Negative Essay: Are Emotions Always Positive?

804 Words 4 Pages
Are Emotions Always Positive?
In order to determine whether or not emotions are always positive, we have to first decide which definition of positive is most relevant to the concept of human emotion. When used as an adjective, the term positive can mean clear and definite. In regard to this definition, emotions are often too complex to appropriately define or describe. It is within these intricate emotions that people arrive to the conclusion that feelings, such as love or hate, are beyond description. Robert C. Solomon goes into detail about this concept by stating that “even describing something as specific as a migraine headache falls back on clumsy metaphors (“as if my head is in a vise,” “as if someone where driving a nail through my
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It is well understood that not all emotions and feelings are particularly pleasant. As human beings, we can distinguish between something that we enjoy and something we do not enjoy. A simplified example of this would be pain. The physical feeling of pain is a sensation that is humanely understood as bad. Many people try to view emotions as either good or bad. Because of this, the emotions that biologically invoke a happy feeling are seen as more appealing such as love, happiness, and comfort. The issue with this comes from the situation surrounding these feelings. For example, an emotion that is pleasing to one individual can be unpleasant to another. Love is not seen as a “good attribute” on the battle field where the objective is to kill the opposing army. Happiness is not viewed as a positive emotion when it is achieved from the misfortune of others. And comfort is not recognized as “constructive quality” when it limits motivation or drive. This situational theory also applies to bad feelings as well. For example, anger is not bad when it is used as motivation for performance. However, emotions such as anger, do not fall within one category because emotions often produce outcomes that can be either good or bad, depending on the viewer. Owen Flanagan breaks down the destructive qualifiers of emotions down into two categories. The first …show more content…
However, Western Buddhists, such as the Dalai Lama, disagree with the idea that bad emotions can be used to accomplish positive things. These Buddhist believe it is possible to overcome and eliminate natural emotions. According to Owen Flanagan’s Destructive Emotions, “the belief that anger ought to be eliminated is not an idle, impossible ideal within Tibetan Buddhism.” I do not agree with the Dalai Lama. Eliminating anger will be harmful because all emotions are essential. Taking away the feeling of anger is removing all things created through the expression of anger including art and music. This applies to all emotions both positive and negative. Emotions play an important role in every aspect that makes us who we are. Emotions are deeply rooted within our personal identities. The way we feel and react to certain news and events is a reflection of our personalities, values, and beliefs. It is also a reflection of our societal values. In certain cultures displaying to much emotion is sign of lack

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