Emotions and higher social order

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Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 8th, 2017, 12:23 pm 

Some research claims that our line of human survived while others did not because of our superior social organization. I think what emotions have to do with our social organization is worth our consideration.

http://criticalrealismnetwork.org/2017/ ... ternative/

In the American sociology of emotion, interpretivism is the reigning paradigm. Emotions are socially constructed and to be interpreted through the language used to express them. This paradigm works fairly well in enhancing our understanding of people’s understanding of emotion, if that’s what your epistemic aim is. The critical realist would rather know what emotion is, why it exists, and how it works. If interpretivism is the theoretical orthodoxy in the sociology of emotion, then positivism is, ironically, the heterodoxic revolt in this subdisciplinary domain. For example, Kemper (2011) is probably the most unapologetic positivist among sociologists of emotion. His theoretical system presents a bunch of covering laws about the relationship between power-/status- claimsmaking and biophysiological emotional pain or pleasure. As in other positivisms of this sort, constant conjunctions abound without any depth realism, for example, conceptualizing how multiple mechanisms interact in open systems.


This is the research I had in mind developing our social order and improving our survival.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-n ... -88972191/

According to a study published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the answer is grandmothers. “Grandmothering was the initial step toward making us who we are,” says senior author Kristen Hawkes, an anthropologist at the University of Utah. In 1997 Hawkes proposed the “grandmother hypothesis,” a theory that explains menopause by citing the under-appreciated evolutionary value of grandmothering. Hawkes says that grandmothering helped us to develop “a whole array of social capacities that are then the foundation for the evolution of other distinctly human traits, including pair bonding, bigger brains, learning new skills and our tendency for cooperation.”
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-n ... GILO1Rq.99
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 13th, 2017, 11:27 am 

http://www2.fiu.edu/~grenierg/chapter3.htm

5. The socialization process is also a force for continuity within societies.� Through this process the members of a society acquire the belief that their culture is a precious resource and worth preserving.


I like this web site and this statement stood out to me because when we had education for democracy there was so much focus on human dignity and this stress on human dignity resulted in believing we had a culture that was worth defending in wars. Important to this concept of human dignity and our democracy being superior, was the notion that we shared public lands and utilities and benefits of our society. Social Security and the Older Americans Act as well as programs for children, are expressions of our concern for the well being of all, dignity and equal opportunity. That is we believed not only in individualism but also in a weness. United we stand.

Being influenced by the patriotism of the second world war that involved my parents, and the school books published and used during the second world war and following the war, I have a love for the culture we defended, and I don't think that culture is what we have today. I think in some ways our culture has improved and in some ways it is in trouble.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 16th, 2017, 11:32 am 

What is a higher social order? In the beginning of this thread I was thinking about our evolution and the different human lines and what our social organization had to do with us winning the competition. The notion being our evolved ability to work together gave us an advantage. But obviously, we are as divided as we are united when it comes to notions of the woman's role in society and family values. These are emotional subjects and there is a question about what is the higher social order. Was women's liberation a step forward? What about the Trump phenomena?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/books/review/divided-we-stand-marjorie-j-spruill.html

Among feminists, Donald Trump’s election has prompted unprecedented soul-searching about What Went Wrong. The revelation that a majority of white women helped put Trump over the top cut especially deep. The initial mystery — how could women vote for that man? — gave way to betrayal: How could they do this to other women? Then, after some Kübler-Ross stages of grief, and a few million pink pussy hats, came the questions: How to harness the euphoric rage of the record-breaking women’s marches? How to make tangible progress, not merely prevent further losses?


What is progress?
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby wolfhnd on July 16th, 2017, 12:17 pm 

Nice topic to discuss at the moment I'm to busy to do so will try to read the links later and comment.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby wolfhnd on July 16th, 2017, 3:57 pm 

Well I read a bit of it and found a couple problems. First emotions are not socially constructed anymore than gender is. Humans are apes and evolution didn't stop below the neck. The interplay between physical and cultural evolution is complex and most of our evolution is buried in prehistory.

Most of evolutionary psychology is speculative and supported by correlations at best. Post Modernism however has polluted most of the other social sciences to the point that even correlation from properly constructed research is missing. It is a frustrating environment to sort through and many of my friends refuse to call it science at all which pretty much shuts down discussions like this between anyone outside the field and the practitioners. By contrast for example the physics section of these forums are often the most active areas of science discussion because in some ways physics is neater and cleaner. It is hard to have these discussions with the unavoidable limits on reliable data. I would recommend Jordan Peterson's lecture on IQ to understand how out of sync popular opinion is with the scientific data.

As to the grandmother theory all I can say is that the evolutionists are rethinking group selection and downplaying it at the moment. It is one of the more inaccessible possibilities and I don't give it much consideration.

