Rational VS. Emotional, OR, Why We Clash The Way We Do

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09 Aug 2019 06:11 #341077 by Kelrax Lorcken
After some more time to think on a recent "discussion" where I got nasty with people (why lie?), I got to thinking some of the things I wanted to say were getting off topic, and would be better moved into a separate thread. If anyone decides anything started by me is somehow of real merit, well, feel free to comment your own ideas or opinions, I promise I won't attack you; I'm not trying to air-out dirty laundry, honest.

SO...

Debate Culture and popular debate tactics have kind of ruined the way we discuss and engage each other. (I know, there's several other factors as well, but i started this thread to talk about what I want to talk about)

Allow me to explain.

There seems to have been some things coming out of structured, organized debate into, frankly, The Real World (and cyberspace, by extension) that we have yet to admit doesn't really work there.

I'm not here to debate debate, I'm just going to point out what I see, and feel. Organized, Structured Debate has come to enforce a practice of "keeping your cool"; don't get too emotional. At face value, this makes sense: When people get too emotional, their minds more or less close, is the rationale, and debate breaks down if it goes unchecked.

But, this seems to have fostered an attitude of, "If I can push them to an emotional response, I Win!" (I have yet to see this here, in my opinion, thank goodness) That's a popular tactic with people who are particularly bad at debate, but want to engage debate competitively (so their already emotionally invested beyond what's rational, the irony).

That's not the type of thinking I'm going to focus on, though. That was a segue into the other, I think more troubling trend:

The approach that insists argument must be free from emotion, that you must have facts and reason, and nothing else, and if you can't convince someone, well, than you either don't know enough or you're too emotionally invested and aren't seeing reason. I don't think anyone actually thinks that way, and that's more or less my point. The Real World, and debates/discussions, and the people who have them, are not like that.

I don't think anyone enters debate on certain subjects, or even just discussion, UNLESS it has provoked or invoked some kind of emotional response- why else would you feel any investment, or motivation to do so? Even just being excited or stimulated by a "good debate" is an emotional response, let's not kid ourselves. Whether you're for, or against, it's for the same reason: How it made/makes you feel.

Emotions aren't rational, by their very nature. We can rationalize them, but that's after the fact, and that doesn't even require examining our emotions and why we feel them, only justifies them in some way.

Which brings me to my ultimate point: If we don't put sincere effort into understanding OURSELVES, than HOW do we expect to understand each other?

I get it, in some discussions/debates, it's important to not get too invested; "Is this the hill I want to die on?", that sort of thing, and to not be too combative... But I don't think that's exclusively what goes on.

The thing is, in some discussions, the way we feel, our emotional response? It's not necessarily irrelevant. Sure, Emotions and feelings aren't rational, but we still experience them for a reason, and exploring that with a more open mind, rather than trying to force the discussion into structured debate territory (an unnatural approach that feels detached, hence further friction). Sometimes our emotional response to something IS relevant, even if it isn't intellectually informed, or well articulated. And if one side of a discussion is all about "logic and reason" and the other side is just... reacting honestly, well, the end result is a discussion that doesn't go anywhere, because both sides are thinking radically differently, and aren't prepared to understand each other.

I think we come into discussions having emotions and feelings tied up in the subject, but not being honest with ourselves about it, or we don't necessarily accept the idea that how we feel, or how something makes us feel, can be enough. We've seen how wrong The Jedi of fiction were to reject emotion outright, yet we still try to find situations where we can apply it, it seems?

Instead, we could "search our feelings", and instead of having quite so many debates, discussions and arguments, we might start trying to understand each other, and by extension, ourselves, better. I think maybe we could grow more, that way, maybe.

I don't know, am I making any sense to anyone?

Kelrax "Stormcaller" Lorcken, Jedi Navigator
May The Force Guide You
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09 Aug 2019 07:04 #341080 by Lundra
I chose to stay out of that other thread, as I really do hate conflict, but this does make a lot of sense to me. I do not claim to know what is or isn't Jedi yet, but I do know that emotions are valid. Sometimes, someone rubs you the wrong way and you do not even have a rational reason for why they do, but that does not make your feelings wrong in my opinion. Heck, if anything, I would say that is a good sign to avoid the person whome you for no other reason but that bad feeling do not feel comfortable around. In my experience, 9 times out of 10, a rational reason will show up later, often giving a hurt that would have been avoided.

If something is causing such emotional distress that it is affecting multiple of our community, then isn't it our job to do something about it? To, I don't know.... show compassion or empathy to their emotions rather than shutting them down just because they are showing irrational emotion?

