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Battlestar Galactica – Can Emotions Die?

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m a total Sci Fi nerd.  And I’ve been watching that TV show Battlestar Galactica…I won’t get into details about what the show’s about, but I’m on season 3 and the show has got me thinking about emotions.

There’s a certain spectrum of emotions that people feel and some people can and will live their entire lives without feeling certain emotions–and that’s a good thing in most cases, kinda.  A white, middle class, christian, protestant, male, etc, will most likely never know the feeling of oppression.  An African-American who grew up down south in the 1950’s, someone who’s still alive today, carries with him the memory of those emotions, the memory of what it FEELS like to be oppressed.   Like cigarette smoke on a carpet, it will always be there and you can’t wash or beat it out.  But here’s my question…

If only certain people feel an emotion, and if a society learns its lesson and never oppresses again, then once those last few oppressed die, does the feeling die with them?

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

If a feeling exists but no one’s there to feel it, does it still exist?

What does that mean about emotions if they can be killed?  And if they can’t?  Could there be undiscovered emotions or ones that have become extinct?

I think I can give the best answer by paraphrasing a once great General.  “Emotions don’t die, they just fade away into the twilight.’  So I suppose it’s up to use to propagate certain emotions and to force others into the twilight.