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henry woeltjen

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Do your feelings matter?

If we know 1+1=2....and you feel like it equals 3....should we teach children based on your view of the equation or the factual data?

If you think something...does that make it appropriate for everyone?

What if you are wrong?

Do you question your beliefs....or do they serve as inert values?

We absorb data from various sources. We will call that data, in this context, raw data. The raw data has no meaning before translation.

Once we receive data it is processed through filters in our brain. Those filters apply the logic we intend to use.

(DATA SET) ---------- > {FILTER(DATA SET)} -Conclusion-

We have two types of filters.

(IMPULSIVE) (REASONING)

Our impulse filters have much to do with non-cognitive functioning. (REASON) or cognitive functioning is defined by existing filters.

Let's say your racist.

(DATA SET) --------- >(RACIST FILTER) ----------> (CONCLUSION)

Notice that this (RACIST FILTER) is vague. The actual filter network would be comprised of many different filters working together. I am just calling it the (RACIST FILTER) for now to save time.

The problem with this sort of emotional filter is it bases all reason on subjective data or subjective filters. These aren't filters created by facts or research. They are fabricated direct programming or false information. False information can construct filters that manipulate "raw data" and change it into "subjective data". Subjective data isn't always bad. However, if your view on something impacts another person's life....or another person's daily functions you may want to ensure it's accurate.

Do your emotions matter? Are they based on facts or programmed filters that need to be audited?

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    Apr 26 2013: Yes, my feelings definitely matter. I go with my gut feelings every day, and if my feelings say something is wrong, then something is probably wrong. I do frequently audit my "programmed filters" as you call them, based off of new experiences and new lessons that I learn throughout my life. I wasn't always as open-minded as I am, nor was I as empathetic as I am now...All of that came from performing audits based on the environments I was in what I experienced.

    I'm going to use your Racism example when I reference auditing and envinronments....Suppose an individual grows up in a small community, predominantly white, with a low-middle class blue-collar family where the Patriarch has racist or prejudiced views; if that individual never leaves that community and goes out on his own, and is always close to the Patriarch's influence, he may never audit his programmed filters because he has no reason to. Now, if that individual moves out of his community, gains more open-minded friends with no prejudices, works with minorities, learns about different cultures...He'll probably audit his filters based off of the experiences in the city...Realizing that his father's opinions of different cultures and races were false.
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      Apr 26 2013: ZX,
      I think we actually DO have filters. After a near fatal head/brain injury years ago, when I was finally leaving the hospital, they told me that the filters in the brain were damaged, and information would sometimes feel overwhelming.....which it did.

      For awhile, I had an oversensitivity to light and sound, and it was diffiicult to assimilate and focus on information, because it felt overwhelming. I had difficulty filtering one sound from another. My first time in the supermarket, for example, I had to leave because I could not stand all the noise and light which was all intensified. So, I think science/medicine actually does recognize filters in the brain. My filters are working a LOT better now! :>)

      Tunnel Vision is defined as:
      "extreme narrowness of viewpoint"
      Do you think "tunnel vision" (narrow viewpoint) may be influenced by the subjective information in our brain?

      I agree with you that sometimes, we may be so focused on certain data which supports and confirms our worldview, we may be missing the truth....or at least missing more information.....good point!
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          Apr 26 2013: I think your last statement is connected to how I understand Henry's use of the word filters. If you crave confirmation of your own truth, also called "confirmation bias," you will selectively pay attention to confirming data and filter out or ignore data that appears at odds with your belief.

          Daniel Kahneman's Nobel address was on this subject and specifically that even those who are well aware of such bias succumb to it.
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          Apr 26 2013: ZX,
          I could be talking about a different kind of filter, or it could be part of the same. I believe that everything in the body/mind is interconnected, so everything contributes to the whole.
          When the filters in the brain were physically damaged, the cognition, thoughts, feelings and emotions were compromised as well, which tells me that the filters are either one and the same, or closly connected.

          You think "information is in principal not subjective"? What about our thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions, etc.?
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          Apr 26 2013: ZX,

          Filters definitely do exist in your brain. These aren't actual filters. So you wouldn't see a filter on your brain scan or any other testing device.

