Are reason and emotion equally necessary

Ethics is defined as motivation based on the ideas of right and wrong. It is plausibly the only area of knowledge that clearly summarizes the moral decision of mankind. Reason is the process of consciously using good sense and sound judgement while making a decision. Reasoning takes place when the pros and cons of a situation are weighed rationally and then a decision is taken with little or no room for error. While reasoning, emotion is the variable, which poses a great obstacle. Emotion is a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and lovei. But emotion, being more chaotic than reason i.e. more unpredictable at times can cloud a person’s judgement whereby he or she loses emotional control and maybe not know all the facts so as to react appropriately whereas reason is more logical.

Justification is defined as a statement in explanation of some action or beliefii. It plays an important role in explaining our emotions and the probable reasons behind them. “Morality speaks of a system of behavior in regards to standards of right or wrong behavior. The word carries the concepts of: (1) moral standards, with regard to behavior; (2) moral responsibility, referring to our conscience; and (3) a moral identity, or one who is capable of right or wrong action. Common synonyms include ethics, principles, virtue, and goodness.” iii Morality identifies the conventions that bring our behaviour into conformity.

Looking at the instance of Macbeth, he knew that killing King Duncan would make him king. But reasoning told him that murdering was a cruel, wrong and an immoral act. When Lady Macbeth threatens and questions his manhood, he is emotionally pressurized into committing this murder. In this scenario we see that emotion obscured his judgement. But this is just one form as to what emotion can do to our lives.

Without emotion the arts and music would never have flourished. The world would not be what it is today without emotion. A woman walking down the road sees a poor child barely a few years old begging for money. She is touched by the pitiable sight of this child as it reminds her of her own son and so she gives the child some money. It was the maternal instinct in the woman which made her act this way. Emotion is truly something beautiful which can be brought out in many different ways. But then again reason and emotion go hand in hand. We cry because someone close to us has died. We express joy because we won that prize. Using emotion, we can justify the reason as to why we feel the way we do.

While making a decision reason is used so that the outcome can maximise the good it will bring to people and minimize the suffering people may have to endure. But sometimes reason alone doesn’t help us in making a moral decision. Suppose a woman has an abusive neighbour and wants to report him to the police. She is worried about the safety of her child and family. But she is also aware of the possibility of him retaliating and hurting her and her family. Yet she goes ahead and reports him. Why? The answer is emotion. It is her emotion of protecting her child and her family that makes her act this way.

Taking this case, we see that the woman reports the man to the police even though she was daunted by the repercussions of her actions. But she does it anyway as she thought it to be the right thing to do. In this case her actions would be considered moral. In this example we see that the woman involved both emotion as well as rationality in her decision making. Her maternal instinct, making her fear for her child’s safety strengthened her conviction to report the man to the police. It was her rationality on the other hand which made her decide that the man’s behaviour was unacceptable and thus he had to be reported. Thus giving rise to the fact that emotion and reason at the same time can be crucial in making a decision.

Take the example of a panel member on the jury panel of a court. Their main purpose is to judge the case presented before them logically with reason. Then they weigh the different aspects of the case with the facts given to them and then deliberate a verdict, with reason given the highest regard during the entire process. The outcome: the defendant has been convicted and is justly given his due punishment.

This is a clear cut case of reason being used to make a decision where a rational and correct decision has been taken. But let’s involve emotion into this situation. Suppose one of the jury members lost one of his close relatives because of a murderer, he would naturally be blood-thirsty for revenge. Thus, he would have his mind set on punishing the criminal, even if the defendant had the slightest chance of being innocent or being acquitted in the name of self defence, the emotion of that particular jury member would be enough to ruin all the hope for the defendant. This again proves the fact that at times emotion can distort our judgement.

Decisions have always been tough issues to tackle. Deciding what one wants to order from a menu, what kind of candy to choose, whose heart to break and whether or not war is wrong are all complex decisions in their …

Moral decisions are presented to us every single day and we are challenged to choose between what our heart tells us is right and what reason is beckoning us to do. Generally, it is reason that makes the better judgment …

When it comes to the area of history, the conflict between reason and emotion becomes much more apparent. It is reasoning that plays the major role in modern history, because we are able to analyse and understand the causes and …

“Anyone can be angry-that is easy. But to be angry with the right person to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way- that is not easy. “[Aristotle] In justifying moral decisions, …

David from Healtheappointments:

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out