Emotionalism has become far too common and acceptable in our culture today. Real knowledge is derived from reality through the use of our mental faculty, through the use of reason. It starts with observations which leads to the formation of principles, concepts, and knowledge. The scientific method is an example of this process.
What is the relationship of reason to emotion? Most people misunderstand this crucial connection. They believe that both are on the same hierarchical level which is implied by their framing of the issue as reason versus emotion. Thus, they might categorize individuals as mainly rational or mainly emotional, cerebral or spontaneous. Wrong! The relationship of reason to emotion is similar to the relationship of cause to effect. They are not on the same hierarchical level. Reason is more fundamental, and emotions result from the conclusions of your reason. Emotions are an inseparable and valuable part of being human, but the process of how they are created is misunderstood. Note that the ultimate goal of every person should be to achieve their individual happiness–which is experienced as an emotion. Reason and emotion are two aspects of the same human being.
Emotions are a response to your values–which hopefully are a result of good thinking, of reflection and rational thought. They are a response to your fundamental view of the world, of the values you hold in people and things. If your values are irrational, then the emotions you experience will be irrational. They will be unknowable demons tormenting your life. When your values are rational, your resultant emotions will be logical, predictable, and understandable. Philosopher Ayn Rand explained that emotions are like the eloquent term used by computer programmers: gigo, which means garbage in, garbage out. Again, reason and emotion are two aspects of the same human being. Reason should function as a guide to life, a guide to your actions. Emotions should enrich your life and make it more worth living.
Let me paraphrase a brief explanation by Dr. Leonard Peikoff that I heard in a lecture of his on cassette tape (yes, it was that long ago). A college professor enters his classroom, sets his briefcase on his desk, and removes a handful of blue books. He then proceeds to pass out the blue books. There is a hush of tense nervousness in the class. Finally, a hand is raised and an anxious students says, “but you didn’t say there was a test today!” With that the professor collects the blue books and puts them back into his briefcase. He then asks, who can tell me about the emotions you were experiencing while I was passing out the blue books?
To summarize, the blue books mean a test. A test means failure. Failure in this class means you do not get your college degree, or you do not get it with the high GPA that you were expecting. Without that college degree you will not get that nice job with the comfortable paycheck. That means that you will not be able to afford the nice house, the two car family, and the achievement of the American dream. The blue books are a threat to your future happiness! Invariably, there are 2 or 3 students auditing the class. They do not get a grade so they cannot fail the class. The test is not a threat to them, and they remain calm and relaxed throughout the process. Do you get it? Emotions are a response to your values. Reason is more fundamental than emotions because it, hopefully, determines your values through reflection and thought. Most people simply absorb their values from the people around them: parents, relatives, friends, peers, teachers, sports heroes, or musicians. They have never reflected on their values and integrated them into complete and harmonious whole.
Reason provides a method by which you can discover and correct your errors. Emotions do not. Emotionalists are like frightened natives at the mercy of the proclamations of the witch doctor of their primitive tribe. Our educational system has not been teaching the young how to think, how to properly use their mental faculty. Thus, by default, it has been turning most of them into emotionalists which is what happens when you do not know how to use your mind. The hidden goal of education has been indoctrination, not education. We have many good and well meaning teachers, but the system they work in is corrupt.
Rather than promoting rational and independent thinking so that students would be capable of choosing their own values, our educational system has been advocating the values and politics of collectivism. This social system cannot be rationally defended and thus requires that its advocates be emotionalists. I’ve listened to three debates on cassette tape on the subject of: Capitalism verses Socialism, which is the moral system? The socialists were destroyed by the Objectivists! They didn’t even know how to philosophically defend collectivism. They only spoke in timeworn clichés and broad but shallow generalizations. I can excuse them for not mentally grasping the consequences of their favored system. Few do. But, I do fault them for advocating a system which would eventually enslave me, whether they realized it or not.
There are three variations of collectivism: socialism, fascism, and communism. The basics of all of them can be understood by using the analogy of the honey bee hive. Citizens in a collective are like worker bees. They do not have any rights. Instead, they have a moral duty to sacrifice their lives for their bee hive. Worker bees are slaves whose lives are owned and controlled by their hive, by their all-powerful central government. This is why a vote for Hillary was ultimately a vote for slavery. She is an advocate of the collectivist bee hive over which she intended to rule with an iron fist. But, humans are not insects. Collectivism is not an appropriate social and political organization for us because we possess a rational faculty. We are capable of thinking.
Individualism is the philosophical opposite of collectivism. The real scale in politics is individualism versus collectivism, not liberal versus conservative nor left versus right. Almost all politicians in Washington DC are collectivists. They favor a big all-powerful central government to rule our nation, our collectivist bee hive. A vote for Trump was a vote against the political establishment. He does not stand on principles so a vote for him was a roll of the dice. But, better that than a guarantee of being a slave under Hillary. We can only hope that Trump will truly “drain the swamp” of collectivists, and promote individual rights and freedom. Freedom is what will make America great again!