          Filter is being used because we know so little about the brain that I use "filter" for lack of a better word.

          Let's give an example here.

          (DATA SET) (filter 1 (DATA SET))

          Filter 1 is the first stop. Let's call this your (IMPULSE FILTER).

          This is related to the SCHEMA you choose to embrace.

          What is SCHEMA? Well...when you walk into the grocery store, even if you have never been to that store, you may have an idea of where things are. This is because many grocery stores stock their items the same. Your brain stores this information and adds it to that (IMPULSE FILTER).

          This filter allows you to make split second decisions. However, since these decisions are based on non-cognitive functions no thought is applied. You may not have time to think.
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          Apr 26 2013: continued....


          Fight or flight is a great example of an (IMPULSE) created by these (IMPULSE FILTERS).

          Let's think about it. Did you actually think about whether or not the lion would eat you? Nah...you don't have to. Your brain will instantly translate that information using these filters. You will then act based on that impulse.

          Let's look at a different, more complex, filter.

          (THE RED BOX)

          The red box is a 3d box. You can see it in your head cant you? A 3d cube. I'm sure you can picture this.

          Now...tell me...how exactly does your brain understand this information instantly? It must take a reflection from this object and use that to understand what it is.

          (DATA SET) ------------------------- > (FILTER) ----------------->(THIS IS A RED BOX)

          You may think this isn't happening. That's because it happens quickly. How?

          Well you know our brain works with electrical impulses. So see this as a circuit.

          Data Set ---------> - (FILTER)------>---]-------)
          Data Set----------> - (FILTER)------>---]-------)
          Data Set --------- > - (FILTER)------>---]--------) (CONCLUSION)
          Data Set ----------> - (FILTER)------>---]-------)
          Data Set ----------> - (FILTER)------>---]--------)

          The data must go through multiple filters in order to reach a conclusion on this box. It does this instantly. This is because the filters are active whenever new information comes in. They are also active when you reference memories.
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          Apr 26 2013: I agree with this Henry, and the reason my filters were not working, was because the damage to the brain caused damage, disconnect, or interuption to the function of some of the neural pathways (electrical impulses). So, I still think we are talking about the same, or interconnected "filters".
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      Apr 26 2013: Very true. Biased mind-sets will definitely gravitate towards biased information. This is because it supports your view. Great points.
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    Apr 26 2013: Hi Henry,

    YES my feelings matter....to me anyway:>)

    I believe we should give children age appropriate factual data.

    If I think something, I recognize it as my thought, and no, it is not necessarily appropriate for everyone, because I realize that everyone has their own thoughts, and I respect that.

    When I recognize a thought, as a thought (rather than fact for example) there is very little that is "right" and "wrong".

    I am constantly taking in new information and often evaluate my beliefs and change the beliefs if the new information does not support the previous beliefs.

    I agree that we absorb data from various sources. The raw data (information) has very little meaning until we filter and process it. We use the logic that we are familier with to process the data, and apply it to the information and our life experience.

    I agree with you that our personal filters are generally based on subjective information.

    Yes, my emotions matter and so do everyone elses. That is why I take in information with an open heart and mind, remembering that it is only information, which does not have meaning until it is filtered and catagorized by each of us as individuals. Some of it may be fact, and most of it is subjective information:>)
  • Apr 27 2013: first of all the starting of the question about 1+1 being 3 is absurd. i think youve been a bit too emotional on that one.

    my feelings? feelings are just neurotic impulses and should not be confused with factual data.

    important? yes for me they are. but for some other person? people have their own feelings. if i say 1+1 is 3 and someone feel it is 11, i think they should go with 11. i have no right to impose my feelings on others to over-rule their own.

    do emotions matter? yes they do.

    are they based on facts? now what is this absurdity again? yes people do put up filters. but lets remodel your theory a little:

    Once we receive data it is processed through filters in our brain. Those filters apply the logic we intend to use.

    (PERSONAL EXPERIENCE) -----> (SENSORY INPUT) ----> (DATA SET) ---------- > {FILTER(DATA SET)} -Conclusion-

    We have FOUR types of filters.

