In the film Equilibrium, a world is described where the society is provided everything they could wish. Abundance, food, houses, protection. All the creators of the society ask to create the ideal world is to give up emotion.

In another setting, in the creation myth, adam and eve chose "emotion" (the snake) against abundance (Garden's eve).

Alternative setting, Pensioners end up as coach potatoes (television), preferring safety and having everything provided to them. Note: Television creates "imaginary situations" to experience emotions, but these are not their emotion, but the screenwriter's emotions.

Alternative example setting, We could use "drugs" to relive another person's memories. Why choose "OUR" emotions, and not OTHERS.

Society has proved countless times with psychology, science and religion that by forgoing emotions we release ourselves from "earthy attachments" and achieve a new level of awareness. Relying on hard facts, instead instincts.

Science has proved that emotions are a substance in our brain, for example dopamine could be considered as a drug. Therefore the society above would claim that by releasing us from emotions, they protect us from becoming "drug addicts".

Psychology speaks about it is how we choose to interpret things that matters. Therefore emotions are only a minor distraction.

The christian religion speaks of ascending and becoming god's image, by removing sin from us. Here sin refers to emotion.

Humans had everything but forgoed the society's gifts and chose emotion. WHY?

For example in the equilibrium film, the rebels chose emotions even though they had to live in the slums or underground, eating "rat hamburgers", in filthy working conditions, and being hunted. They had guaranteed "Euphoria", why choose emotion ?

I need to understand the "why" because this is the only way, i can build the world from the rebels perspective.

Clarification: I don't care on how the human brain "works", i care about understanding the rebel's beliefs, despite all evidence that what they were doing was all wrong. They ignored hard facts, and chose emotion to escape. They chose freedom. When they had guaranteed safety.

Answer Grading: The closer you came to the rebel's real motives for choosing emotion instead material goods, the better.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Mołot, dot_Sp0T, Alexander von Wernherr, MichaelK, Frostfyre Feb 10 '17 at 13:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Eh, let me remind you that both the judeo-christian creation myth and the movie Equilibrium are fiction. So the premise of your question is wrong: it is not that we had abundance and gave it up. We never had that. Human life has always been a struggle to survive and to make ends meet. If you assume that Adam and Eve are fact, then no-one here can give you an answer. Then your question is better suited on the Christianity SE. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 10 '17 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ Not caring how brain works won't work. It's like asking why 2+2 can't be 5, and stating "I don't care how math works, 5 would be better." $\endgroup$ – Mołot Feb 10 '17 at 8:37
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    $\begingroup$ Please try adding a paragraph on how you're going to grade any answer to this question. As of now every possible answer could be chosen based on nothing but a whim - thus I VTC this question until you overwork it. $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Feb 10 '17 at 8:39
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    $\begingroup$ @user2186597 I have voted to close your question because 1) it is clearly not about Worldbuilding but more about psychology if anything, and there is an SE for that. And 2) it is a complete mess. It is unstructured and more or less rambling. A good question has the following general structure: Premise, Problem, Question. First you state the things that someone that wants to answer the question needs to know about about it, basic facts, relevant background information and so on. Second you state what your actual problem is that you need solve. (continued) $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 10 '17 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ And then finally you boil things down to a question, that is to say — in the immortal words of Zaphod Beeblebrox — "Well, for starters I'll have 'who', 'what', 'when', and 'where'. And then 'whither', 'whether', 'whence', and 'wherefore' to follow, and one big side order of 'why'?!". $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 10 '17 at 8:52

Emotions are part of the human nature.

"Pay no attention to these hypocrites, Neo. To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human." Mouse - The Matrix

There are many approaches to this topic I personally like the Buddhist one. I think emotions and spiritual maturity go hand in hand. We need to experience rage, sadness, joy, wrath, anger, betrayal, love etc. before we strive for spirituality and transcendence otherwise personal development wouldn't be real.

If you prefer a Christian approach...

Matthew 4:4 ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God‘


Humans are a bundle of emotions and instincts with a layer of intelligence laminated over the top.

Emotions and instincts are what life is, without them there is no point. They make you get out of bed in the morning. They keep you alive day to day. It's your emotional attachment to being alive that drives you. Without emotions we don't live, we don't reproduce, humanity would be dead in less than a generation. There is no logic to "I should reproduce", no logic to "I should share the fruit of my labours with others", it's emotion that drives us.

Without emotions we're just machines going through the motions, it's the emotions that give it all meaning. Humanity will always choose emotion.


Emotion ties into the brain’s primitive goal-seeking behavior. It works according to billion-year-old simple rules, not advanced logic. By its own criteria it gets a different result than the formal logic produces.


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