Too Much Thinking -- Not Enough Feeling

Think, think, think – that’s all people ever do here.

Doesn’t anyone feel around this place?

Every topic is presented to be “thought” about.

Think about this and think about that.

No one ever asks how you feel about stuff.

Life, death, Iraq, free will, abortion, whatever – it’s always to be thought about, and to hell with how one feels about the matter.

I believe if everyone would do a little less thinking and be more honest about how they feel and tell that like it is, we’d come up with a lot more revelations.

But philosophy appears to be owned by the thinking mind, and the feeling soul is hardly welcome in a discussion.

The result? Sophism run paradigmically amuck!

So what have all you “deep” thinkers got against feeling, anyway?

Is there no room in philosophy to feel?!

Or is “philosophical” thinking what one does to run from feeling!?

How do you feel about this?

My thinking derives from my feeling. Just because you just go on your initial gut feeling and don’t consider them does not make you a more feeling person.

I suppose it is because many of us are creatures of logic, we want to know WHY something is, to investigate it, research it, examine it, make observations and draw conclusions. “Instinct” “Intuition” “Emotion” - these things have fallen by the wayside and we “think” so that we can form well educated, well formed arguments rather than saying what we “feel.”

“Feeling” something yourself is unconvincing -
“Thinking” about something, and being able to offer an educated, factual discussion about a topic yields more results.

Its like the weather man on TV. If he said, “I feel like its going to rain today.” Who would take him seriously? So they don’t say that, they say “A cold front is coming from the west and there is an __% chance of precipitation in this area and the temperature is ___” - Numbers. Facts. Things that can be observered and recorded. Patterns can be found in them, conclusions can be drawn based on empirical data.

I think “feeling” is something that has been left behind more and more, the further ‘advanced’ we become. People don’t “believe” feeling, they don’t trust it, they want hard data. [size=75] (Please note when I say people, I am in no way referencing the entire human race as I completely realize that some people do still prefer an emotional response to a calculated response, however in an attempt to answer your question I am making this generalization based on why I “think” you may be observing this trend of “too much thinking” and I fully realize it does not apply to everyone.)[/size]

So when we come to the discussions on this site, certain statements have more weight.

“I feel in my gut that your decision is incorrect.” <— Saying this is just taking up space, it doesn’t contribute to a discussion, its linguistic fluff. You aren’t adding anything except an opinion, and admitting that the opinion is based on nothing more than a feeling that you get.

  • or -

“I think your decision is incorrect, because of X, Y, and Z example and A, B, and C proof, researched by E, F, & G …” <— Saying this is offering facts for consideration in the argument. It is still an opinion, however it carries more weight and can keep the conversation rolling as different ideas are explored.

So I think this is where we have lost “feeling” - I honestly don’t think that “feeling” has much of a place anymore on a Philosophy forum, as what is Philosophy?

The rational investigation of. Not “how we feel about things.” I think most people who come here to so to discuss things in a rational manner. I know that is why I have come here. Someone telling me, for example, that “God Exists” and offering me reasons why, citing various things, I will listen to more intently than my mother, who tells me the same thing and says “Because I feel it in my heart.”

Just my 2c.

Please explain what you mean by this.

Do your feelings dictate your thoughts?

I think that an emotional response would happen reflexively, instinctively.
Meaning that the feeling would be instant, while the thinking would require time to well, think about it and draw conclusions.

Certainly what I feel about a subject will influence the path my thinking about it will take. If I am vehemently against something due to a feeling for example, then my thoughts will naturally try to find factual data to reinforce that negative feeling. In this way feelings can create bias in your ‘thinking’ - but to be truly objective is to ignore and suppress those feelings and look only at the data.

Thinking goes beyond feeling. All animals feel, but only human beings have the capacity to reason in a high degree. I’m not saying that feelings are less valuable, but that thinking is more refined as it gives reasoning to feelings.

“Instinct, intuition and emotion” have fallen by the wayside?

That’s really sad.

Many of the truthful “why” answers you mention can only be found simply by being honest with your feelings.

By the way, feelings aren’t emotions, as emotions have a thought component to them as well.

Sure thought has its place, when working with things outside our skin to understand, explain, predict and control them, but when it comes to living our life, feelings are a great guide to what’s truly real.

But if two or more people share their feelings and find they feel similarly, is there not much to be gained by that revelation?

I would “think” so. :wink:

But when they say it’s going to rain and I just don’t feel that in the weather, I would be foolish to trust the “analysis”.

But I understand what you mean.

Facts about objects can be rationally thought upon … and we can learn more facts about them.

However, the meaning of what all those facts are to us requires us to feel the impact of them.

If we don’t, we lose out on really learning what life is all about.

