Imagine you knew for certain that after each life you would be re-incarnated randomly as any creature on this planet. How would you define justice? Who and what would you include as deserving of it?
If this belief was adopted as the hegemonic dogma on this planet, what changes do you imagine would take place in our relations with each other, with animals, and with the not-yet-conceived?
Random new-births would mean that we would lose our private goods in death, but would re-inherit all the public goods we owned in common. Would we re-produce a society where a minority owned and passed onto their own children, the majority of the world’s wealth, priveledge, and opportunity?
My Optimal Ethic Generator is similar to Rawls’ ‘veil of ignorance’. Rawls noted that people would only be motivated to produce a fair, and therefore just, set of social relations if they were ignorant of their own position within that set of social relations.
We tend to promote systems of relations we think will benefit us. The only time our intrinsic motivation to serve our own narrow self interest promotes justice , is when the only way to serve our interests is to promote justice.
As in the case of Freud’s siblings, if we cannot secure greater benefits for ourselves, our next best bet will be to ensure no-one can have more than us, and seek an equal distribution of benefits. Where we are ignorant of our own holistic inheritance, we will not be able to promote the interests of people with our particular holistic inheritance. We will be motivated to act as if we cared about others, as without knowledge of who we are, we are the others, for all planning purposes.
Empathy may motivate us occasionally to relieve our empathic suffering by relieving other’s suffering, but more often we just turn away, numb ourselves to their condition, and do nothing. Empathy is not a reliable motive, especially when it conflicts with our self-interest. We like to keep what we have. We are not happy sharers by nature. Self-interest is the most reliable motive for action.
The ‘tobacco-debate’ is a clear example of human nature. Ultimately appeals to goodwill and empathy do not work. Enforced laws are needed, ‘speed-humps’. Once people are compelled to do the right thing they usually accept it, as they know it is the right thing to do in principle, and now they have an immediate and concrete motive to do it, the risk of penalties.
The lesson which Hume already taught us? Combine personal cost-profit-motives with appeals to empathy and goodwill, and you will get people acting as if they are rational, and as if they really care about justice in principle.
Perhaps one day my Optimal Ethic Generator will become the hegemonic dogma, or we will employ hypnosis or drugs to induce Rawls’ ‘ ‘veil of ignorance’ during law making processes and political elections.
Animate things are animated by motives, by desire. We inherit motives genetically and socially. They are the puppet -strings. We are their puppets. As long as you live your will is determined by them. What you experience as ‘free-will’ is merely the freedom to act upon these desires, these motives. Schopenhauer put is best when he said while we may at times be free to act on our motives and desires, we are never free to chose them.
You can use meditation and other forms of self-hypnosis to free your mind of conscious desires and motives, but that is merely existing rather than living. It is a rejection of desire and life, rather than an affirmation of it.
What you feel to be ‘choice’ is merely the dominant motive or desire among competing motives or desires. You feel you have made a decision, but decisions are merely the product of a process. It is impossible to make an arbitrary decision.
You may rationalise your behaviour after the event, but all behaviour is emotionally motivated. All behaviour has the attempted satisfaction of some desire as its motive. If you can find any behaviour without motive you will have found free will. That is the definition of free will. That is what free will would be, if it existed.
Even the belief that you ‘decide’ to move your finger, ‘at will’, was made milliseconds before you felt you ‘decided’. This is scientific fact.
Reason is the desire to enjoy enduring satisfaction of desires. It is not the opposite of emotion. It is, as Hume puts it, ‘the quieter emotion’.
Take all of your motives and desires and mentally place them at a distance. They are the self. The absence of the self, the sum total of our desires, is ‘thanatos’, ‘calm’, or ‘nirvana’. Without them you have no motive, no desire, no self, no dis-satisfaction or suffering.
You also have no access to pleasure. For most people the costs of life far outweigh the benefits. For most people the only way to affirm life is to positively focus on the glass being 5% full.
Socrates was among the first to define death as the philosopher’s ultimate goal. Only when we are free from the limits of our perception can we hope to see the ultimate reality. Chasing after satisfaction always leads to dis-satisfaction. This is why the ‘quiet’ emotion of reason was valued above ‘pleasure’ per se.
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. ” Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5) William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
Buddha, Socrates, Schopenhauer, and many of the philosophers we respect today, found NO compelling arguments for affirming life.
