15. Do humans naturally care about reality more than the well-being of conscious creatures?

But do humans naturally care about reality as a whole more than the well-being of conscious creatures? And if not, and if that is what we should do (as per the main article above), how do we make it happen?

No, from an instinctual perspective, we naturally do not.

The navel gazing obsessive temptation of a human to care inordinately about him or herself, their family, their tribe, humanity only, or, at most, conscious beings as a whole over reality as a whole, to the possible severe civilization collapsing, ironic detriment of conscious beings, is something we have long been aware of. 

Indeed, as Maslow pointed out, since the metabolic process that moves through us is most efficiently served via the self first, our selfishness is biologically understandable and somewhat forgivable. Pragmatically it is generally way easier to first breath for yourself, feed yourself, clothe yourself, etc.. And that’s often before you even have the physical ability to tackle larger issues. There is also of course the fact that evolution exacts a strong selective pressure for simple selfishness.

However, arguing that since we naturally care more about ourselves, then we should care more about ourselves (or, at most, care about the well being of conscious creatures (that are thus like ourselves)) is a legitimate example of the naturalistic fallacy. And, as was pointed out in is/ought post #8, the most pragmatic, consistent, and reasonable way to deal with the naturalistic fallacy is to accept nature/God in the most general sense, and then subordinate lesser/more specific natural proclivities in accord with the hierarchy of the sciences.

Additionally, once basic needs are met, an overly parochial self-focus quickly becomes impossible to maintain. That’s because ultimately, as dissipative structures, we are immersed in the changing and often unpredictable world.  We must adapt to the universe because it is almost inconceivably bigger and more powerful than we are, and to succeed at that we must care about the world. To the Pantheist, God equals the World/reality. As the biblical Jesus is quoted as saying, “There is really only one commandment: Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and your neighbor as yourself”. Whether Jesus existed or not, to the scientific pantheist the one commandment is spot on. Loving your neighbor as yourself (as an approximation for caring ultimately about the well being of conscious creatures) for ferociously social, synergy utilizing, conscious human unity, is difficult enough. But hopefully on some level we all sense that loving “God”, loving that which transcends egoistic delusion, connecting to and being in accord with reality as a whole, is where the real game is, even though it’s may sometimes be more difficult than the narrower focus of caring for the well being of conscious creatures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.