And the concrete weather is one thing.

Abstract philosophy is quite another.

Perhaps you’re right, Data.

But that’s more a factor of mistrust, mistrust born of encounters with people who weren’t honest about their feelings.

People who methodically lie are being dishonest and/or withholding with regard to their feelings.

Again, do not mistake emotions for feelings. Emotions come from the mind’s thoughts too.

My opinion is that excess thinking, especially the paradigmic sophism kind that runs rampant in “philosophical” discussions in these here parts, is for the foundtional purpose of denying feelings.

That’s hardly fluff.

It presents a strong and valid way of knowing, ontologically based, that there are errors in a particular presentation.

It’s just that it’s hard to argue against honest feelings.

If “discussion” is all that matters, well, then the implication is that such may be addictive without wholistic appeal to all ways of knowing.

Oh, and I suppose that thought-based presentations are somehow “more” than “an opinion”? :unamused:

And just because one rationalizes one’s thoughts with ad nauseum citations of other ad nasuea doesn’t make such exposition anything more than an irrationalized opinion itself!

Stating one’s feelings and then presenting where those feelings come from is a valid expression of a legitimate way of knowing.

Indeed, when we get a feeling that Bush is lying, and we validate our feelings, we then can persue likely scenarios that lead to the truth … about Iraq … and everything else, something we couldn’t do if we didn’t trust our intuition and our feelings.

Just because something is presented “Spock”-like, doesn’t mean the premises are factual.

One can be quite rationally in error.

I’ve witnessed many a “rational” thought presentation that a human being doesn’t begin to live at conception, but all are in error.

Form is irrelevant.

What matters is that people are foundationally honest with their feelings.

Many people tuck away their fear and shame behind a cloud of denial-based thought.

They aren’t being honest and forthcoming with their feelings.

So their thoughts are meaningless with respect to the truth.

Such is also the effect of mental masturbation when some ideas, the most likely truthful ones, are foundationally rejected in ad nauseum presentation.

Keeping the conversation “rolling” is not as important in philosophy as speaking truthfully, as Occam did attest.

Without being honest about our feelings, the simple truth is suppressed.

One of the ways a lack of feeling is displayed is in the selective picking and choosing of definitions to post from among a list of those with a wide and varied set of meanings.

People stuff their feelings of shame and simply pick the definition that matches their mind’s thoughts.

I was long ago taught that a philosopher is someone who uses all of his spirit, his heart, mind and soul (our soul accurately being the part of us that feels, not some otherwordly fantasy part of us that lives on after we die) to seek the truth.

If we don’t feel in the process of our philosophizing, we won’t really be seeking the truth.

Indeed, many people caught up in cult-thought activities have had to suppress their feelings in order to do so.

That is not good, especially with respect to the truth-seeking goal of philosophy.

I disagree.

I feel that most people come here to get attention.

Discussing things “in a rational manner” is simply how such birds of a feather flock together.

If they were to succeed better at interactive attention sharing by being irrational, they would.

Really … .

And what do your feelings tell you.

Perhaps you have “Mommy” issues.

Maybe your mom encouraged or discouraged you from such rational thought and you still idealize or contemptualize her.

Or maybe you’re just getting in a dig at me about my mom, which is how it really feels.


Feeling goes beyond thinking.


Orcas are considered quite intelligent with regard to the capacity for reason.

Monkeys aren’t exactly reasonably stupid, either.

Sadly, this human “capacity to reason” is often in opposition to feeling.

Why is that?

Is that not detrimental to executing all our ways of knowing, feeling as well as thinking ways?

But do feelings really need “reasoning”.

All that such mentalising ever really does is help us to “rationalize” away our feelings.

Maybe we “think” our feelings are “unacceptable” or “dangerous”, so we find ways to “refine” them away … and, to our detriment, as we are then more likely to tolerate totalitarian control over our lives, totalitarian control in the form of government, private corporations … or controlling individuals in our personal life.

Feelings, along with intuition, help to give meaning to thought, and they allow us to be instantly aware when we are being violated.

Maybe in those with lesser developed cognitive inhibitions.

But that’s topically irrelevant.

Feelings aren’t emotions.

Indeed, feelings are very much in the here and now, and they have a very concrete aspect to their orientation.

And yes, thinking can very often be a way of avoidantly beating around the bush for quite some time.

So it would behoove one to be honest with one’s feelings if one’s thoughts are so dependent upon them.

Otherwise all sorts of sophistry can result.

Yes, if you feel fear at the thought of being murdered, and you are dishonest about that, you will likely select much “data” to “prove” your point that murder is “wrong”.