    (IMPULSIVE) (INSTINCTIVE) (REGRESSIVE) (REASONING)
    IMPULSIVE - ANGER/UNCONTROLLED EMOTIONS
    INSTINCTIVE - GENETIC/FIGHT-FLIGHT
    REGRESSIVE - FEELINGS OF INADEQUACY
    REASONING - HAVING PRIOR KNOWLEDGE IN THE FIELD

    Our INSTINCTIVE filters have much to do with non-cognitive functioning. (REASON) or cognitive functioning is defined by existing filters.

    Let's say your racist.

    (BAD EXPERIENCE WITH SOME OTHER RACE/CONDITIONING BY B=PARENTS TO HATE A PARTICULAR RACE) ---------> (SENSORY FEEDBACK/ PREJUDICED FILTERS) ------->(DATA SET) --------- >(RACIST FILTER) ----------> (CONFLICT)


    i really applaud your effort in pinning your points, but please don't make racism the basis of this discussion. there are filters of age groups, friend circles, crop circles and aliens, wine v/s beer, alcoholics v/s smokers, war lovers, pacifists.

    final note? yes. my emotions are important and my feelings do matter. but i have no right to impose them on people around me and people definitely have a brain which they might as well use rather than following my thought-prints on their minds.
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      Apr 27 2013: First of all....great post. Thanks for taking time to share your input. However, I have to disagree respectfully on a few points.

      You said:
      (PERSONAL EXPERIENCE) -----> (SENSORY INPUT) ----> (DATA SET) ---------- > {FILTER(DATA SET)} -Conclusion-

      A (PERSONAL EXPERIENCE) is nothing more than (DATA). A (SENSORY INPUT) is nothing more than (DATA). I'm not really sure why you choose to separate those.

      You said:
      We have four filter types.
      (IMPULSIVE) (INSTINCTIVE) (REGRESSIVE) (REASONING)

      Let me point out that (IMPULSIVE) and (INSTINCTIVE) are the same thing. An instinct is an animals ability to react to stimuli according to an (IMPULSE) filter created by either DNA or even the animal's parents. These are still (IMPULSE FILTERS) at work and need not be separated into (INSTINCTIVE) and (IMPULSE) filters. They can be understood as (IMPULSE) filters. They are non-cognitive functions of the brain. Fight or flight is an instinct....it is also an impulse.

      Definition: Increased activity in response to a stimulus:

      The rest of your post isn't relevant. Thanks for taking the time to answer though. I could be completely wrong. These are just my theories. :)
      • Apr 27 2013: i respect your model and i am not against it. i simply put my views about your question Henry. i didn't know you were looking for re-verification and not new possible extensions to your own theory.

        apology for not making myself a little extra clear. i have put a lifetime's worth of research into the subject of human behavior and i am really clear when i stated myself earlier. please allow me to be a little more comprehensive and understandable.

        these are my interpretations:

        a.Impulsive- hormonal, spur of the moment, have to do
        b. instinctive- natural, survival, seems right
        c. regressive- defensive tendency, lack of knowledge, abrupt
        d. reasoning- pre-meditation, logical, knowledge based

        situations

        a person kills someone:

        1. for fun, under the euphoria of drugs - impulsive
        2. to save his own life - instinctive
        3. in defense to strong rejection from society - regressive
        4. for a probable monetary gain - reasoning

        i understand the extent of my intrusion and will stop here on this topic :)

        also, for the DATA SET theory i stated earlier, i guess i owe you a fuller explanation.

        people are influenced in a layer by layer manner, from the outermost to the innermost, and then a feedback is generated.

        PERSONAL EXPERIENCES - environmental, uncontrollable factors contribute at this level
        SENSORY INPUT - parts of experience that the person senses directly are the second filter of data
        DATA SET(MEMORY)- here the data is organized by cognitive faculties and stored
        FILTER- this is set of memories which trigger due to stimulus provided in real time
        CONCLUSION- this is the resultant behavior that i guess you call feelings

        this is the human feedback loop, starting from the least to the most influential.

        i apologize for the parts which you found irrelevant. my complete intention was to provide the most relevant response from my experience. :)

        i am sorry if i seem to intrude. my intentions were good.

        cheers Henry!!!
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          Apr 27 2013: Great post! I could be totally wrong. I enjoyed reading your post.