Its not an admittance that you have surrendered your own stance to back up and see that the other person is clearly comming from a completely different place so your points of logic are not going to work.

I am reminded of my Grandmother, who is no longer able to reason or use logic at all anymore. She still wants to argue, all the time, in fact. However, nothing I can say other than "you're not wrong" is going to get either of us anywhere because she is not going to back down. All she has left are her emotions, and that is her reality, its all that is left in her brain.

Does that mean that I think emotions in debate are always wrong? No, its just I think that when they happen, a different approach needs to be taken, different considerations, and empathy shared. Compromise is a thing, too. Who cares who is right or wrong when your fellow is obviously upset? Its not funny, it doesn't make you the bigger person if you are still cool headed and logical, it only means that you are not as moved by the topic.

Ok, rant over, didn't intend for it to be a rant, but if I don't get it out, it will cause me problems later.

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09 Aug 2019 07:21 - 09 Aug 2019 07:23 #341081 by Kelrax Lorcken

Lundra wrote: I chose to stay out of that other thread, as I really do hate conflict, but this does make a lot of sense to me. I do not claim to know what is or isn't Jedi yet, but I do know that emotions are valid. Sometimes, someone rubs you the wrong way and you do not even have a rational reason for why they do, but that does not make your feelings wrong in my opinion. Heck, if anything, I would say that is a good sign to avoid the person whome you for no other reason but that bad feeling do not feel comfortable around. In my experience, 9 times out of 10, a rational reason will show up later, often giving a hurt that would have been avoided.

If something is causing such emotional distress that it is affecting multiple of our community, then isn't it our job to do something about it? To, I don't know.... show compassion or empathy to their emotions rather than shutting them down just because they are showing irrational emotion?

Its not an admittance that you have surrendered your own stance to back up and see that the other person is clearly comming from a completely different place so your points of logic are not going to work.

I am reminded of my Grandmother, who is no longer able to reason or use logic at all anymore. She still wants to argue, all the time, in fact. However, nothing I can say other than "you're not wrong" is going to get either of us anywhere because she is not going to back down. All she has left are her emotions, and that is her reality, its all that is left in her brain.

Does that mean that I think emotions in debate are always wrong? No, its just I think that when they happen, a different approach needs to be taken, different considerations, and empathy shared. Compromise is a thing, too. Who cares who is right or wrong when your fellow is obviously upset? Its not funny, it doesn't make you the bigger person if you are still cool headed and logical, it only means that you are not as moved by the topic.

Ok, rant over, didn't intend for it to be a rant, but if I don't get it out, it will cause me problems later.


What is and isn't "Jedi" is something you'll just have to find for yourself; I don't think we'll ever have unanimous agreement on that ^_^U

I do want to stress that in hind sight, I don't believe there's malice in much of this... "Phenomenon", if any. Just, like you've said, something preventing people from understanding each other. There are lots of factors, and sitting down to talk about our feelings won't mitigate all of them, but it could be a good start, for some of us.

I appreciate you bringing your thoughts and such to the discussion, Lunda.

Kelrax "Stormcaller" Lorcken, Jedi Navigator
May The Force Guide You
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Last edit: 09 Aug 2019 07:23 by Kelrax Lorcken.
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09 Aug 2019 07:42 #341082 by Lundra

Kelrax Lorcken wrote:

Lundra wrote: I chose to stay out of that other thread, as I really do hate conflict, but this does make a lot of sense to me. I do not claim to know what is or isn't Jedi yet, but I do know that emotions are valid. Sometimes, someone rubs you the wrong way and you do not even have a rational reason for why they do, but that does not make your feelings wrong in my opinion. Heck, if anything, I would say that is a good sign to avoid the person whome you for no other reason but that bad feeling do not feel comfortable around. In my experience, 9 times out of 10, a rational reason will show up later, often giving a hurt that would have been avoided.

If something is causing such emotional distress that it is affecting multiple of our community, then isn't it our job to do something about it? To, I don't know.... show compassion or empathy to their emotions rather than shutting them down just because they are showing irrational emotion?

Its not an admittance that you have surrendered your own stance to back up and see that the other person is clearly comming from a completely different place so your points of logic are not going to work.

I am reminded of my Grandmother, who is no longer able to reason or use logic at all anymore. She still wants to argue, all the time, in fact. However, nothing I can say other than "you're not wrong" is going to get either of us anywhere because she is not going to back down. All she has left are her emotions, and that is her reality, its all that is left in her brain.

