Last night my husband and I watched a movie with Morgan Freeman. His moives usually have some meaning or message, and they are usually good. We thought we might be "headed to see" some B rated movie, as we'd gotten several movies from Sam's Club for under $5. But, we were delightfully surprised!
The movie was about two serial killers. Morgan Freeman was a forensic psychologist from D.C. who travelled to the Triangle Park, N. C. area to help the police there find the suspected killer. He had a "dog in the fight", as his neice had been missing for several weeks.
To make a long story short and to get to my point, the movie was intensely suspenseful and just when you thought that the movie was solved, there was another "crook in the road"..This led to an emotional connection with the movie unlike most. And the post traumatic stress that the main escapee suffered was experienced alongside her.
In my sleep, I kept having dreams as if the situations had happened to me; whispering in my ear from the murderer, running away from the killer, etc. This led to a fitful night and waking up several times to realize "it was only a dream".
I had not eaten anything out of the ordinary last night and had gone to bed as usual. So, there should've been nothing that would have made my sleep different, except for the movie.
My unprofessional and "scientific" suspicion is that my emotional connectedness to the movie led me to an emphathetic response. I had experienced the situation personally.
Is this not what we experience with those we feel connected to when they suffer? Our emotional connection leads us to justify their misfortunes, reach out to help, and understand their weaknesses.
I think that our reason is useful to help us function in the world without collapsing into a "pool of emotion". What good would that do? So, our reason help us rationalize our lives so that we live reasonably, not emphathetically. We cannot "love humanity", as that is an 'ideal" and ideals have to be defined and practically understood for there to be real meaning and purpose.
This is where we play out our lives committed to certain values which are prioritized accordingly. We live rationally, according to our values.
And I believe that values are a culmalative conglomoration of different experiences, individual personality and interests. Therefore, universals do not exist in the real world, only "ideals" that are manifested differently.