You read that correctly. Humanity is doomed and some of you don’t even realize it yet. That’s the sad/funny part. Your destruction is assured and you won’t even realize it until it’s far too late to do anything about it. Here’s where you will roll your eyes and think, “Great! Another tin foil hat wearing ‘doomsday prophet’. Alright, crackpot, I’ll be polite and play along. ‘We’re doomed? How are we doomed? How did all this come to pass?’”, you might ask, sarcastically. And I might answer:
It started with the wedding of Good Intentions and Logic. It caused the death of Reason (It’s funny how the two seem to go hand-in-hand). “Wait a minute, Kemosabe, that CAN’T be true! There’s nothing wrong with good intentions or logic, bro!”
Yes, there is something horribly wrong with using good intentions and logic to solve the world’s problems. Nor am I your ‘bro’.
Good intentions are what scientists define as ‘those warm fuzzies in your chest and tummy that one gets because you’ve taken pity on something/someone or because you’ve got a terminal case of the ‘feels’’. They’re basically any justification for doing something that seems ‘good’ or ‘nice’ or ‘necessary’ to support a position or action that’s REALLY not in the best interests of others or Life itself. The ‘warm fuzzies’ are a gateway drug that leads to further delusion and social destruction. And it starts off small. I think an example is needed to make the point, so we’ll just use the standard example of Tommy and Jane.
Tommy is the world’s most famous stuntman. The stunt that he’s trademarked is jumping his rocket cycle over a half mile long aquatic tank that’s been filled with rabies infected sharks. As he flies over the sharks, Tommy stands up on his seat and starts juggling chainsaws while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. He’s a Patriot. After successfully completing his stunt in front of a massive pay-per-view audience, Tommy breaks his legs in a gruesome and tragic washing machine accident. Don’t ask.
As Tommy heads into the hospital, Jane comes into the picture. Jane is a world renown recording artist/model who moonlights as an orthopedic surgeon/nurse. According to Jane, the picture is grim. His fibula and tibia need reconstruction and his tendon damage is quite extensive. Stop asking how he mangled his leg in a washing machine accident and quit interrupting me. The point is, the road to recovery is questionable, arduous and lengthy enough to build a cheesy made-for-television Lifetime movie about the tragedy.
His surgeries are completed flawlessly (of course) and he starts on his road to recovery. Due to the nature of his injuries, it’s understandable that Tommy’s in a lot of pain, and because of his bedridden status, Jane tries to make herself available for him, in case he needs anything. Which seems entirely fine. She’s nurturing, empathetic, resiliently overcoming her own tragedy, beautiful….. (and single) and he’s on a drugged up downward spiral. Plenty of Good Intentions here: those in pain need to not feel that pain, those who are injured and can’t defend themselves from rogue tiger attacks need help. So… she helps him out. Everybody wins.
This continues for some time and she genuinely feels appreciated for what she’s doing. The only problem is that he’s not showing any improvement. He’s grown afraid of the pain that he’s experienced during his extended convalescence, so he doesn’t even bother to try and test out his legs. He’s now horrendously addicted to pain killers, but everything’s still okay. He’s got a helping hand there for him whenever he needs it so he doesn’t feel the need to get back on his feet. Which is pretty depressing for him. He used to fly amongst the clouds, free as a bird. Now he’s calling someone for help when he’s got to ‘go doody’. Since Tommy’s so despondent, ‘in pain’, and now clinically depressed, Jane’s not pushing him to start his physical therapy because she doesn’t want to hurt either his feelings or have him hurt himself. People being hurt is a ‘bad’ thing, after all.
He’s so terrified of the pain that ‘might be there’ when he makes that first attempt to walk that he convinces himself that it’s a lost cause. So he turns on the soaps and turns into a vegetable (most likely a cucumber since they spend all their time lying on the ground. And believe me, he’s getting plenty ‘pickled’ behind her back).
Because of Jane’s ‘Good Intention’ mentality, his legs wither away, he blows all his savings on pain killers and anti-depressants, loses his corporate sponsorships, his ex-best friend and most hated rival takes his job, his house, his wife, his family and his favorite dog Schnowzer just before accidentally mixing his meds and flat-lining. Had Reason been used, he would be back in the spotlight, back with his family and not the subject of some horrific Biography documentary detailing his fall from glory.
“Whoa, dude that was pretty gruesome…. Well, wut the hell is Reason and how is that related to humanity’s impending doom?”, you might ask, since, you know, you have so many questions and I’m such an interesting person who has all the answers. But you can stop with the ‘wut’. Seriously. It’s not cute anymore. Grow up or get a dictionary.
