Neo-Aristotelian

If emotions can cloud judgment, how does one know his judgment is objective?

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It's said that emotions can cloud judgment. I've noticed that I can at times be certain of my judgment despite feeling strong emotions. In other times, I don't trust my judgment and choose to delay judgment until my emotions subside. This concerns me because I don't clearly know conceptually when I can trust my judgment given strong accompanying emotions.


Additionally, it's arguable that we are always experiencing an emotional "cadence" in the background as a result of our attitude towards ourselves, others, the rest of existence, our sense of self-efficacy, and our sense of self-identity.


Regardless, how does one know if his judgment is not clouded? More specifically, how does one know that his judgment isn't simply motivated by pleasure/pain?


Hindsight is supposedly 20/20, but how does one know that that hindsight isn't clouded by emotions?

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Fair question, I suppose. In 1973, I hired a fellow to follow me around all day with a video camera (exciting new technology back then). I was shocked at the result. I wasn't half as clever or sophisticated as I thought. I repeated the experiment about 20 years later and recommend it to others as a method of objective self-assessment.

Meanwhile, 2+2 hasn't changed. "I understand Ayn Rand's personal vulnerability and erratic emotional life. We, each of us, are exactly so -- incomplete as moral animals, but capable of professional work." [An Eggshell Armed With Sledgehammers]

It's good policy to focus one's activities on the business of living, to get things done, make as few mistakes as possible, keep your car on the road instead of crashing into a lamp post or running out of fuel. It's easier to go along and get along, show up for work every day, if you don't take drugs or drink too much. Emotional benders are like drunk driving.

That said, there is a penalty for good practice and oaths of office. You'll end up thinking like a Republican.

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It's said that emotions can cloud judgment. I've noticed that I can at times be certain of my judgment despite feeling strong emotions. In other times, I don't trust my judgment and choose to delay judgment until my emotions subside. This concerns me because I don't clearly know conceptually when I can trust my judgment given strong accompanying emotions.
Additionally, it's arguable that we are always experiencing an emotional "cadence" in the background as a result of our attitude towards ourselves, others, the rest of existence, our sense of self-efficacy, and our sense of self-identity.
Regardless, how does one know if his judgment is not clouded? More specifically, how does one know that his judgment isn't simply motivated by pleasure/pain?
Hindsight is supposedly 20/20, but how does one know that that hindsight isn't clouded by emotions?

If it's not an emergency take your time; calm down. If you want computer certitude remember garbage in, garbage out (GIGO).

There is always risk of failure. We all take calculated risks. "Pleasure/pain" is merely automatic emotional conveyance of information. Using introspection you root out the data. One way that can help tremendously is by using Nathaniel Branden's sentence completion.

Taking action assumes the possibility of failure. Life is full of calculated risk. We use reason to make best choices.

--Brant

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Welcome to OL...

There will be no "Raw Deal" here at OL...

Out of curiosity, Is there an expectancy of emotional certitude that Objectivism attempts to provide you for any actions that you decide to chose?

A...

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It's said that emotions can cloud judgment. I've noticed that I can at times be certain of my judgment despite feeling strong emotions. In other times, I don't trust my judgment and choose to delay judgment until my emotions subside. This concerns me because I don't clearly know conceptually when I can trust my judgment given strong accompanying emotions.
Additionally, it's arguable that we are always experiencing an emotional "cadence" in the background as a result of our attitude towards ourselves, others, the rest of existence, our sense of self-efficacy, and our sense of self-identity.
Regardless, how does one know if his judgment is not clouded? More specifically, how does one know that his judgment isn't simply motivated by pleasure/pain?
Hindsight is supposedly 20/20, but how does one know that that hindsight isn't clouded by emotions?

But emotions are a judgment - and self-judgment.

An emotion is a reaction to 'an action', external or internal. To the degree one is rational and self-aware, is the degree it will be a fitting emotion. An objectively disgusting (e.g. anti-life) idea or occurrence, would raise an appropriate emotion of disgust - and so on. If one would feel great or happy about it, there is the warning sign. I think it's important to habitually identify one's emotions and as much as possible, try to realise their source.

("What do I feel, and why do I feel it?") With the aim of aligning emotional judgments with cognitive.

The "cadence" you remark upon might be similar to the blurry background buzz of what I sort of call "run-on" emotions from half forgotten past actions, created invalidly by association and connotation. This is not that, A is not non-A.

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I've noticed that I can at times be certain of my judgment despite feeling strong emotions. In other times, I don't trust my judgment and choose to delay judgment until my emotions subside.

I think your questions are interesting, but vague. What is the personal judgment -- what kind of judgment on what kind of issue or question, what in particular is being judged, what kind of decision are you trying to make?

By the same token, what are the 'strong emotions' you feel when grappling with decision, while trying to judge? Without context, there is no opportunity to find out if you are ruminating.

Regardless, how does one know if his judgment is not clouded? More specifically, how does one know that his judgment isn't simply motivated by pleasure/pain?

Without emotions like fear, anger, disgust, anticipation, sadness, happiness ... you would hardly be able to 'judge' anything.

One may have an emotional disorder -- a mania or depression -- that results in irrational decisions, irrational actions, self-damaging judgments of impinging reality or irrational assessments of danger/risk. One can also be a victim of rare neurological states in which emotions are absent (see Antonio Damasio's study of just such a person, 'Elliot,' in Descarte's Error, and in a story from the Sydney Morning Herald, Feeling our way to decision).

Without emotion, one can find it hard to make the simplest decision. Without emotion, human life would have no variations in felt 'flavour.'

It will be most useful for discussion to elucidate particulars of the situations you remark upon. I can imagine, for example, a situation in which you are 'judging' a contest of some kind, a yes/no, accept/reject, set-aside/retain-for-examination series of assessments. If you were overwhelmed by feelings of rage or sadness in the midst of the judgment process, Brant's suggestion to wait until passions subside is elementary. What would trigger such feelings? What background situation might intrude? What mood state has darkened your senses?

I can imagine any amount of situations you might be in -- where emotional intensity seems out of balance to the matter at hand. Snap judgments informed only by strong negative emotion may indeed need extensive review -- if the judgment is important to you or those close to you.

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).

Without emotion, one can find it hard to make the simplest decision. Without emotion, human life would have no variations in felt 'flavour.'

To the second sentence: but, of course! That doesn't follow from the first part, though. Advisedly, sometimes an emotion may well precede and accompany the decision for an action, when one 'emotionally anticipates' a desired end. Such as in buying a gift for a friend, you will anticipate his pleasure at receiving and using it and take advance pleasure from that.

'Judgments' are value-judgments, in full. Even the "simplest decision" is value-based. (What is one's value? Friendship - for a friend, one would have matching emotions to one's conscious value judgment of him, naturally).

Prioritising emotions in the making of any and all choices will undercut value (in abstract), also one's concrete values, and ultimately detach emotion from mind.

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Perhaps studying emotional disorders, like phobias, can help clarify. A phobia a strong negative emotional reaction of fear to some object or situation which is not rational in most contexts. Phobias are overcome by purposeful over exposure to the stimulus. Try visualizing the things which cause strong emotional reactions and reasoning them through. "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail" -Ben Franklin

[Lately I've needed to explore anger reactions and temper them with reason. Much calmer now.]

[Don't take this as a sign of weakness]

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Without emotions like fear, anger, disgust, anticipation, sadness, happiness ... you would hardly be able to 'judge' anything.

Certainly one of the most peculiar assertions I have ever read.

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Without emotions like fear, anger, disgust, anticipation, sadness, happiness ... you would hardly be able to 'judge' anything.

Certainly one of the most peculiar assertions I have ever read.

He's on to something, but needs refining.

--Brant

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Without emotions like fear, anger, disgust, anticipation, sadness, happiness ... you would hardly be able to 'judge' anything.

Certainly one of the most peculiar assertions I have ever read.

Cart before horse = subjective pile up.

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Without emotions like fear, anger, disgust, anticipation, sadness, happiness ... you would hardly be able to 'judge' anything.

Certainly one of the most peculiar assertions I have ever read.

He's on to something, but needs refining.

--Brant

It's rubbish. Justifies whimsy, panic, mob psychosis, grudge, fantasy, conflating Kant for Schopenhauer, not caring what's true or false, playing deuces wild for emotional masturbation. What kind of law judge would it be who ignored the rules of evidence and based decisions on how he felt about a petitioner or defendant? Would you go to a dentist who pulled teeth for fun and didn't use x-rays because radiation scared him?

