Sunday, January 12, 2014

Emotions do not make us "human"

Emotions are instincts, instincts are quite literally, connections between neurons that were either fabricated in the womb, during infancy, or would develop during childhood, not based off environment, but instead, genetics. 

Contrary to popular thought, emotions, or rather, instincts, are not "human". 
The other organisms of this world that we call "animal" do in fact have emotions. 

Hence the bunny feels fear when the fox chases it. 

 Another thing, emotions are irrational, for instance, when you feel fear. Adrenaline is released, your heart rate increases, and you are more prone to making less thought out decisions. At no point during that process, did you have any control. 

You did not tell your body, "hey! Release X amount of adrenaline right now!".

Now, irrationality does not = bad. If you really want to get philosophical, there is no such thing as good, or bad.

For instance, the bunny when in the presence of a hungry fox. does not have the mental capacity, nor the time. To think out what a fox is? why is it chasing it? Or even attempt to comprehend the concept of hunger.

In this situation, irrationality, is quite useful, evolution does all the work, and fabricates the needed neural networks for you, and also sets the stimuli that will activate these instincts. 

The problem is, instincts were made to deal with, for the most part, static environments, environments that would not change for hundreds of thousands of years. 

Humans on the other hand, change the environment constantly, from an evolutionary perspective, very rapidly. Far faster than any species can genetically evolve to keep up with. Hence the reason why most are going extinct when in the presence of humans.

From this perspective, we can start to see how our irrational emotions, would not work well in our human made environments. 
Especially seeing how we have no natural predators, and that how most problems we come across, require intense thought/mental processing. You can start to see how our once vital irrational instincts, have now become detrimental. Which means the rational thing to do, would be to get rid of our emotions, or at least replace them with new ones, that would work better with our environment. 

Emotions such as fear, jealousy, and anger, are no longer needed, and are some of the emotions we would benefit from the most when removed. 

Though some would argue, that emotions make us "human", we'll as I stated before, we are not the only species with emotions.  
Also, if there was anything that would be an indicator of us being "human". It would be our rationality, it would be the fact that unlike any other species on this planet. Humans are the only ones that make cities, technological advancements, and wonder about our existence/place in the universe.

                        Recently found a video that provides further information to back up my argument.


  1. too many presuppositions of emotion's nature and its inherent qualities. You must be able to critically reassess your own work to show uncertainty, always understand when talking out of abstraction, your reasoning must be sound. It seems as though your regurgitating kana's view of humans versus animals and aristotle's rationality

  2. the content does little to prove what your arguing for. you don't go into depth on to how you define your terms, illustrating your argument, or analyzing possible counter arguments.

    you go off in a apologetic fashion when you make the claim that emotion is irrational, this is unnecessary.

    and the attempts you make to distinguish reason and emotion are irrelevant. your goal should be to prove that emotion isn't the defining characteristic for humanity.

  3. Emotions are part of us, hence human. We have two legs, two eyes, can make sounds using vocal chords, etc. Things we share with other animals, but are also part of was makes us us. If we couldn't see we wouldn't have made paintings. If we couldn't walk we wouldn't have invented shoes or sidewalks. If we would not have emotions we wouldn't have bothered with music, visual art, games, movies, etc at all. These things only exist because the artist had emotions that allowed him to produce these things, and because other people exist to enjoy these things.

    You probably mean to say that emotions are not unique to humans. I think this is true, to some extent. Of course, emotions cannot be truly separated from the rest of our minds. I do think that our emotions are 'deeper' than those of other animals, just because we have higher ability to reason and to imagine.

  4. I would argue that the something that makes something, something, is the very thing that differentiates it from others if not everything.

    Emotions do not differentiate us from animals, infact it's the very thing that makes us resemble such.

  5. I agree that reasoning should almost always trump decisions based on emotions, but saying that emotions aren't needed goes too far to me. I would say they may actually be necessary in the growth of the ability to reason.

    1. It is possible that preprogrammed functions are required to sorta of "Drive" us.

      Which why I mentioned the possibility of forming of new ones.