Author Topic: A game of logic vs emotion  (Read 558 times)

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Offline Kimberly

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A game of logic vs emotion
« on: July 17, 2012, 09:30:06 PM »
I was thinking about several on going topics here and I wondered... Can anyone here name a situation where using logic to make a decision would be worse than using emotion?

IMO we should use a combination of logic and emotions to come to most decisions. But while debating this with my fiance I couldn't for the life of me think of an example where emotion would trump logic. I in fact even failed to argue how emotion is ever beneficial in the particular subject we were debating! He's the logical one between us and I'm the emotional one. So I'm hoping one of you creative folks can help me out with an example or three.

If not that I expect that I will be forever sadden by my defeat. Not because I can't handle losing, but because sometimes logic just seems too logical.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline HAL

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 09:35:44 PM »
Emotion is by definition illogical, so it cannot be trumped by logic.

So applying logic to an emotional scenario would not apply, right?

Offline kin hell

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 09:37:03 PM »
....it's possible that many of the emotional "parent saves child" moments may not have happened if rational thought had spoken first.

Of course it is also the reason we have multiple (more than one victim) drownings when loved ones also jump in.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 09:53:23 PM »
I can think of many actions based on emotion rather than logic.  Any act of “valor” is emotion based.  Throwing yourself in front of the two year old who just stepped into traffic.  Breaking a first story window of a building on fire and stepping inside because you see someone unconscious. 

Probably going to piss off a lot of people on this forum, but I think that emotions and logic are often intertwined.  Do you take the job that gives you more money or more joy?  If you pick money, are you being logical?  If you pick joy, are you being emotional?   I think it depends on how you are wired.  If greed if your default mode, then perhaps the money is an emotional decision.  If you understand that you didn’t perform your best under stress in your previous job, perhaps the fun job is a logical choice. 

I think so often of the people who make decisions that affect other people’s lives.  The exploitive corporation heads, the lobbyists who understand the dangers of the policies they are promoting, the ancient and modern day slave traffickers.  They somehow managed to make a set of decisions, devoid of empathy.  Their moves are calculated, using a process much more related to a chess game than a human encounter.

It is late, and I am half asleep, but I am very interested in this topic.  Look forward to hearing all of the logical voices that disagree with my assessment. 

Offline Kimberly

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 10:03:26 PM »
You all bring up very good points. So generally speaking emotion trumps in life and death situations and parental roles (sometimes!). I would like to move forward in a direction that Quesi started... her job scenario is a good example. Can we go one step further and argue for a time when politics, laws, or human rights could benefit from an emotional decision instead of logical? I know this starts to cross in to subjectivity but I'm curious if it could be possible that the most logical decisions would be based off of emotional reasoning.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 10:07:29 PM »
Logically speaking I should have married my first fiance. She was a good person. She was career driven and goal oriented. Most of her immediate family were financially successful but not obscenely wealthy. And they were all good people.

Our children would have been raised in a good, stable, comfortable environment and potentially enjoyed a much better life than I had, at least as far as opportunities go.

The only problem I had was that I was not "in love" with her. The logical choice would have been to marry her but the romantic in me would have none of that cold calculating bullshit.

I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 10:12:02 PM »
As a Homecare Nurse I often have to watch my patients and their families struggle with end-of life decisions.  That is an area where logic and emotion seriously collide.  Is it logical to continue life support or aggressive treatment when there is no hope cure or for quality of life.  But it is an emotional decision to discontiue treatment...
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 08:30:03 AM »
So when discussing the quality of life is it also safe to assume that an emotional argument would then be valid in a non life and death situation?
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 10:28:44 AM »
One situation they used to give us in school (which I believe was based on a philosophical argument):

There is a burning building containing your father and a doctor with the cure for cancer and you only have time to save one, which one would you save?

The initial emotional response would likely be: save your father.

But what is the logical response? Straight up I might save, "saving the doctor", but I don't think the answer is that simple.