And those others, born to lives of at least relative priveledge and satisfaction, paid for by others sweat, toil, suffering and exploitation, had every motivation to avoid confronting the issue. For them the glass was always more than half full.
My Eden Protocols, however, seek to produce a world and lives worthy of being affirmed by everyone.
Remember the world we have inherited is the product of interactions, and only persists as long as it is constantly re-produced. This defines our response-ability.
©Copyright 2009Markus Heinrich Rehbach All Rights Reserved
If we are all born ‘blank slates’ with equal potentials, in a meritocratic society where rewards are proportionate to effort, sacrifice, and risk-taking , then inequality is legitimate. If you get what you deserve then life is fair.
Once your recognise that we are not born with equal holistic inheritances, that intelligence, health, beauty, talent, socio-economic status, and access to resources and opportunities such as education are not fairly distributed, you need an alternative myth to legitimate inequality.
Karma is this myth. Karma defines our unequal holistic inheritances as deserved, having been earned through our behaviour in past lives. This adds insult to injury, defining the unlucky as ‘morally‘ inferior to the lucky. The lucky need feel no compulsion to help the unlucky, to re-distribute their luck, their windfalls, as the unlucky deserve their bad fortune.
Blank slates, meritocracy, and karma all assume free-will. We can only deserve to be rewarded or punished if we have free-will.
If our behaviour is determined, then it would be unfair to punish or reward us for behaviours that are not within our control.
The keystone to enlightenment is a recognition of the deterministic nature of TROONATNOOR. No system of social relations with the fallacious assumption of free-will as its basis will ever produce holistic justice.
The concept, the myth, of free-will, is perpetuated most strongly by the lucky few who use their favourable holistic inheritances to accumulate power and priveledge for themselves, to exploit and re-produce inequality in the service of their own desires.
Remember that inequality is produced by the universe, but only persists if it is re-produced. This is our level of response-ability in an interactively-deterministic universe.
If you are among the lucky it is satisfying and convenient to define your luck as earned in this life, or, where this is patently absurd given the facts of our behaviour in this life, the previous, and therefore deserved.
However our nature and our nurture are inherited as part of our holistic inheritances. No-one can deserves their holistic inheritance. Our holistic inheritances are randomly distributed. It is the luck of the draw, to which parents, society, historical period, and therefore opportunities, we are born. Karma cannot exist in a deterministic universe such as the one we live in.
We can only rightly deserve what we have earned ,through effort, sacrifice, and risk-taking, in this life.
The outcomes of our actions are the product of effort-sacrifice-risk multiplied by the luck of our holistic inheritance. Luck leverages effort-sacrifice-risk.
The greater our holistic inheritances, the more likely it is that we will believe that we can attain our desired ends if we invest effort-sacrifice-risk. That is why we often observe a higher level of motivation in people who have inherited opportunities, talents, beauty, intelligence, wealth, social connections and education. The realistic confidence that we can succeed is motivating. Thus success is facilitated or prevented by our holistic inheritance, and this indirectly determines our level of motivation. Thus blaming someone for being unmotivated is as absurd as blaming them for any other part of their holistic inheritance.
The more realistic our chances of success are, and the more our effort-sacrifice-risk taking is leveraged by our holistic inheritances, the more motivated we are likely to be to try, and to keep trying when we face setbacks. The more able, with greater access to the resources required for success, are more motivated to invest effort-sacrifice-risk than the less able, as they rightly feel more confident of ultimately being rewarded for their effort-sacrifice-risk.
Those who use Napoleon or Adolf Hitler as counter-arguments forget the inherited personality and, more importantly, historical situation their ‘successes’ were favoured by.
The rare cases of ‘rags-to-riches’ successes are used as propaganda by the lucky, to deny the reality that we tend to stay in the socio-economic-status group we were born to, no matter how hard we try. It is a myth the unlucky want to be true, and hence it is eagerly consumed by the masses. It motivates those with poor inheritances to work hard for the benefit of the priveledged minority, while seeking their own, unrealistic dreams of joining that priveledged minority.
And as the unlucky are no more noble and no less opportunistic in their motivations than the lucky, there is no reason to expect any changes in society when they come to power. Human nature is opportunistic. It did not change when we moved from aristocacy to democracy any more than it did when we went from capitalism to socialism. There was merely less for the privileged to appropriate under socialism, as people were not motivated to invest effort-sacrifice-risk taking, and the production of consumer goods was given a low priorty by the central planners, who got all their ‘luxury’ goods direct from the Capitalist west.
