a cry towards the absurd

The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.Camus
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Before you disagree with yourself again

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Posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 01:45:55 :

In Reply to: Re: Feelings and love - the intelligent version posted by Brathelwaite on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 01:01:09 :

Let me just intervene and say a few things. First, I read plenty of European media. It's very easy in these heady days of the internet. I generally find the European media to be more ignorant of Americans than we are of them, at least in terms of our motivations. I admit the rest of the world knows the facts of what is happening here better than the reverse, but I suspect they can't get themselves to believe that we actually have no desire or inclination to create an empire. I've never met an American of any political persuasion who did want that.

I think European views about America are often nuttier than our views of them not because we have more exposure, but simply that we spend less time thinking of other countries and therefore don't have the momentum that eventually leads to completely half-baked ideas about the US. I've read utterly idiotic analyses of the US in major foreign newspapers that can only reflect the result of continuous thinking upon thinking, etc. without any first-hand exposure to temper the line of thought.

As for your thoughts on love, I don't know what you've said other than that you prefer not to think of love that way. Fine. Don't. Of course "such an attitude is limiting", as you put it. I don't strive to be limitless. There are many emotions that evolved for clear biological reasons. To point this out is simply to state the obvious. We are startled when someone suddenly appears next to us for obvious survival reasons. Should I refrain from pointing this out to preserve the right of poets to speculate about some deeper meaning to this? If you think so, just steer clear of the subject. Some of us find the biological basis for these things very interesting.

I don't want quibble about the word irrational, because all we are doing is defining it two different ways and then expressing discomfort with the way the other is using it. I consider love irrational because it doesn't result from rational thought. Perhaps non-rational would be preferable to you, but that really doesn't capture it because love often over-rides what our reason tells us, as opposed to simply sitting the issue out. Our biological disposition and our rational mind sometimes conflict with each other, and love is at the crux of the conflict because it is so tied to reproduction, the only goal of our biology. Every rational cell in our brain could be telling us to do A, and yet love (which I admit can be rational. I just think that it is often fortuitous when it is) will insist on B. I think that qualifies as "irrational" even if it serves a biological purpose.


P.S. I am happily married and probably more familiar with love than just about anyone. My views don't express any ignorance or fear.

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