What makes saving other people's lives logical? What exactly is your morality based on and why is it based on that? I'd argue the desire to save other lives is based on empathy and empathy is an emotion (you couldn't objectively argue that savings lives is 'right'), so arguably you could just be torn between 2 emotions: love and empathy. You might use logic to make your choice, but the chances are, given the situation you'll make the emotional choice with little thought (you haven't got time to have a dilemma), meaning one emotion would have to suppress the other. Given the intensity of the situation it could go either way and you may regret what you choose. Would you feel better sacrificing your father to save lives or sacrifice the chance of saving more lives to save your father? It's difficult to say.

I think all morality comes down to emotions at some level. Even the absolutism of literalist Christianity. "Thou shalt not kill" is believed to be a command from God, so where's the emotion? Why does a person obey God? Is it their love for this God? Or is it the fear of what should happen if they disobeyed? A mix of both? Objective morality simply does not exist, which it makes it difficult for there to be a fight between logic and emotion because logic is just a means of processing information and given the subjectivity of morality that information is based on emotion anyway. It's a question of choosing which emotion to follow.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 11:42:56 AM »
I've been of the opinion emotion is what sets your destination, and logic is how to acheive it.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline stuffin

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 11:46:24 AM »
I agree with Quesi, Emotion and Logic are intertwined.

For example, a soldier throws himself on a live hand grenade which a terrorist tossed in the middle of group of people.

Is this logic or emotion?

Logically, he is giving up his own life to save several lives, but does not logic also dictate he should run/duck (get flat to the ground)  and save himself?

Emotionally, his adrenaline has kicked in and put him in hero mode, or if he chooses to run/duck and save himself, that is done out of fear (of death) which is emotion.

I wouldn't know where to draw the line, so there must be some overlapping of emotion and logic when we make these decisions.
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Offline albeto

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 11:56:27 AM »
Emotions are really complex reactions to events.  The way I understand it, very simply, the brain perceives an event and then assigns it a positive or negative rating, filters it away into a memory bank, and draws on that memory as needed.  Most of our memories are but a few seconds long.  For example, our brains don't need to maintain the memory of walking down the hall.  More important events, like who spoke to us in the hallway and what the conversation was, is stored in more long-term memory and emotions are assigned according to all kinds of past experiences.  That explains why we think of Grandma fondly but feel apprehension when thinking about the dentist. 

It is my understanding that we react to an event, feel an emotion, and rationalize our feelings and reaction in the split second it takes for us to process this combination of perceptions (thus the concept of "free will").  So when we say we're acting logically rather than emotionally, it simply means we can justify our response logically.  But then, I think that when we react illogically, that too can be explained logically because the brain makes these choices based on a logical process.  Jumping in front of a car to save a toddler is logical because the brain registers the possible negative effect of doing nothing and watching a child die against the positive effect of knowing a child will be safe.  This reaction is biological, which isn't logical or illogical but well, biological, but we can explain it logically because of that.  This wouldn't work for people with mental health challenges, of course. 

One of the problems superstitions have is they seek to explain logical reasoning through illogical means.  Being trained to accept and protect superstitious thinking would mess this up, and I think explain people like Fred Phelps or Michelle Bachmann. 

Online Graybeard

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 12:38:06 PM »
I was thinking about several on going topics here and I wondered... Can anyone here name a situation where using logic to make a decision would be worse than using emotion?
If you use emotion in a situation, then the use of emotion can be a logical approach.

The child who slowly starts to sob gets its way
The picture of attractive women to draw your attention to a product
The use of fear in a Ghost-Train ride.
The film of awfulness to get you to donate to charity

Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 01:09:42 PM »
But what is the logical response? Straight up I might save, "saving the doctor", but I don't think the answer is that simple.

To me the most logical choice would be whichever one of the two you are phyically capable of saving... able to carry, not stuck under a beam, etc
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 01:23:07 PM »
So when discussing the quality of life is it also safe to assume that an emotional argument would then be valid in a non life and death situation?
The emotional arguments of the loved ones of my patients are always valid to me.  It isn't my job to judge them or affect their decisions.  My job is to help present their options in terminology they can understand and then help them through the consequences of whatever decesion they have made whether I personnally agree or not.  Sometimes I have had to deliver some Oscar-worthy performances.  But my priority is the comfort of those I am charged to take care of.  But what the patient has expressed they want comes first and sometimes the families forget that.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2012, 02:23:50 PM »
But what is the logical response? Straight up I might save, "saving the doctor", but I don't think the answer is that simple.