          I think I may need to do a little more research on the subject. I don't necessarily agree with everything you said. However, some of what you posted did get me thinking in the right direction.

          Thank you for the response. You are in no way intruding on anything. Enjoyed your posts very much.
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    Apr 27 2013: feelings matter greatly. feeling contain experiances that logic cannot give. it takes the experiance as a whole and allows you to share with the people around you. it brings life to information. it motivates us to act. its our characters song. its letting the good in us out. life sucks without feelings. and yes it does depend on what we feel. but neg or pos it needs to be shared in a loving way. for instance when you look at a sunset or look back in your memory at times that you felt alive. your heart has a wisdom that your mind cant match. your heart buts your mind to use. gives it purpose and makes us usable. thats my opinion anyway. feeling matter. and if you feel your feelings are corrupted go spend some time in nature. that will clear things up.
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      Apr 27 2013: Feelings don't contain experiences. Memories contain experiences that perpetuate feelings. Good post though. How would you know that life sucks without feelings? Have you ever experienced a life without feelings?
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        Apr 27 2013: I've been in a lot of situations were ive chosen to numb myself then face pain or sadness in my life and it makes it difficult to connect and share joys and memories with people.talking from your heart instead of your mind.
  • Apr 27 2013: Everything in nature has its place. Some things can be measured, some things can not be measured.
    Measurements or not, real things are real. Reality does not depend on mathematics, neither does it depend on feelings.
    The sun lights the daylight sky, its there whether I feel it or not; I may claim to feel love when there is no love. But love exists. We love our nations, our children, hopefully our spouses. (and we know for sure that we love, not for feelings but for deeds)

    This is where wisdom comes in. As the saying goes "to everyone his/her due".
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    Apr 26 2013: . .
    .
    Yes!
    My "feelings matter" very, very much.
    They are the results from the data processed quickly
    by our instincts and acquired pre-instincts.

    Yes!
    They "need to be audited" if they are out of date.
    E.g. the invalid (harmful) happiness is caused by obsolete instinct.
    Hence, be happy validly!

    .
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    Apr 25 2013: The context matters. Feelings do not come into play in whether one carrot plus one carrot makes two carrots or whether my snoring beast at the foot of my stool is a dog.

    However, when I am a teacher in front of a classroom with the mission of making the time with my students an excellent experience for them, I use insight grounded in emotion to judge how they will experience what we are doing and to convey what I need to most effectively for them.

    So, yes, they matter. In neuroscience and cognitive psychology the latter example is an illustration of the way we naturally and usefully use a "theory of mind", our way of understanding others, in matters of problem solving in a human context.
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      Apr 25 2013: As a teacher you would use emotion to support factual data. You wouldn't formulate ideas based on emotion. What you are doing as a teacher is taking (DATA) and using emotion as a means of delivery.

      Not really what I am talking about. Thoughts and ideas that come from emotion are not based on data. They are based on constructs that may or may not be supported by some data.

      I am not attempting to say all emotions are bad. However, I believe many of us embrace ideas that aren't grounded in actual facts. They materialize from pure emotion.

      The funny part is we attempt to support these ideas with information we deem to be factual. However, upon closer inspection we can see this information is obviously unfounded.

      A good example is school bullying. This behavior is not based on reason. The child is not using logic when he or she bullies another child. Emotion drives them to act the way they do.
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        Apr 25 2013: The specific questions you posed early in your query are straight-forward. If I think something, does that make it appropriate for you? Obviously not. People think things that are right, wrong, or matters of taste. Thinking something and knowing something can be different. My favorite pie does not have to be your favorite pie. I may think golf is boring to watch, and you may enjoy watching golf.

        Do people question their beliefs? Not all at the same time, but typically some ideas are tested with new information. People differ in how receptive they are to considering new information in relation to the beliefs they have to date found most compelling.

        I have a feeling there will be little variation in the responses to these parts of your question, but I suppose you shall see.
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          Apr 25 2013: Liking a certain kind of pie is entirely different. This is based on non-cognitive functions (what my taste-buds are programmed to enjoy).

