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Reason versus Emotion


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#1 rp88

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 12:49 PM

Maybe it's me but looking through the news recently there really seems to be  a surge in the amount of people's actions that can only be explained by them getting emotional and acting on it rather than using cold hard logic. In some ways it seems society(across the world, or atleast across the parts where news is often reported from) has drifted away from the idea that logic and science are the cure for all the world's problems and fallen towards a culture laden with quackery,delusion and belief. Ignorance is seen as an asset, many boast about being "not good at mathematics" and short term joy is seen as a substitute for long term success. Right now i challenge you to look through any newspaper you have to hand and draw up two tallys, one to count stories reporting an action(by an individual, a government or some other group) that could be the result of a reasoned decision and a second tally counting the number of stories reporting an action where the acting knew   of no obvious benefit to themselves and acted irrationally. I have done this myself a couple of times and cam to the conclusion that irrational actions are far more numerous than those done for logical cost/benefit reasons. I also think that over time this has been veering further towards emotion, perhaps as a consequence of it being considered more important than logic in modern society. From this you can probably guess that my opinion is that as a more rational species we could achieve more both individually and as a whole. Do YOU think that we are getting more emotional, or perhaps you've seen signs of people becoming more rational? Would it be better in your opinion for our species to be more emotional, or more rational? With emotion we have art, music,the "always right, always wrong" morality,climate change denial and genocide. With reason we get science,mathematics, technology,selfishness and lying. In the end what's better for life, what's better for progress?

 

I hope this topic isn't too controversial or shocking and hope the intro isn't too biased. Keep it calm and enjoy the debate.


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#2 softeyes

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 09:56 AM

Science and mathematics do not equate to selfishness and lying in my opinion.  To me, science and math is quite precise.  Yes, we have learned over time that science does has some wiggle room, however even with that discovery, it's rather precise and with truth?

 

I'd love to understand your perception of selfishness and lying with science and math?

 

Love the idea of calm with this discussion, too intense I'll leave the discussion!



#3 rp88

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 12:01 PM

i support science and math and wasn't trying to criticize them, what i was trying to say is that by being fully logical and acting only in self interest one might lie, cheat and be selfish but one would not be excessively violent and have absolute views of the world. taking logic to it's full extent we can expect to be thinking primarily for ourselves but where lying,cheating,etc can benefit the individual most of the actions one hears about involving violence and absolute views are overkill, it is not in the interests of the individual to "do overkill" as it means more resources are used to tackle whatever the threat was. the other point of this is that acting fully rationally one will not have absolutes because one will understand that the world is so complex that perfect absolutes can never apply in any practical context, calculations may(and usually do) apply to everything but they aren't absolute as such because they take all factors into account(or else they will probably come to an incorrect conclusion). science gives the truth but it doesn't give absolutes it gives high probabilities, absolutes are a very emotional and human thing to try and place upon a world with so much complexity. i was referring to absolutes mostly in the context of "right" and "wrong" but even in purely logical matters a prediction/judgement/situation usually has some exceptions where an absolute cannot work. I'm just thinking that if people were less emotional we would see a rise in "cold hearted" actions like lying(because it can benefit the individual) and such but a vast reduction in violence(because most violence is not against someone who is an active threat to the individual committing it hence violence very rarely gives benefit to an individual), we'd also get a huge boost to funding for the sciences and a far greater public acceptance of them. I'm sorry if my post was set out in such a way that it criticised science, whilst i was composing it i very much thought it put science in a good light(on the lists i gave i think we can agree that lying(from reason) is better than genocide(from emotion)).


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#4 softeyes

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 04:21 PM

Wow, I admire how you are so capable of intense thought sharing!  I was drawn to your post because of the way you posed your thoughts. The world is represented by so many complex integers I believe. I would be so lovely to have all of it's (the world) elements be broken down into simple factors.  Then those factors such as your thoughts on "lying(from reason) is better than genocide(from emotion)" might be easier to analyze and understand.

 

Here are some of my thoughts, staying within the boundary of calm sharing.  I tend to believe that lying is an emotion, where there are feelings hidden beneath the lying.  I find that lying is an action, an emotional action covering up the inability for an individual to tell forthright their thoughts.

 

Thus I do not find any good (reason) for lying.