It is a fallacy to assume the victim is any better than the perpetrator. The weak, untalented, unattractive, not-so-intelligent want to eliminate the privledges they feel are unattainable to them, not out of a love of justice, but merely as they do not want others to have what they are unlikely to attain. Everyone wants to keep their own privledges. If you asked people to set a level for a wealth tax, they would set it just a bit higher than their own level of wealth. Tax those richer than themselves. They will not, however, want to share what they have with those less fortunate than themselves.
Socialism is merely another form of opportunism. Those without the current forms of capital want to pretend we are all equal. Like Freud’s siblings, they recognise they themselves do not have the qualities by which priveleges and power are naturally accumulated, and so giving up on the hope of having more than others, they content themselves with ensuring no-one else shall have more than them. If they themselves don’t have the qualities to be better than others, they will make sure all are ‘equal’. This is their best opportunistic strategy given their poor holistic inheritances.
And as experience in the U.S.S.R shows, under socialism party power is exploited as opportunistically under socialism as other forms of capital are opportunistically exploited under capitalism. Those with power use it to accumulate priveledges and goods for themselves, whatever the form that power takes. Search in vain for your ‘noble savage’ . Doubt the motivations of your ‘socialist’. The first thing they do when they get in power is destroy anything of real beauty, talent, truth, or nobility. They vent their self-loathing on anything that reminds them of their own weakness, lack of talent, lack of beauty, and lack of nobility.
Further, as most people want to reproduce themselves, and not feel guilty for the poor inheritances they will force upon their offspring, they delude themselves, imagining their children can have it all too. This allows them to blame their children if they do not live up to the myth of the the potential their parents imagine for them.
The crux of the myths of karma, meritocracy, and the blank-slate is the blaming of the victim, and the reflexive masturbatory self-congratulation of the lucky.
The unlucky are motivated to continue striving for a mostly impossible quality of life while actually producing all the products that make the lives of the lucky so comfortable and rewarding.
Of course they do receive benefits for their efforts in terms of higher living standards. The fact that the lucky priveledged can appropriate most of the value produced does not mean the exploited are not rewarded at all for their efforts.
Under Socialism the self-interest motive is mostly eliminated. Capitalism, with its myths, does motivate people to effort-sacrifice-risk, and does produce better outcomes than Socialism ever could. Socialism is not compatible with human nature. The real question is whether we could allow those who ultimately produce most of the value to consume a fairer share of it than they currently do.
©Copyright 2009Markus Heinrich Rehbach All Rights Reserved
Plato built up Socrates as a super-man, to use him as the spokesperson for his own arguments. Around the same time the followers of the teachings of Buddha and Mahavira did the same. Marx gave his own idealogical wish-list the authority of history when he fabricated the myth of a historical determinism which had Socialism as its ‘end’. Moses claimed to speak with his god’s authority. Moses and Hitler are identical historical figures, having chosen a people for themselves, and claiming a unique historical destiny for them. This destiny ‘legitimated’ their holocausts. Mein Kampf and the Torah are identical documents with the same historical products; mass-scale theft, rape, murder, and genocide.
The new testament writers built up a mythical Jesus, recycling the then-current gods and the myths associated with them. The ‘disciples’ had Jesus speak their words, with a god’s authority. Mohamed claimed to speak for the angel Gabriel, and hence with a god’s authority. John Smith claimed to read from golden plates he had found, which recorded a god’s words, and therefore to speak with a god’s authority. More ancient shamans claimed a connection with the spirit world, and hence to speak with the authority of their ancestors. The tradition of appealing to tradition in general as an authority is, well, traditional.
The intentions of all these prophets may well have been good. They felt their ends justified their means. Plato’s ‘noble lies’ are perhaps the first documented instance of what became a common practise. Lie to the people to motivate them to do what you think is in their interests, or less nobly, what is in your interests.
Buddha is perhaps the first to adopt the strategy of compelling argument and to reject dogma and ‘transferred’ authority. For him the argument must be the authority in and of itself. If it is not compelling, then it should not be granted any authority.
