The Rise Of Emotionality

Over the last three years emotions have not only been worn on peoples sleeves, emotions have been front and center and projected into the ether from every direction giving rise to the snowflake culture and the whiny overbearing and angry subculture, one that often resorts to unabashed violence in the end. How did society arrive at this onslaught of unrestrained, unchecked emotion pouring out of the smallest child seemingly identical in appearance to a mature adult in fits and tantrums? Has the silent majority and justice dropped the ball in not dealing with these rebellious out of order adults? Where is this stemming from in the mind, the brain, the chemicals swirling around in the body? What is causing this rampant rise in emotionalism the likes that have never been seen before making people act in risky, criminal, dangerous ways? What’s happened to self control?

If you’d like to skip through the various scientific explanations (which are at best controversial) and go straight to an ontology of emotions, I’d suggest this if you can tolerate the guy’s accent.

In brief, and at a fundamental level, you could understand this ‘rise in emotionality’ as a result of external affects increasing in complexity in proportion to the increase of human activity in general. The increase in complexity causes the possibility of a greater number of conflicting affects. This is a basic and rather mechanical explanation in causal terms only… but that is essentially what is happening. Emotions are generated by causal contact between bodies… and knowledge of emotion is awareness of an affectation accompanied with the idea of an object (presumed to be the cause).

We’ll need an actual context of course.

What emotions are appropriate and to what degree in regard to what particular set of circumstances? Why don’t you start by noting experiences you have had of late in which you felt that the emotions expressed were not appropriate, or, if appropriate, not to the right degree.

For example, two people on opposite ends of the political spectrum get into a heated discussion about the impeachment of Donald Trump. How might your argument above be applicable here?

Fall back, lieutenant Biggs. She’s only asked about the nature of emotions and how they are caused. We aren’t evaluating emotions yet so we’ve not passed into ethics. Just be patient.

Would two people of opposing political beliefs get into a heated discussion? No, it would be one person, the lefty, who would get reactionary and volatile spewing propaganda rather than facts.

I’m jumping ahead with Biggies obsession.

Promethean wrote

Can you give examples of external affects as well as the increase in human activity?

Among other things, rather pathetic, isn’t it?. But then that’s what I reduce them too time and time again: The Retort. Often deemed by them to actually be…clever?

Really, imagine suggesting that a general description of “emotionalism” like the one above would be better served by bringing the argument out into the world and examining real emotions expressed by flesh and blood men and women, being dismissed as an “obsession”!!

Instead of whining Biggie, come up with a context that actually occurs.

I’ve said it in the past and was attacked.
But I’ll repeat.

Anxiety/Fear is the mother of all emotions, because consciousness is outwardly focused, before it becomes conscious of self and turns inward - therefore, the sense of anxiety towards the unknown otherness, is the first to emerge as a reaction.
What is emotion?
An automatic psychosomatic reaction that facilitates an efficient, and possibly effective, response to an external trigger - an external stimulation.
Essentially it facilitates the fight/flight survival mechanism.

All other emotions are variations of it, or emotions that evolve to deal with its automation.
For example, lust, and the more sophisticated love, are biochemical methods of dealing with anxiety/fear, to make heterosexual and social cooperative survival strategies possible and effective. Forms of self-induced intoxication - pathos - that placate anxiety and fear to permit the process of copulation and fertilization and to then bond parent with child, permitting the detrimental risks and costs to be offered as a sacrifice to the limitations of mortality.
A parent passes -on to his/her children, half of himself/herself, and tolerates the other half, due to the fluctuating uncertainties of existence - its dynamic interactivity called Flux. This does not require any cognitive awareness, because it is all genetically automatic. In fact, awareness may inhibit this process, and ignorance makes it more efficient, just like knowing the symbolism of dancing may diminish its elegant performance.

so there are two stages in the existence of an emotion. the first stage occurs when some part of the nervous system is set into motion by some cause; literally, some event, whether entirely external to the body (e.g., something in the room) or internal (one part of the body affecting another, e.g., the rise in heart rate or the excretion of sweat) has causal contact with some part of that nervous system and as such, sets it into motion and causes it to become active. at this fundamental level you could call this a ‘disturbance’, but don’t think of it in its usual terms; this doesn’t necessarily mean there is a conflict or opposition… only that the inertia of some part has been changed by the activity of another part, either external or internal. so essentially emotion in this first stage is what happens when stimulation occurs as a result of an exchange of chemical and/or physical forces. as a consequence of some particular chemical law, for instance, potassium particles become charged and then move along the axon… which then results in another series of actions resulting from their particular natural laws, etc.

the second stage occurs in becoming aware of the emotion, or the body set into motion. but this stage, this being aware, is never complete and only a partial awareness. what we do is attribute to some complex of causes the quality of being the sole proprietor of the effect, the experienced emotion, but can never account for the totality of causes that participate in producing that effect. so our knowledge here is always incomplete. for example, i take a caffeine pill and experience a rise in energy level. of course, the caffeine contributes, as a cause, to this rise in energy level, but it isn’t the only cause making this effect possible. same with emotions like fear, anger, happiness - as changes in the motion and activity of various parts of the nervous system; it isn’t only because your homeboy didn’t pay you back that you’ve become angry… or only because your boyfriend bought you flowers that you feel happy.

in addition to us being unable to know of all the causes responsible for a particular emotion, part of this uncertainty leads us necessarily to believe we have freewill (see the pigeon superstition clip in the ‘spinoza’s god’ video i posted in ecmandu’s ‘god is simple’ thread). in our immediate experience of what we call ‘willful volition’, we experience more forcefully than anything else our ‘choosing’, and so associate with this ‘decision’ the ruling causal event that forced the action to happen. as spinoza once said: we believe ourselves to have freewill because we are ignorant of the causes of our actions. instead what happens here is like the pigeon superstition effect. because the ‘thought’ always and without exception precedes the action, we learn to believe the thought causes the action, when in reality it did not. just as the pigeon believes his flapping his wings is what causes the food pellet to be released, we believe our ‘thinking to raise our arms’ is what causes our arms to raise.

