Sunday, March 28, 2010

I found this interesting...

Emotions Are Not Entirely Illogical


Many people talk about emotion and logic in a manner that suggests the two don’t match up, as if they are always distinct and separate. They assert that emotion has no basis in logic, and logic has no basis in emotion. While one could make the argument that the latter is true (does physics have a foundation of emotion?), I propose that the former is never true. No, I do not believe that ideas of pure logic match up with ideas that incorporate emotion, but the reasons behind the emotion are always logical.

I recently came across a Datingish post entitled “Are You Overthinking on Love?” (you can read ithere). The author of this post claims that “Ones who have been in love know that love defies all logic. We see an imperfect person oh so perfectly. We fall head over heels for someone who may not even have the slightest interest. We can’t seem to find the reason we’re in love with him/her…” This raises a valid point: One doesn’t always know why they’re in love. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a logical reason behind it, it simply means that that logic is hidden in the subconscious. People can ‘fall in love’ for a plethora of reasons, ranging from positive traits that person has, the way that person makes us feel, or even that we long for what we can’t have, among others. Perhaps the person he or she is ‘in love with’ does cause him or her emotional harm, but there’s something about them specifically that attracts the other person specifically. That comes down to personalities, and personalities are largely emotion-driven.

Furthermore, just because one knows why the way they feel is ‘wrong,’ the reasoning behind their feeling is still potentially logical. For instance, in a couple where one person is much more sexually experienced than the other, the less experienced person may not be entirely at ease with the imbalance. He or she may feel that, because the other person has had the same relations with many other people, it devalues the relations they are having together; on the other hand, because the less experienced person has had no people prior to their current SO, he or she may feel he or she places more importance on the sexual interactions. Is this entirely illogical? No. Because it makes perfect sense that when something happens less often, the times when it does happen seem more substantial. When applied to the scenario, this perceived difference in importance can stretch to feelings on the entirety of the relationship, and it can then manifest as jealousy. The reason that this is not a purely “logical” thought process is because it may ignore key things, such as the fact that the past acts were the results of relationships that are not entirely comparable, and relationships that, even if emotion did factor into them, don’t directly apply to the current state. Even so, the emotions are driven by logical thought processes, despite the fact that the logic may be contained to the individual’s understanding of the situation.

Don’t get me wrong: Logic and emotion are distinct in several key ways. Logic on its own isn’t necessarily going to alter emotional perceptions, and emotion doesn’t stand a chance of making something that was once entirely logical invalid unless one is making the point to involve emotional concerns in the logic. The fact of the matter is that human beings are not strictly emotional, nor are they strictly logical. Because our brains control the entirety of our body, everything is interconnected. We cannot think entirely logically, objectively, because every single one of us is in some way biased. The only thing we can do to undermine this bias is consider as many aspects as possible… but the bias still exists in nearly everything, and definitely in psychological questions. In short, anything that involves emotion cannot be looked at from a purely logical perspective (because to ignore emotions when they are a major factor is illogical), and emotions are founded on thought processes that make some logical sense, even if it’s hidden in the subconscious.

The practical difference, I think, in logic and emotions is how the thought process affects the chemicals in the brain. Emotions, after all, are merely the release of chemicals in the brain that make us feel happy or sad, raise heart rate, dilate our eyes, make us sweat, and make us shiver, among other things. Emotions may be thought to be the reactions to certain thoughts that wouldn’t necessarily happen if the thoughts were not as relevant to their interests.

If one acts on 'emotion' over 'logic', that means that person is going after what he or she wants over what he or she knows would be the 'best' in terms of avoiding pain or gaining pleasure for him/her or other people, but the reason the person wants it makes logical sense to begin with.

What are your thoughts on this blog? I found it on Datingish. If you really want to get your mind blown by this, check out the comments on the original post. =]

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