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  1. #31
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    They'd just said there is no such thing as an unemotional one.

    The idea being that emotions will always, somehow, be involved. Not that the abstract definition of an argument, which by definition does not contain emotion, involved emotions. Not abstract thought, but actual reality.
    I could throw the ontological argument for god, or anything defined as existing, your way if we gave any credence to abstract thought alone.

    But onto the more important question. Why do emotions have a good probability of impairing rationality? The whole post and you haven't answered that.

    I can only speak from my own experience, where emotions lead me to my most rational moments, and continue to do so. Where the majority of the time they occur, they either assist, or have no noticeable effect on my rationality.

    Not wanting to accept a certain truth, which I have also experienced many times, does hinder rationality, but is just one emotion in a myriad of them. You could see it as many emotions and it would still be dwarfed by the ocean that is the rest.

    You're confusing argument with the arguer. I said there are no emotional arguments, not that there are no emotional arguers. An argument is simply a set of a concepts where certain terms do or do not entail a true conclusion about the world. Emotion pertains strictly to the arguer and not the argument, an argument can only be as emotional as the Pythagorean theorem or Einstein's relativity theory. No doubt the creators of these concepts experienced some kind of emotions when creating them, but this does not suggest that the concepts contain emotions by definition. When someone is making an 'emotional appeal', they aren't making an 'emotional argument' but merely trying to pass a bad argument off for a good one. That does not happen in all cases, as truth-preserving arguments can have emotional appeals, however, arguers who purposefully try to make emotional appeals often do so to conceal the inadequacy of their arguments.

    I don't think that you've understood the theme of my post, possibly read less than a few lines as your reply was tangentially relevant at best.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    You're confusing argument with the arguer. I said there are no emotional arguments, not that there are no emotional arguers. An argument is simply a set of a concepts where certain terms do or do not entail a true conclusion about the world. Emotion pertains strictly to the arguer and not the argument, an argument can only be as emotional as the Pythagorean theorem or Einstein's relativity theory. No doubt the creators of these concepts experienced some kind of emotions when creating them, but this does not suggest that the concepts contain emotions by definition.
    And I was just saying you were using a different definition of argument to the OP and the thread topic in general, one which conveniently lacks emotion by definition, and is very abstract.

  3. #33
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    And I was just saying you were using a different definition of argument to the OP, one which conveniently lacks emotion by definition, and is very abstract.
    Its not just my definition, it is the standard definition. The salient claims of the OP rests on a confusion regarding the definition of an argument. Emotional appeals have nothing to do with the nature of the argument itself, they are strictly a matter of how people react to arguments. One is free to become indignant at a number 5 instead of a rationale in favor of permissibility of infanticide, but people do not do so. They do the vice versa because of their evolved nature and social conditioning. There is nothing about number 5 that forces people to be calm or apathetic, nor is there anything about an argument in favor of infanticide that infuriates listeners.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

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  4. #34
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    The separation between emotion and rationality is a myth.

    No it is not.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Its not just my definition, it is the standard definition. Emotional appeals have nothing to do with the nature of the argument, they are strictly a matter of how people react to them. One is free to become indignant at a number 5 instead of an argument in favor of infanticide, but people do not do so. They do the vice versa because of their evolved nature and social conditioning. There is nothing about number 5 that forces people to be calm or apathetic, nor is there anything about an argument in favor of infanticide that infuriates listeners.
    I doubt anyone in this thread would disagree that an abstract understanding or argument doesn't contain emotion in its definition. The abstract definition of a fist fight does not contain emotion in it either.

    It's in reality, secondary properties and such, where emotion and rationality are being connected. Not strict definitions and focused concepts.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    It's in reality, secondary properties and such, where emotion and rationality are being connected. Not strict definitions and focused concepts.
    As I said, in most situations, people benefit from a high degree of detachment by avoiding hindrances to their arguments and staying motivated to make good arguments. A great scarcity of emotional involvement leads to motivation problems and over-involvement clouds one's judgment.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    As I said, in most situations, people benefit from a high degree of detachment by avoiding hindrances to their arguments and staying motivated to make good arguments. A great scarcity of emotional involvement leads to motivation problems and over-involvement clouds one's judgment.
    And again I ask why.

    How being detached avoids hindrances and clears judgement, how one looses motivation when too detached, etcetera.

    I'd understand if there were difficulties in explaining, as I face such in explaining my own view.

  8. #38
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    And again I ask why.

    How being detached avoids hindrances and clears judgement,..
    People as a general rule are guided by their affections. They gravitate towards activities that seem pleasant and shun those that seem unpleasant. The more pleasant it seems, the more they will be inclined to attract it. The more unpleasant it seems, the stronger their instinct will be to avoid it. So the intensity of the emotion evoked by the activity determines how much a person will want to attract or avoid it.

    If one is experiencing strong emotions, he may be distracted from the argument because these emotions will make him attract or repel a number of ideas implicit in an argument or make it difficult for him to focus on the argument at hand. For instance, somebody who is suffering from an intense headache won't be able to focus on an argument, the same could be said about someone who has just had a traumatic experience such as being shot at it or death of a loved one.

    By the same token, a person who has a vehement hatred of abortion will strongly attract arguments that purport to discourage the practice and shun those that support it.

    ,
    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I'd understand if there were difficulties in explaining, as I face such in explaining my own view.

    Only emotions can motivate people to act. Yes, I acknowledge that some people do what they do because they think its rational for them to do so or because they are supposed to as they can find a 'rule in the book' that says that they should do what they intend to. However, the people in question would not be able to choose that course of action if they subtly did not see anything attractive about the action they have in mind. Essentially, the conception boils down to the ultimate principle of human behavior that Jeremy Bentham propounded, all behavior is guided by a pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    People as a general rule are guided by their affections. They gravitate towards activities that seem pleasant and shun those that seem unpleasant. The more pleasant it seems, the more they will be inclined to attract it. The more unpleasant it seems, the stronger their instinct will be to avoid it. So the intensity of the emotion evoked by the activity determines how much a person will want to attract or avoid it.

    If one is experiencing strong emotions, he may be distracted from the argument because these emotions will make him attract or repel a number of ideas implicit in an argument or make it difficult for him to focus on the argument at hand. For instance, somebody who is suffering from an intense headache won't be able to focus on an argument, the same could be said about someone who has just had a traumatic experience such as being shot at it or death of a loved one.

    By the same token, a person who has a vehement hatred of abortion will strongly attract arguments that purport to discourage the practice and shun those that support it.
    Most those examples you give are valid (I would nitpick at the headache and the shooting one), but I agreed that some emotions do hinder rationality.

    It's the huge amount of other emotions that aren't being focused on which concern me. You allude to these here:-

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Only emotions can motivate people to act.
    So all rationality, so to speak, is a result of emotions. Along with the wealth of emotions that may or may not have noticeable effect on rationality one way or the other.

    So, to bring it back to the original point, when you speak of emotional detachment and such around debates, I would agree that detachment from certain emotions is beneficial for rationality, but not the majority of them.

  10. #40
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I would agree that detachment from certain emotions is beneficial for rationality, but not the majority of them.
    Some emotions are beneficial to rational thought, such as for example optimism or contentment. However, a lack of detachment from these emotions will lead a person to focus on them excessively which will hinder the reasoning process. The stronger the emotion, the more likely it is to command a person's attention, the only way to avoid this problem is by lessening the sentiment or detaching from it. The trouble here is not that the emotion in itself is detrimental to rationality, but merely that if it becomes very strong, it will distract a person from thinking rationally.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

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