So apparently, my skeptical/ atheist view of love is aligned with that of the Catholic Church.
No, really. Yesterday, I posted a link to a piece from my archives, A Skeptic’s View of Love. (The gist: Love is more than something you feel — it’s something you do, a series of choices you make. And viewing love as a flawed human activity instead of divine destiny or the joining of soul-mates is not only a more accurate view, but more sustainable, and more richly satisfying.)
And I got the following comment from Emmet:
A thoughtful article: a good antidote to how love is often portrayed.
I think you would find much to agree with in the thought of Polish philosopher Karol Wojtyla, who wrote extensively on love.
“However, Wojtyla is concerned that people today often think of love only in terms of feelings. His concerns seem all the more applicable for a culture like ours, in which love songs, romance films, and TV shows constantly play with our emotions and get us to long for quick, emotionally thrilling relationships … .
Real love, however, is very different from “Hollywood love.” Real love requires much effort. It is a virtue that involves sacrifice, responsibility, and a total commitment to the other person. “Hollywood love” is an emotion. It’s something that just happens to you. The focus is not on a commitment to another person, but on what is happening inside you—the powerful good feelings you experience when you’re with this other person.”
Wojtyla is, of course, better known as Pope John Paul II, and I suggest that what you describe as a “skeptical/materialist view of love” is much the same as the Catholic view of love, as expressed in the above quote from Edward Sri or in this article by Peter Kreeft:
and of course, in many other books/articles/sites in many other places.
I think you could read both articles I’ve quoted here, discarding as you go their Biblical references and and mentions of God or Christ, and still see that both you and Catholics are aligned together against the prevailing modern view of love!
I thought y’all would like to see my reply:
Right. Except for the part where the Catholic Church thinks the love Ingrid and I have for each other is a horrible form of wickedness, and we deserve to be punished for it by being burned alive. And the part where they think our marriage is not just wicked, but actually invalid and non-existent.
And, of course, there’s the part where they think this sort of love is only valid if a magic man stands up in front of you and says some magic words before you start your life together. And the part where they think this sort of love should only happen once in someone’s life (unless their partner dies, in which case it’s okay to go for seconds). And the part where they think this sort of love has to result in as many children as your bodies can produce (or at least be willing to have this result). And the part… oh you get the picture.
And, of course, there’s the part where they think all this without even the slightest scrap of good evidence, on the basis of what some duly appointed magic men pulled out of their asses as the right way to interpret a book of hearsay written 2,000 years ago about what a man who supposedly claimed to be God told people what to do.
Yeah. Not so aligned. On the whole, I think I’ll take the prevailing modern view of love. You know. The one that says Ingrid and I have a right to it.