We come into this world already prepared to some extent with some survival mechanisms embedded in our selves. This is sometimes referred to as instinct. Mostly this is a collection of emotional reactionary processes that are often carried on into adulthood, all the way to the end of our lives, and across subsequent following generations. 
The basic fear emotional reaction generates an automatic defensive posture in us humans that can also instantly translate into action without the benefit of reasoning processes. Sometimes this can be good under some circumstances and sometimes not so good under others.
If a fictional out of control steamroller comes loudly crashing down the street in our direction, some might be overloaded with the flooding fear reaction and be frozen unable to act but most would simply flee from the object’s path of destruction and only later consider that they didn’t even think (reason) about it, they just acted.
Another example is that absolutely great zoo visitor who uncharacteristically jumped over the zoo’s visitor railing into the Chimp compound’s water below to ultimately save a Chimp who fell into the water and was drowning is a similar example. As if often typical, only later did he admit that he did this without really thinking about potential consequences. Still, it was a good encouraging outcome for the Chimp, the man, and society.
On the other hand, if one is walking through some thick woods and comes upon a Bear before realizing it is there so close, the flooding fear, especially if the Bear is adopting an aggressive posture, may generate the flee reaction before one has a chance to think about it. A healthy Bear is a much faster runner and over longer distances than a healthy human, so attempting to flee can trigger aggressive prey reactions in a Bear already considering aggression as a defensive measure. Not a good thing at all! The flee reaction would normally be a poorer choice in such a scenario.
Falling in love with someone is obviously an emotion and so important in life. Yet, seriously considering a commitment of spending a life with the person one comes to love will also need to be balanced by some decent reasoning. Blindly ignoring negative factors like the person is immature, a drunk, an addict, lazy, abusive, very high maintenance, a BS artist, etc. will almost certainly not lead ultimately to a harmonious result years down the road and multiple children later. Acting responsibly for oneself as well as for one’s future offspring by balancing emotion and reason is very important in the early stage considerations.
(Emotion, Disclosure & Reason at
For many of us, we’ve spent years fighting the natural instincts, those “gut feelings,” that were trying to offer us guidance. In times of great choices, especially those choices related to relationships, we’ve convinced ourselves to ignore those nagging first impressions, and rely on the seemingly more practical method of reasoning. We denied our hearts and thus lost touch with our souls. The problem is, logic and love unfortunately don’t relate well. True wisdom stems from the heart, rather than the mind.
(Emotion vs. Reason, Mar 13, 1998, Michele KayD at
Emotions can affect us in many ways, especially in ways of understanding. Sometimes we get so blinded by the thought that we know and that we understand, but in reality, we miss the small basic details that effect us most. We don’t notice them because we haven’t been shown these small details, where our mind isn’t programmed to do such a constructive break down of understanding, we see something that is in front of us but we do not see the picture or the point that it is trying to explain, the meaning of this symbol. Everyone has a basic set up of reality, what you have been taught to see, but you have not been shown the critical side of learning. If you were taught to see red as red like on a fire truck, then that is red to you. But how do you know that you are not color blind. There is always that what if question that you have. How your emotions can block the way you think. Such as the emotion of love, you can be madly in love with someone but you can be so blind that you cannot see that this person is going behind your back, or that this person doesn’t really care for you, they are just sticking around you because they like the company. It is the small things that hide from us that make us all blind.
(Emotion Vs. Reason by antoni, 11 April 2011 at
“The big problem with information technology is that it tries so hard to be rational. By contrast, humans are happy to be rational only a part of the time. Most other time (apart from the fact that they sleep so much) people operate in very different modes: of daydreaming and pondering; of joy and melancholy; of hope and despair…” – Jakub Wejchert, Foreword in Anthony Dunne & William Gaver (project leaders) The Presence Project, CRD Research Studio, 2001.
Every new achievement consequent of Man’s enormous curiosity about the World he lives in, was, is, and will always be difficult to understand by the majority of us. History proves it, and Galilee died because of it.
But, if history proves what was just said, it also proves that Man’s posture towards the World was always deeply interrogative and analytical. Man was always very sensitive to the Nature surrounding him. He decodes the Nature he finds, producing a “nature” of his own. Through Man, a difference between Natural World and Artificial World was originated.
(Emotion vs. Reason by Gonçalo Prudêncio, 2003, For a lecture at Experimenta Design at
There is a simple test to discover how the state of a society will be in the future. You take a class of four or five year olds and put a sweet or cookie in front of them and tell them that you will be back in a few minutes and those who still have their sweet will get an extra one.
When you come back you can count on those who chose to wait as more advanced than those who couldn’t wait. The ratio is the important factor. That’s all you have to do.
When a five year old exercises patience in order to make a bigger gain while his contemporaries hastily enjoy the moment while it lasts without a thought for the betterment of their future, he will probably also note too that after some have eaten their own sweets they will attempt to steal the sweets of those who are exercising patience. This complicates the situation for him. Does he continue to exercise patience or does he eat his sweet before one of the others steals it?
And what does a child do who having seen his own sweet stolen by another child do about it, especially if he also is told “tell and I’ll kill you”. Does he do nothing? Does he say nothing? Does he complain? Does he call for attention? Does he team up with the most evil person, child, in the room? Does he reach out and steal another child’s sweet and join what can seem to be the common mentality?
Moreover, when the tester returns, does he or she have the ‘insight’ to be aware that just because sweets have disappeared doesn’t mean that each child just ate his own sweet.
What was set up in such a test is a war. It is the same war when you tell youngsters that smoking will ruin their health, make them smell sexually and socially objectionable and later on will give them some serious or terminal illness. But this doesn’t stop them smoking or worse, taking up smoking. That is a well known fact that’s been established at least since the 60s.
That isn’t the difficulty. The difficulty is the failure to learn from this. The message to youth is the same regardless of the known negative effect. “It’s all we know so that’s what we teach” might be the unanimous professionals outcry.
We’re really dealing with emotion versus reason, again, as in each of the examples. The reasoning part is the argument put forth. It’s unassailable and obvious. People make the mistake of thinking well it couldn’t have been loud enough or long enough so they get louder for longer. And still it doesn’t work, and still they don’t figure it out. When reason stops, for whatever reason, or more likely for no reason at all, it is emotion that stepped in. We never say “listen to emotion” but always “listen to reason” and “to be reasonable”. We never say “be emotional” but when reason fails that is exactly why very often, emotion took over. That is why you will note that the “reasoned argument” put forth in an emotional decision, i.e. it was an emotional decision posing as a reasoned one, and then you will find the argument is totally transparent and obviously lacking in reason.
For us as, now, more grown up, we should have enough experience to be able to distinguish between the arguments that we make to ourselves to stop ourselves from seeing the truth – emotionally biased pseudo-reasoning, so to speak, and the arguments that we formulate because we are actually interested to find out the truth.
We seriously lack the ability to reason and emotion properly. It’s repeated that because of our lack of grammar for handling emotion: we lack the ability to reason, that part is fine, but ‘we lack the ability to emotion’? If that is not acceptable grammar then why is that? Doesn’t that just show it? Our inability to emotion is even apparent in the grammar – we can’t even say it!
If we had more insight, as a society, then we could at least surmise this much and ask ourselves just how wise we are being in continuing in this blind fashion and what it can only lead to later on.
(Reason versus emotion by Paul E. Coughlin at


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