I wrote this on Twitter, didn’t think I was “writing,” or something, but it’s as least as good as most of the entries here. It’s the same, but there’s a little something new, I think.
Another Human Nature Thread:
An evil (avaricious, violent) Human Nature – is the fascist position on the question of Human Nature, or the question of ‘why are we humans this way.’ I mean, it’s everyone’s, but it’s theirs too. If you believe in it, you are on the same side of the question as they are, you are fascism ready in that sense, you – we, it’s almost ubiquitous – have the first prerequisite, the foundation.
It is religion. “Natures” are not a thing. It is the ubiquitous human religion, the foundation of all things uniquely human, this . . . faith. “Human Nature,” it is our moral judgment of ourselves that enables all the evil we do to one another.
The Human Nature Question has faded – but not because Natures aren’t real. They’re still not, but it’s because we have our answer, the whole human world is on one side of a debate. What is on the other side?
The Tabula Rasa? All the causality, all the science is now in support of the only model anyone has. Evolution is just “how we got this Nature.”
No science, no institution seeks a reason why we should be this way, they have one already, Human Nature – why poke and prod?
I have read many, many books, trying in vain to prove the negative, trying to find the author that doesn’t in the end, give it up to Human Nature. Brilliant people who “tried,” but never could go back to that first error and correct it, is all I’m finding. Maybe Trivers doesn’t say it. Bob seems comfortable in an unmoored conversation, I think he’s careful not to require it, but I’m not sure he’s fully replaced it. Maybe. I’m not smart enough to be ahead of him, obviously. Mad hubris to make it a question.
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, the full denial of Natures, in colour and Dolby, you know, fleshed out, what it means. It’s what Pinker maybe said he was after in the Blank Slate, but if he succeeded about the brain, he never approached the larger question. It was clear in the only mention of child-rearing that he was minimizing the power of it, made some analogy about dropping your phone, sometimes it breaks, sometimes it doesn’t.
As with specific religions, the question is this rule – an evil Human Nature – or real world causation? We are all living in the world of the rule now, can you see it, try it on? I know it seems like an obvious truth, people are awful, they certainly can be, but it is all empirical, it has to be, because we know platonic Natures aren’t a real thing. Truth, as Tim Rice said speaking as Pontius Pilate (I’m obsessing over JC Superstar at the moment), may simply be unchanging law, artificial, human made law. We have “eternal questions” because the gaslighted always do and always will, when we cannot apply reason and causality to our problems.
Let’s call this the end of the good part, the shareable part.
Of course, it’s hard not to believe it, hard not to accept the dogma of it, hard not to agree about an evil Human Nature when you are a spanked baby, when the source of life and love starts attacking you long before you can defend yourself. I think this experience provides the bias for believing it, and then we all share and amplify it all our lives, prove it to one another all day long. The lessons ring true, because the infantile experience is preverbal, buried, but sits waiting, a truth that has “always been there.”
Over and ouch. Can I get an Amen?
A couple of notes, because I like this rant enough to repeat it. One, I meant it in the most obvious, surface, unsophisticated and literal way, but “seems comfortable in an unmoored conversation” would be a lovely, Mark Twain polite way to call someone crazy, wouldn’t it? Not what I was doing, though. I’ll say, it’s an aspiration that someone might ever say it about me.
And that was new for me, the base religion idea. I want to get expansive – this is a way that “atheism is a religion too,” if it accepts the nasty Human Nature as a matter of no dispute, this is a way that there really aren’t many atheists, especially in foxholes, where the evidence overwhelmingly supports such an assessment. I mean, I suppose that to be an atheist or a materialist in this sense, a non-believer in our abuse deserving Natures, perhaps means even more than matters of immaterial beings, I mean of course it does.
Hmmm . . . good morning.
That was new too, about the Human Nature Question. You know they SAY the question dried up in their hands and blew away, disappeared into a million smaller questions, more meaningful and concrete questions – this is basically saying that the Nature is in the details, the Nature – the impossible, not a real deal thing – is behind many, many questions, and as I say, when they too run out of facts, nearly all of them pull Human Nature out in the end. Eternal recurrence, like Moe throwing Barney out of the bar, they turn around and there it is behind them. And the judgment remains, it’s no longer Selfish Man, but it’s the Gene now, and surprise – still selfish.
Who predicted the Generous Gene? Who would believe it? Our belief in our undeserving Natures is behind the science that identifies genes. The Question has not changed or morphed – we just stopped asking it, because when only one answer is permitted the question soon disappears. Maybe people used to know it was religion, but now it’s bloody science too?
Ha! Back up a few, this is the way in which science is merely another church again, if it proceeds from the fictional side of the Human Nature Question.
AST is the next “correct” theory because it makes sense of the previously mysterious and of conflicts in common wisdom. I’m an atheist, I am supposed to say it is NOT just another religion or a church, I know the public discourse – but AST is such a better theory, such a better context, that it explains it all, both sides of a popular debate that is deadlocked by myth.
A better theory.
Feb. 8th., 2022