New Here, I want to know what you all think about emotion vs reason

hey all- I am new here- and just wondering on your thoughts as to why religious (especially christians - I'm not well versed in islam) people have given more credit to their FEELING vs reason and proof through science. I can't quite understand it. Anyone that relies on superstition when they know it's bull. Do you think it is a bigger fear than the punishment of their current superstition if the entertain the thought of it being bull? Sorry trying not to swear to avoid a smug and careless image in this post. so what are your thoughts or theories on this?

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Comment by jay H on March 17, 2013 at 8:38am

Notwithstanding the ridiculous extremes that occur with religion or other examples cited, it is not emotion that is the evil, it's allowing emotional manipulation to distort our lives.

Emotion is a fundamental part of our being human. It provides communication between our conscious mind and various other components of our mental makup that are outside direct access by the cerebral cortex (desire for self preservation, food, sex etc). If it weren't for 'emotional' decisions, few if any of us would reproduce (repeated studies show that people with children are not happier or better off). The extremely complex social emotions are what make successful human society possible Even science is driven by the emotional drive of learning, discovering, seeing something new.

Without emotion, we'd simply be passive, ineffectual, and probably extinct, primates.

Comment by Future on March 13, 2013 at 2:55pm

Emotion can trump reason in many aspects of humanity.  For example, parents of wayward children often defend them and fight for charges to be dropped, even if the evidence clearly shows their guilt.  Their emotion trumps the reasonability they would demonstrate towards judging the same circumstances involving people unrelated to themselves.  Extreme conservatives and liberals sometimes show the same lack of reason when supporting efforts that they are emotionally tied to.  Extreme patriotism tends to blind some people to the criminal-ish behavior of their government.  Overzealous sports fans can react unreasonably from the emotion of an "important" win or loss from their team.  As an atheist, I will never understand how something like religion can invoke the extreme emotion necessary to throw common sense and evidence based reality out the window, but it definitely does.  I think it all boils down to the fear that religion was intended to instill in people.  Scare some people enough about their prospects in the afterlife, and they won't even take the time to think about how badly they are being mislead.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 13, 2013 at 2:12pm

A mixture of hope and fear acts as glue to explain unexplainable natural events and chaos/order in the universe and to escape inevitable death. Denial of death occurs when thinking in terms of meeting a favorite person on the "other side"  or having the ability to have all sins forgiven if a simple declaration of belief in Jesus will release them from all consequences of their choices. It is also easier to accept dogma than to think about complex systems. "What is the meaning of life?" or "What is my purpose?" can be easily learned and accepted as truth if one relies on others to do the meaning and purpose definition. It take work, thought, ideas to find an answer within oneself. Dependence is far easier than self-reliance and self-knowledge if one is willing to pay the terrible price for that dependence. 

Comment by Loren Miller on March 13, 2013 at 2:00pm

I think feeling is more easily accessible for the average person.  I've said many times that believing is easy.  Knowing is HARD.  Believing is again in that emotional realm, and because it's easy, it's also easy to manipulate (cue the bible-thumper!).  Thought and reasoning requires knowledge and with that, effort.  However, they DO have the benefit of filtering out the spurious input of the bible-thumpers because You Are Coming To Your Own Conclusions! 

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