Newton’s First Law of Emotion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite emotional reaction.

The Feeling Brain evaluates everything that happens to us: how much pain the event brings or relieves, what moral gaps it creates, and if those gaps can be equalized. Based on that, it creates a value hierarchy: some experiences the Feeling Brain marks as better, others as worse. We pursue the better experiences that verify the importance of the values we hold.


  1. Anything that happens to you creates a negative or positive moral gap.
    Pain causes moral gaps between you and the person or thing causing pain. The same goes for joy and pleasure. We evaluate what’s happening to us and decide whether we deserve it or not.

  2. We strive to return to moral equality.
    We try to equalize actions: positive to positive, negative to negative. We need somebody to get punished or apologize for hurting us. In the same way, we return gifts and favors to even the moral gap. When equality is back, hope is restored.

  3. Our emotions drive us to fill the moral gaps.

  4. The Feeling Brain creates our values around experiences of pain.
    Experiences that cause pain create a moral gap within our minds, and they become inferior and undesirable. Anything that relieves pain become superior and desirable.


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