What is certain is that the brain does not physically develop properly in the absence of social interaction. There is much discussion of the "language instinct" so the experts do seem to agree that some physical structure is necessary for language to develop regardless of the social environment. It may be cliche to say neither nature or nurture but that appears to be the case.

As I have said else where emotions are the seeds from which cognition grows. It is a physiological process influenced by culture. The trap to avoid is assuming that theories devoid of experience should go untested. This isn't just a principal for intellectual argument but is the nature of life. The brains of all animals capable of even rudimentary cognition are constantly testing theory. Because of a need to process information independent of emotional (instinctual) influence humans are susceptible to creating a mental matrix that does not reflect reality. On the other hand it would be a mistake to think that evolved structures such as emotions are attuned to environmental conditions. All evolved structures lag reality because they are fixed under conditions that no longer exist.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Sivad on July 17th, 2017, 2:30 am 

wolfhnd » July 16th, 2017, 12:57 pm wrote:Well I read a bit of it and found a couple problems. First emotions are not socially constructed anymore than gender is. Humans are apes and evolution didn't stop below the neck. The interplay between physical and cultural evolution is complex and most of our evolution is buried in prehistory.


So you're saying emotions and gender are socially constructed to some significant extent?
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 17th, 2017, 11:39 am 

wolfhnd » July 16th, 2017, 1:57 pm wrote:Well I read a bit of it and found a couple problems. First emotions are not socially constructed anymore than gender is. Humans are apes and evolution didn't stop below the neck. The interplay between physical and cultural evolution is complex and most of our evolution is buried in prehistory.

Most of evolutionary psychology is speculative and supported by correlations at best. Post Modernism however has polluted most of the other social sciences to the point that even correlation from properly constructed research is missing. It is a frustrating environment to sort through and many of my friends refuse to call it science at all which pretty much shuts down discussions like this between anyone outside the field and the practitioners. By contrast for example the physics section of these forums are often the most active areas of science discussion because in some ways physics is neater and cleaner. It is hard to have these discussions with the unavoidable limits on reliable data. I would recommend Jordan Peterson's lecture on IQ to understand how out of sync popular opinion is with the scientific data.

As to the grandmother theory all I can say is that the evolutionists are rethinking group selection and downplaying it at the moment. It is one of the more inaccessible possibilities and I don't give it much consideration.

What is certain is that the brain does not physically develop properly in the absence of social interaction. There is much discussion of the "language instinct" so the experts do seem to agree that some physical structure is necessary for language to develop regardless of the social environment. It may be cliche to say neither nature or nurture but that appears to be the case.

As I have said else where emotions are the seeds from which cognition grows. It is a physiological process influenced by culture. The trap to avoid is assuming that theories devoid of experience should go untested. This isn't just a principal for intellectual argument but is the nature of life. The brains of all animals capable of even rudimentary cognition are constantly testing theory. Because of a need to process information independent of emotional (instinctual) influence humans are susceptible to creating a mental matrix that does not reflect reality. On the other hand it would be a mistake to think that evolved structures such as emotions are attuned to environmental conditions. All evolved structures lag reality because they are fixed under conditions that no longer exist.



Thank you for your time and consideration of the subject. As for being overly imperialistic, it is unfortunate history is not considered as important as science. What is happening today reminds me of the Church and Scholasticism. Scholasticism depended on Aristotle and in the end, there was a backlash against Aristotle and Church controlled reasoning, opening the Age of Reason and intellectual growth. Today, I don't think we need more facts, but more wisdom and that need might become the backlash to imperialism.

Formally I am a gerontologist. That is the study of aging. Before we got so technological smart, we valued our elders for their greater knowledge and judgments based on having more knowledge. I must say my book learning held very little value compared to being old because knowing facts is not that useful without knowing the meaning of those facts. Our young are good at accumulating facts. In our later years, we realize the meaning of all those facts. From my educated point of view, few things are more exciting than how a large population of long lived people change society. Never before have there been so many long lived people and I see this as a great opportunity for humanity.

I find the grandmother theory completely plausible because I am a grandmother and realize there are important differences in being a grandmother. The further we are from raising our children, while still recognizing a special bond with them, the more rational we are about their care and if our group depends on the knowledge of the elders and defers to them, not only do we have the advantage of knowledge and experience and the mental development of a long life, but the security in who we are that we do not have when we are young. Physically life can get more challenging as we age, but psychologically life gets better when the elders are valued. I really want to say much more about the grandmother difference if there is interest.

So imagine animals running on instincts, perhaps learning from parents, but not contemplating the meaning of anything. Not reasoning and making choices based on reason, rather than on feeling. They are controlled by hormones and their position in the hierarchy. Now begin aging the members of the group and watch what happens.

