What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
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31-10-2014, 10:27 AM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 09:13 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  So I believe everyone is saying
Try 'most of you' in future, more likely to get a positive responce.

(31-10-2014 09:13 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  our feelings and emotions are basic chemical reactions
As opposed to what other kind of chemical reaction? Brain chemistry is very complex, so much so that we do not and likely _can_ not 'understand' (reduce reality to a model that is useful and fits in the limited capacity of the human mind) it. 1 + 1 = 2, and this leads to calculus, which is still less complex than brain chemistry. But then two elements interacting chemically is way more complex than 1 + 1 = 2.

(31-10-2014 09:13 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  causing us to feel things like love, hate fear etc.
I'm not sure this is quite right. The chemical reactions _are_ the feelings, as well as the thoughts. In a computer the changing electric signals don't 'cause' the stored information and logic states, they _are_ the store information and logic states (rough analogy, I'm a bit tired).

(31-10-2014 09:13 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  My question then is... isn't the adrenal chemical reactions brought on by fear, and not the cause of fear?
Again, as far as I know, not quite right. Adtenaline is _part_ of fear (and other emotions), not really 'triggered' by it as if they are separate things. In a car, when the gas pedal is pressed (fear stimulous) the wheels turn (fear reaction) and the motor goes faster (adenaline response), but you can also get the motor going hard while in neutral. Again not a great analogy.

(31-10-2014 09:13 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  The atheistic view seems to be
Problem here. There is no 'atheistic view' with respect to such things. The only thing the label 'atheist' tells you is what a person believes about gods. Many atheists believe in ghosts, just not gods. So calling something 'the atheist view' when it has nothing to do, directly, with the existence or non-existence of god(s) is inaccurate (and gets you yelled at or at least corrected). You can then ask 'but without god as an explanation for X, how do you explain X?', in which case you'll get a bunch of different answers, including 'I don't. So what? I don't need to have an explanation to not accept yours.'. Most humans have a problem admitting ignorance, and grasp at explanations based on just about anything rather than have a hole in our knowledge. We find it uncomfortable not knowing something that seems so personal, so much a part of us. It would be like being an adult and having no idea at all what your sexuality is. It's easier and more comfortable to have _any_ explanation, including gods and spirit and ghosts and souls, than to wait for evidence.
Additionally, some people get upset with the notion that 'who they are' is a function of chemistry, however complex. It's the same reaction as those who deny evolution because 'I ain't kin to no ape'. We like to think we're 'special', because that rationalizes and permits all the horrible things we do, to other humans, to other animals, to our environment. Finding out we're just like all other life on this planet and that life is a very complex chemical reaction and nothing more can be a huge blow to the ego if looked at the wrong way, and brings up uncomfortable questions about the ethics of our actions. But when you look at a painting, does it _matter_ that, ultimately, it's just a bunch of pigment on a canvas? Ultimate reality, the basic building blocks of th universe, aren't glamorous or exciting, but the end result sure can be!
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31-10-2014, 10:34 AM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
Fear response
Imagine a multi-celled creature with the beginning of an eye (a patch of cells that can detect light)
A shadow moves over these small creatures and some move in response to the shadow. Its involuntary. That movement caused them to survive when others who didn't move, were eaten.

Small responses like this get passed down to aid survival. From changes in lighting to sounds to what we can imagine might be in the shadows. A billion changes over a billion years.

A sound that is out of place at 2:00am can wake you from your sleep, because not waking up could get your ancestors killed. A small sound can trigger all kinds of biological responses that are there for your protection.

Not sure what more I can say.
Do you understand ?

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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31-10-2014, 11:34 AM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 06:05 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  Hi.
I'm interested in you opinions regarding "feelings" and "emotion". What are they and why do we experience them? What makes someone jump with fear, or embrace with love, or strike with hatred?

Thank you!

