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Thread: Can you separate reason and emotions in your mind ?

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Question Can you separate reason and emotions in your mind ?

    I am sometimes surprised by the reaction of some people, both on the Internet and in real life, that think that because I criticise something or some people I necessarily don't like it/him/her/them. For example, if I criticise things related to Japan, they jump to the conclusion that I must not like Japan on the whole.

    For me, rational criticism and personal sentiments are two clearly dinstinct things. Criticism usually affects only one aspect of something or someone, rather than the whole.

    One of the motivation for criticism is to improve an existing situation, because we care enough for it not to tolerate it to be mediocre or bad.

    There is a proverb in French and Italian that say "Qui aime bien chatie bien" or "Chi ama bene castiga bene" (in English, "Who loves well, chastise well"). This saying probably describes well my attitude to the world in general. Maybe it is due to my strict intellectual education.

    What about you ? Can you like/love and (harshly) criticise at the same time ?
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    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    I usually take criticism with a reasoned approach. It can be fun sometime taking an unemotional response to someone who you are arguing against. The more they get wound up, the more their argument become flawed as their emotions take control.
    A criticism that can upset me are ones that are given with no thought or knowledge of what is being criticized. These I will usually stand back from and think before a reply. It is easier on the net because you have the time to think of a reasoned reply. The problem occurs with people who see something and see red and post an instant reply. This can then degrade into a slanging match between the two people that can endup with general insults flying back and forth. I have seen it on other forums, fortunatly people on this forum have a bit more respect and things rarely get out of control, although it has come close on a few threads. The problem occurs with peoples opinions. Some people are very attached to their opinions and are unable to see anothers point of view. Try to say this and they will regard you as an idiot and will tell you so. I usually find this with people who have always had their own way in life. It is difficult to define. You could say stupid people, but I have met highly educated people who can turn into morons when debating various issues. I can get highly volitile myself, but have never resorted to shouting when arguing over issues. I suppose it all depends on upbringing.
    Anyway, I'm English and we're used to being critisized. Humour is a good way of diffussing hot headed people
    I could type more, but I'm losing my thread at the moment. I may return

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    Chou phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    It's hard to say... Sometimes, yes, emotions do take control... But being calm is always the way forward, ne? Just need to remeber that at times...

    Anyway, to answer the question... I can, though not all of the time, unfortunately.
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    The Wise Idiot
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    I try to hold back my emmotions during arguments. Usually I can restrain myself; except on those rare occasions on which we are debating religion, family, codes of conduct(rules), or wrestling. Other than that, I think that I am quite reasonable. Maybe a little eccentric at times, but reasonable and open-minded.
    I have had the displeasure of meeting a lot of people who are overly devoted to one particular topic:religion. One of my friends and I have a four month long and continuing discussion on which religions are relliable to history. I will not tell which religions, as I do not want to create an argument on that.
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    Silent Assassin Doc's Avatar
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    Emotions are worthless. So is reason if that's all you believe. Balance is the key.

    Doc
    "Suppress all compassion and you bear a weapon far greater than any held in the hand of a normal human being." - The Psychology of the Assassin

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    Southern Sun Duo's Avatar
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    Usually I'm fairly balanced and try to leave emotions out. I also feel that criticising something doesn't mean you dont like it or that you hate it, i feel that the objective person sees both sides of the coin. Sometimes even for fun i will be the devil's advocate and argue for something i am totally against just for the fun of it. But yah, i've encountered people that are emotionally attached when debating and what not, i only get emotional when people start to insult me or my attitudes with no apparent reason and even then unless i'm really worked up i will usually leave it to yeah whatever and dissmiss that person, sometimes i feel is not worth getting angry about for meaningles things or peoples, so i rather maintain my serenity.

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    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    I only leave out emotions when there is a time be logical. Because as far as I'm conerned logic doesn't care about emotions.
    gAll right then, Ifll go to hellh\and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.
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    MYV isayhello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    Emotions are worthless. So is reason if that's all you believe. Balance is the key.

