Re: Plea (was ExI: Cognitive Extropians)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 16 Jan 1997 12:15:44 -0800 (PST)

> This is why refined emotion, i.e.: enhanced reason - enhanced emotional
> response ( a balance) can be a much better goal than a rational, non emotive
> state.

This is a false dichotomy; emotion does not in itself cloud reason, but
the false idea that it does is so pervasive in our culture that we allow
it to. I have never advocated, and would not advocate, supressing one's
emotional responses. I enjoy wallowing in lust or grief or anger or joy
as much as anyone, if not more. But when I do, I don't let that interfere
with my faculty of reason. Emotions are just another aspect of my reality
like my legs or my hair--and I don't let them make choices for me either.
I just take them for what they are, enjoy them, use them.

> Emotions are valuable guides in decision making, and if carefuly examined can
> help us to make subconscious evalutaions and correctly place our values.

This I reject completely. Reason is man's only reliable guide to action.
Having emotions is a good thing, just like having teeth, but they are not
a means for discovering truth or making choices.

> For example:
> If you anger me, it is usually not without reason. Reasonably there are
> things which one cannot abide. If I recognize that, I can deal with you and
> not let it pass by.... If I say " I have no feelings", I may ignore you or
> not address it...IMHO Thick skin only hides a tender heart.

I cannot anger you. You cannot anger me. That is not denying anger, it's
just putting the blame where it belongs. If I say something, and you
become angry, it is the nature of /your/ mind that has created that anger,
not the nature of my words. Words are just sounds--a different mind, say
a man who speaks a different language, or is just less inclined to anger,
would not have the same reaction as you. That reaction is /yours/, and is
a fact of reality you have to deal with as it is. Reacting to my words
instead is an evasion of reality, based on a fallacy of reason, in this
case the classic post hoc ergo propter hoc: I spoke, then you became angry,
therefore my words caused your anger. Once you realize the simple error
of reason, you can deal with reality--including anger--more rationally.

> If a balance of thoughtfulness and detachment is sought, then you have to
> allow for them, even if your know you cannot be ruled by tehm

I don't seek "balance" or whatever other new-age mystical nonsense you
would have me seek. I seek reality. And I am not ruled by anything
but the laws of physics.