To me the most logical choice would be whichever one of the two you are phyically capable of saving... able to carry, not stuck under a beam, etc

Interesting. A variable I hadn't considered. The emotion still exists in that you're choosing to save somebody - somebody who has no empathy and doesn't care if either die would take no choice to save anybody, but you've taken the practical option in deciding out of the two who would be your best choice. Still, some situations may occur when you don't know who's the most likely to live and you've not got the time to sit and assess the most practical way of doing it. I think the hypothetical situation is meant to suggest the chances (or as the chance is perceived) are equal. But still, it's a factor you might consider in a real world situation.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 02:26:17 PM by Seppuku »
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2012, 09:11:29 PM »
So can I use an emotional reason to debate on the forum with out being called an idiot[1]? Would any of you accept emotional reasoning as an answer to many of the topics we discuss here? If I can adequately show how I come to my conclusion based on an emotional response will I be making a valid, logical argument? Or is everyone just going to ignore it because it's not factual, loaded with data, statistics, or the like?

I seriously wonder how many of us would actually accept an argument heavily loaded with emotional reasoning. IDK maybe I missed the memo or something. I wasn't aware so many of you viewed emotions and logic this way. Our debates don't reflect this at all. Perhaps I'm missing another piece of the puzzle?

To be clear, I fully intended to make an emotional argument soon on a topic here. I just have not attempted this in so long I'm not sure how well it will be accepted, even by myself.
 1. Or even a friendlier variation.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2012, 10:22:12 PM »
So can I use an emotional reason to debate on the forum with out being called an idiot[1]? Would any of you accept emotional reasoning as an answer to many of the topics we discuss here? If I can adequately show how I come to my conclusion based on an emotional response will I be making a valid, logical argument? Or is everyone just going to ignore it because it's not factual, loaded with data, statistics, or the like?
 1. Or even a friendlier variation.

I think I can say with a fair degree of certainty that while logic and emotion ARE intimately intertwined, you can't use emotions to determine fact from fiction.  In that respect, it is much more of a hindrance than a benefit.  Most often, emotions cloud the truth; they don't expose it.  In the same respect, you can't use logic to determine who you will fall in love with during your lifetime.  I think emotions and logic serve different purposes sometimes. 

I seriously wonder how many of us would actually accept an argument heavily loaded with emotional reasoning. 

Off-hand, I can't think of a purely emotional argument that I would accept, but that doesn't mean one doesn't exist.  I could think of LOTS of arguments I could accept if they were loaded with emotional reasoning, as long as there was logical reasoning backing it up as well. 

To be clear, I fully intended to make an emotional argument soon on a topic here. I just have not attempted this in so long I'm not sure how well it will be accepted, even by myself.

Fully emotional?  Or mostly?  Big difference. 
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2012, 10:31:41 PM »
Quote
So can I use an emotional reason to debate on the forum with out being called an idiot[1]? Would any of you accept emotional reasoning as an answer to many of the topics we discuss here?

I would say it depends. If your reasons are able to hold your argument, then of course. I think it's a case of how much weight they hold. For example, looking at the thread about where Gnu is asking Joe about adoption. A person's 'feelings' about pedophiles is irrelevant, but the child's safety is. Okay, my argument is more on the empathy for the adopted child and adopter. If you had the heebee-jeebies about Joe adopting, it'd be irrelevent because the argument is about the child and the adoptive parents. But if you did have a world view where the world revolves around you and how you feel, then there would be no way of us arguing with your reason as it is down to emotion. Your arguments might not hold weight with us and may not work and we may even criticise for be so self centred (and prejudice) with that hypothetical argument. On the other hand, if we both agreed that the child's safety is important and that discrimination towards the adoptive parent is bad, then your heebie-jeebies would be irrelevent to the argument(not saying you have them, but just making up an example).


