Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Beth Love said

I was attacked by a German Shepard, and i can tell you, I most certainly did not think everything through, I was lucky enough to have a fully functional instincual reactor...and instantly determined that there was nought to be done than kick some dog ass. I went for him, and he turned and ran, tail tucked. There's a place for intellect, an important place, but it isn't everything it thinks it is.

That is my point exactly. I'm a strictly materialistic, reductive determinist. WOW... lotta verbiage there, eh?

I go with the definition by evolutionary psychology that emotions evolved for the regulation of behavior or the mechanisms of behavior. My behaviors are strictly determined by the emotional signals (i.e. preference determiners) that control me. Emotions are physiological electro/chemical states in the body that range from intense to barely noticeable, but all action is preceded by a "preference" (i.e. an emotional setting in the synaptic landscape created by genetic and environmental conditions) that sets off a series of synaptic firings that reveal to the outside world what my behaviors actually look like. A spoken thought is also a behavior but my natural human duplicity makes my spoken thoughts untrustworthy or trustworthy, depending on the circumstances of the moment in which they come forth out of my mouth and body. The interesting thing is that language can be used to hide our true selves whereas our actions can't hide our "true self".

What is a true self? To my way of thinking, my true self is my biological self as expressed through its behaviors which are controlled through my electro/chemical makeup at the time of any action. Of course, experience is constantly readjusting (reevaluating) and altering that electro/chemical substrate. Also my tendency to think about or not think about my past behaviors also influence my current electro/chemical state. If I visualize a past experience and have feelings about it, that experience of having feelings about the past is readjusting my electro/chemical substrate. Thus our intellectual life reveals the process by which behavior is changed. Being reflective or un-reflective is a genetic condition, I believe, and also one of those conditions that separate the Hamlets (liberals) from the Genghis Khans (conservatives). PS: I'm revealing an emotional preference here, but I'm not feeling particularly fond of either one at the moment. I expect I respect the middle of the road average responder to the environment.

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