The challenge in life is to use our eyes and ears and logic, distinguish knowledge from "feelings."

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That's all quite true as far as it goes but it can go a lot further than that. There are endless multiplicies of thoughts, emotions and human situations where introspection of feelings is a way to conscious knowledge. There are, however, many people who use their minds exclusively as you do for whatever reasons and that's okay. It's predominantly men with an engineering, not artistic, bent. Women are more prone to be intuitive. As a group I suspect engineers need wives more than most leaving them time to focus on analytics and being productive. This is also common with businessmen. This enables a narrower concentration of focus for great results.

--Brant

I'm being quite speculative with these comments (I don't know as much as they imply)

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That's all quite true as far as it goes but it can go a lot further than that. There are endless multiplicies of thoughts, emotions and human situations where introspection of feelings is a way to conscious knowledge. There are, however, many people who use there minds exclusively as you do for whatever reasons and that's okay. It's predominantly men with an engineering, not artistic, bent. Women are more prone to be intuitive. As a group I suspect engineers need wives more than most leaving them time to focus on analytics and being productive. This is also common with businessmen. This enables a narrower concentration of focus for great results.

--Brant

I'm being quite speculative with these comments (I don't know as much as they imply)

Right as rain, all of it.

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Without emotion, one can find it hard to make the simplest decision. Without emotion, human life would have no variations in felt 'flavour.'

To the second sentence: but, of course! That doesn't follow from the first part, though. Advisedly, sometimes an emotion may well precede and accompany the decision for an action, when one 'emotionally anticipates' a desired end. Such as in buying a gift for a friend, you will anticipate his pleasure at receiving and using it and take advance pleasure from that.

I think we are on different planes flying the same route here, Tony. I am going to go on at hideous length to explain my route and how I see us converging on the same destination. Once I post this, I am going to do hatchet/edit job, because it is already six times longer than I intended, and I hate the thought of losing a fan to TLDR. There is only so much vivid prose can do.

My first sentence is supported by the striking case of 'Elliot.' His ability to make 'the simplest' decisions was gravely impaired by the destruction of his capacity for emotion. His decision-making, his process of judgment were permanently damaged. I used the example of a 'perfect pathology' to illustrate for Joseph the ubiquity of what he called 'cadence,' to illustrate what happens to a human being when his emotions are 'removed' entirely. From the most subconscious, ephemeral emotional calculations, to acutely value-laden deliberations of choice, 'Elliot' could no longer reason efficiently enough to survive on his own.

So, the first sentence was supported by that which proceeded it, which you left out. Joseph had asked us "If emotions can cloud judgment, how does one know his judgment is objective?" and I wanted to establish the grounds of my opinion before attempting to answer:

Without emotions like fear, anger, disgust, anticipation, sadness, happiness ... you would hardly be able to 'judge' anything.

One may have an emotional disorder -- a mania or depression -- that results in irrational decisions, irrational actions, self-damaging judgments of impinging reality or irrational assessments of danger/risk. One can also be a victim of rare neurological states in which emotions are absent (see Antonio Damasio's study of just such a person, 'Elliot,' in Descarte's Error, and in a story from the Sydney Morning Herald, Feeling our way to decision).

Tony, your advisory kind of built on on this knowledge of emotion, as you spoke of an emotion that can precede and accompany a decision, how a human 'emotionally anticipates' a desired end, how a human can anticipate his pleasure.

I don't think we have substantive differences on how emotions can be born and managed, or on how automaticity can be invoked, curbed, reprocessed, primed, repressed, overridden, what have you. I don't think we disagree on the complexity of the reason/emotion nexus. And I think we agree down the line that we need more detail from Joseph before we can best answer his questions.

I can interpret your notes on 'advance pleasure' that rational cognition is in some instances dependent on emotion for efficiency. Perhaps you might be thinking I evade a diktat or supervening authority ... maybe a phrase plucked from Rand: 'emotion are not tools of cognition.' I think we would agree that the example of Elliot teaches us that emotions can be key to decision-making, and that without them we can have cognitive problems.