    Doc
    I want to be able to think that way to... I tried to be really cool and non-emotional like that (just like in the movies!) but.. I can't!

    And as to answer the question I'd have to say, no. At least not when it comes to arguments or a lot of social situations and also when I watch a movie. Although, it depends on what emotion we're talking about. When I'm in an argument, I get angry and...err.. (agressive) sometimes But that's only because I get carried away by my: yes, emotions!

    As for criticism, though, I don't mind. I could take criticism, if it was clear the criticism was well needed and thought about. I don't tend to become overly emotional when someone critizises (sp?) me...

    Being able to controll emotions is considered cool. I wonder why? Probably because it's soo difficult...

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    Southern Sun Duo's Avatar
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    Maybe because so many people can't control them or because many can't control them in delicate situations. I guess though most people loose it, like they let go and indulge in emotions when they are having love-related arguments,i guess it's harder for people to really be in control at those times.

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    Silent Assassin Doc's Avatar
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    Controlling your emotions is hard. Trust me it took me years before I could get the way I am today. It's extremely tough, but I personally think it works out for the better in the end because it makes you more objective in thinking. You have ot have a lot of will power, and the heart to control your emotions. Nothing is impossible, it's just some things are hard to reach sometimes that's all.

    Doc

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    Southern Sun Duo's Avatar
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    I guess you have a good point in being able to control your emotions, but i wouldn't want to fully keep them in a vault, sometimes listening to emotion is better than reason, we also need emotion in our life to help us through it.

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    Silent Assassin Doc's Avatar
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    Yes of course, you're absolutely right. However, with the situations I am faced with it's better to keep them locked up rather than have them overflow and ruin you.

    Doc

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    Southern Sun Duo's Avatar
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    Um, i get what you mean, i guess the only way is to mantain a careful equilibrium, but dunno, i guess each situation requires a different way of being handled, but I can see why some people would want to rely the least possible on emotions, we tend to feel weaker and more vulnarable i guess.

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    Silent Assassin Doc's Avatar
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    Well for me it's not really because I would feel weaker or anything. It's more in the case that I feel more comfortable this rather than getting all emotional. It keeps me from getting out of control like I used to be.

    Doc

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    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    What about you ? Can you like/love and (harshly) criticise at the same time ?
    That would be almost impossible for me to do.
    My mind does not work that way.
    Having said that, I understand that you would have to like and care enough about something to be bothered by it.

    I usually criticise things as a humor, and it can be fun to just go on and on sometimes. Like how bad TV or fast food are, but I really don't like those things, so I am not hoping that they get better.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    It seems that many people here have been discussing something a bit different from what I intended. I see posts about "holding one's emotions during an argument", but that's not what I meant. Emotions are necessary to an argument and should be combined to rational thinking. What I meant is more than I do not dislike someone because I criticise them. I am not even talking about an argument, but mostly one-way criticism which does not necessitate any defence from the criticised party.

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    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Maciamo,
    I'm responding to your first post.
    I kind of see what you are trying to say, and I think your criticisms are meant to be constructive and sound very real to me. I often nod and laugh in agreement when I read your posts about Japan and other things but mostly Japan.

    Unlike you, some people including me tend to criticise or take criticism badly with only negative feelings. I've realized that the purpose of criticism is to give things a different point of view, but it is often confused and mistaken as refutation or resentment.

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    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    It seems that many people here have been discussing something a bit different from what I intended. I see posts about "holding one's emotions during an argument", but that's not what I meant. Emotions are necessary to an argument and should be combined to rational thinking. What I meant is more than I do not dislike someone because I criticise them. I am not even talking about an argument, but mostly one-way criticism which does not necessitate any defence from the criticised party.
    I think most threads take a life of their own, like a monstrous hydra in some cases. Oh hum.
    Is this an emotional criticism on your thread or a rational one? Careful, you could end up arguing with yourself

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    Chukchi Salmon
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    Heart How beautiful the Monstrous Hydra, and the battle with the self/progeny !