Every prophet is bound to feel the seductive lure of ‘transferred authority’. Perhaps the historical Buddha, Jesus, and Socrates were strong enough to reject it, seeing that it they employed that strategy there was no stopping everyone else doing so. If the authority of arguments came to be based on the authority of the speaker, or who they claimed to speak for, then the substance of the argument would become less important. Any charlottan with an ideaology or desire for power might employ the strategy once they, in their own employment of it, had legitimated it.
However the followers of prophets including Mahavira, Buddha, and Jesus, frustrated with the lack of acceptance of their prophet’s teachings, and in many cases seduced by the desire for power, built up myths for their prophets. These myths conferred the authority of gods, super-powers, or historical destiny upon their prophets. Naturally this conferred a transferred authority upon themselves, as the present-day representatives of that prophet, that authority. Mohamed imitated them with the same motive.
©Copyright 2009Markus Heinrich Rehbach All Rights Reserved
Narcolepcy is associated with pleasurable activities. Sufferers become paralyzed and even unconscious at the excitement or anticipation of pleasure. I observe the same in human ethics. When we find something directly pleasurable, or a convenient means to satisfying our wills, our desires, and hence indirectly satisfying and pleasurable, or simply a means of avoiding displeasure, we tend to `switch off´ethically.
Stephen Sackur, during his BBC `Hardtalk`interview with Barbara Harris, crticized her actions in offering drug addicts money as an incentive to consent to sterilization or long-term contraception, to avoid the predictable health and social consequences of them becoming pregnant and having more children.
Sackur focussed on what he saw as the woman`s right to have children, completely side-stepping the issue of the rights of the not-yet-conceived. He simply dismissed the not-yet-conceived as `non-existent`. He asserted that as they didn`t exist yet, it was absurd to consider their interests in any way.
Please allow me an anology. We already regulate for people and situations that do not yet exist. We do so in order to prevent them from coming into existence. Consider all motor vehicle regulations aimed at preventing accidents, and then limiting the damage that will be produced by them. We accept such reasonable regulations as preventing predictable and preventable misery.
As such the precedent for regulating things that do not yet exist already exists. I am very dissappointed in Sackur`s failure, or unwillingness, to maintain the sort of intellectual rigour I generally associate with him. All regulations in fact deal with non-existent situations.
That is the entire point of regulation. To prevent not-yet-existent situations arising in the first place, by providing deterrents, limits, boundaries, restrictions, controls, and restraints. Such regulations gets people to act as if they were holistically enlightened, as if they cared about others. This is the basis of all social and economic progress.
The lives of many people can be seen to be slow-motion car accidents. Seen on a larger scale, they are mass scale train-wrecks. The life experiences of most people are easily predictable. We like to imagine we have free will, and live in a land of opportunity, but the reality is otherwise. We live in a deterministic universe. Our life experiences are determined by our holistic inheritances.
One reason this is denied, is that the most powerful members of our society benefit from this denial. They are the beneficiaries of inherited inequality. In fact most of you reading this belong to this beneficiary class. You desire, consciously or otherwise, that the inequality you benefit from should be reproduced, so that you can continue benefitting from it. If everyone was at least as intelligent, well-educated, healthy, and attractive as you, then you would lose all the economic and social advantages that you enjoy over them. You would have to pay them at least what you earn to fix your car, look after your children, clean your toilets, cut your hair, produce all the products you consume, and provide all the other services you enjoy. Thus the ethical narcolepsy.
Sackur went on to state that he `liked to think`that the children of drug addicts would be taken care of by the British Welfare State. Of course he did not indicate in any way that he himself was prepared to pay higher taxes to ensure that the children that would be born as a result of his position would in fact be taken care of.
Like most people he was happy to take advantage of inequality, but unwilling to compensate the victims of it for society`s lack of reasonable regulation of reproduction, and the resulting `reproductive anarchy`.
The children of drug addicts, for example, are likely to end up in foster-care. 70% of children who grow up in foster care in the U.K end up in prison. 50% become homeless when they turn 18, and the `Welfare State`ceases caring for them. This is why, despite what Sackur imagined, most people would support Harris`s scheme. They realise that they pay for the consequences of drug addicts having children. Thus they have a a self-interested motive for this form of eugenics. They are unlikely to benefit from this form of inequality. They are likely to be paying for these children`s misfortune, in terms of social welfare, crimes, and imprisonment.
However in general we benefit from other people`s misfortune in terms of unequal holistic inheritances. The unlucky become our beasts of burden. We exploit their misfortune to our our own benefit. This is in fact the true concern of society as a whole with the actions of such Saints as Barbara Harris. If we accept in principle that not-yet-conceived persons have rights, then the door is opened to my Protocols.
