Saturday, February 2, 2013

454; The Art Not to Be an Egoist 19

There is a living organism on this planet that is far superior to all other creatures on this earth. It is fast, sharp, observing, analyzing.

Whatever it gets in focus, is analyzes, studies, evaluates, stores. Fully awake, tireless and inexhaustible it is operational day and night. And that weighing only 1.3 kg (2.9 lb): our brain!

In fact it is a rather lonely being. Sure, it looks like all other brains with neurons, synapses and so on, but as an individual brain it is unique in its wiring.

Nobody can access my brain. It is isolated and autonomous. This sounds pretty lonely, but brains don't like to be lonely.

We need other brains to survive ourselves. Deprived from any contact or communication we waste away, atrophy.

We need the faces, words and gestures of others. But who are these others. Why are we attracted to them or scared by them?

Evolution has found a sorting and evaluation system for this. Everybody uses the same system; the same but never identical: our psyche or mind.

Living creatures with such a complex mind like the homo sapiens has, behave in a special, difficult to understand way.

They can love and hate, looking for protection or behave independently, believe in things or be skeptic, be honest or dishonest, ambitious or lazy.

In other words, they are a vessel full of contradictions. Different from person to person and also within one person himself.

Tho scientists love laws and principles and love to reduce the complex to a simple law, it  is a misconception to try to reduce the homo sapiens to one basic principle, like egoism or selfish genes or things like that.

Our life is constituted of what we long for, like to have, like food, love, warmth, friendship, pleasure and of how we see ourselves: smart, kind, intelligent, friendly (maybe someone likes to look at himself as mean and tough too).

Western philosophy, strongly influenced by theology has tried to explain to us how to deal with this. On the one hand there is our longing for….which is in fact lust and on the other hand is how we ought to see ourselves.

This lust has always been regarded as a bad thing. The demonizing of lust, of wanting things is deeply rooted in our culture: be modest ! Behave, don't be an egoist !

To make this view of man not only a religious but also a scientific view you need Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939), who invented the ES (id) and über-Ich (super-ego). 

And in line with the theologians Freud demonized the ES, the beastly lust and passions in man, where the über-ich the one who is in constant battle with this ES, to create the controlled psyche, the ego

But what is wrong with lust and passions? What is wrong with wanting food, love, shelter, friendship? But as I said we are a vessel full of contradictions.

Some people also are jealous, sadistic, ruthless. All this is apparently part of our biology.

Be true,  who wants to be called a sadist? That is not a general human desire. One of our most important desires is to feel GOOD, physically and morally.

We look at ourselves as a good person, or  long to be regarded as one at least. And that is why we are nice to each other (not always but often), because it makes us feel good.

Not because it serves our genetic interests, but it nurtures our psyche, our mind.