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    I think most threads take a life of their own, like a monstrous hydra ... Oh hum.
    Excellent observation, and wonderful visuals for the simile. In one textbook of combinatorial math is quote, "The Universe is like a beautiful tree." A hydra, a dendrite on the delta, roots, tree branches, the surface water system, half the blood circulation system, electrical flow, hydraulics, can in most cases become reduced to the binary tree, and are hence structurally identical. How beautiful is a tree !
    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    Is this an emotional criticism on your thread or a rational one? Careful, you could end up arguing with yourself
    The highly developed self-referencing capability of man-made symbols and significations is probably one of the things that make us human. Why not ? Let's all engage in self-debate, which is actually the highest form of human intelligence at work. Not as a proficiency, but innate human abililty, so this is by no means a personal comment on anyone. But again, a good observation provoking interesting thoughts to chew on.
    Last edited by lexico; 01-04-05 at 04:10.
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    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

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    Chukchi Salmon
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    Talking Criticism: Why, How, With What ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    For me, rational criticism and personal sentiments are two clearly dinstinct things. Criticism usually affects only one aspect of something or someone, rather than the whole.

    (1) One of the motivation for criticism is to improve an existing situation, because we care enough for it not to tolerate it to be mediocre or bad.

    (2) There is a proverb in French and Italian that say "Qui aime bien chatie bien" or "Chi ama bene castiga bene" (in English, "Who loves well, chastise well"). This saying probably describes well my attitude to the world in general. Maybe it is due to my strict intellectual education.

    What about you ? Can you like/love and (harshly) criticise at the same time ?
    Sticking to the last question to avoid chastisement by thread originator, I can (ability), but would do so with caution.

    Why chastise ?
    (1) refers to the moral principle of mutual responsibility. Not to stop a disaster of a fellow human being from happening when it was obvious, and still preventable would be a major slide on the person's intergrity. I have experienced quick criticism on this forum to be benefiting on several levels.

    1) it gives me a chance to correct an error early on before things are beyond repair. If everybody thought it was more polite to mind their own business and not correct, I would not only have learned nothing, but also would have had to face major consequences later on.

    2) it prevents misinformation of readers

    3) it prevents the chastiser from corrupting into a knowing bystander, a sarcastic hypocrite

    How to chastise ?
    (2) The adverbs or adjective-adverbs 'bien, bene, well' can have several different meanings. Skillfully, Often, Successfully. The point is to get the corrective message across with good result; the actual method or attitude involved may vary accodring to each particular situation. The greatest difficulty faced by the chastise is probably 'rejection.' To glide over possible negativity or skillfully handle negative responses, the chastiser must excercise certain tactics. Trust, respect, no conflict of interest, all seem to play important roles, yet in desperate situations, extreme measures such as threats or even coercion might be necessary. All depending on context.

    What does it take to chastise ?
    To be able to criticise another person does not seem to be a gift one is born with. The greatest factor in determining how a person perceives criticism would be, as originator said, one's upbringing in the home and school. I might also add to this, one's social experience. When emotionally charged, harsh criticisms were regularly given a child, one would have at least some negative view of criticism in general. If on the other hand, all criticism were rational & discreetly separated from personal bonds, then one would grow up with a positive view of criticism. One fictitious example from the popular SciFi series would be Mr. Spok, the Vulcan, who is ready to give a cold evaluation of Captain Kirk's idea without ties to either tradition or human emotions.

    My Style of Criticism
    I view my upbringing as tilting towards the second, but with some emotional scar (not much though, thankfully). Therefore I view criticism positively. But because I am also aware of the psychological damage of emotionally charged criticism, I tend to be a little careful when I can. For children or individuals who have/are suffered/suffering unusual stress, effective criticism should involve serious preparation and calculation of the various possible consiquences.

