Learned Behaviour, Act III : Rational Thinking vs Emotional Thinking
NS (no login) Posted Aug 10, 2009 12:27 AM
Rational Thinking - Reason Precedes Sentiment
This is the rare mode of thinking. In this mode of reasoning, the individual, in the process of forming an opinion, examines carefully all of the facts of the matter, forms a hypothesis, and then attempts to disprove its own hypothesis. After a certain amount of rigorous examination and refutation of its own hypothesis, the individual may or may not conclude that the hypothesis is sound. If the hypothesis does not survive close examination and refutation, it is discarded and a new hypothesis is formed. If the hypothesis is sound, the indidvidual incorporates it into its world view. In the process of incorporating the hypothesis or idea into its world view, certain sentiments are attached to the idea, the idea becomes a "belief." Reason precedes sentiment.
Sentiment is the foundation of all thought, it is the motive force behind thought. So, even before the hypothesis is formed, there is sentiment, but there are competing sentiments and it is the hallmark of the rational mind to allow reason to be the justification for sentiment. Once a rational/reasoned hypothesis is decided upon among competing hypotheses, a sentiment is chosen from competing sentiments.
Knowledge is a necessity, belief is not.
Emotional Thinking - Sentiment Precedes Reason
This is by far, the most common form of thinking. In this mode of reasoning, a sentiment is chosen first from competing sentiments, then hypotheses are formed to "rationalize" the sentiment. The individual seeks facts and ideas which justify the sentiment. This is an inferior and primitive form of thinking because the individual "rationalizes" emotions. Why does the individual choose one sentiment over another? What is the justification for choosing one sentiment over another at first? That's just it, there is no justification, it is irrational. Sentiment precedes reason.
To a large extent it depends on the imagery of childhood experience, an imagery which can be influenced and controlled by early exposure to propaganda and indoctrination. People who use emotional thinking are easily susceptible to imagery and pandering, and the efficacy of propaganda is directly proportional to the percentage of people using emotional thinking.
Belief relies on emotion, knowledge does not.
So, what happens when emotional thinking is confronted with unassailable facts and logic? What happens when "flimsy" logic rationalizing and justifying the pre-existing sentiment is challenged by incontrovertible evidence?