The Emotional Imperative

The Emotional Imperative

by D. M. Miller
     
 
The human mind employs logic to reach its decisions. This involves thinking in a linear,
step-by-step manner about how a problem may be solved. Given an initial premise, a conclusion is deduced. Using this conclusion as a new (or interim) premise, a further conclusion is derived.
In this manner a chain of reasoning is possible. The power of the human

Overview

The human mind employs logic to reach its decisions. This involves thinking in a linear,
step-by-step manner about how a problem may be solved. Given an initial premise, a conclusion is deduced. Using this conclusion as a new (or interim) premise, a further conclusion is derived.
In this manner a chain of reasoning is possible. The power of the human intellect lies in its ability to formulate long and complex chains of reasoning.
But what the intellect is incapable of doing, is generating the initial premises without which reasoning cannot proceed. It is at this point that the emotions intervene by supplying these essential features.
Consider the proposition: "I want to survive - therefore I must eat - therefore I must catch a fish - therefore I must make a net". In this chain of reasoning, the initial premise (I want...)
does not stem from a previous logical deduction and therefore must be inherent, that is,
instilled in us by our genes. We posses a large number of such inherent drives or urges, that constitute our initial premises and whose verbal expressions all contain words such as 'want'
'wish', 'desire' etc. Such terms are basically emotional and without logical antecedents. Other examples of initial premises provided by our genes are - a desire for membership in a group - for companionship - for happiness, etc.
These premises have been termed 'emotional imperatives' - emotional because they have no logical derivation and 'imperative' because they are urges to attain specific goals
(group membership, companionship, happiness, etc.).

Mankind, throughout its evolutionary history, has possessed few powerful physical defenses such as speed, strength, sharp teeth or claws. It has, however, exhibited a very effective behavioral characteristic - the desire and ability to form groups, such as tribes or nations, that have provided protection for individual humans, and especially, for their offspring.
It is not enough for individuals simply to join a group. In addition, those doing so must behave within the group in such a manner as to make themselves acceptable to the other members. In fulfilling this requirement, individuals are aided by possession of the appropriate goals and concepts.
Probably the most important such concepts each of us possesses, is a belief in the existence of an 'authority beyond oneself, to which we owe allegiance. Although this concept is vague, so powerful is it, that it is frequently personified as 'God' or 'the nation'.
We believe that by accepting the reality of this authority and submitting to it, we will be protected by it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781453601488
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
07/20/2010
Pages:
190
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

David M. Miller received his Ph.D. from McGill University in 1950. Following two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Research Council of Canada, he accepted a position as Research Officer at the Agricultural Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, where he remained until his retirement in 1987. During this period he held the position of Honorary Lecturer in Biophysics and as Visiting Research Fellow at the University of London (England), during two separate yearly periods. He published numerous scientific papers on his biophysical studies of a variety of organisms, including human red blood cells, bacteria, fungi, and plant roots.
His retirement regime consists of summers spent at his cottage on a northern Ontario lake and his winters researching material for his books. The first of these, entitled "The Evolution of God" (Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 97-90302) which appeared in 1998, presented some thoughts concerning the evolution of human behavior. A continuation of these studies, resulted in the publication of two further volumes, "The Wisdom of Evolution" (ISBN 1-58898-138-X) in 2001, and "Origins" (ISBN 1-4392-1660-6) in 2004. Each of these latter books was a revised version of its predecessor.
Now, after more than 20 years, he is able to present his most recent volume entitled "The Emotional Imperative - How Emotions Rule Our Lives", a culmination of his years of reading and contemplation, in which he states his conviction that human behavior, including moral behavior, has evolved as a direct consequence of the functioning of natural selection.

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