With regards to the answer posted by @sandygautman in the question Do feelings have a purpose:
Let me first state that I don't have a problem with either the question nor the answer; I'm only looking for some clarification.
From the answer:
If fear circuit is activated, the organism exhibits a flight-fight-freeze response. Conscious feeling of fear may or may not be involved, but physiological changes like activation of sympathetic system happens. If the unconscious fear circuit is OK to keep us out of harm's way (predators) why do we also need to feel fearful? A related meta question is, if a zombie behaving like me, but having no qualia, can and will succeed similar to me, why have consciousness?
I'll address the questions, but first let me solidify the claim that unconscious processes are sufficient for most adaptive regulations. Consider your example of heat/cold as thermo-regulation of body temperature...but do you really need to 'feel' heat/cold for that. Consider when you are sound asleep- you still unconsciously cover with blanket or throw away blanket depending on how sweaty/ cold you are- you dont need to consciously register that. So thermo-regulation, like other adaptive actions of affects, can happen in absence of accompanying felt feelings.
What evidence do we have for a separation between the processing of a stimulus and the experience of a stimulus?
That is, what evidence is there to indicate that what we experience is NOT the body processing the stimulus?
For example, what evidence is there that the experience of cold when jumping into a lake is different than the body processing the temperature difference (and processing related tasks such as thermo-regulation, etc)?
My assumption has been that the only difference between 'feeling' something or not 'feeling' something has been attention; that doesn't mean the 'feeling' isn't there, but that it is literally not being processed by the conscious/attentive part of the brain. That is, instead of saying
So thermo-regulation, like other adaptive actions of affects, can happen in absence of accompanying felt feelings
it would be more correct to say:
So thermo-regulation, like other adaptive actions of affects, can happen in absence of consciousness of or attention to the thermo-regulation process
I'm concerned that this question is unclear, but I have to leave my computer for a while, so please let me know if you have any confusion and I will attempt to clarify.