The question promotes that we can from time to time trust our emotions in the pursuit of knowledge.
And normally we presume that it may be possible to know when to rely on feelings which emotions can assist us in the acquisition of understanding. And you may challenge these anticipations. Maybe it is not possible to understand when to trust our emotions, and possibly our feelings have a limited value in the pursuit of understanding, however to what I aim to evaluate is to what level do our emotions play a role in the pursuit of knowledge.
After being elected as the captain of my home, a post which came armed with heavy obligations, my luck set out in getting the perfect vice captain to help me. Thus, I was forced to think about changing my vice captain. Be that as it may, it so occurred that this replacement takes place to be a buddy of mine, which led me to question whether I was doing the ideal thing.
Am I picking to replace my existing vice captain out of whats best for my house or am I simply changing him out of the emotional attachment for my buddy. Taking my feelings into factor to consider, my judgment is affected to some extent, but at the same time it does not suggest that it prevents me form making the right decision. While I did desire my good friend as my brand-new vice captain, there were likewise facts to support the method I felt about why my present vice captain had actually to be replaced.
Having said that even if my friend turned out to be even worse than his predecessor then I would on some level act logically and change my good friend too with another person. Perhaps that another person may be selected on the basis of my taste of that individual but however the reality that I was willing to remove that post from him for the good of my house reveals that it isn’t constantly down to our emotions which impact our judgement and how that judgement affects our pursuit of understanding. The pursuit of knowledge in this case discusses knowing what is genuinely reasonable and ideal, and while I did what I believed was best for my house, I was also simultaneously satisfying my own individual 1interests by selecting a close pal. The method I take a look at it, there is no harm in killing 2 birds with one stone.
Then again when I say I did what I did because it was best for my house then the only reason I did what was best for my house was because of the emotional attachment I had towards my house itself and if changing my house captain was what I had to do then either way which ever decision I took was because my of emotions. So how do our emotions pave our path in our understanding of the decisions we make and weather those decisions are ethical or not? And how do those decisions in turn affect the way we pursue knowledge?
Decision making requires a very cognitive thinking and conditional to the situation we are in we can classify our decisions as emotional or logical decisions. Making a logical decision requires us to exclude our emotions and seek to use only rational methods in arriving at a resolution. Such a situation could involve solving a simple maths problem. Considering my real life situation where is was supposed reach a verdict by using my emotional and logical thinking, making a choice in my houses best interest was on the basis of my logical thinking which was fueled my emotional attachment towards my house.
Essentially to a large extent reason and emotions do go in conjunction with each other. Its been widely proven that the reasoning and emotional centers of our brains are inclined to work together in many situations from choosing which movie to watch to solving mathematical equations, to making ethical choices. In an experiment conducted by Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, a group of subjects who had sustained brain injuries in the part of the brain where emotions were generated were studied. Everything about them remained the same except for the fact that they lost the ability to feel emotions. In his observations he found that their ability to make decisions was severely impaired. They could logically illustrate what they were doing but in practice found it very difficult to make decisions about what to eat, where to live, etc.
Subjects like mathematics through which we use deductive logic to gain certain knowledge and state a valid argument on the basis of a true axiom or premise might seem rather emotionless compared to subjects to like the arts which involve terms like inspiration and expression of oneself through his/her emotions but as different as they seem, they both go hand in hand. When you tell a person he/she is horrible at a particular subject, he/she looses the motivation to push himself/herself to excel in that subject, however if you told that same person that he/she has a lot of potential to transcend in a certain subject, he/she feels obligated to unlock this talent he/she has for this subject that other people claim he/she has. By simply manipulating that persons emotions, you can essentially affect the way that person pursues that particular subject.
An ground breaking event in history which incorporates biology and religion would be the time when Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution. While various religions have to come to reconcile their beliefs in this theory, there are religions that raise various objections to the concept of evolution. The religion of Christianity for example talks about how the world was created by its god in seven days, and this ideology had stayed strong and had been passed down generations for thousands of years. Even till today young children are acquainted with this story until the eight grade when they learn of Darwin’s theory of evolution. This sudden revelation of the truth can instigate people to deeply question their faith and its teachings which can deeply affect them on an emotional platform. Christianity like all religions give its followers a sense of belonging. They take pride in being a Christian and strictly follow its principals and values which were imbibed into them by their parents and their church, and to a large extent their faith plays a big role in defining their integrity and character.
That being the case when they learn that all those years being followers of Christianity could well be a lie, it can cause them to fear and question their values and virtues. Due to the fact that their religion gave them so much happiness and joy, they would come to blindly accept it without casting any aspersions about it. As a result those positive emotions led them to could their reasoning and prevented them from thinking clearly therefore predominantly affecting their way of learning and how they accepted different truths. From the above example people are now forced to fight emotions with reasoning, and instead of blindly accepting any theories or prophecies told to them, people take a larger initiative to believe in these unknown theories only after personally witnessing it or understanding that respective phenomenon from studying rational facts. And yet from this whole phenomenon of evolution which changed the face of the world, millions of people are still strong believers of Christianity.
And while they have simultaneously come to terms with the numerous theories which defy their religion, they continue living life by balancing their beliefs with what science throws at them. The fact of the matter is that believing in a greater power gives people a sense of comfort during a time of difficulty, it gives them this sense of safety that they have something or someone they can turn to, to help keep themselves and their emotions sound and under control.
And maybe at the cost of escaping the actual truth they may give into their emotions to keep themselves convinced and satisfied in the fantasies which they feel protect them from the harshness of reality. And for that reason yes I do feel that our emotions affect our pursuit of knowledge and not in a way that we can trust them for the fact that our emotions strongly dilute reality to help us humans cope with life’s obstacles. 2
Emotions play a big role in the one of the ways of knowing. In fact emotions can be so powerful that it can sometime change our other ways of knowing, such as the way we perceive the world. It can drive us away from logic and even change the way we use language. In the end I have analysed how our emotions can give rise to us escaping the truth, and notwithstanding the fact that at the same time our emotions are also key to helping us make logical decisions.