How to reconcile logic and emotions? Ever since humanity has become able to think and reason, we've wondered about that, hence tropes like The Spock
, The McCoy
, Straw Vulcan
, and Emotions vs. Stoicism
. This trope is the exact opposite of Straw Vulcan
, in that it makes a strawman of the more emotional character
. The tactics often used include:
- Making the more emotional character The Ditz, a Cloud Cuckoolander, or a Leeroy Jenkins.
- Making an incredibly cynical world, in which more emotional characters are Wide Eyed Idealists to be broken, and playing off very amoral behavior as only "correct" and "realistic."
- Conveniently forgetting that empathy is emotional, too.
- Having every single emotional character be a blind believer in a corrupt system of authority.
- Having the emotional characters see absolutely no value in logic.
- Emotionalism is sometimes associated with weakness and femininity, whereas the rational man is portrayed as the strong one. Extra bonus if she keeps insisting she's Closer to Earth.
- Painting intuition as always silly or wrong, ignoring the fact that intuition is simply the ability to pick up on subtle cues without realizing it, and that following your intuition can often be very logical.
- Making them a Glurge Addict or a Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher.
- Paint them as a Wide-Eyed Idealist or even a New-Age Retro Hippie who's too dippy or weak-willed to Shoot the Dog.
- Making evil itself, or an equivalent malevolent force, powered by emotions or passions.
This trope is different from Emotions vs. Stoicism
, in that Emotions vs. Stoicism
portrays logic and emotions as both having strengths and weaknesses, whereas this trope strawmans emotion much the same way Straw Vulcan
strawmans logic. This trope is less often played straight than Straw Vulcan
, because, well, strawmanning emotion isn't very logical
. In fact, an author who plays this trope straight is likely to be a Straw Vulcan
themselves. They are also very likely to fall on the Enlightenment side of Romanticism Versus Enlightenment
- Stephen Colbert's character.
- McCoy could occasionally slip into this, much as Spock could occasionally be a Straw Vulcan.
- The Romulans, as well. Since breaking away from the Vulcans over a disagreement over using logic to control emotion or not, they became incredibly amoral. Since it's said that the Vulcans turned to logic because their emotions were so strong they were overwhelming the Romulans are probably behaving like Vulcans used to, which helps explain the enmity between them.
- The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four comics. While none of the characters outright reject the importance of emotions, Johnny is by far the most emotional and the most likely to get smacked to the pavement when he charges blindly into battle. Reed Richards is by far the least emotional, and is right so often that every time he's wrong the world makes a little less sense.
- Just as Ayn Rand 's heroes are Straw Vulcans, so her villains tend to be Strawman Emotional characters with a senseless hatred of the heroes. Many of them—James Taggart being probably the most articulate example—expound a philosophy that although a man like Hank Rearden is more productive, an emotional man like Taggart is superior because he bases his actions on "love"—while of course, Taggart and others like him show no sign that they are actually capable of having love for anyone.
- Jake Morgendorffer in Daria. Most of the ensemble characters carry this particular Idiot Ball regularly, but Jake is probably the most consistent.
- Liberals, according to Conservapedia. Their article on liberalism outright says that there is no such thing as coherent liberal beliefs, and liberals are actually just conservatives who disagree for no logical reason because they want attention. Kind of ironic as many of the editors of Conservapedia who aren't Trolls are emotional in the same manner as Strawman Emotional themselves.
- Helen "Won't someone please Think of the Children! ?" Lovejoy
- Another Simpsons example is the segregated girls' math class Lisa is stuck in, where the students learn how numbers make them feel, but not how to add or subtract them.
- Anakin Skywalker in contrast to the rest of the Jedi, who believe emotions lead to The Dark Side.
- In House Dr. Allison Cameron, who occasionally veered into Strawman Idealist.
- The Nostalgia Critic is as cynical as they come, but almost always runs on emotion instead of logic.
- Prospero, in Greg Egan's short story "The Planck Dive", though he may be more of a "Strawman Artist". He travels from Earth to a far-off space colony orbiting a black hole in order to observe an experiment so he can write an Epic Poem about it, but shows absolutely no respect for the scientists or science itself, insists that science is "empty" because it doesn't involve ancient archetypes like mythology, is willing to believe in any sort of pseudoscience if it fits his archetypes, and is actually a terrible poet but doesn't realize it. Because surely everyone who has described science in poetic terms has no respect for the discipline— Oh wait... What's more, it's implied that all Athenans are just as close-minded and arrogant as he is, except for his daughter, whom all the other characters feel sorry for.