Human Emotion

Today I was thinking to myself, since no one else could hear me, about the need for emotions. It seems like emotions go hand in hand with consciousness. The whole "I think, therefore I am" take on the existence and self realization just doesn't seem like enough. Emotions play a heavy role in determining the thoughts that one produces. Positive moods produce thoughts of how great everything around you may be, while negative moods create the opposite. That's simple enough.

Then I started to go into each emotion and try to get an idea of the purpose for each. I even tried to compare observations that I've made of my dog when she experiences different emotions as well. I've seen her happy, excited, nervous, sad, depressed, lonely, angry, and even express love. I went through a number more of them in my head and then I came to regret. I've never seen my dog regret something that she has done. So I moved on to another animal, trying to think from the limited knowledge that I have of other animals and again, not a single recollection of regret came to mind. Now, I know I've only been going over this since this afternoon in my head in between other tasks I had to get out of the way, but it appears that humans are the only creatures that experience regret. It could just be that since regret leads to other emotions, like sadness, anger, or depression, that I just never noticed my dog having gone through it.

Maybe regret isn't an emotion, but a complex thought process that leads to an emotional response. Since higher brain functions are only seen in humans, then the brain of my dog is not capable to go through the thought process to create the sense of regret. Why do humans experience regret? Is it a way to help us in learning from past mistakes or missed opportunities? It really serves us no other purpose than to make us miserable, if not that.

I'm really curious about this since I have numerous regrets in my life. I few that have arisen in the past few weeks, including one that just occurred a moment ago. I regret scratching my nose with the finger that had a bit of dried ink on it. It wasn't quite dry enough, I suppose, and now I can't get the mark off of my nose. I wouldn't feel bad about it if it wasn't for regret. DAMN YOU REGRET!!

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