They are automated responses based on our values and convictions. Evolution is why we have them.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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31-10-2014, 11:57 AM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 09:18 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(31-10-2014 09:13 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  I appreciate everyone's answer. So I believe everyone is saying then our feelings and emotions are basic chemical reactions causing us to feel things like love, hate fear etc.

My question then is... isn't the adrenal chemical reactions brought on by fear, and not the cause of fear? In other words, science seems to tell us that we become startled by something and this produces the adrenalin rush. The atheistic view seems to be the opposite of this. How would you address this?

And THANK YOU ALL again! Smile
Well, since it is not the case that everyone is saying that, the rest of your post becomes nonsense.

If you don't attribute "feelings" to chemical reactions, what do you attribute them to?
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31-10-2014, 12:31 PM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 10:34 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Fear response
Imagine a multi-celled creature with the beginning of an eye (a patch of cells that can detect light)
A shadow moves over these small creatures and some move in response to the shadow. Its involuntary. That movement caused them to survive when others who didn't move, were eaten.

Small responses like this get passed down to aid survival. From changes in lighting to sounds to what we can imagine might be in the shadows. A billion changes over a billion years.

A sound that is out of place at 2:00am can wake you from your sleep, because not waking up could get your ancestors killed. A small sound can trigger all kinds of biological responses that are there for your protection.

Not sure what more I can say.
Do you understand ?

Yes I understand. I want to say something and this isn't addressed to you personally, but everyone... Let me make a clarification. A few of you seemed offended when I spoke of an "atheist view". I mean no offence and I am not ignorantly prejudicial against you... The fact is atheists must have many common views in order to hold their belief in no God. It is exactly the same as when you talk about "religion" or "religious people". We religious people have tons of differences between us, but we still have ultimate commonalities aside from a belief in God alone. So I'm in no way being prejudice or just lumping everyone together any more than you do in conversation.

Now that we have that out of the way, Let me say that the way "religious folk" and "atheist folk" look at emotions is similar but somewhat backward from one another.

Whereas you see the chemical reaction occurring after the frightening event, but before the feeling, 90 percent of the world would say that the feeling is felt and that THEN the chemical reaction is processed, further enabling us with adrenalin and etc. In other words Stimulation produces fear which then causes the production of the adrenalin needed to deal with the situation.

And what about adrenalin flowing because of "fearfully anticipating"? Some people suffer anxiety prepping for a job interview, or a big game they are going to participate in, or even watching games. Job interviews and games weren't eating us 10,000 years ago Smile Humans fear many things that could be considered irrational.

I think that it IS important to remember too that the atheist view would be the minority view as 90 percent of the world... maybe a hair more, believe in a God. Of course Im not saying numbers are always superior, but it should always give the minority view pause to at least consider. Scientifically speaking, I think you'd be very hard pressed to produce a study that disproves the view held by most religious people. Iv certainly found nothing that says we are wrong. We view feeling as the CAUSE for the chemical reaction. For instance love releases serotonin. We don't at all believe that serotonin causes love.

You don't love your own child because of a serotonin release. You have a personal investment in that child. You love that child because it's yours. Love goes beyond making sure something reaches adulthood. Love can cause us to go against our own fearful natures, to give our lives for those we DO love. This is antithetical to a survival instinct.

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31-10-2014, 12:38 PM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 11:34 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(31-10-2014 06:05 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  Hi.
I'm interested in you opinions regarding "feelings" and "emotion". What are they and why do we experience them? What makes someone jump with fear, or embrace with love, or strike with hatred?

Thank you!

They are automated responses based on our values and convictions. Evolution is why we have them.

Do you believe feelings are the result of pretty much chemical reaction and nothing more? If you would disagree with this, what more would you add to the chemical reaction to create "feeling"?
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31-10-2014, 12:56 PM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 12:31 PM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  Whereas you see the chemical reaction occurring after the frightening event, but before the feeling, 90 percent of the world would say that the feeling is felt and that THEN the chemical reaction is processed, further enabling us with adrenalin and etc. In other words Stimulation produces fear which then causes the production of the adrenalin needed to deal with the situation.

