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What defines the word "love"? Show more Show less

Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the point of existence, for others it's the manifestation of the divine, for some it is a tool of oppression. No subject has spawned so much poetry. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a mystical aspiration, a social construct, a neurological glitch, or nothing at all?

Notions of love are Culture-specific Show more Show less

Many different cultures have specific ways of defining and experiencing love.
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Love is separate from sexual desire

In some cultures, love is considered a totally separate phenomena to sexual desire, to the point that love may be marred by sex.
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Context

The Argument

Many cultures spurn sexual desire as part of love, believing it to cheapen or dirty the experience of authentic, pure love. For instance, in some South Asian or Chinese cultures, sex is considered to actively have negative health effects. Sex is often depicted as "polluting, repellant and risky... surrounded by multiple taboos and restrictions".[1] This is often due to a societal prioritisation of chastity. Perhaps best illustrating how this rejection of sexual desire can influence cultural attitudes to love is Manus Island, where reportedly sexual desire is considered unrelated to love so wholly that an illicit love affair may consist only of sitting, talking and laughing with someone.[1]

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

[P1] Love is completely unrelated to sexual desire, and can indeed be actively marred by it.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/25758107.pdf?ab_segments=0%2Fbasic_SYC-4946%2Fcontrol&refreqid=search%3A09510e7859eed7cbe6f061f329b0d410

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 17:20 UTC