There are some male and female differences and it has become popular to argue that these differences are not so much biological, but I don't think we would be arguing that if we did not have control of energy and machines making our lives easy. One of the important differences in chimps is the females take to learning from their mothers much better than the males, and this is an essential part of gaining knowledge versus brute force. That is the baboon on is not the path to higher intelligence but the chimp is, because of this difference in which one learns and which one does not. The organization of bonobos favors females, while the organization of chimps favors males. I think we have much to learn from studying animal behavior. When we come to our line, what was favored was a more female oriented social order. We don't just hunt (brute force), we cultivate the soil and we engage with each other better than other species (power of reason).
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 17th, 2017, 12:12 pm 

Sivad » July 17th, 2017, 12:30 am wrote:
wolfhnd » July 16th, 2017, 12:57 pm wrote:Well I read a bit of it and found a couple problems. First emotions are not socially constructed anymore than gender is. Humans are apes and evolution didn't stop below the neck. The interplay between physical and cultural evolution is complex and most of our evolution is buried in prehistory.


So you're saying emotions and gender are socially constructed to some significant extent?


I would agree with that. For this we need cross cultural studies and what we know is aggressive people (cultures) raise their children to be aggressive and that some cultures focus more on being cooperative, and this too begins with early child rearing.

Also in observing animals, we see leaders being groomed for leadership and lower ranking members being pushed out and prevented from having opportunity. Human studies also make it clear that nurture is just as important as nature, in determining how we feel about ourselves and others and how we behave. Our social position plays a role in how our we see ourselves and how others react to us, this is directly tied to our emotional state of being.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby wolfhnd on July 17th, 2017, 12:49 pm 

This topic is worthy of more discussion than it is getting if for no other reason than because group selection needs to be sorted out.

Let me ask one question that I think helps define the problem. Is the survival of the species the highest moral objective or is morality ultimately about individual "salvation" as Christianity suggests? Ignore the traditional concept of the soul and replace it with "spiritual" fulfillment. I'm not stating the question as an either or because obviously they are inter dependent in some ways.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 18th, 2017, 9:49 am 

wolfhnd » July 17th, 2017, 10:49 am wrote:This topic is worthy of more discussion than it is getting if for no other reason than because group selection needs to be sorted out.

Let me ask one question that I think helps define the problem. Is the survival of the species the highest moral objective or is morality ultimately about individual "salvation" as Christianity suggests? Ignore the traditional concept of the soul and replace it with "spiritual" fulfillment. I'm not stating the question as an either or because obviously, they are inter dependent in some ways.


I am focusing on history at the moment and keep wondering how did very aggressive males come to rule over everyone else? Evidently, a big cause of this phenomenon was the spreading of Hinduism and notion that a man can be a god, resulting in the east having many male leaders who were worshiped as gods, and they did not have great human values. Also, trading seems to have been very important to the accumulation of wealth and power. Somewhere in here is the notion of private property. I don't know the exact role property rights, or the lack of them, played in the establishment of human hierarchies. I think it would be hard to get exacting information about how the notion of private property, goods carried by a caravan or on ships to be sold and also control of a plot of land, but the trading happened before there were cities. The development of trading seems to have lead to large cities and that leads to political control and a different value system.

I think the best way to understand humans is to study animal behavior. The book "The Science of Good and Evil" calls animals premoral because our morality comes out of animal sensitivity and behavior, but animals don't contemplate the reasoning of moral behavior. I think the difference between chimp (male dominant) and bonobo (female dominant) organization is important. Not all women who rise in politics advance programs for women and children but as more women have become political leaders, there has been an increase of programs for women and children with the result of more children surviving childhood. I think those who object to discussion of the difference between males and females hinder our ability to understand our behavior, and this study would include how hormones affect how we feel and behave.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 23rd, 2017, 11:26 am 

wolfhnd, brought up the Standford study on delayed reward and self-control and this becomes a question of trust. What might trust have to do with our social order? What might religion or education for democracy have to do with social order? What might unwritten social rules have to do with trust and social order?
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 28th, 2017, 11:43 am 

A problem with large populations is we become strangers to each other and it doesn't much matter what happens to a stronger. I am coming from the AI thread where some are concerned about AI having too much power and authority, and already our government has too much power and authority over the people, but because we are strangers not everyone is aware of government interference in our lives and it doesn't matter what happens to the stranger. Our government has become too controlling and too much out of our control, so concern about AI seems rational to me. How do you feel about your life being controlled by a power with which you do not have two-way communication and can not influence?
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby wolfhnd on July 29th, 2017, 6:25 am 

Grandmothering is a form of nepotism that confuses the issue of altruism in larger social groups. Grandmothering may also be tied to displaced maternal nurturing. There is no reason to believe that the instincts for maternal nurturing are short circuited by menopause. Care of infants by siblings is also common in social animals. The care of infants by unrelated members of a social group I will investigate.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby wolfhnd on July 29th, 2017, 7:03 am 

Sivad » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:30 am wrote:
wolfhnd » July 16th, 2017, 12:57 pm wrote:Well I read a bit of it and found a couple problems. First emotions are not socially constructed anymore than gender is. Humans are apes and evolution didn't stop below the neck. The interplay between physical and cultural evolution is complex and most of our evolution is buried in prehistory.