 

Genocide in my opinion is not an emotion.  Is it purely an action. The most offensive action by a people(s) ever imagined. I will never find any (reason) or (emotion) that will ever justify genocide, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or nation.

 

In conclusion, lying has no reason, hidden weakness of some regard.  Genocide lacks any human emotioin, or reason.

 

Only my thoughts based on your sharing.  Different explains to me each of us people(s), where there lies the complexity of a World and thus the results we observe via mass media, which portrays only a my opic persective based on each entity that again relies on people(s) that are "different."



#5 rp88

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 03:04 PM

one does not commit genocide without emotion, if you are truly not caring about others you don't set out to kill them because that requires effort. a cold hearted person wouldn't put that effort in. to murder millions someone has to really hate them, hate is an emotion. without emotion you can't get hate, without emotions you deal with threats as far as is needed, not with excess cruelty(hence effort). a fully coldhearted person might well kill someone who was running at them with an axe(because in that situation preventing the attack is in the interests of the coldhearted person we are discussing) but they won't go out of their way to kill people of a particular group(as the coldhearted man knows that the group is not a threat to him so he has nothing to gain by attacking). doing great "evil" to someone isn't a matter of not caring about them, it is a matter of hating them(in every case hating for no reason) of actively wanting them to suffer. i've found it strange how brutes, thugs,psychopaths,killers,etc are described as emotionless when what they really have is dangerously strong emotions against their victims.


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#6 softeyes

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 03:18 PM

Interesting.  To murder millions, yes those that elect to take this action, if based on hate, where ever was the "emotional connection" to millions to ever "hate them?"

Brutes, thugs, psychopaths, killers have a deep seeded sickness IMO and I agree that they hold a very dangerous thought process.  Their actions to their victims are thoughtless about the actual victim I feel.  The inner rage and sickness of these people(s) does not allow their ability to selectively pick and chose by choice a specific victim. Usually a random blurt find.  Unless the real special killers are taken into consideration that plot and plan with revenge a muder for pathetic self gain?

 

How can genocide have any care at all about the millions or masses that are killed,( as in humans, people with lives and futures?)



#7 myrti

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 04:23 PM

I don't think I agree on the genocide comment. A lot of it is not hate but cold blooded calculation.. If you create an environment where people believe that a minority is abusing the majority, you can create a feeling of togetherness in the majority and bind them to you. That way you can have them do their bidding to free themselves of their perceived aggressors and once you've bound them to you, they will follow you further. Nothing joins people together like the feeling that they are being threatened.

 

Hitler certainly wasn't emotion free (just watch any of his speeches), but what made the holocaust so horrible wasn't his hate but the German efficiency and the anonimity of the act. There was such organisation and coordination, that millions of people could be killed with minimal effort and minimal interaction. For the majority noone really pulled the trigger, noone really felt responsible and there is great power in such displacement. You can avoid feeling anything because you are not the one making the decision and you're not the one dealing the final blow. It is not your fault and therefore not something you need to have feelings about. It's about the only way I can understand why so many people willingly followed, most of which did not truly believe that Jews steal babies and eat them before (and probably also after) Hitler rose to power.

 

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#8 rp88

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:24 PM

you also have to think though that near the end of the war rather than using their railways to ship troops and weapons to the frontlines the nazis used them to ship more victims to the death camps, sometimes having a whole train just to transport one person(at the end of the war this happened a few times).if it had been pure coldblooded calculation they would have diverted death camp trains to troop supply and logistics, as it was emotion controlled their actions.


Edited by rp88, 04 August 2014 - 05:26 PM.

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#9 myrti

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:20 AM

I never heard of single people being moved. Do you have documents on that?

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#10 softeyes

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:42 AM

The calm dicussion regarding reason versus emotion, and using those two factors to have conversation regarding WWII..

I'm out!  There will never, ever be any emotion, reason or acceptance in my mind, for any of the horrific consequences that took place

in that event (to put it mlidly!).  Even if only one leader was to be discussed, to determine if it was reason or emotion for action, anyone else who felt it human to follow that one very sick, demented and horrific persons orders, has left the entire world, for neverending eternity agast it happened. Gives me shivers.

 

Is there still a one person scheming and plotting, to gather scared or ruthless other sick peoples(s) to hurt, kill..yes. Can't even go there.

Sorry.






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