Sackur defined the drug-addicted mothers as the weakest members of our society. However surely it is a human fetus, with no legal protection against being killed, that occupies this rank. After this group of course come non-human animals.
And this brings me to the Southpark episode which attacks Peta and its leadership. This episode was completely devoid of anything resembling wit or humour. It was pure venom, targetted at a group of the most compassionate, self-less, caring, kind, and gentle people you could imagine. What motivated this vile, invidious, vicious attack?
This Southpark episode of course continues in the tradition of Greek Tragedy in which the audience insists that their `betters`be punished for daring to be be better than themselves. Thus Socrates and Jesus must be punished, and must die for daring to be `better`.
From a Freudian perspective the writers are clearly attempting to deny their own sense of guilt for their own cruelty towards animals. What else could account for their childish depictions of Peta members tongue-kissing and having sex with animals? The tone was violently angry, agressive, and vicious. What, other than projected self-loathing could prompt such venom? Surely it is the expression of a deep unconscious sense of guilt and self-hatred.
And on a lighter note, I wonder why it is not possible to buy Stevia, the natural sweetener so popular in China in Europe or Australia. It is 400 times sweeter, and containes 85% fewer calories than sugar.
Energy can neither be created or destroyed. It always has existed and always will, transforming in interactions through different states including heat, light, and matter. The most basic forms of matter combine to produce more complex ones. The table of elements shows this ‘evolution’. This process is spontaneous and continuous. Everything is in a process of change.
Gods would have to be the product of pre-existing things. They would be one level higher in the chain of being, rather than ‘creators’ of being. Positing their existence is superfluous to our understanding of anything.
No-one can claim to understand the nature of awareness. Today in laboratories living organisms are produced by combining what we conventionally define as inanimate molecules. This convention seems to be very problematic. It seems more compelling and in the spirit of Ockham’s razor to see all matter-energy as having the potential for awareness. What this potential for awareness actually becomes aware of is merely determined by the form it takes.
Otherwise we are left with the notion that somehow something that is not aware, can be combined to produce something that is.
Humans have tended to define other animal’s behaviours as instinctive compulsions. If you can recognise the deliberate, motivated, object-oriented motivations of animals, then perhaps you might also imagine that electrons experience their own motivations, rather than being merely compelled by electro-magnetic fields. Reflexively, you might be able to accept that you yourself are a mere puppet to your motivations, the equivalent of an electron being attracted and repelled.
Aristotle made the typical mistake of philosophers. He failed to continue his deconstruction of arguments into their most basic assumptions, usually those that are implicit rather than explicit. He stopped too soon. He asserted that the ‘first cause’ is mans will, his motivation. He just assumed this. He never interrogated this assumption. He never asked where these motivations come from. Of course Schopenhauer recognised that it is the will itself that is the master of the human animal. As such, in Aristotle’s terms, it is will that is prime cause, and not ‘man’.
Aristotle’s teleology is his most fundamental error. Combined with an anthropocentric mindset which places humans at the center of the universe, this teleology, where things exist to serve functions, propelled the evolution of the gods into the one God. If properties and things exist to serve functions, then something must have had that intention in their design of them. The logical conclusion of such faulty reasoning is the existence of a God with intentions and designs. This God is far removed from the original concept of gods with all the human weaknesses, themselves victims of, rather than the designers of, the universe.
When `Bear`on `Ultimate Survival`tells us that `Avacados grow on the top branches of the trees to protect them from predators`, or the star of `River Monsters` refers to a fish as `purpose-built`, they are continuing in a long tradition. Such popular language culture useages are ubiquitous and insidious. Does `Bear`really think trees either deliberately only grow fruit on their top branches, or that they were `designed`that way? Or was he merely speaking out of habit, without really thinking? And what habit was he expressing? The Stoic-Platonic-Aristotelian notion adopted by the Catholic Church that `all things serve some purpose`. Thus `all things are for the best`. They are all `part of some god`s plan`.
Birds do not have wings to fly, they fly because they have wings. Faculties do not evolve to serve functions. They evolve by chance, and accumulate as they increase their host organism’s chances of survival and reproduction. It is incredibly frustrating to hear even modern documentary narrators tell me how polar bears evolved their white fur as an adaptation, in order to be less visible to prey and predators. Evolution did not give our ancestors the power to walk on their hindquarters in order to wade through water, gain a better view of their environment, or free their hands to use tools.