So you're saying emotions and gender are socially constructed to some significant extent?


No I'm saving they are notified by social construction in their expression. That is not to say they are rigid instinctually. Sexual mimicry and sequential hermaphroditism are not exceptional in other species. Changes in the environment can also alter sexual hormones and even the brains structure. Instincts can also be manifested disfuntionally. For most discussions it is convenient to reduce the complexity to some Typological approximation.

Gender is an unfortunate choice of terms to describe dymorphism because it originated as a grammatical construct and can be confusing. Sex is by definition binary but sexual expression is only confined by the ability of the instincts to manifest behavior with varying degrees of fidelity. Behavior in more complex animals is likely to have the lowest fidelity as flexibility is added.

I think that it is a post modernist obfuscation to introduce infinite variability what Hegel may have called the bad infinite. Instincts are predispositions in humans that are malleable by conditioning. The degree of that malleability is what should be debated not the dimorphic nature of the species.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby wolfhnd on July 30th, 2017, 6:42 am 

I need to make a clarification. When I said cultures modified emotional expression that should not be interrupted to mean that modifications exclude elaboration. Think of two design spaces one limited by genetic history and the other by cultural history. Now consider that the human genome can be expressed as 6,500 mb of data, compared to the library of congress expressed as 10,000,000 mb of data. The genetic design space is inherently smaller than the cultural design space. The genetic design space is also limited in flexibility because certain chemical combinations are impossible. The point is not that culture is more complex because complexity is a function of interrelationships but that genetics are more limiting both spatially and chronologically.

Here is another example of how to consider the issue. We speak of artificial intelligence but what is natural intelligence? The library of congress is an example of a repository of artificial intelligence. It is not just group intelligence but a alteration of physical storage capacity. Human intelligence by definition is artificial. Actually artificial is an unfortunate choice of words because there is nothing artificial about a book or a computer hard drive. Here is another way of thinking about it. You think therefore you are but who's thoughts do you have those you generate independent of culture? That is impossible. Similarly thoughts and emotions are not two separate processes but necessary components of a whole like a computer bios and the operating system.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 30th, 2017, 11:58 am 

wolfhnd » July 29th, 2017, 4:25 am wrote:Grandmothering is a form of nepotism that confuses the issue of altruism in larger social groups. Grandmothering may also be tied to displaced maternal nurturing. There is no reason to believe that the instincts for maternal nurturing are short circuited by menopause. Care of infants by siblings is also common in social animals. The care of infants by unrelated members of a social group I will investigate.


That investigation needs to be cross cultural for sure. I have read a study of mothers in one small area, who allow their children to die because they are overwhelmed by the difficulty of their lives. What I read also said the women tended to avoid relationships men to avoid getting pregnant in the first place. In another community, by age 3 children were on their own to forage for food, because again, survival was very hard. Makes me wonder about the college lectures I have been listening to, of less evolved humans migrating into Europe. Were they biologically limited and therefore more primitive, or was the delay in their evolution caused by the harsh environment during an ice age? Our mind set about love, loving each other and our children is very dependent on abundance. We are not so civil when survival is difficult. However, Africa sent out waves of our species and each time they were more evolved. I feel confident our evolutionary progress depended on good times and the development of culture.

As for nepotism, that too is subject to culture. Our culture makes a big deal out of individualism, but this is not true of all culture. For the Hopi, something was wrong with the person who had an ego separate from the group. The focus would not be on "Am I doing the right thing?" but rather what is everyone else doing? Child rearing can affect such things as being aggressive or passive, competitive or corporative, having a sense of belonging to a tribe, or a lack of sense of belonging.

I think it is our nature to care for each other if we have been well cared for, and also to care for other animals. Even prisoners who experienced abuse can become more caring if they accept responsibility for raising a dog. Especially baby animals elicit a desire to touch, pet and cuddle, and feed. Children immediately reach for animals. I worry about the child who comes with a stick and acts aggressively against an animal unless the animals is threatening, and we know occasionally an animal will adopt the young of a different species and they might establish life long relationships. I think what we see in nature and each other, is very much about our point of view and that past assumptions were based on misinformation.

