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A thought on Human nature
Posted: 23 March 2011 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Pambania - 11 March 2011 06:52 PM

Reason should always be the slave of the emotions.

How about, Emotions should be the slave of reason. ?

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
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Posted: 23 March 2011 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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How about, emotion motivates behavior, reason guides it?

Occam

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Posted: 24 March 2011 02:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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How about reason should change emotions when it turns out that the emotions do not help?

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Posted: 24 March 2011 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. Emotions and reason are localized in different parts of the brain and perform very different cognitive operations. It is the cerebellum that is involved with emotions and the reasoning takes place in the frontal lobe. Both are obviously equally important and it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to say that one should take over or guide the other. (And who will decide this, anyway? The Cartesian puppeteer?) Both, the emotions and reason guide our behaviour. The difference here is that emotions do it faster and less accurately, and reasoning is more precise but takes longer; most of our actions are obviously based on both, emotions and reasoning.

But keep going, guys. You certainly sound very inspirational… grin

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Posted: 24 March 2011 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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George - 24 March 2011 07:01 AM

But keep going, guys. You certainly sound very inspirational… grin

A perfect example of an emotional statement taking precedence over reason…... cool grin

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
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Posted: 24 March 2011 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Write4U - 24 March 2011 12:51 PM
George - 24 March 2011 07:01 AM

But keep going, guys. You certainly sound very inspirational… grin

A perfect example of an emotional statement taking precedence over reason…... cool grin

Oh, well, I guess I’ll never make it to the Kolinahr.  downer

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Posted: 24 March 2011 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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George - 24 March 2011 01:00 PM
Write4U - 24 March 2011 12:51 PM
George - 24 March 2011 07:01 AM

But keep going, guys. You certainly sound very inspirational… grin

A perfect example of an emotional statement taking precedence over reason…... cool grin

Oh, well, I guess I’ll never make it to the Kolinahr.  downer

You’re in good company - Spock never completed the final Kolinahr ritual.

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Posted: 24 March 2011 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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Quotning Geoge:

I think it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Yeah, but remember that with me, if there’s ever a conflict between a complex response and succinctness the latter almost always wins.  LOL

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Posted: 25 March 2011 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Occam. - 24 March 2011 04:24 PM

Yeah, but remember that with me, if there’s ever a conflict between a complex response and succinctness the latter almost always wins.  LOL

Sure, but I don’t think that what you said is really the succinct version of my more complex response. If you step into a traffic and hear a horn of a car you’ll automatically look in the direction of where the sound is coming from, followed be a visual confirmation of approaching danger and jumping back onto the sidewalk. In this case it is your emotion, emotion of danger, that will guide (not motivate!) your behaviour.

But at least you (unlike everybody else here) didn’t include “should” in your sentence. I give you a B+.  grin

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Posted: 25 March 2011 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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I am now wondering if Data would be really unable to experience emotions. What happens in Data’s brain when he steps into a traffic and sees an approaching car? If he were to plan (because that is what reason does: it plans) his jump back back to the sidewalk, he would be dead silicon. I can imagine a computer specifically designed to navigate through traffic, based on very precise calculations on how to avoid collision. But such a computer would be hardly capable of accomplishing thousands of other things, say, playing a violin, providing for the needs of Spot, etc. If everything Data did was carefully calculated, his brain (or a CPU, or whatever he has) would probably have to be of gigantic proportions, requiring enormous source of energy.

Since the size of Data’s brain looks the same as ours, and since he is capable of doing thousands of other things, he cannot be capable to navigate through a traffic by reasoning. He would probably respond in a very similar way we do: using emotions. And so would Spock.

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Posted: 25 March 2011 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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George - 25 March 2011 07:44 AM

Since the size of Data’s brain looks the same as ours, and since he is capable of doing thousands of other things, he cannot be capable to navigate through a traffic by reasoning. He would probably respond in a very similar way we do: using emotions. And so would Spock.

Not quite. If we imagine a technology that is advanced enough, the need for splitting into two systems, one for quick imprecise decisions, one for longer precise decisions, would not be necessary.
The absurdity of persons (personoides?) like Spock and Data, is that without emotions their thoughts and actions would not have a direction. Even our extensive deliberated actions need some basis. The only source in us for that is emotions. Even if my remark a few postings above was a bit in jest, this is the idea: that our emotions do not come from nowhere. Their basis is in the first place biological, but in the second place acquired. And even if it is only a small part of our changing emotions, some of them change on basis of rational deliberations. It requires attention and training, but it can be done.

“A beer?”
“No, no, I must drive”
“C’mon, just one”
“OK, but just one”

After 10 times he might be really be able not to drink ‘just one beer’.

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Posted: 25 March 2011 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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GdB - 25 March 2011 08:23 AM

Not quite. If we imagine a technology that is advanced enough, the need for splitting into two systems, one for quick imprecise decisions, one for longer precise decisions, would not be necessary.

Sure, I can imagine such a technology, but not in our universe, where the laws of nature apply the same way to everything and everybody. I can imagine an airplane that would resemble the shape of a goat more closely than that of a bird, but I doubt it would be capable of flying. That is why a whale resembles fish, that is why the Central-American pyramids look a lot like the ziggurats of Sumer and Babylonia. In other words, the nature has some choices, but only within a limit: the whales still move their bodies just like other mammals, that is up and down and not side to side like fish, and the pyramids might be similar but not identical.

As for the rest of your post, well, if a person could be trained to put more emphasis on reason as opposed to emotions, then many diets and drug and alcohol rehabilitation therapies would result in successful outcomes. They don’t: more than ninety percent of people fail at both. As for those who do succeed, I am not so convinced that they reason themselves to change their habits. They might have very well had a predisposition detected by a lucky or a skillful therapist who used it towards the patient’s advantage. IOW, explaining to a drug addict that drugs will kill him will probably not be as useful as introducing him to religion (viz., one of the Baldwin brothers, for example), assuming the person has what it takes to respond accordingly to religious babble.

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Posted: 25 March 2011 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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George,

You talk about Data as if he exists. But it would be methodologically false to imagine a computer technology that is much fast than ours?

Obviously some animals are more equal than others….

The success of psychotherapies is limited, that’s right. But it is not zero.

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Posted: 25 March 2011 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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GdB - 25 March 2011 12:35 PM

Obviously some animals are more equal than others…..

Sure, but none of them will have eyes on their soles. My point is that if they ever succeed building a robot like Data I doubt he’ll be much different from us. You hear it all the time when they talk about AI and say that building a certain robot like a computer was a mistake and that they will need to find a way for the robot to mimic the human way of doing things. And the same goes for aliens. I have said it a few times elsewhere, but I doubt the Klingons would be able to build interstellar ships while behaving like the Australopithecuses. It won’t happen. Just like the Arabs won’t have democracy (that is, our idea of democracy) no matter how hard we try: they are made of different stuff.

[ Edited: 25 March 2011 01:19 PM by George ]
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Posted: 25 March 2011 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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Here is an excellent article from J. B. S. Haldane, On Being the Right Size. I imagine that an article called “On Having the Right Intelligence” or “On Having the Right Behaviour” would sound very similar.

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