Emotions are illogical

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posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 03:34 AM
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How many times do we hear about people basing their decisions on emotions?
Love at first sight, anger leading to fights, depression leading to suicide, joy leading to recklessness, fear leading to paranoia, passion leading to rushed decisions.
All emotions alter our thinking, so it seems to me wise to know more about emotions. At the core, why do we feel emotions? Everything is relative to ourselves. If someone crosses your "territory", being mental or physical, anger sets in. This is our brain's way of telling us that something must be done to this 'intruder'. I just showed the purpose of an emotion, so what's the problem? The problem is that we have evolved as humans, and are now capable of thinking for ourselves. Emotions such as anger are perfect for animals to protect their territory, but we as humans posses something they don't. Logic. Logic renders emotions illogical. Instead of being angry at someone and starting a fight, we posses the logic to work around it. All my life, I've seen people base their decisions on emotion, and more often than not, the result is bad. Logic trumps emotion every time.
To be clear, I am not 'bashing' emotions. Life would be pretty dull without emotions. I simply believe that people should base their decisions on logic without emotions interfering. If people thought things through logically, there would be a lot less suffering in this world.




posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 02:23 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


I'm no expert but I'll take a speculative "stab" at it... Emotions are what separates us from the basic instincts of animals (not saying some animals don't feel emotions)... Emotions help human beings survive, like in your example of the "intruder". We would get angry to keep this intruder out and therefore remove any threat to our survival... That's on a base level, but human beings have branches upon branches of emotions separate from the main stem (main stem probably contains just fear-anger flight-fight stuff)...

We feel emotions, and need them in making our decisions, so that we can differentiate ourselves from animals and in the future, machines...

Biologically speaking emotions come from chemicals and signals in the mind, but also from the unique consciousness humans have, the way the mind, body, memory, and socialization work together to sway our emotions and feelings...

We are not passionless computers and we are not mindless followers the way Behaviorists believed but rather a complex combination, a sum of parts that may not come out balanced or logical but is, evolutionarily speaking, the most advanced mind nature has produced (as far as we know) ...

While I certainly agree that people should use logic more often, the cold light of logic is not always what the psyche needs to weather the storm...



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 06:06 PM
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I would venture that emotions are what set humans apart from animals, rather than logic. Without emotions humans would simply kill those who can't take care of themselves rather than going to extrordinary lengths to help and protect them.

It would be perfectly logical to say that we don't need these people around, that they don't contribute to society so they can be gottten rid of without consequence. But emotions of attatchment, affection, compassion, kindness, sympathy, and empathy keep us from doing this. These things are rare in the animal kingdom and never do they override the instinct of survival.

As humans the emotional has propelled us equally as far as the logical away from fear and toward progress.



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


I think you're belittling emotions a bit.
Granted you're making points that I see as well, yet I'm not viewing emotions to be so much as the result of "programmed survival mechanism precursors" any more.
I've been seein them as something much more the past 5-6 yrs or so.
I think it's all in the way you treat them, the way you internalize them.
The discipline you go through to literally control them, and in doing so, make them work for you.
This can open so many doorways to a greater appreciation of them, and a deeper broader philosophy overall, where you can literally compound them and generate them at will, and experience levels of perception of yourself and your surroundings at a phenomenally more insightful and connected way than before.

We can use emotions to make existence for ourselves be levels higher than what we currently realize.

self discipline, and controlling your emotions..
not so much as just quelling them when they arise, but the ability to CHOOSE your point of view of situations, which will lead to the desired emotional response that YOU point yourself to.

In my opinion, this is a logical approach to what many like you, and I, have viewed as such a destructive and illogical phenomenon within us, that yields so many regrettable actions and events.

Most people are really only as emotionally developed as a 10 year old.
And because of that, most can be herd and directed through their emotions all too easily.

Just ask any social psychologist or marketing magnate.

People's undeveloped emotions... their completely immaturity in this area... is the Achilles' heel that REALLY brings the population Goliath to the consumer trough where the IV of $$$ sucks them dry.

-



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
reply to post by TruthParadox
 


I'm no expert but I'll take a speculative "stab" at it... Emotions are what separates us from the basic instincts of animals (not saying some animals don't feel emotions)... Emotions help human beings survive, like in your example of the "intruder". We would get angry to keep this intruder out and therefore remove any threat to our survival... That's on a base level, but human beings have branches upon branches of emotions separate from the main stem (main stem probably contains just fear-anger flight-fight stuff)...

This is true, we do have more complex emotions. I would consider anger the most basic and illogical of all emotions. On a grander scale, you see such feelings as love and remorse. Feelings can and should drive us. However, they should drive us to make decisions based on logic, and not on the emotion themselves.

Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
We are not passionless computers and we are not mindless followers the way Behaviorists believed but rather a complex combination, a sum of parts that may not come out balanced or logical but is, evolutionarily speaking, the most advanced mind nature has produced (as far as we know) ...

