You can take any feeling, but here I will take the feeling of anger as an example. The next sentence is an everyday simple sentence:

He is angry.

You would be more accurate to say: He looks like I do when I'm angry.

You could say I have a sick feeling in my stomach when I am angry. Or, I have a tension headache when I am angry. Or, I shake like a leaf because of the adrenaline when I am angry. Or, I want to hurt him when I am angry.

Did you notice in all those sentences, you never describe anger, but only what it does to your body, and what you will do because of it, but what is anger? Or any feeling? Are they just the manifestation of a certain combination of neurons firing in a certain sequence? 

I think that the understanding I currently have of feelings (if I didn't know better) could lead me to things like souls and ghosts and other apparitions.

Does anyone know of any research being done on this subject?

Thanks,

Cane

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Comment by Jonathan Christie on March 1, 2012 at 1:37am

Well, @ Steph S. Thanks for the link, this does look like an interesting topic, I just started reading it though I can only finish it later, but that seems to be the entire process from cause to thought/emotion/ feeling to action or vice versa. I think Cane was just looking for what a feeling would be classified as.  like for instance anger is when serotonin levels drop and adrenaline increases in the brain. what causes it and what you do about it can never really be rationalized as we are human and our baser instincts will kick in, like survival mode, we cant say what we will or wont do depending on a situation and how we feel towards such situation.

@ Michael R I agree, we can all ways try to understand what our feelings are, but processing them is an intensely personal matter, I would not be the one to "tell" you how to feel about anything, but through all of your experiences in life you have your own way of feeling towards anything, and as you say it can move you towards or away from situations or things.

@Cane,  Haha, there was actually something about that in a documentary called religulous, about what happens to the brain when people start speaking tongues... 0_o. he was debunking it as "yup, just being crazy" so I never really looked much more into it but I suppose it does play a role in there somewhere.

Comment by Michael R on February 29, 2012 at 5:22pm

If by "understanding feelings" you mean the technical details of neuroscience then try Antonio Damasio.
But if, as atheists often mistakenly do, you are looking for a rational angle to tell you how to process your feelings, then you're in la la land. Feelings/emotions are forces that move us towards or away from objects. As such, there is no way to rationalise them. They move us. End of story.

Comment by Steph S. on February 29, 2012 at 4:16pm

You asked for research -- not my opinion!

Comment by AtheistTech on February 29, 2012 at 2:09pm

@ Steph: Are you afraid to tell the world what your own opinions are? 

Comment by AtheistTech on February 29, 2012 at 2:07pm

@ Jonathon: Thanks for the links. To me they all prove that the study of the brain is in its infancy, not because we can never understand how the brain works, but it just shows how complicated the brain is. I wonder what scientists can do about the chemical dependence on religion religious people have?

Comment by Steph S. on February 29, 2012 at 9:54am

The Psychology Of Emotions, Feelings and Thoughts
Module by: Mark Pettinelli. E-mail the author
Summary:
This book makes the statement that thought, action and feeling can occur in any order, it also puts forth the idea that life is divided into three groups, emotion, thinking, and feeling. These three groups make humans feel in certain ways, thinking, physical stimulus, and emotion all contribute to feeling. But what is the difference between a thought, an emotion, and a feeling? Is there an overlap between the three? Probably, since any emotion can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it, and these events all lead to emotions, feelings and thoughts. So emotions, feelings and thoughts all might have the same source, they are just expressed differently in the mind. Where do your emotions, feelings and thoughts rate on a scale of clarity? Where do they rate on a scale of focus and attention? How does understanding the psychology of ones emotions, feelings and thoughts lead to a long term increased consciousness?

http://cnx.org/content/m14358/latest/

Comment by Jonathan Christie on February 29, 2012 at 1:36am

hmm, interesting question.

Im no expert but I do know there has been research on this subject. so far as I know feelings are the result of chemical releases in the brain.  For instance having sex makes us feel good, and we feel good because of the dopamine, endorphins and serotonin being released or restricted, so to say whatever makes us feel good is a controlled amount of said chemicals, we get more of these chemicals the more pleasurable the circumstance.

These are quite interesting:

For the anger question, http://www.scn.ucla.edu/pdf/fairness_abc.pdf

http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/dopamine

http://www.angelfire.com/hi/TheSeer/seratonin.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106122309.htm

 Hope this helped.

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