Is It Illogical to have Emotons?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Modern science fiction writers seem to believe that a logical character cannot feel emotions, I think this is shortsighted. The first one to crate such a character might discover a hidden treasure!

Submitted: July 22, 2017

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Submitted: July 22, 2017

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Is it Illogical to have Emotions?

While scanning my library online today I came across a book titled “The Thinking Machine,” which was written in the early twentieth century. This aroused my curiosity so I read a sample. It was written long before the age of the personal computer. It about a man who thinks like a computer, using absolute logic to solve crimes, etc. , much like a super version of Sherlock Holmes. What the two have in common is that their use of logic somehow prevents them from having any noticeable emotions, they are in effect living computers. This got my attention because the book I am currently reading, titled “WE”, is a novel about an entire civilization governed by strict logic (this was written by a Russian in the 1920s).  The theme throughout the story is that logic displaces all need for emotions. In the current century most of us are aware of Mr. Spock, of Star Trek fame, who also could only think logically and therefore felt no emotions. I say that this concept is illogical!

I believe that I am a logical person.  I have always been a reasonably good mathematician, but I do not “love” numbers. I was able to earn income by doing bookkeeping and income tax returns when I operated my own business, although I never had any formal training in either activity. Today, at age 81, I can still do math computations in my head. 

I have always been an avid reader and have read several hundred books in my lifetime.  “Catcher in the Rye” was the first novel I ever read. I was a young teenager when I accidentally came across a paperback version in a drug store. My interest in history led me to “The Rise and Fall of the Third Rich” and “Churchill’s History of World War Two”. I read “Gone With the Wind” to learn about the “Old” South.  The point I want to make is that all of those books covered a wide range of facts and opinions, because my favorite author is Ayn Rand, probably one of the most controversial authors of the twentieth century. 

The characters in her novels combined a strict “human logic,” with natural human emotions , as opposed to a “machine logic,” in order to illustrate what a logical society could be like.  It would have love and passion, but these emotions were the results of logical thinking, not contrary to it.

Her novels supplied me with an “outline” of how I wanted to live my life. I did not try to emulate her characters, because they are fictional and live in fictional situations. I did try to apply her principles to decisions in my life when it was possible to do so. They provided me with a rational way to evaluate important decisions.  It wasn’t perfect, I still made many blunders, but it was much better than just going through life without a roadmap. I was able to avoid the “If it feels good, do it” mentality. 

Human logic has served me well. It led me to my wife, whom I've been married to for fifty three years, and three wonderful and logically thinking children, who are all happily successful (not to be confused with wealthy) in their own way. I love them all dearly, and it is very logical for me to do so.

Fear and sorrow are also the result of logical thinking. It would be illogical to see a car heading at you in your lane and not experience fear. You would not make an effort to avoid it without that emotional response.  If someone you love is gravely ill reason tells you that you that their presence may soon be denied to you and sorrow is a logical response to that possibility.

It would be an interesting challenge for one of you aspiring writers on this Booksie website to create a character with the intelligence of a computer and the emotions of a rational human being. Good luck!


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