But if you are honest with your fear, and you state that you don’t want to be murdered, as that would undesirably take your life, then, enough said – you have made the best point you could ever make.

Indeed, dishonestly expressed feelings, especially those in denial, are behind the biased presentation of topics such as Iraq, when a person begins to live, free will vs. predistination, and on and on, especially those who argue against “the despostic war on drugs” when what they really mean is "Gimme my drug! :angry: "

Any computer can do that … with the help of a programmer.

There is no way anyone can “ideally” factor out one’s human feelings.

One can be honest about what one really feels.

Or one can hide those feelings and pretend to be “truly objective”, “ignoring and suppressing those feelings and only look at the data”. :laughing::unamused:

Honest people tell where they are really coming from up front, by expressing their feelings, and doing so honestly.

Sadly, many people don’t know what they feel.

And so they have no idea really why they think as they often masturbatorily do.

Thinking and feeling are the same thing. The only measureable difference is the time each process takes - thinking apparently takes longer than feeling.

In truth, it’s a division that need not exist, exploited by those advancing either side (usually as part of a genderising politics).

No they’re not.

Your thinking is in error.

You would discover much more in that difference if you bothered to explore below the tip of the iceberg.

Your jump to thought conclusions on this matter could be an oversight resulting in titanic disasters in your personal life. :cry:

You are partially right here: denial of differentiated realities for hidden agenda “reasons” is historically a male thing. :laughing:

Where’s the error, except for the fact that you disagree? What’s the fundamental difference between thinking and feeling?

You’d learn a lot more if you didn’t presume to know more than others and didn’t use cliched metaphor (‘tip of the iceberg’) in place of reason.

If I wanted your opinion on my personal life then I’d ask for it. Stick to the argument, don’t make this personal or I’ll get nasty.

No, it’s a human thing. Matriarchy is as old as patriarchy, no matter what your pop-feminist, pig-ignorant mother may have told you. Try reading critiques of feminism…

Like I say, tell me the fundamental difference between thinking and feeling and stop trying to tell me what I do and don’t know. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I’d bet a million dollars that I’ve learnt more and considered more about this than you have.

I’d say for one that philosophy and science rule in these times. In the past, feelings may have been more significant, but now that science and philosophy have proven to be powerful and since they suggest logic and reason is above all other forms of persuasion. We tend to fall in line.

But also, what are we supposed to say anyway? A feeling is just an observation, isn’t it? Aren’t we interested in conclusions based on observations or premises?

I guess you’re right though in a sense. Feelings have impact on our thoughts, maybe our thoughts our just children of our feelings, but then these discussions become much more personal when we get into why we want to feel a certain way about something. I don’t know if anyone wants to get that personal on here. After all, it is the internet and the topic is philosophy, not the friends network.

Also, a lot of what people feel can be constructed based on their words. I can say based on your words you feel frustrated that no one hear “feels” anything.

So ,there are a couple of things to chew on.

My instincts drive the man I am. Thinking is simply a useful tool, an incredibly useful tool, to refine and shape the instincts within me. My feelings and intuition drive me in day to day events, but thinking helps me change my intuition.

Everyone here has emotions, so of course people around here feel. But it IS a philosophy forum, so people are actively trying to use reason to support their arguments (even if they are arguing for beliefs made emotionally).

Asking how someone “feels” about a certain thing pretty much results in the same response as asking someone what they think about it.

In response to a certain issue or idea, a person may or may not have a noticeable emotional response, but their iintellectual reaction will, nonetheless, stem from some beliefs that are important to the person’s sense of self and/or the world, thoughts that stir emotion in them, or hold an emotional feeling in place.

After having a kind of feeling, the person still has to interprety that feeling according to language, to think about it, to investigate it themselves, or share it with others.

But how one feels about something is a result of how they interpret a certain cognition in terms of their presently solidified belief system (which has been held in place because it has proved well for them in avoiding cognitive dissonance in the past).

If you want to have a metaphysical discussion of what a “soul” is, and attempt to prove that somehow the way one “feels” expresses an objective, undeniable truth which we are all naturally endowed with (that the thinking mind is interfering with our ability to be naturally “in-tuned” to), then okay, make a post about that, because it’s necessary for you to convince us of that reality before we can accept that “feelings” are something to be “trusted” something that expressed something beyond the personal.

Without thinking an argument is impossible in the first place… of course with thinking sophism will run amuck, most people are not very intelligent.

I don’t have anything against feelings themselves, but I have a problem with people who use their incorrect categorization of thinking being at odds with feeling to label thinking as some cold, emotionless machine which makes those who use it into less-than-human creatures devoid of any compassion.

The purpose of philosophy is at odds with indulging oneself in false beliefs. Philosophy searches for answers to (at least for practical purpose) come up with guidlines for truly ethical behavior.

