I think your metaphor is well-taken. I always wondered how Data (from Star Trek) be the character he was in the absence of emotions i.e. how he could 'see' and 'feel' certain things (like duty, friendship) without a capacity for emotion. But I would have a question about the role of belief in emotion: doesn't the power of the emotion to disclose (moral) reality partly depend on the belief that informs it, and given a different belief (or belief system), the emotional response will change. Consider this passage from Tolstoi, "What I Believe":
"Five years ago I began to believe in the doctrine of Christ, and in consequence a great change has been wrought in me. I now no longer care for the things that I had prized, and I have begun to desire things concerning which I had formerly been indifferent. Like a man who, going out on business, on his way suddenly becomes convinced of the futility of that business and turns back; and all that stood to the right now stands to the left, and all that was to the left is now to the right; his wish to be as far from home as possible is changed to the desire of being as near home as possible – so, I may say, the whole aim and purpose of my life has been changed; my desires are no more what they have been. For me, good and evil have changed places."
This indicates to me the dependence of emotion on belief. What do you think?