I read your next post and started to wonder does any other species have grandparent relationships? You are so well informed it really stimulates my thinking! Elephants have matriarchs, right? Chimps are male dominated and bonobo are female dominated, but what about the grandparent role? And those less evolved humans who migrated north had very short life spans and probably didn't have grandparents. I am thinking grandparents are important to evolution, and this would require good times in an environment that is bountiful enough to keep people alive for a couple of generations. Human progress could only happen during good climates in environments with plenty of food and water.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 30th, 2017, 1:01 pm 

wolfhnd » July 30th, 2017, 4:42 am wrote:I need to make a clarification. When I said cultures modified emotional expression that should not be interrupted to mean that modifications exclude elaboration. Think of two design spaces one limited by genetic history and the other by cultural history. Now consider that the human genome can be expressed as 6,500 mb of data, compared to the library of congress expressed as 10,000,000 mb of data. The genetic design space is inherently smaller than the cultural design space. The genetic design space is also limited in flexibility because certain chemical combinations are impossible. The point is not that culture is more complex because complexity is a function of interrelationships but that genetics are more limiting both spatially and chronologically.

Here is another example of how to consider the issue. We speak of artificial intelligence but what is natural intelligence? The library of congress is an example of a repository of artificial intelligence. It is not just group intelligence but a alteration of physical storage capacity. Human intelligence by definition is artificial. Actually artificial is an unfortunate choice of words because there is nothing artificial about a book or a computer hard drive. Here is another way of thinking about it. You think therefore you are but who's thoughts do you have those you generate independent of culture? That is impossible. Similarly thoughts and emotions are not two separate processes but necessary components of a whole like a computer bios and the operating system.


Okay, is the emotion in the head or the body or both? I love the notion that our book learning is artificial intelligence because it sure isn't something we are born with. I love the way you make me think about our thinking. We have nonemotional thoughts and emotional thoughts, and we can be very emotional about nonemotional thoughts, like one of the Learning Company's college professors who explains math and gets so excited because the subject of math excites him, and he speaks of crying in shear joy because of the beauty of math. I don't know if any other animal could be so emotionally moved by math, and that we can be so emotionally moved by information, makes us unique. Can this be programmed into a computer or robot?

Come to think of it, religion and politics are only thoughts and we can get us so emotional we start killing each other. Come to think of it, isn't that a bit odd? Wolfhnd, I am so glad you joined this discussion. This is the kind of discussion I live for. It is what keeps calling me back to forums, not the arguing that is so typical. I am excited by learning. Does any other animal get excited about learning? Chimps are curious and this is the first step of learning, but do they stop at meeting a basic need, such as getting food? Humans spread out of Africa unlike the other animals. Oh, oh, what a study that would be, how do different species spread? Humans appear to be different because they are adventurous and leave their territory and keep moving. This could not be the accidental following of herd because other species don't move around like humans do, and might this be about emotion connected with learning and the thrill of discovering something new?
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby wolfhnd on July 30th, 2017, 7:45 pm 

Lots to unpack there Athena. I will have to re-read the thread.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby doogles on July 31st, 2017, 6:55 am 

Athena - "Okay, is the emotion in the head or the body or both? "

Athena, like you, I believe that emotions are extremely important in success or failure in all issues in life and that they are mostly experienced by individuals, but can be infectiously transmitted to group manifestations with powerful results affecting social order eg mob rule, swaying public opinion..

I have researched and written a 10000 word essay on feelings and emotions, but unfortunately find it difficult to get started in a chat forum because of the length of text it would take to lay the ground work for discussion.

I'll just say for starters that I've concluded that emotions are reactions to threats to, or enhancements of, the physical status of our bodies or threats to, losses of, or enhancements to our self-images. Briefly, I believe we all have a self-image which is every bit as important to each of us as our physical bodies.

These emotions are actually manifested by our sixth sense feedback from every soft tissue in our bodies. This sixth sense feedback is perpetual, very complex, with many computations and permutations and accounts for all of things we regard as 'feelings' at any given time. The actual changes in the complex changeable status of our soft tissues (heart rates, blood pressures, blood vessel smooth muscle relaxations or tensions, all visceral muscle smooth muscle tensions and relaxations, and particularly skeletal muscle tensions and relaxations and tensions etc, skin arteriole changes - blushing or blanching) are all caused by a multitude of autonomic nerve outputs and hormone secretions triggered by perceptions from either our five senses in touch with the world outside of our bodies or from our own imaginations (as, for example in the case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Maybe you can see why I can't get started. I have trouble convincing anybody that all species from reptiles upwards have a constant massive sixth sense feedback from every soft tissue in their bodies. Stupidly, to my mind, we regard the sixth sense as extra sensory perception, when to my mind and experience it exists in each of us and is just as important, if not more important than our other five senses. I sometimes feel as if I am an alien. I've said elsewhere that until we rename ESP as a seventh sense, we'll never get started in understanding feelings and emotions.