          You don't think about the pie in order to like it. You taste it...and either like it or dislike it.

          Deciding to dislike a pie based on how it looks...would be closer to what I am talking about. You decide, without any real data, that you don't like it. If you tasted it, or audited your non-cognitive impulses, you may actually enjoy the pie.
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        Apr 26 2013: Well, what do you mean by, "If I think something, is it appropriate for everyone?" When you say "appropriate for" it sounds like you are going to matters of preference and choice.
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          Apr 26 2013: If you think something...is that now given value as an idea just because you thought it? Should people be forced to accept your idea just because you are an individual? Or should our ideas conform to a higher standard? Should we not be moving towards a state where ideas hold value because they work?

          I need to spend more time writing these topics in the future. I admit this was written poorly. I appreciate you taking the time to dissect my coded message. :) Next time I will definitely clarify the subject matter.
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        Apr 26 2013: If you have an idea, it is an idea. No one else needs to agree with it or pass it on.

        Some people will think about it and agree. Some will think about it and disagree. Some will recognize it as something that doesn't interest them, or that they don't have the resources to evaluate, and not think about it. Some people will notice it but decide that their time is better spent on other ideas, given that there are more ideas out there than anyone has time to consider.
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          Apr 26 2013: Is there an absolute answer for every question?
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        Apr 26 2013: There is not an absolute answer for everything and there are cases in which adequate data do not exist to resolve which theory is true, even if one actually is true.

        Is the point of your thread basically to make sure everyone realizes that just because someone believes or says something, that doesn't make it true in an objective, universal sense? I think people get this.

        Or is the object to say that people's ideas sometimes arise from emotions and emotional needs rather than from clear thought and consideration of all the actual evidence? I think people get this also, differing in whether they consider emotions a legitimate part of reasoning about situations.
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          Apr 26 2013: I disagree. I believe an absolute does exist for everything. Can you give me an example of a question with no absolute answer?

          I believe emotions create subjective truth. Subjective truth is only true to you. In that sense it is still absolute in relation to your mind-set. However, it is not an absolute for everyone.

          What do I mean?

          Well...let's say you tell me:
          "Henry...I like apple pie...how is that an absolute?"

          Fritzie likes apple pie. That is the absolute here. It is the same for everyone, everywhere....all the time. Fritzie likes apple pie regardless of who I am or where Fritzie is. It is then...an absolute. We can use "Fritzie likes apple pie" as factual data.

          An absolute does still exist. You may just be missing it. I would love to hear your example for a question that does not have an absolute answer.
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        Apr 26 2013: Matters of preference are the immediate example. Best paths that apply to everyone. Many conflicts arise when people do not recognize that their preferred path is not necessarily best for everyone, regardless of how they decided on their preferred path.

        In matters of fact, more conflicts arise in situations in which there are not sufficient facts, or cannot be sufficient facts, to determine which of several options is true.
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          Apr 26 2013: Henry and Fritzie,
          I agree that matters of preference are the immediate example, and perhaps the level of preference impacts what, or what does not apply?

          Fritzie likes apple pie is absolute because we are not attached to what kind of pie Fritzie likes? So we can all accept this as truth.

          When talking about religion for example, many people are attached to what they perceive to be the "right", one and only truth. When someone challenges that attachment with ANOTHER "right", one and only truth, as the preferred path, is when there are sometimes conflicts.

          One's personal religious choice may be an absolute in that person's perception, while another person's religious choice is an absolute in that person's perception.
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          Apr 26 2013: Let's say you like the color blue. It's your favorite color. You wear blue everything.

          Why do you like blue?

          You probably couldn't explain why, for some reason, you enjoy looking at blue all the time.

          (XYblue***KJL)

          This is the blue filter your brain uses for all incoming data.

          (DATA) -----------(XYblue**KJL) ---------(I LIKE IT!)

          (XYblue**KJL) is a filter most likely created by programming. It isn't factual. You don't like blue for any real reason. Your brain filters data and you end up loving the color blue.

          (WOMAN) ------------- (XYsexist**JJJLS**()999) --------- (SEXIST COMMENT)

          Let's think of this as putting light through a crystal.

