Re: Emotion Selection

Anders Sandberg (
03 Jul 1999 22:46:40 +0200

Joao Pedro Magalhaes <> writes:

> 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.

I disagree here. If I become angry and break things or people, then my actions are irrational (since they are not in my best interest) and undesirable - here some rational control obviously is desirable. Sometimes emotions suggest actions that are bad for us.

What is needed is to balance the emotions, which provide us with motivation and creates a mode of thinking, with rational evaluation of situations. Just like we need to learn how to learn, think rationally and act, we need to learn how to manage our emotions. They work great in certain respects, but not all.

> I'm very confident and optimist and I
> think these are very important feelings that people than do not possess
> them should have.

I certainly agree here. I'm quite glad my brain biochemistry and cognitive structures make me feel this way most of the time, it has helped me tremendously and I have seen people destroy their lives just by being negative towards themselves and everything else. The problem is of course creating a stable (but not inflexible) good mood; drugs might help, but positive thinking and self-insight work even better - but they are hard to apply for negative people.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y