Bad Expectations

race_to_bottom

One thing I really get tired of is the never-ending race to the bottom, where people think acting like animals is their right and nobody had better ever disagree with them, or else.  I’m tired of the bad expectations, I look at it differently.

See, most lower animals operate on pure instinct and emotion, they have no ability to think rationally because most are barely even sentient.  They operate on a pre-programmed path, doing what nature and biology demand of them because they have no other choice.  however, as evolution progresses, as animals become more and more advanced, they start to have choices, they start to recognize that they’re not just mindless automatons.  Then you get to humans, the current pinnacle of evolution on the planet, and we have free will, we have the ability for our intellect to override our instincts and emotions.  We are not robots following DNA’s programming, we can do what we want.

That’s all well and good but only really matters if we actually *DO* something with our intellect.  That’s kind of the problem, most of humanity isn’t interested in actually accomplishing anything with their brainpower, they just want to coast by on their primitive instincts and expect to be successful that way.

I’m currently doing a long series on cognitive biases, where people’s brains are telling them to do things in ways that are wholly irrational and illogical.  These thought patterns may have had a use in the distant past, where pattern recognition and quick decision making were essential to our survival, but that’s just not how it works today.  Evolution hasn’t cleared away the mental dead wood yet, we have to all be aware of it and mentally edit our thinking patterns so that we make good decisions.

It’s not just biology, it’s society as well.  Many people, if they can keep their expectations low, figure why bother doing anything for themselves?  They know that someone else will come along and give them a welfare check or a bag of food or pay to put a roof over their heads, so why bother working hard to achieve it on their own?

And let’s not stop there.  Some people will only think of themselves or their little family group, they won’t consider how their actions affect others, their neighborhood or city or state or nation.  Oh sure, some might react emotionally and want to give free stuff to lazy people because they feel bad that these people are too lazy to do it for themselves, but they don’t look at the big picture, how to achieve social sustainability.  Imagine a nation where most people have all of the necessities, the food, clothing and shelter that they need, because they work hard for it and earn it on their own.  That is infinitely better than having a constant under-class who has their hands out for freebies because they don’t want to get off their ass and get it for themselves.  Imagine a world where people have respect for those around them and for the social structure that they’ve built up, where people follow the law, not because they’re afraid to get caught, but because the law actually means something.  Imagine a planet where people have rights and freedoms, but also have responsibility for their actions.  You can do what you want to do, but you’re responsible for what you actually do.  That’s a self-governing system, where we have one standard and only one standard.  You follow the rules of your community and your country and you have a part in establishing those rules with your vote.  You can’t have anarchy but you can have stability and stability is one thing all humans need to thrive.

We really need to stop this race to the bottom.  Religion pushes it.  Liberalism pushes it.  Conservatism doesn’t. That’s why I’m a rational conservative, one who rejects the absurdity of primitive human thought and demands that people be intelligent, rational and think about the world around them with a critical mind.  We can get to all the right places by just thinking intellectually and not reacting emotionally.  Why is this so hard for most people to understand?

10 thoughts on “Bad Expectations

  1. "See, most lower animals operate on pure instinct and emotion, they have no ability to think rationally because most are barely even sentient."

    What do you think the word sentient means? From what you have written I get the impression that you think it has something to do with intelligence or the capacity to reason.

    An organism is sentient if it can perceive or feel things, such as objects and/or pain. You would be very hard pressed indeed to find any mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians that are not sentient or are only barely sentient. Probably are relatively few insects or other invertebrates that are also not sentient, though the description of barely sentient might apply to them.

    In fact, many animals are thought by some scientists to be conscious beings. They have said so in the document titled the Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness. Here is an excerpt from an article in Psychology Today about it:

    "The scientists went as far as to write up what's called The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness that basically declares that this prominent international group of scientists agree that "Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates." They could also have included fish, for whom the evidence supporting sentience and consciousness is also compelling (see also)."

    Here is a link to the Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness: http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclaration

    If you are a conscious being you are more than just barely sentient.

  2. "Then you get to humans, the current pinnacle of evolution on the planet,…"

    Hang on there! You seem to have a misconception about evolution. There is no such thing as a pinnacle in evolution. Evolution has no inherent goal nor direction to it. Humans certainly are more complex beings than are other animals on the planet. But we don't sit at the pinnacle of anything. That you think this suggests that you hold a serious misunderstanding about evolution. Or it could be that you are careless in your use of words. If you intended to say that humans are more complex than other beings, then you would have been correct. But greater complexity does not equate to being at the pinnacle of evolution. Complexity is also not a goal of evolution. It is just what happened on this planet, but there is no innate direction toward complexity built into the workings of evolution. There is nothing in our understanding of evolution that suggests that greater complexity was an inevitable outcome of the process of evolution. I suggest you speak to an evolutionary biologist about this and get this cleared up in your mind.

