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December 28, 2019 / Congau

The Chicken or the Brain?

Which came first, the heart or the brain? When you think you have solved the chicken and egg dilemma, you can start reasoning about your own reason and try to figure out whether it was hatched from logic or if your emotions have been meddling.

How do we form an opinion? Do we start with start with a raw number 2, add a pure and unambiguous 3, and conclude that it equals 5 beyond the shadow of doubt? Or do we guess the answer before we mathematically check if it’s right?

Do we feel that our political convictions are correct before we bother to argue about them? How much do we reason about religion? Do we think about the world before we feel it?

We have to interpret all our impressions and reason before we can understand, so our rational faculty is always with us if we are human. But much of the time we take shortcuts and have our emotional reaction ready without having to employ that tiresome reasoning. Of course the two, reason and emotion, operate together; the one being born from the other. They also uphold each other; reason requiring emotion to have the need to think, and emotion needing at least an imaginary rational basis.

But caution is certainly called for. Sentiments and logic need to interact and not be placed decisively before each other. Sometimes passion is the sole master and only hires rational thinking to carry out the decision that’s already made. Such is the case, we feel, and any argument that supports it, is just useful. What is unknown is scary and everything foreign is a threat: Now tell me why.

Instead of explaining fear with fear and aversion with simple distaste, we rationalize and excuse and make up reasons where none exist.

The brave uses reason to check his emotions. The chicken puts himself first.

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