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Feelings are old reasons

  1. Oct 13, 2003 #1
    All feelings can be traced back to old reasons, feelings are the main way and fast way of thinking, deliberate questioning and rationalizing or whatever will be tommorro's feelings. Feelings are also triggered by emotional ques that related to the reasoning and so help engrain the feelings and that if stimulus fire similiar emotions it can lead to triggering the similiar old reasonings but would be percieved as feelings. If emotions seek to stimulate themselves like an addiction then they would not give up any feeling readily that gives great stimulation and so should be questioned with reason in order to be strengthened or dismissed or modified for more accuracy if wanted. Reasoning can be skewed by emotions and be superficial in conclusions, or draw inferences and deductions based on what is best for oneself(without consideration for the whole) or what leads to more emotional stimulation or what feels best based on other less accurate reasoning that grew into feelings, etc...
    So my claim is that all feelings are reasons that have grown to be subconscious or reflexive and basically like outputs to the deliberate or conscious awareness to tell it how to respond to a stimulus and is a natural way for the brain to work faster with less effort and that most thinking is done in this way, maybe 99%. Of course if I didn't think much about logic I probably wouldn't feel this way and so who knows.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2003 #2
    Should one refuse to accept the attribution of responses based on feelings as being just 'irrational' responses?
  4. Oct 13, 2003 #3
    feelings can be rational or irrational just as logic and reason can be sound or flawed.

    I don't think I understand what you mean by attribution of responses, do you mean anything one might associate with a response from a stimulus or feelings that go with stimulus or something else?
  5. Oct 13, 2003 #4
    Thoughts and feelings can be differentiated on the axes of time and intensity; thoughts generally process biochemistry faster (smaller scale) with less secretion (e. g., neurotransmitters across the synapse) as opposed to feelings processing slower (larger scale) with more secretion (e. g., hormones transported by the bloodstream).

    The ability to spill excitatory chemicals from within a cell predates any semblance of nerve specialization, although the former may well have evolved into the latter.
  6. Oct 13, 2003 #5


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    thoughts + emotions = feelings
  7. Oct 13, 2003 #6
    Would you say that feelings are sound-or-flawed, rather than rational-or-irrational (since your text identifies feelings with reasons of some kind)? Or, would you rather say that some feelings are just feelings only and have no basis in reason at all?

    In my prior text I meant "attribution of irrationality to responses based on feelings rather than ideas". Yes, that is better. If feelings are old reasons, then responses based on them are responses based on reasons of a sort. So they might not be irrational, but they might still be flawed.

    These "responses" are possible reactions to situations.
  8. Oct 13, 2003 #7
    It gets more and more complicated and I don't mean to say I read some new study somewhere, what I first typed is pretty much all I have supposed and seems to serve as a good reminder in that it doesn't mean feelings are wrong, it means if you want to make better decisions or what not that you'll have to set feelings aside and think it through deliberately with reasons, and if you want feelings to be more unbiased of emotions then thinking things through more deliberately with reason while focusing on setting emotions aside should lead to new feelings that are less emotionally biased.The other stuff I hadn't considered that emotions affect feelings and then some feelings are almost all chemical like sleep, and it's hard to say when they affect decisions and to what extent but we all know that when angry we are not very rational. As far as feelings being entirely unfounded and these things I don't know, I wouldn't say that emotions are wrong or sexually motivated behavior is wrong becuase if they were entirely wrong then we wouldn't have them and so that is obvious, but I do know that as we get to be adults most people stop questioning things as much and more and more seem to go by feelings and if feelings are old reasons then why not question them with reason to make new and more accurate feelings? Anyway I really doubt the statement sometimes made that feelings are illogical because if they were then why do we have them? I mean they must serve some useful purpose although they likely come in so many variations and sources from chemical to emotional to reasonable and so on it's hard to communicate what is a feeling to anyone other than some basic definition we have that a feeling is like something telling us this thing and we don't know why it's just there and it's too subjective and vague to say.
  9. Oct 17, 2003 #8
    However, emotions make up a valid part of being. If you have taken logic you are aware that an appeal to emotion causes a basic flaw in ones arguement. Emotions are just as important as logic, a logically sound arguement might call for harm to a few for the benefit of many, but this is morally wrong. Emotions are sometimes valid when desicions are made, but one must realize that they are making a desicion based on emotions
  10. Oct 17, 2003 #9
    I agree about the importance of emotions and getting enough emotional stimulation, without emotions life would be very different, and it would not be logical to make decisions that leave out emotional stimulation as if it were of no consequence, maybe not even possible, but I disagree that logic and emotions are of equal importance because if I use more logic it improves my life whereas if I attempt to solve all my problems with more emotion than it seems to cause more problems than it solves, if I get angry enough then I can stop an argument by physical means, but if I get angry enough I can use that drive to find a logical solution as well. I think that it's a false assumption that if someone were so logical to be like a Vulcan or Kant then they would be unable to feel and express emotions, I think they would be more reserved in emotions but probably capable of just as much emotion as anyone else, perhaps even more so who can really know what a Vulcan feels without being a Vulcan.
    If a logical solution called for an immoral act as the better but morally wrong solution I would say either the logical argument of it is flawed or lacking or the moral principle is questionable or one ought to find a better solution, after all morals are usually someone else's principle of conduct they found using logic and reason and may not hold true under all circumstances but be more like the best guidelines that we should aspire to follow, that is if one can find a solution that does not involve killing then it is the most logical solution and should be the one we strive to find, also there is always another way and so although we may find that going to war is a logical solution although it goes against a sound moral principle, it is not the only solution, it is only one incomplete solution drawn up by people and people are fallible not logic, this is only as far as their logic could see or was designed to see by the nature of how a governing society functions, although my feeling is that the limitations of logically sound national decisions are mostly in design limitations and not in the judgement and logic of the individuals within a governing body.
  11. Oct 18, 2003 #10
    I have always taken "emotions" and "feelings" to be synonymous words. The word "feelings" is used, as far as I can judge, to refer to emotions that are more mixed, less specific.