another way to understand why this is so is to think about the evolution of simple-to-complex language using animals. we don’t say a paramecium has freewill, but we do say a human being does. but why? well because over vast periods of time we have developed language as another kind of behavior that incidentally, and in a rather peculiar way, operates in parallel to other behaviors. our nervous systems just happen to produce the mediating thought (in language) before the action that follows… and so we experience this phenomenologically as evidence of freewill. but the thought is already part of a system of complex causes that are operating irrespective of the final stages of thinking and acting. but because these are the only two stages we can be aware of, we isolate them and call them the final causes.

that bit about the ‘increase of human activity’ making more conflict possible and therefore increasing both the experience and composition of possible emotions essentially means; the complexity and sophistication present in our interactions with both the environment and other people increases the range of possible stimuli made available to act as causes. so for example, you’re no longer just a caveman who’s biggest concern is keeping the fire going in the rain. now, say, you’re a conservative mother of three who’s nervous about a job interview, is undecided about taking an experimental drug for a blood-sugar disorder you have, is suspicious of your husband cheating on you, needs to find a new groundskeeper to do the yard work, is considering becoming a vegetarian after watching a video on the horrors of slaughter farms, and any other comparatively complicated circumstances you find yourself in. so the novelty as well as the frequency of emotional experience is greatly increased, compared to the life you lived as a caveman.

in spinozea terms (deleuzean as well), there are more possible assemblies of causes and effects to be realized and put into motion, mapping the degree of activity both externally and internally.

The modern unable to empathize without sympathizing/antipathizing, imagines himself as the other - without his coping mechanism; without his crutch; without his lies and myths and superstitions.
He imagines himself miserable, afraid…and concludes that this is what the other feels like - he projects himself into the others circumstances and is immersed in a world without his pretences and self-deceits.

I already gave you one:

Or choose your own context. From your own personal experiences or from the news. Just make it one that most of us here are likely to be familiar with.

Note the sheer irony here. A thread created to address the rise of emotionalism and what does he give us? An intellectual contraption that encompasses human emotion thusly…

The closest he comes to a context is to speak in general about lust and love, parents and children.

Well, let him intertwine these general descriptions in a particular context in which actual conflicting value judgments precipitate conflicting behaviors that precipitate conflicting emotional reactions.

In other words, as I noted with Joker and/or Wendy:

My own example was the impeachment of Trump. Let him choose his own though.

And, because love, evolving from lust, is a strategy of tolerating and bonding, to allow for an efficient cooperative strategy to become successful, the emotion of ‘love’ becomes deified - felt as a connection to a greater whole, a past that was near-absolute - a return to the duality of the binary Yin/Yang state: chaos/order.

What inhibits this escape in other - i.e., the continuity of self and the memory that binds it - is deemed ‘evil’ or illusory. A hang-up to be overcome on the path towards uniform oneness.
Salvation lies in forgetting self, and returning to the faceless, distinct-less flux.

See what I mean? It’s like, philosophically, he is on automatic pilot or something.

Or, sure, maybe it’s a genetic defect.

All I can do is to ask others to read his point above. Then attempt to connect the dots between what you think he means and how that is applicable to the life that you live.

In other words, given your own interactions with others involving love and lust, does he make sense here? Cite an experience that you had which more or less illustrates his point.

As that relates to the rise of emotionality in this day and age.

If this is not a circus full of clowns, then what is?

Worse than his intellectual contraptions alas are his attempts to be clever.

Unless of course I’m wrong. :wink:

With no empirical foundations to justify its beliefs, the nihilist substitutes them with emotion, or sensation.
Always positive.
Always pleasing.

Hedonism. A reversion to the manimal state.

Gathering in safe-spaces - memetic barns - herbivores of many kinds, - each harmless to the other - gather in enclosures that protect them from the wilds, or the predators that lurk there.
Safe in the enclosure they regurgitate and feed on their respective vegetarian diets, and willingly surrender the product of their body to the farmer who maintains the enclosure safe and clean.
Survival of the fittest does not apply in here.
Dynamics have changed, from natural to social - supply/demand.
Farmer demands his pound of flesh, and the farm manimals willingly give it, knowing that in the wilds their memes would quickly fall prey to their weaknesses.

the only reason one could characterize people of ages past as more ‘spiritual’ is because they hadn’t yet acquired an abundance of material and technological surplus, and they were no less hedonistic than the present age. believe me, if they had video games and movie theaters and fast food restaurants and disco clubs, you’d find far less profound philosophical contemplation going on and much more indulgence. so there was nothing intrinsically unique about those people that gave them special powers of spirituality. and they sure as shit didn’t have some privileged access to deep philosophical truths that only those from a golden age could have.

part of this myth of ‘desperate degeneration’ you subscribe to depends on your romanticizing the past. it’s a sentimentalism grounded in a fantastically unrealistic vision of history.

Desperation= lacking identity, a sense of self, the individual si desperate for an alternative.
Degeneracy = in their search the individual finds it in supply/demand - in society. Desperate for an identity it finds it in trends, fashions, in hedonism.
One product replaces another…and none satisfy; none satiate the mind’s need for a foundation.
No family, no father figure, no mother worth shit.
The mind turns to materialism, and finds identity in being useful to as many others as possible.

No romanticizing of the past…they weren’t great.