View Poll Results: What's wrong with these people?

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13. You may not vote on this poll
  • Nothing, mega is flawed in some way

    0 0%
  • They need to grow up

    0 0%
  • Their emotional circuitry is somehow damaged

    1 7.69%
  • They have convinced themselves of it, nothing is wrong with them

    2 15.38%
  • Mega doesn't understand the logic

    3 23.08%
  • Other

    3 23.08%
  • rootabega

    4 30.77%
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Thread: Inability to understand love

  1. #11
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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    I don't get it either mega. I've been shocked, frustrated and gobsmacked at how love, compassion, even just considering another human being's feelings can go over their heads. It just doesn't compute for them. Hours and pages of text have done nothing to penetrate their thinking or reasoning. It's a blind spot for them, even as they protest that they love their spouses and children (while in sentence or two they will call their adult children blood sucking moochers) and nothing is wrong with them. Or in one case, they hate their parents for accepting Social Security, nothing more.

    I think, fwiw, that they call love selfishness in order to attribute their own foible to the opposition, but that is neither here nor there. I'm just as befuddled, Mega.
    At least I am not alone in this. I was beginning to wonder if I was the problem. I have my aspergers and all and was beginning to wonder if somehow my circuitry wasn't right in some way or it was me that was the problem.

    Thats a load off my mind, thanks Gina.

  2. #12
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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Basically, I am talking about the followers of Ayn Rand's philosophy.



    Basically, the idea that every actions is selfish and altruism is impossible is what I am trying to understand.
    I can see the angle for altruism. Doing nice things because it makes one feel.good.

    But it takes some kind of faith to say, jump on a hand grenade. That's not going to make you feel good long enough to do it.

    Iirc, there is evidence for a gene for compassion itself. I imagine it would reward compassionate action with pleasureable neurocbemicals. Like baby faces make us feel protective. Hindbraim stuff.

    Its doing the right thing when it just sucks and there is no reward that they don't address.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  3. #13
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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    At least I am not alone in this. I was beginning to wonder if I was the problem. I have my aspergers and all and was beginning to wonder if somehow my circuitry wasn't right in some way or it was me that was the problem.

    Thats a load off my mind, thanks Gina.
    No, you are not alone and actually I'm glad to read that someone else wonders about them. I think your circuitry is fine and dandy Mega and am happy to be of some relief to you.

    I first came across an objectivist in 2005. My head spun as he reeled off pages and pages of justifications on the forum that in the end were just plain empty excuses with no logic to back them up. Like Rand, he claimed to love his wife and child and would defend their lives, but compassion in anyone else was in and of itself. selfish. He was an "islander", seeing himself completely self contained, neither needing nor taking anything from others. A very surprising find for me, since that was not how I was raised nor were the people around me for my whole life up til then.

  4. #14
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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Oh, I'm thinking this is a little above my pay grade.

    I remember a poster who said that every good deed we do, every kindness we extend, is, in reality, selfish. I'm sorta' thinking that's what you're talking about. I never agreed with that. But if that's there definition of "selfish," then we need more of that.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain, 'Preciate it.

    Oh!! I voted "Other" because I think these people look at it in a sort-of right way (the selfish angle), because we are all programmed to do things that make us feel good. So, if doing kind things make us feel good, then these people's belief is that it's selfish. They just need to find a word that works better than "selfish." Maybe "self-serving" would be better.
    i think ab294 had said it..
    "Sovereignty is not given, it is taken." ATATÜRK

  5. #15
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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Its a reason to the objectivists or the sympathizers of objectivists who believe that any human emotion, including love, is inherently selfish. I simply do not understand why they could some to such a conclusion and I am looking for answers.

    When I first started on this forum, it was a quest to understand conservative thinking. I think I understand it pretty well now, so now I am trying to understand another group of people.
    I think that people who believe that all emotions, including love, are selfish misunderstand the definition of the word "selfish."

    Selfish does not mean "caring about yourself and doing things that make you feel good." A lot of people who say that love is selfish seem to think that that is what the word means. Selfish actually means either "caring only about yourself " or "carrying about yourself regardless or at the expense of others." According to that (real) definition, not all emotions are selfish, especially not love.

  6. #16
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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    No, you are not alone and actually I'm glad to read that someone else wonders about them. I think your circuitry is fine and dandy Mega and am happy to be of some relief to you.

    I first came across an objectivist in 2005. My head spun as he reeled off pages and pages of justifications on the forum that in the end were just plain empty excuses with no logic to back them up. Like Rand, he claimed to love his wife and child and would defend their lives, but compassion in anyone else was in and of itself. selfish. He was an "islander", seeing himself completely self contained, neither needing nor taking anything from others. A very surprising find for me, since that was not how I was raised nor were the people around me for my whole life up til then.
    I often think that people like that are confusing who they actually are with who they want to be or who they want others to perceive them as.

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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Do you think those people who seem to think that every human motivation are somehow damaged and unable to understand what love actually is? No amount of logic and examples are getting through to these people and I am running out of any other conclusions that make any sense.

    Any alternative explanations out there as to why these people can't understand basic human emotion?

    The whole thing amazes and saddens me
    i suppose some people believe that the primary motivation for anyone to do anything is to receive a reward from one's brain chemistry. even doing good for others has a biochemical reward. love can be boiled down to a natural reward given by the brain to encourage mating and staying together long enough to bring the offspring to an age of viability.

    after my own engagement broke off, i came to a similar conclusion : people are mostly motivated to behave in ways that maximize serotonin and dopamine stimulation. when we get dumped or lose the one we love, we generally go into an opiate-type withdrawal. it all made sense to me. this epiphany caused me to enter a four month period of anhedonia. i even went to therapy, which didn't help much. the illusion was gone, and every instance of seemingly selfless good began to look like someone trying to get a fix.

    i soon decided, though, that my all-encompassing theory of everything was bull****, and even if it wasn't, i was happier believing that it was. life / emotion is too complex to be boiled into some tasteless stew of nihilism. i still believe that most of it is biochemical, but i also believe that there's a lot i don't understand, and maybe there are some things i don't really want to understand. i'm a much happier Helix because of this.

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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    I often think that people like that are confusing who they actually are with who they want to be or who they want others to perceive them as.
    I agree with your entire response, but I think the bolded is often the case. The language, particularly related to the portion of the "islander" discussion, is defensive but also intended to be persuasive. In the end, they are trying to convince me they alone provide all they need.

  9. #19
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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    I agree with your entire response, but I think the bolded is often the case. The language, particularly related to the portion of the "islander" discussion, is defensive but also intended to be persuasive. In the end, they are trying to convince me they alone provide all they need.
    Who ever actually makes the argument they did everything themselves? I see a whole of this being born from a strawman, but never from what is actually said.

  10. #20
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    Re: Inability to understand love

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    I agree with your entire response, but I think the bolded is often the case. The language, particularly related to the portion of the "islander" discussion, is defensive but also intended to be persuasive. In the end, they are trying to convince me they alone provide all they need.
    I agree with that. The thing about that "islander" perspective is that it is directly contradictory to human psychology/biology. For the most part, we need many things outside of ourselves, including other people. As a result, that viewpoint is unrealistic.

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