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  1. #21
    Senior Member Apollonian's Avatar
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    I have found that evolutionary neurology has something to say on this subject. However, I must also stipulate that the knowledge of the evolution of our nervous system and its affect on our emotions does not change the fact that the emotions are very real and important in defining who we are on a personal and interpersonal level.

    In short, "gut" feelings came first (enteric nervous system), followed by more complex feelings involving heighted breething or increased heart rate (reptilian brain), followed by a sense of perturnatural attachment and affection (mamallian brain or limbic system), followed ultimately by the neocortex which provides me the ability to model and analyze my emotions.

    The Paradox of Reason and Emotion

    The effect of this is that when we "feel" emotions, our central nervous system is responding to the output of the various "lower" nervous systems while our neocortex is trying to understand what the sum total emotion is that results from these "feelings". This would then seem consistent with Athenian's intuition of there being 'higher' and 'lower' emotions, with the 'higher' emotions being abstractions of the neocortex (and thus distinctly human) and 'lower' emotions being more animal-like in quality.

    That's the way I look at it anyway.

  2. #22
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    But anyway, PinkPiranha... would you agree if I said that emotion is something within us, that tells us where we are in relation to our current experiences? Basically, a part of our minds that defines reality relative to ourselves?
    I would agree with that, yes. I see emotions as something like an astral map in deep space, where you measure distance from whatever you happen to be near while entertaining in the back of your mind exactly where you originated, no matter how "far away" it is from the current moment or point in temporal "reality".

    Our feelings help us to orient, like cats falling from a ledge. Something says "Whoa,... FEET DOWN! FEET DOWN!!"


    What I'm saying is that it probably isn't actually part of outer reality in and of themselves, in the sense that energy or matter are, but a part of us that reminds us of what/where we are in relation to our perceptions, in terms of both adopted and instinctive values?
    I agree. Emotions are probably an exclusively internal function.
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  3. #23
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
    The effect of this is that when we "feel" emotions, our central nervous system is responding to the output of the various "lower" nervous systems while our neocortex is trying to understand what the sum total emotion is that results from these "feelings". This would then seem consistent with Athenian's intuition of there being 'higher' and 'lower' emotions, with the 'higher' emotions being abstractions of the neocortex (and thus distinctly human) and 'lower' emotions being more animal-like in quality.

    That's the way I look at it anyway.
    I do seem to see a lot more good in neocortex-based emotions than in emotions that come from other places. I acknowledge them and try to reconcile things with them, but somehow I feel that the parts you've described as being the neocortex as the most "real and ideal" me in many ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    I would agree with that, yes. I see emotions as something like an astral map in deep space, where you measure distance from whatever you happen to be near while entertaining in the back of your mind exactly where you originated, no matter how "far away" it is from the current moment or point in temporal "reality".

    Our feelings help us to orient, like cats falling from a ledge. Something says "Whoa,... FEET DOWN! FEET DOWN!!"




    I agree. Emotions are probably an exclusively internal function.
    I really like that analogy. Astral map, I mean.

    Although I think that an instinct is distinct from an emotion in some ways, they have a similar root.

    I'm glad you agree about the internal part. I always get really confused by people believing that a place or an object contains an emotion in and of itself other than that which you associate it with consciously or subconsciously.

  4. #24
    Large Member Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    My belief is that it's something within people that connects us to others and to our own motivations. I've heard some say that it's actually an aspect of reality outside of people, but I don't really believe that feelings would exist without people to experience them. I feel like you need people to have feelings... and that they aren't a part of reality itself, but are the most important pattern for us in a more intricate and complex reality that includes people.
    I don't view them as something inheirent to people only. It's more of a survival instinct, in that all forms of life have it. The higher the intelligence the more range of emothings they have as they're better able to distinguish and cope with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Also, do you distinguish between "higher" and "lower" emotions? For instance, higher ones being things such as charity, politeness, and a sense of pride. Lower ones could be things like lust, anger, and fear. I tend to feel good about the higher ones, and avoid the lower ones as much as possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    Charity, politeness, and a sense of pride aren't of much merit in my mind..

    Lust, anger, and fear teach us so much about ourselves... charity, politeness, and pride only pull the wool that much further over our orbs.

    Feelings are tools.. they are involuntary reactions that can give us a lot of insight into our needs.. if you could only listen to them.. you can find the key to your happiness.
    To me there is no higher or lower emotions, they all have their uses, and they're all equal.



    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Anyhow these moments of spontaneous synthesis, i.e. intuition, are still a source of wonder and curiosity for me.

    The way I view it is as a form of survival instinct, I have one wild theory on how it works, but I wouldn't want to get between you and your sense of wonder and curiosity In in the end tho some people are better at trusting it then others, the rest end up with a Darwin award.





    As a side note, It's funny just how what your feeling at anyone time can change your perspectives on things, like music for example. Depending on your mood you can get different things from the same song.
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    I don't want it, I just need it, to breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.

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