Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Without God, How Can an Atheist Feel Love?
Some religious people believe that love and other emotions are part of humanity's divine nature, an aspect of being made in God's image. Because of this, as an atheist, I've been asked where, if God does not exist,
emotions come from. I have been asked "How can an atheist feel love?"
I think that emotions are part of our biological, chemical, and psychological make-up. There is ample evidence that animals also possess emotions of similar sorts to our own. There is also ample evidence that hormonal and chemical changes to the body produce emotional effects even if the subject is unaware of them. In menopause, pregnancy and during the menstrual cycle fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone affect womens' emotions. A deficiency of testosterone can not only reduce a man's sex drive, it can make him depressed and lacking in motivation. Physical stimulation or damage to the brain produces and affects emotions. Closed head injuries can cause depression and irritability - they can also change personality and alter emotional attachments.