thales1940 (thales1940) wrote in ljphilosophy,

The relation between reason and emotion

I'm gay. When I was in my teens I began to know that my theories about sex and the real deal were radically different, and so my search for philosophy began. Implicit from the beginning was the idea that theories have to be pracitical which is a kind of mind/body integration. I was implicitly using Rand's axioms years before I ever heard her name. The strongest proof of this is my own life. In my early twenties I was working with scouts when I felt a strong attraction to one of the boys. I must be clear, it was not a sexual attraction, it was based on reason, on the rationality we were seeing in each other. Reason is your most important tool for living the good life. That being the case, it stands to reason that your nature has given you a way to know that and that further based on the degree of importance involved know an emotion commensurate. It is my experience that if you love reason, or more exactly, if you learn to rely on reason as your only tool for problem solving you will develope an emotion that reflects the same measure. In this case the identical measure is 'most'. Reason as your most important tool for survival, should be united with your strongest (another word for most) emotion. The recognition that reason is important evokes the appropriate emotion. Nature has us automatically wired for two basic functions without which humans would not survive: we need food and sex. Because reason involves choice we have to have the freedom to reject it. And we also have to consciously acknowledge reason when we figure it out. It can't be automatic in the way that the desire for food and sex are.

At the time neither of us had a philosophy that could explain why it was that we loved each other. Let me remind you, this was a love of the purest sense based on the premise that each could rely on the truth of the other. Today we know; forty years ago we knew nothing but felt strongly. There are those of you out there who have experienced these same strong emotions based on the love of reason and didn't know how to explaim them either. I should mention that the boy was and is heterosexual and that there was some confusion. But again preceeding knowledge of Rand we passed a crucial test. We weathered an emotional misunderstanding without resorting to violence and we are friends worthy of the the admirarion earned from over forty years of trust.

This was the first of about half a dozen men, scattered over my life, that have noticed my love of reason and been drawn to me first by emotion. They have all been straight. Gradually I have figured out that it is reason and not because I'm a super stud that these guys seem to be hitting on me. Gradually figuring things out is induction integrated into past deductions. You have to have a memory and learn to introspect.

I was told seven years ago that I had a slow acting diease that as yet has no cure, so I thought if I was ever to effect this world in a serious manner, I should get busy. I was comfortable with Randian epistemology, got the highest score on a Kantian seminar where I used Peifoffs 'analytic/synthetic dichotomy' as the base for refuting Kant. And I knew from 76 that Math and philosophy were closely connected from reading ET Bell's 'men of mathematics'. Twenty years follow where I integrate life from a Randian perspective. It works folks. I am probably among the happiest people the world has ever known because I know what causes it.

Five years ago I was approached by a young man who felt that old feeling. But this time we have both read enough Rand to realize some of the power of reason. He asked me in a round about way, that took a few months, to teach him about reason and implicitly about the love entailed. I knew from the start, because of my history, that this was a new test where because of the clarity of the goal, the reward would be powerful The idea is, in a sense, theory. The emotional reward is real and the measures match exactly. This is true mind/body integration

The interesting thing is that I didn't teach him anything about objectivism directly. I used the indirect methed. Our explicit goal was to investigate the consequences of keeping your word which is what reason is all about. His proof of knowing Randian ideas before knowing Rand is in a song he wrote that is all about the mind/body dichotomy. Poetically he sings of starting in perfection where he is bombarded by those who want to destroy that perfection by force or deceit. By activly rejecting the two evils of force and deceit he is implicitly arguing for reason and tolerance. In the process I learned to integrate much of the history surrounding 600 BC and the life of Thale

600 BC - Thales is an established trader in his Ionian neighborhood. The Greeks are wealthy, relatively free and honest traders. How is honesty possible before there is a philosophy to explain it. This points to the inductive aspect of logic. Before we can know what honesty is we have to experience life and if life includes intances of people being honest, over time we can generalize to an idea, a rule, a law. The Greeks had a reputation of being honest traders and they measured transactions exactly. They also had not introspected to notice how virtuous their position was. They took it for granted that any fool would choose reason over whim if they had the choice. And then they saw Egypt with its rejection of standards on principal. To be continued
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