Emotional Versus Rational

I think the pro and anti sentiment towards guns and self defense is rational vs emotional. All sarcasm aside. I recently had a disagreement on a topic and their reply was emotional. I feel if we follow our emotions our emotions control us. If we make rational decisions we control our emotions. I know we can have very strong emotions and they can effect our bodies in negative ways. https://www.besselvanderkolk.com/resources/the-body-keeps-the-score
I carry a gun and do not think it wise to let my emotions control me. Am I thinking right? Is there a right or wrong here? What is your opinion?


IMHO I think you are absolutely right. Emotions can be extremely dangerous, especially when carrying a weapon. Emotions run rampant in a bar fight, or when one spouse beats the other spouse. Most arguments are emotional, debates are rational. Name calling is emotional. Emotions lead to stress. People should not carry when in an emotional state.


In my experience, many people often operate on a sort of ‘emotional rationality’ in which they make decisions based on their emotional response and then find ways to rationalize the decision in order to defend it later (especially to themselves.) That immediate reaction may be satisfying on a gut level, but it rarely turns out well in the long run.

Then there are those who’s thinking is more of a “rational emotionalism” where their initial reaction may be emotionally based but they take the time to step back and consider the situation from a rational perspective, which often results in a better decision.


Yes, you are absolutely right, @Robert1246 .
If you carry a firearm, you must control your emotions. Unfortunately that’s a “grey area” that nobody else
than firearm carrier can access.
Proper training helps to control emotions… but a lot of firearm owners don’t do such training.
It’s very hard to control your emotions when you are part of interaction. We can simply see it everyday - stupid road rage is the great example. Adding a firearm to the equation makes all this worse.
Without self control training / practice or mental firearm training it is hard to walk away from stressful situation without doing wrong thing.
So, yes - it is wrong to let emotions control you.


I would add the clarification to this that people should not carry when their judgement is significantly impaired whether that is due to emotions, imbibing substances, extreme tiredness, etc.

I think it is possible for people to act reasonably and rationally even when experiencing extreme emotions. So being very happy, sad or even angry should not be a disqualifier for carrying by itself. But for those who easily loose control of their emotions all the time or those who have lost control in the moment it is wise to not have a firearm or any other pointy or blunt object that can be used to do harm within easy reach until control is regained.


Could it be they’re just rational people who are passionate about certain issues?




Therefore, belief in our inalienable rights and the backbone princples that are the basis of our country are inherently wrong because our forebears fought for them. No, I will continue to hold on to - obviously irrationally - the belief in our Constitution and inalienable rights, even though, unlike the opposing view, I can rationally argue for our rights and the underlying princples of our Constitution.


It’s dangerous to assume that rational people can neither be emotional nor passionate.


I agree though if the majority of the support for a position a person puts forward is the passion they have it is likely they do not have much or any sound reasoning to back that position up.

“Guns are evil we must ban all guns!” The anti self defense groups have little to no reason to back up their arguments so they can only rely on emotion and misleading “facts” designed to sway emotions in order to gain support for their irrational positions.


Here’s my take after much thought:

Emotions – Love, hate, sadness, joy, I love my wife, but I can still be rational.

Emotional – I was emotional when my mom died, but I was still rational in decision making.

Emotional State – Many years ago when I was young and dumb, During one of my wife’s monthly visitors, I told her to calm down, all rationality went out the window. :exploding_head: Did I learn a valuable lesson that day!!


Sadly, you have misunderstood the point entirely. No belief is “inherently wrong” simply because it is passionately held; the quotes above are admonitions against passion being the only basis for belief.

The “inalienable rights and backbone principles that are the basis of our country”, eventually enshrined in the Constitution, were ideas which were passionately held by founders, to be sure. BUT, they didn’t allow their passions to rule their actions. They didn’t grab up their guns and run around shooting Tories willy-nilly. They used their reason and logic, fueled by their passion, to first examine their beliefs and, having confirmed them, to then plot a course of practical actions designed to result in a successful government based upon those principles for the benefit of all.

To operate on passion alone is to live as animals do, driven by lizard-brain instinct and emotional gut reaction in pursuit of self-serving goals. Homo Sapiens greatest advantage is precisely the ability to think and reason beyond the initial fire of passions (one might say ‘to think dis-passionately’) and to consider their actions in a context greater than the immediate, self-centered, moment. I believe this ability to be actual “free will”, that is, the ability to use our reason and exert our will to override our natural instinct and act according to reason instead.

However, I do take your point, (and I thank you for it) which I think is a de-facto rebuttal of the Bertrand Russel quote. Upon further reflection, I believe I was wrong to include that particular statement in the context of this discussion. I shall edit my original post to remove that portion, but the Franklin quote stands as being more on point.

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I think of passion as an emotion.

hmmm… seem to recall that there is a verse in the Book that warns about the fickleness of the heart???

and to NOT allow it to rule you???

as it changes rather quickly and often goes opposite of where it started…

that Disney bull excrement from years ago always bothered me…

the “just follow your heart”… and the implied it will work out great silly azz excrement…


Could it be they’re just rational people who are emotional about certain issues?

Two things can be true at the same time.


Rational people could be emotional if they are passionate about something. I think it is more rational and sustainable if they/we are compassionate.

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Both states of mind can be true, but it doesn’t mean that those states are equivalent or compatible.

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