When an Attenborough announces this in his t.v documentary he is reinforcing the same faulty, millenia old teleology of Aristotle. Our ancestors found at some point they could walk upright, and this they found useful, so they continued it. It conferred advantages upon them that allowed them to survive and reproduce. Of course other animals without this advantage also survived.
This completely misrepresents the passive, hit and miss, random nature of evolution. It is merely one step removed from creationism, implying some design, intention, or plan on the part of evolution. It merely, intentionally or otherwise, replaces a caring, personal, designing, active, planning, foresightful god with an evolution with the same characteristics and intentions. Polar bears are adapted because they have white fur. They did not evolve white fur in order to be better adapted. Evolution has no plan, no intention, no design, and no goal. It is a spontaneous and open-ended process .
Random mutations occur. If the organism that is produced survives and reproduces, the mutations are reproduced. Such random mutations occur now and then over millions of generations. They accumulate within the organisms.
Scarcity and the resulting competition for resources means that only some organisms survive and reproduce. This is negative selection. The most successful competitors are those whose accumulated mutations bestow a competitive advantage upon them.
Complexity and sophistication emerge as mutations accumulate over millions of generations. Evolution naturally moves in the direction of increasing complexity and sophistication without any intention, plan, or motivation. It is a hit and miss process.
Human creativity is also a hit and miss process. You must be willing to take chances, and accept that the price of hits is a lot of misses, the price of success is a lot of failure. Ask any creative person, inventor, scientist, musician, writer, or designer. The only difference is that we have motives. We have intentions.
Or to be more precise, motives and intentions have us.
Aristotelian teleology produced a planning, designing, all-capable, competent, creating god. Our englightenment made that god redundant. However the failure of most people to comprehend the true nature of evolution has maintained the original proposition for the existence, for the necessity of a creating, designing god. When supposedly enlightened people do the work of creationists we must question their integrity, or their competence.
Aristotelian teleology produced the logical need for a god, and provided the most fertile ground for that god’s evolution. That same logic is now contaminating the pure reason of evolution in an insidious and invidious way. It ‘created’ a god, and now , after that god’s death, it appears to be reviving him by indirect means. It is slipping him in by the back door while everyone is watching the front door. Remember all tricks are performed by distracting our attention from the magicians actions.
©Copyright 2009 Markus Heinrich Rehbach All Rights Reserved
Official statistics tell a gruesome and horrific tale. Each year, in the Western, Economically developed world, from the U.S, to the U.K, to Australia, to Germany, and even in the most supposedly Catholic of nations such as Italy and Poland, millions of not-yet-born people are ´terminated´, at best ´euthanised´, without their consent.
The mass media have decided that footage of a typical ´abortion´ was too disturbing and shocking to air. They found it too ´sensational´to air. The reality was just too gruesome. Reporting on the reality of the reality of abortion is considered ´taboo´, as it might make those of us with legal rights feel uncomfortable.
Now we would not want our fellow citizens feeling uncomfortable about killing-aborting-terminating-involuntarily euthanizing-getting rid of not-yet-legally-persons, would we!
We prefer to deny the reality. We prefer to numb ourselves to the suffering our actions and inactions produce in others. For the suffering of other sentient beings might interfere with the satisfaction of our own desires. We cannot allow such empathy to inconveniently prevent us in our quest for satisfaction, for the gratification of our impulses, for our selfish striving for pleasure.
We numb ourselves to the potential suffering that not-yet-born-legally defined-persons might endure during abortions. This is the same response we have to the suffering humans and other animals endure in the production and testing of many of the products we consume.
Empathy means we suffer when others we empathise with suffer. The great philosopher David Hume saw this as the basis of the motivation we have to ease other´s suffering. Thus we help others to ease our own, empathetic, suffering.
However most people simply bypass empathy by pretending the ´other´ does not suffer. If this is impossible, they accept it does suffer, but that this suffering is unavoidable. Thus we are freed from any compulsion to seek to ease that suffering. We are absolved by our lack of power.
Thus we pretend. We make-believe. We live in subjective realities removed from reality itself.
And so we do not concern ourselves with niggling ethical issues surrounding animal rights, the rights of not-yet-legally-persons, and reproduction.
