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Emotional responses. I believe one can not win emotional arguments with reason and logic. Therefore, how would one respond?
What is the emotional argument supporting abortion?
What is the emotional argument supporting gay marriage?
What is the emotional argument supporting DACA?
What is the emotional argument supporting ateist belief?

Dick_Martin 7 Jan 29

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Why argue? You are doomed to failure. One can not control other peoples' feelings. Feelings just are, they are not wrong or right. We can only change our own feelings.

JK666 Level 7 Jan 31, 2018

We see feelings changed every day. Teachers change feelings, salespeople change feelings, preachers do, rascals, rapscallions, scoundrels, and scalawags do it too. In deed, emotional decisions get arranged, rearranged, adjusted, overturned,, and reversed on a fairly regular basis. We are not machines; we are an emotional heap of living cells, neurons, muscles, brainy stuff, and electrical circuitry. The last thing we are in some designer's grand clock works.


This link that I posted before gives some insight in how hard it is to convince believing people with provable arguments.


Gert Level 7 Jan 30, 2018

Not sure but:

  1. I want to abort my baby because it has been diagnosed with a wholly unformed brain so it will exist like a cabbage. To see it every day so pitiful and so wholly dependent on others for the whole of its life without a sentient life is more than I can bear?

  2. It would prevent 2 people who love each other deeply from making the public, social and legal commitment to each other thereby committing them to a lifetime of hidden misery. Would you want to life a life like that?

  3. Would you like it if you were forced to worship and pretend to love and believe a false god? Would you like to be persecuted because you believed the wrong god?

Do they cut the mustard?

Now, that is something our own Frank Luntz could work with.


Walking away!?


A well-rounded argument touches on both logic and emotion.


Atheist and Agnostics are just as emotionally bound up in their world view. Just take a stroll through Youtube comments and decide if their vitriolic comments are purely designed to persuade and cajole the ignorant to abandon their beliefs, or if they are forcefully trying to re-assure their own comprehension.

And, I think that unless you are a genius, we have to have a lot of just trust in the scientists who tell us how things work, based on their published expert knowledge and research. I couldn't refute many of them even IF they were wrong.

It's a sobering thought, but over 50% of scientific papers are proven wrong within 12 months, and that's only the ones that other scientists bothers to validate.

We often rely on the work of accepted experts. Otherwise we would have to keep re-inventing the wheel and that would certainly slow our progress.

That's the way science proceeds? Repeatable experiments and results, peer scrutiny?

Well, the way scientists get represented often looks very neat and ordered, until they write an expose on the profession. The classic one is Hooke and Newton, but the stories go on even today. Google "Canals on Mars", and read the sorry saga right up to 1894 Percival Lowell, describing these "Canals" . These "prognostications" were scientific proof until I was in High School. The "accepted experts" often hold on to their beliefs DESPITE proof to the contrary. I remember seeing a film about Stephen Hawking contradicting his lecturer, who never ever acknowledged his mistake. Stephen and Leonard Susskind have major differences even today. Edwin Hubble wasn't the first person to prove the expanding universe, but he gets the credit for it. The fight for grant money and fame will always create these conditions. But, hopefully, after 10-15 years, a theory should have enough sh&t thrown at it to make it stick to the wall of "accepted theory", and there is enough disparate creditable data available for people to re-analyze. The actual process is messy, arbitrary and demonstrably unreliable, much like people. Anyone who sees "science" as the pristine white-coated, unflappable academic in the glistening temple of truth is in for severe disillusionment.


I do not agree with your premise that the topics you name necessarily have "emotional" components...yes, a person might be unhappy at realizing they are gay, and fight it, or stay in the closet, but the Fact is, it is an inborn condition. Therefore, it is none of anyone else's business to tell themwho to love/marry, anymore than it would be to tell you how to live if you had, for example, impetigo.
A woman may feel terrible about needing an abortion, but it is physical Fact that leads her to get one (health and/or economic factors)
It is a Fact there is no gawd, why would there be emotional components to that? And so on....
I think you may be confusing facts with emotional REACTIONS, with which there has never been any reasoning.

When I read or hear the words "baby-killer" I think of that as a purely emotional response, designed to shut down the conversation.

@Dick_Martin that phrase is incredibly ugly and offensive, used solely to elicit emotional Reaction, not begin any kind of rational or even civil discourse.......and the correct response is either walk away or punch their lights out. So a very poor, at best, "emotional arguement. I stand by my point that these "-emotional" subjects are subject to Facts and one can easily use Facts to talk about them in the specific or global sense.


