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Reason and Emotion or Intuition are equally necessary in making a decision. Reason is the drawing of inferences or conclusions from known or assumed facts. There is deductive reasoning, which is a form of reasoning that moves from the general to the specific or particular. And Inductive Reasoning involves going from a series of specific cases to a general statement. Emotion is any conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a certain degree of pleasure or displeasure. Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. Decisions are a key part of our everyday lives as people.
For example, Aristotle’s rules for persuasion or appeals are used to persuade people to take a certain point of view. The names are Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Ethos is used for ethics in the credibility of the persuader. Pathos is used for emotion in making an argument and creating an emotional response. Logos is used for logic and persuading the audience using reason. People use Pathos used to make the argument and logos is used to backup the argument. Therefore, pathos is more persuasive because it can cause the audience to become sympathetic, angry, and so on and so forth, which can affect their prior opinion or reasoning. It is hard for a person that has strong feelings of Emotion to think reasonably. For example, a man is angry that his wife had an affair, he may and can act irrationally and choose to threaten her with a weapon. This could be classified as morally and wrong as he is inflicting pain upon another person.
Additionally, his reasoning and rationale is blurred by his emotions. It is possible that the man may calm down later and regret his actions. For this reason, emotion should not be in excess when making moral decisions and we should be reasonable rather than emotional. For example, if a man has lost control of his car and in his path is his mother. If, he swerved to avoid his mother, the car he will hit three children; instead, and whoever he hits will die. Based his actions on reason, he may hit his mother because it will be one life lost compared to three; however, he may be branded as callous, killing his own family member. If he followed his emotions, he may chose to hit the children instead as he may be overtaken by the thought of killing his mother. This example demonstrates how reason and emotion are important in decision making. There may be some situations where we are divided between two choices, where reason tells us one thing, and emotion tells us another.
For example, there is a young girl in hospital, who is on a life support machine and her parents are given the decision whether to switch it off. Reason may tell them that the machine is not needed by someone else, but instead, emotion may impact them not to because, they would be letting their daughter die. Therefore, it is more practical to switch off the machine so it could be used by someone else, which again shows that emotion should not be in excess when moral decisions are made. Accordingly, it is evident that there should be an equal amount of reason and emotion, so they are both important when making decisions. Emotions are natural to us, but we tend to be one-sided to what we believe, which makes it a problem in our decision making. Reason is needed to justify the moral decision; both aspects are in fact compatible with each other when they are in balance.
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