The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Unconditional love cannot exist (from a human perspective)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,275 times Debate No: 32957
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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Hello! This is my first debate on this site, so excuse me if I miss anything that's considered standard site etiquette.

My argument is as follows: Humans cannot experience unconditional love, since love is inherently biased. Additionally, unconditional love is not achievable logically. I'm taking the pro side (Saying the existence of unconditional love from a human perspective cannot exist), and my opponent would take the con side (which means they believe that unconditional love exists).


-3 rounds. I'm not sure which side goes first, but if I go first, I'll lay out my case, and the pro side will lay out theirs (If I go second, the order will be reversed). The 2nd round will be for rebuttals, and the 3rd (optional) round will be for rebuttals + conclusions, if we feel the need to continue after round 2.

-Con side will have to agree that the definition of "Unconditional love" = love without conditions.

-If the definition of "love" is too arbitrary, we can use this wikipedia definition: "The English word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from pleasure ("I loved that meal") to interpersonal attraction ("I love my partner"). It can refer to an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment.[1] It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection""the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another".[2] And it may describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self or animals. "

-Finally, BOP: The burden of proof rests with the con side. In order to provide proof, you'll have to give an example (theoretical or real-world) where a human could exhibit unconditional love.

Thank you in advance for your consideration!

Edit: Oh I didn't realize this counted as the start of round 1!

Unconditional love cannot exist from a human perspective, and we can come to this conclusion logically. If we're describing unconditional love as "love without conditions", then one cannot exhibit this behavior.

Firstly, let's talk about a condition. A condition is equivalent to a reason. So conditional love would be "I love a because b". Unconditional love would have no "because" statement or variables. Secondly, if someone didn't love something for any reason, that automatically creates a condition for any love they exhibit. So "I don't love x, because y" automatically creates conditions for all other love exhibited, since "I love all, except x" is still a condition.

Since we've established logically that if a person has a lack of love in any circumstance, any other love they exhibit is automatically conditional, we must assume that a person has to love everything in order to avoid a lack of love. This means not only all living and non-living things, but the empty space between those things must also be equally loved by a person. Unfortunately, this is still a condition, since love is ultimately based on perception. Even if a person loves all living and non-living things, and the empty space between those things, he/she cannot truly exhibit love for any physical or theoretical things/concepts that they have no perception of.

In short- Since love is based on perception, and perception is limited, love is also limited, and therefore cannot be unconditional.


Hello there,

I wish Pro luck in this debate. Let's put on a good show.

Pro attempted to lay out a logical argument, however, when applied to real world scenarios, his points are quite lacking. Pro contends that saying "I love a because b" is a statement of conditional love, and he is right. A person who would say "I love my girlfriend because of her hair" implies that without hair, the girlfriend would no longer be lovable. This is an example of conditional love. However, unconditional love is able to exist. A mother claims to love her son. When asked why, she responds "I love him because he is my son." With unconditional love, the situation turns into "I love a because it is a." A cannot stop being A, as doing so would strip him of being, and it is impossible to love or not love something which does not exist. Pro says that unconditional love would have no "because" statement or variable. I contend that unconditional love can exist, but the object of love must be loved because of its intrinsic properties.

Similarly, Pro falls into the trap of pleasing abstractions when he says "I don't love unrelated thing x for reason y." Pro may not love Charles Manson because he is a murderer, but for the mother above who loves her son solely because he is her son, the fact that she hates other murders who are not her son can not be used as evidence that she would not love her son if he committed murder.

A person does not have to love everything to experience unconditional love. As I stated above, they must only love something solely because it is what it is.
Debate Round No. 1


I'd like to thank Con for accepting this debate!

Although my opponent agrees that "I love a because b" is a conditional statement, he gives "I love a because a" as an example of an unconditional statement. Unfortunately, "I love a because a" is still a conditional statement. My opponent says "a cannot stop being a, as doing so would strip him of being". Herein lies the problem: the fact that something exists is still a condition of the love. The implication of "I love a because of a" without loving everything, is that the statement wouldn't be true if a weren't a. To connect it to con's example: "I love my son because he is my son" is still a condition, because the implication is that she wouldn't love her son if he were not her son. The fact that he is her son is clearly a condition! My opponent argues that as long as intrinsic properties are the only values evaluated, unconditional love can't exist. I argue that if the reason for love is due to those values, the values themselves are a condition. Regardless of whether the values are inherited or learned, if there is a "reason" or justification for the love existing, there is a condition.

Secondly, my opponent argues that one does not have to love all things in order to exhibit unconditional love. In his example, "Pro may not love Charles Manson because he is a murderer, but for the mother above who loves her son solely because he is her son, the fact that she hates other murderers who are not her son can not be used as evidence that she would not love her son if he committed murder." This analysis is inaccurate. "I don't love x because y" is not necessarily equivalent to "I don't love z because y." You're using two different initial variables in your conditional statements. In the example my opponent gave, the fact that a person is a murderer is irrelevant. The only relevance in the given example is whether or not the murderer is the son of the mother. This further proves that the inherited relationship of the son is a condition of the mother's love.

In closing, if there is any case where you can provide an example of love not being given, it automatically creates conditional statements for any other love exhibited.


po.osullivan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


EP forfeited this round.


po.osullivan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by EP 3 years ago
@Jhate: Thank you for the consideration!

@Misfire: I don't think it makes sense to ask if something can exist from a perspective that lacks logic. If supernatural events were included, anything is possible (so a debate wouldn't be required). I'm not sure NOTHING is unconditional, but I definitely agree that most (if not all) events have conditions. The reason I focused on love specifically is because "Unconditional Love" is a term, and I don't think the term has practical applications.

@CriticalThinkingMachine Thank you for the feedback, and I'll edit the debate to clarify the positions.
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 3 years ago

Because of the way you worded the title, you make it sound like you are supporting unconditional love. The title says unconditional love CANNOT exist, and you are taking the CON side of that, which implies that you are opposed to the resolution that unconditional love cannnot exist. If that is not the case, then you should change the title or change your con to pro so that it is consistent with what you believe. I'm just trying to help. I see this happening a lot. It confuses both debaters and voters.
Posted by Misfire 3 years ago
I feel as if you've defeated the purpose of this debate already. From a human perspective, nothing is unconditional. It's nearly impossible to argue otherwise without including the supernatural, which you've in turn dismissed. You've won. A much more interesting, fair debate would be that of if unconditional love can exist at all, including with the supernatural.
Posted by Jhate 3 years ago
Very interesting debate. I thought about taking it but who ever is Pro is going to have the hardest time goiing against this.
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