True, we are not computers, and should not disregard emotions. My mind set is simply that there needs to be a balance. Emotions needs to be the drive behind logic, not the main source for which we derive our decisions. An example is love. Love at first sight or passion can lead to an unhappy marriage. The idea is not to deny the love, but to use logic in deciding if you are truly compatible with this person.



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 08:42 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099
I would venture that emotions are what set humans apart from animals, rather than logic. Without emotions humans would simply kill those who can't take care of themselves rather than going to extrordinary lengths to help and protect them.

In a sense, emotions do seperate us from animals, in that we have complex emotions that they do not. I am not, however, suggesting that we disregard emotions, to do so would be illogical as we are humans and it is in our psyche. Rather, I suggest that we use logic as our 'main engine'. Your example is that we would kill those who couldn't pull their own weight if we simply used logic. However, if we used logic, then emotions would enter into the equation as a part of our psyche, and we would not kill them, but rather find a way for all humans to live in harmony.
Again, my idea of a perfect world, would be one were emotions are not disregarded, but rather taken at face value for what they are. When this is done, it is clear to see what is logical, and what is not.



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


Definitely TruthParadox, a balance of logic and emotions would be ideal for a human to allow passion to direct him in somethings but have enough self-control to know when to temper and hold back those emotions... "only fools rush in" as it were


Marriage is not something to rush into, we've all seen it...

Balance is a keyword in a lot of philosophical studies, I usually think of Ben Franklin and other proponents of "moderation", try not to make it all one sided, too much emotion, or too much logic, but walk a tight-rope between them, too much of most things is bad...



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by prevenge

I think you're belittling emotions a bit.
Granted you're making points that I see as well, yet I'm not viewing emotions to be so much as the result of "programmed survival mechanism precursors" any more.


You're absolutly correct, not all emotions are survival mechanisms. I suppose I should have explained more where I'm comming from in my first post. Take love at first sight for example. This is not a survival mechnasim, but rather a mechanism to multiply. This is perfectly fine and well. You 'love' someone, because they look healthy and would support, or in the case of males protect, the baby. The problem is that our human psyche does not know what "marriage" is. Love exists to multiply, however we are in a more advanced system now. If you base your decision on this feeling, it's true you will have healthy babies, however you may also have an unhappy marriage.
I could give examples of other emotions that would support my case. In our civilization, there is no need for emotions to make our decisions, because we can make them ourselves. I am, again, not proposing that we abandon our emotions, but that we simply use logic to make decisions, and use emotions to drive them.



Originally posted by prevenge
self discipline, and controlling your emotions..
not so much as just quelling them when they arise, but the ability to CHOOSE your point of view of situations, which will lead to the desired emotional response that YOU point yourself to.


This is exactly what I am suggesting, believe it or not. I'm suggesting not to shrug emotions aside, but to not let them cloud your thinking.




posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 03:08 AM
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And who are we to talk for animals?

I view human kind as animals, so, to me, if we can feel, so to can they.

youtube Hippo saves Impala and tell me animals don't have emotions. As a matter of fact, let me help you out; Hippo Saves Impala. What do you call that, when you come home from work and your dog jumps up and down, wagging it's tail, probably spending the entire day by the driveway waiting for your return? Instinct? Whatever!

Ever saw the movie Equilibrium? Well, it sums this thread up perfectly. In Equilibrium, one character whose acts were for the right reason, but poorly executed decided for us, that we do not need emotions, as we cannot handle them properly, and instead, let them handle us. The other thought this was wrong and fought for this freedom. Now, I like the concept, but will not deny emotions from anyone. We need to learn how to let the brain do the thinking, and the heart do the beating. I'm not saying to ignore your emotions, but rather, do not let them direct your path in life. Let them have some input, but do not let them be the basis for your decisions, especially the important ones.

Emotions are selfish and can only see and satisfy the present tense. They do not care what happens after they have been satisfied. Logic is not subject to this flaw on the same degree. It see beyond the present and looks to the future. In short, emotional decisions=short term satisfaction, while logical decisions=long term satisfaction.

[edit on 11-8-2008 by sdrawkcabII]



posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 03:44 AM
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Originally posted by sdrawkcabII
And who are we to talk for animals?

I view human kind as animals, so, to me, if we can feel, so to can they.

youtube Hippo saves Impala and tell me animals don't have emotions. As a matter of fact, let me help you out; Hippo Saves Impala. What do you call that, when you come home from work and your dog jumps up and down, wagging it's tail, probably spending the entire day by the driveway waiting for your return? Instinct? Whatever!

I don't believe anyone suggested that animals don't have emotions. As for me, I believe they are lacking in some of the complex emotions. Emotions such as remorse and passion for example.


