“And I – weak, languid, obscene, digesting , tossing about dismal thoughts – I too was superfluous. Fortunately I didn’t feel this, above all I didn’t understand it, but I was uneasy because I was afraid of feeling it… …I dreamed vaguely of killing myself, to destroy at least one of these superfluous existences. But my death itself would have been superfluous… …I was superfluous for all time.”
Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
What makes people do what they do?
A combination of genes and environmental influence creates a mass of needs and wants, bodily needs passed through the filter which we call personality creating wants. The personality itself a distillation of those same genetic propensities and the effect the environment has on giving them direction (epigenetics). We call this combined effect consciousness. We think therefore we are being literally the case.
We’re driven to think and do simply because your brain drives you. We have no choice; you continue to do until your brain gives out and then it’s over. However, we have plenty of free-will in how we choose to achieve our goals. Or even the free-will to have no goals.
Society and the individual assign meaning to this random conglomerate of splat that drives you, without doing so, we get miserable and die out. We require a delusion, even if it is a delusion that enables our survival. There is no meaning to all this, it is pure biological function, we simply assign meaning to explain phenomena, like we always have. We have to, without meaning is misery for us and a depressed species will become extinct. Unhappy animals don’t eat, mate or care for themselves. Everyone, even the rich and privileged are slaves to the delusion.
Currently, that meaningful grand delusion is that the individual is greater than society in its entirety – an utterly illogical premise and quite impossible. Previously, we’ve used religion and a whole bunch of other quite bizarre ideas. They fail and people take up a new delusion en masse.
That delusion can be anything we want it to be, as long as humanity survives; whatever works and helps us thrive. The fact I’m getting angry arguments for wanting to equalise this fraud somewhat shows how far into the delusion people are willing to go, even when it hurts their own self-interests. It’s solipsism, extremely blinkered thinking at a group level.
What I want is for society to improve and evolve. Revolutions, despite the name, really are the opposite of meaningful change, they’re human complacency and ego which do nothing more than push a different delusion that ultimately still doesn’t benefit our species. Why change one group of solipsistic prats for another? I may as well change religion for all the actual good it’ll do.
99% of all humanity will fail to achieve what is deemed success currently. We can’t all be brilliant wonder beings, it’s completely absurd. So what should it be for us, the majority? A second class life built on an ethereal hope in merit to be granted sometime in kind? Sounds kinda familiar.
As a species, we have some severe issues to deal with in the very near future; climate change being the obvious. We cannot hope to tackle these issues whilst our current delusion is driving us further away from what we have to, or perhaps need to do.