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TOK Essay: Reason and Emotion

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Theory of Knowledge External Assessment Question # 2: Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions? Name: Shay Sidelnik Word Count: 1521 Date: November 8th, 2007 Although reason and emotions can be perceived as completely opposite human traits, they are in fact very closely related. These two traits influence each other, and in one way or another help shape each other. Reason is often related to the brain while emotions are related more to the heart. Reason comes from the logical part of the human, reasonable things are things that makes sense in an individual's mind, things that are logical. Emotions on the other hand, tend to be much less logical; they are inner feelings which in many cases are very unreasonable, and inexplicable. Yet, it is common that the emotions of a person influence that person's reason. Both reason and emotion are necessary in justifying moral decisions. Moral decisions are simple decisions where each individual makes the distinction between what is right and what is wrong. Since emotions are very often unreasonable the ideal would be that people justify their moral decisions by reason and reason alone. ...read more.


The idea of killing somebody first rises from a strong feeling of hate towards that person. Yet another proof that emotions influence every decision humans make. That being true all this moral decisions made by utilitarian people, which are justified through reason are in fact not reasonable, hence another prove that reason alone cannot be the only tool used in justifying moral decisions and emotions must be used as well. There also exists the more emotional oriented type of people who will listen more to their emotions and justify their moral decisions mostly through their emotions rather than reason. An ethical theory, which praises emotions over reason, is the ethics of care theory. This is a theory which was developed by a psychologist named Caron Gilligan. This theory emphasizes the importance of relationships. It basically says that an individual's moral decisions should be made according to what is best for him and those closest to him, not for the majority of people. Since this theory puts emphasize on relationships it puts emphasize on emotions. Relationships are created through emotional connection, thus when a moral decision is decided according to what is best for one's friends and family that moral decision is being made by that person's feelings. ...read more.


Furthermore this was the last game of his remarkable carrier, this action leaves Zidane's legacy with a huge mark, and from all rational perspectives this was not a rational action. Yet Zidane insists that his decision was morally correct, furthermore he says that if he was to go back in time he would not change a thing. According to Zidane the remarks made about his sister were too painful to just let go, he chose to listen to his emotions instead of his reason, and take an action which might seem unreasonable but to him was morally correct because of his hurt emotions. Zidane who was always known for his very reasonable behavior on the football pitch decided to follow his emotions instead, which serves as another proof that both emotions and reason are used in the making and justification of moral decisions. Although in the ideal world moral decisions would only be justified by reason, this is not the ideal world and emotions do exist (which is probably a good thing), and thus both emotions and reason are necessary in justifying moral decisions. Since neither one of this traits can be ignored by humans, they are both necessary in justifying moral decisions and the degree of their necessity simply depends on the individual who is justifying the moral decision. ...read more.

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