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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Does your logic fuel your emotions, or do your emotions dictate your logic?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21389 points ) March 22nd, 2014

When it comes to logic some people claim to let logic fuel it, a logic based on known facts or evidence pointing to an expected conclusion. For example, natural selection of species survival weak or useless members is a drain of resources from the rest of the body. Logically those non-producing elements should be culled from the body. However if the member that happens to be in the non-performing group is a relative, close friend or even an object of affection logic goes out the door and people want to keep that person around even though they are a drain. They let emotion overrun what is basically sound logic. Or someone may be passionate about immigration being the reason for job decline in the US, and that emotion or desire to hold to that belief clouds the logic that many of the jobs that are done by illegal immigrants allow them to buy goods and produce they want at a price that is cheaper. Those types of incidences happen every day, every week in a number of different scenarios. If a person is going to claim being a person of logic and have facts frame that logic, should not they be genuine to the belief even if it seems cruel or heartless? If they are going to let emotions rule, then should not they have the present of mind to go with actual fact or admit they ignore facts as to make their logic more plausible?

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18 Answers

filmfann's avatar

I allow my Christian faith to have a voice in my political positions, but they do not dictate to it.
For example: I believe in a woman’s right to choose, but I am personally opposed to abortion.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
dxs's avatar

Sometimes I get really angry at something and it controls my thoughts. Then I regret what I do. But overall, I feel my logic is stronger than my emotions.

Cruiser's avatar

I find this question highly illogical

Bill1939's avatar

Psychological studies have found that “affect allocates attention.” Logic is used to support emotion. The stronger the emotion one has the less likely that the logic one uses will be critically examined by them. However, introspection may allow one to recognize the irrational aspects of their logic and when similar feelings begin to arise they may resist their reflexive rationalization. For me anger is the strongest of the six basic emotions (surprise, happiness, fear, anger, disgust, and sadness). I try to reflect upon moments of anger to understand what the basis for my reaction was.

Coloma's avatar

My logic overpowers my emotions 99% of the time. I am a fan of personality theory and am an NT ENTP extroverted intuitive thinking, perceiving brain function stack woman. In the rational thinkers category.
Rational thinking types are not given to emotional reasoning, but, I am also a female and can become emotionally frustrated especially when I feel misunderstood.

This is rare though.
Feeling types are much more illogical and since the majority of women are feelers I have difficulty with emotional reasoning in women. Many are completely incapable of having a rational discussion without resorting to hypersensitive emotional “logic.”
Drives me insane.

Symbeline's avatar

Logic is cruel, or rather, the realizations it reveals are cruel; such as the examples of Darwinism which I think you were talking about in here. Fortunately for my cowardly self, whatever logic I derive from anything, whether right or wrong, is only presented when and where it cannot directly harm me. (because as if I’m going to believe EVERYBODY cares when a famous actor dies) This way, my emotions don’t get in the way.
This doesn’t mean I can trump my emotions, in fact, most times I probably can’t. But I try to go about emotional turmoil and whatnot with a reasoning mind. Doesn’t always work, but…’‘trails off’’ XD

Bill1939's avatar

If logic is stronger than emotion, why do so many make the same mistakes when they enter relationships?

Symbeline's avatar

Which is why I stay out of them, haha.

ninjacolin's avatar

I think it’s safe to say that logic wins every time in all cases but I think emotions have a tendency to shift focus on what you’re applying logic towards. If you picture a battery operated walking toy, it will always head in a straight line until a hand picks him up and points him, perhaps, towards a wall. All the functions of accurate advancement keep working for the toy, it’s just that he’s heading into a wall because the environment (the hand) persuaded him. Similarly, I find emotions have that sort of environment affecting power that can often shift one’s marvelously functioning logic towards something that isn’t necessarily worthwhile, like shouting matches, bouts of self-deprecation, violence, procrastination, etc.

I don’t think it’s fair to pit Emotions vs Logic. I do think emotions have sort of brute force influence over where your logic is focused but at the same time I recognize how focus can be reined-in by whatever good logic one happens to realize in that moment, despite the emotional environment.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@filmfann I allow my Christian faith to have a voice in my political positions, but they do not dictate to it.
For example: I believe in a woman’s right to choose, but I am personally opposed to abortion.
To invite people to enter into the realm of faith they would have to understand it from a point of faith; which many cannot do. It would be like trying to discuss computers to an ant hill. Faith in God is to place belief that since God created logic, even though we cannot see the logic, or understand it we know it works. Many will have an MRI this year, they do not know how the process work, or the machine they will lay under, but they believe it will do what it is supposed to. When their doctor orders one they will not oppose it or not go, even though the do not know the process on how the images of their body is made.

@dxs @Coloma @ninjacolin But overall, I feel my logic is stronger than my emotions.
Even in desperate situations or unpopular situations?

@Bill1939 If logic is stronger than emotion, why do so many make the same mistakes when they enter relationships?
Because so many people believe they are logical, and maybe are, when it is ”easy stuff” to be logical with; stealing, cheating, killing someone else, etc. when it comes to in-your-face situations, the logic doesn’t fare well against emotions.

@ninjacolin I don’t think it’s fair to pit Emotions vs Logic. I do think emotions have sort of brute force influence over where your logic is focused but at the same time I recognize how focus can be reined-in by whatever good logic one happens to realize in that moment, despite the emotional environment.
And is it not that ”brute force” of emotions that short circuit logic many times? It can take something that is purely logical and cause one to feel upset because it is done, not done or done in such a way. Road rage happens because good logic is bum rushed by emotions, and there are many things one could add to that.

