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A Humanist Perspective on Love

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Love matters

Humanists believe that human beings are essentially social animals, and we are very dependent on each other. Once we would have been totally dependent on people close to us, our family or tribe, for food, shelter, protection, help with raising children and for company. We all need close, loving relationships, and humanists see the emotional aspect of life as tremendously important - one of the most important things that make us human.

 

Nicholas Walter, a noted humanist of the twentieth century said, ‘Plants and animals reproduce themselves through sex, and many animals bring up their young, but it is love which makes sex and the family truly human, the personal love which binds parents and children, lovers and friends, the impersonal love which binds society and humanity. But love isn't a straightforward matter. It is love which makes the world go round, as the song says, but it is also love which makes much trouble in the world. It is said that God is love, but what a Devil love can be! Think of love in life and literature, from Helen of Troy to the latest story in the news, and think how love so easily goes wrong or turns into hate. But at its best love dominates our literature and art, our philosophy and morality, and also our ordinary daily lives.'

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