We are dead against all but the very minimum restrictions on our will that are necessary for society to function peaceable and productively. We fight against anyone and anything that contradicts our own wills. We feel a natural right to pursue our own interests, more or less independent of the costs this striving imposes on others, those with less power, with less fortunate holistic inheritances, including the poor, animals, and the not-yet-conceived, who have fewer, if any, legal rights.
This is one element of socio-pathic behavior the mental-health industry conveniently neglect!
We would be horrified by the idea of a state telling us we must forgo the satisfaction of any selfish impulses, whether the desire to eat animals, the desire to use them in testing products, the impulse to reproduce ourselves, or the desire to ´get rid of´ any unwelcome, inconvenient fetus.
And so there is little public debate over the issues of animal rights, abortion, or responsible reproduction.
And so saner alternatives are rarely considered
There is little public call for the considerations of alternatives to the inherited ´right to reproduce´ and ´right to kill ´a fetus, or animals.
A biblical Jesus will tell us that ´the poor will always be with us´, and this includes their suffering. Life is a ´vale of tears´. One day it will be revealed to us why it was ´necessary´. Ah, we will see, it was all part of some grand plan we were unaware of. Billions of lifes of misery. Billions of lives not ´intrinsically´ worth living, will prove to have served some great ´purpose´, some ´extrinsic´value.
And so few people have considered that the misery could in fact be avoided, if we wanted to. Of course their are beneficiaries of this situation. The massive scale misery has provided a select few with gratifying lifestyles of incredible luxury and satisfaction. Guess who owned most of the wealth for most of human history? Who lived in the palaces? Who owned the land? Who collected the tithes and taxes? You guessed yet?
Of course it was the priests, the religious authorities, the popes, the bishops.
And who is it that has opposed every attempt at reducing overpopulation? Who has resisted the adoption of responsible family planning a-la contraception? Who encourages people to reproduce? Who refuses financial aid to nations which promote safer sex and contraception?
Of course it is the Churches of every age. They defined masturbation as worse than rape, as it represented the ´sin´ of ´waste´ of semen. Each ejaculation could have produced one more value producer to produce more wealth and power for the overlords, the priestly classes.
This blog is just a quick reminder that saner alternatives exist.
What makes more sense?
To use one-off, unreliable contraception in 99.9% of all sexual interactions.
Or to harvest sperm, from boys who will then undergo a vasectomy, to be used for the few planned pregnancies he or his partners will desire over the course of his entire life?
It would be logical to use vasectomies as the operation is simple, cheap, and in most cases reversible. For the occasions reversal is not effective, the stored sperm can be used.
We know for certain that the first option will produce billions of unwanted pregnancies, and thus abortions.
The second option rules out any unplanned, and therefore undesired, pregnancies.
No unfortunate pregnancies would take place. Women would not be faced with having to make the decision regarding abortion. Women at inappropriate times of their lives, such as those strugging with an addiction, the consequences of rape, or less severe but still important economic and social circumstances, would not become pregnant.
There would be no babies born to drug addicts. No babies born to poverty. No babies born to women and men who had no love or affection for them.
This would make abortions redundant. This would save millions of not-yet-legally-persons from enduring what is at best involuntary euthanasia, and at worse, one of the most horrific and cruel forms of murder.
I was not the first to recommend it. Several Noble prize winning scientists have put forward similar arguments. However such ideas are rarely presented in the mass media, as people just don´t want to deal with the issues. People don´t want to face up to the reality of the situation. They don´t want to have to make decisions.
Few people would dare challenge the rights of others to reproduce as and when they want to, for fear of potentially being denied that right themselves.
All of these argments are powerful completely independant of the potential for genetic screening, and the potential for ensuring each not-yet-conceived child an equally fortunate genetic inheritance.
And on a less challenging topic
Around 30 years ago I was considered ´insane´ for suggesting that we should not tolerate smoking in public places. The laws we have today were considered unthinkable a few decades ago. So that is something I can rightly feel good about.
But the laws don´t go far enough. Pregnant mothers are allowed to poison their not-yet-legally-person-fetus. Mothers and fathers are then allowed to force their children to consume the products of their smoking. Pets also suffer, often being even more sensitive to tobacco related illnesses than their owners.
Generations of parents today will soon be facing up to the fact that they killed their own children, friends, and co-workers, by forcing them to consume their second hand smoke.