
is not good to marry off young girls then do we have the duty to stop
adult males from marrying young girls?

To sum up, the risks of philosophy have to do with the expansion of the
philosophical method to accommodate other rational reasoning such as the
understanding of how the scientific method functions. For the
philosopher, the immediate risks are information overload and the
central stage empiricism now occupies in our life. But what might hurt
philosophy and philosophers the most is the blow to our ego when we
discover that those who today are doing philosophy do not call
themselves philosophers, and those who call themselves philosophers are
not doing anything worthwhile to call philosophy!


Best Lawrence



Take care

Lawrence


tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at
O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/



from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: The risks of philosophy:
what do we miss by being philosophers?

Friday, September 06, 2013

from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: Why do we always associate sex and love together?

Dear Friends,

Finally we getting back to our weekly meeting, except, as you remember,
until mid September we are meeting on SATURDAY. And this Saturday we are
meeting at the Centro Segoviano at 6.30pm. Our first topic will be: Why
do we always associate sex and love together?

Ruel has prepared an essay for us with the title ¨Why do people tend to
associate sex and love together?¨

http://ruelfpepa.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/why-do-people-tend-to-associate-sex-and-love-together/
And my essay is below:


Take care

Lawrence


tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at
O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/





Why do we always associate sex and love together?

Today we know that the mission target of biological systems or
creatures, if you like, is to procreate. Mission accomplished would be a
successful reproduction.

We also know today that sex has been the tried and tested delivery
mechanism over time to activate the reproductive process in human
beings. This leaves us with love. Indeed we are also left with an
obvious question: what has all this got to do with philosophy? Don't
forget that philosophy is one of our most powerful methodologies we have
to disentangle the fog and chaos we might have in our ideas and thinking.

Many people use love as a conduit (or Trojan horse) to get to the sex.
And many just go for the sex and some end up getting young sixteen year
old girls pregnant. So, is there a philosophical issue with our thinking
about sex and love and specifically in our case, the association of the
two? One way of finding out is to see how love and sex are associated.

We also associate love with romance and sex with the carnal form of
human beings. And I use carnal on purpose because we use this word with
a negative meaning maybe even a bad and evil meaning. In effect we use
the language of morality to try and control human behaviour given that
morality is a form of social engineering. This, however, is quite ironic
since how can a natural process be classified with moral value language?
Sex is a natural mechanism like freezing water forming snow; it would be
absurd, as a consequence, to call skiing evil just because we enjoy it!
Of course, those religions, pseudo religions and other morality mongers
do not frown upon sex per se but only sex outside marriage although some
would insist that sex is acceptable only for the purpose of procreating.

However, typical religious marriage vows talks about love, but it does
not say anything about procreating, and certainly nothing about sex. And
yet, most religions place procreating as one of their central doctrines.
I don't intend to examine this issue but maybe in the historical context
of a marriage it was basically a commercial contract between the father
of the bride "giving her away" to the son of some other parents; like
one would do with an old fridge. Indeed, the language of marriage and
married life according to religions (I know I am being a bit sweeping
here with my claims) is anything but romantic: the Ten Commandments
speak of "you shall not covet your neighbor's wife", "you shall not
commit adultery", perform my headship over you, my life as an obedient
and faithful wife. (first 2 Wikipedia, and bible.org). And yet
procreation, until now required the equal contribution of both sexes,
and many justifiably would say that women contribute much more. Is love
a partnership amongst equals as the Ten Commandments indirectly suggest
or a master slave relationship as a modern marriage vows suggest?

Regarding the issue of association, on the one extreme, we have a non
linear scenario of people associating love with sex for reproduction,
sex only for gratification, love for emotional security, love so why not
sex, sex with wanted off springs, sex with unplanned off springs. And to
complicate the issue, we have man with woman, man with man, woman with
woman, anyway you get the idea.

On the other extreme with have the most liner of scenarios, man with
woman, love therefore marriage, procreate and sex if you must but
ideally only to procreate. Indeed the irony is that today morality
mongers have a lot in common with nature in that both have the mission
target to procreate. Except, of course, moral mongers try not to get too
involved in the nappy changing stage of procreation; for example none of
the ten commandments say thou shall never vote for political parties who
try to take away your right to a fair remuneration. Nature, on the other
hand, tries very hard to make sure a person is not only fit enough for
the sex part but also for the nappy changing stage and beyond. Indeed
the family and by extension the tribe was a solution to guarantee the
success of the nappy changing stage and beyond. In nature we don't find
one solution fits all, but rather one set of blueprints for life with
the opportunity to change and adapt according to one's needs and
environment.

