Kim Jones wrote: > Admittedly a bit off-topic but hey - there are some great minds on this > list and it could give birth to something relevant. There! ;-D > > > > Why do we have emotions? Aren't simple, value-conferring feelings good > enough or something? Emotions cause a host of extraordinary, beautiful > and wondrous things to happen in life as well as all sorts of > nonsensical and disastrous issues in the world. > > We should definitely study this a bit more carefully n'est-ce pas? > > A worm probably doesn't have emotions but we might just allow that it > has feelings. There is much evidence to support this, apparently.
I'm not sure what distinction you're making. As far as I'm concerned feelings=emotions. > > Do we have emotions because we are noble, sensitive, artistic, > expressive, complex, huge-brained, warm-blooded etc. highly-evolved > creatures (intrinsic feature) > > > > or > > > because having emotions has Darwinian survival value? (extrinsic feature) "Emotions are nature's way of making you do what is necessary to reproduce." --- Robert Wright, "Man, the Moral Animal" Brent Meeker > > > > I favour the second view (whilst acknowledging that the first has many > elements of truth to it as well) > > > THE EVIDENCE > > > Emotions change the appearance of an organism in the sight of another > organism and are therefore slightly unusual to witness > > Do I need to illustrate that? No, great- so we'll skip to the next part > then. > > No - just one clean one: > > Maybe think of the way you or I may view the face of Sarah Palin with > mild feelings of amusement at her stereotypical look. Now imagine the > violently emotional, brain-boiling, artery-bursting hatred and rage she > inspires in most feminists > > > > THE CON > > > A person having an emotion even at the periphery of your field of view > is virtually impossible not to look at directly if only for an instant > to verify > > This can can be exploited to advantage > > As Edward de Bono points out near the start of his recent book "Six > Information Frames", the mind is instantly drawn to the unusual > > This is not a strength of the mind but a weakness of the mind. This is > because the person having the emotion could quite easily be faking it to > manipulate us > > "You were really moaning away there darling, I'm glad I excite you. Do > any of the others?" > > "No. Only you do that to me, honey. See you this time next week?" > > > sort of thing > > > So here is the Darwinian survival value part...the human mind - knowing > intuitively it's own Achilles Heel - has conspired to manipulate itself > to it's own mutual advantage > > As a schizophrenic might say "I'm never lonely. I've always got each other" > > This is kind of how everybody - as Woody Allen puts it - "sells everyone > to everyone else." > > Emotions are therefore a signalling device to a 3rd party - we say we > 'have' emotions; in fact we 'give' emotions > > If we forget for a moment the wonderful and vast internal experience of > emotions, that vast symphonic chorus of chemicals zapping about in our > brains when we are well above the baseline mood-wise and for whatever > reason - could even be drugs... > > > > like > > > Tchaikowsky's 6th Symphony 1st movement where he claimed to want the > audience to feel graphically through his music, the sheer unutterable > anxiety and guilt and shame and despair and agony of his existence > (trying to be vaguely gay as a public figure in Tsarist Russia....Oh boy > I can hear that music right now in my head - it's like a freakin drug. > If you want to experience true black dog depression for a good twenty > minutes or so, have a listen. It's a virtual reality experience of what > it is like to have bipolar disorder.) > > > So > > > Let's forget momentarily that so well-known aspect of emotions (Aspect One) > > > > Let's hold in our minds the notion that emotions did not arise in this > way. The Pleasure and Pain qualia are merely a bonus. Simple feelings > are good enough to supply the mind with the information it needs to sort > out values and predict futures and survive its collision with reality > > We only ever needed emotions in the past to avoid being eaten by a > Sabre-toothed cat like in some freakin silly Roland Emmerich movie > > This is Aspect Two of emotions > > Emotions are there to cause ACTION at critical moments. All the right > chemicals start whizzing about in microseconds and we survive the attack > by acting in a survival mode > > Like > > > Woody Allen again - "I was like, I was like so scared to death, the, the > adrenalin was, was like, squirting outta my EARS!" (Love and Death - > still his best flick) > > > But that is not enough - humans don't just want to 'break even' - humans > want to 'do better than average' > > Don't they? If not - what's a brain for? (Here's the 'relevant' bit, then) > > That is the undeniable goal of the human race. To become better than > what it is somehow. It's a stage-act we have been rehearsing sinse > Adam's Balls Dropped. (Era ABD) > > Emotions in this sense are just like everything else about us - we only > have them because some accidental miscopying of DNA resulted in a useful > adaptation > > The survival value lies precisely in that emotions are a speechless > organism's only way of getting another speechless organism to help it > survive somehow > > like Bonobos flashing there bums at each other to get a sex coupling > going as a reward for something altruistic done by another (could even > be a gay coupling with Bonobos, apparently. They don't care. Sex is > usually a REWARD for something done on one's behalf. Makes sense to > Bonobos, why not Catholics? > > like > > scatch my back and I'll...yeah > > > So, > > > There's no point in ever being swayed by the emotional impact of > anything because it's a kind of a con. Wagner was the master of that. > Emotions inflate the importance of everything, often to a fictional > extent. Think of the music Wagner wrote for Wotan's Farewell (to his > daughter Brunnhilde) in The Ring. It's music that makes your heart soar > to the ceiling and then explode like a shower of crimson fireworks > > But it's only this old twit of a god performing an honour "virtual > killing" of his own favourite offspring because of some ridiculous case > of family honour besmirched > > YET > > > Wagner makes us feel like some COSMIC TRAGEDY is unfolding under our > very noses and here is the moment when his love LET HER GO - crescendo, > crescendo and then the adrenalin starts squirting from our ears > > This is of course a bit simplistic but I'm trying to make the necessary > point about emotions that, like anything else, there should be no > special pleading for them; "Because you happen to have this overwhelming > feeling of self-righteous urgency and dire necessity in connection with > something right now does not of itself necessarily implicate me in your > issue" (Office wall sign) > > > Life of course would be dull without emotions because they communicate > value to us - well understood point. Things with high value will provoke > strong emotions > > > Like Wagner's and Stravinsky's music > > > Perhaps the greatest value emotions have for us lies in our being able > to continuing playing this archaic game of > exploitation-by-emotional-blackmail-of-ourselves for a living > > > As Dawkins points out, we should probably strive to escape from > Darwinian evolution because, like our thinking system, it's a kluge > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kludge > > > > > Kim Jones > > > > Nørretranders' Law of Symmetrical Relief > > If you find that most other people, upon closer inspection, seem to be > somewhat comical or ludicrous, it is highly probable that most other > people find that you are in fact comical or ludicrous as well. So you > don't have to hide it, they already know. > > > > --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. 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