My short answer is that I believe our emotional reactions involve the entire body soft tissues as well as the autonomic, central and peripheral nervous systems.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 31st, 2017, 12:11 pm 

Doodles, that is the best explanation of what I know to be true, that I have ever read, next to reading several years ago that every cell of our bodies is programmed with what we learn early in life and we can not go against our personal programming without experiencing much discomfort. Your explanation is essential to what was said in the research I read because it is a better explanation of the actual physical phenomena. Fortunately, we are getting more and more information about our gut and heart experiences and the connection between these organs and our health and awareness of our feelings, and thoughts.

Like the things I like to talk about, the reader needs to know much more than what can be put in a post for understanding, and far too often, people who do respect this fact, attack what was said in a disrespectful way, and make meaningful discussion impossible by putting the writer on the defensive and failing to understand any of the explanations because they just don't know enough for understanding. Please, do not allow this problem to stop you, but join me by insisting respect is essential to good discussions and the expansion of our knowledge. You have made it glaringly obvious how ignorance and disrespect can prevent us from becoming better informed. People who actually know something write you and Wolfhnd. Isn't the difference of post done by knowledgeable and respectful people and those who lack knowledge and respect, amazing! Imagine being a teacher in a gang run neighborhood where that self-image and rep make learning next to impossible. Those teachers are real heroes. I am sure we rather the forum be a culture for those love information, rather a culture of abuse that shuts down progressive thinking and keeps everyone on the defensive or offensive that is emotionally driven rather than a wondering and enjoyable intellectual level. Good thinkers such as yourself should not be shut down. That is one exceptionally good post!

Your post is a marvelous demonstration of what emotions have to do with higher order thinking and higher social order. The quality of discussion we are having here is unlikely to come out of a slum school and is too frequently impossible in forums. You have made it possible for me realize a greater meaning to this train of thought than I expected! Respect and post focused on the topic are vital to human progress. We can not be knowledgeable of all things, but we can choose to be respectful and create a chance of developing knowledge. Perhaps when we argue with each other, we should be aware of why we are doing it? Is it our intent to increase knowledge or to win an argument by making someone the loser? What do we want in our culture and social order?
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on July 31st, 2017, 1:53 pm 

wolfhnd » July 30th, 2017, 5:45 pm wrote:Lots to unpack there Athena. I will have to re-read the thread.


What you and Doogles are saying have stretched my thoughts beyond what I imaged. Between the two of you this thread has literally been awesome. I keep getting flashes of insight and pray some of this stick with me in a better understanding that lasts longer that first moment of ah ha. What I am saying is a reaction to what has been said. This is not my original thought, but something much better.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby doogles on August 1st, 2017, 4:29 am 

Thank you for the encouragement Athena.

Like everyone else, I appreciate feedback on ideas. I have had no one read and give feedback and input on my essay of ideas on feelings and emotions. The length (10000 words) precludes presenting it for a chat.

Are you interested in critiquing it privately.

I have a vague idea that a private email connection can be established somehow in this forum, but I have no idea of the mechanics of such.

Like you, I'm still learning and hoping to understand as much as possible about myself, other people and the world about me - in spite of my age.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on August 3rd, 2017, 8:01 am 

Dooles, learning and communicating our vision of life in our later years is very important to humanity. We would not be where we are today if the elders had not been recorded and their thoughts had died with them. None of the wise men such as Socrates were so wise in their youth. When we are young we accumulate facts. When we are old we start realizing the meanings of all those facts. I think history is missing an important point when it omits the life expectancy of populations. Youth is a time of superstition and if not many live to be 30 or 40 years old, the culture is likely to be reckless and very superstitious. A young culture may have wise older people, but I think the conditions of valuing them are rather narrow. If life is as challenging as it was in 14 century, the energy of youth would be more important than the wisdom of elders. But when life gets easy and people can relax, then they might be more willing to seek wisdom. I think your work has merit and I will pm you.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Sivad on August 19th, 2017, 12:54 pm 

wolfhnd » July 17th, 2017, 9:49 am wrote:This topic is worthy of more discussion than it is getting if for no other reason than because group selection needs to be sorted out.

Let me ask one question that I think helps define the problem. Is the survival of the species the highest moral objective or is morality ultimately about individual "salvation" as Christianity suggests? Ignore the traditional concept of the soul and replace it with "spiritual" fulfillment. I'm not stating the question as an either or because obviously they are inter dependent in some ways.