I've made the same very narrow range of points with various dressings and toppings in the past, so I will try to be fresh: if we see emotion as an 'evaluation' as do Rand and Damasio and most emotion theorists and researchers, we can see that rational evaluation as a class subsumes emotional evaluation, as a kind of neural substrate to choice and preference and differentiation of options and so on. The emotional index of a choice matrix is thus but one aspect we can consult -- neither the most important nor without importance at all. I believe that evaluation of even prosaic choice can be emotive in humans -- decisions without emotional valence are like picking fruit. One can completely rationally pick fruit to the highest standard -- but underneath the calculation is a value sought, rooted in the positive/negative value-scheme of a mind.

(none of his means to imply that value schemes cannot be immoral, psychotic, deranged, irrational, dogmatic, destructive, incoherent, partial, psychopathic, anti-social, anti-individual. Nor do I mean to imply that one must always take an emotional depth sounding. Our machine is constantly monitoring, we don't need to examine our feelings until they cause distress. We don't need to goad feelings to the surface before a decision can be taken. We can usually rely upon the machine to alert us to dangerous situations requiring heightened attention. If the machine gives us fear and loathing, or anger, or despair, or anguished second-guessing to otherwise simple decisions, if one is 'torn' and doesn't understand why, then, sure, pay attention ... in proportion to the decision.)

But, of course, I might be missing the proper objection in your remarks, Tony, or perceiving agreement where it hasn't taken hold. Perhaps you are trying to tell me that I am invoking a 'power' of raw unexamined emotion to properly determine human action (decision). Perhaps you think that pointing to the ubiquity of emotion means I would campaign for making the emotional content of decision-making the only significant aspect of decision-making. Maybe I am simply not invoking caveats that seem necessary.

Are there decision-making processes in which emotion is and should be least-ranked during evaluation? I would say yes, indeed, of course. If asked to defend the notion that unexamined emotions can wreck and hobble 'proper' rational conclusions, I would again say yes, indeed. We need only look at the richest fruit of human reason,at products of sustained application of human reason sans emotion. There are multiple rich examples from literature and life, science and history -- all showing us the variable ways in which human beings let their emotions over-rule reason -- up to and beyond the point of their personal destruction.

One can find a plethora of sites and instances of decision-making further illustrating the danger of emotional motives and influences. We find benches and libraries full of the result of 'unemotional' decision-making and deciding, judging. I'd say that we would agree that in many cases our very existences depend on dispassionate judgment: in our finances, in justice, in science, in most sober fields of inquiry.

-- all this extended rant to place my remarks in context and to more fully explain what I meant by the sentence "Without emotion, one can find it hard to make the simplest decision."

Anyway, back to context within the bounds of the OT's concerns -- something unreasonable, conceptually distressing, confusing, conflicting or puzzling. How can he know when he (the Judge) is clouded by emotion?

Well, again I'd say we can't approach answers without salient detail. Is the judgment (choice/decision/conclusion/assessment) in danger because of an inappropriate excess of emotion, or because of a by-intensity-suspect emotion? Is the emotion unwanted or welcome? Does the emotion contradict the reasoned judgment? Is a particular kind of judgment suspect when accompanied by strong emotion? (and as before, which actual emotions are at issue is key)

I guess I am most interested in the personal problem, although the epistemology is absorbing.

'Judgments' are value-judgments, in full. Even the "simplest decision" is value-based.

Here our planes intersect, Tony!

Even the 'simplest decision' is values based. This is my point re 'Elliot.' His 'value'-assessment was impaired by his brain wound. He was unplugged from a part of the machine we normal-issue humans have still doing its business in our bodies.

Even the 'simplest decision' is values based. Your formulation effectively supports a rational/emotive coupling. Values at the base, values according to our assessments from on down the cognitive chain, values undergirding one's sense of life, values underlying our emotional gestalt, mood, attitude per our particularities.

Even the 'simplest decision' is values based. Values acquired through rational means or not. And from the Randian scheme of valuation, we can follow those valuations all the way back to pre-conceptual: good for me, bad for me, pain or pleasure, advance/retreat, flee/fight, live/die.

You do not comment on a particular impaired judgment of Joseph's because like me you can't; we'd need to do a lot of spade-work to learn which values a particular decision were based on, and work up from there. We await clarification from Joseph.

Prioritising emotions in the making of any and all choices will undercut value (in abstract), also one's concrete values, and ultimately detach emotion from mind.