The Discussion

[13:19] herman Bergson: Thank you ... ^_^
[13:19] herman Bergson: looks at Merlin....
[13:20] herman Bergson: To short...perhaps? :-))
[13:20] Lizzy Pleides: thank you Herman
[13:20] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): Thanks
[13:20] Debbie Dee (framdor): In a nutshell. Well put. Bravo!
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: hmm interesting indeed
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: and true as well
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: a basic drive is to feel good indeed
[13:20] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita...we move slowly into the direction of a biological view of man
[13:21] Debbie Dee (framdor): And to feel wanted and cherished by those we admire
[13:21] Catt (catt.gable): there is a classic episode of the Star Trek original series that illustrates your point about the brain needing interaction
[13:21] herman Bergson: Very TRUE Debbie...!
[13:21] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): To function effectively as a social animal we need a collective code.....
[13:21] herman Bergson: That wil be the next step
[13:21] herman Bergson: I guess we have such a code, like all social animal have Loo, I would say
[13:22] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
[13:22] herman Bergson: But ours is probably more complex
[13:22] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): *nods* that is where the 'theology' bit comes in?
[13:22] Debbie Dee (framdor): Now, how did hell and heaven get involved in something so simple?
[13:22] herman Bergson: no..the biology bit and ethology bit, Loo
[13:23] herman Bergson: I guess today we know that we have a lot in common with other social animals
[13:23] herman Bergson: that is what ethology shows us...
[13:23] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): quote: [13:15] herman Bergson: Western philosophy, strongly influenced by theology has tried to explain to us how to deal with this. On the one hand there is our longing for….which is in fact lust and on the other hand is how we ought to see ourselves.
[13:24] herman Bergson: neuroscience shows us that to some extend our brains look like those of other primates
[13:24] herman Bergson: I see...
[13:25] herman Bergson: There I meant that theology like Freud demonized lust...teaching us how bad it is for us
[13:25] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): yes
[13:25] herman Bergson: Like I said in the previous lecture...
[13:25] herman Bergson: there isn't a primate who needed a religion to survive in evolution...
[13:26] herman Bergson: but we have religions....
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:26] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): we developed the frontal lobes
[13:26] herman Bergson: which shows that our brain is more evolved than that of our relatives :-)
[13:26] herman Bergson: Exactly Loo
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: and look in the US, sex and natural nakedness and such is not allowed but pics of murder and gore is all ok
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: so weird
[13:27] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:27] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:27] herman Bergson: We better don't mention names Bejiita :-))
[13:27] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes I have noticed that too Beji
[13:27] Debbie Dee (framdor): The religion, and the empire go hand in hand... religion is a means to get people to obey, and kill others in the name of the state (war)
[13:27] herman Bergson: We all knowa weird uncle or aunt...:-)
[13:27] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Even on the BBC too... no warnings about violence, but warnings about nudity
[13:28] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): yes it justifies people's perceptions
[13:28] Catt (catt.gable): It is not that it is not to be accurate when assessing another country
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:28] Debbie Dee (framdor): I like nudity much more than violence though.
[13:28] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): lol
[13:28] Debbie Dee (framdor):  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes Merlin...the way we handle sex and erotics is interesting compared with how we handle violence
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:29] herman Bergson: Me too Debbie...:-)
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: and have been so får long time
[13:29] Catt (catt.gable): It is just seen as wrong, compared to depiction of violence which seems to be more acceptable.
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: sex and feeling naturally good is taboo for some reason
[13:29] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes (credit goes to Bejii for raising it)
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: our natural drives
[13:29] herman Bergson: But this is WEIRD>..
[13:30] herman Bergson: If the human organism longs to feel good....
[13:30] Debbie Dee (framdor): Watching kids on computer games makes me wonder about an inherent violence though.
[13:30] herman Bergson: I would say looking at nudity makes you feel good and looking at violence doesnt...:-)
[13:30] Debbie Dee (framdor): Yes.
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: yes thats correct
[13:30] herman Bergson: Well Debbie...ever seen old cartoons on tv...
[13:30] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): Debbie there is a lot of research that it does not affect them....
[13:30] Debbie Dee (framdor): yes...
[13:30] Qwark Allen: what you see in the main news? violence mainly
[13:31] herman Bergson: there is nothing more violent than cartoons…
[13:31] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I dont believe that research Loo
[13:31] Debbie Dee (framdor): Agreed herman - and violence with out pain or blood
[13:31] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): those that kill are sociopaths usually and influenced by the gaming as no moral coding
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): there is a lot of research
[13:31] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): They are not taking account of longer term effects
[13:31] herman Bergson: True Loo
[13:31] herman Bergson: But take an action movie...!
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): unless one is already damaged to begin with
[13:31] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): it is a subtle brainwashing over time
[13:32] herman Bergson: Yes GEmma...
[13:32] Debbie Dee (framdor): I think the guys who pilot drones are trained via war games on computers.
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: very much possible
[13:32] Debbie Dee (framdor): In fact it is a game the way it is now played.
[13:32] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): My 15 yr old daughter plays kill em games
[13:32] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): thinks SL is boring....
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: and then they think of it as a game when they kill real people
[13:32] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): she also is a Cathedral chorister... ;)
[13:32] Catt (catt.gable): special virtual scenarios are provided for training, yes
