So, perceptions of good are the only good things in life, perceptions of bad are the only bad things in life, perceptions of beauty and magnificence are the only beautiful and magnificent things in life, etc. Emotions are the only perceptions of good, bad, beauty, etc.
So, that means emotions are the only good, bad, beautiful, etc. things in life. I present the emotion perception theory below that's been put forth by emotion theorists, which explains how emotions are perceptions of good, bad, etc. You'll come across it in this explanation. Anyway, I'd like to begin explaining my philosophy:
The only beauty and goodness that exists is the beauty and goodness we perceive. The more of it we perceive, the more of it we're getting (experiencing). If someone perceived the moment with his family as beautiful and good, then that means he got some beauty and goodness out of that moment. His goal should be to perceive as much beauty and goodness as he can throughout his life. The more of it he perceives, the better. Perception and experience are the same thing. For example, seeing (perceiving) the color red is the same thing as experiencing red.
So, when he sees (perceives) things as beautiful and good, he's experiencing those things as beautiful and good, and that's the same thing as him having beautiful, good experiences, which means he's getting beautiful, good experiences out of things. Our goal in life is to have as much beautiful, good, amazing, awesome, magnificent, valuable, precious, worthwhile, etc. experiences as we can (i.e. to have as much positive experiences as we can). We should avoid having negative experiences, such as bad, horrible, tragic, horrific, disturbing, pathetic, disgusting, etc. experiences.
So, that means we should avoid perceiving things as bad, horrible, etc. because, if we don't, then all we're doing is bringing ourselves the bad, horrible, etc. Even if there was a psychopath who was torturing living things, we shouldn't perceive that as bad, horrible, etc. We should instead see it as a good or beautiful thing he gets locked up in prison. Or, we could see it as a good or beautiful thing that he's torturing those living things. Either way, we're getting beauty and goodness out of it.
Now that I've established that life's all about getting the positive perceptions/experiences, and avoiding the negative ones, emotions are the only perceptions of good, bad, beauty, horror, tragedy, value, worth, etc. An example of some emotions would be a feeling of panic from being in a dangerous situation, a feeling of horror, a feeling of joy or excitement, a feeling of sexual arousal, a feeling of misery, etc. There are the positive emotions (pleasant emotions), and they're the positive perceptions/experiences we need.
Then, there are the negative emotions (unpleasant emotions), and they're the negative perceptions/experiences we should avoid. We can't perceive anything as good, bad, beautiful, horrific, etc. through reason (thinking) alone. In other words, just thinking or believing that something is good, bad, etc. wouldn't allow us to see that thing as good, bad, etc. That thought or belief needs to make us feel good, bad, etc. in regards to that thing in order for us to see it as good, bad, etc. It would be like how reason alone doesn't allow us to see (perceive) the color red.
Just having the thought or belief of red isn't a perception of red, which means just having the thought or belief of red isn't the same thing as seeing red. Likewise, just having the thought or belief that something is good, bad, etc. isn't a perception of goodness, badness, etc. in regards to that thing. My personal experience has led me to this conclusion because I can clearly tell that my emotions are the only perceptions of good, bad, etc. In addition, I can clearly tell that the only way someone or something can matter to me or bother me is through my emotions, and not through reason alone.
That's because the only way I can perceive someone or something as mattering or bothersome would be through my emotions. As a matter of fact, if everyone had no ability to feel emotions, then we'd all be apathetic. We couldn't care about anyone or anything, and neither could we perceive anyone or anything as good, bad, frightening, sad, sexually attractive, morbid, etc. But, emotions are fleeting, transient things. Especially positive emotions, since so many people in this world are depressed, apathetic, and unhappy.
That means these people are hardly getting the positive experiences they need out of life. A life without positive emotions is no way to live or be an artist, and there's nothing better to live for than feeling positive emotions because there's nothing better in life than having positive experiences. I, myself, have had many miserable struggles, which were caused by devastating worries. These struggles have disabled my ability to feel positive emotions, and I couldn't make myself feel positive emotions through reason alone, since there's a difference between reason and emotion.
Likewise, if a person had insomnia, he couldn't make himself feel sleepy through reason alone because there's a difference between reason and feeling sleepy. So, thinking positive is different than feeling positive, and the thought of being sleepy is different than feeling sleepy. During my miserable struggles, I could only have negative experiences, since I could only feel negative emotions. These negative emotions were caused by these miserable struggles. I also had no emotional drive to pursue my composing dream. So, my composing couldn't matter to me, and neither could I perceive it as valuable, good, beautiful, or worthwhile.
That's why I had to give up composing until I was fully recovered from these miserable struggles. That way, my emotional drive would return. Even if I felt negative emotions that motivated me to compose during my miserable struggles, that would still be no way to live or be an artist, since I'd be getting negative experiences and not positive ones. I realize there were miserable, genius artists who felt a lot of negative emotions, and inspired the world through their artwork. But, the audience would be getting positive experiences, since they're able to feel positive emotions from witnessing the artwork, while these genius artists would hardly be getting any.
When bringing others positive emotions, whether it be through helping others or inspiring others through artwork, we need to feel positive emotions in doing so because we need to perceive that endeavor as positive (as good, valuable, beautiful, etc.). In other words, when bringing others positivity, we need to get positivity out of doing so. So, that means life's really all about our own positive emotions because life's all about feeling positive emotions from pursuing any given endeavor, whether it be helping others, doing our hobbies, exercising, etc.
Lastly, here's the emotion perception theory that's been put forth by emotion theorists. This theory explains how emotions are perceptions of good, bad, etc. Since the only good, bad, etc. that exists is the good, bad, etc. we perceive, and since emotions are the only perceptions of good, bad, etc., then that means good, bad, etc. can only be emotions. That means feeling good is the only good thing in life, and feeling bad is the only bad thing in life, regardless of what things and situations we feel good or bad about. Emotions are the only things that can make people, situations, and moments good, bad, etc. for us. Anyway, here's that emotion perception theory:
Some people disagree with this emotion perception theory. But, I have to agree with it, based upon my personal experience. Also, here's a quote by a famous philosopher (Hume): "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them." When Hume talks about passions, he’s referring to emotions. Here’s the definition of passion online: “In philosophy and religion, the passions are the instinctive, emotional, primitive drives in a human being (including, for example, lust, anger, aggression and jealousy) which a human being must restrain, channel, develop, and sublimate in order to be possessed of wisdom.”Are emotions perceptions of value?
Jérôme Dokic &Stéphane Lemaire
Pages 227-247 | Received 13 Mar 2013, Accepted 29 May 2013, Published online: 03 Sep 2013
A popular idea at present is that emotions are perceptions of values. Most defenders of this idea have interpreted it as the perceptual thesis that emotions present (rather than merely represent) evaluative states of affairs in the way sensory experiences present us with sensible aspects of the world. We argue against the perceptual thesis. We show that the phenomenology of emotions is compatible with the fact that the evaluative aspect of apparent emotional contents has been incorporated from outside. We then deal with the only two views that can make sense of the perceptual thesis.
On the response–dependence view, emotional experiences present evaluative response-dependent properties (being fearsome, being disgusting, etc.) in the way visual experiences present response-dependent properties such as colors. On the response–independence view, emotional experiences present evaluative response-independent properties (being dangerous, being indigestible, etc.), conceived as ‘Gestalten’ independent of emotional feelings themselves. We show that neither view can make plausible the idea that emotions present values as such, i.e., in an open and transparent way. If emotions have apparent evaluative contents, this is in fact due to evaluative enrichments of the non-evaluative presentational contents of emotions.
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