To just “trust your feelings” sounds nice, but you’re only using it because you understand that you can’t use reason to support your selfish perceptions of the world. You are making whatever silly arguments you can to prove to yourself thatthere is nothing wrong with you(r ego-maintaining beliefs).

First you come to these forums to try to gain support of your beliefs form thinkers, and once finding that you couldn’t do so, you instead decide that philosophy is the inacceptance of feeling (feeling=what YOU feel MUST be true (in order to not bring suppressed ideas of yourself to the surface)).

The reasons people begin to take philosophy vary, of course. To say everyone does it “to avoid feeling” is ridiculously insufficient.

Well I “felt” annoyed because I already understand a lot of things about you that you are fighting to keep from coming to the surface of your awareness; it’s frusterating to see such a confused person “preaching” to others just to convince herself that her delusions are true. You’re desperation is very predictable at this point.

If we look at the origins of the words “think” and “feel”, we see that “feel” means “to touch” and is derived from a base which means “to strike softly”. The sense of feeling as touching is still evident in the expression “to feel one’s way around in the dark”. The word “think”, on the other hand, seems to be the causative form of a verb meaning “to seem, to appear” (-> to cause to appear to oneself → to conceive in the mind). It is derived from a base which means “to think, to feel”. Now I have argued in a thread started by MagnetMan that all sensory perceptions are forms of touch (sound waves “touch” the “strings” within one’s ear, light waves/particles “touch” the retina of one’s eye, etc.). I remember R.J.Hollingdale saying that an idea could make Nietzsche feel ill. The genius is an extremely delicate instrument. I am now reminded of an instrument my high school physics teacher showed me, a “lightmill”. Like a windmill, this one would rotate if you placed it in sunlight. Perhaps thinking is somewhat like this, to cause a stream of light to appear which sets ones wheels in motion.

And when you get “annoyed”, rather than face your anger’s underlying fear, you lash out inappropriately.

That’s obvious.

If you could just say you feel afraid and sit with that as you ramble, you could skip the unjustified attacking.

You always fail to respond to my arguments. You just talk nonsense, and then call me carefully worded responses “rambling”.

Projections from Sabrina, as always.

Unjustified? Please. The ignorance you display is a social disease.

To continue that to its “logical” conclusion, feeling is about the body.

So when we feel afraid about a 9/11-like future attack, we are foundationally expressing our body’s reaction to imagining being in a target building.

There are six root feelings: sad, glad, mad, ashamed, afraid, hurt.

All of these reflect bodily responses to stimuli, stimuli that can originate either within or without us.

Thus feelings tell us primarily about that which is happening in our body to our body and secondarily about that which is happening in our world (outside our skin) to our body.

Our feelings are our inner senses.

Our body is affected by current events, lifestyle, even by our own thoughts.

Presenting our feelings along with our thoughts is quite revealing of our entire real experience.

Those who adamantly deny the obvious humanity of the newly conceived would then honestly admit that they feel afraid to face what that fact means in light of their past killing behavior. Such would then reveal their “thoughts” against reality to merely be a denial mechanism with which to cope with overwhelming guilt.

That is a transferrable concept. If Bush would admit that he felt afraid to lose the Iraqi oil and how greatly he felt afraid, that would help debunk his red herrings of WMDs and terrorists that he used to rationalize killing so many innocent Iraqis (red herrings that we only later proved as such … when it was too late to save those lives).

Thinking, then, orients from our external senses, from which we sense the “things” around us, perceive them, cogitate upon them and present our conclusions.

Indeed, our feelings can be affected from those things and from our thoughts about them as a tertiary method of “generating” feelings.

Ultimately, yes, it all impacts upon our body.

And, if we are true to our body, we will feel that impact.

The nature of the impact determines the specific feeling: sad, glad, mad, ashamed, afraid, hurt.

Sadly, in the military, for example, one is taught to ignore one’s feelings in deference to the duty to be carried out, even if that means kill and be killed.

We learn the same in a dysfunctional family-of-origin.

Nietzsche must have been quite sensitive to how ideas could make him feel. I wonder if that was compensation for his lack of affective reaction to the concrete world.

Not all genius scores reflect hypersensitivity.

Most of them reflect a detachment from feeling.

Bobby Fischer was a genius, around 187, if I recall.

But his EQ was pretty low.

Different people think for different reasons.

The highly intuitive thinkers may be fascinated with such.

The highly sensible thinkers wouldn’t give it a passing thought.

Though you are inaccurate in your conclusions here, Matthatter, you do get what you pay for.

When you are honest with your feelings, then you’ll get what you want, your money’s worth.