This is difficult to parse. I'd like to see this expanded, since I may misunderstand its import. I'd kick it back to Joseph and say -- how does this apply to your instance of possibly-clouded judgment? And then probe for the comparative he mentioned. The variables are similar: (strong emotion) + (confident) judgment / (strong emotion) + (doubtful) judgment. Are you perhaps unduly prioritizing emotion in assessing the 'clouding'? ... perhaps there is a persisting rational reason for ambivalence, once the strong signal is set aside or subsides.

Again, what was the strong emotion? I can imagine a strongly 'negative' emotion much more easily. A judgment accompanied by feelings of contempt, disgust, anger, dismay, repulsion, whatever mixture, cranked up to ten or beyond.

And then, again, what role might that felt emotion have played to confound or make suspect an otherwise confident mental act? -- the act of judgment, the conclusion, the decision?

I always have been attuned to depressive reasoning, as depression has stalked my family for generations (no doubt a Norwegian adaptation). A fatalistic, detached, what's the use blunting of emotions, an inability to take once-appreciated pleasures, a disconnect from life's interactions. Others will be more attentive to different aspects of destructive or inappropriate 'moods' or 'states' in decision-making. Mike has his eye out for anger, maybe. Maybe most of us have our eyes out for hate/rage or obsessively negative emoters in our midst, online, in life, on the world's stages. Maybe some look for signals of other out-of-control or distorted emotional obstacles to rational cognition, on many different scales.

So, Tony's apparent aversion to a general 'prioritizing emotions' in all choice is wise. Why prioritize, in general, what is only an aspect of cognition, an agent of evaluation? We can put a 'what do you feel and why do you feel it' question on a top-forty list of rational evaluative questions, and rank it higher or lower on an 'Uh-oh' scale -- depending on its appropriateness to the inquiry. In a court, What did you feel? is either wildly irrelevant and immaterial, or designed to elicit motivation. I was in a quiet cold controlled ragefear of jealousy, Your Honour.

I felt nothing, Your Honour.

In any case, I am not making an argument for prioritizing much more than figuring out the problem. I am curious where our questioner is feeling conflict and doubt over his own judgment. We can help him to a better rational place, I hope, or at least find a way to understand his conflict in the context of our own emotional/judging experience. Later, the advanced-level philosophical bone-picking can commence. In this case we must pay attention to -- 'prioritize' -- Joseph's emotions, because that is what he is what he brought forward.

Not knowing the details of the puzzle/conflict, there's not much more I helpfully say to guide our friend, despite my own general and specific understanding of emotion and decision-making.

So, I'll put the spotlight back on the OT and say, there's my general and particular thoughts, here's some interesting facts, here's the scope of the possible problem in my mind, hope to hear more detail. I don't know if this is an effective answer to the perplexed-by-William.

One more try: Joseph said,

It's said that emotions can cloud judgment. I've noticed that I can at times be certain of my judgment despite feeling strong emotions. In other times, I don't trust my judgment and choose to delay judgment until my emotions subside. This concerns me because I don't clearly know conceptually when I can trust my judgment given strong accompanying emotions. [..]

Regardless, how does one know if his judgment is not clouded? More specifically, how does one know that his judgment isn't simply motivated by pleasure/pain?

Hindsight is supposedly 20/20, but how does one know that that hindsight isn't clouded by emotions?

I'll take that almost-last part, "how does one know that his judgment isn't simply motivated by pleasure/pain?"

In great matters and small, pleasure/pain evaluations -- or more neutrally, positive/negative evaluations -- can be motivators. The stronger the 'intensity' of an emotion, the stronger the potential motivation. The least 'charge' accompanying a decision, the least likely to have been biased. The most charged evaluations are then probably a 'best sum' indicator from your mind that this is a high-stakes decision.

So, Joseph, set aside that 'simply' qualifier and look back to how a comparison caused you to doubt a decision. Strong emotions in one instance did not delay decision. In the other, strong emotions were let to subside. Seems to me eminently rational to defer conclusions, but why not delay in both cases? Why didn't you cool off in the first instance too?

How one might answer the "how do we know" query, how to determine whether "judgment isn't simply motivated by pleasure/pain?" -- by understanding that any judgment process may contain pre-existing/triggered positive/negative emotional evaluations (to the situation). Identifying the actual evaluations reveals the concepts in play, and readies them for analytic review.

