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Author Topic: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?  (Read 2712 times)

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Offline WolfyTopic starter

Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« on: April 22, 2011, 03:49:21 AM »
No sadness, no happiness, no love, no grief.

Everyone moves along, and emotions are considered a mental disorder rather than a normal thing.

Do you think the world would be a better place? That it would be peaceful?

Offline Jude

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 06:56:52 AM »
Motivations are emotions.  Take those away and nothing would happen; humanity would crumble overnight due to apathy.

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Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 07:00:55 AM »
The film Equilibrium kinda uses that as a background. Everyone takes a drug that suppresses / removes emotions, leaving society peacefull. Those who don't are 'sense offenders' and are seen as a terrorist underground.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2011, 10:24:45 AM »
 'We are Borg. Resistance is futile. You will join us.'

Offline Oniya

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Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 10:54:58 AM »
No sadness, no happiness, no love, no grief.

Everyone moves along, and emotions are considered a mental disorder rather than a normal thing.

Do you think the world would be a better place? That it would be peaceful?

No.  One of the hallmarks of serial killers (and sociopaths in general) is that they don't experience emotions in the way that we consider 'normal'.  What's to prevent someone from using the thought process of: 'I want to do this.  Killing that person will let me do that.  I will kill that person.'

EDIT:  Just to clarify - there are certain non-emotional drives in all living creatures:  The need for food, water, shelter, and reproduction (based on population density).  These would be what would drive the 'I want' part of my example.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 11:10:25 AM by Oniya »

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2011, 11:06:01 AM »
Passion to excel is also an emotion, how would you strive for excellence?

Offline Brandon

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2011, 03:20:35 PM »
Would it be more peaceful, maybe.

The real question to me is would it be a life worth living? A life without moments of joy, love, happiness is not a life to me. Yes I would be spared pain and misery as well but an existence that lacks those things is not a life to me.

So no, I dont think so. I think it would be the end of humanity but as an abstract reference and as a race

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2011, 04:42:07 PM »
I do think that our social structure would radically shift and possibly break, and it is impossible to say if what would supplant it would be better or worse. Although, at last check, creatures without emotion were definitely the dominant species. I have often wondered recently whether the evolution of emotion was a short term benefit vs. long term loss move.

I do think that we're conflating a few things with emotion that perhaps we shouldn't be. It is important for the purposes of this discussion to understand what emotion isn't:
-It is not motivation. Hunger, Thirst, Craving, etc. are not emotions.
-It is not stimulus. Pleasure & Pain aren't emotions.
-It isn't preference. Even creatures without developed nervous systems display preference.
-And it's not a necessary basis of morality.

Now if all those things went away we would become a society of apathetic, insensate, undiscriminating, serial-killers. And I think that would definitely be bad. Just removing happiness, sadness, love, etc., while certainly a horrific idea to use from our current point of view, is a harder distinction to call.

Online Serephino

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2011, 08:02:48 PM »
A few years ago I was put on a mood stabilizer that ended up doing pretty much exactly that to me.  I hated it.  My desire to do anything creative was just gone...   

Online MasterMischief

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2011, 10:17:55 PM »
Live long and prosper.

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Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2011, 06:34:31 AM »
Vulcans actually do have emotions, they just train to keep them entirely controlled.

Offline Kate

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 07:45:45 AM »
Equilibrium - loved it :)

That was a very underrated film.

Quote
I do think that we're conflating a few things with emotion that perhaps we shouldn't be. It is important for the purposes of this discussion to understand what emotion isn't:
-It is not motivation. Hunger, Thirst, Craving, etc. are not emotions.
-It is not stimulus. Pleasure & Pain aren't emotions.
-It isn't preference. Even creatures without developed nervous systems display preference.
-And it's not a necessary basis of morality.

Your making one assumption here that is dangerous.

"-It isn't preference. Even creatures without developed nervous systems display preference."

You don't know the emotional landscape of other things, we find it hard enough to know our own let alone a lover's or a family members,
how good would be be at relating to something more different.

One dangerous assumption is that our concepts of when they appear relative to each other, and when to they start and end is "understood"

nervous system
intellect
Self-awareness/choice
emotion

We don't know if emotion is fundamental to high order Neron stuff, or high order stuff fundamental to emotion, or the difference.


