The Instigator
RationalMadman
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
adontimasu
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

Love is the most selfish emotion to feel

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
RationalMadman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,678 times Debate No: 25237
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

RationalMadman

Pro

First round is acceptance (to be con).

I want to make it VERY clear that to be be con you would be opposing that lov eis the most selfish emotion to FEEL. Not the most selfish to display or to express but to FEEL. (I type in capitals not to make you feel stupid but to make 100% clear). I prefer opponents age 15+ but if below I want very mature debates. Please nothing immature like love is beautiful, that's nothing to do with the debate.

DEFINITIONS (If you disagree with any DO NOT GO CON):

Love - an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment.

Selfish - Concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure. (NOT the definition whereby it means LACK OF CONSIDERATION for others, this is not the definition to be used in debate).

Emotion - A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

Feel - To have a sensation of.
adontimasu

Con

I accept this debate. As BOP is on my opponent, I will only be posting an acceptance. Best of luck, Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
RationalMadman

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate I am very looking forward to a worthy challenge on the matter.

The main points I would like to address in my opening speech are that feeling itself is totally separate from expression or display, that love is a comforting mechanism of the mind and is the most efficient method of assisting one to ignore hardship, that all emotions other than love have some negative aspect to feel (happiness is very close behind but doesn't offer the same comfort factor to feeling it) and that love is in fact an emotion that we evolved to feel in order to ensure our children to successfully carry on our DNA gene line.

What is feeling? Well, feeling, for the purposes of this debate, has been defined as having a sensation of something. If one has a sensation of something, for example sadness, it is nothing to do with the crying nor the sympathy one would receive when being sad but purely the feeling od sadness and the effects it has on the mental and physical well being that would have to be considered.
What is love? Well, love, for the purposes of this debate, has been defined as an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment. I kept the definition short so as to be fair and allow my opponent to twist it a they wish but from my point of view it is also further definable in that it is only felt towards objects or activities form which one gains something. Additionally love is known to associate with what makes one happy, energetic, alert and without pain. However, love is very often confused with lust and obsession. Lust is the feeling that is often mistaken for love; It is mistaken for love because the attraction is so strong. Lust can feel like love because the feelings of attraction are strong and all-consuming. One can lust pain and submission as seen in B.D.S.M. couples however, to love something it must be directly associated with painlessness or happiness, the difference between lust and love is that lust is related to the physical sensation felt during an activity done with a person or in a certain environment. One can lust cutting themselves, or lust being abused in sex by a partner but to love something they must associate it with happiness for that affection and attachment to a human cannot possibly be associated with the feeling of pain, that indicates danger, and thus is the opposite of what to be attached or feel affection for. Obsessions are often mistaken for love because people rationalize the crazy feelings they are having. They assume that it must be love if the other object or activity is always on their mind.

Now that I've stated what both are I shall begin to explain how love itself is the most selfish emotion.

Love is firstly an emotion that, when felt, opens doors to only beneficial emotions. What causes the pain when losing a so called 'loved one' is that the love has turned into obsession which differs from love in that love does no obscure rational thinking but obsession does. One can love sky-diving but not go every time they get the chance, whereas someone obsessed with sky-diving would seek to go even if the chance wasn't offered. Similarly when you love someone and they die that pain is not due to the fact that you love them but the fact that you can't experience their presence anymore. Thus love is not a key to pain but rather a key to what could be the key to pain... happiness and excitement.

A key to joy is clearly very beneficial to one's self but also has another side to it. When you begin to love a living you start finding it easier to please that being and sacrifice yourself without being sad or angry. This means that if you began to fall in love with your boss at work or happened to love your parents to a higher degree than usual, you would being finding the fact they they used you and bossed you around easier to handle, thus using it as an extremely beneficial coping mechanism.

So now we see that love is not only a key to beneficial emotions but also a coping mechanism in tough times. The final point of my introductory speech shall be to counter any thoughts of emotions such as envy or anger being selfish to feel. It is indeed selfish when one acts on a whim in anger or envy and causes misfortune to others for their own satisfaction. However, I very much believe that while feeling anger or envy or any of the deadly sins you actually don't feel good but feel negative and bad while feeling them.

This is the end of my opening speech.
adontimasu

Con

Rebuttal 1: The key to the key to selfish desire?

