Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reason versus Emotion

In his April 7 column in the New York Times, David Brooks comments on the roles of reasons and emotions in making moral judgments:
. . . They are rapid intuitive decisions and involve the emotion-processing parts of the brain. Most of us make snap moral judgments about what feels fair or not, or what feels good or not. We start doing this when we are babies, before we have language. And even as adults, we often can’t explain to ourselves why something feels wrong.

In other words, reasoning comes later and is often guided by the emotions that preceded it.
I now know why being logical rarely gets through to people.

For the full column, visit

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