TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

What role should perception and emotion play in addressing ethical decisions?

Should perception and emotion have an equal say when we are addressing ethical decisions?
Should we disregard perception completely from the start because in the end our decisions towards ethical decisions are based on our emotions towards the subject.

What do you guys think?

progress indicator
  • thumb
    Mar 8 2013: You already know the answer to your question,and are hoping there is another one equally as good for basing ethics in a less emotional side. In the movie President Lincoln he uses a math pricipal to think around racism and the issue of slavery. It is a geometry equation in which he states if two objects are equal to other things, then the two objects are in fact equal to each other. So a math principle allowed him to persevere in the wake of great oppostition. You are correct to suspect a lot of things in ethics though. I would not attempt to take on the whole craft, I would prefer to pick an individual point and research its birth,and who benefits from its "truism" I will offer you this tortuous line in return for you offer to debate..How can truth be unknowable?how can facts disintergrate in front of belief?If belief is truth,then what do facts prove?
  • Mar 7 2013: How can we know without perception? This is aq very real issue in many matters.
    • Mar 7 2013: There are other ways of acquiring knowledge, other than perception. There exists language, reason, and emotion.
      Perception does not give certainty, only when it is consistent with our reason or intuition can it be used as reliable source of knowledge.
  • thumb
    Mar 7 2013: Perceptions go hand-in-hand with emotions and beliefs. If you believe that something is moral or not, you will perceive what you believe is true when you observe a situation. You will see something and judge it as either moral or not. This is how you perceive things such as injustice, where I do not see injustice while looking at the same thing. So perception follows beliefs - which are thought constructs. After you perceive what YOU believe is injustice, you have an emotional response, and following that emotional response, most people take action, as you suggest.

    But are your emotions giving you accurate information? Having thoroughly studied my emotions and their relationship to beliefs, I can say that they are not giving the information that most people believe that they are.

    Emotions are telling you that there is a mistake in your belief system. So to follow your emotions is to lead yourself into undesirable consequences because beliefs (thoughts) PRECEDE emotions that precede actions that ALWAYS have consequences.

    Most people base their morals on a belief that they are powerless. But that is merely a belief about reality. It is not a fact. So when you make decisions based on your belief in your powerlessness, you will create consequences where your vulnerability APPEARS obvious, and you will feel fear (an emotion). But if you examine and test your beliefs, and apply critical (rational) thinking to them, you must eventually conclude that you (& everyone) are powerful and can be perfectly safe even if others think that you are not. There is no accompanying fear. As you stop being owned by your emotions, you can't be manipulated by others, ego fades, and life improves exponentially. You make very different decisions that lead to different consequences that APPEAR to prove your new beliefs as obviously as your old beliefs appeared obvious.

    I used the word "moral". Ethics are part of feelings. Feelings are not emotions. Emotions block feelings
  • thumb
    Mar 7 2013: Root cause of this debate is a wrong principle: "No body can issue death warrant against himself. Because it is against principals of natural justice."
    Religion, Traditions, Culture or Philosophy are our working atmosphere same as Windows, Linux, DOS in computer.
    It is up to we, what we want out of it. Designer of each religion and tradition choose death for a greater cause. But followers are behaving opposite of it. Ultimate target of any religion or tradition is religious freedom but we are trying for religious fusion, cloning or isolation. Redefine ethics before we start this discussion. Followers are right or the designer of any philosophy is right? other wise each conclusion will be wrong.