And what about adrenalin flowing because of "fearfully anticipating"? Some people suffer anxiety prepping for a job interview, or a big game they are going to participate in, or even watching games. Job interviews and games weren't eating us 10,000 years ago Smile Humans fear many things that could be considered irrational.

I think that it IS important to remember too that the atheist view would be the minority view as 90 percent of the world... maybe a hair more, believe in a God. Of course Im not saying numbers are always superior, but it should always give the minority view pause to at least consider. Scientifically speaking, I think you'd be very hard pressed to produce a study that disproves the view held by most religious people. Iv certainly found nothing that says we are wrong. We view feeling as the CAUSE for the chemical reaction. For instance love releases serotonin. We don't at all believe that serotonin causes love.

Some people have mentioned it already. Automatic biological responses.

You brain receives information from your environment through your senses, processes them and sends directions to the parts of your body that must react.

The original "directions", the ones that explain what the brain should do and how, come from your DNA.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
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31-10-2014, 01:04 PM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 12:31 PM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  Scientifically speaking, I think you'd be very hard pressed to produce a study that disproves the view held by most religious people. Iv certainly found nothing that says we are wrong. We view feeling as the CAUSE for the chemical reaction. For instance love releases serotonin. We don't at all believe that serotonin causes love.

The bit in bold demonstrates that you are not familiar with the scientific literature concerning emotions.

If we're going to subject your theory to scientific rigour, then please also define what your 'love' is. After all, if it has an effect that results in the release of serotonin in a brain, then it is physical, measurable and quantifiable. This means that we can test for the presence of 'love' outside of the normal functioning of the brain.

OddGamer gave you the best analogy:

(31-10-2014 10:27 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  The chemical reactions _are_ the feelings, as well as the thoughts. In a computer the changing electric signals don't 'cause' the stored information and logic states, they _are_ the store information and logic states (rough analogy, I'm a bit tired).


The brain is made up of neurons. These transmit vesicles of chemicals (neurotransmitters) within synpatic clefts which have the effect of causing other neurons to fire. Neuromodulators are used to excite or inhibit neurons over longer time periods. It is these mechanisms that gives rise to the phenomena that we refer to as emotions.

Emotions are an emergent phenomena arising endogenously from the functioning of the brain.
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31-10-2014, 01:08 PM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 12:56 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Some people have mentioned it already. Automatic biological responses.

You brain receives information from your environment through your senses, processes them and sends directions to the parts of your body that must react.

The original "directions", the ones that explain what the brain should do and how, come from your DNA.

I do understand, but it seems the reality is that the jury is still out. If you don't mind an honest observation, several of the folk here are speaking as if they know for certain. I submit that this is just a bit overblown. Smile No offence intended at all.

http://www.biopsychiatry.com/lovesero.htm

^^^ There you will find an abstract written by several doctors conducting a study dealing with love and obsession in relation to ocd patients. What Id like to point out is the very opening paragraph of this abstract:

"BACKGROUND: The evolutionary consequences of love are so important that there must be some long-established biological process regulating it."

According to this they can only theorize as to the causes for love, but they have certainly not found out the process. A quick look at a Wiki tells us:

"Evolutionary psychology has proposed several explanations for love."

So its not like the jury has reached a verdict.
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31-10-2014, 01:17 PM
RE: What are "feelings" and "emotion"?
(31-10-2014 01:08 PM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  If you don't mind an honest observation, several of the folk here are speaking as if they know for certain. I submit that this is just a bit overblown. Smile

The subject of my PhD was the functional role of emotions and how they could be emulated for creating biologically plausible Artificial Intelligence. I then worked one year as a research fellow on this subject and have published peer-reviewed papers on this subject.

This meant that I had to be aware of the scientific literature regarding the neurophysical bases of emotions.
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