I’ll start off with what Reason isn’t. Reason is NOT related to Emotion. It has nothing to do with those ‘weird fuzzies’ that you get from seeing ‘Aww’-worthy pictures of adorable kittens, puppies, or small animals cavorting with other small animals of different species. It has nothing to do with that bogus sensation of ‘solidarity’ with people you don’t really share anything with (other than an inflated sense of purpose and ego). It’s not related to that hopeless emptiness that festers in your gut when ‘your’ team loses the big game (congratulations! You bought a team jersey which apparently gives you ownership of some ill-defined portion of one of the players… “Hey! That’s my medulla oblongata out there! Look at its speed and ability to break down secondaries!”) Reason doesn’t concern itself with ‘Feelings’ or Good Intentions. It’s why Reason is so much more powerful and less likely to cause a global mass extinction event than Good Intentions (operating under the guise of Logic) will.
To put it simply, Logic is based on a series of assumptions or statements that you can pretend to accept as being true within the confines of some Imaginary world. From those assumptions or statements, you bring in additional statements that are usually related to the initial premise to arrive at some logical conclusion(s) that is/(are) only true in the imaginary world that you’ve made up. An example:
Initial statement: All scrawny, white, egocentric, male, Canadian pop stars kill people.
Additional statement: Justin B. is a scrawny, white, egocentric, male, Canadian pop star.
Logical Conclusion: Justin B. kills people.
In reality, is it True that ALL scrawny, white, egocentric, male, Canadian pop stars kill people? No. I’m sure that one or two choose a different path, most likely targeting helpless endangered species to limit the impact of their homicidal urges or just acting like a prick. But it doesn’t matter that it’s not true in the Real world. We’re playing in an Imaginary world where you have to accept the initial statement as being true. Once you do that, you get to keep playing the little game in the Imaginary world where additional conditions are assumed to be true and then you get to see where the game leads you. It doesn’t have to represent Real world conditions and that’s the problem.
You have a solution that works in an imaginary world but doesn’t work for Reality. This is what separates Logic from Reason and why people are consistently making bad matters worse in the world. They start off with some completely stupid initial statement that they assume to be true and add in other, equally stupid statements and then can’t figure out why everyone calls their conclusion, ‘Completely Stupid’. Or worse, nobody notices how unbelievably deluded the idea is and then can’t figure out why the system collapses. You work with crappy ingredients, you’re going to get a crappy end product.
“Well, what the hell is Reason then?” Great question and I’m glad you asked. You know, you’ve been the best assistant I’ve had all day!
Reason starts with real world Facts. A Fact is simply an understanding that can be independently observed by one’s self and others to be consistently true in THIS world. The sun appearing to rise in the East and set in the West is generally accepted to be a Fact. Most people can agree on that. With Reason, the more facts you have and the fewer assumptions you make regarding how those facts are connected to each other, the better the likelihood that you’ll come to a conclusion that is able to explain how THIS world functions. An example of Reason:
Fact 1: Grizzly bears are generally solitary creatures who are one of the most fiercely territorial, incredibly powerful (Fun Fact 1a: they can lift over 1100 lbs) omnivores on the planet. (Hide yo everythin’! They be eatin’ animals, they be eatin’ plants, they be eatin’ everythin’!)
Fact 2: Grizzlies can run at top speeds of over 30 mph.
Fact 3: The world’s fastest human sprinter can attain speeds as high as 26 mph.
Fact 4: Odd’s are, unless you’re Usain Bolt or The Flash, you are probably not the world’s fastest human sprinter.
Real World Conclusion: Pulling a ‘Gaga’ and dressing one’s self in meat, then slathering honey and blueberry syrup on yourself with the expressed intent to slap a full grown grizzly will most likely result in you having your limbs torn off. You and your 16 minute huff-and-puff mile time aren’t fooling old Hungry Hank. Good news is, at least you won’t be overspending on your long term life insurance policy!
Reasoning takes facts and generates a most likely conclusion with regard to those facts and the circumstances that are presented. As more facts come in, sometimes those conclusions may need to change. This pisses off a lot of people who prefer to see the world as black and white and unchanging (conservatives and liberals are prone to this) and those who, for whatever reason, hate Facts and the rules of this reality (liberals and conservatives are prone to this too). Both positions are just flat-out ignorant and dangerous.
