Re: Emotion Selection

Joao Pedro Magalhaes (
Fri, 02 Jul 1999 21:16:39 -0600


At 07:20 02-07-1999 -0700, you wrote:
> Emotions are a fact of life, and in truth, when guided by reason,
>they help to shape our lives and make them somewhat more enjoyable.

I disagree. Emotions are not rational. In fact, instinct and emotions are what help us make decisions when we have no rational thinking. So, emotions cannot be guided by reason.

> Personally, I would opt to exorcise any trace of fear or anxiety.

If they're here is because they're useful. Fear in, for example, a war is a very useful feeling because it helps you keep yourself alive; it's better to live in shame rather than die in honor. Anxiety is also useful because it catalyses our strenghts to a goal; I agree it's not always useful but I understand it's purpose.

>Though I'm not naturally inclined to feel these emotions very often, I know
>that when exposed to them, it is difficult to remain rational. But some of
>the more potentially painful ones such as loneliness, I would keep. The
>problem I foresee with getting rid of too many of these "bad" emotions is
>in their absence, there could easily be a lack of ambition. For example,
>if one didn't feel "unhappy" there would be less inclination for him to
>progress to the point at where he would naturally feel happy. It is an
>interesting thought. What do you think?

Yes, it is interesting. However, there are drugs in the market that make you feel happy. Have you tried them? I'm very confident and optimist and I think these are very important feelings that people than do not possess them should have.