TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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.


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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • 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.


    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.


    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.
    • 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.

      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


        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!!!
        • 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.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.