Emotional Sophistication not Suffocation
Today it is popular to think that emotions and reason are antagonistic to each other. The belief is emotions and reason are severed from each other, and one must choose one or the other. One is either a wild, untamed brat or a boring, passionless robot. This is the reason-emotion dichotomy.
The robot, deeming emotions to be nothing but wild, untamed possessors of man, seeks to deal with them the same way "liberals" want to deal with guns: by completely eradicating them.
The only way to maintain objectivity, the robot believes, is to completely deny all emotions within oneself. Otherwise they will be thrown into a chaotic abyss where they cannot run their lives correctly or make sound decisions.
The opposite side of this dichotomy is fully advocated on college campuses; they are the ones who have a vested interest in perpetuating this dichotomy. Reason, most college professors preach, belongs to the boring and uptight. It is the passion-less yet practical older couple down the street; it is the boring accountant. Reject this, they say, and follow your "reptilian" brain.
Ironically, those who adopt the emotion side of the reason-emotion dichotomy do so also, they believe, to maintain objectivity. Reason, they believe, necessarily means lies, fraudulence, and evasion. Emotions and intuition, to them, are genuine.
Indeed, this is the entire crutch underlying this whole false dichotomy. The reason-emotion dichotomy will come crumbling down as soon as a person answers this question: what is objectivity?
Objectivity is the philosophical recognition that reality is external to oneself and that the human mind comprehends that reality. Subjectivists abandon reality in favor of the mind; intrinsics abandon the mind in favor of reality. Subjectivists believe truth is in human consciousness - an arbitrary preference; intrinsics believe truth is in reality but no amount of human thought processes it - it happens through faith or revelation. Objectivity rejects both. Objectivity is like a laser scanning information. It is a mind focused on reality - coming to valid conclusions that.
There is only one thing that blocks objectivity: dishonesty. That is - anything that stops a person from evaluating reality with an honest lens intent on finding out something is.
Emotions do not cloud objectivity. A person can be consumed with rage, love, fear, or ecstatic joy, so as long as their mind is willing to evaluate the facts of reality honestly, they maintain objectivity. For an example of this, think of a military officer being raided by an enemy, who might be consumed with urgency and anxiety, but still gathers data correctly and leads his troops as best his mind can. Objectivity deals with how a mind functions. Unless a person is drunk, massively confused, or worse - has a mind that was produced by today's educational system, they can maintain objectivity. Objectivity does not mean to approach an issue with no personal stake at hand or without emotion; it means a willingness to understand the facts of reality correctly.
Those who adopt the emotion side of the reason-emotion dichotomy have no hope of objectivity. They live in their inner world and hate the outer world. They may be fiercely honest with their emotions, but they are never honest with reality.
Neither emotions nor certainly the mind stop a person from objectivity. A person who believes this must re-evaluate their premises.
Professors have a vested interest in advocating the reason-emotion dichotomy. It gives them an excuse: to be in favor of emotion one thus must allegedly reject reason. They do not love emotion; they hate reason. The robots are in the same camp, however. They do not love reason; they hate emotion.
Reason and emotion are not antagonistic to each other. Reason guides emotion. The goal is not to suffocate emotion but to manage it. The completion of an adult is not to turn into Mr. Spock; nor will the human race be completely "evolved" when our reptilian brain is weeded out. Life without fear and anger may perhaps be nice, but life would not even be worth living without love, passion, joy.
An emotional response, even an automatic one, to one's surroundings is a healthy thing. Ayn Rand called this is a sense of life. She defined it as "pre conceptual equivalent of metaphysics, an emotional, subconsciously integrated appraisal of man and of existence." Man's reactive mind, i.e. his automatic response to his surroundings, does not need eradicated but programmed. When evaluating the world, there is no reason to be cold or unresponsive to it. If it weren't for man's reactive mind, things like love at first sight would be impossible.
(Love at first sight is not the product of someone who has no convictions and just miraculously finds something he, for no apparent reason, regards as beautiful. It is a product of man's fundamental convictions and understanding of what he finds to be virtuous, which is then executed simply and effortlessly upon seeing his love.)
Many great people who contributed great things on this earth embraced emotion. Imagine the accomplishments of George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., or Ronald Reagan without the emotional element.
Embracing emotions as guided by reason sets one on the path to real emotional maturity: emotional sophistication not emotional suffocation.