All responses and decisions are based on feelings or emotions. We only use logic (or do not) to choose which feeling we will follow. Usually we choose the feeling makes us feel the best. So if you value logic, than the most logical choice is the one you will choose. If not, then you will make the choice that supports whatever it is you value. Kindness, morality, religion, sympathy, empathy etc.


What are you trying to get at?


I consider emotional responses and arguments aberrations, and tend not to enter into the discussion, you can't argue with an aberration.

So, how do you decide what beer to buy? logic or emotion?

@Dick_Martin I score each beer by taste, price, and alcohol content. The one with the highest score gets my dollar.

I don't drink beer, but things like coffee and scotch I buy by brand, I buy ones that I know I enjoy the taste of.

@RoboGraham . equally rated? You rank each from 1 to 3 and the lowest total wins?

@Dick_Martin No, each brand gets a 1-10 rating for each of those 3 qualities. Then those 3 numbers are added together to get a total score for each beer. Highest score wins. The winner changes over time as my taste change and as I make more money the price category becomes less important. The winner of late had been yuengling but then I found out that the owner of that company endorsed Trump so I decided to boycott.

@RoboGraham, wow.... lol... You make my case for me. In the end, you, like me and many others, make purely emotional decisions and you do it on a regular basis without even recognizing it. Which is, of course, my whole point. We best stop pooh-poohing emotional responses 'cuz we do it too.

@Dick_Martin Most definitely. We are human. Emotion plays a huge role in my decision making, I realize that. But at least we nonbelievers try to limit the control our emotions have over us by thinking logically.


Too true. However, we should accept that we too are swayed by emotional bias. Some of the ones that are rampant in this group are skepticism, empiricism, and anti-authoritarianism.

Nor does reason provide an absolute bulwark.I don't recall who observed that there is nothing compelling about a mathematical proof. If someone doesn't accept one all you can do is offer another.

@LennyP49 , not when used as bludgeons, which happens way too often.

@LennyP49 , not when used as bludgeons, which happens way too often.

@LennyP49 Perhaps empiricism is too broad a category. Consider a number over which there should be a lot of controversy in the next few years. The US census.Whether and how to adjust the numbers for those people not in residence at the time of the count has created a controversy in the past and should do the same again. Here is where the emotional bias enters.

What we chose to measure and how we go about measuring it are influenced by emotion, William James said something like, It is not until we can account for the accuracy of our measures that we can be said to be doing science.


“If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?”
Do not get involved in emotional arguments.

That's the whole point of course. How DO you make the case using emotion? It's pretty much a given that using using logic in an emotional argument is like fretting about whether to use a plastic or metal strainer to carry water.

You don't.

@IntellectualRN , can you accept that most of the education in America is in fact done by sales people and by advertising? Schools come in a distant second. Further to that, I would posit that that is a good thing.

If reason doesn't win in the long term, we're doomed as a species.

@IntellectualRN - Your arguments are valid. First, I'm enjoying the hell out of this string, everyone here is truly thinking about what they are saying, how refreshing for an internet forum! Now, I humbly propose that although it may not be apparent at first, regardless of the emotional outburst to argument that you are confronting, sowing the seeds of logic and reason will eventually take root if there is ANY fertile soil in the minds of your emotional adversary. It is not a fruitless endeaver. the power of your words should never be discounted. (and I am preachin to the entire choir).

"If reason doesn't win in the long term, we're doomed as a species."
Sir, you are exactly right, and there is no doubt in mind about that.


The emotional argument for abortion- Babies born to mothers who don't want to be mothers grow up to be lawless hooligans who will refuse to git off yer lawn!

Emotional argument for gay marriage- Gay dudes who aren't able to marry their lovers will probably marry women to keep up appearances which means there are fewer fish in the sea for the rest of us!

Emotional argument for DACA- If they send Rosa back to Guatemala who will wash your dishes and clean your floors?!

Emotional argument for atheism- God is an asshole, if you don't believe in him, maybe he will leave you alone!

lol... well that was simple enough.


Sadly, argent's based on emotions instead of facts end brutally. And it seems society is headed that direction. There will always be people who argue intellectually, however if no one is listening to them the entire structure our society is built upon (technology) will ultimately fail and we will wind up beating each other with clubs and stones, once the bullets run out (in America at least). Think The Walking Dead, just without the zombies.

Some days I worry about this. Other days I'd welcome it.


This is a potential can of worms - not sure I see the point of going there ...


Well I guess you would have to pit one emotion against the other, or one persons emotions against another persons emotions.

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