The prospect of evolution is that a new trait will be more adaptable for the species. For example, imagination helps you survive because imagination helps you think of certain possibilities. If you don’t have an imagination, then you have to go through a trial and error basis and that can literally kill you. Lately, I’ve been thinking about emotions and how they have an evolutionary advantage. So why do emotions help us survive?
Happiness seems to be easy. Happiness releases endorphins and that provides pleasure. We all seek pleasure and pleasure is something that makes us survive, or at least, it makes us not want to die.
Anger. This seems tricky. Why does anger help us survive? Well, imagine if we never became angry. It seems that in some cases, we are justified in being angry. If we never became angry, people would walk all over us and that wouldn’t help us survive. That’s one example. But anger seems to have a survival mechanism.
What about love? Love is an extremely complex emotion, but it seems that it’s nature’s aphrodisiac in order for us to propagate the species. In other words, love may not help the individual survive, but it does help the species overall survive.
There are a few emotions that I’ve been trying to figure out how they help us survive but I can’t think of why. Maybe through our imaginations, we can discover the purpose of these emotions. Why is sadness a helpful evolutionary strategy? I’ve been thinking about it, and the only thing I can think of is that the way to break through sadness is by some creative process. Notice that many people are creative when they’re sad. They seem to break that sadness by being creative. But this seems to be a lot of energy. Why couldn’t we just evolve with a simple creative process without being sad? It seems that it’s expanding too much energy just by simply being creative. So what’s the point of being sad?
What about jealousy? What’s the survival process of being jealous? I guess when we see someone trying to steal our significant other, we see that as a threat to spreading our genes. Ehh, maybe. That seems like a weird explanation. So what’s the point of jealousy?
What about disappointment? Anxiety? Hope? Despair? Or being nervous? I can’t explain the evolutionary purposes to these. Can you?