Yeah, that's a rich and fascinating area to explore. Obviously we can't just pick one or the other, we have to individually and collectively find a healthy balance. Taking your question in context though, it's not really an existential threat, we just need to leave off hounding some people and let everyone just get on with it. Think of it like this, even if people can't change sex at the biological level now, in 150 years we will be able to accomplish that and much more, are you gonna live and let live or what?
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Eclogite on August 19th, 2017, 1:02 pm 

Athena » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:01 pm wrote:Dooles, learning and communicating our vision of life in our later years is very important to humanity. We would not be where we are today if the elders had not been recorded and their thoughts had died with them. None of the wise men such as Socrates were so wise in their youth. When we are young we accumulate facts. When we are old we start realizing the meanings of all those facts. I think history is missing an important point when it omits the life expectancy of populations. Youth is a time of superstition and if not many live to be 30 or 40 years old, the culture is likely to be reckless and very superstitious. A young culture may have wise older people, but I think the conditions of valuing them are rather narrow. If life is as challenging as it was in 14 century, the energy of youth would be more important than the wisdom of elders. But when life gets easy and people can relax, then they might be more willing to seek wisdom. I think your work has merit and I will pm you.

Well as an old person - I think some years older than you - I have reached the well considered opinion that, like children, old people should be seen and not heard. Basically they should shut up and let youth get on with it.

So to take your opening sentence and modifying it slightly, I think it reads: "learning and communicating my vision of life in my later years is very important to me". I suggest that the truly wise person has learnt how to get over themselves. I commend the concept to you.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby wolfhnd on August 19th, 2017, 7:47 pm 

Eclogite » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:02 pm wrote:
Athena » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:01 pm wrote:Dooles, learning and communicating our vision of life in our later years is very important to humanity. We would not be where we are today if the elders had not been recorded and their thoughts had died with them. None of the wise men such as Socrates were so wise in their youth. When we are young we accumulate facts. When we are old we start realizing the meanings of all those facts. I think history is missing an important point when it omits the life expectancy of populations. Youth is a time of superstition and if not many live to be 30 or 40 years old, the culture is likely to be reckless and very superstitious. A young culture may have wise older people, but I think the conditions of valuing them are rather narrow. If life is as challenging as it was in 14 century, the energy of youth would be more important than the wisdom of elders. But when life gets easy and people can relax, then they might be more willing to seek wisdom. I think your work has merit and I will pm you.

Well as an old person - I think some years older than you - I have reached the well considered opinion that, like children, old people should be seen and not heard. Basically they should shut up and let youth get on with it.

So to take your opening sentence and modifying it slightly, I think it reads: "learning and communicating my vision of life in my later years is very important to me". I suggest that the truly wise person has learnt how to get over themselves. I commend the concept to you.


Life experience should be shared. It's a two way process if grandparents talk with the next generation not at them the quality of life for everyone would be higher.

The most important thing our educational system is not teaching is the art of happiness. People are born to follow their instincts but evolution has not produced those instincts for the benefit of their host. Forged in an alien environment human emotions are often at odds with civilization and the young often strike out blindly because of the conflict this produces in them. Older people who have passed through the stages of hormonal tyranny can be of tremendous comfort to children struggling to come to grips with life as it is not how it should be.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on August 20th, 2017, 1:14 pm 

Eclogite » August 19th, 2017, 11:02 am wrote:Well as an old person - I think some years older than you - I have reached the well considered opinion that, like children, old people should be seen and not heard. Basically they should shut up and let youth get on with it.

So to take your opening sentence and modifying it slightly, I think it reads: "learning and communicating my vision of life in my later years is very important to me". I suggest that the truly wise person has learnt how to get over themselves. I commend the concept to you.


I think that is a negative opinion, and I associate sadness with that, and perhaps some hostility because of the aggressive language. But the more I think I on what you said, the more I wonder why you said it?

I think age has much to do with want we think. I am 70 and while some may be older, I wonder why you assume I am much younger than you?

I am reading a philosophy book written by a man, I am not sure I agree with him? He seems to say we should put ourselves first and not worry about others think of us, and I think there is good reason for a woman to put the needs to her husband and children first, and that includes thinking about the opinions of others. I know a young woman who thinks it would be great to walk around in men's briefs like Captain Underpants this Halloween. I don't think such behavior will benefit her children and that there could unwanted consequences for her children. Her behavior is illogical, considering she explains when we read books about socially inappropriate behavior to children, we tell them it is not okay to behave so inappropriately, and then argues in favor of her inappropriate behavior on a day that is for the fun of children. Might that behavior result in people shunning her and her children? Or is it wise for her to not care what people think of her and her family? Might her behavior and judgment have something to do with depending on welfare? I think the male philosophers who say the opinion of others doesn't matter, might be wrong?
Last edited by Athena on August 20th, 2017, 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Athena on August 20th, 2017, 1:31 pm 

[quote= wolfhnd

Life experience should be shared. It's a two way process if grandparents talk with the next generation not at them the quality of life for everyone would be higher.

