Re: EMOTIONAL IQ: (Transhumans: Anger management vs. Guns)
Wed, 9 Jun 1999 07:03:35 -0700 (PDT) wrote:
>First, you have the entire area of deaths by warfare and genocide.
>In this century alone we have seen Hitler's holocaust, Stalin's purges,
>the killing fields of Cambodia, and many other instances of mass murder.
>Most of the people involved were not commiting these acts in
>a burst of passionate anger.

Indeed. One of the supposed 'benefits' of government is that it can force disparate groups to come to a 'reasonable, rational compromise', and avoid conflict. The problem is that 'reasonable, rational compromise' satisfies neither side, so the conflict is simply hidden, and continues to grow until it eventually escalates into all-out war. But since the government is allowed to claim that war deaths aren't murders, the murder rate is much lower.

>Anger has arisen and been maintained through evolution because it
>serves a purpose. Anger can give people strength and courage to break
>through social and natural barriers that they could not normally manage.

Again, one of the biggest problems with British society is that almost no-one complains about anything. Part of that is because it's a recovering socialist nation, and people are used to living in a society where the government ran everything and couldn't care less about complaints. But a lot of it is because people are programmed to be 'nice' and 'polite' and not upset anyone. So rather than getting angry at what happens during the day, they go to the pub, get drunk, and then beat each other up.

>Perhaps as transhumans we will be able
>to substitute rationality for all our emotions. We will be the Vulcans
>of Star Trek, always logical and rational. Does this sound desirable?

Certainly not to me... increased rationality, yes, Vulcans, no.

>Or, as long as we're fantasizing, let's pretend that we can only get
>rid of the "bad" emotions and keep the "good" ones.

A lot of the recent subscribers to the list seem to believe that this is both possible and a good idea.

>We'll keep love
>and discard hate, keep happiness and discard sadness. We'll become
>Teletubbies. What a marvelous future this will be.

Welcome to 'Happy Fluffy World'.

>I am torn between the desire to control my emotions, and the desire
>to feel my emotions. Should I fight anger, or should I glory in it?

I think it's more a matter of being emotional rationally, if that makes any sense. A lot of our emotional reactions are irrational and counterproductive, but a lot of them are useful both to us and to others; if you don't get angry when someone is annoying you then they may well continue to do so simply because they don't realise it. Ideally we want to remove the irrational emotional reactions while keeping the rest.