Love? Above all things I believe in love! Love is like oxygen. Love is a many-splendored thing, love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love!
Pallando asks: is the romantic idea of Love a good thing? I'm talking here about the idea that a feeling isn't really L*O*V*E and worth anything unless you've been knocked irrational by it, unless for you the sun and moon and stars shine only in their eyes, and all else is pale falsehood in comparison to the warmth brought to you by their presence.
At the risk of starting another long, complicated, time-consuming and inconclusive debate - MikeJeggo would venture to suggest that it is a thing neutral. It can be good if it is directed at a helpful person to direct it towards, and not allowed to wreck your life in other areas that you later come to rue (e.g. if being so infatuated that you stopped working properly and got sacked, to come up with an admittedly unlikely-to-occur extreme of what he means). If directed at someone who would use it to manipulate you or get you involved in all sorts of dodgy things that you usually wouldn't touch with a barge pole, it could be disastrous. I also note that the word 'good' in Pallando's sentence is undfined. Perhaps this needs to be done before a more concrete debate could occur. I would under normal circumstances define 'good' as 'the opposite of Evil' as being the only one he might get people to agree on, but for the inconclusivity of the debate on that page...
I was thinking of it in the 1066 and All that sense, where various kings were either "Good Thing" or not. IE it is something you rant against that revolts your stomach, or does it make you go "Awww cute, I wish I'd find my One True Love"? Do you believe in Love? It is not a question seeking deep pedantic textual analysis. Do you believe in L*O*V*E? In Luuuuuurve, man, like the sort of question you get asked at 3am while sincerely drunk. Yes or no? --JeremyPaxman??
AlexChurchill, stepping in to give my own answers to Pallando's questions about the type of romantic love described here: Believe in it? Yes, certainly. It's a subjective feeling, and so the question is like asking whether everyone who claims that feeling is lying or fictional. Do I enjoy it? Undeniably. Is it dangerous and sometimes ill-advised and unhelpful? Also undeniably, from any perspective except inside it. So is it a Good thing? Sometimes. It is a great and delightful gift of God, but one which has strong power and risks and dangers, and when not treated responsibly can have consequences more tragic and Evil than Good. By contrast, I would say that agape love, that humble love which gives expecting nothing in return, is always a Good thing. --AlexChurchill
However, that humble love that gives expecting nothing in return can turn into a complete abandonment of oneself, which is a Bad Thing, especially if someone is clever enough to put themselves into the role of receiving that love without giving back. Such a relationship can be rightly called abusive. --Admiral
Agape love wants the best for its object (in terms of their moral character, as well as their immediate happiness.) So, in general, agape love (coupled with the wisdom to see what's happening) would avoid getting into that kind of relationship because of the negative effect it'd have on the other party, if nothing else. --Rachael
One just needs to be very careful. You may think that the love you have is agape love, but who knows - you could be fooling yourself. It's hard to tell. --Admiral
That was why I mentioned wisdom as well - I was (perhaps unhelpfully) talking about an idealisation more than real life. --Rachael
I'd say that the Romantic idea of love is a bad thing, because it leads people to classify most types of love as not being love. I'd say that love in the Romantic sense is a good thing if returned, for obvious enough reasons. --Requiem