    In two sentences, I love to correct myself and others who are as strong as me emotionally. But I am rather bad when it comes to a weaker me or someone who is already suffering. I might care too much with the result that I let things slide, sometimes serious mistakes. I might also misjudge a person as strong, but find out that was not the case after the fact. I'm vulnerable too, so I forgive myself. :rolleyes:

    So if I'm too harsh on anyone, and you think I've been unfair, do let me know, and I will listen. Also if I'm beating around the bush and wasting your time, it's only because I don't know you well enough to put blind trust in your emotional fortitude. Not a major sin, is it ? :rolleyes:
    Last edited by lexico; 01-04-05 at 04:10.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Just to make things clear, Lexico, "chastise" is a rather dated word for "punish", and the proverb is generally used by parents or teachers to justify their strict approach to education. In another context, like here with people or things with like, the proverb can be understood in this way "people who care (about someone/something) tend to be more protective or demanding for the own good of the person/thing they care about".

    If on the other hand, all criticism were reational & discreetly separated from personal bonds, then one would grow up with a positive view on criticising. One fictitious example from the popular TV series would be Mr. Spok, the Vulcan, who is ready to give a cold evaluation of Captain Kirk's idea without ties to either tradition or human emotions.
    Good example. If you have seen the series "24", the president's private advisor (especially Mike in the first season, or David Palmer's brother in the third one) don't hesitate to to criticise his decisions for his own good (well, we could argue that they have interests in saving his presidency, but yet).

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    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexico
    One fictitious example from the popular SciFi series would be Mr. Spok, the Vulcan, who is ready to give a cold evaluation of Captain Kirk's idea without ties to either tradition or human emotions.
    Fictitious, you say? My great idol - Mr. Spock - is not real?

    For the original question:
    I don't think a human can separate emotion from reason, it's too closely connected in the brain. What you can do though, is to examine whether your reasoning is close enough to the facts. If it is, any criticism shouldn't pose a problem, even if the interpretation of facts may vary widely form person to person.

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    Regular Member cicatriz esp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    That would be almost impossible for me to do.
    My mind does not work that way.
    This was a bit shocking to read. Throughout my upbringing, I have always been taught that you do not truly love someone/something unless you can point out their flaws and then attempt to fix them. I can't count the number of times my Dad said to me, "nothing in life gets done except through confrontation".

    It just goes to show how different people can be. :)

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    Chukchi Salmon
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    Talking Self glorifying Vulcan ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    Fictitious, you say? My great idol - Mr. Spock - is not real?
    I am genuinely surprised at your response, Bossel. How can Bossel, the embodiment of absolute, pure reason, could engage in such petty human emotions as admiration, love, and idolatry ?
    Could it be that Mr. Spok is with us under alias Bossel ???? Self-admiraion is understandable; for Spok, too, is only human, oops, illogical, Vulcan !
    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    For the original question:
    I don't think a human can separate emotion from reason, it's too closely connected in the brain.
    I want to agree. (Being human, I am emotional, and not ashamed to say it. Vulcan pride of detachment is, IMHO, illogical. Wouldn't you say ... Spok ?)
    However, do you have any support from the brainy brain scientists ? Or any abstract theorizing from psychologists with the philosophical bent ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bossel
    What you can do though, is to examine whether your reasoning is close enough to the facts. If it is, any criticism shouldn't pose a problem, even if the interpretation of facts may vary widely form person to person.
    Wise, wise, remarks again. Could have come from only Spok himself and no other. Taking one step further, genuine criticism must be said, not to diminish what is being criticised, but to enrich the object of criticism. In this regard, the bastardised concept of 'criticism' calls for a new name that is quite free of emotional charges against it. Any suggestions ?

    btw, I was always under the impression that Spok was into Asian cultures. His porverbial sig. to live long and prosper must have derivrf from his Chinese studies, a loose translation of ݐ. I could be wrong. Could have been Korean, or even Japanese.
    Last edited by lexico; 02-04-05 at 10:21. Reason: illogical !

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    Banned CC1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    For the original question:
    I don't think a human can separate emotion from reason, it's too closely connected in the brain.
    I totally disagree...I can and do separate the two. In my old job it was absolutely necessary! If I allowed emotion to get involved, quite often someone would wind up getting hurt!

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