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i've been thinking all week about the question what is so good about being happy (or positive emotion) over being unhappy (or negative emotion)?. what is so bad about consistently being unhappy? the answer has been very simple, we as humans  seek out activities which make us feel good or strive for those things which makes us feel more positive, this is our natural disposition. or when in pain or feeling uncomfortable, we take steps to alleviate that state. negative emotion, as the name suggests, doesn't feel great and leads to strained relationships and from an evolutionary standpoint, leads to a fractured community. i can't think of a situation where a person seeks out or strives for a negative emotion.

so the result of this has been my view that there is no reason to be unhappy, unless when in a situation which makes you unhappy.

the natural questions that lead on from the above is, what is the purpose of emotion from an evolutionary standpoint? why does it have to exist at all? why do i have to feel unhappy when presented with negative situations and scenarios at all? what benefit does being unhappy serve in the first place?

Date: Sep. 8th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's probably just as simple as it sounds. You seek positive stimuli and avoid negative stimuli. In evolutionary terms, that protects you. E.g if something hurts, you stop doing it = less likely to damage yourself and die. If something makes you feel sad, you avoid it, or do it different next time. If you're a caveman and one of your caveman family gets killed by a cave bear you feel sad and scared about it, so you avoid going near the cave bear in future even though it didn't actually hurt you yourself physically? Emotion is just a word I suppose, the feelings are all chemical and brain related. I'm sure it's much more complicated, but that's the simple version. I always wonder if the emotions of other animals feel the same as our own, and if they're triggered by the same things.

Date: Sep. 24th, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
you're right, it is that simple!

but why do feelings have to exist in the first place? what prompted feelings which have much larger implications on how we behave to evolve? as opposed to something along the lines of just learning from experience but negative and positive experiences do not exist, i.e. why aren't we robotic? what historical thing prompted feelings to be so advantageous? or am i asking the wrong question?