Offline Sabby

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2011, 08:11:38 AM »
Don't you find it strange that the Cleric's, the guys whose job it is to catch Sense Offenders, are all very emotional themselves? They hate those filthy Sense Offenders so much! They love to see them brought to justice. You may try to read into that, but there's nothing deep about it, its just a very poorly handled film for a concept that had actual promise. For a movie about an emotionless society, no one was very tame or sedate or calm... the closest it got was the way people milled about in the streets, but thats what it looks like in real life a lot of the time.

Offline Kate

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2011, 10:16:44 AM »
what if thinking is an act of "emoting"
but some "emotions" ( "e-motion" "energy-in-motion" ),
have a high level of abstraction from the self (ie being inspired to learn / maths etc) and low levels of abstraction (Im going to get punched in the nose).

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2011, 04:47:48 PM »
The film Equilibrium kinda uses that as a background. Everyone takes a drug that suppresses / removes emotions, leaving society peacefull. Those who don't are 'sense offenders' and are seen as a terrorist underground.
I was going to say that. I almost cried at a certain part in that film. I guess you're assuming, Wolfy, that some government body would run society for them. Without emotions there's not a lot of drive.

Think of the tranquil in Dragon Age. Yeah, they like there jobs and don't want to die, but there lives are hollow.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2011, 08:05:57 PM »
Don't you find it strange that the Cleric's, the guys whose job it is to catch Sense Offenders, are all very emotional themselves? They hate those filthy Sense Offenders so much! They love to see them brought to justice. You may try to read into that, but there's nothing deep about it, its just a very poorly handled film for a concept that had actual promise. For a movie about an emotionless society, no one was very tame or sedate or calm... the closest it got was the way people milled about in the streets, but thats what it looks like in real life a lot of the time.

I just assumed that it was part of the dystopian irony, that the people who were in charge of catching Sense Offenders were also the ones most likely to avoid/skip taking their suppressant drugs, in the typical 'decadent hypocritical leaders' vein of thought.

Offline Kate

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2011, 05:41:22 AM »
Not necessarily.

It was mentioned in the film that their top / most trusted clerics were let to feel emotions
in order to think like the enemy.  This resistance is the ONLY thing left in the way of their current vision of perfection. You would be so close, it's possible it was strategic only.

Offline Nicholas

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Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2011, 12:10:28 PM »
Just a thought...

Would we care if it was a better place, if we wouldn't have emotions? The ability to care, and compassion are great pilars of human society. Without those, everything would be meaningless and the question if it would be a better place, as well.

Offline Jude

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2011, 05:20:48 PM »
This question is conclusively answered in this podcast:  http://www.pointofinquiry.org/george_lakoff_enlightenments_old_and_new/

Offline Tummyache

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2011, 12:29:43 AM »
The film Equilibrium kinda uses that as a background. Everyone takes a drug that suppresses / removes emotions, leaving society peacefull. Those who don't are 'sense offenders' and are seen as a terrorist underground.

hahaha, I'm actually watching it right now! Great movie. It really got shafted in theaters because the idiots who ran the marketing campaign sold it as a Matrix rip off... which it was anything but!

On to the topic at hand, no, the problem isn't an emotion, they problem is the manipulation of emotions! We need a more educated populous that knows how to research topics and not believe whatever their demagogues tell them is immoral. Stupid people will be dangerous with or without emotions!

Offline Yorubi

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2011, 08:11:35 PM »
If we had no emotions, anyone that is terminally sick or rationally can't provide for society would likely be wiped out since they have no use.

Would the world be a better place? Yes, chances are it would.

Would it be a place anyone really would want to live in? No... probably not.

While emotions are very destructive and cause much strife, it gives way to many positive things to simply shrug off.

Offline Kate

Re: Would the world be a better place if there were no emotions?
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2011, 08:50:26 PM »
This is the chicken and the egg thing you had no emotions your values are different.
Eg-would you bother killing off the "drain on socieity" ie the terminally sick etc.

(emotional-less) Why ?
Because they are a drain on society !
(emotional-less) So ?
So they are costing us projects that are cool like more space exploration and r and d into health !
(emotional-less) So ?
We should stop it ! Let the culture get ahead
(emotional-less) Why ?
To further the world, make it better, get aclaim, get women, get rich !
(emotional-less) Why ?
Don't you want that ? Don't you want to be part of a team, a winning one, that makes what you love better ?
(emotional-less) "What's a want?"

Emotions (I want to fit it / want respect / feel stable / please my parents ) could be core to having any intentions at all. Intentions is the direction to please a want.
The act of wanting is e-moting.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 08:52:19 PM by Kate »