General Question

benjaminlevi's avatar

Is love just a biochemical reaction designed to make sure we pass on our genes?

Asked by benjaminlevi (2987points) May 16th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

ccbatx's avatar

I don’t know if this would help or not, but it’s a good article about human genes

lillycoyote's avatar

Not entirely, it also creates and enables people to form social bonds which are very important to human survival.

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t think so. You could describe lust that way, but not love.

whatthefluther's avatar

Love is much, much more; making love is to a degree what you ask. I don’t wish to pass on my defective genes, but I have not refrained from making love a single bit.

oratio's avatar

Like @lillycoyote said. It’s very common in nature that one function is utilized for several purposes. Human love and sexuality are no different.

YARNLADY's avatar

All of our existence is as you described, but the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. There is an undefinable, undetectable interaction that takes place within the brain that makes us who we ‘really’ are, independent of the chemical reactions.

wundayatta's avatar

Shhhh. There is this mythic creature called love or romance. People think they thought it up themselves. They don’t like to think that there’s something in the background pulling all the strings.

Well, not all the strings. More like we have built in potentials for all kinds of things, and depending on our environment, various emotions are triggered. We experience them as volitional. The idea that our emotions are some kind of chemistry that determines our thoughts and actions is pretty horrifying.

I think there is some element of volition in this, but it’s a lot less than we’d like to believe. So, yeah, humans have a lot of programs built in, and some of them have to do with reproduction and raising of offspring. It seems love helps with this, and so folks who could love have been selected through the evolutionary process. People who didn’t love very well just didn’t make it.

Where chemistry leaves off and volition takes over—I can’t tell you. All I know is they both play a role.

shrubbery's avatar

I don’t believe that it matters.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I pity those who reduce human emotions to nothing more than chemicals. Can you really believe that? What a bleak outlook.

btko's avatar

I don’t think so; one can easily pass on their genes without love.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think that love is MUCH more than bio-chemical impulses from one’s brain that are geared towards reproduction. This is why humans are capable of abstract thinking, empathy for others, an appreciation for beauty, & the need to find a partner that not only attracts us, but shares both our ideas & ideals.

Darwin's avatar

The chemistry that produces love ensures two parents to raise any offspring that result from the chemistry of lust. This confers an advantage on said offspring, making them more likely to mature and produce offspring themselves. Hence, lust and love are both produced by body chemistry controlled by genes. As advantageous adaptations they are passed on to future generations.

However, just because chemicals make it happen doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the heck out of it and maximize it by “using abstract thinking, empathy for others, an appreciation for beauty, and the need to find a partner that not only attracts us, but shares both our ideas and ideals.”

MissAnthrope's avatar

What Darwin said.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Well what else could it be? What do you think it is caused by?

@btko True, but it helps if the parents stay and protect the children.

@Darwin I never said it should not be enjoyable. This question was about the causes, not saying it should be cold and emotionless

Darwin's avatar

@benjaminlevi – As far as I can tell, I answered your question with a “yes, it is caused by chemicals.” I simply commented that we should still enjoy the genetic imperative.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Then I misunderstood

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