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Reason and Emotion

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  • Reason and Emotion

    I do have more interesting issues to address, but it appears worthwhile to start a thread for discussion, critique, dismissal etc. of my views on the matter (or your views if you prefer) since the other thread is not quite suitable.

    We can discuss reason and emotion in general, or with regards to everyday living, or their place in dialogue and debate. Other possibilities include exploring the virtue and activity of love vis-à-vis the duo. Or we could use this thread for [sharper] critique of views presented in the other thread.

  • #2
    I can't quite resist:

    Originally posted by mossrose View Post
    Mary and Martha of Bethany are good examples of this. Martha is the practical, "let's get things done, we've got all these people to feed, Lord!" one, and Mary is the more sentimental gentle-hearted one who would rather sit and listen to the Lord than do anything else.
    Martha is the one who is emotional, worried and upset and accusing the Lord of being coldhearted and uncaring; Mary is the rational one who made the better choice (also the feminist one, but let's not digress that far).

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    • #3
      I think a whole person, a healthy person, maintains a balance between emotion and reason. We need both Spock and Kirk to be able to address situations in a fully human way.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
        I think a whole person, a healthy person, maintains a balance between emotion and reason. We need both Spock and Kirk to be able to address situations in a fully human way.
        Agreed in overall terms. But what do you mean by balance?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
          I think a whole person, a healthy person, maintains a balance between emotion and reason. We need both Spock and Kirk to be able to address situations in a fully human way.
          I believe the whole person in reality has a range of degree of emotional and rational behavior, not necessarily a balance. The diversity of this range actually reflects the reality of fully human nature. In Star Trek the extremes of Spock and Captain Kirk are not common, but it is an interesting comparison with the rest of the crew that reflects more degrees of emotion and reason.

          The K/S characters in Star Trek are sometimes equated as if they represent two aspects of one individual instead of the two characters in the movies and TV series.
          Last edited by shunyadragon; 05-24-2015, 09:43 AM.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
            Agreed in overall terms. But what do you mean by balance?
            Good question. I think maybe emotion provides the spur and the impetus to act on the decisions of reason. Also emotions give us access to subconscious observations and reasoning. I remember teaching children child safety courses where we asked to children to trust their feelings of alarm in situations where they had not yet consciously noticed danger.

            I'll try to think of some more examples.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
              I remember teaching children child safety courses where we asked to children to trust their feelings of alarm in situations where they had not yet consciously noticed danger.
              Quite, but that applies for dangerous situations for children who are not yet quite mature.

              Emotion can be manipulated by many many factors, such as sound, rhetoric, colour and peer pressure. One mark of maturity is to not be led by irrational emotion against proper reason, but to master emotion so that in the right situations it will properly spur and provide impetus. In general, one trains oneself in virtue so that all one's instincts may be ordered towards acting virtuously.

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              • #8
                Everyone has emotions. Reason is how we deal with our emotions and with precieved truth. If we let our emotions rule our reason we will be irrational in our decisions and actions. Understand this explanation as given here is very general.
                . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                  Quite, but that applies for dangerous situations for children who are not yet quite mature.

                  Emotion can be manipulated by many many factors, such as sound, rhetoric, colour and peer pressure. One mark of maturity is to not be led by irrational emotion against proper reason, but to master emotion so that in the right situations it will properly spur and provide impetus. In general, one trains oneself in virtue so that all one's instincts may be ordered towards acting virtuously.
                  You talk about mastering emotion and I understand what you mean but do we ever talk about mastering reason? Isn't there some Bible verse about bringing every thought captive? I think both emotion and reason need some form of control, of moderation for the practice of virtue.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
                    You talk about mastering emotion and I understand what you mean but do we ever talk about mastering reason?
                    I did say "proper reason".

                    Isn't there some Bible verse about bringing every thought captive? I think both emotion and reason need some form of control, of moderation for the practice of virtue
                    But of course.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
                      You talk about mastering emotion and I understand what you mean but do we ever talk about mastering reason? Isn't there some Bible verse about bringing every thought captive? I think both emotion and reason need some form of control, of moderation for the practice of virtue.
                      An addendum of sorts: the renewed mind is a very major theme of Paul, and is completely bound with the work of Christ, as well as the indwelling of the Spirit, which is kind of a pity for you non-Christians, but it serves as an incentive too, I'd think.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        An addendum of sorts: the renewed mind is a very major theme of Paul, and is completely bound with the work of Christ, as well as the indwelling of the Spirit, which is kind of a pity for you non-Christians, but it serves as an incentive too, I'd think.
                        Yes, I feel completely short changed in the mind stakes stuck with this T Ford model while Christians have Lamborghinis. I'd feel some incentive if I saw any evidence it actually meant something.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
                          Yes, I feel completely short changed in the mind stakes stuck with this T Ford model while Christians have Lamborghinis.
                          Well, the change is hardly in terms of speed or intelligence.

                          Rather (just to discuss one aspect) one's valuations changes so one should think differently, which is one major theme of Philippians:

                          So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


                          If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.


                          Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.


                          Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.


                          I'd feel some incentive if I saw any evidence it actually meant something.
                          I think some of the best evidence would be the quiet work of many saints doing many small things in love for those around them.

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