Does that mean that I think emotions in debate are always wrong? No, its just I think that when they happen, a different approach needs to be taken, different considerations, and empathy shared. Compromise is a thing, too. Who cares who is right or wrong when your fellow is obviously upset? Its not funny, it doesn't make you the bigger person if you are still cool headed and logical, it only means that you are not as moved by the topic.

Ok, rant over, didn't intend for it to be a rant, but if I don't get it out, it will cause me problems later.


What is and isn't "Jedi" is something you'll just have to find for yourself; I don't think we'll ever have unanimous agreement on that ^_^U

I do want to stress that in hind sight, I don't believe there's malice in much of this... "Phenomenon", if any. Just, like you've said, something preventing people from understanding each other. There are lots of factors, and sitting down to talk about our feelings won't mitigate all of them, but it could be a good start, for some of us.

I appreciate you bringing your thoughts and such to the discussion, Lunda.

I also don't think there is malice per-say, I just think everyone is so caught up in their own opinions and discussion that they are not even really hearing what each other are saying. I keep seeing both sides saying the same things on repeat, and there is little to show for having actually listened except where they can form a rebuttle agianst each other.

Its like with my grandmother... it seems they argue because they want to be heard. Debate is not the format for hearing each other out. One spends all effort in a debat forming one's own arguement. Little listening is done, and I think, listening is really what is needed here.

Tomorrow marks my one week here, and about the only activity I have seen in this church is the hashing at each other. And a few people doing lessons and journals. I have engaged in debate myself in the chat, however, both times, listening happened, and it ended happy, no one was so emotionally charged that we needed to step back. (I do like debate for the sport of it, I only hate conflict.) To me, it seems that there is a real problem that needs to be addressed if argueing is the main activity.

I know this is not the suggestion thread, but maybe a place to be heard and not debated is a great place to start? Journals are fine and dandy, but there needs to be a place where people can talk about things and be heard where it doesn't automattically open them up for a fight?

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09 Aug 2019 07:43 - 09 Aug 2019 07:44 #341083 by Gisteron
A reason I think we don't see much of this provoking and trolling approach to debating here is because formal debates is exactly what we aren't seeking for the most part. Formal debates are contests of rhetoric. They are about competing with talking skills, swaying the audience and criteria for victory - if one need define any - can be devised with some ease. To admit becoming convinced by the opponent can well be seen as an admission of devastating, humiliating defeat, even if that be the honest response to hearing their case. Seldom are formal debates about convincing anyone, even the audience, seldom they are about finding a compromise or which of the views is preferable by some presenter-independent metric.
Here, on the other hand - or so has been my impression for the most part - people come to learn and grow. We are emotionally invested, because we are not pretend attourneys tasked with defending a pre-defined position, but we are people presenting and comparing our personal views we may feel attachment towards to varying degrees.
So I agree with you on two very major points. We cannot (entirely) divorce our emotions from the subject matter for one, because - secondly - they are almost the sole reason we engage in the first place.
There is one thing I would try and caution against, though, and I'm not saying you are doing it at all, but still. It's not a black and white issue and neither are solutions to it. We do not have to pick between trying our best to suppress our emotions and embracing them. The former can only be a futile attempt while the latter can rarely be anything but unproductive. What I believe we should do instead is be mindful of how we feel and how it can influence our judgement, engagement, and conduct. Empathy can go a long way to smooth things out, but at the end of the day most of our interlocutors may well not feel what we feel and we are doing nothing to aid their growth if we knowingly and deliberately let our emotions get the better of us. Likewise our own judgement is sure to be clouded if we let the single most powerful cloud to loom all over it, and there is only so much growth we can hope to experience in that shade.
We are not all alike. We all feel as we do and there is little we can do to induce a change of that in each other. When appeals to emotion cannot sway someone as they just cannot help but feel differently, it is not fair to judge them unfeeling because of it. Whether we like it or not, however, it is not unfair to say of someone who will not be swayed by reason that they are (being) unreasonable.

We cannot be commanded to compassion. We either feel it or we do not. But we can be advised to be mindful of our own biases and to try and keep them "under control" as opposed to letting them run rampant and ruin any hope for peace we might otherwise have. In my interpretation the Code encourages that in its first verse.

Last edit: 09 Aug 2019 07:44 by Gisteron.
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09 Aug 2019 11:39 #341085 by _Vergere_
I think the problem lies in a simple concept: agreeing to disagree.

Each and every individual on this planet has a different point of view, a different belief system. What I've seen here is that people are not accepting of this. Most people just want to prove they are right and others are wrong, but this is not possible. We need to embrace our differences, to understand that without the differing beliefs, our own personal beliefs would have no meaning.