Originally posted by sdrawkcabII
Ever saw the movie Equilibrium? Well, it sums this thread up perfectly. In Equilibrium, one character whose acts were for the right reason, but poorly executed decided for us, that we do not need emotions, as we cannot handle them properly, and instead, let them handle us. The other thought this was wrong and fought for this freedom.

Yes, I've seen this movie and love it. However, I'm not suggesting that we deny our emotions, but simply that we don't let them play a crucial role in decision making. After all, emotions have been known to alter the way you think, somewhat like a drug, and therefor should not be relied on.


Originally posted by sdrawkcabII
Now, I like the concept, but will not deny emotions from anyone. We need to learn how to let the brain do the thinking, and the heart do the beating.
I'm not saying to ignore your emotions, but rather, do not let them direct your path in life. Let them have some input, but do not let them be the basis for your decisions, especially the important ones.

This is exactly what I suggested.



Originally posted by sdrawkcabII
Emotions are selfish and can only see and satisfy the present tense. They do not care what happens after they have been satisfied. Logic is not subject to this flaw on the same degree. It see beyond the present and looks to the future. In short, emotional decisions=short term satisfaction, while logical decisions=long term satisfaction.

Exactly, that sums up my point very well.



posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 10:59 AM
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In short, emotional decisions=short term satisfaction, while logical decisions=long term satisfaction


Ni!

Emotions are adaptive in decision-making.

Take out the emotion from decision-making and you tend to start making maladaptive choices (e.g., patients with lesions of core emotional areas). For example, people with lesions of the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex, which appears to represent the 'value' of stimuli, start to make more myopic decisions (e.g., Naqvi et al., 2006). Moreover, there are numerous studies showing that the more an individual cogitates on a decision, the less likely they are to be satisfied post-decision (e.g., Dijksterhuis et al., 2006)

Emotions are required for both learning through decisions, weighing up incentive value of potential choices and outcomes, and also the regret we feel when we might make a poor choice.

Even at the level of moral decision-making, emotions are a core process. Although philosophers like Jesse Prinz will point out that we do need to take emotions (usually disgust based) from moral decision making. But again, take out emotions at the neural level and it tends to lead to disruptions.

However, emotions can also be disruptive. Thus, more incidental moods & emotions can influence emotion-based judgements. Positive emotions make decision making easier, whereas negative emotions can cause other influences (e.g., anxiety makes one risk averse).

Descartes' Error is a great book by Antonio Damasio if anyone is interested in the emotional foundations of decision-making, another more journalistic book is Malcom Gladwell's 'Blink'. And I think the major insight from neuroscience and psychology is that emotions are essential to adaptive decision-making, but so is the ability to regulate them. That is, we need to keep them in check when out of control, and to also attempt to filter irrelevant emotional biases which will influence decisons.

[edit on 11-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 01:00 AM
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Emotions are necessary for many reasons. I agree with those who have posted that they are part of our survival mechanism. They are also necessary for our mental health.

Too little emotion and too much ration is an inflated Self (or Ego if you prefer the Freudian term.)

Suppressing the emotion to a severe degree (Jung put this in the "Shadow" group, or the ID,) you risk mental instability and often psychosis.

While emotions may see "illogical," they make perfect "logical" sense in the whole scheme of things. They are the moon to our sun, the poet to our warrior.

Same as waking, rational thought needs (and cannot function without) sleep and dream. Experiments in the 70's had a group of volunteers go for weeks w/o dreaming. Each time they entered the REM phase, they were awakened. They could sleep as long as they wanted (20 hours in a day, if they choose,) but were never allowed to enter REM to dream.

Each and every one developed psychosis. A good number committed suicide. Our minds cannot function without the subconscious and without emotion. Yin and Yang. The Easterners had it right. Nothing more "logical" than that.

On the flip side, those who delve too far into the subconscious/emotion/lack of ration and willpower will become sickly. Look at the drug addict. They seek to withdraw from the rational world and live in a perpetual state of illusion and false reality. It eats them away from within.

Must be balance, definitely.

[edit on 12-8-2008 by JungianQueen]



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 03:12 AM
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Originally posted by JungianQueen
Our minds cannot function without the subconscious and without emotion. Yin and Yang. The Easterners had it right. Nothing more "logical" than that.
[edit on 12-8-2008 by JungianQueen]


I couldn't agree more. What I was suggesting, however, is to base decisions on logic rather than emotions. In the past, I based my decisions on emotions, and was very religious. Lately, I've learned to think about things logically, and to make my decisions based on that way of thinking. I still have emotions of course, but they do not enter the equation when critical decisions come in to play. What I've experienced from this, has been a breakthrough for my mind. I'm able to see things a lot more clearly. For example, if I see a pretty girl, of course I feel an emotion of love come on, however I do not base my decision on that emotion but rather on logic which says we are not compatible. Most guys would base their decision on emotion and date that girl, only to realize months later that they are not compatible. In short, emotions cloud logic, so it is important to subdue emotions and think things through logically. I'm not trying to sound like Spock, this is simply from personal experience
.



