Emotions and Epistemology

Behold how our emotions delude us and bias our potential clear view on reality. By claiming that something is “real”, as in “feeling real”, you automatically raise the chances of your claim not being correct about reality. Our emotions and opinions are independent from reality, and reality is independent from them. The firsts attempt to interpret it, and the second doesn’t care about how it is interpreted, as reality has no consciousness, but is simply the accumulation of all existent things in a great void.

Subjectivity is always relative to the experience of the subject, i.e of the experiencer, while the objective is beyond the experience of the experiencer. Objective reality, the true reality, in the cooperative absence of logical coherence and of proper evidence from reliable sources, can only be experienced and interpreted, but never be known beyond the experience and the interpretation, which are both always biased by momentary feelings and by one’s cultural framework.

Let’s say you and another person watch a movie. You and the other person feel different feelings while coming from different cultural backgrounds. If the movie, let’s say, contains pornographic material, you may enjoy it while the other person may shake in disgust. In the end of the movie you tell each other how the movie was.

You may claim “it was great!” and your friend shall reply “Are you kidding me? It was disgusting!”. Now, both of your opposite emotions were about the movie, and they both felt “real”; the exact “real” you may stated in your question. According to logic, something can’t be A and B together if A and B are entirely different things. Pay attention: it can contain both like the color grey contains black and white, but the color grey can’t be black and white together, only in union, but not as the same thing. The same thing goes for the movie: it cannot be “good” and “bad” altogether. It can combine “good” and “bad” elements, but never be both.

Now, let’s focus on a scene in the movie that contained pornographic material. The pornographic moment can’t be “good” and “bad” together; it can’t be fantastic and great, horrible and disgusting, altogether. Either one of you is wrong and the other is correct, or you both are wrong.

A problem with momentary emotion is that emotions are not objective criteria to determining evidence happening beyond our consciousness. The movie played beyond your and your friend’s consciousness. If your friend is to ask you how come the movie was great and you reply “I enjoyed it”, you’re providing insufficient evidence not because it’s your own opinion and not a collective one, but because coherent logical reasoning has nothing to do with the emotions of the reasoner. By saying you enjoyed it, you simply told the friend your personal experience, not something about the movie itself, beyond your experience. The same logic applies if you’d asked your friend why was the movie disgusting and he would reply “it contained pornographic material”, because then again “pornographic material” exists beyond your consciousness and is not dependent on your consciousness and has nothing to do with your consciousness as a distinct object. Saying that you “really” feel that the pornographic material was great, is just a way to say in English that for you it felt very great, not that the material ITSELF was great. Saying that the material itself was great therefore is, theoretically, hypocritical because you claim something that you feel about it is real AS IF it really existed beyond the sphere of your own subjectivity.

Even if you “really” feel something, it simply means that you feel it (as in, “It is true that I feel this emotion right now”), or feel it very much (as in, “I really, really feel it”), and that’s it, not that the thing you feel about it exists beyond your feelings. “Really” feeling - or thinking for this instance - means that the feeling and thought is real within your subjective realm (or inter-subjective if others feel it as well), and nothing more.

This is why relying on emotions to determine what is real or unreal, is delusional and does not actually contribute to your progress to understand reality beyond whatever feeling is that you currently feel. The tide of a feeling can easily cause you to create a logical fallacy, ignore evidence, or both, while attempting to understand reality as independent of you (which really is - no pun intended). Hence the immense misleading power of emotional bias, and the opponent it is in the search for a better clarity and recognition of the World Beyond the Mind


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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher