Where do your gut and your brain most disagree?

For most of us, I’m sure, there are political, moral, philosophical, or ethical issues where our most deep-seated and instinctive reactions vary greatly with our intellectual positions. This is the thread to talk about them.

For me it’s the death penalty. While I’m not an abolutist, I’m mostly opposed to it: my official position is that it should be reserved only for the most heinous murders where there is not even a scintilla of doubt as to the guilt of the accused and the uprightness of the investigation; I want entirely un-coerced confessions, and eyewitness testimony, and exhausive forensics done with an eye to proving the defendant’s innocence. Even then it should be as rare as hen’s teeth, and the state should go out of its way to make teh death as quick and painless as possible. If that means there’s only one execution in the US every decade, fine.

But I hate rapists. I really do. Child rapists are particularly bad, but anyone who commits a violent rape is the target of my contempt. For them my guy says, “Kill them. Particularly in such a way that they can be rescuscitated, so that you can bring them back and kill them again a few times.”

But that’s just me. Anybody else?

Without going into a lot of detail, abortion.

And on a completely separate note, based on the title, I quite seriously thought this thread was going to be about food that we love but doesn’t sit well with us.

The debate on if I should resume dating.

Well, maybe not my ‘gut’ per se.

Ditto. I was all prepared to talk about carbs…

On topic: Intellectualy I think everyone has an equal chance to life and happiness. In my gut I think that I, and the people I care about, have a greater right to life and happiness.


Life after death. I know it’s highly unlikely, but I hope there’s more to life than this phase. My brain is winning this tug of war, but my gut still wants to play the game.

I thought it was going to be stuff like roller coasters, which my head knows are not a threat but my gut seriously distrusts.

I think roller coasters just barely qualify. This is IMHO, not GD.

I’m a compulsive overeater. Nuff said.

Nationalism. I know rationally it makes very little sense and has led to senseless butchery numerous times but I still get stirred reading my country’s history and of the people who fought and died for the “cause”.

I’d say that there are two things that my head and gut conflict the most over.

  1. Overeating. My gut registers full, but I’ll still eat despite all the physiological signals to the contrary.

  2. Sex/Marriage. My mind knows that I love my wife, have a satisfying sex life, etc… but my gut desperately wants to go screw other chicks.

This is probably a question worthy of GD. I’ve actually considered this somewhat and I think that actions taken in the heat of the moment (gut) should be granted very much greater leeway than those taken after due consideration (brain). For instance, I accept someone killing in defence of self or people or property, but I’m firmly against the death penalty.

It’s been a while since I studied biology, but I’m pretty sure it’s not your gut at work, there. :wink:

My gut and brain are starting to squabble about that sandwich I just ate…


Please limit your eye rolls, but I actually can see a lot of beauty and wisdom in the Roman Catholic Church’s nay-saying of masturbation (provided its being presented in a loving way, not in a “touching yourself is evil because sex is dirty” way that doesn’t line up with the RCC’s actual view). My gut, or something a little lower, really disagrees.

my brain cannot convince my gut to be attracted to anyone age appropriate (i’m not a pedophile…the other way) I have a very age appropriate boyfriend I love but I have always and probably will always have these agonizing crushes on much older men. I have a great relationship with my Dad so it’s not that.

Uhm … so how old are you?

Hey, I’m just askin’! [pushes his way out of crowd of suddenly hostile fellow Dopers]

More to the OP, I have to agree with whose who list capital punishment. The funny thing is, I’m emotionally opposed to capital punishment because I can’t even imagine the horror of being walked to your own death by calm, professional people who have nothing personal against you, it’s just their job and not even one they like very much. It seems – and there is no logic in this, so please don’t try to argue it because I cannot – it seems wasteful to kill a perfectly healthy person who might otherwise be able to contribute something, even if only his or her physical labor, to society. Having said all that, I know there are people who, despite all precautions and attempts to change them, are obsessed with causing as much pain and bloodshed as they can. From a purely logical standpoint, the best thing for society, and perhaps even for the tortured souls themselves, may be to end their misery and our danger.

I thought abortion might fall into this category, too, but then I realized that both my illogical sympathy and my cold, logical belief in civil rights favor reproductive rightst. My heart is outraged that society would be able to tell a rape victim that she must give birth to the thing created in a crime against her body; I cannot even fathom the pain of a couple told that the fetus growing in the mother’s belly will kill itself or her if she tries to carry it to full term. I’m not sure my sympathy extends to women who use abortion as a routine means of birth control, but I also doubt that those women actually exist outside the fevered imaginations of religious wingnuts. And when I try to apply cold reason to the abortion issue, there sits Britney Spears …

Class warfare. I know full well that it is, in truth, being waged by the rich against the poor, and not what the Pubbie pundits are saying. Some days I just wanna NUKE the rich f*ckers, evil arrogant assholes who can’t be satisfied with anything short of pissing on anything and everyone.
And - most poor people are pretty dull, and I’d really like to have a lot more money than I do.

That last one wouldn’t be hard. The only step down I can take is homelessness (again). :frowning:


I recently inherited some money. My brain wants to give at least part of it to other people who need it more. My gut wants to keep it all, just in case I need it in the future. (But what do I really need after all? Do my future children need a college account? Do I need a new house that’s a little nicer than a basement condo? Do I need a new car? Do I need nice dinners? Sure, some stuff, like future financial security, is good to have, but it’s so easy to add to the list. And is it wrong to want frivolous things when other people have nothing?)

My brain was winning early on, but now that I’ll be receiving the money soon, my gut is in charge. Neither side has any intention of giving up though.

Relationships. I tend to get myself into situations where my brain is constantly screaming I told you so! at me while my gut whimpers in a corner.


Intellectually, I know that limiting, if not eliminating, meat is healthier for me, the planet, and certainly the animals. I know that livestock animals often live in appalling circumstances, and their deaths are needlessly cruel. I know that the environmental costs of industrial scale livestock raising and slaughtering are staggering.

Yet . . . I crave steak, chicken, bacon, eggs, milk, and all the other things that come with the meat side of an omnivorous diet. I actually start getting cranky and listless if I don’t get animal protein, and my blood sugar also suffers, as I tend to replace animal proteins with simple carbohydrates - not a healthy swap.

There are some compromises - grass-fed beef, free range chicken, et cetera - but with the exception of cage-free eggs, I haven’t been able to follow up on any of them.