Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2012 07:18 am
“ Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings, always darker, emptier and simpler”

- Nietzsche

Once I had a discussion with an acquaintance of mine, and as sometimes happens, a casual develops into an excited exchange and one themes lead to other themes, and at one point we have reached the notion of reason vs. feelings.

Here is the dialogue that we had:

I told him something similar to the statement quoted above, to which he replied:

“ No, someone can kill out of feeling, that’s completely false to make such comparison”

I: so what, what’s the problem with that?

He: What do you mean what’s the problem, by reason its bad to kill, whereas the feeling can make you act contrary to reason

I: and what’s the reason why its bad to kill (I exclude the case of self defense)

He: well if you talk like this you must be this and that…

I: please don’t psychoanalyze me, just tell me why

He: well, hum, reason … life … good … blah…

I: isn’t the “reason” in itself a feeling?

He: but if everything is feeling then one day everybody can decide to kill everybody and it will be the end of the world. I myself sometimes feel like I’m going to kill someone, so do you mean that all life is at the mercy of some stupid feeling?

I: and why is bothers you, and probably most of people? Its because feelings are not all the same. Its true that sometimes we do something that we regret, because we are temporary carried away, but if we regret afterwards it means that the “regaining of our reason” is really the resurfacing of the truer, deeper, supposedly constant but occasionally overwhelmed feeling. Its true that some people don’t regret, maybe its because they are sick or traumatized or some part of their brain produces the wrong amount of some neurotransmitter, but the apparently correct tendency is that people have an instinct to preserve and love life, and this instinct is some sort of force that moves people, this force is the feeling.
Many times we try to give reasonable explanations to things that we in reality feel. Just notice how sometimes people will be zealously arguing for something while there are other reasonable courses of argument, so why are they so biased toward something particular – because their arguments are in fact a reasonable expression of their feelings. Of course it would be impractical for society to build itself on feelings because many feelings are particular to individuals and its just hard to do deal and communicate feelings in their truer forms. But nevertheless if we are all here together is because there are some feelings that are common to the majority. If someone genuinely felt that its alright to kill for reasons that you don’t feel, you wouldn’t want to live with him.
Feelings are the feeler’s nature.

He: hum, its interesting to consider it this way…
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