navybuttons, on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009, 3:05 PM, said:
but the distinction is subjective, no?
No, someone in love will behave towards their loved one in an objectively identifiable way. It's independently verifiable whether you love or hate someone. There's no such thing as "feeling" detached from a behavior, but even if they were, feelings can be observed from the outside too (that's how we win at poker).
navybuttons, on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009, 3:22 PM, said:
is it any different if we measure an individual's bio-chemistry as they think about divinity?
I'm still working on that one.
navybuttons, on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009, 3:57 PM, said:
i'm getting at that we can't "prove" love. we can say that humans experience emotions, but any distinction regarding such emotion is more-or-less arbitrary. and yet love is something that most of us feel and experience. to the completely objective scientist there is no such thing as love, there are just -bio-chemical reactions to stimulus.
This could be said about any cognitive state, but its just a matter of level of description. For example, we can talk about "water" while a chemist can tell us that water is really two hydrogens and an oxygen. Its really just two ways of talking about the same thing. You can talk about "pleasure" or about the pattern of neurons firing in your nucleus accumbens -- again, its two ways of talking about the same thing. Water is "just" H20. When we explain something scientifically we don't necessarily lose the original level of description. Love is still love even when it is biochemical.