CONSIDERING GOD, GOVERNMENT and HUMAN BEHAVIOR

For humanity, God is a concept, government a social necessity and behavior a product of DNA. An understanding of all of these is fundamental in pursuit of optimizing human existence.

God is first, He being our only available explanation for the existence of our universe and its contents. Joining those who deny His existence simply joins us with those lacking any explanation and burdened by the absolute lack of evidence supporting their negation. Put another way: The observed entropy in our material universe implicitly demonstrates imposed organization. Simplified: Our complex reality exceeds our understanding; we can either ignore the issue or blame it on God. You decide.

Closer to home, we need God; without Him, human life cannot be sacred but becomes as disposable as the millions who died in the communization of Soviet Russia and Communist China. That need shines clearly from the preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Without a creator, men have no rights outside those revocable grants by government. In paying homage to God, we gained those unalienable rights and transformed erstwhile rulers by divine right into servants of the people. In post-Christian 2021, morality has degenerated into a power game with rules enforced by politicians, reinvigorating the corruption that has prevented progress in so much of the world.

And so to government. Existence on our planet in this universe is a challenge that an asocial homo sapiens is probably too fragile to meet; the multiplying effects of specializing and organization are needed for survival in this environment.  A naturally socialist version would lack the individual variability and competitiveness that have provided the progress that has allowed our species to flourish. Reinforcing the theory of intelligent design, our species seems perfectly adapted for our environment. But that progress comes at a cost; the presence of strongly individual traits is disruptive in a social species. However, human DNA carries an answer for that challenge too; as human groupings enlarge, they inevitably produce governments to minimize the disruption. The solution works, but as with everything else in our universe, it is temporary; governments have lifetimes reflecting the dynamics of their underlying societies. The transience of individual human life naturally extends to human societies and therefore, to their governments. That inherent instability is necessary; it motivates the adaptability required in a technologically progressive species.

By now the reader has noticed that, while God was the first topic and Government the second, both are actually discussions of human behavior. That is as it should be; the attempts to divorce human behavior from God and government are the great swindles of this age. If man and his government are not beholden to their Creator, then ambitious human governors inevitably and swiftly assume His place over mankind. With that, they think to order human behavior to their liking rather than ordering their service toward its maximization. That is normal human behavior too and it is guaranteed by millennia of human history

All life seems to exist at some cost to other life and therefore must be ruthless and selfish to some degree. Humanity, having industrialized this, demonstrates these qualities on a magnified scale underlined by its wars upon itself. All human behavior stems from an individual’s DNA and so is always an expression of individual needs or desires. When a normal individual compromises a benefit for social reasons, it is either because the individual recognizes a greater benefit resulting from the compromise or from duress. Such perceived benefit is generally related to self-preservation or aggrandizement though it may be extended to others by some individuals, usually for reasons involving procreation or valued association. In the broadest sense, all directed living actions appear to reflect a biological/environmental mandate imposed upon a limited range of individually variable choices. Homo sapiens is a biological A.I. subject to delusions of godhood. .  

Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump share parallel human trajectories suggesting that they may also share considerable behavior. They share both reinforcing and contending interests and their complex interplay and its technological and social results may exemplify the subtle complexities that appear to arise so naturally from apparently simple human behavior. This behavior has taken Homo sapiens out of cave dwelling and is now propelling humanity out into the rest of the universe. That is eminent success by visible universe standards but humanity, from Biblical Adam to Zuckerberg and Trump, has never been satisfied. That too arises from DNA and it provides the changes that destabilize societies and governments with the results of progress. And then in turn, it restores stability at a cost to progress, providing the economic and societal foundation for the next destabilizing leap forward. It’s all in those genes! Where else?

But the roller coaster is hard on individuals, so is living with disease, crime and wars. Those and the other vicissitudes of human existence demonstrate the need for a strong sense of self-preservation. The universe shows little concern for individuals; only slightly more attention is provided for species. As individually conscious intelligences, we side with ourselves, insisting on our own individual importance while the universe doesn’t seem to notice.  This clash between our subjective and objective realities seems a primary driver of human behavior and, amplified by human competitiveness,  a source for much human conflict as well as progress. However uncomfortable the idea, Homo sapiens appears to be a design optimized more for general progress in its circumstances than for the welfare of its individuals. But then, doesn’t that apply to all life?

God or whoever else you prefer has provided this universe and fitted us into it with appetites and governments that can be destructive if not managed. With time and experience we have improved the management of both but each remains troublesome. And will so long as we remain what we are. Our universe is no paradise, nor are we angels; advertisers and politicians holding out promised upgrades in return for money and political power to the contrary notwithstanding.  Our few thousand years of available history demonstrate our reality when we choose to consult them but our innate conflict interferes: We know that those advertisers and politicians have lied in the past, but maybe this time will be different … That is very human behavior that has brought vast numbers of us to grief while it has also led to much of humanity’s vaunted progress. If we were not born resenting our reality, would we be forever laboring to improve it?

“All is well and wisely put” said the squirrel to the mountain;

“If I cannot carry a forest on my back, neither can you crack a nut.”

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
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