“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Reason of the Heart, Part II

Thus, although emotions, like conscious thought, have the potential to lead people in the wrong direction or in different directions, this does not undermine the truth that emotions tell us something important about reality. We cannot simply throw them out the window – along with our reason and perception, emotion is an essential tool for us in understanding reality and pursuing truth. Both reason and emotion are tools that we must use with great care.

Still, one might object that emotion does not guide us as decisively as logic or rational thought. It does not lead us to clear and obvious truth as reason does. We can say with confidence that 1+1=2, but how can emotion lead us to statements with this level of certainty? In response to this objection, I would agree that emotion is not as strong or clear as reason, and this is why I think that reason should be a higher standard. Nevertheless, the prompting of the heart can be very strong. In a way, emotion depends on reason in order to be interpreted. We may feel in our hearts that there is an ultimate happy ending, but we cannot realize that this is objectively true without conscious thought. It seems that although emotion can lead us to truth, it must be understood through reason. Thus, what we perceive to be true in an emotional way, we also know to be true objectively.

In conclusion, and despite what may be perceived about the brain as a merely physical piece of matter, there are some things that we know to be true by using our brains. Some of these truths depend on the use of emotion as well as reason. If we rely to such a great extent on the reason of our minds, we must also give some weight to the desires of our hearts.

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