“Love is firstly an emotion that, when felt, opens doors to only beneficial emotions. What causes the pain when losing a so called 'loved one' is that the love has turned into obsession which differs from love in that love does no obscure rational thinking but obsession does. . . . Similarly when you love someone and they die that pain is not due to the fact that you love them but the fact that you can't experience their presence anymore. Thus[,] love is not a key to pain but rather a key to what could be the key to pain... happiness and excitement.

As my opponent has already stated, love can turn into an obsession, which is inherently selfish. I agree. However, here is my problem: something that is a “key to what could be the key to pain,” is not the same as the “key of pain.” Happiness and excitement, technically, fall under the definition of selfishness, so this fact seems relevant to your overall point. In fact, this is crucial. However, as my opponent has stated, love is not obsession. Obsession is the emotion (although, I have not decided whether or not obsession qualifies as an emotion yet; seems like one could make a case for it) / feeling that leads to happiness and excitement, which are inherently selfish. Love is not. Therefore, your point is irrelevant, and is actually beneficial to my argument.

Rebuttal 2: Are coping mechanisms necessarily selfish?

“A key to joy is clearly very beneficial to one's self but also has another side to it. When you begin to love a living you start finding it easier to please that being and sacrifice yourself without being sad or angry. This means that if you began to fall in love with your boss at work or happened to love your parents to a higher degree than usual, you would being finding the fact they they used you and bossed you around easier to handle, thus using it as an extremely beneficial coping mechanism.”

I would like my opponent to provide a source supporting that this happens whatsoever, let alone in this fashion. However, ignoring this for a moment, are coping mechanisms necessarily selfish? Well, based, yes. However, let us think about this. If someone is using love as a coping mechanism – unless proven otherwise – is likely using it as a coping mechanism on a sub- or un-conscious level, meaning that they do not actively wish to do this. While this may be selfish, it is beyond the person’s overall control, and therefore should not be used as an argument against them. Furthermore, assuming this even occurs on a conscious level, this would be the exception, and not the rule.

Rebuttal 3: The seven deadly sins?

I thank my opponent for addressing my points from the comments before I accepted this debate. Good on you. However, I do not accept your explanation. You accept that the seven deadly sins are emotions, and that they are selfish. Good. However, my opponent states that it is not selfish, as: “. . . I very much believe that while feeling anger or envy or any of the deadly sins you actually don't feel good but feel negative and bad while feeling them. Okay. I agree. However, whether or not the results are negative for the individual is irrelevant. The definition of selfish Pro provided says that which concerns with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. As long as the action is done with pleasure and personal profit as the end goal in mind, it is selfish, despite what the outcome is. Therefore, I conclude that the seven deadly sins qualify in this debate. Furthermore, even if we were to accept this, than obsessions would not be selfish (as they have very negative consequences on the individual), which would destroy my opponent’s first point, unless Pro would wish to contend that obsessions provide an outcome of personal benefit to those who are obsessing.

First Point: Are lust or greed an emotion?

The definition of an emotion, as provided by Pro in this debate, is “A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” With this definition, one can immediately dismiss greed – It is unfortunate, but we can preserve! – however, lust is not so easily removed from this equation. Lust is defined as: “uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite.” [1, d:2] As a desire is a state of the mind, desires qualify. Furthermore, lust is a desire brought on by sexual thoughts derived from one’s relationships with others, primarily sexual relationships. Therefore: lust, in this regard, is an emotion.

As my opponent has pointed out, obsessions are selfish. This is the crux of his first point. Furthermore, I contend that lust is an obsession. An obsession is “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.” [2] As lust is uncontrolled, and is viewed as a constant preoccupation with sex, it is an obsession. Therefore, I conclude that lust is more selfish than love.


Point 2: Is envy selfish?

To envy is: “[to have a] desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else).” [3] As envy chiefly concerns with striving for another person’s qualities or possession for your own personal profit (such as envying over someone else’s fortune) or pleasure (such as envying over another child’s game), it is selfish. I therefore submit that envy is another emotion that is more selfish than love.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[3] http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Debate Round No. 2
RationalMadman

Pro

For a long time I was pondering on how to reply in a manner that may not offend my opponent and the best I could come up with is as follows...

You understood not one bit if my original debate.

I would like to reiterate my points as opposed to rebutting your rebuttals as such since I fel as if I failed to convey them effectively.

The key to key analogy was to explain that love is the key to happiness and excitement. Now, to be happy or excited leads you to feel disappointed when less happy or excited but love itself is not leading to this disappointment but rather to the positive emotions that lead to it. So happiness and excitement are disadvantageous as they only offer very temporary satisfaction whereas love is a long term KEY that will lead to many short term satisfactions while feeling it but does not lead to the disappointment itself.

