Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


What if humans had no emotions?

I came upon my inspiration for this post during our class today. Our task was to simply state how we worked well and what we could improve amongst ourselves, however our discussion ventured far from that path. We emotionally argued about the existence of emotions, and I began to wonder if the ideal resolution would be to not have emotions. But what would that entail?

I feel that emotions are an intricate part of our lives, whether we realize it or not. A lot of people would recognize passion as the single most important element of life. What is passion driven by? If we are passionate certainly we are not void of emotion. What about marriage? Love is a common emotion that forms a foundation for many actions humans partake in from marriage and children to  forming trust to bonds between teammates.

Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it. ~Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

Vincent accurately describes how I view emotions. Their role in our lives is enormous and constant; an unconscious command.

Without emotions, our lives as humans would be void and pointless, with no motivation or inspiration to do great things. We would live in a dull world where nothing had meaning. Ambition would be not captured or understood and we would operate like robots or artificial intelligence.

Think of emotions as colour. All the neon and highlighter colours would turn into a grayscale. The world would seem black and white, figuratively and literally.

Literally our word would be black and white. Figuratively the world would lose meaning or purpose.

I looked online to see if my thoughts on emotions were far off from others, and I found a large collection of words on emotion in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. In it I found an interesting quote:

Descartes said it thus: “it is impossible for the soul to feel a passion without that passion being truly as one feels it.”

I understand this as passion being the rawest form of emotion. Its a form that only the keeper can interpret correctly. I think we underestimate the power of emotions in our daily lives and may even neglect them. We shouldn’t feel like emotions are a sign of weakness, we should think of it as a form of strength. They make us who we are, creating diversity between us all. I think that we don’t have emotions, emotions have us.


One Response to What if humans had no emotions?

  1. jessicafan says:

    I think I can agree to your point to some degree. Your explaination of people without emotion could be actually possible with the multiverse theory, where the dull, meaningless world could be one that exists. I agree that emotions shouldn’t be regarded as a weakness and is the thing that creates diversity. What do you think about overly expressing emotion though?


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