So, what difference did it make int he first instance -- the strong emotion? What difference did the emotion make in the second instance? Was each situation charged with differing emotions?

Edited by william.scherk

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The Power of Positive Thinking, Winning Through Intimidation, Unlimited Power ... a boatload of emotion-baited hokum.

Worst of all, Deepak Chopra's clan of body-worshippers: "As a natural life force, emotions are intended to flow freely ... As best you can, let yourself fully feel, perhaps taking a few deep breaths into the area of the body where you most feel the emotion. Resist the impulse to criticize your feelings or to try to change them. " http://www.chopra.com/ccl/emotional-spring-cleaning

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William,

Some good thoughts here which prompt more thoughts, I think we are not too far off. You could possibly be over-complicating what is at core not so difficult. Emotions are especially one subject that needs to be kept "simple, stupid" from the start. We know how complex and confusing emotionality gets further down the line with ad hoc cases of mixed emotions, inappropriate emotions etc., so implanting the fundaments of the mechanism is crucial.

Emotions are always an effect, not a cause (though they can be made to be so, harmfully to oneself or others). They don't just arrive from out of the blue.

Emotions are an automated response to an action faithfully corresponding to one's values and value judgment.

"An action" as I understand it, is anything in and outside of consciousness, from a single thought - to vision, hearing and other sensory inputs of stimuli - to a physical act made by oneself or by others - to a full intellectual explanation, - and everything besides.

Value is as often dis-value, and why identification, evaluation, judgment, careful thought and introspecting one's emotional premises, are paramount. None of this is "automated" or automatic. The standard of value is 'life', (or should be) from which all other values are derivatives.

There is also in each mind an individual hierarchy of values (and disvalues) from lesser to higher, for which I think there should be corresponding emotions (on the extensive pleasure-pain spectrum) when a greater or lesser value is threatened, compromised...or celebrated.

I admit that doesn't look so simple now. But I believe the basic precept is that at any moment 'you' get the specific emotion 'you deserve'. You should do, because you programmed all of them with your conscious convictions. Which might be irrational, semi-rational or rational, according to just how consciously formed and in keeping with reality those convictions are.

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Tony wrote: Emotions are an automated response to an action faithfully corresponding to one's values and value judgment.

Rubbish. Values are aspirational, difficult to achieve and defend. Emotion is the #1 enemy of reasoned virtue.

I just put up two cords of wood for the winter. You think I enjoyed it? Hell, no, but it had to be done.

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Tony wrote: Emotions are an automated response to an action faithfully corresponding to one's values and value judgment.

Rubbish. Values are aspirational, difficult to achieve and defend. Emotion is the #1 enemy of reasoned virtue.

I just put up two cords of wood for the winter. You think I enjoyed it? Hell, no, but it had to be done.

You will 'enjoy' the fruits of your wood-cutting come the winter, so why make it seem a personal sacrifice?

Not doing the labor now - putting it off endlessly 'for another day' - would be an evasion of reality which will return as a mounting emotion of anxiety, until you finally get down to doing it.

Try to escape emotion and it finds us anyway, and not on our own terms or with our understanding, but coalesces in a fog of run-on, unexamined emotions.

And yes, 'good' (for life) thoughts/actions and 'bad' ones alike, rightly carry an emotional component because they are preceded by one's primary value in life and all one's subsidiary values. Example, one of the most basic emotions, fear, is a correct response to the value one places in one's self and well being, when faced with threat.

Did you feel satisfaction when the wood cutting was done?

Burying emotions or distancing oneself from them in the name of 'logic', is as much an evasion as evading facts of reality, therefore irrational.

The cardinal rule is to try never to act on them as initiating causes.

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Tony wrote: Emotions are an automated response to an action faithfully corresponding to one's values and value judgment.

Rubbish. Values are aspirational, difficult to achieve and defend. Emotion is the #1 enemy of reasoned virtue.

I just put up two cords of wood for the winter. You think I enjoyed it? Hell, no, but it had to be done.

Burying emotions or distancing oneself from them in the name of 'logic', is as much an evasion as evading facts of reality, therefore irrational.

The cardinal rule is to try never to act on them as initiating causes.

