06 September 2013

from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: Why do we always associate sex and love together?

Dear Friends,

Finally we getting back to our weekly meeting, except, as you remember,
until mid September we are meeting on SATURDAY. And this Saturday we are
meeting at the Centro Segoviano at 6.30pm. Our first topic will be: Why
do we always associate sex and love together?

Ruel has prepared an essay for us with the title ¨Why do people tend to
associate sex and love together?¨

And my essay is below:

Take care


tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at
O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)

Why do we always associate sex and love together?

Today we know that the mission target of biological systems or
creatures, if you like, is to procreate. Mission accomplished would be a
successful reproduction.

We also know today that sex has been the tried and tested delivery
mechanism over time to activate the reproductive process in human
beings. This leaves us with love. Indeed we are also left with an
obvious question: what has all this got to do with philosophy? Don't
forget that philosophy is one of our most powerful methodologies we have
to disentangle the fog and chaos we might have in our ideas and thinking.

Many people use love as a conduit (or Trojan horse) to get to the sex.
And many just go for the sex and some end up getting young sixteen year
old girls pregnant. So, is there a philosophical issue with our thinking
about sex and love and specifically in our case, the association of the
two? One way of finding out is to see how love and sex are associated.

We also associate love with romance and sex with the carnal form of
human beings. And I use carnal on purpose because we use this word with
a negative meaning maybe even a bad and evil meaning. In effect we use
the language of morality to try and control human behaviour given that
morality is a form of social engineering. This, however, is quite ironic
since how can a natural process be classified with moral value language?
Sex is a natural mechanism like freezing water forming snow; it would be
absurd, as a consequence, to call skiing evil just because we enjoy it!
Of course, those religions, pseudo religions and other morality mongers
do not frown upon sex per se but only sex outside marriage although some
would insist that sex is acceptable only for the purpose of procreating.

However, typical religious marriage vows talks about love, but it does
not say anything about procreating, and certainly nothing about sex. And
yet, most religions place procreating as one of their central doctrines.
I don't intend to examine this issue but maybe in the historical context
of a marriage it was basically a commercial contract between the father
of the bride "giving her away" to the son of some other parents; like
one would do with an old fridge. Indeed, the language of marriage and
married life according to religions (I know I am being a bit sweeping
here with my claims) is anything but romantic: the Ten Commandments
speak of "you shall not covet your neighbor's wife", "you shall not
commit adultery", perform my headship over you, my life as an obedient
and faithful wife. (first 2 Wikipedia, and bible.org). And yet
procreation, until now required the equal contribution of both sexes,
and many justifiably would say that women contribute much more. Is love
a partnership amongst equals as the Ten Commandments indirectly suggest
or a master slave relationship as a modern marriage vows suggest?

Regarding the issue of association, on the one extreme, we have a non
linear scenario of people associating love with sex for reproduction,
sex only for gratification, love for emotional security, love so why not
sex, sex with wanted off springs, sex with unplanned off springs. And to
complicate the issue, we have man with woman, man with man, woman with
woman, anyway you get the idea.

On the other extreme with have the most liner of scenarios, man with
woman, love therefore marriage, procreate and sex if you must but
ideally only to procreate. Indeed the irony is that today morality
mongers have a lot in common with nature in that both have the mission
target to procreate. Except, of course, moral mongers try not to get too
involved in the nappy changing stage of procreation; for example none of
the ten commandments say thou shall never vote for political parties who
try to take away your right to a fair remuneration. Nature, on the other
hand, tries very hard to make sure a person is not only fit enough for
the sex part but also for the nappy changing stage and beyond. Indeed
the family and by extension the tribe was a solution to guarantee the
success of the nappy changing stage and beyond. In nature we don't find
one solution fits all, but rather one set of blueprints for life with
the opportunity to change and adapt according to one's needs and

So, if sex works well most of the time and reproduction happens enough
times, why do we need love? Just a caveat here, by love I don't just
mean loyalty nor faithfulness and not even sex appeal. But something
like, you cannot wait for the morning to come so you can be consciously
and intentionally with the person you love.

But neither am I saying that we don't need love, even if sex can
accomplish nature's mission target. Even if for our argument we have to
suspend the idea that sex is nature's best Trojan horse ever, like
everything else in nature sex has its great benefits and attractions and
not only just the sensual pay off. But sex in neither nature's free
ride, suffice it to say that the negative side of sex could range from
fatal heart attacks (unfit men trying to impress super fit young ladies)
to jealous boyfriends or girlfriends, as the case maybe, to
opportunistic critters and viruses hitching a joy ride.

An even more serious disadvantage about sex is that its physical
excitement period is very, very short. So the question shouldn't be: why
do we need love? But rather, what do we need after sex? Remember that
nature's mission target is reproduction and not a good time. Hence, the
reproduction process is much longer than just the few minutes under the
sheets; certainly until the off spring reaches self sufficiency. In my
estimation, love is by far a cheaper and guaranteed solution than an
alimony cheque for long term stability for the offspring. Not only that,
but the life span of love can easily be a life time. Thus associating
love with sex makes sense in this very important context; at least
important for nature.

However, love is not necessarily a pre determined strategy in nature
(sex is) but maybe a successful rational strategy in a game for human
survival that requires more brain power strategising than pure muscle
power. Maybe, in the end, the pulling power of love is much greater than
the pulling power of a sexual organ. And this is convenient for nature
since love can keep the bond between two people together to get them
together, procreate, nurture their off springs, and for an added bonus
look after the off springs of their off springs. Therefore, considering
that even love boils down to a physical emotion, is love another
parallel strategy devised by nature to support the newly born and beyond?

One particular foggy aspect in our thinking on the subject, and
especially present with morality mongers, is the assumption that just
because nature programmed us to procreate then everyone must procreate.
Indeed religions do not impose and make their followers actually
procreate but rather their so called teachings and attributes to the
deity's wishes leaves no doubt what is required.

This is-ought state of affairs leads some to create strategies that are
immoral, unethical, and certainly anti human rights practices despite
them being dressing in the language of holiness and moral authority. For
example, even today many would stigmatise children born out of wedlock.
However, there is nothing in nature for us to draw the conclusion that
an ability to procreate means that we have to procreate. It would be
interesting, though, to know what the world would be like if we were
determined that each and every one of us procreates.

Basically, we have no way of finding out what the world would be like if
each and every one of us had to reproduce: firstly) we are not all
genetically prepared to ipso facto procreate and secondly) we cannot
even perform a controlled experiment. Of course, some might say that we
can always run a Monte Carlo routine to get an idea what will happen if
each and every one of us had to procreate. But then again I ask you, is
a Monte Carlo routine to change nappies the same as actually smelling
the pooh when changing nappies?

Thus those who want to associate love with sex have a valid point since
this is a very successful strategy for human beings who want to have a
family. And yet those who argue that love and sex should not be bundled
together have logic on their side because there is nothing determined
that sex and love must always be associated together. And what's more
there is no philosophical argument (read rational, logical, ethical or
even dogmatic, if you want) we can employ to confirm that love and sex
are preordained to go together. And neither do we have any evidence that
sex must only be used to procreate and procreate every time it takes place.

Today the situation is that, sex is neither a necessary nor a sufficient
condition for reproduction although it is still the most efficient way
for reproduction; love and sex are logically distinct human
characteristics -love is an emotional experience and sex is a physical
mechanism with a range of effects- and love is feasible without sex and
sex without love. However, it seems that the best possible strategy for
long term human success, especially reproductive success, is love
before, during and after sex.

from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: Why do we always associate
sex and love together?

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