It's Yin and Yang. People are Yin to your Yang, or vice versa.


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You will find no truth in me.

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09 Aug 2019 12:45 #341089 by ZealotX
Good topic. I agree to a large extent with what Gisteron just said about formal debates, but I'd like to offer an even more simplistic view of "the problem".

Ego.

Ego is a natural part of every single person no matter how much one would like to deny it. Ego wants to be heard. But Ego also wants to hide from hearing if what's being hear goes against the beliefs that Ego partially defines itself with. When people cannot stop it's like going 70mph in a 35mph zone. They can't stop without slamming on the brakes and doing that potentially damages the car. By the same token, ego is more likely to go 75mph if it sees you going 70. Ego will see your 75 and raise you. What may have started out as a nice Sunday drive turns into a battle; a drag race. Things escalate often because a person's ego is bigger than the veracity or rationality of the argument they're trying to make and so of course they cannot add something more to it-other than ego-other than rhetoric. So they seem more like a an old vinyl record skipping, saying the same thing. And it will seek to have the last word even if the last word sounds more like the first word.

In my opinion, you have to let people have their ego. It is natural but it will tend to over react or over compensate if it feels belittled or attacked. Sometimes people throw shade and maybe sometimes they're not even aware they're doing it. But that shade makes you feel like retaliating in some rhetorical way. I know I've felt that and had to temper my response. For me, I try to play devil's advocate for the person debating me. My desire is to understand the position and why people defend it. Reasons are typically a combination of reason and emotion. It's like how most parents fall back on parenting like they were raised unless they consciously want to do something different. Sometimes all it takes for an emotional reason is the simple fact that the position is what we're used to. It's normal. It's safe. I gravitate towards more controversial subject matter because I safe isn't as interesting or compelling to me. I like a certain amount of discomfort because otherwise I feel like its just preaching to the choir and if we agree about what color the sky is or what 2+2 equals why talk about it? Just my opinion. Please talk about whatever you enjoy talking about.
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09 Aug 2019 12:56 #341092 by ZealotX
Getting back to ego, and not accepting other people's point of view or their emotions, etc. Again, let me simplify it. In my opinion, ego rejects because ego is trying to protect itself. If two positions exist on opposite sides then in theory only one can be correct. So if we're on opposite sides in a debate and only one of us can be correct then the proposition is that one side must change their mind. But the mind, imo the brain itself as a computer, doesn't like changing. It's like saying it has errors and needs to be fixed. People don't like being wrong. Every debate is a comparison of ideas. By resisting an idea you actually do 2 things. 1, you provoke that idea to become more powerful because the person then has to come back with more information, evidence, testimony, convincing rhetoric, etc. 2, you protect your own idea from bending. That not wanting to bend... is ego. And it can get irrational.

That's why I don't think its very Jedi to be against all emotion but rather to be against losing control over emotions. You can feel things without having those feelings dictate what you do next. You can feel something in the heat of the moment but you don't have to react and respond right then. You control that. You can cool down. Go drink some water. Listen to music. Calm down. Then you can be MORE rational and use that reason and logic to BALANCE the emotions you still feel. For me Jediism is about being MINDFUL of the BALANCE. Any one person's balance is going to be different and not perfect and really in this sense there's barely such a concept except as a personal goal to aim for. Balance is not corporate. It's personal because its based on who you are, not anyone else. And so therefore a Jedi's journey through the Force SHOULD be unique. That balance is relative to your own ego which is something we all most except but also contain. It's not anyone else's job to contain my ego. That's my job. And imo this is where arguments get destructive instead of constructive.

Really good arguments will boost the ego of the person on the opposite side of the issue. Because you're finding common ground and you're seeing that person's intelligence shining through and you can respect that. I love disagreeing with people who have great arguments. The harder (the idea/argument is) to deal with the better. It's a give and take. But if you want to see an argument grind to halt amid accusations and ad hominem attacks then attack the other person's ego.
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09 Aug 2019 14:27 #341094 by Carlos.Martinez3

Kelrax Lorcken wrote: After some more time to think on a recent "discussion" where I got nasty with people (why lie?), I got to thinking some of the things I wanted to say were getting off topic, and would be better moved into a separate thread. If anyone decides anything started by me is somehow of real merit, well, feel free to comment your own ideas or opinions, I promise I won't attack you; I'm not trying to air-out dirty laundry, honest.

SO...

Debate Culture and popular debate tactics have kind of ruined the way we discuss and engage each other. (I know, there's several other factors as well, but i started this thread to talk about what I want to talk about)

Allow me to explain.