Agreed.

As to the possibility of acting on them instantly, once they are identified and understood, may be necessary, and will save your life, or, your loved ones lives.

Generally, it is wiser to put in that "delay mechanism" for "stuff" that happens that may upset a you, however, is not actually important.

People use the routine stuff to set themselves "off" when they have not understood the source of their anger, fear, or. other emotion.

A...

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Adam, What you bring to mind is interesting, particularly with the fear emotion. Personally I would be dubious of the so-called "fearless" person (say, a soldier). Perhaps that robotic fearlessness hardly actually exists but only appears that way. A true absence of fear would denote a rare individual, one lacking all values, probably nihilistic.

The person who can be most respected I believe, is one who feels the fear but over-rides it to do what has to be done, for his own preservation or others.

Instantly recognizing a threat by 'feeling the fear' is essential for reason of life-value, like all emotions - but 'acting' on fear, paradoxically, usually immobilizes one's mind and body into inactivity, and quite surely poses the greater danger to life.

The approach I've been tending to with the strong emotions (fear, anger, disgust, etc.) is never to try to stifle or negate them. They all have an important place as one's trusted allies and warning signs. Rather, a healthy technique is to allow them privately to surge fully through one's mind uninterrupted for the short while they last. In the aftermath, one can calmly identify their cause, check if they conform to one's values and principles, and then act with certitude.

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Adam, What you bring to mind is interesting, particularly with the fear emotion. Personally I would be dubious of the so-called "fearless" person (say, a soldier or a protector of a family). Perhaps that robotic fearlessness hardly actually exists but only appears that way. A true absence of fear would denote a rare individual, one without values, probably nihilistic.

The person who can be most respected I believe, is one who feels the fear but over-rides it to do what has to be done, for his own preservation or others.

Instantly recognizing a threat by 'feeling the fear' is essential for reason of life-value, like all emotions - but 'acting' on fear, paradoxically, usually immobilizes one's mind and body into inactivity, and quite surely poses the greater danger to life.

The approach I've been learning to the strong emotions (fear, anger, disgust, etc.) is never to try to stifle or negate them. They all have an important place as one's trusted allies and warning signs. Rather, a healthy technique is to allow them privately to surge fully through one's mind uninterrupted for the short while they last. In the aftermath, one can calmly identify their cause, check if they conform to one's values and principles, and then act with certitude.

Good points.

Denying their existence is deadly.

In a potentially dangerous "situation" that you can see developing, you can begin to start to avoid it.

It's the ones I did not see, or, was to arrogant to admit to that cost the most, learn and live.

A...

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Burying emotions or distancing oneself from them in the name of 'logic', is as much an evasion as evading facts of reality, therefore irrational.

More rubbish. How we "feel" is irrelevant to the business of living, objective science, engineering, medicine, law.

I've had enough emotional experiences in my life to satisfy 100 normal people, as an indie filmmaker, convict, writer, expat consorting with pirates and idiots, married four times and tangled with dozens more beginning at age 14. I've been angry, terrified, humiliated, exalted, humbled, laugh-out-loud amused, steely, embarrassed, cranky, deeply honored, proud, worn out, saucy, guilty, you name it. All of that emotional stuff clouded my judgment repeatedly. It did nothing to advance my rational understanding of the world or my best interests. The only thing I felt about putting up wood for the winter was completing one task among many, and certainly not an important one. Big stuff takes planning, spans years.

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Burying emotions or distancing oneself from them in the name of 'logic', is as much an evasion as evading facts of reality, therefore irrational.

More rubbish. How we "feel" is irrelevant to the business of living, objective science, engineering, medicine, law.

I've had enough emotional experiences in my life to satisfy 100 normal people, as an indie filmmaker, convict, writer, expat consorting with pirates and idiots, married four times and tangled with dozens more beginning at age 14. I've been angry, terrified, humiliated, exalted, humbled, laugh-out-loud amused, steely, embarrassed, cranky, deeply honored, proud, worn out, saucy, guilty, you name it. All of that emotional stuff clouded my judgment repeatedly. It did nothing to advance my rational understanding of the world or my best interests. The only thing I felt about putting up wood for the winter was completing one task among many, and certainly not an important one. Big stuff takes planning, spans years.

When and how did you fix this?

--Brant

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