• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Are Reason and Emotion Equally Necessary

Extracts from this document...


2 Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions? In a world where countless amounts of decisions are made every day, from the food to you eat to the time you go to bed, many are not reflected on and questioned but always there are a few which we look back on. A split second decision in today's world may be the difference between life and death, a strong financial future or bankruptcy. So what happens when we make the wrong decision and the outcome becomes unfavorable and the lives of others are changed forever? And do reason and emotion need to be used to justify moral decisions if the decision has a positive outcome and the lives of others are positively affected? A mother and father most likely face hundreds of these decisions in the course of raising a child. In a case where a family is struggling financially and both parents are working hard to make ends meet but still can't afford to pay for essentials, is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed a hungry child? In such a case reason and emotion are not equal. ...read more.


In this case as the person is a loved one the immediate reaction may be solely based on emotion because any person's instinct tells them to take care of and watch out for a loved one. If they were to act based on emotion and something was to go wrong and a life was lost, emotion would not justify the decision. Most likely when reflected upon everything in the doctor's mind would tell him that he made the wrong decision and should have rushed to the hospital. But if the choice to go to the hospital was made, and the loved one did not live, reason would be blamed for the death and again would not justify the action. So simply when presented with a situation that has a negative ending both reason and emotion cannot justify a moral decision. In such a case there is no proper way to act and everything is based entirely on the doctor's judgment and their belief in themselves. One may argue that reason is necessary to vindicate such a choice because of the possible complications but here emotion is the primary tool used to make, and later justify the decision as it is the doctor who will have to live with consequence for the ...read more.


As reason and emotion are used to justify moral decisions dilemmas are created that can not be explained by either. If one is tangled in a situation where they feel responsible for a negative outcome they may never find the means in which to explain why they made their decision and never find a reason to put themselves to peace. Both reason and emotion may be related to a situation with a negative outcome to provide different persepectives and approaches to it but ultimately, whether approved of by a third party or not, it is the individual that must live with the decision he or she make and therefore take both reason and emotion, during the situation, into account when reasoning their moral decision. We seak to justify our moral choices usually because they turn out to be the wrong one. We learn from these mistakes and in the future approach situations from different view points and with a different understanding. However when the correct choice is made we do not question why and do not wonder if emotion and reason were equally necessary to account for moral decision and perhaps we should infact reflect on certain decisions as they may not only effect us and our families and friends but strangers and coincidentally the world as a whole. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Free essay

    Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?

    This act would surely be classified as morally wrong as he is inflicting suffering upon another person. Additionally, his reasoning is clearly clouded by his emotions. Therefore emotion should not be in excess when making moral decisions and we should be reasonable rather than emotional.

  2. Emotion Vs Reason

    When events are retold, they become so tainted with emotion that they manage to influence your thoughts and beliefs. Each person's beliefs and experiences create a bias that taints the events being retold, and thus influences what the listener knows.

  1. Free essay


    Emotions may brainwash us and lead us to make a decision only considering the immediate consequences. If I see a group of people hitting a boy, I might be urged to help the boy due to my emotions, but little do I actually realise then, that if I go to help the boy I could also get beaten up.

  2. Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?

    conceived then it is possible to use rationalism in order to prove that abortion is in fact murder.

  1. Reason and emotions in justifying moral decision

    There are many people who do sacrifice their own interest to help others. However, the root of the problem is that if we see altruism as being an excellent thing then we can be egoistic by being altruistic. It provides no guide to action and seems little use as a moral theory.

  2. captains decision

    Therefore I would tilt to free Billy; due that I know his situation and I think would be unfair to kill him. On the other hand, Billy's situation is more delicate and inflexible if we base our decision in the universal law rather than utilitarianism law.

  1. Are reason and emotion equal in justifying moral decisions?

    is dependent on the experience and the reason is dependent on the emotion. In some cases, being fully rational or being fully emotional is considered immoral.

  2. Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?

    victory, which we would have most likely not seen if I had chosen to let my emotions get the better of me and pick my friends for the team. The choice had slight emotional consequences as my friends who really needed the game for their practice, into the bigger leagues

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work