There are very few constants in life: the most successful form of mammalian sexual reproduction involves a male and a female, taxes suck and Tom Brady is and will always be a whiny, phony, turd-burger and his Super Bowl success*, stats*, salary*, or wife* won’t change that (sit and spin, Patriot fans!) X-D.
Almost everything else in the world changes. Nobody remains young forever, mountains get raised up and worn down, seasons change, girls think you’re cool because you watch anime or cartoons (My Little Pony!), very little stays the same for very long.
So, why would it be so upsetting that one’s conclusions about the world might need to change as you learn more about it when nearly everything in the world changes? Here’s why: because once you’ve taken a position, changing it makes you look bad. Or worse, Uncool. It means you aren’t Omnipotent and Infallible. And in today’s world where everyone is demanding that you pick a side and pick it immediately, without thought, fact, or examination, you can bet your buns that once you pick your ‘side’, you will never get to change your choice without catching a hell of a lot of grief from your so-called ex-‘compatriots’. ‘You traitorous, flip-flopping, hate-filled bigot! Thinking is lame! FEELING, well that’s just the coolest thing ever! All of us cool kids are doing it!’ (And, yes, that is exactly how it escalates.)
People who never change their positions regardless of what the facts say are little egotistical children pretending to be Gods. Even more frightening is that these ‘Gods’ believe that they should just be given the power to rewrite the nature of reality in order to suit their childish desires. And most frighteningest of all, is that technology is rapidly placing in their hands, the very tools they need to make their insane dreams a reality and nobody bothers to think of the costs of giving these deranged ‘Gods’ free rein.
And this is WHY Reason has died. We have generation after generation of Toys ‘R Us type mentalities floating around. NOBODY wants to grow up. NOBODY wants anyone else to know that they don’t know everything. NOBODY wants to THINK, to examine the world and look at FACTS. EVERYBODY wants to stay young and just ‘feel’ ‘things’ about the world. EVERYBODY wants the power to dictate how reality works without accepting that Reality already has its own rules of operation that have been functioning SUCCESSFULLY for roughly the past 3.2 billion years (or 8,000 or whatever number suits your mood).
Which leads us to the biggest problem: NOBODY wants to accept that their view of the world might have to change and that they AREN’T the center of existence. This is what people are afraid of most… that if we start using Reason to explore our place in the world, we might stumble into an understanding that we, singly or collectively, aren’t THAT important or special in the Grand Scheme o’ Things (in one strand of reasoning, that’s true, in another, it’s not. Stay tuned for that discussion…). Instead, we turn to Logic and Emotion to cushion our egos; a collective mass that cries out, “Each and everyone one of us is special so rules shouldn’t be allowed to apply to US!”, hoping that our combined voice will make Reality capitulate and give us all of what we dream. We want Reality to be American Idol and that’s just not going to happen.
Humanity is doomed because Reason was killed when it got in the way of ‘feelings’, ‘profitability’, and ‘what’s popular’. The mantra that ‘everyone is special’ and ‘everyone is equal’, has taken over, which means that we are now morally obliged to fulfill the phony belief that ‘everyone deserves everything that they want’, no matter what obstacles, costs or consequences stand in the way. So we collectively try to bend the rules or reimagine Reality in order to ‘make it happen’. This is simply not feasible or possible and even attempting to do so is starting to have catastrophic repercussions.
Economists know this (unless they’re on someone’s Political Payroll to make up fake numbers to support bonehead policy decisions, hello Sam Brownback!). Scientists know this (if they aren’t complete hacks who are trying to drum up money for their pet research projects or doing some political profiteering *ahem* climate change *ahem*). Even politicians know this and it’s pretty clear that, no matter the political party, politicians would have problems finding their own ass with both hands, a map, a focus group, an Indian tracker, a compass and Google maps to help them find their way (for the love of God, don’t look at Street View for that address!).
If economists, scientists and politicians know that not everyone can have everything, isn’t it about time that Everyone Else got on the same page? Isn’t it about time that we reevaluated where we, as a species and as a society, are headed and start the massive effort to rewrite society’s rules to better fit in with the rules of reality before we completely destroy ourselves? The answer is no. That takes ‘too much work’. And it requires actually thinking, instead of just feeling. Nobody wants to hear the Truth. Nobody wants to make any sacrifices to what they’re doing or what they want to do. Nobody wants to recognize that they’re part of the problem and use Reason to fix the problems. And that, ladies and gentlemen is why humanity is doomed.
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