[13:32] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i think those are already ill
[13:32] herman Bergson: That is not true Bejiita...
[13:33] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes B, and they use language that depersonalizes people too.... Target etc
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: its important to differ a machine from reality
[13:33] herman Bergson: I read an article about those drone pilots.....a lot of mentla stress....
[13:33] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Cops do it too btw
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: i play some war games too but i don't go out and do same thing in real for that, could never do that
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: im simply amusing me with some good action
[13:33] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): many professions depersonalize
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: but some games i've tried are scary realistic
[13:34] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): The science of bullet technology, rapidly immobilizing the target etc
[13:34] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): it helps the coping mechanisms
[13:34] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): IEP Menzies wrote about nurse
[13:34] Debbie Dee (framdor): So if we like to feel good and loved, maybe the computer games create a way of releasing our violent side so we can be nice to people?
[13:34] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): And don't forget, the British police do it all too
[13:34] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): yes they do
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes, that they do for me
[13:34] Bejiita Imako:
[13:35] herman Bergson: Well....let's think about this....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: blasting of some steam and still be a nice guy
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:35] Lizzy Pleides: I think the inhibition level is lower in extreme situations if you play such games
[13:35] herman Bergson: as a social being we are nice to each other because it makes us feel good...
[13:35] herman Bergson: But this only said for a start..
[13:35] herman Bergson: I also said that we are a vessel of contradictions....
[13:35] Debbie Dee (framdor): ok
[13:35] Catt (catt.gable): Many years ago in Japan some businesses (and maybe still do) provided a break time and means by which employees could act out aggression (a punching bag type thing, if I recall) in order to de-stress and therefore remain civilized in other areas life.
[13:35] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:36] herman Bergson: and there all action games and killer movies could come in....
[13:36] Debbie Dee (framdor): catt - the punchbag had a picture of the boss...
[13:36] Catt (catt.gable): thanks Debbie
[13:36] herman Bergson: really Debbie???
[13:36] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): lol
[13:37] Debbie Dee (framdor): So herman, next week we look at the bag of contradictions?
[13:37] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I have heard of such things too... and the bosses know about it too
[13:37] herman Bergson: You got a market there Debbie :-)
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[13:37] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): Also illustrated in 'Call the Midwife' they used to have women onboard ships to relieve the sexual frustrations of sailors and kept the ship calm
[13:37] Debbie Dee (framdor): Yes herman, you could pick the target of your anger... I ws exposed to it for a short while.
[13:37] herman Bergson: oh my...
[13:37] Catt (catt.gable): interesting!
[13:38] Merlin (merlin.saxondale) notices that
[13:38] herman Bergson: AAT least we can conclude that we certainly aren not one priciple organisms
[13:38] herman Bergson: nor purely programmed by instinct
[13:39] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): phone brb
[13:39] herman Bergson: I forgot to ask everybody to turn of their cellphone..ok..:-)
[13:39] Debbie Dee (framdor): True. And I love the idea that we are nice to each other because it makes us feel good .
[13:39] Debbie Dee (framdor):  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[13:39] Debbie Dee (framdor): herman
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:39] Bejiita Imako:
[13:40] herman Bergson: I'll elaborate on this theme in the next lecture....
[13:40] herman Bergson: .
[13:40] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ LOL ♥
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: hehe do so
[13:40] herman Bergson: It is already a feel good experience to believe that in fact we are nice people :-)
[13:40] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): it is also self protection
[13:40] Debbie Dee (framdor): I cant wait for tuesday....
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: will be nice
[13:41] herman Bergson: lecture I'll be nice to you all ^_^
[13:41] Lizzy Pleides: and we try to be nice too, lol
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: this was NICE stuff
[13:41] Bejiita Imako:
[13:42] herman Bergson: That would be lovely Lizzy ^_^
[13:42] Debbie Dee (framdor): OK - before we all leave.... I propose a group hug ;)
[13:42] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your nice presence again and participation....
[13:42] Debbie Dee (framdor): HUGGGS
[13:42] herman Bergson: lol
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:42] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:42] Vadaman: Thanks Herman.
[13:42] Debbie Dee (framdor): That was a great lecture thanks herman....
[13:42] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all
[13:43] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.´ ¯¨.¸¸`** **´ ¸¸.¨¯` H E R MA N ´ ¯¨.¸¸`** **´ ¸¸.¨¯`
[13:43] Qwark Allen: thank you
[13:43] Bejiita Imako:
[13:43] herman Bergson: tho I'd love to keep you here all day ...such nice people ^_^
[13:43] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Bye, Bye   
[13:43] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ LOL ♥
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and then there was Coffee!!!
[13:43] Lizzy Pleides: thank you and good night everybody
[13:43] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): WaaaHaHAhahAHA! AhhhhHAhahhAHhahHAH! haha!
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:43] Debbie Dee (framdor): *:-.,_,.-:*'``'*єєє ααααα ααααα єєє ααααα ααααα*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*
[13:43] Debbie Dee (framdor): and biscuits!
[13:43] Bejiita Imako:
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: yummy!
[13:43] herman Bergson: Have a nice day / evening ^_^
[13:43] Debbie Dee (framdor): bye friends...
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and night..
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: hugs all
[13:44] Bejiita Imako:
[13:44] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Bye Debbie,
[13:44] herman Bergson: Bye Merlin :-)
[13:44] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Bye Herman, and everyone who is still here
[13:45] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): Back
[13:46] Catt (catt.gable): tc all smiles

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