Discussion: Discussing Chemical Love
This week’s readings pose an interesting challenge to the assumption that spiritual traditions inform our emotional lives, and reductionist science can describe the day-to-day functions of parts but misses the whole. This week, using what you have learned from the readings and from your own personal experience, you will reflect on the potential implications of living in a society that views love as a chemical phenomenon and not as an abstract spiritual idea.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review this week’s readings in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of the course text, which focus on the different scientific and spiritual explanations of love.
- Review the articles “Brain Briefings: Love and the Brain” and “Love, the Thing Called Love” for additional information on how chemicals in the brain affect the human feelings of love and affection.
- Listen to the Radio Laureate Interview with Dr. Kevin Sharpe: “Love, Science, and Spiritual Traditions.”
- Consider how religion and society at large might react or change if love was proven to be a purely chemical phenomenon.
- Reflect on an unanswered question that you still have about the chemical/spiritual nature of love.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post a 2- to 3-paragraph response examining what you believe would be the implications on spirituality and society if love were strictly a chemical phenomenon. At the end of your posting, pose at least one question that the discussion of love as chemical phenomenon or spiritual experience raises for you that you feel is presently unanswered. Support your assertions by making at least 2 references, in proper APA format, to your course readings.
Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 5
Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
- Ask a probing question.
- Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
- Offer and support an opinion.
- Validate an idea with your own experience.
- Make a suggestion.
- Expand on your colleague’s posting.