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 09:55 AM
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I appreciate that, Truth, and I think in many cases, using logic is absolutely imperative. But, we MUST make decisions on emotion at times. An example of this might be listening to our intuition. Or, the whole process of falling in love. Nothing too rational about that sometimes, but we allow ourselves to do it and many times it can turn out in our favor.


I do agree that many tend to answer from the emotional side too often. Back on the drug addict scenario. People who are in relationships with drug addicts are the best example of this. They know something is up when their significant other is sleeping 20 hours a day, then disappearing for 3 days and returning hungover. They know something is up when they find glass pipes or packets of white powder. Drug use. Bad. Get out (their ration tells them.)

Yet, MOST STAY because their emotions refuse to let go of this relationship. Oh, it's not that bad. It's not HIS stuff--it belongs to his friend! Oh, how much I love him....

The cycle of codependency only ends when ration finally kicks in full force and they cannot deny that staying in a relationship with this person will leave them financially, morally, spiritually and emotionally bankrupt.



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 10:21 AM
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The intuition and the feelings guide our life. Without feelings we would be as plants. Animals are endowed with feelings and have an instinct much more developed than our, poor human beings whom we are!



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 02:28 PM
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Emotions were at one point an evolutionary necessity, but the human race has for the most part advanced to the point where such baggage is no longer necessary. That's why the most evolved individuals appear to be "cold" - they've shut out their emotions and base all their decisions on pure logic.



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by FeedMeACat
Emotions were at one point an evolutionary necessity, but the human race has for the most part advanced to the point where such baggage is no longer necessary. That's why the most evolved individuals appear to be "cold" - they've shut out their emotions and base all their decisions on pure logic.


This is a cop out. It's the easy way to shut down. It takes guts to face life, roll up your hands and get them dirty. If emotions were obsolete, we would have evolved into non-feeling beings. I honestly feel it's a sort of checks and balances. If we had no emotion, no conscience, no gut-feeling, we would lose our concept of right and wrong. Pure ration would be the end of us. Period.

"cold" individuals who are all ration are sick individuals--same as the person who has no ration. Serial killers = very VERY rational people. Very emotionless people. That's the other end of the spectrum.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 01:30 AM
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Originally posted by JungianQueen
If emotions were obsolete, we would have evolved into non-feeling beings.

Emotions are not obsolete, they act as many things. They are the reward system, the motivator, the power to get things done. They are the drive behind logic, not the logic itself. Many people do not realize this, and it is what I was trying to point out.
The perfect human, in my eyes, would let emotion drive him/her to do great things based on logic.


Originally posted by JungianQueen
Serial killers = very VERY rational people. Very emotionless people. That's the other end of the spectrum.

I disagree completely. Serial killers lack logic, and have too much emotion. Their emotion takes the form of anger, distrust, or paranoia. They lack the logic to see the outcome of their actions. Logic, in its purest form, sees these outcomes. Emotions do not.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 04:41 AM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
They are the drive behind logic, not the logic itself. Many people do not realize this, and it is what I was trying to point out.
The perfect human, in my eyes, would let emotion drive him/her to do great things based on logic.



hmmm, now I'm a bit confused about what you mean by logic and emotion.

I think that in a properly trained mind emotion is a kind of super-logic. It can factor in subtle subconscious influences that are incredibly important to the outcome but impossible for a coldly logical brain to calculate. This is of course distinguished from impulsive emotional decisions governed by a need for short-term gratification and guided by delusion.

It explains why people often make better decisions under pressure.

The serial killer example is perfect. Serial killers can understand the consequences in terms of judicial penalties, but they can't understand the value of human life and the devastation their actions cause. These are intangible and can only be understood by the emotional mind.

Emotions are not redudant, they are an essential means of communicating or understanding things which are too subtle for the logical brain.

If the best decision is defined as the one which results in the best outcome then emotions must be taken into account.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 10:35 AM
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Many serial killers are absolutely precise in their mannerisms and deeds. The good ones don't get caught right away for a reason--they are thorough and enact in a very detached and emotionless manner.

I guess I should have said more that they are not necessarily rational (on a whole) but they are perfectly capable of removing emotion from their actions. If a normal, healthy person were to kill another human being, imagine the panic, the fear, the utter chaos. Not so for serial killers. No emotions = no panicked mistakes. They may get off sexually, of course, but they clean up their messes quite meticulously and w/o feeling, remorse or emotion.

I totally agree with you, though, Truth. I just saw a few posts where people actually thought it was a "good thing" to live w/o emotions. Very scary and very sick is the person who has no emotions.






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