There seems to have been some things coming out of structured, organized debate into, frankly, The Real World (and cyberspace, by extension) that we have yet to admit doesn't really work there.

I'm not here to debate debate, I'm just going to point out what I see, and feel. Organized, Structured Debate has come to enforce a practice of "keeping your cool"; don't get too emotional. At face value, this makes sense: When people get too emotional, their minds more or less close, is the rationale, and debate breaks down if it goes unchecked.

But, this seems to have fostered an attitude of, "If I can push them to an emotional response, I Win!" (I have yet to see this here, in my opinion, thank goodness) That's a popular tactic with people who are particularly bad at debate, but want to engage debate competitively (so their already emotionally invested beyond what's rational, the irony).

That's not the type of thinking I'm going to focus on, though. That was a segue into the other, I think more troubling trend:

The approach that insists argument must be free from emotion, that you must have facts and reason, and nothing else, and if you can't convince someone, well, than you either don't know enough or you're too emotionally invested and aren't seeing reason. I don't think anyone actually thinks that way, and that's more or less my point. The Real World, and debates/discussions, and the people who have them, are not like that.

I don't think anyone enters debate on certain subjects, or even just discussion, UNLESS it has provoked or invoked some kind of emotional response- why else would you feel any investment, or motivation to do so? Even just being excited or stimulated by a "good debate" is an emotional response, let's not kid ourselves. Whether you're for, or against, it's for the same reason: How it made/makes you feel.

Emotions aren't rational, by their very nature. We can rationalize them, but that's after the fact, and that doesn't even require examining our emotions and why we feel them, only justifies them in some way.

Which brings me to my ultimate point: If we don't put sincere effort into understanding OURSELVES, than HOW do we expect to understand each other?

I get it, in some discussions/debates, it's important to not get too invested; "Is this the hill I want to die on?", that sort of thing, and to not be too combative... But I don't think that's exclusively what goes on.

The thing is, in some discussions, the way we feel, our emotional response? It's not necessarily irrelevant. Sure, Emotions and feelings aren't rational, but we still experience them for a reason, and exploring that with a more open mind, rather than trying to force the discussion into structured debate territory (an unnatural approach that feels detached, hence further friction). Sometimes our emotional response to something IS relevant, even if it isn't intellectually informed, or well articulated. And if one side of a discussion is all about "logic and reason" and the other side is just... reacting honestly, well, the end result is a discussion that doesn't go anywhere, because both sides are thinking radically differently, and aren't prepared to understand each other.

I think we come into discussions having emotions and feelings tied up in the subject, but not being honest with ourselves about it, or we don't necessarily accept the idea that how we feel, or how something makes us feel, can be enough. We've seen how wrong The Jedi of fiction were to reject emotion outright, yet we still try to find situations where we can apply it, it seems?

Instead, we could "search our feelings", and instead of having quite so many debates, discussions and arguments, we might start trying to understand each other, and by extension, ourselves, better. I think maybe we could grow more, that way, maybe.

I don't know, am I making any sense to anyone?



You are . I personally - don’t argue. It enrages others to this life style some times. I have found my own way of things ( though it’s always changing) of how to talk to people and challenge them more than argue with them. Emotions can have such a hold on some that nothing can get said out side emotion- Jeddist or not. Balance can be found in almost any and every venue of life- discussion and sharing is no exception. Some times , I myself find it - a bit ... superfluous to share with a few people here but .... BUT what ya gunna do right ? My choice to act the way I do and do what I practice is one every one can make. We should be able to see after a while - who are the Jeddist and who aren’t. It’s evident. One of the more difficult things for a modern day Jeddist is -can they - can I - can you - be you and seek and find and pave your own way of things while ... others do the same - NOT like you. Can you function when all the world is not a Knight or a Jeddist or even a person??? What do you do when you finally see... when you reach your awakening - do you treck on or falter from all around you ? Or.... do you carry on ? Do you try to save em all while you save yourself ? Lots to think about.

Why can’t we share and be Jeddist together yet not the same yet - the same? Is it just words ? Hmmm I leave with this -
Emotions can free as well as keep. Which are the leads , which are the guides and which do we blindly obey and which can be grown or changed or even made different?

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09 Aug 2019 17:03 #341098 by Kelrax Lorcken
Hey, so, I forgot that there's an actual term for what I'm talking about! Thanks, Google!

Emotional Intelligence- noun
the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

This, I want to be like this.

Kelrax "Stormcaller" Lorcken, Jedi Navigator
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