          LIGHT -------------> (crystal) ------------- PRODUCT

          DATA ------------>(mind-set) ------------ PRODUCT

          Is your (mind-set) structured with absolutes...or is your crystal full of subjective elements that may result in a false image on the other end.

          Let's say you carved an orb inside the crystal. The light being shown through it would be impacted each and every time you put light through it.

          LIGHT -------------- (crystal(orb)) ------------- PRODUCT

          DATA ---------------(mind-set)filters)) ------------- Subjective Truth
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          Apr 26 2013: Henry,
          I believe that our mind-set is structured with BOTH absolutes, AND subjective elements.
          Whether we, as individuals consider information absolute, or subjective depends on our worldview. We can change our worldview with awareness of the information we have, and I believe our attachment to certain information as absolute impacts what the end result might be.
          Our worldview impacts what information we choose to recognize, and the information we choose to recognize impacts our worldview?

          I like the color blue because I have blue eyes, and perhaps I am seeing everything through my own eyes!!! Funny.....and......maybe absolute:>)
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    May 1 2013: Your emotions do matter. Emotions can be incorrect just like thinking can be incorrect.
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      May 5 2013: Hi Greg,
      How can emotions and thinking be incorrect?
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    Apr 28 2013: Hi Henry,

    I like the way you think.

    To answer your question - of course emotions matter. But what matters more is what you do with them and how you do it.
    Other things that matter are - is the conclusion, after being filtered, a constructive one and that you do not jump to it only on the basis of emotions and filters alone. And if the conclusion is to influence a lot of people you have to know yourself well enough to know what is a filter, what is an impulse, what is based on subjective or raw data and if you are provided with data by others - know if they don't have agendas, hidden or not, emotional or not and if so - does it influence the data provided. The more you know, the better (for the conclusion and its consequences).
    It's experience, either your own or experiences you heard of that influence you, that contribute to creation of filters (prejudice). Being analytical and gathering knowledge can help you remove them. And when removed - be prepared to be surprised.
    On the other hand, people do need simplifications, no one has the time, capacity or possibility to analyse everything. Those simplifications can be anything, they can be mottos, prejudice, they can be positive or not and it's natural to have them. But when those simplifications are used in a non-constructive way, presented as truths or even calls to violence, it can get nasty (for example lynching or any acts of violence, authorised or not, based solely on emotion)

    So - yes, emotions matter.
    This is interesting in itself, but a video would be nice ;)
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    Apr 28 2013: I'm going to make an animated video on this. Stay tuned. You may understand more of what I am saying after this video is done. I'll let you know when I post it to Youtube. It will probably be more interesting than this :)
  • Apr 27 2013: That depends on which case u are in and if its negatively affecting fellow humans.Theres no way you can feel killing someone and go to the city,kill one of them,go to court and say 'It is my right.I felt killing someone'
    Lol...It depends on what you feel!!
  • Apr 27 2013: Everything in nature has its place. Some things can be measured, some things can not be measured.
    Measurements or not, real things are real. Reality does not depend on mathematics, neither does it depend on feelings.
    The sun lights the daylight sky, its there weather I feel it or not; I may claim to feel love when there is no love. But love exists. We love our nations, our children, hopefully our spouses. (and we know for sure that we love, not for feelings but for deeds)

    This is where wisdom comes in. As the saying goes "to everyone his/her due".
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      Apr 27 2013: Mathematics is merely the acknowledgment of patterns. Mathematics isn't relevant to nature. Nature could care less about measuring and understanding. Nature...just is.

      Nature has no feelings. Nature does its job all the time. You plant a seed and it doesn't fail to thrive. It doesn't get up and manipulate other plants that aren't part of its species.

      Nature is completely different.

      Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one--the solitary one--that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices--the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. Also--in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind.
      - Mark Twain's Autobiography
  • Apr 26 2013: Maybe - only to me. Of course, you can use feelings in a correct spelling strategy to check your spelling. Following the strategy - see NLP- at some point it just feels wrong.
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      Apr 26 2013: I'm not really sure what this means.
      • Apr 27 2013: Read one of or rather several of Richard Bandler's books. It was mentioned in one of the using your brain books.