So, if sex works well most of the time and reproduction happens enough
times, why do we need love? Just a caveat here, by love I don't just
mean loyalty nor faithfulness and not even sex appeal. But something
like, you cannot wait for the morning to come so you can be consciously
and intentionally with the person you love.

But neither am I saying that we don't need love, even if sex can
accomplish nature's mission target. Even if for our argument we have to
suspend the idea that sex is nature's best Trojan horse ever, like
everything else in nature sex has its great benefits and attractions and
not only just the sensual pay off. But sex in neither nature's free
ride, suffice it to say that the negative side of sex could range from
fatal heart attacks (unfit men trying to impress super fit young ladies)
to jealous boyfriends or girlfriends, as the case maybe, to
opportunistic critters and viruses hitching a joy ride.

An even more serious disadvantage about sex is that its physical
excitement period is very, very short. So the question shouldn't be: why
do we need love? But rather, what do we need after sex? Remember that
nature's mission target is reproduction and not a good time. Hence, the
reproduction process is much longer than just the few minutes under the
sheets; certainly until the off spring reaches self sufficiency. In my
estimation, love is by far a cheaper and guaranteed solution than an
alimony cheque for long term stability for the offspring. Not only that,
but the life span of love can easily be a life time. Thus associating
love with sex makes sense in this very important context; at least
important for nature.

However, love is not necessarily a pre determined strategy in nature
(sex is) but maybe a successful rational strategy in a game for human
survival that requires more brain power strategising than pure muscle
power. Maybe, in the end, the pulling power of love is much greater than
the pulling power of a sexual organ. And this is convenient for nature
since love can keep the bond between two people together to get them
together, procreate, nurture their off springs, and for an added bonus
look after the off springs of their off springs. Therefore, considering
that even love boils down to a physical emotion, is love another
parallel strategy devised by nature to support the newly born and beyond?

One particular foggy aspect in our thinking on the subject, and
especially present with morality mongers, is the assumption that just
because nature programmed us to procreate then everyone must procreate.
Indeed religions do not impose and make their followers actually
procreate but rather their so called teachings and attributes to the
deity's wishes leaves no doubt what is required.

This is-ought state of affairs leads some to create strategies that are
immoral, unethical, and certainly anti human rights practices despite
them being dressing in the language of holiness and moral authority. For
example, even today many would stigmatise children born out of wedlock.
However, there is nothing in nature for us to draw the conclusion that
an ability to procreate means that we have to procreate. It would be
interesting, though, to know what the world would be like if we were
determined that each and every one of us procreates.

Basically, we have no way of finding out what the world would be like if
each and every one of us had to reproduce: firstly) we are not all
genetically prepared to ipso facto procreate and secondly) we cannot
even perform a controlled experiment. Of course, some might say that we
can always run a Monte Carlo routine to get an idea what will happen if
each and every one of us had to procreate. But then again I ask you, is
a Monte Carlo routine to change nappies the same as actually smelling
the pooh when changing nappies?

Thus those who want to associate love with sex have a valid point since
this is a very successful strategy for human beings who want to have a
family. And yet those who argue that love and sex should not be bundled
together have logic on their side because there is nothing determined
that sex and love must always be associated together. And what's more
there is no philosophical argument (read rational, logical, ethical or
even dogmatic, if you want) we can employ to confirm that love and sex
are preordained to go together. And neither do we have any evidence that
sex must only be used to procreate and procreate every time it takes place.

Today the situation is that, sex is neither a necessary nor a sufficient
condition for reproduction although it is still the most efficient way
for reproduction; love and sex are logically distinct human
characteristics -love is an emotional experience and sex is a physical
mechanism with a range of effects- and love is feasible without sex and
sex without love. However, it seems that the best possible strategy for
long term human success, especially reproductive success, is love
before, during and after sex.






from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: Why do we always associate
sex and love together?

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