The most important thing our educational system is not teaching is the art of happiness. People are born to follow their instincts but evolution has not produced those instincts for the benefit of their host. Forged in an alien environment human emotions are often at odds with civilization and the young often strike out blindly because of the conflict this produces in them. Older people who have passed through the stages of hormonal tyranny can be of tremendous comfort to children struggling to come to grips with life as it is not how it should be.


Of course, I appreciate your opinion. We are not born with good judgment and good coping skills but learn them over time and it is a whole lot easier to learn them if someone we care about can teach them to us. I am involved with some young people who have not learned good coping skills and who are so defensive it not pleasant discussing anything with them. Their understanding of life is very limited to their personal experience of it, and they do not appear to want to expand on this. I don't think I was ever quite like that because it seems to be my nature to want to know about the human experience and to pursue information, and I was always drawn to the elders and didn't care to hang with my peers, but I surely can relate to when I didn't know much and I felt like I needed to fill myself up, and my judgment about men was poor. Laugh, like the movie Grease, excitement was more attractive than stable and caring. Oh my, our judgment can be poor when we are young, and most people I know would not want to return to those years.

The bigger picture is historically elders were honored and people turned to them for their judgment, and I think this was important to the development of civilizations.
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Braininvat on August 20th, 2017, 1:54 pm 

Guess I fall somewhere between Eclo and Athena, in this regard. Some old people have wisdom to offer others. Some have only narrow ideas in which they have been entrenched since age 30. It really depends on the individual person and how they open themselves up to learning and the rich variety of the human condition. Ask yourself who you would rather have dinner with, both in their late 60s: David Duke or David Letterman?
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Re: Emotions and higher social order

Postby Eclogite on August 21st, 2017, 2:14 am 

Athena » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:14 pm wrote:I think that is a negative opinion, and I associate sadness with that, and perhaps some hostility because of the aggressive language. But the more I think I on what you said, the more I wonder why you said it?
Of course you think it is a negative opinion. The majority of my exchanges with you have been to argue that you conflate contrary opinions with negative opinions. You assume that because you are questioned on a point that the questioner disagrees with you (and therefore has a contrary opinion and therefore a negative opinion and therefore should be ignored or castigated).

Don't associate sadness with my remarks, but rather the wry smile that crosses my face when I'm taking the piss. You are correct about the hostility. Since you have seen hostility in so many of my posts where none existed I thought it was time to include a little of the real thing.

So, why did I write it. You had taken an extreme position that implied all old people had something useful to contribute, that they had wisdom. I presented the alternate position, not because I believe it, but as antidote to your - dare I say it - self righteous approach to knowing what is best. My own position is more aligned, probably exactly, with Braininvat's.

Athena » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:14 pm wrote:I think age has much to do with want we think. I am 70 and while some may be older, I wonder why you assume I am much younger than you?
I was essentially agreeing with your proposition that wisdom increases with age and felt that you still had quite a way to go.

Athena » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:14 pm wrote:I am reading a philosophy book written by a man, I am not sure I agree with him? He seems to say we should put ourselves first and not worry about others think of us, and I think there is good reason for a woman to put the needs to her husband and children first, and that includes thinking about the opinions of others. I know a young woman who thinks it would be great to walk around in men's briefs like Captain Underpants this Halloween. I don't think such behavior will benefit her children and that there could unwanted consequences for her children. Her behavior is illogical, considering she explains when we read books about socially inappropriate behavior to children, we tell them it is not okay to behave so inappropriately, and then argues in favor of her inappropriate behavior on a day that is for the fun of children. Might that behavior result in people shunning her and her children? Or is it wise for her to not care what people think of her and her family? Might her behavior and judgment have something to do with depending on welfare? I think the male philosophers who say the opinion of others doesn't matter, might be wrong?
Well, I don't know where the young woman lives. If she is in Riyadh such proposed behaviour would be seriously injurious to the wellbeing of herself and her family. If she lives in a hippy commune in California, such behaviour would not be socially inappropriate.

More to the point, you consider such behaviour socially inappropriate. She may not. I understand that during Mardi Gras some of the normal restrictions of society are relaxed. She may view Halloween in the same way and be seeking to teach her children an important, nuanced lesson.

You really need to open your mind more Athena and entertain the possibility that some of your beliefs are wrong.
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