The United States was founded as an individualist nation recognizing that all of its citizens possess inalienable rights. This was a total break from the European collectivist tradition. Most American youth today have been indoctrinated by our educational system and have no idea that their country was a historic revolution in the cause of individual rights and freedom. This is why Ayn Rand asserts that in its original founding principles the United States was the only moral nation in history. When individual rights are honored and respected, the result is freedom.
Individualism in politics is moral; collectivism is not. Individualism is implemented with a limited and minimal government that is ultimately answerable to the people. ”We the people” are supposed to be our government’s final authority. Good principles are eternal; they are not subject to change. The Constitution of the United States was intended to be eternal. It was intended to implement the concept of individual rights for all time. Instead, there is a large faction today that wants to interpret the Constitution as a “living document”. This would mean that it is not eternal; it would be subject to change. The collectivists want to reinterpret the Constitution in a way that would allow all of us to be enslaved as worker bees. There would be no freedom. Would you be happy as a slave? Would making you a slave be moral?
Do the liberals/progressives/Leftists understand any of this? No! They most certainly do not! They are neither rational nor are they deep thinkers. They believe that their vision of collectivism will be a utopia where everyone will be equal, free from want, and happy. They are dead wrong. Life by its nature requires us to work to survive and achieve our happiness. The only path to self-esteem is through hard work. The achievement itself is rewarding. Successful striving results in joy. There is no such thing as being completely taken care of by someone else, of delegating the responsibility for your own survival, and being fat, dumb, and happy. Any government that allegedly attempts to realize this false goal will fail–as examples of collectivism in the 20th century demonstrate. The progressive Left is delusional about reality.
I repeat, emotionalism does not give anyone the ability to discover and correct their errors. Only reason does that. Regardless, the Leftists are emotionally committed to their daydream just as Islamic jihadists are blindly committed to their Allah. Anyone opposed to their subjective “reality” is automatically considered to be mean-spirited and evil. That is why, for them, the ends justify the means. They will simply attempt to steamroll those who they believe are wrong. The self-absorbed hypocrites do not realize that they themselves are hypocrites. They do not want to be dictated to, but it is okay for them to dictate to you. Self-centered? Devoid of civilized manners? They will lie, cheat, steal, and throw temper tantrums to get their way. After all, paradise is worth it, isn’t it? But, pipe dreams are not reality. Only reality is real.
Observe that liberal/progressive/Leftist causes today are based on emotionalism with no real evidence given for their validity–thus indicating that they are irrational. They have no logical process nor systematic method by which they arrive at their conclusions. Infantile temper tantrums against Trump by the Left and by Leftist celebrities, threats of violence in virulent anti-Trump protests, the immature demand for “safe spaces” on college campuses, the racist Black Lives Matter movement which includes emotional but unsubstantiated assertions of white privilege, unsupported accusations of hate, racism, misogynism, homophobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, fanatical anti-GMO activists, and zealous anti-fracking protesters. You must resolve to accept only objective reasons as explanations, not subjective emotions. The article and video linked below presents a good argument in favor of fracking and explains its benefits to modern civilized society. Please remain loyal to your rational standards, insist on explanations, and ask yourself whether or not they makes sense. Then, use the same standards to analyze all arguments.
Patrick Moore, The Sensible Environmentalist: The Truth about Fracking, Natural Gas and Vinyl
Here is an article to help back up the very serious accusation I made in my commentary about indoctrination rather than education. Then, back to articles about the environment.
Control of Education is the Left’s Ace in the Hole
Carbon dioxide is natural and is essential to life on earth. It is part of the plant-animal cycle. It is not a pollutant. Those who assert that it is have no rational argument to back up their emotionalist opinions. Simply ask, why? Do not accept their lies, misrepresentations, and illogic. Disingenuous? Screaming and even sincerity does not validate an opinion. Only good reasons do. It has to make sense! Do not be satisfied with their answers until you get rational explanations that are backed up by scientific evidence and research.
The Truth About Carbon Dioxide (C02) with Patrick Moore, The Sensible Environmentalist
Ocean Acidification – The Facts – Dr Patrick Moore
There are many articles and videos you can easily find for yourself showing that global warming is certainly not settled science. Is science ever settled? And, its advocates never seem to want to make the distinction between “man made” versus natural global warming. What are they trying to hide? The weather has been changing for billions of years since the beginning of the earth. Their arguments are based on scare tactics and lies. One volcanic eruption can wipe out years of human efforts to minimize their “carbon footprint”. And, by the way, what is China doing about minimizing their carbon footprint? You must insist on reason and truth. Why are we wasting trillions of dollars in response to a “theory”, especially an emotionalist one that is not backed up by the scientific evidence?
Worst Deal In History: $1.5 Trillion A Year To Reduce Global Warming By 0.048°C
The Alarming Cost Of Climate Change Hysteria
Here’s How Much More Money Obama Wants For Global Warming Programs
An inconvenient truth: ‘Climate change industry’ now a $1.5 trillion global business
Emotions, emotions, emotions!
Torched limo reveals how little protestors understand