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nikipedia's avatar

Do you think the world might be better off if we didn't have emotions? (+1 bonus question)

Asked by nikipedia (27475points) May 22nd, 2008

Do you think emotions help or hinder your decision-making process?

edit: To clarify, I’m thinking about how things like depression, rage, self-doubt, etc. cloud our judgment, both on a small scale (should I take that new job?) and in the extremes (war, homicide).

Examples encouraged.

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21 Answers

willbrawn's avatar

I believe emotion is essential. If we did not have it life we be miserable. And what sucks about that is we could not tell. Without emotion we could not grow, or learn, or even progress. I ft one would not want to live in such a world.

jrpowell's avatar

The world is a much better place with emotions.

I would imagine that without them I wouldn’t feel any guilt for killing my roommate to take her TV. She has a really nice TV.

phoenyx's avatar

I wouldn’t have fallen in love with my wife? I wouldn’t love my kids? I wouldn’t have joy or happiness? My life would be worse.

Pon farr would totally suck.

marinelife's avatar

Compassion for others is vital when we live in a society together. If we did not have compassion and empathy, we would objectify others and feel free to hurt them.

Love for our young helps the species keep going. Without it, we might not care for our children.

Anger is a warning device that something is wrong, and we need to take action. Sure, like any emotion, it can be misused, but it has a role as a survival mechanism.

Shame is a societal tool to keep members of the society in line according to the social norms.

Joy. Who would want to live without joy, however fleeting?

wildflower's avatar

I’m not sure life would be very interesting without thrill, joy, horror, sadness….all emotions.
I think emotions both hinder and help your decision making (and I still believe I make decisions). Sometimes the emotions give you the push to go the extra mile, other times emotions hold you back from doing something you know you should or want to.

nikipedia's avatar

I disagree that emotions are the only thing that keeps our behavior in check. I imagine if we didn’t have them, we would still reason our way into keeping order if only out of a tit-for-tat logic (e.g., I shouldn’t kill my roommate because I don’t want her to kill me).

Although that gets into the thorny issue of whether “want” is an emotion.

marinelife's avatar

I am not convinced people reason a lot. I think we act often on impulse without thought to consequences.

soundedfury's avatar

Self-preservation isn’t really an emotion, so I imagine that we’d be able to survive just fine. But it would probably be a lot less fun. After all, we’d have no leisure activities, no art, no literature. Hell, we probably wouldn’t have Fluther.

nikipedia's avatar

@soundedfury: But we also wouldn’t have depression, hatred, or messy breakups. Sometimes it seems like it might be a fair trade. It seems to me emotions really are just shortcuts to tit-for-tat games optimized by evolution for group cohesion/survival. If that makes sense.

ljs22's avatar

Take away emotions and you are left with a dsytopian Brave New World existence. I think we had better keep ‘em.

Now, where did I set my gin down?

ninjaxmarc's avatar

depending on the situation, making a decision on emotion can be just as bad as making a well thought out one.

Example: a person with low self esteem taking a job as model or in customer service with constant in the face interaction because the money is real good.

Vincentt's avatar

Hell no! Without them, my life would be useless. My target in life is to make the best out of it and enjoy it, and that’s a little bit difficult without emotions.

Gigi's avatar

I like Vincents comment. Hell no!! I agree. Without emtoions life would be black and white, no color, no texture. I think the key is how you handle the emotions that come up. Are you victim to your emotions? Or can you experience them yet have some objectivity about what you’re processing emotionally and learn how to manage them so they don’t drain the sh*t out of you. I think it’s wise if you’re making a decision and feel emotionally charged to hold off on the decision until you can get your emotions into balance.

phoenyx's avatar

Although, I just watched part of a Care Bear movie with my daughter. Constantly feeling emotions and talking about them would be a personal hell.

Supergirl's avatar

If you have ever read the book “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, you will see a snapshot of one person’s view of a “utopian” society where emotion has been eradicated. I just finished this book with my 6th graders, and it was amazing how much social commentary they were able to engage in, which just shows how much emotion the book invoked. Very interesting to witness.

guesswho's avatar

there’s a really good movie where the premace is that people are required by law to take a shot that supresses their emotions…. I will get the name of it for yall- but they kill off cats and dogs- burn artwork- etc. A group of underground emotionalists form and rebel. But, without bad emotions- you have nothing to compare to the good. So really, nothing would be different if we didnt have depression- just a different scale of happiness. I like emotions.

charybdys's avatar

@guesswho: that is a movie I really like called : Equilibrium.

There is some speculation that emotion is really required as a part of cognition, and especially developing it, evolutionarily. So we probably wouldn’t exist without it, or if we did, we wouldn’t be sentient beings.

guesswho's avatar

@charlybdys: Thanx! I love that movie. I agree that it would be hard to exist without emotions

8lightminutesaway's avatar

read fahrenheit 451 and watch equilibrium to see what life is like without emotion. sorry if someone already mentioned this, i didnt want to read it all.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

we would all be robots without emotions. and besides, telling someone to **** off! without the rage behind it would be pointless.

What about the positive emotions? Life without any of those would be as freaking boring as watching paint dry.

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