    In what way do you see "emotions" and "feelings" to be different?
  12. Oct 18, 2003 #11
    There is a therapy that's been around for about twenty years now called "Cognitive Therapy" which
    is based on the premise that all feelings we have are triggered by the thought that just went through our head.

    By this reasoning, if a persons feelings keep repeating it is because their thoughts keep running along the same lines.

    This therapy does not concern itself with going back over the past to find the origin of these thought patterns. It simply teaches ways to recognise them here and now and correct the thinking when it is distorted or erroneous.

    Distorted thinking is the primary cause of depression, according to Cognitive Therapy, because exaggerating the negative aspects of a situation in a person's mind is bound to trigger bad emotions. Thoughts trigger emotions. People get depressed when they get into the habit of entertaining a way of thinking about things that triggers alot of bad emotions.
  13. Oct 18, 2003 #12


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    emotion is considered the source of power that drives us toward our desires and goals within our life...

    thought is the guidance that directs our emotions...

    feelings are the union of the two...
  14. Oct 18, 2003 #13
    Is considered by who? This sounds like a viewpoint specific to some school of philosophy or thinking.
    Ths gives me the impression you are using the word "feelings" in the way I might use the word "attitude" or "perspective". I.e.:

    "My feelings on that subject are..."

    Would be about the same as saying:

    "My attitude toward that subject is..."
    "My perspective on that subject is..."

    Is this an accurate characterization of how you use the word?
  15. Oct 18, 2003 #14


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    would the source of my definiton matter more then being open to considering this definition true?

    think about it...when you feel an emotion, typically you are defining that emotion...thus:

    emotion + thought = feeling...

    that's my logic :wink:
  16. Oct 18, 2003 #15


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    Re: Re: Feelings are old reasons

    It's not so simple to just say that thoughts precede emotion, or vice versa. For instance, if a person has a diet deficient in some nutrient essential for the production of serotonin, then this person will inevitably feel 'depression' to some degree due to the lack of a sufficient supply of serotonin in the brain, no matter how cheery his or her thoughts tend to be. In fact, post mortem studies of the brains of chronically depressed people have shown that at least some of these brains showed strong and widespread evidence of deficient supplies of serotonin. The negative thoughts of these depressed people must have experienced surely only worsened their condition, but would all the cognitive therapy in the world have been enough to jumpstart their brains into making enough serotonin?

    I don't mean to contradict what you've said, since it is certainly true that patterns of negative thought can lead to a depressive chemistry in the brain. I just want to emphasize that it's a two-way street; thoughts influence emotions, and emotions influence thoughts. One is not any more true than the other. If anything, it would seem that they form a mutually reinforcing cycle; negative thoughts lead to negative emotions which lead to more negative thoughts, etc., or positive thoughts lead to positive emotions which lead to more positive thoughts. But in either cycle, the sudden introduction of a certain thought or a certain emotion can reverse things dramatically; it doesn't matter which step (thought, or emotion) the cycle begins with.

    As for logic and emotion, I don't think the two can be separated as readily as is usually thought. For instance, it has been shown that effective learning depends on emotional involvement in the learning task. Likewise, I would argue that effective reasoning depends on a certain emotional disposition, rather than depending on the absence of emotion altogether. This may be more a matter of semantics though; I consider a detached state of mind a kind of emotion, rather than a lack of emotion. I don't think it's truly possible for a human to lack any kind of emotion-- some are just much more subtle than others.
  17. Oct 18, 2003 #16

    The very brief, nutshell explanation I gave of cognitive therapy was simply meant as a counter idea to the notion that feeling are generated by "old reasons". To the extent that someone were suffering from a condition whereby they they were physically incapable of producing the right neurotransmitters of course it wouldn't work. It is important to know, however, that it has worked for people who were unresponsive to all known anti-depressants. The point being that chronic distorted thinking can overcome good physical health even when bolstered by pharmaceuticals.

    Cognitive Therapy addresses the cyclical nature of thought-emotion-thought-emotion. The primary difference between it and other therapies is that it breaks the cycle by teaching people how to change distorted thoughts to realistic thoughts, rather than by focusing on and exploring the emotions. It concentrates on what is happening in a person's mind here, in the present, as opposed to delving into the past.

    I'm not sure if you were addressing me with your remarks about logic and emotion, since I didn't touch on that subject, but I am pretty much in agreement with all the points you made. Emotion never disappears, as far as I can tell, it just becomes subtler and subtler.

  18. Oct 19, 2003 #17
    Fascinating therapy, very straight forward. I think we may mean two different things by feeling.
  19. Oct 19, 2003 #18
    Which begs the question.
  20. Oct 19, 2003 #19
    What is the question, I'm not a mind reader.
  21. Oct 19, 2003 #20
    It begs the question "What do you(jammieg) mean, when you use the word feelings?"
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