  3. "That’s kind of the problem, most of humanity isn’t interested in actually accomplishing anything with their brainpower, they just want to coast by on their primitive instincts and expect to be successful that way."

    Is this suppose to be an opinion or a declarative statement of fact? If the former it is a largely shit-filled and worthless one. If it is meant to be a statement of fact then you better start providing the evidence to substantiate it, because I am enormously skeptical of its accuracy.

  4. "Many people, if they can keep their expectations low, figure why bother doing anything for themselves? "

    More worthless opinion. You just assume you know why people are on welfare. In your rather shallow and poorly informed worldview most, if not all, of them are there simply because they are lazy and shiftless. You don't know this to be true. But you assume it to be true because it fits the warped narrative you have concocted about people.

  5. "We really need to stop this race to the bottom. Religion pushes it. Liberalism pushes it. Conservatism doesn’t."

    LOL. What a funny load of bullshit. What is so hilarious here is that you preach conservatism as the one and only absolute truth with the same kind of misguided and inane certainty and fervor as do the theists who are absolutely convinced that their religion is the one and only truth.

    Conservatism is not what created the middle class after the Great Depression and led to most of the economic growth during most of the years since the end of World War 2. Conservatism is not what brought us the civil rights movement and the greater freedom experienced today by African-Americans than before this movement. Conservatism is not what has improved the quality of drinking water. Conservatism is not what expanded the right to vote. Conservatism is not what gave us laws that ensured the food we eat is safer for us. Conservatism is not what made the work-place safer for workers. Conservatism is not even what produced probably the single most important event in our nation's history: The writing of the U.S Constitution, nor the founding of the nation and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. These were acts propelled by liberal impulses, not conservative ones.

    1. HEY DESTROYDOGMA,

      IF BEING A LIBERAL IS THE RATIONAL LOGICAL AND INTELLIGENT WAY TO GO, THEN JUST WHY AFTER LIBERALS AGE, GAINING IN BOTH EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE, DO SO MANY, MANY, MANY OF THEM BECOME "FORMER" LIBERALS?

      THIS "FACT" IS PROVEN BY THE MANY BOOKS AND BLOGS WRITTEN BY FORMER LIBERALS AND THE TOTAL DEARTH OF THEM WRITTEN BY FORMER CONSERVATIVES!

      AND WHILE I CAN LIST ALL KINDS FOR FORMER LIBERALS, I ONLY KNOW OF A VERY FEW,(TWO?) FORMER CONSERVATIVES!

      FYI I AM A CONSERVATIVE AGNOSTIC ATHEIST ACTIVIST WHO HAS BEEN AN ATHEIST ACTIVIST FOR OVER 50 YEARS AND A CONSERVATIVE FOR LONGER THAN THAT.

      NEIL

      1. "… DO SO MANY, MANY, MANY OF THEM BECOME "FORMER" LIBERALS?"

        Have no idea where you got the idea that this is true. I suggest you actually research a claim before you make it. I know this claim is an old and often-repeated one. But the research does not support it. Try reading this: http://www.livescience.com/2360-busting-myth-peop

        Here is an excerpt from the article:

        "By comparing surveys of various age groups taken over a span of more than 30 years, sociologists found that in general, Americans' opinions veer toward the liberal as they grow older.

        "All the evidence we have found refutes the idea that as people age their attitudes become more conservative or more rigid," said Nicholas Danigelis, a sociologist at the University of Vermont. "It's just not true. More people are changing in a liberal direction than in a conservative direction."

        I don't think the number of liberals turning conservatives as they become older is as large a cohort as you seem to think it is. I think you are basing your remark on a biased data set. I am now 58 years old. I know many liberals my age who have not abandoned their liberalism and show no signs of doing so in the future. But this too would be a biased data set. Better to look to the sociological research on the subject. And this research does not appear to support your claim.

        I notice Neil that you did not actually address the points I made in my remarks. Liberalism has a long history of bringing us improvements in the quality of people's lives, rights, etc. Not so much for conservatism. It has largely opposed such progress.

    1. You seem to misunderstand the difference between conservatives and neo-conservatives. The Tea Party are neo-conservatives. Why would conservatives want anything to do with them?

  6. FYI,

    ANYONE WHO SAYS "most lower animals operate on pure instinct and emotion, they have no ability to think rationally because most are barely even sentient." ONLY PROVE HOW TOTALLY IGNORANT OF THE FACTS THEY ARE!

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