Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 01:14 am
Is it humanly possible to be without emotions? By 'without emotions' I don't mean what people typically consider a sociopath. Without emotions -- as in a person who cannot feel anything -- whether for others or themselves. No fear, no shame, no happiness, no worry, no pressure, no hatred, no anger, no enjoyment. Nothing. Differing from a sociopath whereas some feel and thrive/mentally gain something out of hurting others [not all sociopaths hurt people, just generalizing].

Though I do not relate this to 'no pain.' People have said in other conversations that that could not happen because without the fear of being burned [for example], we would continue to burn ourselves. No emotions does not equal no pain receptors. Just because we don't feel scared, it does not make us void of logic or give us the want to continue to burn ourselves when we know it causes us pain. I think stopping being burned is more to avoid the pain than the fear. It's a primal urge, just as wanting food or water, but that doesn't mean you have a feeling about it. You just want it or do it.

I suppose this is mostly stemming from the idea that, if a brain was not developed properly or brain damage later occurred, could it remove/erase the ability to feel anything whatsoever, thus making people 'emotionless'?

I have watched shows where, due to accidents, people have lost a great deal of emotions toward others. Men have lost love or the want to protect their wives and family due to brain damage. Could that not extend to feelings toward ourselves and everything else?
 
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 06:04 am
@Subliminal0,
It is not humanly possible, but you have to remember that a lot of times there are people around, using the term people as quasi, who have no conscience, and no emotional register at all; and that while some of these people become mass murderers there is the possibility that many such people never get on the radar as unusual in the least... People live and relate on an emotional level... It is out of their emotions and illogical desires and fears that reason comes to make possible their achievement of pleasure, or escape from pain...

Most of us can tell we are not inanimate by our emotions, and by connection with others, and with our sympathy and empathy we know others are alive as well... People without emotions are not people, but they are the walking dead, and missing the key part of their being which should remind them they are human and having a human connection, one that even allows them self pity and the awarness of the tragedy of life, and such people could end a life and take their own lives as easily as most people could shut off the lights, or turn of the engine in their cars... Such people may look normal, and dress and behave as others, and they may even have a sense of self as distinct from others, and yet, they are purely dangerous... Most of us have the means to balance emotion against reason, and unconsciously... To the extent people are unbalanced one way or the other, giving more weight to emotions or to reason -they are either useless, or dangerous... It is the single mindedness of the mass murderer that we should all fear, and the most terrible fact is that we expect those who hold great power to be detached in their reasoning from emotional considerations so that to hold office they would condemn thousands of their fellow citizens to war, or death... Behind such madness is always the irrationality of emotions, but when people are not forced to scrutinze their emotions with reason, and instead become the driving force and jusification for national and international mass murder, the act, the crime will be left in the hands of those best suited for the task: People without emotional connectedness...

The idea of forgiving people because they know not what they do is itself madness... Such people who do not know what they do, having neither consciousness or conscience because they do not have the emotional connection -are not human, and not capable of humanity and should themselves be destroyed or caged... Instead, we often elect them to office, or make them generals...
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 06:39 am
To cut through what Fido said....

I'm confident an amount of brain damage could occur that would make a human being (a person) void of emotions.
BredyHeron
 
  4  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 08:30 am
@Subliminal0,
Believe it or not, it is quite possible. If a person were to be in an accident and had a severe head injury, they indeed could become devoid of emotion.

I'm not referring to people in vegetative states, either. There are people walking around, functioning like normal human beings, with this dysfunction. It results from trauma to the frontal lobe of the brain. A similar injury can cause people to suffer from memory loss or personality changes. A read a case about a man who was married for 15 years, had a family and was a very loving guy. After an automobile accident rendered him brain damaged, he was a completely different person. When interviewed he spoke of not having any feelings for his family whatsoever. He didn't feel love, compassion, empathy, sympathy, fear, emotional pain or anything. Eventually, he expressed a desire to divorce his wife and leave his family. He preferred to be alone and no longer felt the need for familial ties or human contact outside of work. He was like a robot. An empty shell.

I assume, however, that your question was posed to probe the possibility of someone being this way from birth. It's probably possible but not without some trauma. Perhaps a birth defect. Autistics are said to be this way. I'm not sure if I agree with that conclusively though.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 08:41 am
@BredyHeron,
Interesting what you said about autistics.

It would depend on the degree of autism, as it varies greatly.

Well, I'm thinking as far as feelings towards others.

I'm not sure even someone severely autistic doesn't experience happiness, anger, etc.
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 08:57 am
@BredyHeron,
I have heard of various mass murderers described in that fashion, as without emotions... Serial killers want a relationship, and mass murderers do not want to even look people in the eye... I think it is clearly possible to have the condition as a birth defect, but also, as in the case of the Germans and other cultures to so traumatize people that they discard or diminish emotions to such an extent that they cannot be said to have them... Too take to great a council of ones emotions is to go no where in life, to exist and little else; but then, we most often get into trouble doing beyond our ability to know, using all our senses but our emotions... Emotions connect us to all life and being... War, death, and destruction are all the result of thought without emotion...
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 10:00 am
@Fido,
maybe it's just me fido, but I think you're reading way to much into this.