It's pretty late here, so I hope I made my points clear. :)
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2012, 10:36:40 PM »
I've been of the opinion emotion is what sets your destination, and logic is how to acheive it.

Precisely this.  Emotions generate the motivations upon which logic must act.
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2012, 07:45:04 AM »
^ That makes sense, which is typically my method IRL. So I will use the emotions to motivate me to research a logical response. TY all.
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Offline Backspace

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2012, 09:21:14 PM »
Eating.  Logically I know many of the things I consume aren't particularly good for my health, but they oft make me feel good emotionally when I consume them.
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2012, 10:45:21 PM »
^ Good point. I wish they made junk food healthier... or healthy fun yummier. I'm game for whatever, so either will do.
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Offline kindred

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2012, 04:44:18 AM »
I'd probably go with logic on this one.

Ethics trump morality. The morality of any given action changes depending on who views it, it is the epitome of subjective BUT if you create arbitrary axioms then you can at the very least be consistent and therefore always stay true to your principles.

You can never control whether your actions are truly evil or not. You can never be truly sure that you are a good person but you can always have integrity. You could save a man from a  burning building and then find out that it was he who started the fire and is a serial arsonist. You then, by extension, have contributed an evil act.

Always stick to your principles. You may nevertheless be deemed evil but one thing people can never say about you is that you were a hypocrite.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2012, 07:34:16 AM »
Your preference of principles depends just as much on personal emotion as your morality does.  Ethics are just systems of morality.  When did you pick yours?
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Online Graybeard

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2012, 10:42:45 AM »
So can I use an emotional reason to debate on the forum with out being called an idiot or even a friendlier variation?
It depends
Quote
Would any of you accept emotional reasoning as an answer to many of the topics we discuss here?
It is unlikely, unless the question were about emotions, and even then there would have to be a reason for the emotion - the reason for the emotion is often logical.
Quote
If I can adequately show how I come to my conclusion based on an emotional response will I be making a valid, logical argument?
Yes
Quote
Or is everyone just going to ignore it because it's not factual, loaded with data, statistics, or the like?
It will be a fact for you, i.e. subjectively - it may not be a fact to others:

Graybeard Fact: tomatoes taste vile - Objective fact: Graybeard thinks tomatoes are vile - Supported objective fact - Graybeard thinks tomatoes are vile as the smell of them, unaccountably, makes him nauseous - it may be a genetic thing.

Quote
I seriously wonder how many of us would actually accept an argument heavily loaded with emotional reasoning.
If Pythagoras's theory were stated amdist sobs and yells, it would still be valid. 

Quote
To be clear, I fully intended to make an emotional argument soon on a topic here. I just have not attempted this in so long I'm not sure how well it will be accepted, even by myself.
Link?
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Offline Kimberly

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Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Online Graybeard

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Re: A game of logic vs emotion
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2012, 08:49:24 PM »
Quote
I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around how this conversation has become logical for an admitted pedophile to "adopt" young girls.
No more can I.

I assume that the State or County of some authority is in charge of adoptions. The State has a duty of care to all citizens and the young and vulnerable in particular. To the latter a higher degree of care is required.

Those who support the proposition seem to think that as there is no evidence of a future crime then, in this case, the rights of the would be adopter parent should overrule the rights of the child. I'm not sure that anyone has a right to adopt a child.

Imagine what happens if the child is assaulted. What is the State's defence against negligent child-endangerment? "We thought it was a good idea at the time."? And someone goes to jail and a few people lose their jobs.

Those who support the idea are akin to those who would say, "It's perfectly safe to go into the Tiger enclosure at the zoo as the number of deaths by tiger is extremely low in this country. You may, perhaps walk out unharmed. Let us not judge."

As far as child porn is concerned, like snuff-movies, it should be banned and heavy penalties imposed. It is happening to someone somewhere whose life will be ruined and you are paying to see it.

I dare say that many of those supporting the adoption and the porn would be shocked at being offered a snow leopard skin or rhino horn but the future of a child is, to them, a theoretical study in liberal social behaviour and to be supported. She/They may, perhaps walk out unharmed.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”