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A Rational Advocate
"The most formidable weapon against errors of any kind is reason"


Love is a most misused word.  Saying things like “I Love Cookies” or  “I Love It” or “I Love to Ski”, when the word that should be used is “like”, is innocent enough.  We all have been guilty of this misuse.  However, the word love also has another common misuse with which we are also all familiar but this misuse sometimes gives the user of the term a lot of grief.  The term is frequently not even uttered but just thought, even so, this can sometimes by itself bring on attendant regrettable actions.  This term is “I Love You’.

Perhaps we should attempt to understand the meaning of the word “love”.  I will leave it up to the reader to look up the definition in the dictionary.  Unfortunately, the definitions I have seen do not include the most important aspect relating to the altruistic element in the relationship between people.  This element being that existing in the love of parents for their child, the love for a brother or sister, the love for a good friend, the love existing between spouses that supersedes the sexual act and possibly the love that some of us may have for our fellow man and woman.  In general, this would appear to mean loving is giving and caring, with good reason, regardless of whether it is returned in kind.  The good reason in the various cases are: where the child, by virtue of choice by parent(s), is accepted into their committed care, where the inter-relationship between siblings – and as developed between friends and other members of society - creates an affection and attendant commitment and, in a similar manner, the relationship between spouses that begins with a commitment to nurture their love and develops positively over time.  To give clarity to this essay the meaning developed in this paragraph will be used in what follows.

Derived from the natural sexual drive of the sexes for the purpose of procreation come the idea, in the minds of some, that sexual intercourse is “making love”.  Experience tells us that sexual intercourse frequently takes place without love between either party.  As well, irrational feelings can exist that justify giving in to urgings of the other person.  Such as “it surely will bring love in return for the favor” or  “I gave my body because I love this person and did not expect anything in return”.

Unfortunately, without an understanding of the true meaning of love, a youngster can be attracted to a member of the opposite sex for superficial reasons.  It invariably starts out as a self-centered desire for attention from the other person.  This infatuation, fanned by raging hormones, can be mistaken for love and if sexual consummation occurs the results may not be beneficial to either of the involved parties, especially if a pregnancy occurs.  Obviously, means of birth control are available along with abortion also becoming a means to terminate a pregnancy.  The emotional trauma involved not only with undergoing an abortion but also with subsequent rejection can frequently result in damaging psychological harm.  It is reasonable to state that the evolutionary broad acceptance of pre-marital sex and abortion has moved many in our society away from acting with love and further illustrates the misuse of the word love.

It should be obvious that procreation is the ultimate purpose of sexual intercourse and this knowledge should take precedence prior to committing the act.  Thus, the decision to have sex should be superseded by the true love a couple may have for each other.  Since love means giving and caring, the thoughts of what can occur to the other person, and to a potential new member of society, should be of prime consideration.  This then would require a sense of commitment  by both people to each other.  To understand that commitment means respect for their own bodies and an understanding of the responsibility for what may ensue as a result of the manner in which they give their respective bodies to the sexual act.

It seems reasonable that, unless changes in public attitudes occur, social problems created by the irrational use of sexual gratification will continue to exist.  It thus follows that it is possible to address this debilitation of our society only if the public can be awakened to rationally view their causes as has been attempted in this essay.

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