Subliminal0
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 02:12 pm
@BredyHeron,
Thank you, BredyHeron! That was the exact story I had heard as well on a show a few years ago I believe; the man had young children, a wife, and was from Europe. All I could remember is that he had no feelings toward previous people in his life such as his wife and children, but I was unsure if he maintained any emotions afterward for new people.

The brain is very much like a machine. Remove one hinge, take out a screw, and the machine stops working properly. I think with damage to the right lobe or synapse clefts -- or really anything that controls emotions -- could remove the emotions or severely hinder them from what we consider normal. Everyone that I've seen debate on other sites has said it is not possible, but that is like saying if you were to damage the frontal lobe, it still remains impossible to lose memory. Something has to happen when damage occurs, whether negative or positive. It can't be damage and remain unaltered from what I'm aware of.

That was the basis of my question. I wasn't sure if anyone had heard of any cases of birth defects or developmental problems that rendered someone without feeling.

As for as I'm aware, Autistics very much feel emotions toward themselves and others. I think with Autism that they just have trouble recognizing and communicating these emotions in a way that we understand or consider proper responses. Not all who are Autistic have extreme trouble communicating and can be decently efficient at it while others struggle.
0 Replies
 
Subliminal0
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 02:14 pm
@chai2,
Thank you, chai2!
0 Replies
 
Subliminal0
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 02:23 pm
@Fido,
I think you're over-thinking the question. I'm not talking with a moral point-of-view, but rather a scientific point of view. Even if a person loses emotions, that does not make them 'not human.' Their species does not change because of this lack of emotion. It is not emotion that makes us human beings. In fact, when people starve, their digestive organs and their brain shuts down until only their primal instincts remain intact. They're not any less human. They're more human in my opinion. Losing everything but our primal instincts strips us down to our raw form. We were not given claws, fur, armor, large canines, superhuman strength, or any other forms of offense and self defense. We were given only our brains to evolve; therefore, we've evolved to match our standard of intelligence in the emotional realm.

At one point in time, we did not have laws, rules, government, right from wrong, respect for others, or anything else we consider a necessity to be human today. That did not make us any less human hundreds of years ago. It was acceptable then, and we were still human then. Our standards today are only based on facts and our knowledge. In 100 years, I'm sure people will look at us in this generation and wonder what we were thinking as well.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 02:28 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
. . . Well, I'm thinking as far as feelings towards others.

I'm not sure even someone severely autistic doesn't experience happiness,
anger, etc.
Yeah, everything I've read on this had to do with the loss of "emotional
empathy" after a traumatic brain injury. With autism, I believe it's mostly
a failure to effectively "read" the emotions of others.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 02:35 pm
@George,
George wrote:

chai2 wrote:
. . . Well, I'm thinking as far as feelings towards others.

I'm not sure even someone severely autistic doesn't experience happiness,
anger, etc.
Yeah, everything I've read on this had to do with the loss of "emotional
empathy" after a traumatic brain injury. With autism, I believe it's mostly
a failure to effectively "read" the emotions of others.


Or, even read that they are people as opposed to an object.

I watched this documentary once where an autistics brain waves don't change when looking at a person, as ours do.
They could be looking at a person, or a chair. No difference.

So, there isn't anything for them to "read"

Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 03:07 pm
@BredyHeron,
BredyHeron wrote:


Eventually, he expressed a desire to divorce his wife and leave his family. He preferred to be alone and no longer felt the need for familial ties or human contact outside of work. He was like a robot. An empty shell.



If he was able to express a desire and a preference, wouldn't that imply he experienced an emotion?

Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 03:23 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

maybe it's just me fido, but I think you're reading way to much into this.


The more books you read the more books you bring to a reading, so it wouldn't be the first time nor the last that I may do as you say...
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 03:38 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

Or, even read that they are people as opposed to an object.

I watched this documentary once where an autistics brain waves don't
change when looking at a person, as ours do.
They could be looking at a person, or a chair. No difference.

So, there isn't anything for them to "read"



Those who deal with such things generally refer to the Autism Spectrum.
A member of my family has some characteristics of that spectrum. I
should probably just shut up about this since I would be projecting from
my experience with him more than any real research into the subject.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 03:41 pm
@George,
G, someone I care a lot about has an autistic child.

I would appreciate any light you wish to shed on the subject...
MonaLeeza
 
  4  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 04:09 pm
@George,
My son is autistic and expresses the full range of emotions that everyone else does. I've never felt that he confuses me with the furniture.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 04:24 pm
@MonaLeeza,
MonaLeeza wrote:

My son is autistic and expresses the full range of emotions that everyone else does. I've never felt that he confuses me with the furniture.


My intent was not to insult.

However, I was clear in that I was not speaking of all degrees of autism, that in no way I said any autisic person confuses a person with a piece of furniture.


In any event, I was also clear in saying that austistic people have emotions, so were not a good example.
MonaLeeza
 
  2  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 05:54 pm
@chai2,
Sorry - I wasn't insulted at all - I thought it was funny. You can't parent a child with autism for 18 years without a sense of humour.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 06:29 pm
@MonaLeeza,
Thanks mona.

I'll bet, re the sense of humour
0 Replies
 
 

 
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