I’ve been thinking a great deal about humanity… the things that make us human as it were. For most people, humanity is was separates us from the animals. Duh! you say… The thing is, humans are not born with the emotional and mental tools necessary for “humanity” or kindness or compassion. We have to learn humanity at an early age, left to our instincts, man (and woman) would be only slightly better than animals. I find it oddly comforting that most people completely disagree with this because their brains cannot process certain truths.
For instance… sanity. What is it? How is it measured? What does it really mean?
Lets look at it another way…
A man goes for a walk. On his walk he encounters a man who begins to berate him for wearing a sweater vest. In response the man in the sweater vest beats the man to death with a brick he picks up from the ground. When he is finished bashing this mans brains in, he continues on his walk without any thought to his previous actions.
Which man is insane and which man is sane?
Culturally, we have rules that prevent responding to external experiences violently. Call it the “civil” part of civilization. The idea that disputes can be handled without resorting to our base instincts. Instinctually though, as the previous thought suggests, human beings respond to all stimulus in one of two ways… fight or flight. Civilization is really another way of saying domestication. That domestication is the product of hundreds of years of culturally forced rules (or morals) that are meant to make people more likely to be controlled, often times by weaker, less intelligent people.
Click on READ MORE to see a video that proves my point that there is no such thing as a selfless act… or at least shows how funny Friends was back in the day…
6 thoughts on “rationale vs sanity”
Humans are innately selfish creatures and I understand to an extent your idea that left to our instincts we would be only slightly better than animals. BUT, isn’t some amount of kindness and compassion in a way, natural, evolutionarily speaking? I would imagine that the human with the ability to exhibit kindness and compassion would be more likely to develop relationships with other humans that ultimately make his survival and therefore the passing on of his genes more likely. Or am I just completely missing your point? (possible)
And what’s with the sweater vest? Are they really so bad? 🙂
I agree with Dawn on this, except I believe there are a few people on the planet who care for others without thought to themselves, yes, they are rare, but do exist. I think both those men are insane :-).
I believe there are *zero* people on this earth who are not innately selfish. Um.. in other words I believe that every action taken by any human being is in some way meant to benefit themselves even if it doesn’t seem that way.. even if they, themselves, don’t realize it. If you sacrifice everything to help another human and you feel even just a little bit good about doing that then you’ve benefited and in the end *that* was probably the driving force.
I still don’t know what’s so bad about sweater vests. I mean, I wouldn’t wear one myself… but the guy who berates some random person, he doesn’t even know, just for wearing one is INSANE (and in this case, dead).
There was an episode on Friends once that was about Phoebe trying to do a selfless act. No matter what act of charity she attempted, she was faced with the fact that she also received a benefit. Granted, getting your social instruction from a sitcom is probably not the best method of education I can think of, but the show illustrated pretty effectively that there is NO SUCH THING as a selfless act. A human will always benefit from EVERY action they partake in. Humans are instinctually, rather selfish.
I do get this, but if you are doing something for another person and you are not aware of the benefit, doesn’t it still count, even a little?
Oh, and by the way I think it is very healthy to be selfish :-).
Comments are closed.