Love is a coping mechanism because, simply, if one feel affection for another they will much mroe willingly serve its needs. It's cause and effect, examples are int he sacrifices anyone in a relationship must undergo to get along with the partner. It is seen in everyday life. Women in abusive relationships whom still love their partner after all the pain and children who love parents despite having cigarette buds put out on their arms leaving burning red marks both are brutally honest examples of this being true. A coping mechanism is selfish as it profits the person much more than a mechanism which does not assist coping.

Greed is another word for the emotion of lust. The difference lust is specific to sexual greed mostly, greed is all other types of greed than for the body. The reason they are emotions is because they are instinctive when one realises there is more out there for themselves to receive, or to claim as their own and the human nature to seek pride in all shapes and forms (this is in fact present in all primates) causes us to at times feel this craving, much more mental than physical since we THINK about what we feel greed or lust for a lot more than we act on it.

Envy is not selfish and I shall elaborate further on why below.

If you took a person who was born with no emotion. Who lived in tough circumstances with other people and all their life had felt separated from the norm of society since they could feel no emotion. Which single emotion, if only one could be chosen, would they pick? Well, let's look objectively at what each emotion has to offer. Anger raises blood pressure as well as causing people to lose all sense of reality and have inaccurate decisions made. Envy makes one feel extremely bad about not having what another has, eating away at them like an irritating parasite. Greed makes one feel unsatisfied what they currently have, at all times. Happiness makes one feel in what can only be described as a pleasurable state... BUT while happy one starts to ignore important things and to act a bit more boldly than would be sensible (this is why when in an ecstatic mood, people say and do stupid things, almost as it they were drunk, such as betting far more than usual in a casino, or saying things to people that one is usually too worried to tell). Love makes one very content with tough situations and very amiable to get along with. One who is loving will, undoubtedly be easier to get on with than any other in a group of people. Thus, I would assume that love would be the emotion they would pick. To be content with people and situations because of undying love would be a huge advantage.

I would like to remind my opponent that we agreed to define selfish as "Concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure." and that love undoubtedly is the emotion that reaps most profit for feeling it.
adontimasu

Con


Introduction:


Okay, I would like to first and foremost apologize to my opponent. I had written my response to what he had said right when I had woke up, and, as a consequence, misread his points. Now that I have reread them and noticed the glaringly obvious mistakes I have made, I, once again, would like to apologize. I would wish for the readers to disregard my rebuttals, as they ultimately led nowhere. That being said, as my opponent has addressed my points, I will continue on with rebuttals.



Rebuttal 1:


Okay, I agree with your first point. Love is selfish. Cool. However, let’s move on to your coping mechanisms argument. “Love is a coping mechanism because, simply, if one feel affection for another they will much mroe willingly serve its needs. It's cause and effect, examples are int he sacrifices anyone in a relationship must undergo to get along with the partner. It is seen in everyday life. Women in abusive relationships whom still love their partner after all the pain and children who love parents despite having cigarette buds put out on their arms leaving burning red marks both are brutally honest examples of this being true. A coping mechanism is selfish as it profits the person much more than a mechanism which does not assist coping.” This is important. If love as a coping mechanism still makes the individual the love is being expressed for pleasure and profitability, then it is not as selfish – although, it is still selfish on a base level – as other emotions can be (see Point 2). In fact, they are sacrificing for the sake of the relationship. While this still deals with their own personal profit, as they wish to seek the love through this sacrifice, they are still putting their own well-being on the line for the feeling.



Rebuttal 2:


I wish to thank my opponent for justifying why greed is an emotion. In regards to your last point, cool deal. I agree with most of your statements regarding why most emotions are not selfish: all but greed (and, by proxy, lust) and envy. “Greed is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one's self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort.” [1] I have already provided a definition for envy. My primary reasons for this rebuttal as to why I do not regard these as dismissible are in Points 1 and 2.



Point 1:


As I have said, though, your definition does not state that the action itself must be profitable; simply that the end goal in mind is profitable, or the end goal itself is profitable. Greed, by its very definition, is being concerned chiefly with personal profit or pleasure. Having an active desire to seek out and possess wealth and goods, while it can have negative feelings derived from it, is still concerning itself with profitibility or pleasure, despite the negative means. They are still striving (and concerning themselves) for profit and pleasure. Therefore, greed is practically synonymous with our chosen definition of selfishness.