Coloma's avatar

Desperate and unpopular situations?
Well yeah, if I was being held at gunpoint I’d hope I could remain calm enough to logically try and assess my chances of survival by calm and logical behavior. Better than screaming ” Fuck off you ugly, lowlife moron, you’re not getting my purse!” Bang!
Unpopular…as in what?

Unpopular? As in a celebrity telling me I’m not made of movie star material?
Well…that’s a logical conclusion, what am I supposed to do cry? lol

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Coloma Desperate and unpopular situations?
Yeah, a desperate situation where the safety or preservation of life is at hand; for instance it is raining buckets on a mountain road, past forest fires have left little vegetation to hold the hill side up, so slides are all over the place. You spy a car disabled by a slide and see and hear the ground still shifting. In the car is a woman who was driving, her husband trapped in the car by a huge rock the slide brought down, and two screaming and panicking young kids in the back. You stop to help but you can’t, he is stuck and the mountain is still sliding and could bury the car, and you, if you are still there, at any moment. She desperately wants you to help free her husband before she considers leaving. What does your logic tell you? You have two basic choices, one of logic, the other of emotion.

• The hill is sliding, there could be other parts sliding as well. The only way to assure you are not a victim of a slide is to get off the mountain. The danger of the slide sweeping the disabled car down the mountain and you too if you are still there is greater than 90%, every minute you waste leaving there the chance of escape grows smaller not only for that stretch of road but for getting off the mountain. Logic would say get off the mountain even if she did not want to leave.

• Emotion would say stay and try to help beyond hope for a miracle that you can help free the husband and still have time to escape; a calculation that could have both you and who is with you, her and her children all doomed. You would not want to leave knowing death was almost assured if you did, but you would be safe.

Which of those would you be more inclined to take?

Unpopular is just that. For instance a young lady of 18yr with a full ride scholarship ends up pregnant. Her only connection to the father was a drug hazed romp at some graduation party. He wants her to kill the child and he doesn’t want anything to do with the baby and even says it is not his because he believes he wasn’t the only one she boinked that night. If she goes to college she can have a promising career in some highly lucrative field. If she has the child, she may never get to college or if she does, she will have to rely on grants (if she can find one), or go into debt with loans or do it out of her pocket with a job or multiple jobs. She decides even if she has to forfeit the scholarship, or go into debt later to follow her dream of getting a career she is keeping the baby. What would you say to those who would say she was stupid to sacrificing a career for a child by a father who did not want it and will not help, less the law compels him? What would you say of her decision, knowing that it might leave her near poverty or struggling for many, many years instead of graduating in her early 20s with a promising life ahead?

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Impossible to say until actually faced with the situations you present.
I choose abortion once upon a time for some of the reasons you present in your example, and, most likely, I would rescue the woman and get her to a safe area before contemplating whether or not I would return to try to assist her husband. In that circumstance the death of someone is a given, do what you can in the moment without foolishly trying to be a super hero.
I am very good in crisis situations, keep my cool, think well, but again….impossible to predict ones reaction to a myriad of possibility. Just saying that staying calm and evaluating the situation is preferable to becoming hysterical which does nothing to support a solution.

ninjacolin's avatar

Again, I would say the real battle is over Focus. Being able to focus on the right thing at the right time is difficult in an emotional circumstance. Still it takes an impressive amount of good logic to successfully execute a knock-out punch even in a boxing match, let alone in the middle of a busy intersection when you’re late for work. Logic never fails to do its thing. The problem is more about whether you should be focusing on knocking someone out or whether you should be focusing on getting their insurance particulars.

In either case, whether you’re looking to plant one on their chin or find a working pen to write down insurance information, your logical faculties aren’t themselves compromised, only your focus is compromised. Emotions distract your attention but I’m really not sure it’s fair to say that they compromise your logic.

Coloma's avatar

@ninjacolin They certainly do for a lot of people, usually immature females. lol

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ninjacolin In either case, whether you’re looking to plant one on their chin or find a working pen to write down insurance information, your logical faculties aren’t themselves compromised, only your focus is compromised
One’s faculties are not the question, it is their method. If I am involved in a fender-bender, how logical is it to give the man/woman a roundhouse kick to the jaw? II may feel better for a moment, it does nothing to repairing the car, and it may even cost me money in fines, a law suit, medical bills or more. All because I let emotion run amok and not focused on getting the insurance info which as a far better chance at enacting repairs on the car; which would be a better method of logic.

ninjacolin's avatar

“If I am involved in a fender-bender, how logical is it to give the man/woman a roundhouse kick to the jaw?”

But what if they did it on purpose? What if they were one of those drivers who “always” drive like that and who shouldn’t be on the road in the first place? What if they were on their cell when it happened.

I agree it’s a fallacy to conclude that carrying on a tirade will be worth your time. But you aren’t exactly being given an option on what to think about: You’re distracted by the events of the moment from thinking solely about your rush to thinking about why accidents happen and who is behind them. As soon as you remember the fact that you need to get on your way, you will resume the appropriate rush.

It’s a question of who gets distracted by pressing events and who is able to stay focused on what’s important in a stressful moment.

Consider people who freak out in a medical emergency and who stand around gawking rather than calling for help. It’s not that they don’t know how to use a phone, it’s that they don’t know they are suppose to be thinking about it.

Hmm.. it is a form a ignorance, though. So, maybe it totally counts as a logical fallacy. I’ll think about it some more

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