A recent pixar movie suggested that sadness was vital to our emotional wellbeing, as it is what makes us seek the help of others. I wanted to explore this further.

In a world without sadness, we would always choose another emotion to feel when something "sad" happened. (Anger, fear or joy are examples given in the movie).

Would this be beneficial, following a similar method to Socratic dialogue, whereby a person should only agree or add a suggestion, but never disagree. Socrates suggested this was a far more productive method of discussion than allowing negative attitudes.

To simplify the question - would society evolve faster in a positive direction if sadness (and depression, loneliness, apathy and all other associated feelings) were eliminated, but all other emotions remained?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site LPH. This is an interesting question but there is just no way to quantify the quality of answer in a question this big. It takes some time to get used to the format on SE but if you have questions on how to tailor this question to make it a good fit for the site join us in chat or on meta and we can help clean it up. $\endgroup$ – James Sep 17 '15 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ Roses and butterflies $\endgroup$ – JDSweetBeat Sep 17 '15 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ Are you contending that without sadness there'd be no disagreements? Is "no disagreements" what you mean by "a positive direction" in the next paragraph? $\endgroup$ – nitsua60 Sep 24 '15 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest watching "Inside Out" for a good look into what sadness does for us. $\endgroup$ – forgivenson Nov 5 '18 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ "Darn, I dropped the baby and it died. Third baby in a row. Also, this horrible infection seems to be getting worse, and I might lose that leg. Ah, well. Hakuna matata." It seems plausible that worry, fear, regret, etc, at least sometimes serve a purpose. $\endgroup$ – Jedediah Nov 13 '18 at 17:21

we would always choose another emotion to feel

We do not "choose" our emotions. If we did not have sadness, we would just feel nothing when something "sad" happened. We would also feel nothing when something "happy" happened. Without the feeling of sadness, you would have nothing to compare a happy situation to. They are two sides of the same coin, philisophically and also biologically.

I would argue that society would not evolve faster, maybe it would even evolve slower. Without sadness you would have nothing to avoid, without happiness you would have nothing to strive for. Life would just become meaningless.

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    $\begingroup$ Life sounds so sad without sadness. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Sep 17 '15 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Haha :) from the perspective of someone who can feel emotions, it does sound kind of empty. Sadness and emptiness are often associated because when you are sad you feel like life has no meaning. This is usually a shortsighted mindset and when you feel happy again, you are able to appreciate the meaning of everything so much more because of the sadness you went through. $\endgroup$ – Varrick Sep 17 '15 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ I would dispute that you can't feel happiness if you don't have sadness. Newborns must feel one emotion or the other first, and obviously they won't have anything to compare it to. Classic chicken and egg problem. Unless your point was that a person must simply have the capability to feel both emotions in order to feel either, which makes more sense. $\endgroup$ – Graph Theory Sep 17 '15 at 17:15

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