Point 2:


Love, while also being selfish, is not as selfish as greed is. While love concerns chiefly with personal profit and pleasure, it also concerns itself with the profit and pleasure of the person the individual is in love with (in regards to loves that involve another person). Therefore, I conclude that a love of this nature, while selfish, is not nearly as selfish as greed is, as greed does not have any regard to the profit and pleasure of others, but simply for themselves. By proxy, lust is also more selfish than love, too. Furthermore, not even happiness or excitement are concerned whatsoever with the profitability and pleasure of another individual; nor is envy. Therefore, I conclude that love is, actually, one of the least selfish emotions one can feel.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...


Debate Round No. 3
RationalMadman

Pro

I would like to firstly destroy this diversive case being proposed in favour of greed,secondly I would like to address a semantic error that is becoming fairly consistent in my opponent's debate. then counter all rebuttals made to my points.

Greed, as my opponent so kindly defined for me, is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one's self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. To simplify the way I see greed I shall merely mention that it is an inordinate desire. Now, the definition of inordinate is "Unusually or disproportionately large; excessive." [1] and the definition of desire is "A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen." [2] so it is fairly accurate to explain the feeling of greed itself as 'a disproportionately large strong feeling of wanting to attain something or for something to happen. Does this seem like a very selfish emotion to feel? To constantly want, constantly burn to have? I wouldn't think so. Especially since we defined selfish as being concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure and to feel as to have a sensation of. Is have a disproportionately large wanting for something either profitable or pleasurable to have a sensation of? I would say no, but I leave the decision up to you since this, I suppose, is pure opinion.

On another note, there seems to be a semantic error that is becoming fairly consistent in my opponent's debate, this is regarding the use of the word feeling. It's fairly obvious to anyone who speaks english that feeling is merely the word feel being used in present tense context. As I said, to feel is simply to have a sensation of. If you happen to gain from being jealous or from being greedy it does not mean that feeling envy or feeling greed is selfish at all, in fact it is quite damaging to self. This is the semantic error. You mix feeling in its pure form with the benefits one gains from expressing it. One may gain sympathy from showing sadness and crying but the feeling they have is damaging, known to cause reduced metabolism and other effects.

Finally, as for your rebuttals to my point, not one was valid to the slightest degree. Love as the pure feeling is nothing to do with the damage to self that one receives. If one is in an abusive relationship, whether they feel love or greed they will get beaten. However loving the person helps cope with the abuse better than being greedy for another relationship. As for your rebuttal to my point about greed it i simply is irrelevant to talk about what benefits one gains when acting on greed in a debating abou the benefits of the feeling itself.

Sources:
[1] https://www.google.co.uk...
[2] https://www.google.co.uk...
adontimasu

Con

Alright Rational. I concede. You are accurate, at least through the definitions being used, in your claim.
Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
RationalMadman

Pro

<3 wooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
adontimasu

Con

I've been bested. I'll post it as forfeit in the voting forums.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by adontimasu 4 years ago
adontimasu
Alright Rational. I concede. You are accurate, at least through the definitions being used, in your claim.
Posted by adontimasu 4 years ago
adontimasu
Take your time, mate. :)
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
sorry i'm thinking hard of the reply.
Posted by adontimasu 4 years ago
adontimasu
I can already tell this is going to be interesting. Nice use of Epictetian philosophy. :)
Posted by adontimasu 4 years ago
adontimasu
Also, wouldn't any of the seven deadly sins (excluding sloth and wrath) be more selfish than love? Hell, staying in the same category as love, someone can easily make a case for how lust and envy would be much, MUCH more selfish. If I am correct, excluding sloth, all of the seven deadly sins are emotions.
Posted by adontimasu 4 years ago
adontimasu
Does the person you love love you back?
Posted by ObiWan 4 years ago
ObiWan
Hmmmmmm...
Maybe.
Let
Me
Think
About
It
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
RationalMadmanadontimasuTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Concedence, well played by PRO
Vote Placed by famer 4 years ago
famer
RationalMadmanadontimasuTied
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Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: An honorable forfeit by the CON side.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
RationalMadmanadontimasuTied
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Reasons for voting decision: an honorable forfeit is a gentlemen's forfeit
Vote Placed by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
RationalMadmanadontimasuTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I only read the first round but I then saw that con conceded saying "vote pro" so I assume in those next two rounds pro dominated. Great debate!
Vote Placed by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
RationalMadmanadontimasuTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.