Love Love. Once again Valentines Day has rolled around. Those of you in relationships find ways to show your love to one another and those of us who are single either look on bemusedly or with envy.

I could examine the commercial and predatory nature of the holiday but instead I will look at emotional thinking and its relationship with logical thinking. In all fairness I must admit that I tend towards logical thinking. I remember getting angry as a kid when Mr. Spock didn’t do the most logical thing!

I’m a proponent of logical thinking and when we let our emotions “get in the way” we often impair our decision making process. But, well, but. Emotion is not something that easily conforms to the Randian philosophy of objectivism. It is currently impossible to treat love or its counterpart hate like a scientific experiment. It isn’t something that is repeatable on a regular basis. People will argue that lighting, music, proximity and other factors certainly can “cause” love but at best it is an inexact science. The other factor that cannot be denied is that we are unable to remove our emotions completely. They will always play a role in the decision making process.

I think it’s clear that emotions can send us in the wrong direction. We’ve all made horrible decisions when we ignored the facts and let our emotions rule our thinking. The counterpart is true as well. Sometimes an emotional decision turns out well. Often when we take unreasonable chances it is because emotions control our thinking. The odds are against a particular plan but it works because we were fueled by powerful emotions. Great advances are possible because people take risks that seem foolhardy in retrospect. Of course, people die in similar circumstances.

So, what do we take from this debate of logic versus emotion?

Despite my love of logical, critical thinking, there is no denying the factor emotions play in the advancement of the human race. I must come to the conclusion that the two types of thinking are forever partnered. Awww. They complement one another and must work as a team to be successful.

Without logic we are doomed to misunderstanding situation after situation and our efforts are doomed to failure. Without emotion we cannot make the foolish decisions that end in greatness. I suppose it comes down to finding a fair balance of the two. I would lean towards giving logic the lions share of the process but to ignore emotion is to not truly live.

Happy Valentines Day!

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Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist